Summary: This brief study of Joel is intended to awaken the church to an understanding of prophetic literature and to prepare our hearts for the day in which we live (adapted from Joel Rosenberg’s Epicenter conference and Mike Bickle’s series on Joel).
Joel Pt7 The Lord Dwells in Zion
Continue with our study of Joel- look at v3.1-21.
Chap 1- locust plague- God’s judgment
Chap 2- military invasion- God’s judgment
Chap 1/2- God calls for a corporate response
End- chap 2- a picture of God’s restoration
v2.18-32- we saw the extravagant blessing that God wants to pour out on His people- Jews/Gentiles.
If it is in God’s heart to bless His people at the end of the age- since God lives outside of time-
it is always in His heart to bless His people.
Therefore we can call on Him NOW to release those blessings, at least in part- learn to pray!
God has a plan He established before time began.
The events that precede and follow Jesus return will be the most dramatic in all of human history.
God’s wrath- like water behind a dam that is rising.
Three truths guaranteed in the last days-
1. Jesus Christ will return (in the flesh)
2. There is a resurrection of the dead
3. Final judgment (God will set oppressed free)
Think about these truths for minute- we-
rejected Christ- first time- why should He return?
violated- principles of life- judgment- reasonable!
Joel 2-3 is a continual thought- no chapter break.
After this- gathering together, praying, fasting, crying out
Peter quotes v2.28-31 in Acts-
v2.28-29 fulfilled, v30-31 not fulfilled- end of age
Many prophesies have a near term/far term fulfillment.
v2.31 day of the Lord- second coming of Jesus Christ
v3:1 (NKJV) “For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem,
Before Jesus returns- anti-Christ will take the Jewish people captive and scatter them among the nations.
They will be placed in prison/death camps like Hitler did.
Zech 14:2 (NASB) For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. (Lk 21.24, Mat 24.15-16)
Partially fulfilled- 70AD- fulfilled completely- day of Lord.
Zech 13:8 (NASB) “It will come about in all the land,” Declares the Lord, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it.
6M died- Hitlers death camps- 18M today- 2/3 = 12M
The church must understand this so we can pray for Israel and not be taken by surprise and lose faith.
We generally think of the rapture, or second coming of Christ, as Jesus coming back for His church.
Jesus is returning for His church, but in the context of coming to liberate/return- Jewish people to- land.
v3.1 (Isa 61.1-3 (applies to 1st/2nd coming of Christ)
In those days/at that time- # things happen- same time-
1. Great outpouring of the HS
2. Terrifying signs in the heavens
3. Liberation of Jews who were carried into captivity
4. God’s judgment on anti-semitic nations
Judgment- nations- in part because- how treated Israel-
1. Scattered the Jewish people
2. Divided up God’s land
3. Enslaved the Jewish people
All three have historical precedence- not yet fulfilled but will be- Tribulation- Jacob’s Trouble- (Jer 30.7, Dan 12.1)
Our president- proposed dividing the land/Jerusalem.
Woe to- US/UN/EU/AL/PA, anyone-tries-divide the land.
v 3.2 I will gather all the nations- today 238 nations.
All- sometimes-precise term, sometimes used generally.
Appropriate to pray- US will not be one of those nations.
You never know what prayer might accomplish.
v3.4-8 (Isa 42.14-17, 49.17-18, Dan 12.7, Ezek 35.11, 36.22)
God is speaking to those nations who are persecuting His people- you dare to challenge me?
Tyre/Sidon- Lebanon, Regions of Philistia- Gaza strip
Historically these nations- rebelled against God-oppose-
covenant God made- Abraham to give them-land.
(Pray for Palestinian people- pawns- suffered much)
God challenges the nations- in the spirit of Psa 2-
a picture of the end-time drama-
Psa 2.1-12 (Psa 132.13-14, Zech 1.14)
v1-3 Nations rage
v4-6 God laughs
v7-9 Jesus intercedes
v10-12 warning for the nations
The underlying issue is the sovereignty of God- God has- right to choose who/what/where/when/how.
v3.9-12 (1 Thess 5.3, Rev 19.14, Psa 45.2-7)
Valley of Jehosaphat- Jerusalem
Natural history- end w/battle between wicked men/God.
v3.11- Bring down your- mighty ones- angels- Jesus is setting-trap for-armies of-nations. (Zech 14.4-5, Psa 110.5-6)
God killing wicked/rebellious men is not contrary to His nature of love- He is setting free those- oppressed.
Even as He endured God’s wrath on the cross for the joy set before Him (Heb 12.2), so He will judge the wicked for the joy of an earth that will be freed from wickedness and oppression. Mike Bickle
Some believe- church will be raptured before-tribulation.
I believe the church will be on the earth throughout this battle and will experience great victory and power.