Book of Joel
Chapter 2, Part 6
“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?” (Joel 2:14) This “who knows” is not doubt. It’s speculation as when we talk about someone in a manner of wondering. We might say, “He said he would come, but who knows?” The Judahites knew they had sinned long and hard. They had no reason to believe God would repent of the plague and reverse it. They knew f the many and great miracles God had done when He took His people out of Egypt. Their reasoning was, God did it for them, but will He do this for us? Who know?” Their wondering was not if God would forgive a humble person who repents, but if He will withhold His hand of judgment.
Are there biblical examples of God repenting and staying His hand of judgment? Yes, absolutely. First, let’s understand what “repent” means. In Christian circles, repent most often deals with sin. Both John the Baptist, then Jesus cried for the people to repent of their sin for the kingdom is at hand. (Matthew 3:2; 4:17) The first step in coming to salvation is to believe, the second is to repent. In this case, “repent” means to confess sin and turn from it.
The “repent” in Joel is sorrow or regret. God is not a man. He doesn’t sin. But God oftentimes feels sorrow. Genesis 6 tells the story of how God repented for having made man. Men had sunk into such debauchery that it hurt God’s heart to see them. “And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Genesis 6:6). Man’s sin causes God’s heart great sorrow.
In Exodus, God wanted to wipe out the Israelites when they form a molten calf to worship because they thought Moses was dead on the mountain. God said, “And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation” (Exodus 32:9, 10). When Moses reminded God of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Bible tells us, “And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people” (Exodus 32:14). In other words, God changed His mind and turned from His plan to destroy the entire nation of Israel. You see, the prayers and intercession of one person can and do often change the mind and heart of God. Never think of your prayers as puny or pitiful. God hears all prayer and answers them in His time, His way.
This is the meaning of “repent” in Joel 2:14. If we tear our clothes, put ashes on our faces, and pray from our hearts in true repentance, will God change His mind about this plague? Will he call off this great army before they destroyed everything in their path, or will He cause them to leave something usable when they leave? Will God art least provide enough wheat and wine for the sacrifices to be made? “Who knows?” “Who can know the mind of God?” (II Corinthians 2:16)
“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” (verses 15, 16). Joel was commanding the priests to blow the silver trumpets (Numbers 10:2) to call the congregation of the Lord to a grave, intense meeting. Older people and children, nursing mothers and newlyweds, everyone was to attend. There would be no excuses accepted for missing this meeting. Everyone from the youngest to the oldest was to participate in this fast and prayer time.
“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?” (Verse 17) The priests and ministers were those assigned by God to do the work of service in the temple. If we were to call an assembly now in like manner, we would call for the pastors and elders of the church. In that time, animal and other sacrifices were still made by the priests and offered to God on the altar of burnt offerings. When the locusts’ devastation was over, all they would have to offer there is spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise which they would offer between that altar and the porch. That is to say, in sight of the assembly. As the people saw the priests and ministers weeping and praying with fasting, they would be roused to do the same.
What were the priests to lead the people to pray? “Spare thy people, O LORD!” God’s righteousness says these people needed to be punished. What they were crying out for was the mercy of God, His unmerited favor on the people, the land and the elements of sacrifice. Just as Moses had cried before the Lord and seen His mercy toward his people, so Joel directed the priests to pray.
The Israelites were God’s “heritage,” His possession. The priests and the congregation were to pray that God would not make them a “reproach” or a laughingstock to other nations. Israel was God’s inheritance and the land of Canaan was the inheritance of the people. If a true famine came to the land, the people would have to run to the heathen nations around them for food and provisions. It would make God look as though He had left His children.
We do have a perfect example of this from their history. There had been a time of famine in the land when the Israelites had to rely on the leadership of Egypt to keep them alive. That’s when Joseph was second in command only to Pharaoh. Because Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dream he was able to amass a large amount of food during the seven years of plenty to provide for his family and all the people of the surrounding lands throughout the seven years of famine. (Genesis 41) God had not forgotten them. He made provision for the time of famine by giving Joseph the power to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. The people of Judah were praying for the same consideration from God.
“Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people” (verse 18). Verse 18 now aims us toward the future. We can understand this by the word “then.” J. Vernon McGee says that Jesus used the word then to look ahead to what would happen during the Tribulation period. When will God be zealous for Judah and pity His people? It will be “then” when they have given their all. Then when they have come according to the call of his Word, fasted, prayed, and rent their hearts, not just their clothes. It will be then when their petitions are so heart wrenching it will bring them to tears of sorrow and repentance. Then is at the end of the great Tribulation right before Jesus comes to earth for the second time.
