Can Jesus Christ be found in the book of Joel? Find out with guest Lee Brainard and hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: August 21, 2022
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Key Verse Commentary
Joel – “Heaven’s Army on the March”
Our society has lost a common appreciation for the great feat of mobilizing for war.
In past generations, large armies were assembled in times of war. Outfitted and trained, they would march in formation to war—either on battlefields strewn in the North and the South or to ships and transports ready to convey them to foreign wars. When the war ended, parades were held in major cities as victory was celebrated. The last significant parade of that nature was held after the first Gulf War.
There is something awesome and foreboding about watching a formation of trained and dedicated soldiers assemble for battle.
Joel presents several prophetic visions. His first is of a great locust horde that can devastate an agricultural society and leave famine in its wake. The next is of a mighty army that consumes like a fire. His final vision points to an even more ominous threat. Instead of a single dread enemy, Joel describes all the nations of the world gathered to do battle. “Multitudes, multitudes!” will gather, he says, for the day of the LORD is near (Joel 3:14).
Such an image boggles the mind. I’ve seen huge masses of men and equipment arrayed for battle, yet I cannot even begin to appreciate the energy and menace posed by the armies of all the nations of the world. And yet, Joel describes in simple terms what will overwhelm those gathered forces.
Satan challenged Jesus to call down His angels to minister to Him. Had our Lord done so, the angelic host would have filled the sky to serve their God and Master. Even now, they are poised and ready to burst forth. But surprisingly, although they are more than capable, they will not be the instrument of God’s victory in the final battle. Instead, a word from the Lord will defeat the wicked armies gathered in the valley of Armageddon (Joel 3:16; Isaiah 11:4; Revelation 16:16).
The march of heaven’s army will not be a deployment or battle formation so much as a victory parade.
Key Verse: Joel 2:1 Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming; surely it is near…
Explanation: This single verse conveys the urgency of God’s message—first to Israel in the time of Joel and to all mankind still today. The imminence of God’s judgment hangs over the earth like a guillotine poised over the neck of a condemned person. When it falls, the end will be sudden, quick, and inevitable.
Joel refers to “the day of the LORD.” This phrase has long been understood to refer to the final cataclysmic outpouring of wrath and consummating moment of judgment. It is not so much a literal 24-hour day as a period of when God’s righteous indignation is finally unleashed as His patience is exhausted.
There is no adequate analogy to convey the severity of man’s sin, the justified outrage it invokes in the holy and almighty God, and the devastation that awaits all who flaunt their rebellion of Him.
Joel was given a prophetic message to convey to Judah. But his warning extended far beyond those children of Israel who were unfaithful to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Even so, it is appropriate that the alarm would figuratively sound from Mt. Zion. That is because it was the Jews who had the privilege of being conduits of God’s blessing to the world. They received the revelation of His Word and were invited into a relationship to demonstrate the blessing of being in covenant with God—the tremendous privilege and risk of the profane being in close proximity to the Holy. They also served as the nation that would produce the Messiah. So, just as the blessings of God began with the Jew first and extended also to the Gentile, the warning and the curse would start with the Jew and radiate outward to the Gentiles as well (Romans 1:16-17 and 2:9-11).
The warning offered through Joel had both a near and a distant application. In the near term, Judah was punished for its faithlessness. In the long term, the great and awesome day of the Lord still lies ahead. Prophets tried to describe its horrors, but their words are inadequate (Zephaniah 1:14-15). Sermons have been preached, but who can really fathom the horror that awaits every “sinner in the hands of an angry God” (as Jonathan Edwards preached in 1741).
If that day was “near” when Joel delivered his message over 2,800 years ago, certainly the day is looming ahead of us today. Does the wrath of God abide on you?
Key Verse: Joel 2:12-13 “Now, therefore,” says the LORD, “Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm. (NKJV)
Explanation: What a wonderful affirmation of God’s heart of mercy and grace. Habakkuk prayed, “In wrath, remember mercy”—as if the character of God could allow any other alternative (Habakkuk 3:2).
This passage explains that God does not pour out His wrath merely to punish—although there is an element of just reward that His absolute justice requires. Another of His non-contradictory motives in pouring out wrath is to drive people toward repentance—which is why He always warns before He judges.
