THE 'DAY' OF JEHOVAH
This 'day' is far longer than a day, but it is a specified time wherein God reinstitutes His rule over the earth and its inhabitants. Prophets speak much of this 'day' (time).
Joel, was one of the many prophets who spoke of this time. All prophets speak much of this 'day of Jehovah' or 'day of the Lord.' It is a key part of every prophetic ministry.
Joel prophesied of a number of events that would announce the "day of Jehovah." God, if fact, used many prophets to predict, define, and enumerate events that would occur near and within the "day of Jehovah." Christians should be very familiar with the many signs given for this time. As events unfold that demonstrate the nearness of the "day of Jehovah, we should use them as preaching tools.
Some think the term "day of Jehovah" was first used by Joel. He had to be one of the earliest ones to speak predominantly about the "day of Jehovah." Anyone reading the book of Joel must see that the emphasis is not simply on the "day of Pentecost" events that were to come, but it was only one of the predicted events for the "day of Jehovah." Many other prophets later used this phrase. The terminology, "the day of Jehovah" occurs five times in Joel (1:15, 2:1, 2:11, 2:31, 3:14).
The phrase, "day of Jehovah", refers to the 1000 year period of Christ's rule on the earth. It is a period marked by judgment on the kingdoms existent at its beginning, and the insertion of the peaceful rule of the Lord Jesus Christ. The principal teaching of Joel is the "day of Jehovah."
Just as there were seven days in the re-creation week, there are to be 7000 years in God's dealings with mankind. Beginning with Adam, until the end of the millennium, will be 7000 years. Each 1000 year period is thus like a "day." The end of the sixth "day" will bring us to the second coming of Jesus. The last "day" is the "day of Jehovah." The tribulation judgments of seven years will mark the judgments on the existent kingdoms of the earth, and the second coming of Jesus at the end of the tribulation will begin the millennial reign.
The time to which Joel speaks in his book, is a time when the "day of the Lord is at hand." (Joel 1:15) Joel prophesied in the fourth "day" of the seven 'days' of 1000 year time periods. So he speaks to events which will occur in the "last days." The "last days are days 5 and 6. These last 2000 years are days when events are to occur which will constantly point to the fact that the last, and final seventh "day", is soon to occur.
Jesus' first coming was at the beginning of the 5th "day." The 7th "day" will be marked by the second coming of Jesus. We are currently in the "last days" of the 6th "day."
The "day of Jehovah" is coming soon. There is much unveiling of prophecy in our time. As we read Joel, we can see clearly that his message is written for we, the saints, of the days just preceding the "day of Jehovah."
"the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand..."
EVENTS OF THE LAST TIMES BEFORE
AND DURING THE "DAY OF JEHOVAH"
"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...'"
God has been calling many to a ministry of intercession in these last days. If the world ever needed intercessors, it is now. In these times just preceding the "day of Jehovah", the Lord needs intercessors. All of the Christians of the "last days" are to be "priests" to God. The main ministry of "priests" is the ministry of intercession.
2. DEFEAT OF THE NORTHERN ARMY
"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."
Soon, near the beginning of the tribulation, the nation of Russia will involved in a war which it seemingly has won. The devastation of the war will leave Russia with little "spoils." It will look toward the tiny nation of Israel as the only good "spoils" to claim for winning this war. As it comes down with its powerful army to claim the seemingly vulnerable nation of Israel, God will cause the Russian army to fall in defeat upon the mountains of Israel. The last battle of this war is recorded in Ezekiel 38 - 39. This event will mark the return of God's blessing and dealing with the Jews. The day on which the defeat of Russia occurs will be the first day of the seven year tribulation.
3. FORMER AND LATTER RAIN RESTORATION REVIVAL
"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 and the latter rain in the first month."
Just as the growing season is marked by early spring rains, and followed later by heavy harvest time rains, so the Lord here promises to give the last days two great revival periods. The "former rain" was the revival that began on the day of Pentecost for the early church. The 120 Spirit filled saints were the first to enjoy this revival period. The former rain revival was marked by many being saved, many being healed, and many being filled with the Holy Spirit and power.
Now, at the harvest time of the church age we are seeing the beginning of the "latter rain" revival. This final revival period began about 1900 on Azusa St. in Los Angeles, California, and in Topeka, Kansas. God has been causing it to increase since its modest beginning. It will culminate with a "double portion" revival near the rapture of the church.