“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:” (verse 19). During the Tribulation the Lord will give Israel everything in abundance, corn, wheat, olives for oil and grapes for wine. Also during that time the sacrifices will resume in the new temple. Everyone will see the hand of God and His favor in Israel and they will no longer consider her a reproach. She will be rich and have great abundance of everything, including water.
“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” (verse 20). There is coming, after the rapture of the church, a 7-year period known as the Tribulation which for which Apostle John was given vivid revelations. We have those revelations to study in the Book of Revelation, the last Book of the Bible; the close of human history. It is divided into two parts. There is the Tribulation which is the first 3 ½ years when antichrist will make peace with Israel and she will live in relative peace. And there is the Great Tribulation which is the second 3 ½ years when antichrist will kill more Jews than will have been killed altogether in history.
Joel tells us that God will “remove far off from you the northern army”. This army is not the locusts, but real fighting men and women of an invading force. This prophecy was partially fulfilled when Assyria came from the north and conquered the northern kingdom of Israel but could not defeat the southern kingdom of Judah. That didn’t fall for another 100 years, and that was to Babylon not the Assyrians. There is still a major battle to be fought in the Day of the Lord. The following description that Joel gives us fits the description of the Battle of Armageddon given us in Revelation. Jesus will drive the forces which come against Israel for to fight into a dry and barren land that faces the sea. He will finally completely destroy all the enemies of the Jews. You can also read about this battle in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. The Battle of Armageddon will take place in the Esdraelon Valley at Mount Megiddo, also known as the Hill of Megiddo or Mountain of Sorrows. Many battles have already been fought, and others are to come. God will judge and by His righteous judgment He will be glorified.
So often we take communion because it’s being served and we don’t want to miss out. We don’t really have a clue where the word communion comes from or what it means. If you are a Bible reader, you most likely have read I Corinthians 10:16, which asks, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” Paul called it communion and we do to. It means unity with or oneness. “Communion” is translated from the Greek word koinonia, which means a full sharing. When we take the body and blood of Jesus, we have a full part in Him.
Judas took communion with Jesus and the disciples before Jesus went to his death. He knew he was already in sin because he was plotting against Jesus with the High priests and Pharisees to betray Him after the feast. Judas followed through with his plan. He earned his 30 pieces of silver he sold Jesus for, but he never enjoyed them. His conscience harassed him and his soul was grieved over what he had done. He was so distraught he could not live with what he had done and hanged himself.
God’s Word doesn’t lie. If we fail Him and live in continuous willful sin, His wrath will burn and He will correct us. The correction can come in many ways; poverty, sickness and depression, to name a few, often follow those who sin continually. No, I am not saying all depression or all sickness, or all poverty comes from sin, only that it can come from living in sin. If you have sin in your life, weep before the Lord and pray. Surrender yourself to Him. When you do, He can deliver you and let everyone see that the true God of heaven is in you.
One sin we are admonished to take care of in our lives is unforgiveness. If you have anger or bitterness in your heart tonight against anyone, please don’t take communion. Only you and God will know. Please take time this week to make amends with the person and the next time we have communion you can take it with a clear conscience.
Let’s use the Scripture in Matthew 26:26-30 tonight.
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it: For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”
Book of Joel
Chapter 2, Part 7
Let’s begin here with a comparison. “Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things” (verse 21).
In verse 1 the Judahites were told to “tremble” and in 21 were told, “Fear not.” When the priest called the assembly, the people were to come with fear as they prayed and fasted; now they are told to be glad and rejoice. Before, the wrath of God caused great destruction through the locusts and later, at the hands of the Assyrians Chaldeans; and now “God has done great things.” He called back the locusts and overcame the enemies of Judah. God did these things on after the people truly repented from their hearts, not from their lips.
This is a good warning for us. When we sin, we must never come to the Lord proudly and say something like, “Sorry, Father.” That’s shallow and will never touch the heart of God. God is an emotional God. He loves heartfelt demonstrations of love and of repentance. Your sin should grieve you as much as it does God. When you pray for forgiveness it should be with your whole heart. It’s in that attitude of regret that God totally cleanses and forgives us of all unrighteousness. He forgets all we have done and looks down on us as a doting Father. Bless the Lord, He doesn’t just forgive, He forgets as far as the east is from the west. In heaven, there is no east and west, it’s a continuous openness, so the forgetfulness of God is thorough.
