Among Christians who do believe that there will be a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days, the verse in Joel 2:28 is usually at least one of their “proof” texts. However, when this verse is quoted it is usually cited in isolation from any reference or connection to its immediate context. This may well be because Israel does not appear in their estimation, and they automatically assign all positive prophetic end-time scriptures wholly to the Church. The truth is that the prophecy of Joel definitely applies to Israel first and foremost. This is a fact that we must be aware of when considering any part of this powerful prophecy. Honest observation will conclude that the context, both preceding and following Joel 2:28, very definitely refers to physical Israel. Within that context God makes numerous futuristic promises to Israel that cannot be ignored if we want to properly understand the true significance of the exciting promise of an outpouring upon all flesh. Let me first propose a very simple and plain answers to this query.
Indicators Regarding This Promise
Joel 2:20-27 declares that:
1 The attacking armies will have been conquered and driven away. (Joel 2:20)
2 The Children Of Israel will be firmly established again in their promised land. (Joel 2:27)
3 Those attacking armies will no longer mock the Israelis. (Joel 2:17)
4 The Lord God of Israel will be “in the midst of Israel.” (Joel 2:27)
5 God will have done great things for them. (Joel 2:1-27)
6 God advises them to be fearless. (Joel 2:21)
7 God encourages them to rejoice in the Lord their God (Joel 2:23)
8 They will praise The Lord their God Who does miracles for them.
9 He assures them that they will never again be disgraced. (Joel 2:27)
10 And AFTER This, He will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh.
11 Israel will respond with a national repentance. (Zechariah 12:10)
12 Israel will be spiritually transformed.
The second chapter of Joel’s prophecy concludes with a reference to a Jewish remnant in Jerusalem, whom the Lord has called. This proves that there is a divine calling upon Israel to be fulfilled in the Last Days.
Joel 2:32 (NKJV)
32 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls.
Almighty God is preparing to reveal Himself to the world in a new dynamic manner. He will initially gain the attention of all nations by magnifying Himself in the astounding exaltation that He accomplishes on behalf of Israel. The eyes of the whole world will soon be upon Israel as God’s Shekinah glory focuses on the entire nation. Israel will become the launching pad for a new and glorious manifestation of the supernatural power of God. (Isaiah 60:1-3)
A Promise To Israel And Jerusalem
Many English versions of the Bible do not include the word “Jerusalem” in Isaiah 60:1, even though the whole context of the verses before and after Isaiah 60:1 clearly indicate that it is to Jerusalem that God is speaking. I am sure that many Christians will be amazed that God will choose to visit Israel first, because they have convinced themselves that God has finished with Israel and devoted Himself completely to the Church. They do not realize that the Church of the last days will be composed of both Gentiles and Jews. The origin of the Church was in an Hebraic context and it will be also be in the prophetic future.