The Prophet Joel

Michelangelo’s Imagined Depiction of Joel


Some observe a memorial to the death of the Prophet Joel on July 13th of each year.

Do you know much about what he was inspired by God to write?

Here is how the Book of Joel starts:

1 The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.
2 Hear this, you elders, And give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything like this happened in your days, Or even in the days of your fathers? 3 Tell your children about it, Let your children tell their children, And their children another generation.
4 What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten; What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten; And what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.
5 Awake, you drunkards, and weep; And wail, all you drinkers of wine, Because of the new wine, For it has been cut off from your mouth. 6 For a nation has come up against My land, Strong, and without number; His teeth are the teeth of a lion, And he has the fangs of a fierce lion. 7 He has laid waste My vine, And ruined My fig tree; He has stripped it bare and thrown it away; Its branches are made white.
8 Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth For the husband of her youth. 9 The grain offering and the drink offering Have been cut off from the house of the Lord; The priests mourn, who minister to the Lord. 10 The field is wasted, The land mourns; For the grain is ruined, The new wine is dried up, The oil fails.
11 Be ashamed, you farmers, Wail, you vinedressers, For the wheat and the barley; Because the harvest of the field has perished. 12 The vine has dried up, And the fig tree has withered; The pomegranate tree, The palm tree also, And the apple tree — All the trees of the field are withered; Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men.
13 Gird yourselves and lament, you priests; Wail, you who minister before the altar; Come, lie all night in sackcloth, You who minister to my God; For the grain offering and the drink offering Are withheld from the house of your God. 14 Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the elders And all the inhabitants of the land Into the house of the Lord your God, And cry out to the Lord.
15 Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty. 16 Is not the food cut off before our eyes, Joy and gladness from the house of our God? 17 The seed shrivels under the clods, Storehouses are in shambles; Barns are broken down, For the grain has withered. 18 How the animals groan! The herds of cattle are restless, Because they have no pasture; Even the flocks of sheep suffer punishment.
19 O Lord, to You I cry out; For fire has devoured the open pastures, And a flame has burned all the trees of the field. 20 The beasts of the field also cry out to You, For the water brooks are dried up, And fire has devoured the open pastures. (Joel 1:1-20)

Here is something that the late Herbert W. Armstrong said about the first chapter of the Book of Joel:

We have had drought. There was the drought in the Middle West in 1934, and then the invasion of bugs and grasshoppers and locusts and everything in 1935. And many people from Kansas and South Dakota and sections in the Middle West like that, and from Oklahoma and places of that sort came out here to the Pacific coast at that time. My friends, that’s only a forerunner, that’s all. But when it comes in its full force and fury it’s described by the prophet Joel, and also Ezekiel says something about it. It’s described in other places in the Bible. Joel says, that it will be a time when the seed shrivels under the clods, the storehouses are desolate; the granaries are ruined because the grain has failed. How the beasts groan, he said, the herds of cattle are perplexed because there is no pasture for them. Even the flocks of sheep are dismayed. (Joel 1:17-18) What’s going to happen when that comes, my friends? What’s going to happen? That is the next thing now to occur. That and the flight of God’s own people…

Alright, now then, I was mentioning what Joel says here about this time of famine that’s coming. You’ve had a foretaste of it, you’ve been getting it — that’s only just little driplings like a great downpour of a deluge, a cloud burst that is going to come and you’ve had a few sprinklings of rain. Just a few little sprinkle drops; that’s all. Well, you people that have been getting these dust storms and all this drought that you’ve had, all you’ve had is just a little sprinkling. I want to tell you there’s a cloudburst of famine coming only it won’t be a cloudburst; it’s just the opposite. It’ll be a cloudburst of sun and no rain. Now, here is what we read in Joel again, there’s no pasture for these cattle. Even the flocks of sheep are dismayed. They haven’t minds to think it out or reason about it or anything they’re just going to be — you know their minds are so constructed; God did the thinking and created what brain they have and put it in there that it makes them automatically eat and they know they should eat grass. They should eat the pasture, and here there won’t be any. And they won’t understand it.