“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” (verse 22). God is Love. He loves all His creation, not just people. He demonstrates that here by speaking to the animals, those considered to be the least of His creation, with caring and love. He’s telling the sheep and the deer and such not to fear. He will provide for their every need. He will make the grass to grow and the trees to bloom and produce fruit and the vines to bring forth grapes. It is because of the repentance of the people that the animals will be so well blessed with all the vegetation and water they need to maintain life.
“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” (verses 23, 24). Now Joel exhorts the people of Judah to rejoice (be glad, be merry, brighten up) in the Lord God, the “I AM”, with praise and joy. God had restored all things to them for their faithful repentance and now they were to raise their hearts, their hands and their eyes to Him and be glad in Him.
Some people say that lifting hands during prayer is a charismatic demonstration of emotionalism that calls attention to self. I profoundly disagree. Look at I Timothy 2:8, where Paul is speaking about prayer. He said, “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” We are to lift up our hands in praise, not doubting.
The “former” rain is real water coming down from the clouds to water the earth and cause all things to grow. It fills the rivers and streams and causes vegetation to abound. In September or October, the former rains come. In March or April the latter rains are supposed to fall. They did in Joel’s day when Judah was reconciled to God and was serving Him, but they don’t now. We are asked to pray often for the Lord to open the sky and allow an abundance of rain to fall in Israel, but it will not happen till Israel once again turns to the Lord.
Joel speaks of the former rain as a way to bring people’s attention to the blessings of God. Through the mercy of our forgiving God, Judah came back into the favor of God. He then sent the rains before the planting season that would loosen the ground and allow the tilling and planting to be done. He also sent the latter rain that came just before the harvest to help ripen the fruit and grain and develop the seeds that would be used for the next year’s planting. Their threshing floors would be full, the vats filled to the brim with wine and oil. Man and beast would be satisfied and there would be plenty for the sacrifices to be made once again. The results of the rains would be a plentiful harvest and the promise of a future.
Yes, the former rain and latter rain also has a spiritual context. The former rain was when the Holy Spirit was released at Pentecost to fill the Jews who were then to spread the gospel to all the earth, to every nation tongue and tribe. Sadly, we are told in John 1:11, "He came to his own, and his own knew him not.” The Jews still don’t accept that Jesus is Messiah that they are watching and waiting for. There are many Messianic Jews, but the majority still maintains that the Messiah is still to come for the first time. So- the Lord poured out His Spirit into the all flesh. We’ll look at this more later.
“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. 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” (verses 25, 26). The order of the invading army of locusts is different here in chapter two than one. “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 1:4). It is understood that it’s not the order of the devouring creatures that is important, but that sin causes a succession of destructive forces to come into the lives of men. The size of sin is less important than the commission of sin. When man continues to walk in sin, one plague after the other might follow him.
But God said that, once man repents, walks in rightness of the gospel, He forgives him and he will once again eat from the bounty of the land. Man’s appetite will be satisfied and will extract from him mighty praises to the Lord his God who provides for him according to His own riches. Once man is free from sin, God deals “wondrously” (extraordinarily) with him. Look at the irony, though. Man is hundreds of times larger than a locust, yet he is undone by them. We still have locusts especially in places like Africa that destroy crops. But the army that was sent in Joel’s prophesy was hired by God and sent out to do his bidding. God has raised up a mighty army against Israel before and He will again. But in this case, He used the locusts to prove it doesn’t take much to bring man to his knees.
“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” (verse 27). The evidence of the presence of God among and His great love for His chosen people will be apparent: His favor so strong upon them that all who look will know without doubt from whom the blessings of Israel originate. People who see this have to admit that God is in covenant with them as their Father and Provider. This will happen when Jesus comes to earth for the second time to set up His earthly kingdom. God will defend Israel against her enemies in such a glorious way that the people will be in awe. The people of the nations will no longer mock Israel, asking, “Where is their God?” (Joel 2:17) They will know that He is in the midst of them and covering them. They will never again hang their heads in shame but walk uprightly in the presence of the Lord.
“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” (verses 28, 29). Up to this point all the blessings spoken of by God and Joel were for physical blessings for Israel. Now we come to the spiritual blessing for Israel. What is important to note here is the time this will happen for Israel. Joel, as the first writing prophet, said that all this will take place “afterward.” That is, during the Day of the Lord after the Great Tribulation when Jesus comes to earth and takes control of everything. It will be during the millennial reign of Christ when satan is locked away for 1,000 years. The people of Israel will speak prophetically, they will have dreams, and they will see visions of the New Jerusalem that
God is building for them.
