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Gen. James Green
"Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand…" (Joel 2:1).
J OEL was the son of Pethuel, other than this we have no personal history of this prophet. He wrote his prophecy 800 years before the Savior/Lord/Prophet Jesus Christ, who also was a trumpet Prophet. Joel received his "message" from God; Jesus received His from God the Father. Both thundered the message of REPENTANCE, if the people did not sober up (1:5), God's WRATH would be unleashed. We know this happened in both the Old and New Testaments.
When men's SINS have reached Heaven, it is time for "Action to Revolution." God can and has used men to proclaim His spoken/written Word like fire-whirlwind-tempest-dew-still small voice. He uses His prophets as necessary—for blessing and also for cursing—oh, cruel tongue!!
Joel was prophesying to the drunkards of Judah (1:5). The reference need not be specifically and exclusively to wine, for men can be drunk on many things. Look at Americans—DRUNK on pride, rebellion, lust, etc., etc. These things can and do corrupt men/women as much as alcohol/narcotics. The lesson we can learn from Joel is that the exhortation is ALL SIN ends in stupefaction. "AWAKE!" ALL SIN stupefies, and robs both health and wealth (look at America today—Bankrupt and extremely SICK!!). There is nothing today in church or state that does not need Cross-examining, fixing-up, brought into a new, godly cohesion, and set to new and better uses. "Political" and "religious correctness" (under the command of Christ-hating men) needs to be TRASHED.
We NEED Joels today. We do not need the Joel Osteen type—stupid, effeminate, greedy for $$ and worldly recognition, Biblically-illiterate. NO! Preaching "have your best life now" is a false prophetic message. Preaching peace without first preaching repentance is vain. Nothing, NOTHING is settled until it is settled at the foundation—repentance is the foundation.
Jesus came preaching "REPENT!"; after this came the love, healings, deliverances, pure doctrine, hope…the noble life. By accepting His Word to repent, men found forgiveness/justification/peace of soul after they repented.
Oh, that nasty word! Yep! Joel-like/Jesus-like denunciation, criticism, exposure, and [then] afterwards there shall come "peace" and "reconciliation." And until men see their sins, repent of the same, turn away from them, and turn to Christ, there can be no peace and no justification.
To Hell with worldly preachers, prophets, singers/swingers that know the subtlety and wizardry of music; to Hell with money-grabbing greedy dogs, drunk on the lust of stuff-and-things; to Hell with all these pink perverts who preach no condemnation against homosexuality et al, and the straights who preach that God overlooks your adulteries/ fornications.
These "mega" hirelings of today lift up their tin trumpets, calling the dumb and stupid unto themselves. In Joel's day, the trumpet was used for warning, and for calling the people together—for various reasons. The trumpet (the God-called prophet man) will warn of a coming enemy/battle. We could even say that our Bible is a trumpet—calling men to war, and to peace/festivals. But here in Joel chapter two, there is WARNING of judgment—God's judgment; God was sending an unparalleled locust plague and drought. An unprecedented calamity (Heb. "ra"=evil) has resulted from successive waves of locusts (1:2-4). Therefore, the priests are exhorted to summon the people to the temple for a national repentance (1:13, 14).
America has done this in times past, but today this is especially needed. We may not have locusts, but WE'VE GOT SOUL-SUCKERS SWEEPING THE LAND—BOTH IN THE CHURCH AND STATE. On the other hand, we can't deny God's ANGER by all the natural disasters all about.
"And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?" (2:11).
Note: that which executes His (God's) Word is the locust army. God commands; the insects obey. Too bad Christians can't obey like these insects!! The same phrase is used of the wind in Ps. 148:8. Even the wind obeys God; men won't!! God calls even pagan kings His weapon/His anointed etc. to fulfill His purposes (see our two "Wrath of God" publications).
We forget just how POWERFUL the voice of the LORD is. His voice is elsewhere connected with judgment (Joel 3:16; Isa. 30:30 etc.) and is sometimes a metaphor for thunder in Ps. 18:13; 68:33 etc.
So, Zion's assailants were both nature and the LORD of nature. God's personal will was behind this attack. It is sad that most professing "Christians" (ministers included!) are blind to the acts of God. Even the world will call some of those disasters visiting America "an act of God!"
