A Voice in the
"And it shall be afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also I will pour out My Spirit on the slaves and on the slave-girls in those days." (2:28-29)
In my personal reading a few months ago I found myself all finished proofreading once-through the entire LITV, wondering where to begin reading, just for -reading- sake; and rather than starting at a "beginning" of some section, decided this time to begin at Malachi, and have been working my way backwards through the minor prophets. Thus, you have noticed our many recent studies from this region of the Scriptures. And considering the state of the world and the times in which we live, it has been seeming appropriate that the Lord led me to conduct my own reading in this way. The minor prophets VERY MUCH speak to the Last Days in which we live.
Joel, too, speaks to our present days. Perhaps it seems like we speak of charismania a lot? Perhaps some of you are getting 'tired' of reading continual warnings against this Last Days "doctrine of demons"? (1Tm4:1) Well, let me tell you: I get tired of having to address it all the time, too! And as it continues on and on, I'm getting tired of -being- tired of having to continually expose these deceptive "works of darkness" (Eph5:11) that are so cleverly disguised as though they were "[works] of righteousness". (2Cor11:15) But the subject continually keeps popping up like gnats around my face. It is the primary, central doctrine of the apostasy. And many True Believers are still deceived by it, thinking that "some parts" of it are OK; that the charismatics are "Believers", only, having 'slightly' different beliefs which aren't all that important to be the basis for non-fellowship. So they participate in the milder forms of it.. the "worship music" and "worship" methods.
Thus, as my reading brought me to Joel, it is now time to address this book. The teachings of charismania come from essentially three passages of the Scriptures; Joel ch2, Acts ch2, 1Cor ch14. But I dare say, the primary king-pin of their error hinges on this passage with which we opened this study. They take that little passage from out of the context of the rest of the book. Thus, let us observe an overview of the book, to then, understand this "outpouring of the Spirit" correctly, in its proper context; and as a result, understand TO WHOM it is written; and WHEN it is to occur.
Joel ch1 begins with a description of the devastation upon the land of Israel. The cause is that the priests and ministers have not been faithful in their duties. (vs13) As we see repeatedly in all the other prophets, God implores them to "set apart a fast; call a solemn gathering...cry to the Lord" (vs14) In other words... Repent!
But then notice, "Alas for the day! For the day of Jehovah is at hand, and it shall come as a ruin from the Almighty" (vs15) In the O.T. when the expression "day of Jehovah" and description of calamity are combined into one statement, it is referring to "that day", another common O.T. expression. The day of "Jacob's trouble"; "Alas! For that day is great, for none is like it. And it is a time of Jacob's trouble, but he will be saved out of it." (Jer30:7)
So we get into ch2, "Blow a ram's horn in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble. For the day of Jehovah comes, for it is near at hand.." (vs1) And the chapter continues, describing the nature of what is coming. The large army that comes in 'scorched earth' fashion. (vs3) Vss7-10 sound like the advancement of tanks with the air-cover of fighter jets, where the "earth shall tremble before them" (vs10)
Notice that even in the midst of this God implores the people to repent, "turn to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning...tear your heart and not your robes.." (vs12-13) And we know that when Christ comes, they will weep and mourn as they "look on [Him] whom they have pierced.." (Zech12:10) God will have had His "two witnesses" proclaiming to Israel for three and a half years. (Rev11:3) And the "everlasting gospel" will have been proclaimed to "every nation and kindred and tongue and people" (Rev14:6)
God will perform marvelously against Israel's enemies in that day. "I will remove the northern army far from you.." (vs20) God will restore creation in terms of the droughts and wild animals. (vs22) Remember that in that day, "The wolf and the lamb shall feed as one; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox." (Is65:25)
It will become the time when Christ is "in the midst of Israel" (vs27) when He is, again, "[their] God". This is the time when God will have given Israel a "new heart" when He has put His "law in their inward parts" when He "will be their God, and they shall be [His] people" (Jer31:31-34) In other words, this is after the 70th week is completed. It is at the end of the "Tribulation", after the Second Coming.
Now notice... in -THAT- context... "And it shall be afterward.." (vs28) You see, this one word is what messes up their doctrine. The word "afterward". In the context, this "pouring out" of God's Spirit is -AFTER- the 70th week of God's Wrath. All that they pretend to engage in is presently going on -BEFORE- that time. As of this writing, the 70th week has not yet happened. But they pretend to be enacting vs28-29, and have been doing so for the past century. But they seem to not notice that it is for "afterward"
Now, let's observe their argument, that Peter proclaimed Acts ch2 to be a fulfillment of this prophecy. And while the "pouring out My Spirit" may have been partially fulfilled at Pentecost, notice that Peter continues the prophecy about the "wonders in heaven..the sun [being] turned into darkness..before that great and glorious Day of the Lord" (Acts2:19-20, Joel2:30-31) Could we not say that it is obvious that these latter things have not yet been fulfilled. It did not happen during Peter's time, nor any time since, to today. And we know from other prophecies that they are for the days yet future. As Peter spoke those words, they were at the end of "week 69" of Daniel's 70 weeks. (Dan9:24) The 70th week is yet to come. Right now we are in a period of time in-between the 69th and 70th week. It is not Israel's time. It is the time of the Church, made up of Believers of Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile. (Eph2:11-18) This prophecy is for the end times of Daniel's 70 weeks. Thus, these "outpourings" are not for today. They are not for the Church. They are for Israel. In the future. "in those days" (vs29b)
Chapter 3... "For, behold..." This word "for" is a connecting word. Chapters 1-2 gave the context, and this passage in question appears, and now that this has been stated, "for"..."because"..."as a result of"
Because what? "..in those days and in that time, when I will bring again the exiles of Judah and Jerusalem..." (3:1) "In those days" is much like that other common O.T. expression, "In that day". Throughout the O.T. that expression refers to the time of the end, in the context of the 70th week.
