Joel 2:28-32: God pours out His Spirit

October 6, 2016


Joel 2:28-32: God pours out His Spirit.


This begins the second half of the book of Joel. So far we have seen a frightening and horrible plague of locusts, which he compares with that which is coming in the future as the day of the Lord.

The day of the Lord will begin with the rapture of the church, followed by seven years of tribulation, then Christ comes with His saints, to usher in the battle of Armageddon and after that the Millennium.

Joel 2:28,29: “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. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

It is important to note that the time of the fulfillment of this passage is, “Afterward.” After what? So far Joel has been discussing the day of the Lord, so “afterward” would have to mean after the day of the Lord. So I conclude that Joel’s “afterward” refers to that day.

Joel is not the only prophet to write about the pouring out of the Spirit.

Isaiah 35:15, “Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.”

He is speaking of a coming kingdom, the Millennium. None of the prophets wrote of the church age, all of them spoke of the last days in reference to Israel.

Ezekiel 36:27,28,  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.”

He is speaking of particular people, Israel and a particular period of time when God will pour out His Spirit. Obviously these prophets are not speaking of the Day of Pentecost.

Zechariah 12:10, “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.”

Isaiah 44:3, “Yet hear now, O Jacob My servant, and Israel whom I have chosen…I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring.”

Ezekiel 39:29, “And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel, says the Lord God.”

Then Peter quotes this prophecy on the Day of Pentecost:

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4).

The tongues here were recognizable languages, in fact there were at least sixteen different languages and everyone heard the Word of God in their own tongue.

Acts 2:5,6, ”And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.”

The people present began mock, saying the disciples were drunk, but Peter tells them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days,’ says God, ‘that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh’” (Acts 2:14-17).

Peter never says that this is a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. All of the New Testament writers are very clear when something is a fulfillment of prophecy. For example, Matthew 2:17, “Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying…” and in 2:23, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets…” and in Acts 13:33, “God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’”

Peter was speaking to Jews who were well-schooled in Old Testament prophecy. They would have known Joel’s prophecy. So Peter is just reminding them that this is a day like Joel described that will happen in the day of the Lord.

“We need not, however, confine this prophecy to those early times, but, since many prophecies have gradual completions, we may understand this as implying that there shall be another remarkable effusion of the Holy Spirit upon the Jews, in order to their conversion in the latter times of the world.” –Benson

“All interpreters know that Pentecost took care of only the first two verses in that prophecy, and that only to an initial degree. Where were the “wonders” in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke”? “The sun will be turned to darkness,” promised Joel, “and the moon to blood.” These events yet await the consummation of history.” –Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.

There will be a great day of salvation for thousands of Jews when all Israel will be saved. God has a great end-time plan for the salvation of the Jewish people. Then he will save, not just a minority of the Jewish people, but a large majority. Paul speaks about this future salvation: “And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion; He will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them when I take away their sins’” (Romans 11:26-27). At present, God is saving a remnant. But the time is coming when God will save the vast majority of Israel.

Also note that Joel says, “I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh…” Here the Spirit is poured out on those who were gathered on the Day of Pentecost, and we know that three-thousand came to Christ. This event has not yet occurred, but in the last days, God will pour out His Spirit on ALL flesh. The entire people of Israel is included, not the whole world.

We must conclude, therefore, that this prophecy was not completely fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost, but its complete fulfillment is yet future.

“I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.” The Spirit’s ministry to people in Old Testament times was not the same as it has been since the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit’s filling in Old Testament times was selective and temporary. The Holy Spirit came in and on the Old Testament saints to empower them for a particular service. That’s how David could say in Psalm 51:11, “Do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” Please note that after David’s sin, the Holy Spirit was still in him, for how long after this we do not know.

Others whom the Holy Spirit ministered through: Joseph, Genesis 41:38; The craftsmen, Exodus 31:3; Joshua, Numbers 27:18; Gideon, Judges 6:34; David, 1 Samuel 16:13, “The Spirit of the Lord came upon David…”

In the New Testament, church age the Holy Spirit comes to live in every believer:

1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”


Romans 8:9, “However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.”


 Again in verse 28: “Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Moses wish will be granted: Numbers 11:29, “Oh, that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!”

Prophesying in the Old Testament, basically is foretelling the future.  But when you study prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah,  Zechariah, or Joel, you will find that that they were foretelling future events, and conveying God’s message to His people!

In the New Testament, to prophesy is not foretelling, but forth-telling, It is speaking the message of God to all people. Listen to Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:3-5, “But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.  I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.”

Joel 2:30-32: “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 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.”

Acts 2:20-22, “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 here is describing the great tribulation. Matthew 24:21, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

Immediately after the rapture, the catching up all believers, then a seven-year period of cataclysmic events on earth as God disciplines His nation Israel and judges the unbelieving world.

2 Peter 3:10-13, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”

The rapture: The word rapture does not occur in the Bible. The term comes from a Latin word meaning “a carrying off, a transport, or a snatching away.”

Revelation 4:1, God says to John, “Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I had heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.”

The church is not mentioned at all after this verse, so it is accepted that this verse represents the rapture.

1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 NLT, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves.  Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.”

