Message of Joel Chapter Three

September 4, 2014 at 11:17 AM 4 comments

Book-of-Joel-Video-CommentaryThe book of Joel is a fascinating, fast-paced three chapters that does several things:

  1. Highlights a problem
  2. Shows the solution
  3. Brings permanent renewal

Let’s take a moment to look at the text of Joel 3:1-3:

1 “For behold, in those days and at that time,
When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem,
2 I will gather all the nations
And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.
Then I will enter into judgment with them there
On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel,
Whom they have scattered among the nations;
And they have divided up My land.
3 “They have also cast lots for My people,
Traded a boy for a harlot
And sold a girl for wine that they may drink.

The text is referring to the point following the time that Joel refers to as the “day of the Lord” (Joel 1:15 ; 2:31). This is commonly understood by conservative scholars as the Tribulation/Great Tribulation that our Lord refers to in the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21.

The day of the Lord culminates with the physical return of Jesus, the judgment of the nations that follows that, and the setting up of the Millennial Kingdom or the 1,000 year reign of Jesus on earth, from His “father” David’s throne in Jerusalem. It would be good to stop for a moment and consider the ramifications of this before reading the rest of this article.

When Jesus returns, the first thing He does after dispensing with the Antichrist is to set up a place of judgment in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Notice that the text states that He will gather the nations and He will bring them down to that valley, then He will enter into judgment.

Please also note that God’s judgment against the nations is due to for the following reasons:

  1. Israel is God’s inheritance.
  2. The nations are guilty of scattering God’s inheritance among the nations throughout the world.
  3. The nations have divided up His Land. Though
  4. The nations have bought and sold Jewish people for whatever they wanted in order to satiate their appetites.

I want to focus on two things here in the remaining space we have. First, please note that God refers to Israel has His inheritance. This is speaking of the actual Jewish nation of Israel, not some allegorized people of God that includes the Church. Today, it is in vogue to refer to “Israel” as the Church. Many do this because of Reformed, Covenant, or Preterism theology, which teaches that Israel was completely rejected by God when the nation’s leaders rejected Jesus. They were judged and cast out, permanently. According to them, God has nothing more to do with Israel at all.

I believe this is absolutely fallacious. To align one’s self with this theology is to change the very meaning of God’s Word. When God spoke to prophets like Ezekiel, Daniel, Joel, or others, about Israel, He always made it clear that He was speaking about actual Jewish people who represented the nation of Israel. To suggest that God ultimately meant the Church is, in my opinion, the worst kind of exegesis. God couldn’t have been more clear, yet His Word and the meaning of His Word has become clouded with man-made doctrines.

I fully believe that today, God still sees Israel as His inheritance. He is not done with Israel and Romans teaches us that God will restore the final remnant of Israelites to the Land. They will go into the Millennial Kingdom to enjoy the fullness of promises that God first uttered to Abram, in Genesis 12.

Please also note that God considers the Land of Israel to be His Land. This is extremely important to understand. Obviously, God owns the entire universe and everything in it, but He specifically made the nation of Israel for Himself and that includes the Land.

The nations that are judged upon Jesus’ physical return to this earth, are judged partially on the fact that they divided up God’s Land. That certainly cannot literally apply to the Church, so it must apply to actual Israel.

We also see this throughout history and even today. Israel does not currently have all the Land that God promised to them. At one point, they potentially had all of it, but because of sin, they lost it temporarily.

Today’s Israel has but a small part of all the Land that God set aside for them. Even now, Arab nations (along with the UN and politicians in America and elsewhere) want Israel to give up even more of her Land to make way for a Palestinian State. God will have none of that. It is His Land and He gave it to Israel. He will fulfill His promises to Israel by making sure they enjoy all of their Land at some point in the future.

But first, God has a work to do in the people. Through the coming Tribulation period of 7 years, God is going to refine, and save for Himself a remnant that He will call His own. Not all Jews will be saved, but only those whose eyes are opened to the truth about Jesus and His salvation. Then they still have to receive that salvation, just like Gentiles do today. There is only one way to God and it is through Christ.

Those who reject Jesus – Jew or Gentile – have no part in God. People like John Hagee do a tremendous disservice to Jewish people by teaching them that they are under a “special dispensation, which does not require them to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. Those Jews who agree with Hagee’s message and reject Jesus will die in their sins and their blood will be on Hagee’s head. Very tragic.

There is a time coming when all of God’s promises to the nation of Israel will be fulfilled. It hasn’t happened yet, but it waits for God’s perfect timing. In the meantime, we are to tell everyone – Jew and Gentile – their need for Jesus. It is not an option. It is our calling as Christians.

 

Entry filed under: Dr. Fred, israel, Judaism, Life in America, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming.

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4 Comments

  • 1. Original Gmail  |  September 6, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Fred- Thanks so much for your writings on end times. They are very encouraging. Studying the Bible is so rewarding! I start BSF, The Life of Moses, this Wednesday. I identify with Moses (his temper), I’m sure I’ll learn a lot!

    Felicia Murphy

    Sincerely

    >

    • 2. modres  |  September 7, 2014 at 5:37 AM

      Thanks for your kind words, Felicia. All the best as you study Moses. 😉

  • 3. Sherry  |  September 5, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    Although the Church is considered spiritual Israel by being grafted in, we must pay attention to the audience being spoken to, or of, to claim any promises God has made to Israel.

    That Land of God’s inheritance is a whole lot more expansive than what we see today! And God has not yet fully fulfilled His promise to Abram/Abraham where all of that Land is concerned. It will be restored and remain forever one day! Maranatha! \o/

    • 4. modres  |  September 5, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      Yep, I agree that the Church is grafted in, but I don’t agree that because of that, the Church is spiritual Israel (or Gentiles become spiritual Jews).

      BUT that said, there IS a sense of spirituality that is connected with Christians and the Church that ultimately has its birth and beginning in the nation of Israel.

      The only reason I’m picky about that is because of the damage that Reformed, Covenant, and Preterism especially has done to theology in these last days.

      Regarding the rest of your comments, Sherry, I couldn’t agree with you more 🙂


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