In Joel 2:23 (note verse above), it is predicted that there will be a time when, during the latter rain, the Lord will send the "former" and "latter" rains together in the "first month." This is the "double portion" time of blessing. It is said to occur in the "first month." This time will come after the time of the prophesied "judgment" of the church. The Lord will cleanse the church of the "offenders" and those who "do iniquity" (Matthew 13:41) during this judgment of the church (I Peter 4:17-18). Then the revival will be unhindered by the hypocrites and false prophets that the devil has sown as "tares" in the midst of the "wheat." The revival will then result in an unprecedented growth of the true church of Jesus. The revival will be greater than any previous revival. There will be many saved, multitudes healed, and multitudes will see the miraculous power of God.
"And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil."
The early church explained:
the "wheat" to refer to the church,
the "new wine" to refer to the blood of Jesus,
and the "oil" to refer to the Holy Spirit.
Thus, the church of the "double portion" time will experience great growth, and great blessing of the power in the blood of Jesus, and in the gifts of the Spirit which are poured out as oil upon the revived church.
"And I will restore unto you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm. My great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you, and My people shall never be ashamed. and ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God, and none else; and My people shall never be ashamed."
The whole purpose of the revival of the last days is to bring a restoration to God's people. The church, as did Israel, has strayed far from the design and desire of God. When sin has corrupted the original plan of God, God will institute a plan to bring back to fulfillment His original plan.
Job lost, through his test of faith, the blessing of God. It was restored.
Moses lost, through the using of wrong methods, the role he was to play for Israel. God had to work for forty years in the desert, and then through the miraculous plagues upon Egypt to restore Moses to the planned design of God.
Joseph lost, through the jealousy-inspired sins of his brothers, the relationship with his father that was wanted. Through a blessing on Joseph's life, and through the famine on the whole area, God restored the relationship of Joseph and his father.
The prodigal son, lost through his worldly desires, the blessing and relationship with his father. It was restored by a loving and forgiving father.
God wants to restore to the church, and then after the removal of the church via the rapture, to restore to Israel the blessings that God has always wanted to give His people. These will, for the most part, be spiritual blessings. The world will respond to the presence of God in the saints, to be saved, be healed, be blessed... as never before.
"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 your servants and upon your handmaids in those days, will I pour out My Spirit."
Peter said on the day of Pentecost, that "this is that which was prophesied of the prophet Joel." So the early church began experiencing the early fulfillment of this prophecy. the outpouring of the Spirit began then, but the complete fulfillment of this verse will not occur until "all flesh" on the earth are filled with the blessed Holy Spirit. This will not be completely fulfilled until the millennial rule of Jesus. We are presently in the period between the beginning of the fulfillment of this prophecy, and the end and final perfect fulfillment of the prophecy.
Joel 2:28-29 was a fulfillment of the prayer of Moses as recorded in Numbers 11:29:
"...would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!"
Then while the 120 were awaiting the Spirit in the upper room in Jerusalem, the arrival of the Spirit occurred, and they began to speak in languages unknown to them about the wondrous Lord Jesus. The 120 soon became thousands, and now the Spirit-filled believers are numbered in the millions. Yet, this has not exhausted and completed the fulfillment of the prophecy of the outpouring of the Spirit.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit began with the "former rain" revival. The Spirit continued to fill thirsty souls, but the revival waned through the "dark ages". Now, in the last century, we have seen a renewed move of the Spirit. The "latter rain" revival has begun. It will continue to increase until the "double portion" time just preceding the rapture of the church. Still, the full fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel will not have reached its apex. In the millennium, finally, "all flesh" will be filled with the Spirit. (See Isaiah 32:15, 44:3, Ezekiel 36:26-27, 39:29, Zechariah 12:10.)
The "last days" revival began on the day of Pentecost, but it will not be completed until God has completely restored mankind to the place of fellowship Adam had with God before the fall in the garden. In the millennium, the revival will have reached its ultimate goal. Then, during the "day of Jehovah", those on the earth will have real peace, fellowship, and restoration to God.
"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..."
Deliverance from sin and its horrible effects is the reason we need revival. Deliverance will be the norm, during the "day of Jehovah." Jesus will, Himself, dwell in Jerusalem on Mount Zion. Grace will extend to all who seek it.
4. WONDERS IN THE HEAVENS AND EARTH
"And I will shew wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, blood, 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."
There will be great astronomical changes soon. The year will shorten, due to a change in the orbit of the earth. The seasons will adjust to such a change. Meteors, the size of mountains, will strike the earth during the beginning of the "day of Jehovah." The "blood, fire, and pillars of smoke" probably refer to the nuclear wars that will occur during the tribulation. The pollution caused by such warfare will darken the sun, and make the moon appear as blood.
