V. 23, rain identifies
Remnant... How did they come to be a remnant

Joel 2


In this chapter a further account is given of the judgment of the locusts and caterpillars, or of those who are designed by them, #Joel 2:1-11; the people of the Jews are called to repentance, humiliation, and fasting, urged from the grace and goodness of God, his jealousy and pity for his people, and the answer of prayer that might he expected from him upon this, even to the removal of the calamity, #Joel 2:12-20; a prophecy of good things, both temporal and spiritual, in the times of the Messiah, is delivered out as matter and occasion of great joy, #Joel 2:21-27; and another concerning the effusion of the Spirit, which was fulfilled an [sic] the day of Pentecost, #Joel 2:28-29; and the chapter is concluded with the judgments and desolations that should come upon the land of Judea after this, for their rejection of Christ, though the remnant according to the election of grace should be delivered and saved from the general destruction, #Joel 2:30-32. (John Gill)

Now we have Joel reemphasizing what he has already said in chapter 1. There are two divisions of this chapter. Vv. 1-17 is a call and plead for God's people to return to him. Then vv. 18-32 is God's protection and provision for his people.

V. 1. Blow ye the trumpet in Zion... The trumpet was only sounded on special occasions, and one of those occasions was to sound the alarm to call the people to arms to repel an enemy. The alarm Joel is sounding here would be comparable to the one Ezekiel sounded in 3:17-21 and 33:7-16.

This chapter in Joel contains two alarms. First, the alarm that the day of the Lord is at hand. The enemy which God is going to use to judge his people is at hand. Second, the alarm is as Ezekiel sounded. Return to the Lord, and avoid the destruction which is coming, vv. 12-17.

Numbers 10 speaks of the sounding of the alarm. When it was sounded, the people were to prepare for war. Joel sounds the alarm, but the call is not to arm themselves for a physical war with spears and swords. The call is to arm themselves with holiness and righteousness. This alone will bring the Captain of the Lord's hosts to the aid of his people. Ephesians 6:12-18 gives the weapons with which God's people are to arm themselves. The just shall live by faith; that is, putting into practice the law-word of God, not by physical might.

Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

We can say the same for the Gospel Church, and for any nation.

Zion... holy mountain: identifies where the alarm is sounded.

The first context of the alarm is in the old nation of Israel. If one will check Joel 3:16 with Amos 1:2 and Joel 3:18 with Amos 9:13, he will find that evidently Amos was familiar with Joel's prophecies, and ties his in with Joel's. Amos prophesied during Azariah and Jeroboam II, and it seems that Joel had already been written, and was known by those in Israel. Therefore, Joel was a call for Israel to repent before judgment came.

The second context is a cry to God's people of all time.

1) Zion is the holy city of God–the place where God chose to place his name. Psalms 87 identifies Zion as the church, as does Hebrews 12:22, 23, Psalms 46, Psalms 48 and a great many more passages. Any good Bible dictionary, encyclopedia or word study will identify Zion as well as the holy mountain as the Gospel Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus, Joel is as much for our day as it was for his day. Those who deny its relevant application must ignore passages such as 1 Corinthians 10:11 and Galatians 4:24.

For a more complete treatment of Psalms 45, see Spurgeon's Treasury of David and my notes on that chapter.

We also have the internal evidence that Joel is as much for our day as it was for Joel's day. Joel 2:28-32 is quoted many times by New Testament authors. In fact, v. 32 is found in Romans 10:13. There are many more quotes from Joel found in the New Testament.

The context seems to lean toward the first part of the chapter being a warning of judgment against the Old Testament Israel—if they refuse to return to the Lord, then the last part of the chapter is the promised blessing of Israel restored after the judgment came. However, the restored Israel after the judgment will be by grace through faith, and is identified as the Gospel Church, made up of those who have trusted Christ. Ephesians 1:11ff. I understand right, this is called, Replacement Theology, though I have never studied Replacement Theology.

Is not this what Paul said in Romans 11? National Israel was blinded and broken off, so the "spiritual" Israel could be grafted in. The new Israel is found in the covenant with Christ. Ephesians 2.

Joel is for the people of God of all ages.

Tremble... The alarm should cause God's people to tremble, for the trumpet means that judgment against sin is just around the corner. Rather than causing trembling, however, many of God's people say, "Do you have to make so much noise? Can't you see I am trying to sleep?" 1 Corinthians 5:35.

1 Peter 4:17. Judgment is to begin at the house of the Lord. When we think about God's judgment coming against sin, we need to understand it must come against his people first, for their violation of Romans 1:21, refusing to glorify God as God, and serve him as such.

Remember Old Israel? When God judged sin, it was Israel who went into captivity to the heathen for her sin. It was not judgment against the heathen. When Israel served the Lord by obeying his law-word, she ruled over the heathen, but that can be attributed to Israel's obedience, not to the sins of the heathens. See Malachi 3:12 and Deuteronomy 28.

Christians today seem to be looking forward to God's judgment against sin, but the judgment they are looking for is against the ungodly. Peter says that judgment will start at home, not "out there." It is God's people who are responsible to live a righteous, Christ honoring life. It is God's people who will give an account for everything done in the flesh, whether it be good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10. It is God's people who must answer for and will be rewarded for their obedience to his law-word, not the heathen.

The trumpet of judgment, alarm, should cause us to examine our lives and "get the sin out." It may be that God will turn back the planned judgment against the rebellion against his law-word by his people. 2:13, 14.

V. 2. There is nothing good about this day. It is gloomy and dark, whether within or without the sinner. The cloud (see Lamentations 3:44) is probably referring to the locust in 1:4, as this verse follows through with the idea of the locusts. The individual locust is not much of a terror, but in the hands of the Creator, locusts are ferocious. Their numbers are so great that they are as a cloud, and devour everything in their path. They leave nothing but desolation, and nothing could stop them in Joel's day.

Vv. 2-9 gives a description of the army of locusts as they destroy everything before them. Nothing can stop them. They come at their will, obeying their Commander. They cannot be turned aside. They go everywhere, leaving not one eatable thing untouched. Their noise is terrible and terrifying to those who have experienced them. They move in great clouds, sometimes square miles in size. They cause ‘pain' to those they attack, for those people know that only famine lies ahead for them.

A good description of their destructive tactics can be found in Barnes' notes on Hosea, written by Pusey.

A day of clouds and of thick darkness The locusts are but the faint shadow of the coming evils, yet as the first harbingers of God's successive judgments, the imagery, even in tills [sic] picture is probably taken from them. At least there is nothing in which writers, of every character, are so agreed, as in speaking of locusts as clouds darkening the sun. (NOTE: Beauplan, Ukraine, 1. c. p. 599): ‘These creatures do not come in legions, but in whole clouds, 5 or 6 leagues in length and 2 or 3 in breadth. All the air is full and darkened when they fly. Though the sun shine ever so bright, it is no brighter than when most clouded.' (NOTE: Aluise, da ca da Mosto Navig. c. 13): ‘In Senegal we have seen a vast multitude of locusts shadowing the air, for they come almost every three years, and darken the sky.' (NOTE: Adansson, Voyage au Senegal, p. 87,88): ‘About 8 o'clock there arose above us a thick cloud, which darkened the air, depriving us of the rays of the sun. Every one was astonished at so sudden a change in the air, which is so seldom clouded at this season; but we soon saw that it was owing to a cloud of locusts. It was about 20 or 30 toises from the ground (120-180 feet) and covered several leagues of the country, when it discharged a shower of locusts, who fed there while they rested, and then resumed their flight. This cloud was brought by a pretty strong wind, it was all the morning passing the neighborhood, and the same wind, it was thought, precipitated it in the sea.' (NOTE: Nicuhoff, China, p. 377): ‘They take off from the place the light of day, and a sort of eclipse is formed.' (NOTE: Shaw, p. 256): ‘In the middle of April their numbers were so vastly increased, that in the heat of the day they formed themselves into large bodies, appeared like a succession of clouds and darkened the sun.' (NOTE: Morier, Second Journey, p. 98): ‘On looking up we perceived an immense cloud, here and there semi-transparent, in other parts quite black, that spread itself all over the sky, and at intervals shadowed the sun.'

The most unimaginative writers have said the same (NOTE: Clarke, i.e. 18. p. 437); ‘When they first appear, a thick dark cloud is seen very high in the air, which, as it passes, obscures the sun. Their swarms were so astonishing in all the steppes over which we passed in this part of our journey (the Crimea,) that the whole face of nature might have been described as concealed by a living veil.' (NOTE: Volney, i. 277. ‘While I was at Sale in Morocco, after mid-day the sun was darkened, we knew not why, until we saw very many kinds of locusts, exceeding great.' R. Anania of Fez, in Lud. Commentary p. 176. ‘The wagons passed directly through them, before which they rose up in a cloud which darkened the air on each side.' Barrow, S. Afr. i. 242. ‘A.D. 1668, there were, in the whole country of Cyprus such numbers of locusts, that when they flew, they were like a dark cloud, through which the rays of the rain could scarcely penetrate.' LeBruyn, Lev 100:72. ‘The swarm had exactly the appearance of a vast snow-cloud hanging on the slope of a mountain from which the snow was falling in very large flakes.' Lichtenstein, c. 46. ‘The air at a distance had the appearance of smoke.' Forskal, p. 8): ‘When these clouds of locusts take their flight to surmount some obstacle, or traverse more rapidly a desert soil, one may say, to the letter, that the heaven is darkened by them.' (Barnes' Notes on v. 2. Online Bible.)

