The Commencement of The Last Days… Joel pt 7

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: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come. 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. (Joel 2:28-32)

Joel’s Prophecy extends down through time, and portrays the future of Judah and Israel as a series of locust like invasions of the Holy Land and of the Jewish people. The Babylonians, Greeks, Seleucids, Romans and even further into the two thousand years of scattering and Exile, (Arabs, Turks, Russians, Germans, in wave after wave of Gentile swarming, stripping, gnawing and the devouring of God’s chosen people, save the Remnant God would always preserve.

There would always also be the promise of Repentance and restoration that Joel also prophesied. God can turn back Locusts, but would His chosen and favored people open their hearts to Him? Would they turn to Him, rending their hearts in humble repentance and faith?

When that repentance occurs, God promises to “restore” all that the various Locusts had taken from them. Repentance is the precondition of restoration and re-instatement, this is what all of the Prophets insist,

Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.(Jeremiah 3:12-16)

The LORD, through the prophet Hosea also calls upon the children of Israel to repent in order to be restored,

I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early…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.After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. 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.(Hosea 5:15-6:3)

But Joel sees further into the future, a more distant mountain peak, in which God shows Him what He would do when a tiny remnant of Israel would truly humble themselves and repent of their sins, rending their hearts and seeking God with all of their heart, in the manner Joel had prescribed by the Spirit.

It was revealed to Joel that it would come to pass “In the Last Days”.

The Prophecy began to be fulfilled when the (Jewish) disciples of Jesus waited upon the LORD in prayer and supplication, in the upper room of a house in Jerusalem and in the temple itself.

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

The Restoration of Israel (and of the whole world), would be undertaken by an outpouring of the Spirit of God. God would no longer just limit the Spirit to Priests, Kings and Prophets, He would “pour out of his Spirit upon all humanity”. No longer would the Law of God be engraved in external stone tablets, instead they would be written on the hearts of His people, giving them an inward affinity to the Will of God and creating a new, supernatural , Holy people for His glory.

The Apostle Peter , on the day of Pentecost was asked, “What meaneth this?”, when the Spirit was poured out from on high, and when the little remnant of Israel was empowered to worship God in a new way.

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.( Acts 2:14-21)

Joel didn’t realize all of the implications of this vision, but what He was seeing was the ‘book-ends’ of an entirely new dispensation, ie , the Church age. A new day was coming, the Messianic age was dawning, all of God’s people would be indwelt and even anointed by the Holy Spirit. Peter could see it right away, for He had been taught by Jesus to expect it, and that in the outpouring of the Spirit, “This was That , spoken of by the prophet Joel…”.

How is it called the “Last Days”? In this sense, all that preceded it; the Patriarchs, the Law, Prophets and the Theocracy, were preparatory. The Messiah (Jesus) had come, and in a sense, His advent marked the commencement of the “Last Days”.

As we stated earlier, Joel saw two “book-ends” in the vision of chapter 2:27-32, He saw the outpouring of the Spirit upon “all flesh” and He saw the cosmic, apocalyptic signs in the heaven and earth.

The events recounted in Acts Two occurred two thousand years ago.The Prophets tell us,”…a day is with the LORD as a thousand years, and a thousand years are as a day”. In the scheme of the “Prophetic week” from Adam to today, Jesus only came two days ago. Moses was four days ago. The week is almost over, we are on the edge of the Sabbath, this earth is soon to come into it’s rest!

The outpouring of the Spirit upon the church was the commencement of the Messianic age. The spectacular signs in the heavens, are yet to come “…Blood and Fire and Pillars of smoke…” they mark the Eschatological signs of the End.

Thus there is a two thousand year gap in the vision of Joel 2:27-32, which comprises the entire Age of the church.

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GOD SHALL SMITE THE COILED SERPENT

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Turning Back The Northern Army…Joel 6

Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people. 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: 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. Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.( Joel 2:18-21)

Joel saw a Locust invasion, a real one, which left the land devastated, stripping away everything living in a series of destructive waves. But He also beheld in it, the “Day of the LORD”. His prophecy was fulfilled in the Babylonian invasion. In four successive waves between 586 -539 BC, the Babylonians stripped away the Royal family of Judah, the skilled artisans, craftsmen and military leaders, and then they came and stripped away the local leaders, eventually they plundered and burned down the Temple, killed many of the Priests and gutted the external trappings of the only true religion on earth at the time.