That is when the total fulfillment will be. The partial fulfillment took place after the Teacher of Righteousness (Jesus) came to earth and declared the kingdom of God is coming. After the Lord was crucified and died, and after He rose again from the dead, He told His disciples to wait in the upper room for the promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit to come. (Acts 1:4) When the people heard Peter and the others speaking in different tongues, they said they were drunk, but Peter preached a message in which he said, “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” (Acts 2:15-18). He went on to explain the signs that would take place in heaven, on earth and under the earth.
This is a very controversial passage of Scripture as some denominations don’t believe the imparting of the Holy Spirit was for the Church. My question is, how would God expect us to preach and teach the Word to see sinners converted without the Spirit? He doesn’t expect that at all. We are in the last days. They began with the first coming of the Lord Jesus and will end at His second coming. God knew we would need the direction of His Spirit and He sent Him to us. Between the first and second coming, the church was created, but never to the exclusion, or for the replacement of Israel. She has her place now, in the Tribulation, in the Millennium, and during all eternity. To the Jews, God said, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).
When we accept Jesus as Savior, all the promises of God become ours and the Holy Spirit indwells us. Scripture tells us to desire the best gifts; those are given us by the Holy Spirit. If you do an intensive study of the Gifts of the Spirit, you will see how we are blessed to be able to have one or more of the gifts. I don’t believe any of the gifts have become obsolete, but I won’t argue with people who think it has. It’s between them and the Lord.
Book of Joel
Chapter 2, Part 8
You all may be wondering why I saved only three verses from Joel 2 for our study this week. It was not an oversight or bad planning. I want to revisit these two verses in Joel before we move on. “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” (Joel 2:28, 29). These verses contain far too much meat to just do a basic look at them. We need to get into them and see how they affect the Jews, and us.
As I said last week, this “come to pass” is for the Jews of Judah and Jerusalem. After the Tribulation and the persecutions and the martyring takes place against the Jews in numbers larger than ever before, the Lord will pour out His Holy Spirit on them to know and understand the things of God. Jews who love God have always worked under the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit rarely indwelt them because they were in their sin under the Law. The greatest manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the earth was at Pentecost where the people, men and women alike, were in fervent (passionate, enthusiastic, zealous) prayer. They had seen Jesus taken up into Heaven 50 days after His resurrection. Jesus told the people to wait for the power from on high, the Spirit, to be given to them before they went out in keen excitement, eager to share the truth of the Lord the Christ and His kingdom. Jesus told each one in that upper room, “And I will pray the
Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16, 17).
When you see the word “another” Comforter, it is the Greek word “allos” and means one of like kind. People are fond of saying there is no evidence of a Trinitarian God, but this verse proves them wrong. Let me paraphrase it to make it easier to see, NOT to change the meaning. “I will ask My Father, and when I leave the Earth, He will send you “another” Comforter just like us.” See it?
Understand this. The Holy Spirit was not merely poured out as you would pour a glass of water into the sink. He was gushed out! He came to them like a raging hurricane! “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:2). Power upon power came into them to equip them for the work of the ministry. Those of you who were in the Psalms study and know what Selah is, this is a great time to Selah. But look carefully at what this verse says. Do you see who God will flood with His Spirit? ALL flesh. That means that we all who come to accept Jesus as Savior have the same Spirit to equip us for the work of the ministry! Oh glory to God! I wish that we would be so full of the Spirit of God that all we could do is tell others Who He is in all His Deity, personalities, and power so none would perish. We should all be shouting as John the Baptist (Matthew 3:2), then Jesus (Mark 1:14, 15; 4:17), did, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.”
Lehman Strauss, in his study in the Book of Acts, said, “Pentecost was a divinely planned event; it was no mere afterthought with God. The coming of the Holy Spirit was as much a part of the redemptive plan as was the incarnation, death, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.” When Jesus said that He had come to earth for the people of Israel, it was the beginning of God’s plan of redemption in which the Holy Spirit was slated to play a major part. When they rejected Jesus (“He came unto his own, and his own received him not (John 1:11), He turned to the Gentiles as a way to make Israel jealous in order for them to begin to crave the Lord as the Gentiles did. “I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy” (Romans 11:11).
