Joel 2:21-32

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Joel 2:21-25

"Be not afraid, O land; be glad and rejoice. Surely the Lord has done great things. Be not afraid, O wild animals, for the open pastures are becoming green. The trees are bearing their fruit; the fig tree and the vine yield their riches. Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you a teacher for righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten -- the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm -- my great army that I sent among you."

In verses 21,22,23 and 24 the "land," the "animals," and the "people of Zion" are commanded to be unafraid and to rejoice. And with each strophe the foundation for happiness becomes more cogent. The "land" will prosper under the economy of the Millennium, for there will be perfect environment. The "animals," too, will prosper and lose their viciousness and cease suffering for lack of food. And the picture here is pure grace. The land and the animals will benefit -- and they do not deserve it. They have done nothing -- good or bad. They are blessed because of who and what God is. And the "children of Zion" are the believing Jews; they belong to God ("your God").

The Teacher of Righteousness: this concept is found in the phrase "for he has given you a teacher for righteousness." And "he" is God the Father; and the "teacher" is Christ Himself as He reigns during the Millennium. This teacher is also referred to in Hosea 10:12, "Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you." And again is found in I Kings 8:36, "Then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance."

The final phrase in verse 25, "my great army that I sent among you," refers to the permissive and directive will of God -- He utilizes both natural (locusts) and human (Assyrians and the King of the North) agents as His whips. Jesus Christ controls history!

The Restoration of Israel's Worship During the Millennium and the Nature of the Worship

Joel 2:26

"You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed."

First, note the repetition of the phrase "never again will my people be shamed" at the close of both verse 26 and 27. This is an example of epistrophe, which is the repetition of a phrase at the end of successive sentences for the purpose of emphasis of the idea. And the idea being emphasized is that of no confusion of soul, no mental disturbance in the souls of the Millennial believers.

"You will have plenty to eat, until you are full," is a very interesting phrase. It connotes beneficial, non-fattening, delicious food. And the idea is that during the Millennium there is perfect environment; there is no war, no poverty, no physical death, no disease, and there is perfect spirituality. This also includes perfectly functioning human bodies -- you will not gain weight from overeating. [1]

"Praising the name of the Lord your God" means they will praise Christ as He rules for 1000 years. And the "wonders he has worked" refers not only to the restoration of the Jews and perfect environment, but also to the miracle of grace and salvation. "My people" is any and all believers (Jew or Gentile) during the Millennium; and they will have a full understanding of God's Word -- this is the reason that they will not be "shamed" or confused in their souls. They will have a full and perfect understanding of doctrine, the mind of Christ. [2]

Joel 2:27

"Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed."

"Then you will know" refers to knowledge in the human soul; Christ will be known during the Millennium. And taken together, these two verses, Joel 2:26,27, provide us with an outline of worship and Spirituality in the Millennium. All believers will have a 'full knowledge' of God's Word and the Filling of the Spirit.

Joel 2:28

"And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people, your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions."

"To pour out" is used for the pouring out of water in Exodus 4:9, the pouring out of blood in Genesis 9:6, and generally, for the pouring out of liquids. And "Spirit" is hAUr, ruach. This is a different filling of the Spirit than that of the present Church Age. During the Church Age the function of the Holy Spirit is to reveal and convict, to teach the Word of God to believers. During the Millennium, since every believer has a 'full knowledge' of Christ already, the emotions of the believer may fully respond to, and appreciate, that full knowledge of God. Thus the ministry of the Holy Spirit during the Millennium is to aid in the appreciation of this full knowledge of Christ -- thus to produce ecstatics in the believers of the Millennium.

Thus, Ecstatics and the Filling of the Spirit depends on four factors during the Millennium:
1. The removal of all false religions.

2. Perfect environment, including perfect physical health.

3. The presence of Christ on the earth.

4. A full knowledge of God's Word. [3]

So the adverb "afterward" refers to after the Second Advent, during the Millennium. And "all flesh" means all believers, Jew or Gentile, who have escaped the Baptism of Fire, and their believing progeny. And the references to sex, age, and class indicate that there will be no human distinctions which could cause limitations to these ecstatics. There are no gender limitations, both male and female will have a full knowledge of God and the 'pouring out of the Spirit;' both old and young will have this 'pouring out;' and all classes will experience 'this pouring out.' This, then, will be the fulfillment of Moses' wish in Numbers 11:29, "But Moses replied, 'Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!'" Of course, this wish of Moses' also refers to the present filling of the Spirit during the Church Age.