But Prophecies of the future are like mountain tops. There would be many more “Locust invasions”; the Seleucids would come, as would the Romans, the Mongols, Arabs, and Ottoman Turks, Russians and Poles, Germans, and lately, The British as well.

All would come in their waves, stripping the people of Judah of their children, their lands, their religion, their culture, in short , they would take everything.

This would continue to the very end. This is Joel’s message of the removal of the “Northern Army”.

Joel, by the Spirit of the LORD, is referring to Israel’s final conflict and deliverance, the coming war of Gog and Magog, also to be prophesied by Ezekiel in chapter 38.

We know this because Ezekiel mentions the burial and stench of the dead of that army, after God himself destroys them, and that God will let their bodies be a feast to the birds of carrion (Can you imagine the stench?) and will ordain that their bodies be buried (eventually) on the east of the Sea,(Which is downwind),

On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals.You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord…On that day I will give Gog a burial place in Israel, in the valley of those who travel east of the Sea. It will block the way of travelers, because Gog and all his hordes will be buried there. So it will be called the Valley of Hamon Gog. (Ezekiel 38: 4-5,11)

Thus Joel and Ezekiel are talking about the same thing. This stripping, gnawing, swarming and devouring of Israel and Judah would continue on down to the very end of time. It is a miracle that God has kept Israel in existence!

Joel’s message tells us that it really didn’t have to be so, but that it will be so. Israel could repent!

God is so much inclined to forgive, to relent, to give a blessing and tor restore, and in fact one day He will be able to do so, in a way constant with His own Holiness.

The LORD loves his people, backslidden though they are, He wants to restore, He would give a blessing again, as in olden times,

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:

The Lord alone can remove the shame and reproach of His people. But they must turn to Him, repent before him, and in lowly supplication they must seek Him with all of their hearts.

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. Be 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. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.( Joel 2:22-25)

Until that restoration, for Israel all is barren, dead and fruitless.

In the Holy Land, there are two seasons of rain, the one for the planting, and the final Rain for the harvest. Each is essential in it’s turn, the “early rain” and the “Latter Rain”. God made the Holy Land to be morally sensitive, If the People sinned, committed spiritual adultery, and became unfaithful, the rain would be withheld, the crops would fail and the people would die.

God is telling the “Beasts of the field” not to fear, for the grazing lands would be watered again, the trees would bear their fruit, notably the “Fig Tree”(Israel) and the “Vine” (the Church). his barren, dead and fruitless world would soon come back to life, on the day when God pours out the “Latter Rain” upon his Holy people.

On that day, the harvest of grain (Souls) would cover the floors, and the Vats would overflow with “New Wine” (Spiritual life), and God will restore to the people, of what the successive waves of locusts had stripped, gnawed, licked and swarmed away from them.

This will be the day of the resurrection of Life, not just for Israel, but for the whole world!

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Turn With All Of Your Heart…Joel pt 5

Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the Lord your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?  Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people.( Joel 2:11-19)

God can handle Locusts. He knows how to handle Babylonians, Seleucids, Assyrians, Romans, Turks, and destructive hordes of leftists. He actually uses them for his purposes and then judges them. Recent events here in America are disturbing indeed, and they portend destruction, but God is on His throne.

What God wants is for his people to truly and deeply give him their hearts. He wants us to turn to him from the World, and all of our idols in which we trust, and to repent of our sins with all of our hearts. This is one of the central messages of this prophet, and it speaks to us today if we will listen.

God is speaking, in view off the “Day of The Lord” and in the very face and time of the people stricken, smitten and being stripped of everything by various forms of “Locusts”.

I think of my own lifetime, which has spanned the 60’s up to this day. America was a strongly Christ influenced nation, but Atheists have eroded and torn away at everything ‘Christian’ about it. Our institutions have been co-opted and used against us, our schools, (once the envy of the world) our families have been under constant attack and undermined, various people groups have been set against each other, The church is under attack, institutions such as law, medicine and education have been taken over by leftists and utterly inverted. The very highest of Christian ideals for a society, the sanctity of Life has been desecrated and trampled underfoot.