The Pulpit Commentary also identifies this passage as a description of Locust, as does Keil-Delitzsch:

(Note: The following is the account given by the Portuguese monk Francis Alvarez, in his Journey through Abyssinia [Oedmann, Vermischte Sammlungen, vi. p. 75]: ‘The day before the arrival of the locusts we could infer that they were coming, from a yellow reflection in the sky, proceeding from their yellow wings. As soon as this light appeared, no one had the slightest doubt that an enormous swarm of locusts was approaching.' He also says, that during his stay in the town of Barua he himself saw this phenomenon, and that so vividly, that even the earth had a yellow colour from the reflection. The next day a swarm of locusts came.) (Keil on v. 2. Online Bible.)

A day of clouds and of thick darkness The locusts are but the faint shadow of the coming evils, yet as the first harbingers of God's successive judgments, the imagery, even in tills [sic] picture is probably taken from them. (Barnes)

Thus, God uses the well-known signs of a soon attacking, terrifying army of locusts that cannot be stopped as an illustration of what it will be like in the coming day of judgment. The people to whom Joel writes were all too familiar with the terror of locusts, which could only foreshadow God's coming judgment.

V. 10. The earth shall quake before them... St. Jerome says here:

Not as though locusts or enemies had power to move the heavens or to shake the earth; but because to those under trouble, for their exceeding terror, the heavens seem to fall and the earth to reel, but indeed, for the multitude of locusts which cover the heavens, sun and moon shall be turned into darkness, and the stars shall withdraw their shining, while the cloud of locust interrupts the light, and allows it not to reach the earth.

Moon... Locusts do not fly at night other than if crossing a large body of water, so this verse is making the transition back from the description of locusts to the terror of the Lord's army against sin as he brings forth his judgment.

V. 11. The comparison here is between the terrible army of locusts, which these people would be all too familiar with, and the "day of the Lord" — his judgment against sin. Here the Lord is calling for the his army against his people. It will be a heathen army. The description of the army of locusts is a good description of how the heathen army will act. Read Jeremiah 51 for a description of how and why God raises up heathen armies to chastize his people – those who will not turn to him.

The description fits well with Assyria, Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece as well as Rome, as the hoards of God hating heathens came against God's disobedient people. Being identified as one of God's people does not guarantee God's protection. Only obedience to him and his law-word guarantee his protection. In fact, quite the opposite. Being one of his people guarantee his chastising hand against stubbornness and self-will, disobedience, among his people. See Hebrews 12 for a good explanation of chastising his people.

The day of the Lord... The day of his judgment against the sin of his people. It was and will be terrible beyond description.

Our Lord gives the same description of the day of Judgment in Luke 21:25, 26, where he was speaking of the judgment against the Jewish nation which killed him. vv. 27-32. See also Matthew 22, 23, 24. Even though he is referring to specific judgment, it is typical of all judgment against sin, and especially the final judgment against sin.

The Lord is going to call his army against the sins of his people. He called the Medes & Persians his army, Isaiah 13:3, 4. He called Babylon his army, Jeremiah 50, 51. He called Rome his army, Matthew 22:7. Notice that his description in Isaiah 13 closely follows the description in Hosea 2.

Another point here in this passage of warning to his people –

V. 5. tops of mountains. No matter how high or exalted a person might be among his people, including in the church, God's army will find him. His army could be an army of men, an army of bugs as previously described, an army of famine, an army of pestilence, an army of disease, or any combination of these plus many more. The army could be a civil government or a disease such as AIDS.

I read an interesting article in the U.S. News on AIDS. It may take 10 years or more for AIDS to show up after exposure. Even if man will not enforce God's laws, God will.

God will execute his law-word. The judgment against sin will be great, terrible, and reach into every corner of the earth. No one will escape except by his grace.

We have mocking against those who would say AIDS is God's judgment against sin. People want to live their lives by their own standards, yet avoid the results. When the results start coming to pass, they blame God for not being a "loving God." What people are actually saying is "God, if you were really a God of love, you would let us live as we please, and spare us from the results."

Sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, for God holds back the natural results as long as he can, giving man the chance to repent. (Ecclesiastes 8:11.) When men do not repent, then the results burst forth as water through a broken dam, which is the picture in Joel 2. God tells them the results of their sin with the hope they will turn back to him, vv. 12-32.

Before leaving this section, let us consider some more points.

First, v. 1, the trumpet in Zion... Margin, cornet. The cornet among God's people is a beautiful picture of the word of God. That is, the Scripture sounding forth an alarm against sin. The Scriptures not only sound as in vv. 1-11, but they have a sweet sound as in vv. 12-32. This trumpet has many sounds; that is, something for every occasion – rejoicing, searching and finding, returning, cleansing, love, warning, judgment, blessing. The sound can be sweet and tender. It can be loud and blaring. It can call to sleep or raise to action. It can ease the fears, or, as here, it can cause fear in those who are at ease in Zion. It can give comfort in the darkest of night, or can cause fear in the brightest of day. We can be sure, however, that it always WARNS OF IMPENDING JUDGMENT.

Second, men love to hear the trumpet sound, and will encourage it as long as its sounds are pleasing to their ears. Men like to hear it sound against the false doctrines of our day. They like to hear it sound against the false doctrines concerning the Tri-Une God, or against the false doctrines that stand against inspiration. Men like it to sound against any sin that is not their sin. Cry out against theft, adultery, lying, gossip, women in the work force, birth control, &c., and they will persecute the one sounding the trumpet. Keep the sound pure, but pleasing to the ear, and men will flock to hear the sound. Make the sound offensive to their ears and to their life-style, and the same men will stop their ears and stone the one sounding the trumpet. Acts 7:54-60.

Chapel Library sent out a little booklet, "The Life of Calvin. 1509-1564." In 1536, William Farel and John Calvin were urged by the Geneva city Council to clean up the vice and lawlessness within the city. As the public teaching progressed, public figures fell from their eminence, and rich men faced public humiliation as their sins were revealed. The people loved it. Farel and Calvin put together a Confession of Faith, and the Council tried to force the citizens to swear their allegiance to the Confession.

Remember, this is 1536, with a very heated war between Rome and the Reformers going on. Geneva had sided with the Reformation, so Farel and Calvin sought to develop lasting security for the Reformation by developing the Confession. When the Council insisted the citizens swear allegiance to it, the citizens turned against Farel and Calvin, forcing both to leave the city. The Council pleaded with Calvin to return, which he did in 1539.

Our point—as long as the message and pressure (trumpet) was against someone else, there was great support. However, when the message called the people into account, things turned ugly. ("Life of Calvin..." Chapel Library, Pensacola FL. 850 438 6666. If you are not on their mailing list, you need to be.)

This we see today. As long is the preaching does not require a change of attitude or change of action which will bring ridicule or pressure from those they respect, the men will flock to hear the trumpet. Let the message require change, self-sacrifice or persecution because of a change of attitude or actions, and they will find another trumpet that sounds better to them.

Example of Christians in the Political area:

I fellowshipped with pastors in the ‘80s and ‘90s who were very non-Politically Correct. Pastors from all over the US would come to the meetings as long as those meetings dealt with non-PC areas. However, it seemed there was no attempt to urge the pastors to apply the law-word of God into every area of life.

The Christians in the pew like to hear messages against hate, bitterness, pride, &c., but preach proper Christian responsibility in civil government, submitting all areas of life to a sovereign God and his Christ, and they will soon be gone.

It seemed that as long as the message did not require confronting ungodly civil authority that might cause ridicule or "persecution," the people in the pew would stay. But teach the Lord's total authority over every area of life, and not many people will listen.

There has been for some years an evil teaching that Christ is only the Saviour today, and sometime off in the future, he will be Lord. Peter made it clear that he has been made both Lord and Christ, Acts 2:36.

Sound the trumpet against political corruption today from the pulpit, and stones will come. However, sound toward heaven, and applause will come. The message which the masses love is how to be more spiritual, not how to bring every thought and intent of the heart into subjection to King Jesus.

I have noticed probably one of the best known pastors in the south with a large TV ministry. Every message I have heard by him has been a non-offensive message. He steps on no toes. He preaches against sin, but no messages that would lead to confrontation with the Lordship of Christ. He tells how to be more spiritual, not how to be more influential in society, and the crowds come.

Joseph Parker (Preaching through the Bible, Baker) says here in conclusion of v. 11:

If the chapter ended with the eleventh verse, it would be the volcano of the Bible; but from the twelfth verse another tone comes in and rules. The wild turbulence into domestic music...

And this is one of the things I enjoy about the prophets. They never leave God's people without hope. No matter how strong and turbulent the storm is or has been, there is always a blue sky and calm which breaks through. Vv. 1-11 has been a hurricane, but in the midst of this terrible storm is smooth seas, blue skies and an air of calmness.

V. 12.

The judgment of the locusts was typical [is typical] of the great day of judgment. [called the day of the Lord.] The terrors of that day [of judgment] were, and are, designed to bring the people to repentance. Thus judgment was mingled with mercy. (Pulpit Commentary.)

God sends his warning to the people – a warning of judgment against sin. V 1 implies that the warning is more to those who claim his name than to the unsaved, though it can certainly apply to those outside the covenant of grace.