By our own nature, we want everything now—including justice. And our sense of justice is hard to balance with a provision for mercy and grace. The two simply seem incompatible. But God is able to achieve perfect justice while offering amazing grace. And even His apparent delay in meting out justice is a manifestation of His love and His mercy.
During Jesus’ ministry on the earth, scribes and Pharisees brought a woman before Jesus and demanded immediate justice. She had been caught in adultery and so those self-righteous men wanted her punished without delay. (Scripture never tells us what they did with the man caught in an illicit relationship with her, which silently speaks to their selective outrage.) But Jesus was not willing to engage in knee-jerk justice. Instead, His heart, even then, was to point out their hypocrisy and challenge the woman to repent—sending her on her way to sin no more (John 8:3-11).
In the parable of the wheat and the tares, Jesus conveyed His intention to wait until the fullness of time to deal with those who do not produce good fruit. Comparing the kingdom of heaven to a man sowing good wheat, He recognized the malicious work of an enemy would cause a mixture of wheat and tares to grow up together. Even so, He said to wait until the time of the harvest to separate the wheat from the tares, lest the wheat be uprooted while the tares were pulled up (Matthew 13:24-30). Obviously, the entirety of the Gospel points to the hope that some tares would be converted to wheat in this analogy.
So, God is not slow to rain down wrath out of distractedness or indifference. He longs for sinners to come to Him in humility and repentance through faith in His Son. All who trust in Jesus Christ will be saved. Peter summed it up best when he said, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wanting for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
What a wonderful God we serve!
Key Verse: Joel 2:28 And it will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
Explanation: Joel’s prophecy was sweeping. Like most of the other prophets of the Old Testament, his prophetic visions applied in the short term but also had long term implications. Many prophecies have a moment of “pre-fillment” and fulfillment—meaning that there is a conditional fulfillment in a technical context and then a greater complete realization in the fullness of time. Genesis 18:14 is a good example. Appearing in pre-incarnate form, the LORD told Abraham, “At the appointed time I will return to you.” No doubt that promise was pre-filled in the life of Abraham, but it also points to an end times fulfillment when Jesus Christ will once again return at the appointed time. As He rhetorically asked Abraham, “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?”
Some see Joel 2:28 as a promise for yet another great revival to sweep some segment of the globe. Lamb & Lion Ministries is often asked if we think America will experience another revival in the last days. One lady went so far as to assert that it must happen because she personally prayed 2 Chronicles 7:14—obligating God to uphold His end of the bargain and answer her prayer by restoring our land. Suffice it to say that this verse was uttered by God to Solomon regarding His chosen people, Israel.
We believe the principle of 2 Chronicles 7:14 applies much more broadly, because God considers the collective heart of a people as He interacts with a nation. This was demonstrated when God told His prophet not to pray for His people, because their sin had become so great that He would not listen to prayers on their behalf (Jeremiah 7:16 and 11:14). What would lead to such a hopeless estate? Unabated wickedness and rebellion. Speaking to Judah, God said, “Your wound is incurable and your injury is serious. There is no one to plead your cause, no healing for your sore, no recovery for you” (Jeremiah 30:12-13). That is the ultimate definition of hopelessness.
Having said all that, there is no evidence that America is on the cusp of a spiritual revival. On the contrary, all the evidence points to increasing wickedness and a celebration of rebellion against God—leading to a wound that is incurable. Tragically, that same spirit seems to have infected the world as a whole—with small pockets of faithfulness to His laws and commands.
There is also no other evidence in Scripture pointing to a great end times revival sweeping the world. Instead, the Bible indicates that the same pattern has always been true: a remnant of people finding the narrow path to salvation—while the great masses rush through the wide gate and the broad path that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).
And yet, Joel 2:28 offers a glimmer of hope. It reiterates God’s great lovingkindness (which simply means His mercy). Even as the masses are disdaining His offer of salvation, He will still pour out His Holy Spirit to, by all means, save some. And that outpouring will be for all mankind, not just the Jewish people. Just as Jesus’ birth was heralded as “good news of great joy which will be for all the people,” God’s final outpouring of the Holy Spirit will be for all who will put their trust in Him (Luke 2:10).
It should be noted that although the editors of our translated Bibles have typically inserted a topical heading between Joel 2:28-29 and 30-32, those passages were not separated in the prophet’s delivery. So, the promise about the outpouring of God’s Spirit leads right into anticipation of “wonders in the sky and on the earth” such as blood, fire, and columns of smoke “before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.”
