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Joel 2:28-32

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Prayer

  • Introduction - we are going to look at a couple prophecies today in the Old Testament and do a review of the doctrine of the Day of the Lord. Then we will look at how these prophecies are used in the New Testament.
  • Read Joel 2:18-3:3
  1. Prophecy 1
    1. Pouring out of the Spirit
        • Joel 2:28-29 - It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
        • It will come about after this - this introduces the first part of the prophecy. After this could be after the restoration, or it could be after the point in which Joel speaks/prophesies.
        • that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind - literally "all flesh". There are several potential uses/meanings for "all flesh".
          1. In Genesis 6:12-13, 17; 7:21; 9:11, 15 and Leviticus 17:14 all flesh = all creatures including humans and animals.
          2. In Isaiah 66:16 it is used to refer to people from all nations, but not 100% of all people.
          3. In Jeremiah 32:27 it is again used inclusively to refer to all mankind or possibly all creatures again.
          4. In Jeremiah 45:5 it is limited to all people in Israel, possibly again men & animals.
          5. Ezekiel 21:4-5 is all Israel.
          6. Ezekiel 20:48 could be speaking of men of all nations, not necessarily 100%, but genereally all. Ezekiel
          7. Zechariah 2:13 again refers to all mankind.
        • Here "All flesh" most likely means either all mankind or men of all nations as opposed to only Israel. cf. Joel 2:17, 26-27
        • And your sons and daughters will prophesy - This is a reflection of Moses' expressed desire that all might be prophets Numbers 11:24-30.
          1. The specific inclusion of daughters makes it clear that women are included, but this is not surprising. Women were known to prophesy. Exodus 15:20 | Judges 4:4 | 2Kings 22:14 | Neh 6:14 | Isa 8:3
          2. Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. - This is a merism, which includes those in between. Neither age nor gender will be a factor. Yet this is not a surprise either. Joseph was having prophetic dreams as a youth (Genesis 37:5-10), and Daniel was interpreting dreams (Daniel 2:19).
          3. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. - it is here that we get the surprise, That slaves will have the Spirit of God. It is not just the social status thing either. The word for slave is not restricted to Israelite debt servitude, but also includes foreign slaves (Leviticus 25:44). This prophecy then indicates that non-Israelites would have the Spirit of God poured out upon them.This then either extends beyond Moses' desire that all the people of God should prophesy, or extends the idea of who are the people of God.
    2. Day of the Lord
        • Joel 2:30-31 - “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
        • “I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. - there are wonders both above and below, examples cited blood, fire, smoke. The coulumns of smoke is the idea of the mushroom cloud which goes up from a city which has been put to the torch.
        • The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
        • This is reminiscent of Exodus 10:21-22 where the Lord covered Egypt with darkness, yet the scope here seems to be wider. Rather than simply darkness in egypt, the sun itself will be dark, not producing any light. This is accompanied by "the moon into blood". This is a time characterized by darkness.
        • Both of these references are figurative language. While acknowledging that the sun itself will not become darkness nor will the moon be turned ino red hemoglobulin carrying liquid, both provide descriptions which are very vivid.
        • This is the same language used in Joel 2:10
        • These signs will precede the coming day of the Lord
        • A review of the Day of the Lord:
          1. Destruction from the Almighty (Isa 13:6) bringing terror & pain.
          2. Darkness and hopelessness (Amos 5:18-20)
          3. Just judgment (Obad 15)
          4. Punishment for false worship, lack of faith (Zeph 1:7-18)
          5. Preceded by the return of Elijah (Mal 4:5-6), a day of restoration - note Mt 11:14 John the baptist called Elijah
          6. brought death, terror (Lam 2:20)
          7. It is also a time of God's blessing upon the faithful remnant (Isa. 4:2‑6, Hosea 2:18‑23, Joel 3:18‑21, Amos 9:11‑15, Micah 4:6-8 ). 
  2. Prophecy 2
        • Joel 2:32 /And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the Lord has said, Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.
          1. whoever calls on the name of the Lord Will be delivered; - literally "all who call" this is promised deliverance for those who rely upon God for it.
          2. This is deliverance from the wrath of the day of the Lord. It does not promise that they will nor suffer, just that they will be delivered.
          3. This whoever/all who is inclusive, much like the pouring out of the Spirit in Joel 2:28-29. Any can look to God for deliverance
        • For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the Lord has said, - now the promise is narrowed. This is not saying that the only ones who escape will be on Mount Zion and Jerusalem. Yet its focus is those there, since those in Jerusalem are the ones being warned of the impending doom.
        • Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls. - This is a word play on calling upon the Lord, but ultimately it is God who calls (chooses) His people
  3. New Testament Use
        • Read Acts 2:1-22, 33
        • Peter tells his audience that the events of Pentecost were the fulfillment of this prophecy.
        • The signs that Jesus performed were the signs and wonders prophesied.
        • so what happened to the sun turning dark and the moon to blood? Has that happened? Yes! When Jesus hung on the cross there was darkness for 3 hours! We are in the middle of this prophecy right now. The Spirit has been poured out, the signs and portents have been given, but the Day of the Lord has not yet come.
        • Those who call upon the name of the Lord will be delivered/saved now has new significance. This is not merely temporal deliverance from God's wrath at the Day of the Lord, it is eternal salvation. Rom 10:13-14 To call upon Him is to believe in the work of Jesus Christ.
        • This still does carry also the sense of deliverance from the Day of the Lord.
  4. Application & Principles
    • What can we learn about God?
      1. he has a plan for salvation - long time plan
      2. faith was important in the Old Testament
      3. God works His justice in His time
      4. God fulfills his promises
      5. God isn't swayed by age, gender, social status, race
      6. God has chosen His own - not necessarily by US Equal opportunity standards
    • What are we to do?
      1. we need to have faith in God not just for eternal salvation but also for temporal deliverance
  5. Conclusion - we have looked at the prophecies in Joel and how Peter demonstrated how Jesus fulfilled them, and how Paul has broadened our understanding of the ramifications of these prophesies.

Closing -

As we close today if you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you are here without hope. Rom 3:23 tells us "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". Rom 6:23 warns that "the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord". Eternal life is made available through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins. 1Cor 15 says " that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time".Acts 16:31 says that all you have to do is "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved". There is nothing that you can do to earn or deserve salvation, it is God's free gift to mankind. In the privacy of your own mind you can choose to accept what Jesus did for you. It is that simple. once you accept Christ as your savior you too will have eternal life. Let us close in prayer.

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