Observe the call to his people in vv. 12, 13. The preceding warning is meant to instill enough fear that his people will repent and return. His army of judgment is coming, and can be compared to locusts. They will be overwhelming and unstoppable, and will move in judgment in even the highest places – there will be no hiding place, nor will civil authority protect one. There are many parallels between "bugs" and literal armies found in vv. 1-11.

Notice how they were to return to the Lord — with a genuine heart repentance, not just an outward change. Again, this is as much for us today as it if it were written last week.


I talk with people. I guess that as soon as the subject of the Lord is brought up, it strikes at their conscience. In fact, by my being a "preacher," it strikes even deeper.

One of the first things people will tell me is, "Yes, I know I should be in Church." There is not mention that they ought to get right with God in their heart. Rather, they are rending the garment, not the heart.

I also have seen this many times over: A person knows they are not right with God. They either need to get saved or they need to put away some sin. Rather than making peace with God in their heart (conversion to Christ or conversion away from sin), they decide to be more faithful in church. This seems to soothe their conscience concerning their relationship with the Lord. Or they get more "active" for him rather than make peace with him by "rending their heart."

Maybe they are having doubts about their salvation. They start coming to church more, and the doubts are laid aside with "If you were not saved, you would not be faithful. Now you are being faithful, so obviously you are saved."

Maybe that sin is heavy on their hearts. They become more faithful and the idea comes, "God will overlook that sin because of your religious activity."

Christ, in Luke 18:9-14, confirms what we are saying when he spoke to the Pharisee who openly proclaimed his goodness, while the publican beat upon his breast, and proclaimed his sinfulness before God. Rather than rending his heart, humbling himself before God, the Pharisee rent his garments. His outward action publically proclaimed his "goodness," yet his heart was far from God. The publican rent his heart, and went his way with his sins forgiven.

In the Old Testament, rending of the garment was a sign of deep contrition before God. It was a sign of mourning and sorrow too deep for words. Jacob rent his garments at the loss of Joseph. Job rent his garments at the loss of everything. David rent his garments at the death of Abner. Paul rent his garments when the people sought to worship him.

These were all in deep sorrow and mourning. Their deep sorrow resulted in outward action of rending the garment.

In Matthew 26:65, the high priest rent his clothes at the words of Christ, saying, "He hath spoken blasphemy," when Christ said that the next time he would be seen, it would be at the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven.

Stephen saw Christ, and he was standing at the right hand of Power. He did return in his power against the high priest in the form of the Roman army. When will he return in his power against a sinful world?

We see a great hypocrisy on the part of the High Priest. (Caiaphas.) The Old Testament law strictly forbad the High Priest from rending his clothes. Caiaphas shows us that the "rending of the garments" had become no more than a show to impress those around him with his "spirituality," and his dedication to God. Obviously, it was not dedication, for he violated God's law-word.

How much "religious" activity today is hypocritical? That is, to impress others with our spirituality.

I am afraid that much of the church attendance and spiritual activity today is the same as Caiaphas'. It is not out of obedience to God, nor out of a broken and contrite heart, nor a spirit of meekness. Rather, it is done with an attitude of, "Look at how much I love the Lord."

"I am better than I was," or "I am better than that person I know," or "I am more spiritual because I am doing these spiritual activities."

God's call here though Joel is to meekness of the heart. The heart attitude which is to result in the outward action of contrition. Matthew 5:3, 4. Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

We are living in a generation which sees church attendance and service for God:

1) Maybe an activity to ease the conscience. If things get in too much of a turmoil inside, then we go to church or get involved in something to appease the still small voice that is calling us to repentance and to Christ.

2) Or the world's view — to seek counsel, psychology, or some other foolish scheme developed by men to answer the spiritual need of men, so he does not have to repent and turn. Proverbs 28:13, 14.

3) Entertainment — Caiaphas is alive and well today. He rends his garments in response to the words of Christ, but not in obedience to God's words. The onlookers think, "My, how spiritual he is." Yet his heart contains anything but meekness.

God will have heart-felt obedience and meekness, not sacrifice. The outward result will be the rending of the garments or outward actions:

2 Kings 22:19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD.

Joel 2:12, 13.

God in vv. 1-11 warns of sure judgment against the sin of outward service without inner heart service. He warns of his army of "bugs," pestilence, disease, or even of men which are about to move against his people for their attempt to serve him outwardly while ignoring him in their hearts.

Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: 14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

Joel's warning is no different than God's warning through Ezekiel chapter 8. When Ezekiel was commanded to dig a hole in the wall, God showed him what his people were doing in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery. He went on to tell Ezekiel for they say, the Lord seeth us not; the Lord hath forsaken the earth. V. 12.

"The Lord does not really care what goes on inside, as long as I am doing these outside activities that show others how much I love him, and want to serve him. I go to church, tithe and talk about him, and even teach a Sunday School class. How much more does he want of me?" See Matthew 7:21ff.

The above attitude will bring judgment from which no one will escape. God is concerned about the heart, as he says, "Rend your heart... Turn to the Lord... and you will have mercy rather than judgment." Our Lord repeated the warning in Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

Judgment came to those of Isaiah's day. It came to those of Christ's day. The same warning holds true today and will continue until time is no more. It is no "idle" warning.

Sin, regardless of who holds it in the heart, shall be judged. Men shall reap what they sow.

No doubt, we are seeing God's army on the move against sin.

First: Pestilence and plagues against the ungodly. Look at the diseases that are coming forward — AIDS, Ebola, &c. It rains on the just and on the unjust, so there will be those of God's people, through no fault of their own, who will be caught up in the results. However, the judgment is primarily against those who have said, "We don't need you God, and we don't want anything to do with you."

The day is quickly approaching when God's people will have to depend on God, obey his instructions in every area of life, and depend on him for our protection.

Second: Reap the results. We are now reaping the result of making the word of God just a spiritual book. (Obama, February 16, 2009) It is simply a good book to make us more spiritual and for private devotions.

The truth is, God's word is an instruction manual for every area of life. Our Lord's sovereignty must cover everything. Science, welfare, warfare, politics, art, math, education, church, family, finances, vocation, politics–any area one can name. When a man enters into any of these areas without regard to and obedience to God's law-word, then he is in sin, and God's hand is against him.

God's people have become monastic, and have relegated his laws of life to the closet; the results are coming to pass as the civil authorities become more and more oppressive against anything which represents the authority or crown rights of King Jesus. Christians by the millions are worshiping at the altar of humanism.

Just as sure as Nebuchadnezzar's army was God's army, just as sure as Cyrus was God's army (Isaiah 45), and just as sure as Rome was God's army, God has an army prepared today to move against his people who refuse to glorify Him as God over education, politics, business, home, finances, private life, relationships with others, &c.

God has his army ready to move in obedience to his command. That army will think it is their idea, having nothing to do with God. The locusts are a good example: they are presented as God's army that move at his command, so too the armies of men. Over in Revelation 17:17, it says, for God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, as it talks about the 10 kings making war with the Lamb.

According to Scripture, God will not tolerate the outward service to him without the heart being right. Being faithful in church without the heart being right with God is no better than the Pharisees with their outward rending of the clothes, but no heart-felt obedience.

God is not pleased with ‘lip service.'

V. 14. leave a blessing...

The mood and message changes from one of wrath and judgment to one of mercy and blessing. The ray of sunlight in the midst of the storm clouds is typical of the Word of God.

There is no avoiding God's judgment against sin. There is no hiding from Him. Whether it is the sin of the heathen as they try to overthrow God, or the sin of his people who refuse to glorify him as God. Yet in the midst of judgment, we have passages such as v. 14:

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?

Ver. 14. None need be discouraged, as if it were too late to seek and hope for mercy; God will pardon the truly penitent, and deliver them from eternal miseries, and it is possible he may deliver from present temporal calamities also. If you obtain not all you would, you shall obtain enough to show that it was worth your while to seek God.

Return: God doth not locally move from one place to another, but when he withholds his blessings, the fruits of his favour, he is said to withdraw himself; so when he gives out his blessings, he is said to return.

Repent: see #Joel 2:13.

Leave a blessing behind him; cause the locusts to depart before they have eaten up all that is in the land.

A meat-offering and a drink-offering: see #Joe 1:9. (Matthew Poole, Online Bible.)

Note the promises contained in v. 14.

God allows the natural results of sin to come to pass, whether it is AIDS, Ebola, wicked civil authority, &c., and we do not get to choose the type of judgment as David was able to do, 1 Samuel 13:9:

Psalms 47:4 He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah.

But the promise here is that there can still be areas or people spared in the very worst plagues of locust. I believe there can be locust devouring everything as a fire would devour, right up to the property line of those who have claimed Hosea 2:12, 13, and one side will be burned, and the other spared like a well watered garden. The Lord can protect those in his land where his people are found, Joel 2:18.

Can he not cause the threshing floors to be full and the wine vats to overflow in the midst of famine? There is no limit to what our God can provide for those who love him, fear him and will serve him from their hearts as instructed in vv. 12, 13.

Those who will take their stand for right in their hearts according to his Word, and who will take their stand for his authority over both themselves and the church – Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him;

When his judgment army moves through the land as locusts, he can leave a blessing to his people. Has he not done this before in Egypt? The key? Rending of the heart.

