The end time in the book of Joel. Part 2.

Deliverance will follow repentance: Joel 2,18-27.

Verse 18) Then will the LORD be jealous for his land and pity his people.

When will the Lord become jealous for his land and pity his people? It is not until they stand crying between the porch and the altar. In other words, when God’s people force themself into their God who is in the most holy place in the heavenly temple in fervent prayer for deliverance with the enemy surrounding them on all sides.

Verse 19) Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen.

If we choose to include Abraham’s carnal descendants – the Jews – in this verse, we must take into account that many prophecies that concern humans are given on conditions. When the Jews were in Babylon, God wanted them to learn a lesson and never turn to idols again. It was also the condition for this verse to be fulfilled on the Jewish people as a nation. If they had kept God’s word and done as God told them they would never have experienced what they did in the years 66 to 70, nor what happened during the Bar Kokhva revolt in the years 132 to 135 which led to the expulsion of the Jews from own country by the Romans.

In the end-time context, the same conditions apply to us that applied to the Jews. We must cling to the Lord so that the blessings He has promised us will be fulfilled upon us.

Verse 20) But I will remove far off from you the northern [army] and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.

Verse 21) Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.

A thousand years after the Day of the Lord, Christ and all the saints with Him will return to earth and then God will execute the punishment on the wicked.

Although God’s highest desire is to bless and save all people, God must also take into account that ha has given us free will. Not even God can override the free will, because then it is no longer freedom, but compulsion. Those who are closest to God’s heart are those who have responded positively to the call to repentance, and it is these who will be saved on the Day of the Lord.

God comes to save His people, and He will hear the prayers of His people. In Isaiah 65:24, God says through the prophet: And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Furthermore, God says in the book of Joel that he will drive his people’s enemies away from them.

There are many who say that God makes a difference between people when some are saved, and some are lost. But they say this out of sheer ignorance. Throughout history, God has called on people to make them realize the realities and turn to Him. Those who do not listen to the call choose to be lost, and God will not force them to be in a place they do not want to be.

Verse 22) Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.

Verse 23) glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month].

Joel 2:23 points to Hosea 6:1-3, and is called a call to repentance, and the three verses are full of golden nuggets:

  • Verse 1: Come and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.
  • Verse 2: After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sigh.
  • Verse 3: Then shall we know, [if] we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter [and] former rain unto the earth.

Verse 1: Here the prophet Hosea says that we should return to the Lord. When we have done that, this will trigger the blessings we read about in Joel 2:19-21.

Verse 2: This verse gives me associations with the resurrection of Jesus. Ezekiel 37:13 says: And ye shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,.

Verse 3: Here the prophet Hosea says that we should seek to know the Lord. It all therefore culminates in an active action on our part. We must make an active choice for or against God, and if we choose with all our heart to learn to know God, God will bless us with the spiritual gifts that are necessary, here in the form of the latter rain and the early rain.

Verse 24) And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

Verse 25) And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

Verse 26) And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

Verse 27) And ye shall know that I [am] in the midst of Israel, and [that] I [am] the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.

The mission we have been entrusted with by God is described by Ellen G. White in 9T 19.1: In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import—the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention.

If we carry out the mission entrusted to us by the Lord, then these four verses will be fulfilled before our eyes, and when this age is ended, God will ensure that His faithful people will never again be subjected to the trials they went through on earth.

Promised outpouring of the spirit, Joel chapter 3.

The young will prophecy: Joel 3,1-5.

(In the King James Version this is verses 28 – 32 of chapter 2, and consequently verse 6 would be verse 1 of chapter 3 in the two editions.)

Verse 1) And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

The word «afterward» refers back to the previous section where it is about repentance (Joel 2:12-17) and that the Lord hears the prayers of his people (Joel 2:18-27). When God’s people have turned to God and sought Him with all their hearts, He will pour out these gifts. There has always been a little remnant, and they have always had this gift. The first to experience this in Christian times were the apostles in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost in the year 31.

Later, both individuals and groups have experienced this, but in the end times this will be part of the great revival that will surpass all previous revivals.