5. THE COMING OF GOD'S ARMY
The "day of Jehovah" will be marked by the coming of God's army. God has been recruiting an army such as the world has never seen. It has been in training during the church age. It will soon be called home to heaven to receive at the resurrection time, bodies that will be invincible, incorruptible, and eternal.
The word "army" is translated from different words in the Old Testament. Here in Joel it is from the word:
"chayil"meaning "strength, might, force..."
It is not the word "cabha" which simply means "host, great in number..." Nor is it "gedhudh" which means "assembled troop"... And it is not "ma'arkhah" which means "army in battle array..." The emphasis is meant to be on the fact that this "army" is one of might, strength, and power... We are not strong simply because of our great number, nor is it because of our strong armaments, but each person is individually powerful.
With these immortal bodies, the army of God will return to this earth. Led by our Savior, Jesus Christ, we will overthrow all the kingdoms of this earth. The coming of this fantastic army will astonish the earth.
a. Time of their coming
"Alas, for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand..."
"A day of darkness, and of gloominess, a day of clouds, and of thick darkness, as the morning spread up on the mountains..."
The prophet Joel is speaking to the people of the end times, and reports many signs, as the great revival of the last days, the weeping that is to be done by the saints for the many sins of the last days... etc... To those people, those who see these signs, the Lord informs... the day of final judgment of sinners, and final blessing on the saints... is NEAR.
The Lord tells us that that day is a time when:
DESTRUCTION WILL COME FROM GOD (1:15)
REJOICING WILL CEASE IN THE PLACE OF WORSHIP (1:16)
CROP FAILURE WILL BE GREAT (1:17)
DROUGHT WILL PLAGUE THE LAND (1:18, 1:20)
PASTURES AND TREES WILL BE DESTROYED (1:19)
DARKNESS, AS NEVER SEEN BEFORE WILL COVER THE LAND (2:2)
WEEPING, FASTING, MOURNING WILL BE RESTORED TO THE CONGREGATIONS OF SAINTS... (2:12)
A TRUMPET OF REVIVAL WILL COME TO GOD'S PEOPLE (2:15)
This time is at the end of the tribulation period of seven years. The Lord has by that time poured out judgments that have caused many to turn to the Lord, and the remainder to harden their hearts more and more. After the tribulation saints have been taken to heaven, and no more upon the earth will repent and accept Jesus, God sends His Son, and the army of His Son, back to the dismal, dark, and gloomy earth.
b. Description of this army
"... a great people and a strong..."
With immortal bodies, and with the powerful "rhema" word of God to speak, this army will devastate the most modern and destructive armies the sinful world can send against it.
"...there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations..."
This army will defeat the armies of the Antichrist. It will do so as never any army before. However, this is to be the last battle for this magnificent army of God. For 1000 years this army will then dwell in peace with the Lord Jesus. Then, at the close of the millennium, when the devil will be loosed, and inspire a final rebellion against the Lord, it will not be this army who battles against that final rebellion. God Himself will send fire from heaven to destroy the rebels.
"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."
This army will be able to completely devastate all who oppose. The fire of the Lord will be before them and behind them devouring all who would come against them.
The appearance of the army will be as swift horsemen in battle array, quickly coming and with great noise devouring the enemy.
"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..."
c. The respect given this army
The enemies of the army of God will be frightened beyond understanding.
"Before their face the people shall be much pained; and all faces shall gather blackness..."
This army of God is mighty, unkillable, organized, disciplined, and very quick.
"They shall run like mighty men,
they shall climb the wall like men of war,
and they shall march every one on his ways,
and they shall not break ranks.
Neither shall one thrust another;
they shall walk everyone in his path,
and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.
They shall run to and fro in the city,
they shall run upon the wall,
they shall climb up upon the houses,
they shall enter in at the windows as a thief..."
Even all of creation shall respect them.
"The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble, the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining."
This may be as the old story of the ant who wanted to cross a bridge. The ant asked the elephant who was also about to cross the bridge if he would carry the ant across on his back. The elephant agreed, and when the trip was over the ant remarked: "Didn't we make that bridge squeak and rumble?!?" In the same way, this army will cause the earth to quake, the stars of the heavens shall tremble, etc., but it will not be the army so much as it is the Lord Jesus Who leads this army.
"And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great; for He is strong that executes His word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible and who can abide it?"
The "day of Jehovah" will be marked by the coming of this great army. The Lord's army will come with glory and power. Joel knew this, for as far back as Enoch this coming army was predicted. Jude quoted Enoch's book regarding this coming army.