The sincere service to our Lord, not just lip service, but dedication to him in every area of life. Then we can say with Esther, "If I perish, I perish. It is all in the Lord's hands."

How many professed Christians see the Scripture as little more than a book to make one more spiritual? They do not see it as the law of God given to establish laws for every area of life.

They are pleased as long as the preacher talks about "spiritual things," but start comparing actions to the law of God, and they get nervous.

How many people decide to become more involved in "Spiritual things" because the Lord is dealing with their hearts concerning sin when compared with the Law?

Jehu said to Jehonadab, "Is thine heart right...?" 2 Kings 10:15. That is a good question for our day. Is thine heart right?? The activities we are engaged in or permit outside of the church building are a good indication of where our heart is.

Activities which do not glorify God as God over an area show a spirituality comparable with the pharisees, and the God of the universe relegated to just someone to make man feel good on the inside rather than his laws being the laws of life.

Is thine heart right?

Joel 2:13 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.

V. 14. Who knoweth... That is, he may or he may not spare his people who repent. God forgave David's sin, but the child died anyway, and the sword never departed from his family. God likewise forgave the king of Nineveh's sin, and spared the great city.

We must turn, and cast ourselves upon a loving and merciful God.

V. 15. The trumpet is blown again. The first trumpet was a trumpet of alarm among his people. It was a warning that judgment was just over the hill. This trumpet is one of assembly of his people.

This assembly is more important than anything else that is going on. V. 16. It is an assembly of his people seeking God's face and mercy.

V. 17. We have seen the call for genuine repentance over the double heartedness in vv. 12, 13. Not just a sorrow for the results of getting caught, but a heart rending sorrow over the sin. 2 Corinthians 7:10 warns of the two sorrows. The worldly sorrow, sorrow that one got caught, and heart sorrow which leads to repentance and conversion from one form of life to another.

Drunkenness is a good example: Sorrow over drunkenness when the disease comes to pass, but not the godly sorrow which changes a life and its desires.

So the first call was to godly service to the King of kings, and a return to his service from the heart.

This call is to weeping and crying out to God for his mercy, and this mercy for his name's sake. I like what Barnes says here: Tears are a gift from God, and how we need them!

There has been a call for the people to assemble, which is most important. Notice v. 17: Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, That is, our prayer should be, "Lord, open the eyes of your pastors and teachers..."

It must start with the spiritual leaders. They are the ones responsible to tell the truth to the people, for the people trust their leaders.

Though David Hyles "went to the devil," I heard him say at a pastor's meeting years ago: "The people can rise no higher than their leader (pastor)." I must agree with him, and as a staff member, I used that to leave one of the churches where I was serving. If the leaders will not humble themselves before God, can we expect the people to do what they will not do?

"Tears are a gift from God." The genuine spirit of meekness and brokenness is from HIM. The leaders are even instructed as to why they are to cry out to God – that he would spare his people.

Moreover, v. 17 identifies the army of God which he likened to locusts. It is a heathen army of men who overthrew his people because they turned from God in their hearts. The cry to God is to remind him of his reputation, wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?

The pagans will not realize that the reason they had victory over God's people was because of sin in God's people. The result will be that the pagans will feel that the Lord God has no power to protect his people, but the truth is that they fall because they turned their backs on God, not because the pagan gods were more powerful.

Vv. 18-32. This passage is directed to the Gospel Church, as we see from vv. 26-32. One cannot put vv. 18-29 into one time frame, and then vv. 30-32 in another. To do so is wrongly dividing the word of truth. Peter very clearly quotes this passage in Acts 2:16-21, as a direct reference to the church.


I. Vv. 1-11. The call of the Lord to Israel to return, with the promise of his army against his people if they do not heed his call. They did not, and his army came against them as promised. Just like the locusts come against a people.

The call reaches to all of his people of all time, making it as much for today as it was for Joel's day.

II. Vv. 12-14. Grace moves in. The Holy Spirit moves, giving the spirit of repentance.

The changed heart was promised with salvation all through the Old and New Testaments, e.g., Jeremiah 31:30ff.

III. Vv. 15-17. The brokenness over sin brought about by the Holy Spirit.

God moves for his name's sake.

IV. Vv. 18-32. God moves in defense of his people, the New Israel of God, the Gospel Church.

He broke off the old Israel, and grafted in the New Israel, yet left the roots; that is, his law-word. The life-blood of the vine is still Christ and his law-word, but the branches are different; they are made up of all nations rather than just the one nation.


Note the plea here. It is another major theme of Scripture. The only reason he will intervene is for his great name's sake; it will not be because his people love him so much, nor because they desire to serve him, nor for any other reason. It is only for his great name's sake.

In our day of democracy, it also will not be because the majority of his people want him to move. God's movements are not determined by a vote of his people. God's movements are dependent upon his grace.

The scripture is full of God's sovereignty in his works here on earth. Psalms 31 is a good example. David is being oppressed by his adversary. He cries out to God for deliverance. Notice v. 3 – his claim upon God's mercy is for Thy name's sake. Also see, Psalms 31:16, 44:26, 109:21, 115:1ff, 143:11, Isaiah 37:35, 48:9-11, Jeremiah 14:7, 21, Ezekiel 20:9, 14, 22, 36:22, and many more.

Psalms 106:8 is worth looking at.

Vv. 1-7 tells us that God delivered his people from bondage, not because they were good nor because they outnumbered the Egyptians, nor because they were strong, nor because they had a lot of wealth. In fact, they were sinners, committed iniquity and did wickedly. In fact, they provoked him to anger even at the Red Sea, yet he delivered them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.

He moved mightily, so his name would be glorified among the heathen.

Psalms 59:13 is also a passage too good to overlook.

The workers of iniquity, bloody men, are lying in wait for the souls of those who are trying to obey God. They are not gathered against the godly because of sin, but because they hate God and his Christ. Note from v. 11 on:

There is no turning the other cheek to the enemies of God.

V. 13, David's cry is for God to consume the enemy, so that the enemy would know that God rules in his people, as well as in the whole earth. See also Psalms 60:11, 12.

V. 15, Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied.

There are differing opinions as to the meaning of v. 15. However, it appears that the enemies of God are to starve. God's people are forbidden to feed the enemies of God so they can continue in their war against God.

Romans 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

Notice it says thine enemy, not God's enemy. Can I blame God for my enemies? Normally not.

We know the foreign implications about supporting the enemies of God, such as shipping all of our manufacturing overseas to the Chinese, which strengthened them mightily, so they can control US. The One Worlders have invested unbelievable amounts of time and money to accomplish the destruction of our manufacturing base. The war is against God, represented by the Christian, WASP, base of this country.

But the implications apply equally at home. Are we feeding God's enemies with the property tax that pays for the statist education system? How about the college tuition fees that keep the very anti-Christ colleges in business?

Though the wicked are working hard against God, David ends with a praise:

Psalms 59:16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. 17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

There are an abundance of examples of God moving against the heathen for his name's sake. (for his name's sake is used 60 times in Scripture.)

Those who love God and are totally dedicated to him today are a minority, to say the least. Our strength lies only in our Lord. It lies only in our obedience to him and his word. It lies in our stand upon his word against compromise. We cannot go our own way and do our own thing and expect to claim these promises. See John 14:13-15.

There are a few points for us here.

First, our victory in the battles we face against the adversary lies in his great name's sake. We must realize our strength does not lie in numbers, nor money. Trust in numbers and-or money is humanism, not Godly Christianity. I am not against numbers, but if we say we will have a better chance in the conflict if we have more numbers then we are caught in the humanist's trap. Our strength and only hope for victory lies in our pleasing our Lord and King; then he moves for his great name's sake. We should ‘bother' him to death, as David did, to uphold his name.

"Lord, your name is not being honored. What are you going to do about it?"

Second. Joel 2:14. "Lord, are you going to let the heathen who hate and deny you gain the victory over your heritage? Will not the heathen say, ‘I thought your God was strong. If he is so strong, then why are we on the top, and you on the bottom?' "

Check 1 Kings 20 where the Lord fought on the side of even wicked King Ahab for His name's sake. If Ahab could receive help for His name's sake, how much more can we expect God to intervene for those who obey him?

Moreover: as we look around and see people who claim Christ, yet they have allowed themselves to be removed from him and are now serving the world, flesh and the devil, I believe we have the authority to pray: "They are bringing shame to your name, Lord. Move by your grace in their hearts that they will return to you. Why should your name be trodden under foot?"

Our hope for the hour? No matter how dark it may appear, it is God's name and reputation which is at stake, not ours. Can we not remind him of what is at stake, and expect him to give the victory if we will remain faithful and true?

Our hope does not lie in numbers, nor does it lie in money. Our hope lies in the Lord, as we do what we can to submit every area to his authority. Then, for his great name's sake, we may see Joel 2:18 (Hosea 2:18 also) come to pass. We may see him more on the side of his people. Only he knows what the future holds.

V. 18. Then... The implication here is that the judgment came, then his people returned to him. The repentance on the part of his people changed God's heart from one intent to do them harm to the intent of blessing them. It is indeed sad that it takes harsh judgment to turn his people around. O, how I wish we could learn from his word, and avoid the sad results.

We might also consider here — is this what must happen even today? God's people seem to be convinced that by being "under grace, not law", they will not reap the results of sin which is the transgression of the law. 1 John 3:4. It appears that it is only after the promised results of sin come to pass that his people see the utter folly of such "mad" thought, and return to obedience to the law which they once disregarded completely.

