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Regarding Joel's Prophecy: Some Thoughts

 

The Joel 2 prophecy was fulfilled with Pentecost, as stated in Acts 2:16-18.  The teaching of this passage is what many pentecostals/messianics/ charismatics are interpreting and taking upon themselves. They also use 1 Corinthians 14 as part and parcel of this claim. 

Joel 2 is a furtherance of the warning being given to Israel about the Day of the Lord and also the Day of Jacob's trouble. It was specifically meant as a warning for unsaved Israel and all those who have rejected Jesus Christ. Starting with verse one, the chapter describes the nature of what is coming, including the large army, where, "the earth shall tremble before them." 

 "Blow a ram's horn in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble. For the day of Jehovah comes, for it is near at hand.."

There is a consistent call for Israel to repent, even in the midst of all the terrible things befalling all the people. Verses 12-13 "...turn to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with  weeping, and with mourning...tear your heart and not your robes.."

As Christians we know that who the Scriptures refer to in Zechariah 12:10, is Israel and any and all who have rejected Jesus Christ. 

Zechariah 12:10 "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."

We are reminded that when Christ comes, He will be seen by all. Revelation 1:7 " Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."

Revelation 11:3 states God will  have had His "two witnesses" proclaiming to the world for three and a half years, where they will eventually be killed and lie in the street of Jerusalem. The gospel will have been proclaimed to "every nation and kindred and tongue and people" 

3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.
6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.
8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

God will move against Israel's enemies and intervene in that day. Joel 2:20 "I will remove the northern army far from you.." That "day" will become the time when Christ is again, Joel 2:27, "...in the midst of Israel," when He is, again, "[their] God". This is the time described in Jeremiah 31:31-34 when God will have given Israel a "new heart" when He has put His "law in their inward parts" when He "will be their God, and they shall be [His] people."  

Peter proclaimed Acts chapter 2:16-18 to be a fulfillment of the Joel 2 prophecy. Peter was responding to his fellow Jews, who had gathered or lived in Jerusalem, when he explained what was taking place at Pentecost with the receiving of the Holy Spirit, "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven."... Acts 2:9-14 "...we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?  Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:"

Notice that Peter, by revelation of the Holy Spirit, has stated that prophecy is fulfilled by them receiving the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit was poured out on all flesh at Pentecost so that those who accept Jesus Christ will be sealed by Him, may be Comforted and brought into all truth. 

John 14:16-18, 26 (Jesus speaking to the apostles) "16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you."26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

Ephesians 4:30 "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." 

It was an acknowledgment that the Jewish believers that were speaking in tongues **other languages*** and glorifying God were doing so because they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and that fulfillment also meant they would dream dreams and the old men would prophesy, which many did.  Peter continues the prophecy, which must happen before Christ returns, when every knee shall bow.  "And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." 

We know any who call upon Jesus Christ can be saved, but Israel, except for the election of the remnant, specifically will remain blind until the time of the Gentiles is complete. Again, at that time, a remnant shall be saved. This matches with the continuation of the Joel prophecy which is "afterward" Joel 2:30-32  "And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call."

Mark 13:23-26 (Jesus speaking) "But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

Romans 11:5, 7  "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace...What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded." 

Romans 11:25-26 " For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel , until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:"  

Luke 21:24-28 (Jesus speaking) ".... and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."

The pouring out of the Spirit in fulfillment of prophecy meant that the Jews must accept that the Gentiles were also filled with the Holy Spirit when they accepted Christ, and they, like what took place at Pentecost with the Jews, spoke other tongues, that is, other languages, to glorify God. Acts 10:45-46 "And they of the circumcision [Jews] which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues{,} and magnify God. Then answered Peter,"

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. 21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. 22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

The Acts period written by Luke is a transitional period and primarily for the Jews with Gentiles still being "grafted into the olive tree." But, chronologically, in Acts 28, Paul, the apostle specifically for the Gentiles (and who is greatly despised and discounted), turned from the Jews and went exclusively to the Gentiles. The epistles written in time after that apply to the mystery of Christ where there is neither Jew nor Gentile but, all are one in Him. 

This Body, comprised of Jews and Gentiles, were to be in Christ seated with Him far above all, including the heavens, where He is at the Right Hand of God. Satan despises this teaching and will do everything to keep the truth from us. 

The 70th week is yet to come. It is the time of the building of the Body of Christ, made up of Believers of Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile. (Ephesians 2:11-18)  It also the time of the Gentiles, until the fulness is complete. Romans 11:25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

From Jeremiah 31:31-34 we understand that Israel will be given a new heart. 

Joel 2 and the unfulfilled prophecy of the day of the Lord's wrath, is for the end times of  Daniel's 70 weeks. Thus, the pouring out of the Holy Spirit , which resulted in Israel's sons and daughters dreaming dreams, etc. happened when Pentecost took place. It happened to those who accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. 

People of all nations will come to belong to Jesus Christ.  Those that desire tongues and who believe that they are receiving and speaking a heavenly language, are trying to have what God has purposed for after His wrath, that being a "pure  language" so that all may magnify Him. This is discussed fully in "Pentecostal Tongues & The Inner Ecstasy." If something is of God, it will not contradict His Word. 

Joel 1 is a description of Israel and the devastation it has received due to it's priests and ministers not remaining faithful in their duties or to God. Although warned by God to repent, they do not listen. Verse 1:15 states:  "Alas for the day! For the day of Jehovah is at hand,  and it shall come as a ruin from the Almighty" The expression "day of Jehovah" and  some form of devastation are usually combined into one statement in the Old Testament. "That day" is referring to the day of 'Jacob's trouble' referred to in Jeremiah 30:7 "Alas! For that day is great, for none is like it. And it is a time of Jacob's trouble, but he will be saved out of it." 

Joel 2 is a furtherance of the warning being given to Israel about the Day of the Lord and also the Day of Jacob's trouble. It was specifically meant as a warning for unsaved Israel and all those who have rejected Jesus Christ. 

Revelation 7:3-4 speaks of the sealing of the twelve tribes before God begins to pour out His wrath, "Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel." 

Verse 9 then begins with "After this" meaning after the sealing of those ordained in Israel as belonging to Jesus Christ,  "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;"

 Expanding on the understanding of who verse 9 is referring to, Verses 13-14:  "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of {Greek includes "the"} great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

If one continues the study of Joel, chapter 3 shows a result of the coming of "the day of the Lord". In Joel 3:2 God proclaims a promise to Israel, which has been "scattered among the nations."

"I will also gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will fight with them there for my people and for my inheritance Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and divided my land." 

There is no where in Scripture that would suggest that this could be in reference to anything but Israel. Those who belong to Jesus Christ have no continuing city or land on this earth, nor are we to covet or desire that. 

Copyright . All articles are the sole property of SeekGod.ca and Vicky Dillen. All Scripture King James Version unless otherwise stated.

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