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Lessons from the
Book of Joel

By Ken Raggio

Tell Your Children And Your Children's Children

Joel offered no previews about what he was about say. He simply served notice, especially on the old men, and then to all the inhabitants of the land, to report everything he was about to prophesy to everyone. Our modern Christian leaders preach only carefully selected things that they feel will be well-accepted or popular. But EVERYTHING God says needs to be repeated for everyone to hear.

Joel 1:1,3 - "The word of the LORD that came to Joel... Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation."

The Palmerworm, Locust, Cankerworm, And Caterpiller

All four insects mentioned by Joel are voracious creatures that devastate foliage and fruit of trees and vegetative crops. These migratory pests can move into a field, strip it bare, destroy its crops, and disappear. The prophet Joel compared their work to the ruin that the armies of Babylon would leave when they captured the land of Israel.

Joel 1:6-7 - "For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, ...He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white."

Sanctify A Fast

Joel spoke of devastating plagues of locusts devouring everything in the land, leaving everyone in great desolation. From 1:6, we surmise that the locusts symbolized a nation (apparently Babylon) coming to seize Israel. "For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number." ANYTIME calamity comes, we should immediately seek the LORD.

Joel 1:13-15 - "Lament, ...howl, ...lie all night in sackcloth, ...Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry unto the LORD."

Blow The Trumpet. Sound An Alarm. Warn Jerusalem.

"Blow the trumpet in Zion [the heart of Jerusalem]." "Sound an alarm in my holy mountain [Temple Mount]." "Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand." This prophesied war can only refer to Armageddon. "There hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it," (v.2). We are facing Armageddon in the very near future. Do you realize how near? It is nearer than you think!

Joel 2:2 - "A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness."

Messiah's Immortal Army Will Fight At Armageddon

Here are the important keywords that reveal a supernatural (immortal) army of saints led by Messiah at Armageddon: Thick Darkness. Earthquake. Gloominess. Clouds. A great, strong people set in battle array. Fire devouring before and behind them, leaving a desolate wilderness. The appearance of horses and horsemen. The noise of chariots leaping in the mountains. Running like mighty men, not breaking rank. They shall not be wounded. Nothing shall escape them.

Joel 2:6,11 - "Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. ...And the LORD [Jesus Christ] shall utter his voice before his army."

The Prospect Of Armageddon Calls For Prayer

Joel articulated one of the clearest prophecies in the Bible about how events will unfold at the battle of Armageddon - both dreadful and exciting. But with Armageddon in mind, the prophet published a clarion call to the people.

Joel 2:12-13 - "Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 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."

The Bridegroom And The Bride Go Forth

Immediately following Joel's depiction of Armageddon, he called for Israel to repent and prepare for that epic event. He added, "Let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet." Here, "coincidentally," is a prophetic call for the saints from all ages (the bride, the Lamb's wife) to meet their bridegroom (Jesus Christ) immediately before Armageddon.

Joel 2:16 - "Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet."

Weep Between The Porch And The Altar

Joel counseled the priests to "weep between the porch and the altar." He even gave them words to pray. From the church-house porch to the altar - cry and pray for mercy! When sin and Satan overwhelm, try this formula!

Joel 2:17-19 - "Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them, ...Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Yea, the LORD will answer."

The Northern Army

At Armageddon, the LORD Jesus Christ will drive out "the northern army," described in Ezekiel 37. Gog, prince of Magog, Gomer and Togarmah are the ancient identities of modern Russia, Turkey, Syria and western Iran. Jesus and His army will utterly desolate them.

Joel 2:20 - "I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things."

Fear Not. Be Glad. Rejoice.

After Joel finished his discourse about Armageddon, and the sore defeat of Israel's enemies at that time, he shifted to a more present place and time, encouraging the people and prophesying a great work that God would yet do sometime in the interim before Armageddon. God knows that His people must have hope, and He always gives us a reason to hope. Regardless of how bad the world situation becomes, a righteous person has countless reasons NOT to be afraid.

Joel 2:21 - "Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things."

A National Spiritual Revival For Israel

Joel's prophecies about Armageddon were only part of his overall message. Joel also had much to say about a great national spiritual revival that would come to Israel before the end of the age. The Apostles remembered Joel when God's Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2.

Joel 2:23 - "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month."

God Will Restore His People After They Are Tried

Too often, people excuse themselves from making a commitment to God or the Bible because they have a dark opinion of how God really is. Many people perceive God as harsh, judgmental, condemning, demanding and cruel. Nothing could be further from the truth. God has unimaginably wonderful plans for everyone who believes in Him, obeys His word, and faithfully follows wherever He leads.

Joel 2:24,26 - "The floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil. ... And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God."

God's Armies Punish The Wicked, Reward The Righteous

Joel spoke of the indestructible, immortal army of the LORD coming to Armageddon, with soldiers (saints) who would not break rank, and could not be injured. In contrast, God also said that the locusts, cankerworms, caterpillars and palmerworms, (metaphors for Assyrians and Babylonians) were "my great army which I sent among you." God commands ALL armies. His armies punish the wicked, and deliver the righteous. Someday, God will reward all His saints who suffered in His wars.

Joel 2:25 - "I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm."

Israel Will Never Be Ashamed Again

For nearly 2500 years, Israel has endured hardships and humiliation as the most hated people on earth. But God promised that when they finish their iniquity and He finishes His indignation, they will never be ashamed again.

Joel 2:26-27 - " Ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed."

The Outpouring Of The Holy Spirit Prophesied

Joel prophesied two seasons of rain (blessing) on the people. He said that God had already given them the former rain moderately. That means that the mighty works and miracles of God in the Old Testament were the first rain. The Holy Ghost outpouring on the New Testament church (beginning at Pentecost in Acts 2) which continues to this day is the latter rain.