The “cultural locusts” have descended upon us and are taking everything from us in wave after wave of erosive destruction. This is the judgment of God. We are being chastised, by the Holy God of the Bible.

The Prophet gives us the answer, a turning back to God in Spirit and in Truth.

God is saying, “…turn ye even to me with all your heart…” . What does it mean to know and love God? It couldn’t mean being half hearted about Him. Repentance has a meaning, it means to “change one’s mind”, to Turn around, to re-think your entire approach.

Let us ask of ourselves, “Do we love the LORD our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and Strength”?

Is God real to you? Are you in anyway devoted to Him? What do you love the most?

God adds that we should turn to Him, … with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning…” .

There is much to weep over, if we allow ourselves to, before God. The sorry condition of our (too often) lukewarm souls, the many compromises we have made in the areas of entertainment, the presence of deep sin in our lives or in our families, without being challenged. “Blessed are those who mourn…” Jesus said.

How about some tears for what is left of the church? I have seen an alarming lack of concern for church among confessing believers, in fact a good many Christians simply do not go to church anymore more do they support one!

There are many reasons for this, much has to do with the decline in the standards of teaching and ministry, a good many Pastors have become worldly, and seek to appeal to worldly values in others, and have tuis destroyed much of the church. They have put people in a situation where they simply don’t see the point of supporting such churches anymore. But shouldn’t we mourn over it?

What a time, where people need the lighthouse effect of sound, healthy churches! What a let down too often, where people go to church and get pop psychology, infantile level ‘sermons’ and lightness which denies the awesome holiness of God.

When someone really gets serious about spirituality, it involves various levels of fasting. Fasting is a way to afflict the soul, and to focus on what is the only supreme value, a right relationship with God. It is a humbling of the physical man, and of the distracted soul, that the Spiritual be sharpened and ears be opened to Him who speaks to his children when they want to listen.

God calls upon his people, not to make a huge external and emotion driven show of it, but tells us to “…rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God:…”.

The same Holy God who sends the locusts as a punishment or a discipline, is also of a Forgiving and benevolent nature towards his children, He doesn’t want destruction,

“… he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

We are to keep that in mind, and rely on that mercy and goodness of God, as we call upon him for repentance and forgiveness.

But the urgency is so great, that he calls All to a “Solemn Assembly” a time of fasting, prayer, repentance, for the whole congregation.The Young, the Elders, the nursing mothers and even the NewlyWeds in their honeymoon, are called to participate in the time of seeking!

The Prophet is given special instructions for the Priests, ie the ministry. They are to prostrate themselves, and to cry out, between the Porch, (Where the congregation is) and the Altar, (where God is).

Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?

God would have his ministers to be restored in their heart for his people, (their charges) and to cry out for their welfare and that they be revived. The Ministers are even given the prayer that they should pray…”SPARE THEY PEOPLE OH LORD, DON’T LET THEM BECOME A REPROACH…”.

Thus we can see what God requires of his people, in view of the Day of the LORD. He wants out hearts again, He would have our hearts turned to him, tenderized, renewed in faith, hope, and love.

When was the last time you shut everything off and gave time to the LORD? When was the last time you wept over your sins, or over the hardness of your heart? When was the last time you wept before God, for someone else? Out of concern for their very soul, have you ever secretly wept before God for them?

Let the deep message of the Prophet Joel penetrate your heart today. Hosea, another prophet’s words ring so true also, “Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD, until he rain Righteousness…”.

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This is Their Hour, and The Power of Darkness…

Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?

When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.(Luke 22:53)

The ordeal of our Saviour in his trial and crucifixion are recapitulated in last days of this present evil age. It seemed as though evil had triumphed and with impunity was boasting in the defeat of all goodness.Where was God when corrupt high priests and scribes falsely accused Jesus and brutally abused him?

This is the situation we face today. It seems that evil and vice have prevailed, and that no good deed goes unpunished. Evil parades itself, it taunts the righteous, gloating in its apparent victory over all that was at one time considered good and decent.

This is Their hour, evidently, and the Power of Darkness. God is allowing Satan to “Make war on the Saints” for the time being and to overcome them.We were warned this would happen before the end.