"I will also gather all nations and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will fight with them there for My people and for My inheritance Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and divided My land." (vs2) Notice, again, this is about Israel, not the Church. The Church was never "scattered among the nations". And the "land". -Physical- Israel, and -physical- land. And this passage lists off the nations God is gathering. And the exhortation is to "beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say, I am strong.." (vs10)
Notice this little sentence the charismatics have put into song, OUT OF CONTEXT, "Let the weak say, I am strong..." This phrase has nothing to do with swooning and swaying, mantracizing, -feeling- 'spiritual', and doing "spiritual warfare" and "rebuking satan". This is what the warriors of the nations are going to say as they gather themselves in 'unity' AGAINST THE LORD (Ps2:2), where God will "sit to judge all the nations all around" (vs12) The nations are building up their weaponry, and psyching themselves to be militarily brave and strong for battle. When the charismatics align themselves with such a Scripture, they have aligned themselves with the enemies of God and of Israel who have come to do battle against the Lord. Against those who are saying this it says, "Jehovah shall also roar out of Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem" (vs16) They will become the casualties of "..the heavens and the earth [shaking]"
Yes, I know that you die-hard charismatics, whoever you may be who read this, will not change your rebellious hearts. But when the time comes, "..you shall know that [He] is Jehovah.." (vs17) When you see Israel receiving the Lord's blessings in their land again (vs17-18), you will realize your selfishness in trying to indulge your lustful feelings for being "spirit filled". You will realize that what you were trying to usurp for yourselves was really for Israel. And it will dawn upon you (too late) as you cry out "Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in your name...and do all sorts of miracles" and He says to you, "I never knew you! Depart from me, those working lawlessness!" (Mt7:22-23) that your "father" is 'now' bound in the abyss (Rev20:2-3), and your lot is in the Lake of Fire. (Rev20:15)
Dear Believer: remember that Jesus warned that many would come claiming to be "in [Jesus'] name". (Mt24:5) Some will actually claim to -be- Christ. Others will claim to being doing "great signs and wonders" (24:24) in "His name" (7:22). And we also see from their signs and wonders that they claim to be fulfilling Joel 2:28-29. Jesus said, "TAKE HEED..." Be careful. Be on alert against it "...that no man deceive you" (Mt24:4)
When we know their outcome, that Christ "never knew" them, we know that they are not Believing Christians. They are not in Christ. It is "revealed" that "they were not of us". (1Jn2:19) Their "spirits" by which they are "filled" are demons. They are of "Belial". (2Cor6:15) And God commands, "Therefore come out from among them and be separated...do not touch the unclean. And I will receive you.." (vs17) DO NOT "love on them". Do not -agree- with them "on the essentials", and have fellowship with them. Do not call them "Brothers", but only, having slightly different doctrines. We are not to have "different doctrines". Such differences are divisive. (Rom16:17) We -are- SUPPOSED TO have the "same" doctrines. (1Cor1:10) Since their doctrines are different, they are NOT "Brothers". Do not "learn from them...how to worship". (Throw away your books from Maranatha Music, etc) Their spirits are demons. Their worship is to satan. Why would you wish to bring satan's worship into God's house?!? The same thing God instructed Israel against the heathen idolatry of the surrounding nations applies to charismania. God said, "..do not ask about their gods, saying, How did these nations serve [worship] their gods that I too may do likewise?" (Deu12:30)
Let us observe, now, what is to be...
From Jer31:31-34 we understand that Israel will be given a new heart. They will not need people to teach them, because God's Law will be "in their inward parts" and "in their hearts" (vs33) In that day when all the nations stream into Jerusalem to worship (Zech14:16), they will be doing so so that "He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths.." (Mic4:2) How will they be taught? "..ten men, out of all languages of the nations, shall take hold, and will seize the skirt of a man, a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." (Zech8:23)
Is it becoming clearer now? IN THAT DAY, when these people come from all over the world "out of all languages", they are looking to Jewish people for leadership and teaching. Israel, like at Pentecost, will again have the Lord's "Spirit on all flesh". And just like at Pentecost, where Jews of the dispersion were in Jerusalem, from all their various locations with their native "dialect/s in which [they] were born" (Acts2:8), and the Apostles spoke "in [their] languages as the Spirit gave them utterance" (vs4); so, too, when these nations stream into Jerusalem to know of God, there will again be a need for Jews to be able to speak to all these nationalities/languages so that they can UNDERSTAND with their "minds". (1cor14:15) You see, what began at Pentecost in Acts ch2, will commence at the end of the 70th week, and into Christ's kingdom.
This matter of "tongues" being -UNDERSTOOD- by the HEARER, as it occured in Acts2, is something the charismatics never [NEVER] respond to. Nobody, -NOT-ONE-, has ever responded with "why" their "tongues" is NOT UNDERSTOOD by the hearers, as it was in Acts ch2. At least, they do not do so with any undistorted Scripture. Yes, they speak of "heavenly/angelic/prayer language". But that concept is not found in Scripture. Their "tongues" is something -different- from Scriptural "languages".
Yes, God's Holy Spirit -WILL- AGAIN be poured out [afterward, in those days] like it was in Acts ch2. And, if there are all these people of these languages coming to Jerusalem, I have no reason to doubt that they -WILL- again "speak in languages" which are -UNDERSTOOD- by the hearers from all those nations.