The Apostle Peter, in Acts 2:13-21, quoted Joel 2:28 on the Day of Pentecost. On this day, the day of Pentecost, the Church Age began and all the believers in Jerusalem were filled with the Holy Spirit. Some supposed them to be drunk, for Acts 2:13 says, "Some, however, made fun of them and said, 'They have had too much wine.'" However, Peter said they were not drunk; he then drew a comparison between the filling of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost and the 'pouring out of the Spirit' during the Millennium. [4]

Joel 2:30

"I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke."

The "wonders" are the miracles that surround the Second Advent of Christ. "In heaven" refers to our Lord's return (Rev. 1:7); "on earth" refers to His feet touching the Mount of Olives. "Blood" refers to the slaughter of unbelievers at the Second Advent. "Fire" is a reference to the death of large numbers of people during the Tribulation by fire, for Revelation 9:17,18, "The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and our of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths." Some commentators liken this fire, smoke and sulfur to chemical warfare, even nuclear warfare.

"And pillars of smoke" are associated with the destruction of the evil, false, Satanic, ecumenical religious system of the Tribulation. Revelation 18:9,18 and 19:3 read as follows, "18:9 When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her (the false religion) and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. 18:18 When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, 'Was there ever a city like this great city?' 19:3 And again they shouted: 'Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever."

Joel 2:31

"The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."

The "darkness," of course, refers to the supernatural darkness of Joel 2:10,11 and Isaiah 13:9,10. And the "moon to blood" is not literal blood, but a reference to the moon turning the color of dark clotting blood -- black, as all light fades. And "the great and dreadful day of the Lord" is the Second Advent and Armageddon. Recall that for some the day is great, for He is zealous for His believers; for others the day is dreadful, for He will come to render perfect, righteous judgment.

Joel 2:32

"And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the survivors whom the Lord calls."

In this final verse of chapter 2, Joel cites the qualification to enter the Millennium. There is but one qualification: "calling on the name of the Lord," which calling is a verbal expression of soul faith in Jesus Christ. For these believers, then, there will be "deliverance." They will enter the Millennium; everyone else (unbelievers) will enter the Lake of Fire. And the term "survivors" refers to the believing remnant at the Second Advent.

Confirmation that this verse refers to salvation and subsequent physical deliverance is found in Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13. "And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Acts 2:21). And Romans 10:13 says, "For, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Thus, both Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13 quote Joel 2:32, and provide us with clarification.

The Millennial civilization, then, begins with these believers. [5]

Seven Judgments in Scripture

There are seven specific judgments cited in Scripture:
1. The Cross; here, the sins of the world were judged as Christ was judged for our sins. This was a real judgment. And in this judgment the "blood" refers to the spiritual death of our Lord on the Cross. II Corinthians 5:21 says, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

2. Self-judgment or confession. Here the believer confesses his/her sins to God the Father. I John 1:9, Hebrews 12:3-15, John 15:1-9 and I Corinthians 11:31, which says, "But if we judged ourselves, we should not come under judgment."

3. The dead works of the Church Age believers are judged in heaven during the Tribulation. They are disposed of by burning. This particular judgment is only for believers, the saints, and has nothing to do with sins, which have already been judged. This judgment involves "the divine appraisal of the Christian's works and service. This will entail reward or loss of reward." [6] II Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:10, Ephesians 6:8, and II Timothy 4:8, which says, "Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day -- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing." This judgment is referred to as the Judgment Seat of Christ.

4. Judgment of Tribulational Gentiles, Matthew 25:31-46.

5. Judgment of Tribulational Jews; Matthew 25:1-13, Ezekiel 20:33-44 and Joel 3:11-15. [7]

6. The Judgment of all fallen angels at the end of the Millennium. This judgment is associated with the Great White Throne, I Corinthians 6:3, II Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6, and Revelation 20:10.

7. The Last Judgment, which is the final judgment at the end of the Millennium; here, all unbelievers are cast into the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:11-15 narrates this judgment. All who are not mentioned in the 'book of life' are cast into 'the lake of fire' based upon 'the book of works.' [8]

Since the Baptism of Fire has been recently examined in our study of Jude, we will not inspect it in detail again. We need only note the three pertinent passages in Scripture that deal with the Baptism of Fire: Matthew 3:11,12; Luke 3:16,17; II Thessalonians 1:7-9.


[1] Thieme, Robert. Joel.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Bullinger, E.W. From notes, which were unmarked and undated.

[5] Thieme, Robert. Joel.

[6] Unger, Merrill F. Unger's Bible Dictionary; page 621.

[7] No. 4 and No. 5 in the above disquisition are both part of the 'Baptism of Fire.'

[8] This exposition on the 'Seven Judgments in Scripture' is based on the scholarship of Merrill F. Unger, and Robert Thieme.

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