It so happens that the West is in a state of civilisational paralysis, having forsaken the “cultus” part of its culture, ie christianity. The intellectual “elites” over the last century have led in a rebellion against the religion that made the Judeo Christian West, the greatest civilization in history.

Our Elites don’t have the will to absolutely and resolutely defend our own civilization, having bought into the philosophy of atheists and degenerates. Liberty and the rule of law were ideals that western people would die on the battlefield to defend, or even to liberate others to enjoy. We were not all christians , of course, but we operated out of a Judeo Christian ethos,willing to sacrifice blood and treasure to save others.

Every where in Europe and America our secular elite leadership so despise our own civilization, that they promote and exalt anything, even murderous and barbaric Islam, rather than our Judeo Christian culture that has brought such light and benefit to so many. Through Immigration and abortion and birth control, they seem to be trying to neutralize and cancel out the civilization that once was.
Truly the Psalmist is right,“the Kings of the earth and their rulers take counsel together against the Lord and His Messiah!”.

There is no longer any doubt that both the Democrat and Republican parties despise America.

What else could it be, other than pure spite, to foist upon us a corrupt, bloated, semi demented relic of all that is wrong with politics in America, (Joe Biden) . He is the epitome of all that America rejects, but through blatant “in your face” voter fraud, He is now our President. His Vice President is so odious, even the Democratic party rejected her in the first round of the Primaries.

The Republican Elite obviously hate their own base, spending the previous four years helping the left to put one roadblock after another in the way of the Republican candidate that garnered more votes that any other candidate before.

They pulled it off on us “deplorable” though, and without even any subtlety, right? It turns out one can pull suitcases out from under tables, spike the numbers of false votes in the dead of night, and all on camera, and not a thing is done to stop it! Every defense of honest, legal, safe elections have been systematically removed over the years, leading to the debacle of 2020.

Georgia is perhaps our greatest warning, for within a month and a half of one blatantly corrupt election, the same corrupt state ran another identically corrupt election in order to insure that the only “stopgap” to the agenda of Communists, is removed by any means necessary.

The Courts have failed us as well, refusing to so much as look at the mountains of evidence presented to them, of this grotesque corruption of our nation’s system.

75 million voters have no recourse whatsoever. They have been lied about, called racist, lost their jobs and businesses have been destroyed, (Due to the ridiculous lockdowns), and now they are being blamed for a violent coup, by the same people who saw nothing to concern them when BLM and Antifa were literally burning down cities, business and even occupying blocks of private property.

Predictably the Democratic demagogues are exploiting our un healed national wound, Race, by lying about the difference in treatment of Black Lives Matter and the so called “Trump supporters” riot.

It is one thing to be lied to constantly, but we are beyond that. Now the pressure is on to force those of us who resist this evil to repeat these lies, or at least outwardly to agree with them, (to the loss of our soul). We must remember in this dark time of the apparent triumph of evil, the words of Jesus, when he looked evil in the face and proclaimed the sovereignty of the Holy God.

The infinitely righteous Judge of all of the earth is taking names and preparing to come in Holy vengeance.

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.( 2 Thess 1:7-9)

This is your hour…. It is given by God to the beast to “male war with the saints and even overcome them…”, but only for a brief and set time of testing. God is allowing evil to parade in all of its naked deformity to give all men a clear choice, before the final judgment falls.

…and the power of darkness… . Darkness is not mere ignorance, rather it is the refusal to see and enter into the light. The unsaved people want this, they have insisted upon it, therefore for a brief moment, they are allowed to build their Utopia.This has happened because of years of resistance to the Holy Ghost, God is giving our societies up to what thay have long clamored for, a godless society ala Imagine, by John Lennon.

God delights in hiding his glory and power in apparent weakness…remember David, the littlest one of Jesse? Remember the capture of the Ark of God by Pagans? How could Philistines be allowed to handle the earthly throne of the LORD and not die instantly, as Uzzah? Remember the cross of Jesus? It seemed then also that all that is Holy,good and decent had been profaned and trampled underfoot, but “weeping may endure for the night, but in the morning, shouts of Joy! Maranatha!

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Mountaintop Prophecies…Joel pt 4

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. ( Joel 2:1-6)

Biblical Prophecy is like seeing a mountain from a distance. I once hiked towards what I thought was a mountain in the Philippines, with some Philippines to accompany me. Coming from Iowa I had never seen a mountain or been on one before.