V. 19. What was meant for a ‘curse' is now a blessing. The garden of Eden had been laid desolate by the result of sin. Now the garden blooms once again as the result of repentance. His spiritual and temporal blessing here is symbolized by the corn, wine and oil. They were removed by sin, and restored by repentance.

And I will... The implication here is that they were a reproach among the heathen. The heathen did look down upon them and say, "Where is your God?" Psalms 137 seems to give us a record of this very thing, when they were carried into Babylon. This passage in Joel looks forward to that captivity as well as the captivity of sin of all time. Israel came back from this captivity and was very zealously, though wrong, faithful to their God until Christ.

At the time of Christ, they rejected their Redeemer, their Saviour, their Messiah, their King. In rejecting their King, they chose the state as their lord. "Crucify him. We have no king but Caesar!" John 19:15. They chose the State as God, so God left them to the State's hands, Caesar and Rome. I think it was the Roman Emperor Claudius who placed his image in the "Holy Place."

V. 19, I will no more make you a reproach... The authors I checked with on this passage identified it, first, as a reference to the Jew's captivity into Babylon, which leaves us with a problem. When they came back under Ezra and Nehemiah, they once again became a reproach even though it was over 400 years later. To me, this is not consistent with the text. Now, it is applied to latter times, but I think that is stretching the text a little.

I see only one way to be consistent, and that is to identify this with Christ and the Gospel Church. To do less makes "I will no more..." temporary, having to say instead, "I will no more until 400 years have passed" or "I will no more until I see fit to again." I do not think such an idea is consistent with the text. I am inclined to think God meant here just what he said, and if he did, this must be a reference to our life in Christ.

V. 18, his land, not the land. Implied here is that his land can be anywhere his people find themselves. By identifying this passage for the time of Christ, this makes v. 19 even stronger for us. At least it can be applied even by those who cannot agree that it is a reference to the Gospel Church.

V. 19. God will deliver his people over into the hands of those they chose over him, just as sure as he did the Old Testament people who chose Caesar over Christ.

People have chosen to serve the gods of this world over Christ, and now those gods are demanding their due. The laws of sowing and reaping still work, as the god of mammon extracts his due.

That god is now demanding the children of the idolaters, children to the third and fourth generation, or longer.

Question: What is needed today to call his people to himself? Maybe just letting the results of the foolish choices catch up... Are we seeing the god of mammon now extracting his due? Will the fall of this god cause people to turn to the Lord?

What kind of revival would take place if people would realize that the god they have served so faithfully for the last 75 or so years has failed them, and is extracting the payment as promised to them by God's word?

America's children have been offered on the altar of the mammon god. I wonder what will happen when the prosperity promised by the false teachers does not come to those who have followed the false gospel of prosperity? Will God open their eyes to the frauds being perpetrated upon them from the pulpit, or will they become more committed to the fraud?

Those of us who have warned of the evil of the false mammon god can rejoice that the fall is here, proving God's word is true.

From where I sit and watch the massive confusion among even those who profess to be God's people, the only hope the world has is the failure of the god of this world, mammon. Read Joel 2:20-32, and we will see the results that will make the judgment against the god of this world that people have trusted in worth the terrible price. It seems that this is the basic teaching of Joel 2: Judgment, 1-11, 12-19, repentance, 20-32, blessings.

All of God's promises are conditional, and this promise seems to be conditioned upon his grace working in his people to make them see their sin, to cause them to repent and turn back to him, then to obey him. In doing this, they will inherit the promise of v. 19.

V. 20. Here is a difficult verse with several different possible understandings. One is that this passage is off yet in the future. Such an understanding violates the passage, and its context, for vv. 28-30 is quoted by Peter. So we must keep a reasonable order of time.

So what do we have here? This is what fits best for me, and I certainly am not dogmatic about it.

God's people through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ turn from their sin which resulted in barrenness. Their sin resulted in his army coming against them in judgment. Evidently, the army was an army of men pictured as locusts. (The Reformers compared the Roman priests to locusts. However, I believe bankers fit that description better today.)

The people repent, vv. 12-17, turn to him with the rent heart, and now his army becomes His enemy, which is typical throughout old Israel's history. This happened in Jeremiah 50. God brought the Chaldeans against his people, then he turned against that army of the Chaldeans because the Chaldeans rejoiced as they destroyed God's heritage. In fact, Isaiah 50 seems to fit very well with this passage in Joel 2. Is it not strange that all of these prophets have basically the same message? You would think they have all followed the same script.

Sin brings God's judgment. Repent of the sin, and his judgment will become mercy. Then he becomes the enemy of our enemy.

Is this not what we have in Joel? The cry against the sin of outward service to God, yet inward service to the gods of this world. Joel's cry is to serve God from the inner most being. The result of turning to him is that he becomes the protector of his people.

I think this is what v. 20 is referring to. The army he brought in judgment against his people causes his people to turn to him. This return turns Him against the army, and he becomes our defender, our Rock, our Shield, our High Tower.

The turning point is Christ Jesus, and God's grace found in Him. When His time is right, he will step in; he will open the eyes of his people, the sheep of his pasture, Isaiah 53. They will see him whom they have pierced, which will cause a tremendous outpouring of tears as mentioned in v. 17. Based then upon this brokenness and humility before God, God steps in, and subdues all the kingdoms before him. See Zechariah 12:10—John 19:37 is an application of this action at salvation.

Barnes' Notes:

Tears are a gift of God. In holier times, so did the priests weep at the holy eucharist in thought of the Passion and Precious Death of our Lord Jesus, which we then plead to God, that they bore with them, as part of their dress, linen wherewith to dry their tears. (Online Bible.)

Can we imagine what God would do for a people like this—a people who were so broken over their sin (humbled would be a better word, as they realize the terrible price which had to be paid for their sins) that the mere remembrance of what Christ did would bring tears at the Lord's table?

Think of the obedience such a memory would incite. Think of the love it would invoke toward the one who paid our sin penalty. Think of the benefit that would result as God's people would turn to him out of love and thankfulness. Think of what would take place if God's people saw this, and it invoked the love toward others which Christ had on the cross. How much more would we do to try to reach those Christ suffered, bled and died for?

We must admit that we have never seen anything but dry eyes at the Lord's table.

Implied here is that God will open the hardened eyes of his people, mine included, to see him whom they pierced, resulting in a mass turning to him. He will move then to drive the oppressors far from them. Is this the promise in this passage?

Note that his army of heathens do not know they are fulfilling his purpose. They would deny with all their might that they are moving in obedience to the Lord God, yet we must ask, WHO CONTROLS HISTORY, GOD OR SATAN? We can safely say that the Sovereign Lord God controls it for his own good pleasure to accomplish that which he determined before time began. See Daniel 4:35, Acts 4:28, Romans 9:19, 20, 11:33, 34, Ephesians 1:11, &c.

What works best for me in this section of Joel:

God opens our eyes that we might be able to look upon the one that our sins pierced. And what a different attitude that would produce among his people.

We have lost sight of "There but by the grace of God go I."

Also notice the contrast from before the weeping, fasting, mourning and turning to the Lord. Before the land trembled, v. 10, with fear; before the beasts were without pasture, 1:19; before the vine withered and the tree languished, 1:11, 12. All of these things before vv. 12-17 are now reversed in Christ.

"Paradise restored."

For us, February 20, 2009

His people today have chosen Caesar over Christ, as so many professed Christians saw and see Hussan Obama as the messiah. Now the Lord has turned us over to this false messiah.

His people today have chosen money over Christ, as they served the god of mammon. Now the Lord has turned us over to the money merchants. The money merchants have and are robbing us to the third and fourth generation.

Federal obligations exceed world GDP

As the Obama administration pushes through Congress its $800 billion deficit-spending economic stimulus plan, the American public is largely unaware that the true deficit of the federal government already is measured in trillions of dollars, and in fact its $65.5 trillion in total obligations exceeds the gross domestic product of the world.
The total U.S. obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits to be paid in the future, effectively have placed the U.S. government in bankruptcy, even before new continuing social welfare obligation embedded in the massive spending plan are taken into account.

Does $65.5 trillion terrify anyone yet?
Trillions? Get ready for quadrillion
The Obama administration economic stimulus package is going to force the Treasury to borrow approximately $2.5 trillion in 2009 and another $4 trillion in 2010, with the result of increasing the current $10 trillion national debt by 65 percent in just two years.
If the Obama administration increases the national debt by 65 percent every two years, the debt will be $16.5 trillion in 2010 and $27.225 trillion by 2012, the year of the next presidential election. ...
One trillion dollars divided by 300 million Americans comes out to $3,333 per person... [The debt is $17 Trillion, or $56,661 per person now.] Craig Smith, founder and CEO of Swiss America, estimates it would take approximately four generations of Americans to pay off the interest of the U.S. Treasury bonds sold as debt to create the $1 trillion stimulus package, factoring in a 3 percent growth rate in the economy throughout that time. [The private corporation, The Federal Reserve has fixed the game– no one can win except the FED.]

"We" made our deal with the devil, the banks, so we could live above our income. Now our Sovereign God is allowing the devil, the god of mammon, to extract his due.

Note, http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/09/28/franks_fingerprints_are_all_over_the_financial_fiasco/

Who is to blame?