Joel 1: 19-20 “…Unto thee, O LORD, I cry: for fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness,” [That’s the fire of the sun and hot days and the weather will be such it’ll just seem like a fire.] “…and flame…” [the very flame of the sun.] “…has burned all the trees of the field…” What are you going to do when there’s no pasture for your cattle, or for your sheep, or your hogs. And, some of you will know what I mean anyhow. And when the trees are burned up. And there’s no fruit. And your vines will be dried up and there’ll be no fruit on vines.

Joel 1:20 “Even the beasts of the field cry to thee because the water brooks are dried up,…” [Your rivers will be dried up, your river beds.] “…and fire…” [that is the fire of the heat of the sun] “…has devoured the pastures of the wilderness…”(RSV) (Armstrong HW. Outline of Prophecy 02 – Famine, Pestilence and Drought. Radio Broadcast)

Famine will come. It may be that the drought that many parts of the USA are experiencing could be a prelude to that.

Here is something from Joel chapter 2:

12 “Now, therefore,” says the Lord,”Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” 13 So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness; And He relents from doing harm. 14 Who knows if He will turn and relent, And leave a blessing behind Him — A grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God?
15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; 16 Gather the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. 17 Let the priests, who minister to the Lord, Weep between the porch and the altar; Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Lord, And do not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?'” (Joel 2:12-18)

Repentance is something that Joel proclaimed was needed and that is still the case today. Notice that he was saying that all, including the religious who felt that they were God’s people needed to repent and gather together. That gathering together is something that the Philadelphians need to do in this end time–those who do not risk not being protected from the Day of the Lord, etc. (cf. Zephaniah 2:1-3).

Here are some comments from Herbert Armstrong on Joel 2:12-17:

Joel 2: 12-14 “Yet even now, says the LORD…” [through Joel,] “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning: (13) And rend your hearts, and not your garments. Return unto the [Eternal] your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love…. (14) Who knows whether he will not turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind him, a cereal offering and a drink offering…” [and so on?] Joel 2:17 “With a cry out, “Spare thy people, O [Eternal] make not thine heritage…” [our nation, our people] “… a reproach, a byword among the nations.”(RSV) (Armstrong HW. Outline of Prophecy 02 – Famine, Pestilence and Drought. Radio Broadcast)

Here is some more of what Joel wrote in chapter 2:

28 “And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. (Joel 2:28-31)

According to the Apostle Peter, there was a partial fulfillment of this (Acts 2:16) on the Day of Pentecost c. 31 A.D. (Acts 2:1).

But as verses such as verse 31 will not be fulfilled until after the start of the Great Tribulation, it is logical to conclude that God would still use dreams to sometimes convey parts of His message prior to the start of the Great Tribulation.

As it turns out, dreams had been given to at least three people who later became part of the Continuing Church of God which were essentially fulfilled (see Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God).

Other parts of Joel have to do with war and what will happen after the Day of the Lord (cf. Joel 3).

Parts of Joel’s message have been at least partially fulfilled and the fulfillment of other parts will come to pass.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God How has God used dreams in the past? Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God? Here is a link in Spanish: Sueños, la Biblia, la Iglesia de Dios de la Radio, y la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. A related sermon is also available: Dreams, COGs, and One Man Rule.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Weather Blessings and Sorrows Are weather problems a warning? What should be done? What does the Bible teach about weather? What about floods, droughts, heat, earthquakes, tornadoes, and solar storms? Here is a related YouTube video Does God Use Weather? A related item in the Spanish language would be Bendiciones y maldiciones del clima.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2016, 2017, or 2018? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
Elijah: Past and Prophesied Information about the original Elijah and some information about the Elijah-related prophecies.
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong?
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets, yet many overlook what the Bible teaches about how to recognize a true one. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? This article contains a scripture-based checklist to assist with this determination.
How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God This is a sermon on YouTube addressing a subject that most in the Church of God do not seem to have looked into very much. It discusses scriptures and dispels some improper assertions that some associated with the COG have made about prophets in this time.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.