The ‘mountain’ I thought we were heading for didn’t seem that far away, but it was. As I came closer and closer with the group it became obvious that the ‘mountain’ was in fact many mountains. Their peaks all seemed to meld together but they were separated by miles in fact.

In Biblical prophecy, we have the same phenomenon. Prophetic visions are lumped together, but in fact there could be a thousand years between one and the other. Prophecy is at times a repeating cycle, ever intensifying unto the last days and the ultimate fulfillment of the vision in the end times.

There was indeed a locust invasion, and yet it portended another invasion, the Babylonian invasion of Judah. The swarming, stripping, licking and gnawing away and ultimately the destruction visited upon Judah was much like the 4-stage process prophesied by Joel. The Babylonians took almost everything of value. They entered into every house, they ravished many women, they killed many priests, they carried off all of the national treasures and skilled artisans, and eventually they destroyed the very most precious thing of all, the Temple of the LORD.

Yet, for lack of national repentance, there would be many, many more ‘locust’ invasions of Judah and Israel by the nations.

There would be invasions by the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Seleucids, The Romans, the Arabian Muslims, Turks and on and on it would go, swarming, gnawing, licking and destroying everything.

For example, The Seleucids, under Antiochus Epiphanes, desecrated the Temple, destroyed the national religion, outlawed Sabbath and Circumcision, and slaughtered a Pig on the Holy of Holies. What was there left to take? They even co-opted the High Priest, installing one who dropped his own Hebrew name and took on a Greek name.

This would be for them the “wages of Sin”, swarms of human locust empires, stripping away everything, leaving a tiny remnant, defiling, destroying, chewing and laying bare.

The Romans killed a million Jews, glutted the world slave markets with Jews, razed the Temple, re-named the Holy Land (Palestina), and sent Judah into an exile that lasts till this day!

Even in Exile the past two thousand years have been a long night of Pograms, persecutions, genocidal wars and the attempt to strip away everything Sacred from Israel. Russians, Germans, Poles, Eastern Europeans, Muslims,Spanish, you name it the Locusts have successively fulfilled this prophecy for centuries on end. It is a miracle there still is an Israel.

All of these were lesser “Day of the LORD”scenarios, which all point to the final and ultimate “Day of the LORD”.

The “day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness,” is a reference to the final conflict, the last and ultimate “Locust invasion”, which is called the “Great Tribulation”, such as has never been seen before or since.

One of the emphasis’ in Joel’s prophecy is on the efficiency of the invaders. They go through the cities, run on the walls, they never break rank or turn on each other, and in their wake, they leave virtually nothing but destruction.

I see a parallel application of this occurring on the vine, that is the church. A cultural invasion has entered into the homes, minds, hearts, families of the entire world. The Spiritual invasion has eroded the worldview, the morals, ethics and even the Spirituality of Christians, through the culture.

“They”, the Locust like invaders, are everywhere. They come into homes through television, popular culture, they are in schools, inculcating millions into an atheistic worldview, they are ravenous to destroy Christian concepts of marriage, ethics, morality, Government, and even reality itself.

Everywhere these ‘locusts’ have gone they leave barrenness, sterility, and even a nihilistic death wish behind them. Christians are becoming aware of the Spiritual invasion but most seem powerless to attempt to stop it in it’s progress against their families and lives. The rot is almost complete. the formerly Christian culture is nearly razed to the ground with some exceptions.

The Day of the Lord comes, it is nigh at hand…what remains except to turn to the LORD himself again, in repentance, the time of direct Divine intervention is coming quickly.

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A Touching and Insightful Post from a reader

I was touched by this post and wanted to share it with you all as I believe that Deemar speaks for a lot of us and that this would be a comfort to many of you as it was to me…It was a response to my article on Joel called “Wake Up!”,

Thank you for this reminder and encouragement to “wake-up”!
I have been tempted, and I confess I have succumbed, to feeling very sad, even depressed at times for losing the wonderful life we had. It was immediately apparent at the beginning of 2020 that things would never be the same, and surely we are in the last days “freefall” of evil.