Frank's fingerprints are all over the financial fiasco

By Jeff Jacoby

'THE PRIVATE SECTOR got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it."

That's Barney Frank's story, and he's sticking to it. As the Massachusetts Democrat has explained it in recent days, the current financial crisis is the spawn of the free market run amok, with the political class guilty only of failing to rein in the capitalists. The Wall Street meltdown was caused by "bad decisions that were made by people in the private sector," Frank said; the country is in dire straits today "thanks to a conservative philosophy that says the market knows best." ...

The roots of this crisis go back to the Carter administration. That was when government officials, egged on by left-wing activists, began accusing mortgage lenders of racism and "redlining" because urban blacks were being denied mortgages at a higher rate than suburban whites. ... [I remember this dust-up very well.]

Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act, empowering regulators to punish banks that failed to "meet the credit needs" of "low-income, minority, and distressed neighborhoods." Lenders [had to respond] ...

All this was justified as a means of increasing home ownership among minorities and the poor. Affirmative-action policies trumped sound business practices. A manual issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston advised mortgage lenders to disregard financial common sense. "Lack of credit history should not be seen as a negative factor," the Fed's guidelines instructed. Lenders were directed to accept welfare payments and unemployment benefits as "valid income sources" to qualify for a mortgage. Failure to comply could mean a lawsuit.

The illusion worked, making good public policy as long as housing values increased. But... Barney Frank will admit no wrong in the matter. However,

... his fingerprints are all over this fiasco. Time and time again, Frank insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in good shape. Five years ago, for example, when the Bush administration proposed much tighter regulation of the two companies, Frank was adamant that "these two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis." When the White House warned of "systemic risk for our financial system" unless the mortgage giants were curbed, Frank complained that the administration was more concerned about financial safety than about housing.

Now that the bubble has burst and the "systemic risk" is apparent to all, Frank blithely declares: "The private sector got us into this mess." Well, give the congressman points for gall. Wall Street and private lenders have plenty to answer for, but it was Washington and the political class that derailed this train. If Frank is looking for a culprit to blame, he can find one suspect in the nearest mirror.

By Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist. September 28, 2008 jacoby@globe.com. (Full article provided upon request.)


Comment: A major teaching of Scripture is that men are responsible. Since 1981, Barney has represented the 4th Congressional District of MA. He is chairman of the Financial Services Committee, with enough power to personally write into the TARP bill special favors for a home state bank. Clearly, Barney bears a major responsibility for the mess. He is an expert at manipulating the system in his favor. Furthermore, he is proud to be a sodomite.

However, even more blame lies with those who have kept him, and other ungodly men, in office.

Joel 2:23, be glad and rejoice...

God has delivered his people from their enemies; he has caused the fields, the trees, the wilderness to once again bear fruit for man and beast. There is an abundance for his people, as well as freedom from fear.

His people here are told to be glad and rejoice, not in the ‘abundance' of vv. 18-22, but the call is to rejoice in the Lord your God. Those things of vv. 18-22 are good, and we can enjoy the peace and blessings which God provides, but such prosperity is not our rejoicing. Our rejoicing is to be in the Lord our God.

V. 23, rain... The marginal reading here is, {the former rain moderately: or, a teacher of righteousness} {moderately: Heb. according to righteousness}

The implication is true to the context here, as well as to Jewish tradition, which says that the rain is the Messiah, an understanding consistent with the Old Testament.

Hosea 6:3 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. (See Zechariah 9:9)

We see here that Christ is the promised rain. He is the teacher of righteousness, as said in the margin. He is also the latter rain:

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

See also,

Zechariah 10:1 Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

Zechariah 14:16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.


Those who refuse to serve the Lord of hosts, or who refuse to worship the King in that time will fail to have rain. With no harm to the context at all, in fact, quite in line with it, we could have here that in the day of King Jesus' reign, we have those who refuse to serve and worship him as King, and those who do serve and worship him.

The result of serving him is his blessings come down upon the righteous in their due seasons as rain upon the dry land, wilderness, trees and rivers.

March 1, 2009

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Friday because of three years of below-average rain and snowfall in California, a step that urges urban water agencies to reduce water use by 20 percent. ...

Those who refuse to serve the Lord with gladness will reap drought and dryness, barrenness and deadness. There will be no rain of righteousness and blessings upon them. In fact, it could rain upon one man, and the one next door suffer drought; it could be from city to city. Amos 4:7.


Proverbs 16:15 In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.

Notice the contrast:

16:14 ¶ The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.

The key is worshiping and serving our King according to his law-word, with a pure heart. To serve him properly brings the latter rain, the rain of his blessings. Failure to glorify him as God results in the loss of rain; that is, dryness and barrenness.

Paul identified the rain spoken of here in Hosea, as well as the rest of the Old Testament prophets including Zechariah 16:16-19, as Christ.

Hebrews 6 (esp v. 7) speaks of this rain also, where Christ is presented to the person. That person receives the rain, and blossoms for awhile, then he drops away. V. 7, the earth drinks in the rain – the heart of man from the parable of the good and bad seed in the four seeds. The earth, heart brings forth fruit, and receives blessings from God.

Hebrews 6:7. The heart is mentioned which brings forth thorns and briers from the same rain. Is this not the heart which starts out on fire for God, and as time progresses, it becomes more and more ‘hardened' to God, until it comes to the place that rather than rendering fruit to him, only thorns come up. They are then rejected.

V. 9. the call here is for God's people to avoid the hardness. "I expect better of you." "If you are saved, bring forth fruit, fit for the Master's use."

Hebrews 6:10. The person says, "But I have tried to do right, and it seems like the rain you speak of has never come." Paul says, "Don't give up. God has not forgotten you." the promise is that this latter rain will come in its season. Vv. 10-12, patience inherits the promised rain.

Isaiah 55:10 identifies the rain as his word which comes down from heaven, and this rain comes down on the just and the unjust. Matthew 5:45. The just who will obey will enjoy the manifold blessings of God. The unjust who reject his word will reap the manifold judgment of God.

NOTE: Some time ago, I tried to get a pastor to support his ideas from Scripture. Twice, he refused to do so. I wonder if he will reap blessings or judgment. It surely appeared to me that he was rejecting the Word of God.

The rain can also cause floods of judgment upon the earth. Those who will obey the Word can safely ride above the judgment. Those who refuse to obey the Word will be overflowed with the piled up water of judgment. See Romans 2:1-10.

Hebrews 6:1 identifies the rain as the principles of the doctrine of Christ.

We have here the human race dry, barren; in fact, as a wilderness because they reject God and his word — his Son.

We also have here in this context, God's people. They became or are hardened in their sin. They repent with tears and mourning, and the result is the promised rain in its season.

Note that God's season may be different than our season.

Christ, the former rain, when obeyed, sends the latter rain.

Note that the Old Testament is absolutely full of Christ and his church. It is so well hidden that not only did the Jews of his day miss it, but today many Christians miss it.

The Old Testament Israel revealed how God works with man and how his principles, or doctrines work out in life. The Old Testament Israel passed away with Christ, and now he only works through the New Israel, the Gospel Church. The terms are used so interchangeably that it is a very well concealed mystery that only the Holy Spirit can reveal. From the time of Christ on, it seems that all the references to Israel are spiritual.

Examples: Rain, worship, temple, sacrifices, &c. And these things must be viewed in the spiritual light of Christ if we expect to rightly divide the word of truth.

V. 24 gives us the promised blessing. Instead of everything being barren, it is now abundantly fruitful in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I might mention here as a reminder: The Old Testament saints saw the physical children of Jacob as Israel. They spoke in terms of what they saw, the physical nation. They saw the shadow of the good things to come in Christ and his church. But even seeing the shadow, they could not identify what it was. They knew the Messiah was spoken of, and that he would accomplish all of his promises. They expected the promised Messiah to literally and physically fulfill these Old Testament promises after he came, which is why even his disciples expected him to establish a physical kingdom.

They saw God working in men to restore through Christ what had been lost by national Israel through sin, but they could not see the church other than a few glimpses of it here and there, such as here in Joel 2:23. However, Abraham saw Christ's day and rejoiced.

As they spoke of the promised blessings of restoration, they used the only terms with which they were familiar, and with which the people were familiar. Those terms were the same as were used for national Israel. They did not really understand that they were speaking of the New Israel of God, the Gospel Church. The New Testament authors revealed the mystery which God has hidden from the Old Testament saints.

Therefore, as we read these prophecies, the vast majority of the ones that spoke of the time after Christ are speaking of God's work in His Church, the body of Christ, or the New Israel of God.

I believe that here in Joel 2, we have Christ and the grace of God in v. 12-17. Then the rest of the passage refers to the promised blessings found in him, and in his church.

Thus, in v. 24 (vv. 20-26) we have the restoration of everything which was lost due to sin. And that restoration is found only through repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Most people I know will say, "Yes, I believe that. But I was taught that v. 20 refers to a physical army in a physical location which moved against a physical nation, and God will intervene for that physical nation, Israel, and deliver it in a miraculous manner."

Such a teaching changes this section from being based in God's grace as found though faith in his Son to a physical birth. God's grace is based in faith, not in race.

V. 25 is a reference back to 1:4, and the destroying army he brought against his people because of their sins. That army was the rod of his anger which he used to chastize his people, and to call his people to himself.