Verse 2) And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

To be able to take part in what Ellen G. White calls repentance, it is a prerequisite that we have our relationship with God in order. In the next verses we see that God will not make a difference between tall or short or between old or young. Everyone who comes home to the Lord will receive the same blessings, which Jesus also explains so clearly in the parable of the vineyard workers in Matthew 20:1-16. Regardless of how long or short each worker had worked in the vineyard; they received the same wages.

The most important reason why God will pour out His spirit on those who turn to Him is as Ellen G. White expresses it in 2SM: God’s people are to be instruments through which the highest influences in the universe work. According to the presentation in Zechariah’s vision, golden oil flows from the two olive trees that stand before God, and it flows through golden pipes into the oil vessels in the sanctuary. From this the lamps of the sanctuary are supplied so that they may without interruption give a clear and shining light. From the anointed who stand before God, the fullness of light, love and power from God is thus given to his people so that they can give light and joy and encouragement to others. They are to be channels, and through these channels divine instruments are to let the stream of God’s love flow out into the world. (Translated from Norwegian.)

As God’s end-time people, we have been raised up precisely to carry out this task, we must be a blessing to all those who have not yet chosen God so that they will have the opportunity to see God’s love through our actions, words and not least through how we live our lives.

But in order for God to pour out his Spirit on his people, there are certain prerequisites that must be met. The day of Pentecost in Jerusalem is mentioned, and this is the key word. Let’s see how the disciples behaved after Jesus’ ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

On the day Jesus was taken up into heaven, the disciples witnessed this, and afterwards they went back to the room they had used for the Last Supper. We read the following in Acts 1:13-14: And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas [the brother] of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

In verses 15-26 we read that they chose a new disciple – Matthias – instead of Judas. This so that they would be complete. Then we come to the day of Pentecost, and we read in Acts 2:1 the following: And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

In order for us to be able to have this experience – the latter rain – it is necessary that we as a congregation are united, are in the same place – spiritually – have the same goal and meaning, and that we are persistent in prayer and invocation. In Revelation 3:10 we read: Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

The Greek word «hyponomê» which is translated as patience can also be translated as endurance, steadfastness, persistence. Those who want to receive the latter rain must therefore be persistent or steadfast in everything they do with regard to prayer and invocation. They must search themselves and ask the Lord to search them and remove all impurity and discord from them before the Holy Spirit is poured out.

Verse 3) And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

Verse 4) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

We find these two verses in addition to here in Joel, also in Matthew 24:29 and in Revelation 6:13. These were special end-time signs that heralded the transition from prophetic times to end times.

«The great and the terrible day of the LORD» refers to the return of Jesus. But there is one more thing that God will do for those people in the world who have not yet accepted Christ as their saviour. Before Christ returns, God will, according to Malachi 4:5 do this: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

Why is it necessary for Elijah to come before Jesus’ return? This third Elijah, who is the seventh-day Adventists, will prepare the way for Jesus’ return in the same way that John prepared the way for Jesus’ first coming, and the message they will preach is: Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters, Revelation 14:7).

This is to get as many as possible to leave Babylon and join God’s faithful end-time people, and that something must be done for the next verse to be fulfilled.

Verse 5) 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.

When the loud cry sounds in the end times, many who are still in Babylon will hear the message and respond positively to it. They will therefore turn to God and ask for forgiveness for their sins, and this is what is found in verse 5 where it says, whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered.

After receiving assurance of salvation, they leave Babylon and seek God’s end-time church, which preached the message to them through the loud cry. When this is completed Christ will return and then there will be a deliverance of God’s people.

Judgement of Judah’s enemies: Joel 3,6-22.

Verse 6) For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,

As God’s end-time people, we are prisoners in an inhospitable world. Around us on all sides and edges we find our enemy who wants to destroy us in one way or another. If we do not fall into the syncretism of the fallen churches, they will eventually try to kill us. But we need not fear the enemy, for we know that God will fight for us. We should not be haughty for that reason, but we must humble ourselves before the Lord’s throne every single day. Then God will eventually lead us home.

