Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Joel 2 Now & Future

Some say Joel 2 requires a future, Jewish Millennium. 

But I think:

Verses 1-11 predicted Israel's captivity; 

Verses 12-17 urged repentance and prayer, in case the captivity could at all be averted; 

Verses 18-27 described Israel's restoration to their land, after the captivity; and 

Verses 28-32 describe the salvation which later came to Israelis - and to everyone - once Israelis were back in their land:

JOEL 2:28-32
28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that 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:
29And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
32And 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.

About Israel's deliverance/salvation, notice:

1. It was to come to pass afterward - that is, after Israel's return from captivity

2. It was to come to pass in mount Zion and in Jerusalem

3. Only the called remnant of Jews (believers) would experience it

4. Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved

5. Gentiles were to be included - "all flesh"

6. It was to include the outpouring of the Spirit - and visions, dreams and prophesying

7. Peter quoted it as fulfilled, in Acts 2

8. It included the themes of signs in the heavens, and the great and terrible day of the Lord - the second coming. We are poised on the brink of that, yet also in the time of fulfilment of the overall prophecy. We are not still waiting for it entirely.

So the Gospel is an eschatological message - but it is also a message of fulfilment.

Although the great and terrible day of the Lord is still to be culminated in future, Israel has already been saved (believers); and Gentiles also experienced it.

Salvation hasn't been finally consummated yet, but it has definitely been inaugurated.

Although we still wait for the Kingdom, in Jesus we already experience the presence of the Kingdom.

The scheme of Israel's salvation was none other than this Gospel: it doesn't require some future Levitical scheme.

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