In Acts 2:14-36, Peter cites this entire passage and argues that it explains the outpouring of the Spirit experienced by the Apostles at Pentecost. And yet, we know that the signs in the sky and heavens await final fulfillment—as described in Revelation 6:12-14. So, God may have pre-filled some of His end times prophecies, but He is not yet done fulfilling them. Passages like Joel 2:28 and the terrors that follow will be fulfilled “before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.”
As darkness descends upon the earth, the light of truth will shine brighter and brighter. Billy Graham observed, the same sun that melts the butter hardens the clay. Some will respond with believing faith, while others will shake their fist at the heavens and curse God.
Soften your heart today. Allow God to remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26—also applied in principle to all who are renewed for His Name’s sake). Then look forward to “the blessed hope and the appearing of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13). Truly, He is coming soon!
Tim Moore: Greetings in the name of Jesus, our Blessed Hope and soon returning King. Welcome to Christ in Prophecy. In our continuing exploration for Jesus in the Old Testament, we’ve arrived at the second minor prophet, Joel.
Nathan Jones: We don’t know much about Joel except that he was the son of Pethuel and was raised up to warn the nation of Judah about a great locust scourge that had descended upon the land. And as with such calamities, there was a spiritual dimension to be considered.
Tim Moore: Joel urged the farmers, and priests, and elders, the entire nation, to be ashamed, lament fast and cry out to the Lord. His recommended response to adversity would shock some Christian leaders today who pronounce unceasing prosperity. Living about 830 B.C. or 2,850 years ago. Joel also realized that the locust hordes foreshadowed an even greater outpouring of wrath known as the Day of the Lord.
Nathan Jones: Joel’s prophecy followed a familiar pattern: he advised of a calamity, spoke of an even greater catastrophe to follow, and urged people to turn to God in repentance. The culmination of Joel’s vision involved all the nations of the earth gathered in the valley of Jehoshaphat, the valley of decision. His message is timely to us today because, as Joel foresaw so many years ago, very soon the armies of heaven will be on the march.
Tim Moore: I’m very excited about our guest today. He is a recognized expert in ancient texts, including Greek and Hebrew, and yet he doesn’t have an advanced degree. As a matter of fact, Lee Brainard proves that just by studying the Word of God, you can gain understanding. And that’s why we wanted him to come today to this episode of Christ in Prophecy.
I first heard Lee at a Pre-Tribulation conference with all sorts of other accredited doctors, but Lee was a man with tremendous wisdom and insight. Lee, I’m so glad you could join us today. Thank you for being here.
Lee Brainard: Tim I’m excited to be here today.
Tim Moore: Well, not more so than me and Nathan for having you. But I want to jump right in and have you tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to be an expert in Greek and Hebrew.
Lee Brainard: Well, I was a young believer in the 2nd Ranger Battalion at Fort Lewis, Washington. And I was reading a magazine article, I don’t even remember which magazine it was, and there was a story about Christmas Evans, the one-eyed Baptist preacher from Anglesey, England. And this guy taught himself, he was an uneducated man, and he taught himself Greek, Hebrew and Latin. And I found myself thinking, what do we need to know, Greek, Hebrew and Latin for? Well, come to find out, of course, the New Testament was written in Greek, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and in a little Aramaic, and Latin was the one of the earliest translations. And I went after it. I went to a Christian bookstore. I bought a Greek Grammar, a Greek New Testament and a Greek Lexicon, and I went after it.
Tim Moore: And you just began to learn. I find that fascinating. And at the presentation you gave at the conference, you talked about some of the other experts. And Nathan was going to ask you, I think even about one in particular of recent.
Nathan Jones: Yeah, because it was a fascinating presentation. Lee, I actually met you because you’re also a Christian fiction writer, the Planet Shaken series. You’ve become one of my favorite authors. I can’t wait to the fourth in the series comes. But then you sent me this and I was like, wait a minute, he’s getting deep into theology. And then I saw you at the Pre-Trib Conference and you were speaking about ancient texts. You were looking for proofs of the Pre-Trib Rapture, like Ephrem of Syria and Irenaeus, who was the student of Polycarp, who was a student of John. So maybe you could tell us, give us some of those fascinating insights that wowed Tim and me.
