|Joel 2 |
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1 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm on my holy mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD comes; it is near at hand —
2 A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread upon the mountains; a great and strong people come, the like of which there has never been, neither will there be again even for many generations.
3 A fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns; the land is like the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; and nothing shall escape them.
4 The appearance of them is like horses; they run like war horses.
5 Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devours the stubble, like a strong people set in battle array.
6 Before them the people shall be much pained; all faces shall be pale.
7 They run like mighty men; they climb the wall like men of war. They march every one in his way, and they do not break their ranks.
8 Neither does one push another; they walk every one in his path. And when lunge upon the defenders swords, they are not wounded.
9 They run to and fro in the city; they run upon the wall; they climb up on the houses; they enter in at the windows like a thief.
10 The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon will be dark, and the stars will withdraw their brightness.
11 And the LORD utters his voice before his army, for his camp is very great, for he who executes God's word is strong. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible, and who can endure it?
12 "Now therefore," says the LORD, "turn to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping and mourning;"
13 And rend your heart and not your garments." Turn to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great loving kindness; and he relents from sending evil.
14 Who knows if he will turn and relent and leave a blessing behind him, even a grain offering and drink offering for the LORD your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly.
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and those who nurse at the breast; let the bridegroom go forth from his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.
17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, "Spare your people, O LORD, and do not give your heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations, 'Where is their God?'"
18 Then the LORD will be jealous for his land, and pity his people.
19 Yes, the LORD will answer and say to his people, "Behold, I will send you grain, and wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied with them; and I will no longer make you a reproach among the heathen.
20 But I will remove the northern army far off from you, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate; a land with its front toward the Dead Sea and its back toward the Mediterranean sea, and its stench will come up, and its foul odor will rise because the Lord has done great things.
21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things.
22 Do not be afraid, you wild beasts, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and the vine yield in full.
23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God because he has given you the former rain in righteousness, and he will cause the rain to come down for you; the former rain and the latter rain, as before.
24 And the threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.
25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten — the cankerworm, the caterpillar, and my great army, which I sent among you.
26 And you shall eat in plenty, be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never be ashamed.
27 And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and there is none else. My people shall never be ashamed.
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.1
29 And also I will pour out my spirit on my men servants and on the handmaids in those days.
30 And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood, fire, and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before [in the presence of] the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.2
32 And it shall come to pass, that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved3, for deliverance shall be in Mount Zion and Jerusalem, as the LORD has said; and among the remnant shall be those whom the LORD calls.
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1 I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. To the disciples, this occurred at Pentecost, a few weeks after the Lord had ascended to heaven, as described in Acts. This is an individual spiritual experience that occurs to those whose hearts and souls have been purified by obedient faith to the truth.
2 Even the event described as: The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood [in the presence of] the great and terrible day of the LORD comes, is an individual spiritual experience. Look at Matthew 24:1-34:
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things occur? And what will be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?" Mat 24:3
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in many places. Mat 24:7
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Mat 24:29
Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Mat 24:30
Truly I say to you, This generation will not pass, until all these things are fulfilled. Mat 24:34
Now we know that all the people in that generation died over 1900 years ago. So, for the Lord's words to be true, this is an individual experience, which Peter in Acts said was fulfilled on the 100 disciples who had been fasting and praying, waiting for the baptism of the Holy Spirit; which is the baptism of death to the selfish spirit and the resurrection of the Lord within his obedient followers.
In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying that some then standing with him, 2000 years ago, would see his glorious coming with the Kingdom before they died. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus is recorded saying all the end times prophesies would be fulfilled before the generation of 2000 years ago died, (click here to see all).
From Francis Howgill's SOME OF THE MYSTERIES OF GOD'S KINGDOM DECLARED.
God is a spirit, his day is spiritual, and is seen with a spiritual eye. It is pure light, pure brightness; the pure shining forth of the Lord in his glorious excellence; holiness shedding itself abroad in its glory — purity spreading itself in its immeasurable excellence. It can only be seen as it is in itself by the children of light, that are born of it. The natural day receives its brightness from the sun; the spiritual day receives its brightness from the Son of Righteousness, by whom it is brought forth, who causes it to spring from on high, who is the Fountain of life, without whom nothing was, or is made. As the natural day receives its clearness from the natural sun, and is discerned by the natural eye of the natural man; and all things natural are seen and discovered by and in the natural day, and are obvious to him that has his sight; even so from the Sun of Righteousness! the Lord of glory, light, and purity, the day of God receives its brightness; and it is discerned by the spiritual eye of the spiritual man, who is in the image of the Father, brought forth in life from God the Father of life, by Christ Jesus the Life of men, the Light of the world. This is the birth which is born from above, which is of the nature of the Father, and of the Son, and of the day. Only he, who is of this birth, comes to behold this day, and discerns all things of the Father's kingdom by it, and likewise the hidden things of dishonesty, and the works of darkness, which are brought forth by the prince of darkness, who is shut up in eternal and utter darkness; which is his residence, and shall be the residence forever, and of all the workers of iniquity that bear his image.