Through repentance, we see that all that was lost by sin is restored. God through Christ restores the sinner to proper relationship to himself, blots out sin and does away with its eternal consequences. Ezekiel 18:21, 22, 33:12, 16, Hebrews 9:10.


First. Ezekiel 33 tells us that His people are destroyed because they refuse to glorify God as God in every area of life. They refuse to obey him and his word. This refusal and result is consistent throughout Scripture. The reason for the destruction of even nations is because they refuse to glorify God as God. Romans 1:21.

God's army of destruction is not based upon having enough numbers, as is often taught by Lot and the destruction of Sodom. The saltiness within the spoiled or spoiling meat which holds back corruption is not based in having enough numbers. The ability of a church to influence a community is not based on having a large number of people.

Victory over the world's system which tries to force us into its mold is not based on having enough numbers. God clearly tells us the victory of his people over the army of God bent upon destroying them is based upon our obedience to God's every law-word.

The philosophy that says, "With enough numbers, we can avoid the destruction of God" cannot hold up Scripturally. The destruction has always been because his people would not live for him.

Influencing society for Christ is not based upon having a large number of God's people. It is based upon his people living for him under all conditions and circumstances. Anything less is humanism, and dependence upon the arm of the flesh. That is, dependence upon what we can do.

On the other side: Obedience to his law-word is what he calls for. If his few people will obey him in everything, then the power of God will hold them up. God will work in the heart of the heathen. God will work to convict them of their sins. God will call them to himself as the result of our chaste conversation.

Our influence upon society is not based upon numbers. Our influence upon society is based strictly upon obedience to our Lord, and dependence upon him to intervene in these areas. V. 25 here in Joel is based upon repentance, turning from the sin which doth so easily beset us, and which brought about the locusts, not upon having a greater or more powerful army than what was coming against the sinner.

Now we come to the second point: God, in Ezekiel 33:16, forgives wickedness as though it had never been. If it had never been, man would have all the grace which he had before the fall.

Again, we have some interesting thoughts. Does this mean that man is restored to the place from which Adam fell? Does man regain the grace which Adam lost. However, physical death remains, for it is now built into man. But is man's ability to conquer and rule the world for God's glory restored to him through this grace? Such a thing seems to be required by Matthew 28:18, 20, or that passage is meaningless.

We would have to translate 19, 20 as, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. However, they will not listen, so do your best, and I will be with you until the end of the age."

We would also have to say the same about 28:18. "Almost all power is given to me, but not enough for you to conquer the world in my name and for the glory of God; I must physically return yet for that to take place, but you all go ahead and do the best you can. It won't work, you will fail, but I will come back when things get bad enough, and help you fulfill that command."

According to Scripture, the clear teaching of our Lord is that through repentance and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we have the grace and power of God to do exactly what Adam failed to do. God's people going according to his word and in the power of his grace can conquer every area of the present world, just as Adam was to do, and just as our Lord told us to do. His command is no idle command.

With a clear conscience, clean life, faith, prayer, humility and obedience, there is not one area of life in this world that cannot be subdued for His Glory by his people.

V. 25, I will restore... This is more of a national promise than an individual promise. God can restore the "glory" of a nation, if the nation will return to him. On an individual level, individual lives can be so messed up that they cannot be restored to their former glory, e.g., divorce, immorality, physical problems, &c.

V. 25 contains a tremendous promise for us—we can turn from sin which might have robbed us of our ability or power or grace to serve God and please him. That return to him will increase his grace in us to please him. He can restore us within the limits of his law-word.

A church. If sin cost the body of believers their power with God to accomplish anything, then a returning to him will increase their power to please him.

The Lord's destroying army can be turned back. The damage done by them can be repaired, restored, and God's people can move ahead with new, increased power for his glory.

Vv. 26, 27. In Hosea 4:10, we see that sin prevents satisfaction from eating, no matter how much one might eat. Consider: is this one reason there is such a problem with overweight, and weight watching? People eat, but sin prevents them from being satisfied; therefore, they eat more. I also realize that many chemicals are added to food to get people to come back for more, especially within a particular brand.

Note the last part of Joel 2:27. and my people shall never be ashamed. Ashamed: "The primary meaning of this root is ‘to fall into disgrace, normally through failure, either of self or of an object of trust.'" (TWOT)

It also means confusion, and is at times used to mean, to depend upon something, and be disappointed. David used it in Psalms in reference to the heathens trusting their false gods, and his desire and rejoicing over their inability to help their worshipers, which made the worshipers ashamed of their false gods. Psalms 6:10, 11, 31:17, 18, 40:14, 15. On the other hand, he trusts in the Lord God and his prayer is just the opposite. "Lord, don't let me be ashamed of you because you did not do as you promised." Psalms 25:2, 20, 71:1, comp. with v. 13, &c. This is very close to "I am disappointed in you. I am ashamed because you disappointed me."

Vv. 26, 27 are looking off into the future, for it has not yet taken place.

Added consideration.

Look at the New Testament usage of ashamed, #2617. Thayer:

2. to put to shame, make ashamed: 1 Cor. 1:27; 11:22; pass. to be ashamed, blush with shame: Lk. 13:17; 2 Cor. 7:14; 9:4; 1 Pet. 3:16; by a Hebr. usage one is said to be put to shame who suffers a repulse, or whom some hope has deceived; hence... does not disappoint: Ro. 5:5; pass. Ro. 9:33; 10:11; 1 Pet. 2:6...

Note that these passages have to do with faith in Christ, or conversion.

Joel 2:27 promises a coming day when God's people would never be disappointed in him. God will dwell in their midst as their Lord, and they will not be disappointed in their hope and expectation of him.

Romans 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall <2617> not be ashamed <2617>.

The nation of Israel was certainly disappointed in Christ, as they expected a "blood and guts" Messiah to free them from Rome.

The New Testament clearly shows this prophecy of vv. 26, 27 is fulfilled in Christ Jesus our Lord. There is no disappointment in him. These two verses as well as the rest of the chapter as quoted by Peter, show beyond all doubt that vv. 21-32 referred to the Gospel Church, the body of Christ.

V. 27. This is 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 and 1 Peter 2:1-10. The church is made of individual called out believers, built up into a spiritual house, a habitation for God.

I am the Lord your God... Anything that is done by the Lord is for only one purpose—that he might be glorified. And ye shall know... Praise be to God, for it is his reputation that is on the line, not mine. As long as I do right and please him, then he will do whatever is necessary to glorify himself.

We see here in these few verses, vv. 18-32, many references to the church, and to her promised blessings in her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

V. 28. It shall come to pass... Vv. 26, 27 are fulfilled. The Lamb of God slain and glorified. In fact, John 14 is fulfilled. The Son returned to his father, and the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, sent back down to dwell in his people.

Upon all flesh... Before John 14, and the glorification of our Lord, only the children of Abraham, Jacob, were recipients of his Spirit. All the prophets of old were of Israel. All of the chosen of Christ until Pentecost were of Israel. Not until he sent his Spirit back did all flesh receive the blessing.

His spirit dwelt in the Old Israel. Since Christ, his Spirit now dwells in his people who have come to him; their physical heritage no longer having anything at all to do with it. There are many Old Testament passages which refer to the Outpouring of his Spirit. Psalms 65:2, Ezekiel 11:19, 20, 39:29, Zechariah 12:10.

The New Testament fulfillment is also quite obvious. 1 Corinthians 3:16, Romans 8:9, 10, Acts 10:44, 45, Romans 5:5. In fact, our Lord spoke quite plainly on this subject in John 14:23: We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

We see everything mentioned here in this passage fulfilled in Christ and his church. Also, notice there is not division any longer in him. Galatians 3:28. No bondage or free, young or old, Jew or Gentile. All are now one in Him. The outpouring of his free spirit is based purely upon his grace.

In fact, it seems like he pours out more on the bound, poor and weak. 1 Corinthians 1:27-30. I believe this is because he desires that his Son alone be glorified. To work through the poor and weak of this world shows all Who is doing the work, and by Whose strength these things are being accomplished.

Vv. 30-31. Great and terrible day of the Lord. The day of judgment. It is well worth observing here that all of vv. 30, 31 were fulfilled within a short period of time before Jerusalem was destroyed. Check Josephus' War of the Jews, Book VI, Ch 5:3, for an amazing account of this destruction. It is said that this kind of physical upheaval is very common at the end of a social order.

I am sure this passage is also referring to the final, great and terrible day of the Lord, when everyone will stand before the judge of judges. 2 Corinthians 5:10.

V. 32, and whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered. To call upon his name means more than just taking his name in our mouths. It includes first, an expression of who he is. Jeremiah 10:25. It includes salvation. Zephaniah 3:9. It includes right faith and trust as well as a right conception of who he is. It includes leaning upon him, proper devotion as well as a righteous life before him.

Joel gives a promise of deliverance of God's people out of the midst of all the horrors of that terrible day of the Lord's judgment against the ungodly.

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Matthew 7:7, John 16:23

The above is consistent with 2 Peter 2:9:

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

The above shows us God's wrath against sin poured out, and his people who have and are living godly are protected, and may even prosper through it.

If the word of God is true, if his principles work, then the ungodly society around us CANNOT be victorious over the gospel and the godly. The godly have HIM on their side. The ungodly's deeds have death built into them, and that death cannot be avoided. The more they reason out what seems right, the more death there is. Proverbs 16:25.

