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Joel 2:28–32

Sunday Morning Bible Study

January 26, 2014


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words

Joel’s prophecy came when the land was hit by an invasion of locusts, followed by a drought. Joel saw this as a punishment for the sins of the people.

He also saw this locust invasion as a picture of a bigger invasion, one that would come during a time known as “the day of the LORD”.

The day of the LORD is the Tribulation period which ends with the return of Jesus.

There are two particular concepts regarding interpretation of prophecy that we ought to be acquainted with.  These are things common to many of the prophetic passages in the Bible.

Prophetic telescoping – where a prophecy skips through time at the drop of a comma.

When Jesus began His ministry (Luke 4:16-22), He came into the synagogue at Nazareth and read from Isaiah 61, and afterward said “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”.  What’s fascinating is that Jesus didn’t read the entire passage from Isaiah, but was careful to stop at the “comma” that separates the prophecies of the first coming with the prophecies of the second coming.

Double fulfillment – where a prophecy may have more than one fulfillment.

The prophets declared that Elijah would come before the Messiah.  John the Baptist fulfilled that prophecy, but only partially, only before the first coming.  There is still an Elijah to come.
We’ve already seen a double fulfillment in play.
The locust plague of Joel 1 would become a picture of the future invasion of the Assyrian army.
It would ALSO be a picture of the demonic locust plague of Revelation 9.  And perhaps more…

2:28-32 Spirit Promise

:28 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.

:29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

:28 I will pour out My Spirit

God promises that in the days of this prophecy’s fulfillment He would pour out His Spirit, and it would be characterized by prophesying, dreams, and visions.


Last Days’ Spirit

In Moses’ day, the Holy Spirit was not poured out on too many people.
Moses was having trouble because he was the only one who could make decisions for the people. To help him with guiding the huge nation, he set up seventy men to be elders. But even that wasn’t enough. These men needed the Spirit (Num. 11:24-29)

So God put His Spirit on these seventy elders. They helped spread the load out.

But Moses prayed for a day when all of God’s people had the Holy Spirit.

(Nu 11:29 NKJV) …Oh, that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!”

That day is now. That day would come with the “New Covenant” described in Ezekiel:

(Eze 36:27 NKJV) I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was poured out on the apostles in the upper room. When a crowd developed and wondered what was going on, Peter got up to explain:

(Ac 2:14–21 NKJV) —14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

Peter was tying the miracles and signs that Jesus had performed, and the phenomena of the tongues of fire (Acts 2:3), along with the prophesying and speaking of tongues with the outpouring predicted by Joel.

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.’

Peter told the crowd that Joel’s prophecy was coming to pass in their day.

We are living in the days of Joel 2.  There is a sense in which we’ve been in those days since the day of Pentecost.
There is also a sense in which the outpouring of the Spirit may accompany these last days, as a kind of “double fulfillment” (see last week’s study).
The power of the Holy Spirit is available to all of us.
Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit?

There is too much work to be done by just one or two leaders (like Moses). God wants to put His Spirit on all the people.

When Jesus taught about the “last days”, He hinted at the need and work of the Holy Spirit.
(Mt 25:1–13 NKJV) —1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

Throughout the Bible, oil symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus is telling a story about the last days and the condition of all the people who are waiting or expecting Him to come.

Some are neglecting the Holy Spirit.  Others are ready and filled with the Holy Spirit.

5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. 6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

I hope today you wake

Play Alarm Clock Truck clip

What’s the proper way to “watch” and be ready?

Have your lamps full of oil.  You can’t count on somebody else getting you through the door, YOU need to be full of the Holy Spirit.  You’re going to hear an alarm this morning.  Pay attention and wake up.


Power to change

Last week I talked about the need to change from the inside out.  Joel had written,
(Joe 2:13 NKJV) So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God…

Too often we find ourselves making changes on the outside just because we’ve been “caught”.

Your parents catch you doing something you’re not supposed to be doing, and so you stop what you’re doing.

And yet until you are ready to “rend your heart”, your outward changes will only go so far. 

If you are only doing the right things to please others, you haven’t really changed.

Real change starts with a change of heart.  You have to “want” to change.

What I didn’t tell you last week is that “wanting to change” all by itself isn’t enough to actually change.
There are times when we actually, honestly want to change, and we still don’t.
Paul wrote,
(Ro 7:18–8:2 NLT) —18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. 21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.

By yourself, you are powerless to change.

We don’t like to think of ourselves as “powerless”.  Even when we’ve given in to sin over and over again, we still think that somehow we have the ability to “be okay”.

Some of us have learned how to curb some of our bad habits – and we face another danger – thinking that somehow we’ve arrived at the place where we no long need to worry about that sin.

The truth is, by myself I am still powerless over that sin.

24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. 1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

Those in twelve step programs are taught that they need to find their “higher power”.

I’m here to tell you that there is only One higher power that is will take you through your life and into eternity, Jesus Christ.

When you open your heart to Jesus Christ, He makes available to you the Holy Spirit, who gives you the actual power to change.