Verse 7) I will also gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat and will plead with them there for my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

In verses 6 and 7 we read this: For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

As already mentioned, this is linked to Armageddon in Revelation 16:16. In short, as already mentioned, Armageddon is a compound word, «har» and «mageddón» (from Har-mo`ed) meaning mountain and congregation respectively.

Joel 3,7 calls this place Jehoshaphat’s valley: … I will also gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat and will plead with them there for my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land, (the peoples here are the Gentiles).

Verse 8) And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for a harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.

Verse 9] Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompense? and if ye recompense me, swiftly [and] speedily will I return your recompense upon your own head,

Verse 10) Because ye have taken my silver and my gold and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things.

Verse 11) The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border.

Verse 12) Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them and will return your recompense upon your own head.

Verse 13And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the LORD hath spoken [it].

Verse 14) Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up:

Verse 15) Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I [am] strong.

Verse 16) Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.

Verse 17) Let the heathen be wakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.

Verse 18) Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness [is] great.

Verse 19) Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD [is] near in the valley of decision.

Verse 20) The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

Verse 21) The LORD also shall roar out of Zion and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD [will be] the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

There is much in the verses here that reminds of the final judgment after the thousand years, such as verse 17. In verse 19 Jehoshaphat’s valley is called «the valley of decision«, and it harmonizes well with the removal of all evil, both the originator, the lackey and sin itself shall be destroyed. And once again we see that the story is not told linearly, because what heralded the end times is mentioned in verse 20, after everything has been decided in the valley of decision.

Verse 22) So shall ye know that I [am] the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her anymore.

In Obadiah 1,17 we read: But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

When all evil is eradicated forever there will be peace throughout the universe. Jesus said in John 14:3: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also. This is probably what Obadiah is talking about when he says that Jacob’s house will take possession of its properties.

Then we shall know that the Lord is our God, which means that we shall see God face to face. That there shall no strangers pass through her anymore (the congregation) means that sin is gone forever and ever. Only those who know God and are known by God will have eternal life with the Creator. And here is what can be difficult for many to take in.

There are many of us who have family or friends who call themselves Christians, and whom we would have liked to be with us in heaven. There are doubtless many who purport to have believed that they have been sincere believers, and who say of themselves that they have prophesied in God’s name, cast out demons in God’s name, and done many mighty works. But their problem is that God will not recognize these people.

Jesus says in Matthew 7,21-23: Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Then we can ask; why?

We can of course find the answer in the Bible, and I like to highlight the verses in Revelation 12:17 and 14:12, where it says, respectively … those which keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ which is the spirit of prophecy … and … they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Isaiah 58,13-14 says the following about keeping the Sabbath commandment: If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, [from] doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking [thine own] words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken [it].

Now it is not the case that this is only about the Sabbath commandment, but this commandment is the one that is most overlooked and forgotten by most people – even Christian people choose to disregard this commandment. The paradox is that the commandment that begins with REMEMBER is the commandment that most people want to forget. But as John says in Revelation, all God’s commandments must be kept. God would not have asked us to keep all His commandments if it was impossible, as many say. Even some in our own church think it is impossible to keep the commandments.

In 1 John 2,3 John says: «By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments», and in 1 John 2,1 he says: «My children, I am writing this to you so that you shall not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous one». The commandments can be kept, all as one, but if we stumble and fall, Jesus stands there and helps us up again.

Eternal blessing for God’s people: Joel 3,23-26.

Verse 23) And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD and shall water the valley of Shittim.

Verse 24) Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence [against] the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.

Verse 25) But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation.

Verse 26) For I will cleanse their blood [that] I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.

One day in the near future Jesus will return and deliver his people and take them to heaven where for 1000 years they will see that God’s judgments are just, and where they will get answers to all their questions. After the 1000 years they will come again to this earth which will be recreated as it was from the Creator’s hand on the sixth day of the creation week, and then all the blessings God has given his people will be fulfilled.

Egypt and Edom, that is, the enemies of God’s people will be annihilated, while God’s people will live in the new Jerusalem for all eternity.