The Socialist's system that appeals so much to fallen man cannot prevail. Nor can the Democratic system work, for both are based upon the denial of God and his word of Life.

To think either of these two systems can prevail over God's people who are living godly according to his total law-word is to say that his word is not true. Certainly, there are those who live godly and suffer persecution in the present, but in the end, the godly must be the ones who prevail, or Matthew 5 is not true.

Matthew 5 gives us God's method of success in this world. God's word is given to direct our lives toward victory, in history, not in eternity.

We can rest assured, and really, have hope in the fact that all ungodliness must result in destruction. It has death built into it.

Proverbs 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Every system which is not consistent with God's word will fall. Every system which is based on his "life giving principles" will prevail as sure as there is a God in heaven. Anything less must deny God's word.

Some might say, "You are right, but before this can take place, there must be the physical return of Christ to enforce good over evil." This idea presents problems — that is, such a belief says that Gods' law-word is not in effect, been laid aside, during this "present dispensation of grace." I really do not believe folks have thought through Galatians 6:7, 8 (and other passages). I know of no place in Scripture where His laws concerning the results of sin and righteousness are set aside.

for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

First, the church started in Jerusalem. Luke 24:47. It was to Jerusalem that all the tribes of Israel were to go to worship God. Psalms 122:4. Here alone could lawful sacrifices be offered to God. With Christ, the place of lawful sacrifice was changed. It is no longer Jerusalem, but Christ. There is now no lawful sacrifice which can be offered other than him. Our Lord clearly spelled this out to the woman at the well in John 4.

Jerusalem, the city of peace, has lost its place because of unbelief. Matthew 23. The new Jerusalem is the church. Hebrews 12:22, 23. The only place of sacrifice must now be Christ, who is the Prince of Peace. The new Mt Zion and Jerusalem here in Joel 2:32 is the church, the body of Christ.

Psalms 122:6 ¶ Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

Contrary to popular belief, v. 6 is not talking of a literal city, for Christ is the one being persecuted when his people are persecuted. Matthew 25:40ff. Acts 9:5, 26:14.

Christ did not die for a city, whether that city be Jerusalem nor New York. Christ died for his sheep, Isaiah 53. When hands are lifted against his people, they are lifted against Christ himself.

Joel 2:32. Deliverance... This could be a couple of things. Of course, those in Mt Zion and in Jerusalem have the promise of deliverance from the day of God's judgment, the day of wrath, eternal punishment. John 3:16. I believe also in this is the promise of deliverance in the day of judgment against sin – the day when he catches up with the wicked nations in judgment for lifting their hands against the body of Christ, the church.

Matthew 5 clearly says the meek shall inherit the earth.

Consider: When God pours out his physical wrath upon the ungodly, the meek, godly, will be delivered or spared. The pouring out could be in the form of sickness, disease, plagues or any means pleasing to him. We restrict him far too much in our thinking. See the first part of this chapter.

If just the promised physical results of sin would start coming to pass, there would be a tremendous death among the ungodly. If the godly would be delivered from these plagues, this would leave a tremendous inheritance for the godly. There would be very few ungodly to continue on.

The deliverance in Zion and Jerusalem could be a two-fold deliverance. First, spiritual. Eternal life rather than eternal death. Second, physical–God delivering his elect, those who have lived godly in Christ, from the physical results against the sins of this world.

The remnant whom the Lord shall call identifies those who will be delivered from the wrath to come against sin.

Scripture shows us that God works through the remnant, not through large numbers. Example: Noah as well as Israel when she crossed into Canaan to the "promised land." Then we have Elijah and the 7,000 which had not bowed to Baal. Then we have the return from captivity and the first preaching of the gospel, when just a few returned to our God. Then there was the destruction of Jerusalem where those who believed our Lord's words were spared.

It seems that God specializes in using just a few, remnant if you please, to do his mighty work. Gideon is another example. In fact, read the entire book of Judges as well as the Kings.

The remnant, those whom God has called and sanctified for his glory, and his glory alone, that his purpose might be accomplished here on this earth. Romans 9:11.

Remnant... How did they come to be a remnant? The Lord called them, which is consistent with Romans 11:4. I have reserved to myself... God is the one who called them out, and set them aside for his glory and by his grace.

There are countless passages dealing with the remnant. Who is the remnant? The starting place is Matthew 7:14. But streight is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. The remnant are those who have found it. And actually, they did not find it on their own, but the Holy Spirit took them by the hand, and led them to it.

Isaiah 11:9-16 identifies the remnant. They are those who have been gathered around the ensign. That is, around the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. They have come to this ensign from every country in the world, as well as from the islands of the sea. They have come from the four corners of the earth.

Jeremiah 13:7 also identifies the remnant. All of chapter 31 deals with the remnant. They are those who have the new covenant, unlike the covenant which National Israel had. V. 33. The old covenant was sealed with the blood of bulls and goats. The new is sealed with the blood of Christ. The remnant are those in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Micah 2:12, 4:7, 5:3, 7, 8, 7:18. These passages give us further insight. See Isaiah 10:20, 21, 22, 28:25, Jeremiah 23:3, Ezekiel 6:8, 24:22, Zephaniah 3:12, 13, (those who trust in the Lord are the remnant), Zachariah 14:2.

The Remnant:

They are the ones the Lord has chosen to protect and deliver. The deliverance method is drawing people to the ensign, the covenant or the Cross of Christ.

Next, the deliverance of a remnant is from both the Old Jewish Nation (Romans 11:5-7) and from the Gentiles. No one knows from which group the remnant is taken because the two nations are now joined in Christ. The Gentile nations represented by the wild unclean beasts of the field, and the Jewish nation represented by the sheep. As members together in Christ, there are no longer 2 nations in him–wild beast and sheep.

Compare Acts 10:11ff, with Isaiah 11:6ff, and 65:25ff. Do not the wild beasts, Gentiles, dwell in peace with the sheep, the Jews, in Christ.

Now are all one nation in Christ. Galatians 3:26-29. The common cause or root of this one nation is the redemptive work of Christ.

A good application is found in Revelation 22:15. Through faith in the redemptive work of Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, we are placed into one city, the city of God, the body of Christ, the New Jerusalem, the Gospel Church. Inside the protection of this new city of God we find protection in Christ. Outside of this city are all kinds of wickedness where the devil himself walks about as a wild beast, seeking whom he may devour.

The remnant is not based upon what race (Jew or Gentile) one is born into. Rather, it is dependent upon being born again. John 3:3, 5.

Joel says it best: the remnant whom the Lord shall call. It is those who have answered the call to come to Christ. Again, he is consistent with the Old Testament prophets as found in Isaiah 5:26, 27, as well as the words of our Lord in such places as John 6.

The remnant. It may be just a small number compared to those around us, but the power of the Almighty will be shown through the remnant.

Our hope??

We have much hope. God will not only protect, deliver his people even though small in numbers, but he will show himself strong through them. And all of his actions in his good time.

By his people, I mean those who have trusted in the redemptive work of Christ for their sins, as well as those who are obeying Romans 1:21 by glorifying God as God over every area of their lives; not just trying to get more spiritual, but trying to do every area of human activity and thought, even eating and drinking, to the glory of God.

What a privilege to be part of the remnant through Jesus Christ our Lord. I believe God will do some great things through his remnant – things that will cause the world to flock to Christ. However, only he knows how he will bring all things to an end. See Zechariah 14.

Zechariah 8 gives a good picture of what we are saying. The power and influence of the end-time Jews, i.e., Christians, will be great because of the anguish of reaping what was sown by the ungodly. They will see God's hand upon his remnant, so their desire will be to know about the God who delivers his people.

I am certainly not trying to guess what God's plans are. Only he knows what the future holds, and it is basically hidden from man. But for me, the above is far more consistent with his command in Matthew 28:19, 20, as well as the theme of victory over the world, flesh and the devil that is presented in Christ throughout Scripture.

Christ ruling from his end time temple... That is, fulfilling his purpose by his grace through his people in whom he dwells. 1 Corinthians 3:17, &c.

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

See 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17, 1 Peter 2:4-10.

Notice also the purpose of our redemption is not heaven, but power to live a victorious life here on earth. 1 Peter 1:18-20. Our hope is one of victory in Christ over all the efforts of the enemies of God. Our hope is not in such a defeat that Christ must literally come back to straighten out the mess his people have made. Where is grace in such a defeated mentality?

Lord, help us see and claim the victory that we have in and through Christ Jesus.

Added note:

The Jewish nation looked for and expected a literal fulfillment of these Old Testament prophecies of the remnant. I am sure the scribes and Pharisees considered themselves the remnant, and expected the Messiah to set up his literal kingdom among them, using the sword to free them from Roman rule. They expected, no doubt, to rule with him. When he refused to do so, then they rejected him.

Is this not similar to many expectations today even among his people?

May God see fit to free us from tradition and bring us to the truth.

Yes, he has preserved a remnant, and will continue to keep them. They have been set aside for his glory. He has set them aside in Christ with no consideration of nationality. It is all by his grace. He will protect them by his power. History has proved that it is the small, weak and foolish things in the world's eyes through whom God shows himself strong, in order to confound the wise. 1 Corinthians 1, 2.

All of these thoughts drive us back to one point:

Our hope is in the Lord and in his Gracious hand upon his people as they keep themselves holy even as he is holy and do all for his glory.

He calls, and we obey and call upon him. Psalms 50:15

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