Lee Brainard: Okay. Well, I had actually been doing the research for this Apostasia book, and I’m looking up every reference to the Greek word apostasia, from its first appearance up until 500 A.D. And I was going through these references. And I was in Ephrem of Syria, and as I’m reading through the passage.
Tim Moore: That’s a book or a writing.
Lee Brainard: Yeah, the writings of Ephrem the Syrian.
Tim Moore: From what year about?
Lee Brainard: Well, he was in the fourth century so he’s in the 300’s. He has over 150 Greek works that have never been translated into English. I’m looking at this passage and I’m reading the context. And in the context I see a Pre-Tribulation Rapture passage that I have never seen quoted in anybody’s writings before. And you look into it and you come to discover that there was only one known reference to the Rapture, that’s from Ephrem of Syria’s Latin works. And so, I set my apostasia research aside and I went through all those 150 works searching for rapture references. And I came to discover over 30 Pre-Tribulation Rapture passages, and ten of them were crystal clear, and those were the ones I presented in Dallas at the Pre-Trip Study Group.
Nathan Jones: So, someone actually was talking about the Pre-Trib Rapture before Darby?
Lee Brainard: Absolutely, yeah. And that’s a really good point, because so often today, people push around this theory or this story that the Pre-Trib Rapture didn’t exist until Darby invented it around 1830, or he got it from Margaret MacDonald, who got it from a false vision given to her from a lying spirit.
Tim Moore: That is an attempt to discredit what is historically a belief tracking all the way back, as you said to Polycarp, to Irenaeus and to others that were very early in the church understanding what the apostles were teaching, which is Jesus is coming soon.
Lee Brainard: And so now with the discoveries of the Pre-Trib Rapture that I found in just the writings of Ephrem the Syrian alone, there’s now over 60 Pre-Tribulation Rapture references in the early church fathers. And I’m finding more in Eusebius, which is going to be a project down the road.
Tim Moore: And you say you find these writings, but you’re a man who lives in North Dakota, so through the miracle of modern technology, you’re able to access these ancient writings, probably online or getting them delivered to you.
Lee Brainard: Absolutely. I use the TLG website. That’s the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae. But it’s a virtually exhaustive database of all the classical Koine Patristic and Byzantine Greek.
Tim Moore: Wow. Well, you know, many Christians buy into the lie, Lee and this is why I’m so excited about you as a living testimony, they buy into the lie that you have to have a degree in hermeneutics or systematic theology to begin understanding the Bible’s revelations.
Lee Brainard: Right.
Tim Moore: And so, if you don’t have all those ancient texts memorized or known, you can’t possibly understand it. But you prove that you can learn.
Lee Brainard: Absolutely.
Tim Moore: And by studying, you can teach yourself Greek, you can teach yourself Hebrew, and you can delve into the Bible. And even if languages are not a gift that you possess, for instance, I don’t consider myself to be gifted in languages, you are, studying the Word of God gives us revelations and understanding that the Holy Spirit lays on our hearts. And so here at Lamb & Lion Ministries, we obviously do not denigrate those who have advanced degrees, we respect them. But I’m so encouraged that somebody who is essentially self-taught in the languages can prove anybody can open up the Word of God and have great understanding.
Lee Brainard: Oh, absolutely. And I’ve discovered that there are so many tools available today. The books that are in print, or that are reprinted, or that are online with available sources and some of the teaching tools. You’ve got a strong Greek and Hebrew teachers giving their material for free on websites and on YouTube. Anyone that just rolls up their sleeves and wants to do a little work, there isn’t a subject of theology or a biblical language that you can’t learn on your own.
Tim Moore: That’s wonderful. Gives me hope. Yeah.
Nathan Jones: It does give me hope. I took four years of Bible college and another four of seminary, and I walked away barely understanding anything about Hebrew and Greek and you taught yourself. And I saw you actually stand up in front of all those Greek and Hebrew professors as they threw questions at you, and you’re answering them, your ability blows my mind, man. Well, let’s go back. We’re talking about the book of Joel here. We’re looking for Jesus in the Old Testament, particularly in the book of Joel. Joel had to deal with the catastrophic, the disaster that was befalling the Jewish people at that time. Could you tell us about that disaster? And does God still use that type of way to get our attention today?
