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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
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
We’ve already seen a double fulfillment in play.
plague of Joel 1 would become a picture of the future invasion of the Assyrian
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. -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.
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:
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 ‘Andit 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
men shall see visions,Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My
maidservantsI will pour out My Spirit in those days;And they
shall prophesy. 19
I will show wonders in heaven aboveAnd 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.
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 passThat
whoever calls on the name of the LordShall be
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
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
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
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
(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
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.
: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
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
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;
signs – ‘owth– 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”.
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
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.
(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 spoke to
God has control
over the sun and moon
the sun shadow changed
What “sign” is the
Lord going to give me (vs.8)
Mat. 2:2, 9
The Bethlehem star
(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
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.”
Lunar eclipse – a
sign of judgment against Israel’s enemies
When a solar
eclipse is between lunar eclipses – something enormous is going to happen
(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 –
Which nations are going to be judged?
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
(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
God will attack
those who come against the nation that would produce His Son.
Nimrod – the flood
Haman (Iran) –
leaders says that for a one world government (Brock Chisolm): destruction of
monetary system; destruction of nationalism; destruction of Christian faith
: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
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
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?