The Holy Spirit is a gift from God. God meant it first for His chosen race, the Hebrew of Israel, but because of their hardened hearts, they could not and would not receive it. We Gentiles jumped at the chance to now the Lord and serve Him, to believe in Jesus and to serve Him, to be filled with the Holy Spirit and power to serve the world. Praise Almighty God that He didn’t overlook us. Know and believe that the Holy Spirit isn’t just living in us for the sake of it. He is there to enrich our lives, grow us in Christ, and equips us with the Word for the work of the kingdom and to gift us with powers and abilities beyond human comprehension. “Not by power, nor by might, but By Me Spirit!” (Zechariah 4:6)
Notice this too. Joel made a point of saying “and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” in order to let everyone know that this gift was NOT meant for the male gender alone, but for ALL flesh. There is no gender bias with God. Allow me to caution you here, though. Just because we are all given a measure of the same Spirit, it doesn’t mean everyone will work from the Spirit. Some people will prophesy in the flesh, saying what their minds tell them rather than waiting on the Holy Spirit and keeping quiet when He is quiet. Some who claim to be prophets speak because that’s how they make a living. Others prophesy in order to “be seen by men” (Matthew 6:5). Yet, others are the real deal. We come to know the difference as we grow in Christ and learn to listen to the Spirit in our spirit as He directs us into the right paths. Please, never allow a stranger to lay hands on you in prayer, or to speak into your life. “Life and death
are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). Prophecy is a gift of the Spirit and is not fortune telling. Yes, many prophets have seen into the future and told what was to come. We who speak forth that Jesus is coming soon are prophesying. But they did that, and we do that by the Holy Spirit, not the lying deceiver of the occult.
In Romans, Paul said, “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. But covet earnestly the best gifts” (Romans 12:6-8 and 31a).
“And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids…” means even those who were already prophets serving God will be filled and filled with the Holy Spirit. It will be like a promotion. What they were doing, they will do more of in a deeper and more eternal way changing the lives of others for Christ. As we saw previously, this had a partial fulfillment at Pentecost, but will come with fullness after the Tribulation and the Lord Jesus comes down to earth for the second time.
“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” (Joel 2:30, 31). If we are not careful here we can get confused. We saw the prophecy in Joel go from total destruction of the crops, vineyards, orchards and water supply in Judah to a promise of a bountiful restoration. Now we reach a place where dire warnings are being given again. This is the admonition to the church and the Jews that no matter how God provides for us, there will always be tribulation in the world. Yes, Jesus overcame tribulation for us. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
During the “great and terrible day of the Lord” (the Tribulation) God will show all His diverse sides just as He did in Egypt. When Pharaoh refused to set the Jews free, God brought 10 plagues to Egypt, each one worse than the last, as a way to coerce Pharaoh into releasing the people. During that time of destruction, pain and death, God showed His mercy on Israel by not allowing any of the plagues to touch one person of His chosen race. God’s final demonstration of mercy to Israel was when He instituted the Passover to cover all those who remained under the blood by staying inside their home till morning. We must also stay under the Blood. When we compromise our faith in any way, we come out from under the protection and things happen to us.
During the Tribulation God will bless the people with two witnesses who will testify in Jerusalem of the Lord and of the destruction to come. He will bless the people with 144,000 witnesses who have never bowed their knee to false gods or known a woman who will traverse the world preaching and teaching the truth of the kingdom. God will continue to bless the people who come to Christ with the infilling of His Holy Spirit for power to withstand the enemy. Those who walk in the power of the Spirit will not take the dreaded mark of the lying beast. But, He will also rain down His wrath in judgments beginning with the 7 Seals and moving through 7 Trumpet Judgments and finally into the 7 Bowl, or Vial Judgments. Israel will suffer unless and until she turns to Christ for salvation and redemption. Those who accept Jesus will be supernaturally protected in a place many have named as Petra.
“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” (verse 32). Oh my brethren, look at this most wonderful promise! “Whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered” saved, redeemed, made righteous, holy and set apart. To call on the name of the Lord is to seek salvation or to praise and worship Him. What will they be saved from? Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved from the disasters of the Tribulation, if they call before the rapture. After the rapture and during the Tribulation, they will be saved from eternal death in hell. The Jews who call on the name of Jesus for salvation in the tribulation will be protected from harm. Those who don’t will suffer all the plagues about to befall the earth. Not realizing it, many will be killed in the worst holocaust ever. If they refuse to call on Jesus they will suffer here and for eternity in hell.