I have been very blessed with a large family, and I can no longer imagine a “normal future” for us or for our children/grandchildren… looking back at family photos it is like a completely “different life” – and yet so recent! Yes, when God “steps in” for judgment it all comes so very “quickly”, as He promised!

And so, I remind myself of the Word…”he who seeks to save his own life will lose it”. These lives we have here are not our own, but were purchased with the great price of the blood of our Savior and Lord. The Bible tells us that He is coming again, without reference to sin, for those who “eagerly await Him.” This helps me to take my thoughts captive, remembering that, above all, I need to be “eagerly awaiting Jesus” – and whatever is involved in those birth pangs leading up to His return, and whatever our human cost may be as we wait here through it all, He is faithful to His Word and to His people and will give us the grace/strength we need to get through, one day at a time – as long as we take our eyes off of what is only temporary, no matter how beautiful it once seemed to us. I think of Lot’s wife, “looking back” to her world that was about to be destroyed… and in so doing was destroyed herself. I don’t want to be that; Lord help us.

Just as trials do not give us faith, but show us what is already inside of us, the same can be said of freedom and abundance… and I am afraid I have been guilty of wasting those previous blessings on my own pleasures far too many times. It is indeed time to “wake up”.

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The Loss of the Meat and Drink offerings… Joel pt 3

The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the Lord; the priests, the Lord’s ministers, mourn. The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth. Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men. ( Joel 1:9-12)

In the Spirit of the LORD Joel calls for mourning, and not just because of the Locust Plague and the coming series of foreign Invasions that Judah would suffer.

Underneath those calamities, the Prophet calls for us to mourn and lament the condition of Worship. Judah had the Temple, the House built for the Name of God, and to her was vouchsafed the worship, the ministry of mercy, and the apparatus of sacrifice.. Meat and Drink offerings typified this.

The meat offering was a bloodless sacrifice, it was actually a grain offering, (consisting of flour, oil and frankincense) which accompanied the morning and evening sacrifice, along with the drink offering. Bread and Wine were the meat and drink offering to God.

This visitation coming would literally interrupt the daily fellowship and worship of God. The locusts would devour the grain fields and the Vineyards which would allow the nation to offer the daily worship! Joel is predicting the unthinkable, the Temple would be destroyed and the worship of the Holy Nation would grind to a halt!

All of the beautiful fruits that God had blessed Israel and Judah with in the “Land flowing with Milk and Honey” would be languished, withered and destroyed.

No wonder the Priests were called to mourn and the farmers and Vinedressers were called especially to “…weep and howl…”. Judgment was coming and it would be felt on every level of society.

The Shepherds in particular, the Priests and ministers should call a Solemn Assembly, for the purpose of weeping, fasting and seeking God.

Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord, Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come. (Joel 1 :13-15)

For Judah to be cut off from the service of worship, sacrifice and the ministry of mercy would be a disaster. The commentators Kiel and Delitsch say;

Now Israel could not suffer any greater calamity than the suspension of the daily sacrifice; for this was a practical suspension of the covenant relation – a sign that God had rejected His people.

The Day of the LORD is at hand, the day of direct intervention of the Almighty into the affairs of Judah and the surrounding world.

Verse 12 can be interpreted,

Turn pale, ye husbandmen; howl, ye vinedressers, over wheat and barley: for the harvest of the field is perished. 

Typologically also, the grains and foods which were to be wiped out by Locusts, leaving starvation and disease in their wake, point to the destruction of the standard of teaching in the churches. Part of our current judgment in the church is the attack and destruction of sound Biblical teaching by which to build up the true flock, and the failure of (Priests), Pastors and teachers to be faithful to the Word. This is a Judgment in itself and is bringing Judgment on us as well.

Of course a good many of professing Christians wouldn’t have it any other way, for they eschew true God centered preaching, and hate prophecy and the call to repentance.

The Wheat and Barley were the most important of the field crops. The farmers (Pastors) ought to weep in shame for playing at teaching instead of feeding the flock. People come to church desperately needing a Word from God ,in our current application, and time and again all they receive is pop psychology, false prophecy and levity. We are in the Famine Amos warned of.

Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God?The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered. How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.O Lord, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.( Joel 1:16-20)

Where is the grain? Rotting under untilled clods of dirt, while the people starve ,in the day of calamity. Where are the barns and storehouses? (True churches- the so called “Pillar and ground of the Truth). They have been broken down, and neglected, everyone wanted to go “Bigger and Better” or as One Pastor told me ,”We are going Young!”.