The filling of the Holy Spirit is not a one-time thing.  It needs to be a regular, ongoing practice of my life.

I need to grow in allowing myself to yield more and more and more to the Holy Spirit.

So does it look like to be “filled with the Spirit”?  It looks like change.  It looks like obedience.

Play “Lord, Lord” clip.

:30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.

:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

:31 sun … moon

The sun turning to darkness could be a description of a solar eclipse.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, and from a spot on the earth, the sun appears to be blacked out.

The moon turning to blood is a description of a full lunar eclipse.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth is between the sun and the moon, and the moon passes into the earth’s shadow.  There can be partial and total lunar eclipses.
Even during a total lunar eclipse, the moon never completely goes dark, but the light refracted through the earth’s atmosphere causes the moon to appear red in color.
Depending on the amount of dust and particles in the atmosphere, the moon can appear to be colored red.  A volcanic eruption prior to a lunar eclipse can cause darker red colors.

The Bible says that on the fourth day of creation, God set up the sun and moon to be something special:

(Ge 1:14 NKJV) Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;
signsowth – sign, signal; warning
This word is used over and over again as something God does to send His people a message.
Perhaps these eclipses might be significant “signs”.

Lunar Eclipses

There has been some stirring in prophetic circles about what is called lunar “tetrads”.  This is where there are four lunar eclipses in a row, and they are all total lunar eclipses.

NASA tells us there are 2-5 lunar eclipses every year, though only about 1 per year is a total lunar eclipse (the rest are partial eclipses).  (less than a third are total lunar eclipses) Over the last 5000 years, total lunar eclipses average once every 2.5 years. (2027 out of 5000)
A much rarer phenomenon is where four lunar eclipses in a row (a tetrad) are all total lunar eclipses.  Over a period of 5000 years, this only occurs 142 times. (an average of once every 35 years)
According to NASA, there were four of these “tetrads” from 1401-1500, six from 1501-1600, and then none from 1601-1900.  In the last century (1901-2000) there were five, and from 2001-2100 there will be eight of them.

Recently a Bible teacher named Mark Bilz (and John Hagee) looked at the dates of these tetrads and laid them on top of the Jewish religious calendar to see if any lunar eclipses coincided with the Jewish calendar.

Note:  It is not particularly unusual for a lunar eclipse to fall on a Jewish Feast Day.
The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar, based on the moon itself.
Of all the 230 lunar eclipses (partial and full) in the last century, 37 (1/6) of them fell on Jewish holidays.
BUT – what is unusual is for a complete tetrad (four total lunar eclipses in a row) to fall on Jewish Feast Days.
Since 1000 AD until now, it has only happened twice.

It’s not until 1949 that you find a tetrad that falls on a Jewish Feast Day.

The first lunar eclipse fell on April 13, 1949 (Passover), a month after the end of the Israeli War of Independence (when the Arab nations tried to wipe out the new nation of Israel, born on May 14, 1948).  The remaining three eclipses fell on Sukkoth, Passover, and Sukkoth.

The next tetrad to fall on a Jewish Feast Day was in 1967, when the first lunar eclipse falls on April 24, 1967 (Passover), two months before the Six Day War.  The remaining eclipses followed the same pattern (Sukkoth, Passover, Sukkoth).

It was during the Six Day War that Israel was once again attacked, and by the end of the six days they had not only repelled the invading Arab armies, they had also expanded the nation to include what is now called the West Bank, Golan Heights, and for the first time in 2000 years the entire city of Jerusalem was under control of the nation of Israel.

Though there were other tetrads between 1000 AD and now, none of them fell on Jewish Feast Days. (In just the last century, 1909-1910, 1927-1928, 1985-1986, and 2003-2004, but none were on Feast Days)
The next tetrad, according to NASA will start in 2014.  The four lunar eclipses fall on these dates:
April 15, 2014, the start of Passover.
October 8, 2014, the evening before Tabernacles starts.
April 4, 2015, the start of Passover.
September 28, 2015, the first day of Tabernacles.

Solar Eclipses

There are two to five solar eclipses each year with an average of less than one per year being a total eclipse.  (about 2 every 3 years)

Since 2001, we have had 8 total solar eclipses.

The last total solar eclipse was November 13, 2012.  The next total solar eclipse will be March 20, 2015.

Though this is not a Jewish Feast Day, it is the final day of the Jewish religious calendar year (29 Adar). (Kind of like December 31 to us)
At the time of the first Passover, God said that 1 Nisan this would be the “beginning of months” for the Jews, the beginning of their religious calendar.
The Jewish civil calendar starts on Rosh Hoshanah (around September), but the religious calendar started on Nisan 1 (or, Abib 1).

I also find it interesting that the next solar eclipse falls right in the middle of the upcoming lunar triad.


What’s up?

What do I make of it?  I’m not sure.
But if God decides it’s time for something big to happen, this would be a good time.
I have this personal theory that God has given Himself different “windows of opportunity” in our human time line by which He might accomplish things.
I think that the things that happened in 1967 could have been very fitting for the second coming.
Instead, there was a revival – The Jesus People – and I wonder if God didn’t put off the coming judgment.

