1 Blow the ram’s horn in Zion,
sound the alarm on My holy mountain!
All the inhabitants of the earth will tremble,
because the day of the Lord has come,
because it is near—
2 A day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness.
Like blackness spreading over the mountain,
a great and mighty army comes,
such as was never before,
and will never be again,
even through the years of all generations.
3 Before them fire devours,
and behind them a flame blazes;
the land is like the garden of Eden before them,
but behind them a desolate wasteland,
and nothing escapes them.
4 They have the appearance of horses,
and like cavalry they run.
5 As with the sound of chariots,
they leap on the mountaintops,
as with the sound of a flame of fire consuming stubble,
as a mighty army arrayed for war.
. . .
10 Before them the earth quakes,
the heavens shake;
the sun and moon darken,
and the stars withdraw their radiance.
. . .
Return to the Lord!
12 Yet even now, declares the Lord,
return to Me with all your heart,
and with fasting and with weeping and with mourning.
13 Rend your heart, and not your garments;
return to the Lord your God,
for He is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and He relents from punishing.
14 Who knows? He might turn aside and relent,
and He might leave behind a blessing—
a grain offering and a food offering
for the Lord your God.
15 Blow the ram’s horn in Zion,
consecrate a fast,
call a sacred assembly.
. . .
23 And children of Zion, exult
and rejoice in the Lord your God,
because He has given to you
the early rain for vindication.
He showers down rains for you,
the early rain and the latter rain, as before.
24 Then the threshing floors will be filled with grain,
and the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
. . .
The Outpouring of the Spirit
28 And it will be that, afterwards,
I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
then your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
and your young men will see visions.
29 Even on the menservants and maidservants
in those days I will pour out My Spirit.
30 Then I will work wonders in the heavens
and the earth—
blood and fire and columns of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned to darkness,
and the moon to blood,
before the great and awe-inspiring day of the Lord comes.
32 And it will be that everyone
who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said,
and among the survivors whom the Lord calls.
As a part of His covenant God promised His people some blessings “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil” (Deut.11:14).
The ‘early or first rain‘ is a seasonal rain that provides the necessary moisture for the germination and initial growth of the plants. But there is also a rain some time later, closer to the time of harvest that provides a final nourishment to the plants or trees before the collection of the harvest, and this is called the ‘latter rain‘.
We also find this prophecy of Joel about the last days & the outpouring of the Holy Spirit fulfilled in the New Testament:
2 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like a mighty rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 There appeared to them tongues as of fire, being distributed and resting on each of them, 4 and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to speak . . . 13 Others mocking said, “These men are full of new wine.”
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all you who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘In the last days it shall be,’ says God,
‘that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.
18 Even on My menservants and maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
and they shall prophesy.
19 And I will show wonders in heaven above
and signs on the earth below:
blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
and the moon into blood,
before that great and glorious day of the Lord comes.
21 And whoever calls
on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2
As many Christians do, we also believe the day of Pentecost was the early rain of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit over the starting Church, in order to equip them to witness, spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, & so they could grow. During the feast of Weeks or Pentecost, people brought as offering the first fruits of their grain harvest to thank God.
I believe that before the day of the Lord, & before the 6th seal of Revelation 6:9-12 (& Acts 2:20), the Lord may send His Church again the last outpouring of the Holy Spirit (or latter rain) to equip us to witness, spread the gospel to the ends of the earth & to gather the great harvest, before the day of the Lord or the wrath of God comes.
Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest, that He will send out laborers into His harvest.” (Mat.9:37-38 & Lk. 10:2).
We know that false teachers in the Word of Faith & the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) Movements, have been spreading a set of false & twisted doctrines using Joel chapter 2. That started out with the Latter Rain Movement, I was in a church that followed the NAR movement when I was a baby Christian & had little knowledge of the Scriptures. They are ‘Dominionist’ & call this doctrines: Joel’s Army or the Manifested Sons of God. They teach this army is them, a militant church of immortal people (Joel 2:8), that under the leadership of their apostles & prophets, will take over the world by force & do spoils. That they will bring judgment upon the ungodly and ALL of those who do not accept the authority of their false apostles & prophets. They also plan a false interfaith revival with signs & wonders, looking to deceives God’s people into worship false gods. (See false prophets –Deut. 13).
Do you really think this is what the gospel of Jesus Christ teach us to do? to destroy? No, but on the contrary, we are to saw God’s seed (His Word) in order to bring a harvest. God will never impose Himself to anybody or force them, we are free to choose, free to believe. Judgment belongs to God who knows everything & doesn’t make mistakes.
But because the enemy is twisting God’s Word it doesn’t mean that we reject the Scriptures or what Joel’s prophecy is saying, (that’s is exactly what the enemy would wants us to do). For a long time I didn’t want to hear anything about the word latter rain, but it is found in the Bible. We just need to be careful, try the spirits of the ones interpreting Scriptures, read the Scriptures on our own & ask God’s for wisdom to understand what He is really saying to us.
If we read Joel 2 in context (Joel has only 3 chapters) we will notice in chapter 1 starts the prophecy mentioning a devastating plague of ‘locust‘ that caused a great famine, no grain, no wine, oil, etc. “The grain offering and the drink offering Have been cut off from the house of the Lord” (Joel 1:9-12). Then Joel 1:13 starts with a call to repentance,which continues & is emphasized again in chap. 2:12.
It seems the prophet Joel it’s comparing the destruction & famine that is caused by the worst locust plague, with a unique period close to the Lord’s Day which will witness a terrible destruction of the land, this seems to be done by fire (Joel 1:19 & 2:3), but it is something never seen before (Joel 2:2 & Mat.24:21), even the animals will suffer for lack of food & water (Joel 1:18-20). Only a return to God and His compassion can remedy such a terrible situation.
Many believe this army in Joel 2 is also a terrible locust plague, others say is an army of well trained men, because locusts usually invaded from the south, & human armies almost always invade Israel from the north (Joel 2:20). But these things can always change, also locust invasions have been accompanied by outbreaks of pestilences when swarms die, see Joel 2:20; the putrefaction of the millions of locust bodies cause diseases (typhus & others) that spread to humans and animals. Either way, this will be a terrible & devastating situation that would bring famine & death.
To me, finding the time when this may happen is of most importance. It was the apostle Peter who connected the prophecy of Joel 2 with the Day of Pentecost or the last days. Joel chapter 3 is about the restoration of Israel & the judgment of the nations.
According to Joel 2:10 this judgment will happen before the period of time when the heavens shake, the sun & moon darken & the starts wont give their light. Right before the Day of the Lord. This description coincides with Mat.24:29, & the 6th seal of Revelation Rev.6:12-17. I believe all these verses speak of the same event. The big question is, will the Church still be here? Some believe this will be for Israel. Still, we should be prepare to meet the Lord at any time.
Beloved this is an urgent call to repentance! This trumpet blast is to sound the alarm, so we can return to the Lord with fasting and with weeping and with mourning. I believe, because of dreams the Lord had given me, that very difficult times are ahead of us before the rapture of the Church. The Lord is going to cleanse His House first (1 Pet.4:17, 1 Cor.3:11-19). God allows difficulties & suffering in the lives of His people, to purify them like gold & silver, but then He may equip His people with a refreshing outpouring or rain of His Holy Spirit, so we can serve others & be able to collect His great harvest, even in the midst of persecution & distressful times. We need to return to Him with ALL our hearts. Please put everything aside and give priority to the Lord to seek His face in prayer.