The Beasts (Oxen- true laborers) groan, the flock has scattered and is desolate, but they do look up and cry out to God. At least the lowly and obscure remnant does.

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Wake Up !…Joel 1 pt 2

Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion. He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white. Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth. ( Joel 1:5-8)

The Prophet Joel saw a terrible sight. He saw a locust invasion in the land of Judah. The Locusts came in four stages and absolutely reduced the land to bare ground, and the people to poverty and disease. In Agrarian societies, Locust invasions were devastating.

But being a Prophet, Joel saw also that the Locust invasion was a sign pointing to something worse. He saw in the destruction of an infestation of locusts, the “Day of the LORD” that is, the coming day of direct Divine intervention into human affairs.

What the Locusts would do in the land God had given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, pointed to a further devastation, which would come to pass in the Babylonian invasions which occurred beginning in 598 BC. .

Remember that Joel used four different terms for the locusts. They ( the locusts) would come as :”Swarmers” , “Gnawers”, “Lickers” and as “Destroyers” in four distinct phases, stripping away everything of life.

Even so the Babylonians came as a judgment of God upon Judah, first removing the King Jehoikin and his family, of the house of David,(including Daniel) then taking away all men of skill, and the artisans. Eventually they would come and remove army officers and Nobility, (including Ezekiel) and finally the Babylonians would raze the Temple of the Lord after plundering and burning it. Just like the Locusts, the Babylonians left virtually nothing behind.

Joel is calling out to the people to awaken out of their slumber, for the Day of the LORD was at hand.

Wine stands for the Joys of Life, which are soon to be cut off according to Joel’s vision. It is legitimate to enjoy the good things which wine represents here, in fact twice in the Prophets, the good life is described thusly, “Every man under his vine and every man under his own fig tree…”. (Micah 4:4 Zechariah 3:10).

“Awake you drunkards, weep and howl…”,What does “drunkenness” represent here?

If Wine represents the Joys of Life, Drunkenness represents enjoying this life, but allowing those Joys to intoxicate you to the exclusion of the Spiritual life and the worship of God. People forget God, and begin to live only for this life and the joys it brings. Their spiritual senses become duped and they no longer fear or worship God, so enamored are they, of the pleasures of this life.

These are the drunkards which are being warned. A good many of them, I have no doubt were indeed drunkards, but the term is not limited to alcoholics. Joel is warning all of us that have deadened souls and who live only for this world and what it offers.

Jesus warned us about this kind of drunkennes as well

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. (Luke 21:34-36)

He calls upon them, (us), to” weep and howl”, and to come to an acute awareness of the mortal danger we are in, and to cry out from the heart to the God whom we have neglected. We are to have an urgency about this, because the danger is real and approaching.

If we could allow ourselves to see what Joel saw in recent events such as the Locust invasion, we would indeed “weep and Howl…” and seek the LORD. Unfortunately there is a psychological mechanism called a “Normalcy Bias” by which men tend to fool themselves into thinking all is normal or will soon go back to normal, even in the face of mortal disasters.

The Prophet mentions the Vine and the Fig Tree, as having been barked and laid waste by the enemy. The Vine and Fig Tree are emblematic of the blessing upon Judah and the promised Land, given to the seed of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob and his seed forever.

Israel was a choice Vine, carefully cultivated by Jahweh, and given everything possible to incline it to bear sweet fruit. She was the fig Tree, hedged and protected, fertilized and tended, to bring forth fruit to the master.

How is it that the Vine is laid waste, and the fig tree, after so much preparation has been spoiled and stripped? Sin has done this! What a shame! How tragic that such a promising beginning has been wasted and is now on the verge of destruction.

The Prophet calls us to weep and Lament, as though an espoused woman, has lost her young husband before the actual wedding day!

In the New Testament, the fig tree represents Israel, but the Vine represents the church.

I weep and lament because I have a God given sense of what the church should be…How we could have been used and made such a difference had we remained faithful and true to Jesus. Joel speaks to us as well!