I wonder if we are not now in one of those windows.

Don’t forget that this prophecy of Joel is about more than just solar and lunar eclipses.
It is also about that “great and awesome day of the LORD”, which ends with the coming of Jesus.
Could we be on the verge of something happening?
Some have suggested that we might be on the verge of the war of Gog/Magog, the invasion of Israel mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39.
Ezekiel’s army is described as coming from the north:
(Eze 38:6 NKJV) …the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.
Joel’s army is described as coming from the north:
(Joe 2:20 NKJV) “But I will remove far from you the northern army…
After the time of Joel’s invasion, there is an outpouring of God’s Spirit.
(Joe 2:28 NKJV) “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh…
The end of the Gog/Magog battle also involves the Spirit of God.
(Eze 39:29 NKJV) …for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord God.”
The Gog/Magog invasion involves nations like Iran.
Could it be that there will yet be a war between Iran and Israel?  Could it be soon?  You might want to check out our Prophecy Update Study from January 5 for more ideas on this.
I am NOT predicting anything.  I’m just saying that things look about right if God decided that this was the time.


Hagee notes part1:

Joel 2, Acts 2
1) God is creator

Genesis 1 – God created the heavens and earth

2) Lights in heavens for “signs” or “signals”

(Ge 1:14–15 NKJV) —14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.

(Mk 13:24–27 NKJV) —24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then He will send His angels, and gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest part of earth to the farthest part of heaven.

Joshua 10:12-13

Joshua spoke to the sun

God has control over the sun and moon

2Kings 20:9-11

Hezekiah prayed, the sun shadow changed

What “sign” is the Lord going to give me (vs.8)

Mat. 2:2, 9

The Bethlehem star

Mat. 24:29

(Mt 24:29–30 NKJV) —29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Four blood moons

1492 – Edict of expulsion of Jews from Spain, the Jews hired an Italian Jew, Christopher Columbus and asked him to find them a new place to live (America).  Huh?

1948 – Israel is reborn. (Problem – the blood moons were in 1949-1950, not 1948)

1967 – Six Day war, Jerusalem was under Israel control.

(He seems to hint that these are the only time there were four blood moons, but there were quite a few more than these.  He tries to hint that four blood moons is always tied to Israel.)

He says this isn’t a sign that the rapture will happen though.

He says that the scientists at NASA have said that there have been three tetrads of blood moons in the last five thousand years, and it is going to happen again.

(what he doesn’t say is that there have been more than three tetrads over five thousand years.)

Again he says it has happened only three times in five hundred years.  Not so.

When you see these things, look up

(Lk 21:25–28 NKJV) —25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

Hagee notes part 2:
Joel 2:30-31
Passover – God’s deliverance from Egypt
Sukkot – God’s protection in the wilderness
Rabbinical scholars say:

Solar eclipse – judgment coming to nations

Lunar eclipse – a sign of judgment against Israel’s enemies

When a solar eclipse is between lunar eclipses – something enormous is going to happen

Jesus said,

(Mk 13:24–25 NKJV) —24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Stars falling – meteor showers?

Which nations are going to be judged?

Ezekiel 38

Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, Germany

Exodus 4:22 – Israel is God’s son, directly created by him

Ezekiel 38 – this is the war hinted at in Joel 2

unwalled villages – Israel has no protection – as today with fewer and fewer nations willing to defend Israel.

Hagee notes part 3:
(Re 19:11–16 NKJV) —11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS
God judges those who rebel against His authority.

God will attack those who come against the nation that would produce His Son.

Nimrod – the flood

Haman (Iran) – Esther

United Nations leaders says that for a one world government (Brock Chisolm): destruction of monetary system; destruction of nationalism; destruction of Christian faith

Mark Bilz and Ray Bentley
Mark Bilz
Opposing research
Kaduri video

:32 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the Lord has said, Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.

:32 whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved

In the days of the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy, there will be armies marching on Israel.

God’s promise is that anyone living in Israel who calls on His name will be delivered from these physical enemies.

But the verse goes beyond some future, physical deliverance.


Call on Him

Peter used this line (Acts 2) to encourage the crowd on the day of Pentecost to “call” on the Lord to be saved.
Paul uses this verse to explain how we are saved from our sin:
(Ro 10:9–13 NKJV) —9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Throughout the book of Romans, Paul has made a case that we have all sinned and are all worthy of eternal damnation before God because of our sins.

Every one of us.

We cannot be saved through our good works, none of us can do enough good works to pay for our sins.

It is only through what Jesus did on the cross for us that we can find salvation from eternal judgment.

It’s at this point in Romans that Paul puts it all together – he tells us how we can have Jesus’ payment for our sins applied to us.

Are you ready for the things that are coming up ahead?
Have you called on Him?  Is it time for you to “rend your heart”, turn from your sin, and come to the Lord?