Are we living in the last days? The Bible is very clear about what is going to happen just before Jesus comes and the last days of judgment begin. The fulfillment of prophecy, predictions made thousands of years ago are coming true in our generation.

As we see the moral degeneration that has happened over the past fifty years. Abortion is now a common, day to day experience for many young women, even with organizations selling the body parts of their aborted fetuses. Same-sex marriage is now legalized. Television and movies display sex and nudity on movie screens, and right in our living rooms. Homosexuality is accepted by our society as a normal lifestyle. The moral depravation of this world has reached such a point that we are now like Sodom and Gomorrah just before God destroyed that city with fire.

2 Peter 2:6, “God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people.”

Luke 17:28-30 MSG, “It was the same in the time of Lot—the people carrying on, having a good time, business as usual right up to the day Lot walked out of Sodom and a firestorm swept down and burned everything to a crisp. That’s how it will be—sudden, total—when the Son of Man is revealed.”


1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

Romans 1: 26-32 MSG, “Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches. Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!”

Titus 2:11-13 NLT, “We are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.”

Our world economic system is on the verge of collapse, rapidly headed for a one-world currency, with electronic banking we are almost a cashless society with credit and debit cards, I never carry cash today!  The Bible warns of a time when people will have to work an entire day just to have enough money to purchase a loaf of bread. It’s hard to imagine a time when our purchasing power will be diminished to the point of having to struggle just to be able to feed one person.


Revelation 6:6, “And I heard a voice from among the four living beings say, ‘A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley will cost a day’s pay. And don’t waste the olive oil and wine.’”


James 5:1-6, “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days.”

“We know there is a time coming when this entire world’s economic structure will be under absolute control of the Antichrist. In fact, the Bible clearly states that this economy will be a religious – economic system. The final seven years of human history prior to the Second Coming of our Lord (The 70th week of Daniel) will be a time when the people of the world will have to choose between commerce or starvation.”–

Endless war seems to rage in nearly every corner of the world, and with ISIS, Al Qaeda and many other Islamic organizations, terrorism is becoming the new normal for our generation.

A New World Order ruled by the Antichrist as the head of a ruthless one-world government is coming during the tribulation. Prepare yourself, for the prophecies are coming to pass sooner than we imagined! 

Joel 2:32: “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of Lord, shall be saved.”

In their time of distress, Israel needs only to call out to God for salvation.

This verse is found three times in the Bible: Here in Joel 2:32, Acts 2:21 by the Apostle Peter during his address at Pentecost, and once in Romans 10:13 by the Apostle Paul in his address to the Roman church.

Let’s just look at Romans 10, Paul here gives the  formula for salvation: It is “To everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

1. Verse 9: “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

“Confess” in Greek is homologeó  meaning, “profess, acknowledge.” So it is acknowledging the Lord Jesus Christ as the only Savior. Which means someone must explain the Gospel of Christ to them. 

Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.”

Romans 10:14, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” “Preacher” does not necessarily mean an ordained minister. The word in Greek is, kerusso “to publish, proclaim openly.” Anyone can do that!

2. Verse 10: “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” “Heart” in Greek is kardia, meaning, “that organ in the body which is the center of the circulation of the blood.” The word came to stand for man's entire mental and moral activity, both the rational and the emotional elements. In other words, the heart is used figuratively for the innermost part of the human. Heart is mentioned over eight-hundred times in Scripture, but never referring to the literal physical pump that drives the blood.

Acts 8:37,  Phillip is talking with an Ethiopian about Jesus, The Ethiopian said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

3. Romans 10:11,12:

“For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.”

Joel 2:17;19 says, “Spare Your people, O Lord, and do not give Your heritage to reproach… I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.”

4. Romans 10:13: For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

The one prerequisite of salvation is believe! To the Philippian jailor, when he asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:30,31).

The sum total of the Gospel is found in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. That is what you have to believe!

What do I have to do to obtain salvation! Just believe!

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

Titus 3:5, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…”

What does it mean to “believe?”

John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

The words “faith,” “trust,” “entrust” “commit” and “believe” all come from the same Greek root pisteuo. The concept is taking people at their word, trusting that what they say is true.

So believing in Jesus is an active thing. I can believe that a light switch will turn on the lights, but until I click the switch, I will never know. Remember the story of the daredevil who asked a man if he believed he could carry him in a wheelbarrow while crossing Niagara Falls on a tightrope. The man said, “yes!” Then the daredevil said. “Get in the wheelbarrow.” That’s the difference between believing and believing. One is speculative, the other is active.

Faith in Jesus Christ is an active faith that trusts everything God says, then acting on that faith saying, “Yes, Lord, I believe that Jesus died for my sins, was buried, and rose again for me!”

Unless otherwise noted, the New King James Version of the Bible was used. Also The New Living Translation (NLT); The New American Standard Bible (NASB); The Message (MSG); The New Century Version (NCV); The Amplified Bible (AMP); The King James Version (KJV), The New Life Version (NLV); English Standard Version (ESV); J.B. Phillips New Testament; Easy to Read Version (ERV); Common English  bible (CEB); NET Bible (NET) and The Living Bible (TLB).

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