Yet some may say that this day has not appeared to any in this age. But if a man that is naturally blind should say that there is no light in the day nor in the sun, because he sees none; is therefore no light in the day, nor in the sun? And what if all things are alike unto him, day and night, so that he can not distinguish between the two; does this therefore make void the claim of those with a natural eye who can see both the sun and day? And if they who are spiritually blind, and are children of the night, say they see nothing of the day of the Lord, or of the discovery of the things of God, or of his glorious appearance, which many do witness, does this render their sight void, who have seen into the things of God’s kingdom? The unbelief of some does not make the faith of those who do believe void — may God so forbid.
The Day of the Lord to the Wicked: Though the day of the Lord is pure light and brightness, and mixes not with night, which is of a contrary nature; yet it is a day of blackness and gloominess, and a notable terrible day unto the wicked, who hate its appearance, and hate the light, who are children of falsehood, and of deceit; whose deeds are evil. It shows or manifests them and their deeds; as it is written in Job 24:17: “the morning is unto them as the shadow of death.” The appearance of the Lord frightens them; and they would run from it as a thief that digs through a wall and breaks open a house in the night while deep sleep is upon men; such a evil man is afraid when the day appears that discovers his actions. And the day of the Lord will steal upon such as live without restraint upon earth; whose hearts are set to seek after wickedness, as for hidden treasure; and it will come upon them as upon a thief. They being children of the night, and bringing forth fruits of darkness, will have their portion in utter darkness. Thus shall the ungodly perish, and have their portion with hypocrites. Think of this all you railers, and revilers of the Light and the appearance of God, and repent. For as with the wild ass that snuffs up the wind at her pleasure, and they that seek her will not weary themselves with her, yet the time comes when she will be found and taken; the same will be with all the ungodly, though they may run as a wild ass, and traverse their way as a swift dromedary, yet the day will come, when they will be overtaken in the midst of their security; and they shall not escape.
And though the children, teachers, and believers of this world, who profess the Scriptures, have prayed for the day of the Lord, yet when it comes, it will be as a burning and devouring fire, and they will fall as stubble before it; for whatever is reprovable is manifested by the day in which God appears; and it shall appear, even to the wicked and to the ungodly. So all you hirelings who preach for hire, and you people who love to have it so, you shall not be hidden; and all opposers of the Truth shall be found out, and shall be convicted of their hard speeches, and ungodly deeds. What makes your deeds manifest is the day, and it will convince you; for even the wicked shall see His appearance, although to condemnation, shame, and, contempt.
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him:
and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Rev 1:7.
2000 years ago, to the Jewish High Priest and the Pharisees at his trial, Jesus said..
you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven. Mark 14:62
This is not a particular generation thousands of year later.
The Day of the Lord to the Righteous: The appearance of God, who is eternal life, in his day, in his immeasurable Light, is a great joy, and source of rejoicing to the righteous. For he is to his people an everlasting light, and in his light they come to see light.
He reveals the secret mysteries of his kingdom in those who see his day appear in their hearts, which makes all things manifest, even the secrets of the Lord, and his hidden treasure, and his durable riches, which never canker or rust, but are fresh, and keep their pure image and impression. By this Light all the righteous, who have waited on God’s appearance, come to see Him. As it is written, “Lo! This is our God, we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” Does he indeed come that you have waited for? Yes, come, “and his reward is with Him;” and they that see Him find contentment in Him, and in his reward. And what is his reward? Joy, gladness, peace of conscience, assurance of God’s love sealed in the heart by the pure Spirit of the Lord, the streams of Life flowing forth continually from the great deep, which refresh and keep cool in the greatest extremity and heat of temptation; and this is enjoyed by those that have waited and do wait for it; even in the body they bear witness of Him and his coming. What was the witness of his disciples? "The Son of God has come and has given us an understanding." Of what? Of God, of his day, of his appearance, of his power, of his wisdom, of his kingdom, of hope, of faith, of assurance, of peace, of joy, of comfort and consolation. What? In this life? Yes, a cloud of witnesses I might bring in former ages, and also in this age, blessed be the Lord; but my witness that gives me assurance, is nearer me than all their witnesses, although they are all true. Abraham, the father of the faithful, and of the righteous, who believed in God and was accepted, saw Christ’s day and was glad; that is, by faith; yes, he and all that ever saw Christ’s day, or the Father, saw Him by faith; by faith they saw Him who is invisible: "Behold! God is my salvation." Isaiah 12:2. What! Do you enjoy it already? Yes, He has become my salvation; and Simeon, who waited for the consolation of Israel, said: "Now let your servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation." Luke 2:30. And this he said, who knew comfort and consolation: "As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation abounds by Christ." They were made partakers of his Divine nature, and sat together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. They that are in Him, and enjoy Him, who is the power of God, and the wisdom of God, know rest; and peace, and salvation, both from guilt and acts of sin. And the apostle, writing to the Hebrews, said that "When the Son of God had purged away our sins," (speaking of the atonement,) "He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:" he looked beyond sin, even to Him who had purged away sin; and this being purged from sin comes to be made manifest unto and in those that believe, by the Spirit of Jesus, who is Christ the Lamb, the arm that brings salvation, who is the author of eternal salvation onto all those that believe. He begins it and perfects it in his day, for He works in the day, as He himself said: "My Father works here in this, and I work." He destroys the work of the devil: this is his work in man, which they that have come to his day feel and see, even the handy-work of God in themselves; and his own works praise Him, for they only can. Those, who have not come to the day, do not know God’s work in themselves; and those, who have not yet heeded that in themselves, which manifests all things reprovable, and which reproves, have not yet come to know the appearance of the glimmering of light or of the day in themselves, which the saints witness in themselves, even all of those that are sanctified.