"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam,prophesied of these, saying, 'Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment upon all...'"
This army of God, into which all of the saints should anxiously desire to be enlisted, has thrilled many a prophet since Enoch. It is a shame that much of Christianity has forgotten to share the thrill and expectation of being in this victorious army of the Lord.
6. BATTLE IN THE VALLEY OF JEHOSOPHAT
Following the judgments of the tribulation period, there is a great war. This war is commonly called the "battle of Armageddon." In Joel, it is called the battle in the "valley of Jehosophat." This is the same place as Armageddon, the valley of Megiddo.
This war is a time when all nations gather against Israel. similar to the Gulf war against Iraq, this war finds many nations coming against Israel.
"For behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem. I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehosophat, and will plead with them there for My people and for My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted My land."
The Lord's pleading for His people will be first gentle pleadings of mercy and grace offered to the world. Then when that fails, He will bring tribulation judgments upon the world. Finally when those fail, the Lord will return for physical warfare.
The Lord has saved up His wrath for them. Many think that since God has not been a God of wrath during the "day of grace", that He is incapable of wrath. Yet, God has only "reserved" or saved up His wrath, and it will soon be poured out.
II Peter 2:7-9
"And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished."
The reasons for the judgment upon the world in this battle, is the mistreatment of God's people.
"And they have cast lots for My people..."
Israel has been mistreated greatly through the centuries. The Christians have likewise been mistreated. God promises to treat teh ones who have offended His people, as they have treated His own.
The call will go out from the Lord, for the nations to prepare for war. Nations have enough weapons to destroy the world many times over... The nations feel very powerful today. God challenges them to bring their most potent weapons and their most powerful armies to battle Him. Therefore, with their most wicked desire of destroying God's people will they come... God will sit in judgment upon them... We, His mighty army, will accompany the Lord to this great battle.
"Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles, Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about; thither cause Thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. Let the heathen be wakened, and come to the valley of Jehosophat; for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about."
God tells the heathen in Joel to beat their plowshares into swords (Joel 3:10). Later, after the battle, men will beat the swords into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4, Micah 4:3) Joel 3:10 is the preparation for the "day of Jehovah." Isaiah 2:4, and Micah 4:3 is the result of the "day of Jehovah."
With the wicked gathered with evil design to slaughter the people of God, the Lord is ready to reap the harvest. God has allowed this wicked crop to ripen. Then the Lord will apply the sickle to the harvest and reap with wrath.
"Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down: for the press is full, the fats overflow, for their wickedness is great."
Now is the day of decision to decide which side one will be on in this battle. There are only two choices, to return with Christ as part of the God's army, or be on the side of the evil ones of the valley of Jehosophat.
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision."
The earth will shake with the vehement anger of God's wrath in this battle.
And Jehovah will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth will shake..."
Jesus also referred to this occurrence in Luke 21:25-26:
"...for the powers of heaven shall be shaken..."
Isaiah 13:13 shows that Isaiah concurred with this event.
"Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place in the wrath of the Lord of Hosts, in the day of His fierce anger."
\7. BLESSINGS OF GOD FOR 1000 YEARS
The battle is not the end, it is a new beginning. All the preceding has been simply preparation for the 1000 years of Christ's reign. The world is so sinful and corrupted, it will take the violent struggle to overthrow the evil.
"So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain, then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her anymore. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim."
This 1000 year period will be marked by universal peace, fruitfulness of the land, removal of the ferocity of beasts, removal of death universal knowledge of God, outpouring of the Spirit upon all flesh, the shekinah glory of God upon the earth, the absence of the devil (he will be bound within the earth for the 1000 year period), and the ruling and reigning of the saints with Christ over the humans left upon this earth.
When the devil is loosed at the end of this 1000 year period, he will seek to once again deceive the humans of the earth. Many will follow his evil plan to try to kill the Lord Jesus. Fire from heaven will fall and destroy them. The devil will then be cast into the lake of fire for eternity.
Some lands will be restored slowly during this millennial rule of Jesus.
"Egypt shall be desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land."
Israel and Jerusalem shall be blessed above measure.
"But Judah shall dwell forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed, for the Lord dwelleth in Zion."
The "day of Jehovah" will be the culmination of the 7000 years of God's dealings with mankind. Finally, sin and its ruin will be eliminated from the heart of mankind.
This time called the 'day' of Jehovah is a main part of every prophet's message. It is why prophets are called, to speak of Jesus and His return. All our ministry about sin revolves around getting people ready for this soon coming event on our calendar.