God is telling us that He will increase His judgments upon this land IF America does not repent. Hereby, America is given notice. The seriousness of the situation must not be put aside.
Jesus warned those in Luke 13:4, 5 that they needed to repent. You see, men/women/children may respond to any calamity with repentance, and our God may remove the affliction. But, we cannot pick up where we left off and keep on sinning. God wants America to TURN AROUND, and STAY TURNED. This stuff of a quick prayer will no longer satisfy God.
There is no doubt that America is experiencing a national catastrophe. But, will she repent? The day of reckoning, dear America, is here…is announced, and may go forth to meet it in heart repentance.
Vv. 12, 13, 14 Connection
"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. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?"
Verse 12 is a command to "turn ye even to Me with all (ALL!) your heart…" Verse 13 follows up with "and rend (humble!) your heart…and turn unto the LORD your God." We find both man and God capable of repenting, “and repenteth Him of the evil." Verse 14 uses the "if" clause—"if" Judah will repent, God will repent.
The prophets interpreted calamities as moral judgments and as admonitions to RETURN TO GOD (see also Amos 4:6-9). The "heart" in Hebrew psychology is both the “seat of the affections" and of the will. FASTING, WEEPING, AND MOURNING were the usual expressions of true heart repentance. Can you even imagine this in today's church?
God honors not a half-hearted prayer, but "a broken and a contrite heart" (Ps. 51:17). This kind of repentance has been gone for years out of today's church. Now people sin and expect God to either "join in" or wink at it.
The American Translation uses "relenting of evil" (repenting). "Evil" is not sin, but types of judgments. To elaborate, there are two types of “evil”: moral evil and judgement evil. Moral evil refers to the sin and degradation that comes about as a result of human actions that defy God’s moral law. The second kind of evil, that of judgement, comes about as a result God causing calamities, natural disasters, diseases, etc. Such evil is not essentially evil primarily because it is coming from God. However, this type of judgement is still considered evil because mens sins cause God to judge such moral evil. When sinners repent and return to God, God's attitude toward them also CHANGES, and in compassion, He revokes the threatened judgment (see Jer. 26:3, 13, 19 and Jonah 3:10 for examples).
So, as man turns to God (Joel 2, vss. 12-13), God turns to man (Jonah 3:9). Joel expresses the hope that after visiting His people in mercy, God may leave a blessing behind Him.
Blow the Trumpet
Verse 15: "Blow the trumpet in Zion" is identical with v. 1, although there the trumpet gives a warning and here it summons to national repentance. Can we even imagine this in today's PC church?...weeping ministers (v. 17)? How few will even consider this.
You WARN people today, and they call you an alarmist, sensational voice, or crazy! In case you don't know it, there was a time in American politics and church when men and women warned people—preachers thundered mightily from their pulpits. Now we've got sissies like boy Joel Osteen and other sissy-la las who are as LOST as a ball in high weeds. If one thunders from the pulpit/the streets, one is viewed as vulgar, odious, and demented.
This nation, America, is so used to "GOD'S BLESSINGS," that they believe they will always live under them. AWAKE DRUNKARDS!!! The time of His glittering sword is here. He is NOW judging this magnificent whore. The time of music and mirth is over.
While it is true that warnings have been given over the years, they are often partial and are frequently watered down; vacant thunder! While men/women/children are FATTENING themselves at the table of wickedness, most ministers are also there slurping down the world's sins. This does not disturb them in the least. They are all too willing to pay tribute to the god of this world for more liberty and greater licentiousness. These ministers of the devil laugh at such a trite thing as repentance. "Repent of what?" say they.
But let a man, a woman, or even a child, speak against wickedness, and they will experience turbulence in the spirit. Cry out against both political and religious sins, sex-sins, gluttony, drunkenness, theft, smoking, gambling etc., etc. and you will be threatened with eternal Hell, if not killed!...while FAT debauchees clap their gluttonous hands, and look out of their evil eyes with all manner of approval: "kill the legalists!," "kill the moralists!"
To honor and patronize the Lord Jesus, these days, in America, is considered an intolerable and inexplicable sin; but honoring the government with all its murderous, pink-perversion, lying, thieving, and con-games is praised. To denounce the misuse of wealth (as Obama is GUILTY OF!!) is an unpardonable sin.