The Church has changed since I first came in forty years ago. Evangelical religion (in the truest sense), abounded everywhere,. There were no such things as Mega churches, Christian bookstores were full of really sound teachings, and everywhere we turned it seemed people were truly being saved. Of course there were heretics and cults, but the true church was thriving.

How did we so bankrupt ourselves? How is it that when our nation needs a Word from God the most, what we seem to have is “Mega Churches, Pop Psychologists for Pastors, Boy bands instead of true Worship, Hipsters, backsliders, Celebrity Pastors, Religious politicians, and flat out Apostates…” When we really need prophets and preachers of Righteousness to confront the evil that now pervades.

Just as Joel warned of a vicious army, fierce and seemingly numerous, invading the land and bent on the destruction of the LORD”s Vine and Fig Tree, we are seeing the armies of Anti-Christ in array, setting themselves like lions against the Church and Israel, and preparing to take the worldly power against the remnant of God.

Weep and Howl, cry out unto the LORd himself, repent of your own sins and the sins of the church, wake up, for Joel’s message is speaking to our day as well. The locusts are descending even now…

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Joel; The Day Of The Lord… pt 1

The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel . Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpiller eaten.( Joel 1:1-3)

The Prophet Joel saw something frightening and devastating, a Locust invasion.

A Locust invasion would be a nightmare, especially in an agricultural society.

It would be difficult for us to imagine the horror of a Locust infestation, but we had them here in the Midwest in the 1930s. The cloud of locusts blackens the sky, some of these locust clouds have been reported to be as large as 1200 miles long. Driven by hunger and often blown in by the wind, seemingly out of nowhere, Locusts drop out of the sky in ravenous swarms and devour anything in their path.

On June 12, 1873, farmers in southwestern Minnesota saw what looked like a snowstorm coming towards their fields from the west. Then they heard a roar of beating wings and saw that what seemed to be snowflakes were in fact locusts. In a matter of hours, knee-high fields of grass and wheat were eaten to the ground by hungry insects Armstrong economics

The sound of wings and jaws clicking has been likened unto a roar, and within minutes corn, barley and wheat fields have been wiped off of the face of the earth.

When the Prophet Joel experienced a Locust invasion about 800 years before Christ, He saw in it the “Day of the LORD”, and warned us of it.

The “Day of the LORD” is a reference in scripture to the time of direct, Divine intervention in human affairs. It often comes as a Judgment upon nations for their unrepentant sinfulness.

Joel makes reference to the locusts using four distinct terms for them,

Palmerworm, The first—Gazam—”the Gnawer” points to its voracious appetite to consume.

locust, the second—Arbeh—which means “The Swarmer” points to the multitude of the invaders.

Cankerworm, the third—Yelek—“The Licker” for its manner of “licking up” the grass like cattle.

Caterpillar-the fourth—Chasil—“The Destroyer” for its destructive effect.

The Locusts would descend out of nowhere and eat everything green almost immediately, they would then burrow holes in the ravaged ground and deposit eggs everywhere. Just when you think the last one had left after a few weeks of devastation, the eggs would hatch so that the larva could devour any new growth in sight. As the Larva grew, they would look for leaves, branches, even the bark of trees to devour.

These terms are thought to be different stages in the development of locusts. The point is that they come in waves, and take everything, leaving nothing.

This literally happened in Joel’s day, but he saw it as a sign pointing to ominous future events for Israel and eventually the world.

The Elders and fathers had seen locusts before but nothing like this invasion. They were to make sure their children and children’s children knew of it.

The Nation of Judah would experience this in the future in geopolitical terms, the Day of the LORD would come, and as the locusts were a scourge, so also there would be others; Assyrians,Babylonians,Romans, Arabs, Turkish Ottomans, they would be coming in wave after wave in the future, devouring everything before them, leaving nothing behind, denuding the people and the Land, destroying all that was meant as a blessing to the people.

Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it. Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit. Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity. All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume. Deuteronomy 28:38-42

God had warned them that it would happen if they forsook him. Now Joel saw it, and in what Joel saw, he saw the reflection of the entire history of Judah, all the way down to the end of the Age.

The Prophet Joel also told the nation, (and all who would listen to the Word), what to do about this dire warning. He shows us the necessity of repentance. We can turn to the LORD whom we have forsaken, and find forgiveness and mercy in Him, if we would but repent.

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