Joel 2:28-29 - "It shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; ...upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit."

Dreams, Visions And Prophesying

Throughout history, God has spoken to His people by dreams, visions and prophecies. In virtually every story in the Bible, either a dream, a vision, or a prophecy is a major factor in that story. Many today say that these works have ceased, but God said that He would continue to use these methods until the end of the age. Quench not the Spirit (I Thessalonians 5:19).

Joel 2:28 - "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."

Blood, Fire, Pillars Of Smoke

"Before the great and terrible of the LORD comes," (Armageddon), God will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth. When you compile everything that all the prophets wrote about the last 42 months, (the Great Tribulation or Jacob's Trouble), the Sixth Trumpet War of Revelation 9 seems to coincide with it. Apparently, there will be a nuclear holocaust which will exactly fulfill these prophecies.

Joel 2:30 - "I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood."


Here is a prophecy and a principle. When Jesus returns at Armageddon, He will defeat His enemies and the enemies of His people, and will recapture Mount Zion, which is in Jerusalem. Anyone and everyone who calls on His name at that time will be delivered. That has always been true. Call on Him!

Joel 2:32 - "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call."

Armageddon: Death For Dividing Land, Scattering Jews

God says that He will bring "ALL NATIONS" down to the valley of Jehoshaphat (which runs along the eastern wall of the Temple Mount) and will "plead with them" (Hebrew: "judge, punish") because they drove the Jews out of Israel and divided the land. That is EXACTLY what the United Nations is trying to do right now!

Joel 3:2 - "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land."

Punishment For Enslaving, Prostituting, Trafficking Jews

God never forgets unrepented crimes against His chosen people. He has not forgotten that Roman Emperor Titus murdered 1.9 million Jews and his soldiers cast lots to own 97,000 Jews as slaves. God has not forgotten that Mohammed besieged the Jewish community of Banu Qurayzah, beheaded hundreds of men, and sold about 1000 women and children into slavery. At Armageddon, Jesus will punish countless nations, ancient and modern, for crimes against His people.

Joel 3:3 - "They have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink."


Joel portrayed Palestine as an enemy of God. Who could have imagined how true that would be in these days? Since Israel was reborn in 1948, "Palestinians" (people who never in the history of the world had their own state) have agitated most of the Arab-Muslim world to destroy Israel and declare a Palestinian state.

Joel 3:4 - "Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head."

God Will Judge Israel's Enemies, Let Jews Rule Them

Jews have often been conquered, plundered, captured and killed; by Assyrians, Babylonians, Grecians, Romans, Moslems, and more. Jesus will resurrect Israel and give them dominion over them all.

Joel 3:5-8 - "Because ye have taken goodly pleasant things: The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold ...that ye might remove them far from their border. ...I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head: And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah."

God Declares War: Meet Me At Jerusalem

Six thousand years of human rejection is enough. God will soon demand the heathen nations to meet Him AT JERUSALEM for the war to end all wars - Armageddon!

Joel 3:9-12 - "Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; ...Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, ...all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: ...come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about."

Divine Harvest

The Bible clearly teaches two divine harvests (Revelation 14:14-20). There will be a wheat harvest, symbolizing the righteous souls that God will resurrect or rapture before Armageddon. But there will also be a harvest of the grapes of wrath. God will gather heathen from all nations at Armageddon and tread them down in the winepress of His anger. Saints will be in the first harvest; sinners the second.

Joel 3:13 - "Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great."

The Valley Of Decision

Joel 2:32 says that at Armageddon, "whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance." It appears to me that anyone who calls on the name of Jesus at Armageddon will be delivered from destruction. Is that why it is called "the valley of decision?" WHY, when faced with certain destruction, do multitudes yet refuse to call on the name of the LORD?

Joel 3:14 - "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision."

The LORD Is The Hope And Strength Of His People

It is impossible to exaggerate how terrifying the world will become in the last days of the Great Tribulation. The Sixth Trumpet War of Revelation 9 will kill one-third of world population. "The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining." No flesh would be saved, except that Jesus will come!

Joel 3:16 - "The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel."

God Says That Zion Is MY Holy Mountain

All the world had better prepare for this day. Jesus Christ is coming to take absolute control of Israel, of the city of Jerusalem, and of the Temple Mount. Nobody, but nobody can stop Him - not the UN, the EU, NATO, Russia, Fatah, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the Muslim Brotherhood. Not even the Antichrist. Nobody. Even the Dome will go. You will see.

Joel 3:17 - "So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more."

A New River In Israel

Although the land of Palestine has been largely wasteland for centuries, Israel's Messiah, Jesus Christ, will transform everything about the place. Israel will become like the Garden of Eden (Isaiah 51:3; Ezekiel 36:35). A new river will flow from the Temple Mount.

Joel 3:18 - "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim."

All God's Enemies Will Be Made Desolate

This lesson could be drawn from countless examples in the Bible. Forget for a moment that the world is spinning totally out of control politically, economically, morally, and spiritually. Remember that the earth is the LORD's, and He rules ALL the affairs of men. There is a great day of reckoning just around the corner. Make a list of His enemies. They will EVERY ONE be left desolate.

Joel 3:19 -" Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land."

Jerusalem: Throne Of Jesus Christ

The last line in the prophecies of Ezekiel says, "the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there." The last line of the prophecies of Joel says, "the LORD dwelleth in Zion." Until time is no more (Revelation 10:6); until the earth and firmaments melt, and everything is dissolved (2 Peter 3:12), Judah and Jerusalem will be home to Jesus Christ.

Joel 3:20-21 - "Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion."

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