Our duty as Christians is to preach repentance and to reprove the iniquities of our day. Jesus did both. Let our repentance be moral, not ceremonial. Too much of this stuff. What does the Word say about the Christian's sword? Is it not powerful, sharp, and piercing? Yes, but what do we see in Churchianity? A plastic sword (China made, of course), neither powerful, sharp, nor piercing. Is it any wonder that nothing gets CUT?? These Christless swords are like unto your rags (priestly garments), ceremonially manufactured (by China, of course). Instead of fire and brimstone, we've got the sweet-smell of whore's perfume.
Boy, what ecclesiastical cowards we have today. No guts, no grit. Sleeping dogs who can't bark! The "saints" who go to these whorehouses (called churches) are thankful for even a crumb that falls from the table-cloths of the "ministers." Starvation camps! Immeasurably superior to even God, infinitely more than Jesus…making fine speeches, writing books, holding grand conferences—all to the glory of MAN. How far will the church carry this "Let's rebel against God" thing to get to be seen?
God expects more! The true Ekklesia of God should be so bold as to make heresy impossible or absurd. It should be loving AND judgmental. But what do we have? Ministers pushing their ecclesiastical perambulators filled with cry babies that demand their own way!!
Do we really want the Lord to display His whole artillery of judgments upon us? Do we really want to see death unlimited? Or, are we going to remain indifferent, rebellious, prideful, and defiant? I'm not writing about God's resentment, but about His justice. UNREPENTED OF SIN NECESSITATES HIS JUSTICE. HOLY LAW IS NOT RESENTMENT. When the LORD/Lord judges, it is not in ill-temper (although it can build up to this); He acts out of justified retaliation. His judgments are His love.
The LORD does not punish for the sake of punishing. His Wrath is not arbitrary. A man, a nation, a people add to their punishment when they deny their wrongdoing and their sin, especially when their signature is upon it. Even when God's professing people sin and refuse to repent, given time, the covenant is disannulled. "Once in grace, always in grace" is a man-made (demon inspired!) doctrine (write for our trilogy on this subject).
Read the major and minor prophets; see if God's punishments are arbitrary. There is the "cause" and "effect" at play. One of the major "causes" to bring punishment (on God's people) was the despising of the law, and not having kept His commandments—Israel/ Judah panted after other gods (Idolatry), went after strange flesh, and committed adultery etc., etc. We must not forget what God even did to the vile (homosexual et al) cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (fire and brimstone). WE MUST NOT FORGET WHAT HE DID TO THE FIRST WORLD, DESTROYED BY WATER (except 8 souls!!). WE MUST NOT FORGET WHAT HE DID TO THE JEWS IN 70 AD! It is up to each one of us to police our wanton, careless flesh.
Salvation is a wonderful gift of God—watch how we live it. The New Testament is full of warnings, exhortations, and rebukes. Although one may be "born-again," one must be careful how one lives. We may be regenerated and sanctified, but we must deny "self," and allow the "new man" (our dead spirit that has been made alive, Eph. 2:1-6) to rule.
Biblical Christianity is not merely a reformation; it is a regeneration. It is not a better, reformed old man (self); it is a new character, a new conduct…having Jesus' and the Holy Spirit's endorsement.
Biblical Christianity is a "walk," not merely a "talk." To hear it told by most ministers these days, Christianity is a mutually affectionate fellowship. They cry for sweet deceit, consolatory promises, tender expressions, and are always willing to PAY men/women their price for telling lies that (for the moment) soothe the conscience (because of their willful sinning). Trust me, there are plenty of pulpit pimps telling sweet nothings to their church prostitutes. And the pimps settle down in their festival of wealth, and devilishly enjoy the banquet of mammon. Is not this a CURSE upon this land? Today's church is LOST in rebellion and in pride of respectability.
Beware America! God is about to tear in pieces your personal complacency/national complacency. You've enjoyed the FAT things of prosperity, while starving Christ to death. Your days of lying upon your beds of ivory, upon your velvet couch of popularity, are coming to an END! You are about to feel the flagellating lash upon your conscience/upon your phoney piety. Your days of accepting and applauding sin and sinners are ending.
REPENT AMERICA! TURN OR BURN. GOD'S MERCIES ARE ABOUT TO PHASE OUT; HIS SORE WRATH IS WAITING.