3 For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. But Jesus said: Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but [only] he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Mat 7:21-23. So, a casual calling on the name of the Lord does absolutely no good. From the Word of the Lord within: "Call on the Lord with a pure heart. Pray only as you are told." Until you can hear what the Lord desires you to pray, sit and wait in humble silence, hopeful of eventually becoming righteous: able to pray, praise, worship, speak, and act perfectly according to the will of God, which brings pleasure, honor, and glory to God.
Flee youthful lusts; but aim at and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, in the company of others who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Tim 2:22. Note! the pure heart; without a pure heart you are like those described by Jesus as hypocrites: You hypocrites, Isaiah did correctly prophesy of you, saying, 'This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their hearts are far from me.' Isa 29:13, Mat 15:7-8. Saved means to be delivered from all sins and be in a sinless state. He [Jesus] became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him. Heb 5:9. Think about it: the Jews killed the prophets thinking they were doing God a favor; they called on the name of the Lord regularly, but they killed his prophets. And the Pharisees killed Jesus; they called on the name of the Lord every day, many times. Jesus even told us that religious people would kill his true disciples: Yes, the time is coming when whoever kills you will think that he is doing a service to God. John 16:2; and so the Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Congregationalists killed 869 Quakers in the 17th Century, including hanging three men and a woman in Boston. The Roman Catholic priests and orders murdered 9,000,000 souls in the inquisitions of the Middle Ages. All of these murderers of those with a different religious opinion regularly went to worship services, prayed, were baptized, took "communion," fasted, and read their Bibles — obviously calling on the name of the Lord many times a day. NO! They were not saved, which is to be delivered from all sins and be in a sinless state.
This verse only applies to the remnant who have persisted to the end of carrying their inward cross of self-denial to purity, resulting in the appearance of the Lord in their hearts for final judgment and Jesus bringing salvation. Everyone passes through the fire on that great and terrible day of the Lord. The sun will have been darkened by the bright light of His coming, but then you are immersed in fire; at the last second, before you are totally consumed by the fire, in fear and hope you call on the name of the Lord, and he snatches you from the fire.
When we are so fortunate to have the Lord appear for final judgment while we are still alive on the earth, we will be full of hope and joy. We will greet His appearance with awe, but with a joyous hope. This is the baptism of death with fire. As we are surrounded by the fire of His presence, we will call out in hope — we will shout, "Save me Lord Jesus;" with confidence and joy. Remain confident that this will be all in His control for your supreme benefit. Know you are going to die in the process and rejoice at the culmination of all your efforts to arrive at this moment.
All others will be taken completely by surprise at his fearful appearance after their death. He is so pure and holy, they will instantly know they are hopelessly evil. He will cause them to panic and lose all reason — just wild, uncontrollable fear. See Howgill's description in footnote 2 above of what happens to those still sinning when they die.
Those whom he has been changing to purity by grace through repentance on the inward cross of self-denial will previously have had the love of God perfected in them, and they are to approach judgment with confidence and boldness — not falling on their face weeping and begging for forgiveness — nor does He want them to draw back in fear. They are to stand in confident, joyful expectation — even as they behold His fearful, awful presence. And as they are surrounded by fire, instead of running, they call out to Him to save them; and so He does save the remnant whom he has been purifying and cleansing, preparing them for his appearance. From the Word of the Lord within: "I will devour those who do not follow, and snatch the righteous from the fire."
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