Joel: Great and Terrible

     “Then after I have poured out my rains again, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions .In those days, I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, men and women alike. “I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth–blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon will turn blood-red before that great and terrible day of the LORD arrives.” Joel 2: 28-31 NLT

    ” Great and terrible”. Now there are two descriptive words that we seldom see used together in a sentence.

     “How was the party Frank?”

    “Oh you know great…and terrible.”

     The two don’t seem to go together do they? A careful read leaves us scratching our head. Well which is it Joel great or terrible? It can’t be both.

     Honestly most of us just gloss over the words and settle for “Jesus is coming. I get to go to Heaven! It’s all good.”

     But words are important and God is trying to tell us something about that day. The day of the Lord will be “great”  that is to say”gadowl”. I think  a better translation for our modern ears would be “intense”. When we say “great” today we mean “super” or “very good”. God doesn’t mean that. The Day of the Lord will not be a good day for God or planet Earth. God does not delight in the death of people, even wicked people. Lots of people are going to die that day at the hands of God in judgment.  Further it will be a “terrible” day, a “yare” day. This word we sort of get. The New Living Translation interprets the word as “terrible”. Only God isn’t saying it’s going to be a terrible day like some rainy Monday. He means it will be a terrifying day a day that inspires the dread you feel in the moments before Freddy Krueger massacres his next innocent victim. 

     Revelation tells us a little more about the Day of the Lord:

     “And I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs leap from the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. These miracle-working demons caused all the rulers of the world to gather for battle against the Lord on that great judgment day of God Almighty….And they gathered all the rulers and their armies to a place called Armageddon in Hebrew. Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. And a mighty shout came from the throne of the Temple in heaven, saying, “It is finished!” Then the thunder crashed and rolled, and lightning flashed. And there was an earthquake greater than ever before in human history. The great city of Babylon split into three pieces, and cities around the world fell into heaps of rubble. And so God remembered all of Babylon’s sins, and he made her drink the cup that was filled with the wine of his fierce wrath. And every island disappeared, and all the mountains were leveled. There was a terrible hailstorm, and hailstones weighing seventy-five pounds  fell from the sky onto the people below. They cursed God because of the hailstorm, which was a very terrible plague.” Rev. 16: 13-21 NLT

    Great and terrible indeed. The Scyfy channel isn’t far off in its tales of woe, dread and planetary calamity. Al Gore has it right when he talks about coming superstorms. They’ve just got the source wrong. It’s not science it’s Jesus! It’s judgment!

     Further it’s not far off. The time is at hand. You might ask how I know that. Go ahead ask.

     “How do you know JE?”

     O.K. I’ll tell you how. I’m alive that’s how. I am a practicing Pentecostal and I am sign of the coming end of days.

    Joel said, “In those days, I will pour out my Spirit even on servants, men and women alike” ( Joel 2:29 NLT). In other words in the days just before judgment God’s Spirit will be poured out for everyone to receive. That outpouring is the pentecostal baptism evidenced by the speaking of tongues according to the apostle Peter. Listen to Peter’s words from Acts Chapter 2.

        “On the day of Pentecost…everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages,] as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability….Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, “Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this.  Some of you are saying these people are drunk. It isn’t true! It’s much too early for that. People don’t get drunk by nine o’clock in the morning. No, what you see this morning was predicted centuries ago by the prophet Joel: `In the last days, God said, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit upon all my servants, men and women alike, and they will prophesy….” Acts 2:1,4,14-18 NLT

     You already know the rest of the prophecy. I have to say that the return of Pentecostalism to the church in the 20th century is perhaps the second greatest sign of the approaching Judgment Day.  The greatest sign is…well that’s another post. Suffice it to say we are close. Let us pray that  work of the church will be effective as Jesus second coming draws near!

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