Lee Brainard: Oh, absolutely. The Jews have a long history of being devastated by judgments. Like the judgment of the Babylonians. The judgment through the Medo-Persians. We have the judgments prior to the Babylonians with the Assyrians. And the Lord used these pagan nations to judge Israel. And this oftentimes seems very confusing to Christians, because why would God use people that are wicked to judge the Godly? Well, this is just part of God’s program for disciplining His people. Getting their attention. And yes, I think this principle of God using the ungodly world around us to joggle us, to jostle us, to get our attention, to restore our focus, very much applicable today.
Nathan Jones: And what are the Jewish people at the time facing?
Lee Brainard: Well, in the Book of Joel, they were facing, for instance, plagues of locusts that were just completely devastating their crops. And not just like one plague of locusts, they got four different locusts that are mentioned.
Tim Moore: I think that we’ve seen, even this year in particular, how nations rising against nations. And sometimes you think, well, the aggressor is more evil than the quote on quote victim nation.
Lee Brainard: Yeah.
Tim Moore: But again, that is a tough faith recognition of what has happened throughout God’s interaction with Israel. And so, we who have faith have to just trust that God has everything in His control.
Lee Brainard: Amen.
Tim Moore: You know, you also mentioned that all you have to do to understand is study. I like what Dr. Reagan has pointed out. Sometimes people say, oh, it will all pan out; I’m a Panmillennialist.
Lee Brainard: Yeah.
Tim Moore: Really, what that says to some of us is, well, you just haven’t been willing to study.
Lee Brainard: That’s right.
Tim Moore: It does require that we engage, that we spend time studying the Word of God in order to gain understanding. But Joel’s prophecy quickly turns just from the locust plague of that day and age, to the coming Day of the Lord. And he describes it as a day of darkness and gloom. And it is very horrible to contemplate what that Day of Lord will entail. But in the midst of his vision, he sees the Lord.
Lee Brainard: Amen.
Tim Moore: Commanding a mighty army of heaven. And so, in addition to manifesting what I would call repentance and encouraging that, Joel tells his listeners to return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in loving kindness and relenting of evil.
Lee Brainard: Amen. Well, what’s amazing to me in this passage you just were reciting, a lot of evangelicals have this idea today that the Old Testament God was a mean, harsh God, and they have a hard time reconciling that with the New Testament. But when I read the Old Testament, I do see the judgments, I do see the tragedies. But what I see is a God whose forgiveness, and grace, and mercy with the nation of Israel is almost unfathomable.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Nathan Jones: The Jewish people, you think of it as an agrarian society. You’re a farmer.
Lee Brainard: Yes.
Nathan Jones: And you have a bunch of locust come and eat everything you’re facing starvation.
Lee Brainard: That’s right.
Nathan Jones: And we’re seeing supply chains this year be disrupted. We’re living in a time of supply changes. But then Joel also quotes God. He describes after this, and he says, after all this devastation that the people then come back to Him in their repentance, he says, “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.” Did that happen then? Did it happen in the New Testament? Is that happening now? Is it the future? Is that a prophecy?
Lee Brainard: Well, the prophecy was partially fulfilled at Pentecost when the Lord took the Jewish people, he pruned that olive tree and he started grafting in Gentiles into the earthly testimony. And that Holy Spirit promise was poured out in a partial fulfillment on that early church. I think we’re going to see the full fulfillment of this in the last days, in the 70th week, when the Lord has restored His testimony on Earth with the Jewish people, and He’s going to pour out that promise in fullness on His people and unite Judah and Israel, just like He once united the Gentiles and the Jews.
Tim Moore: You know, I think it’s important point you make that sometimes the Lord pre-fills prophecies.
Lee Brainard: Yes.
Tim Moore: And there’s a coming fulfillment. And we have to realize that the ultimate fulfillment has not arrived. Peter did in his first sermon there at Pentecost cite Joel.
Lee Brainard: Yes.
Tim Moore: This prophecy has great relevance, not just for the founding of the church at Pentecost, but even still today as we look forward. And yet, beyond those locust hordes that we’ve already touched on, much of Joel’s prophecy focuses on the Day of the Lord. So, for those of our viewers who may not be familiar with this term, The Day of the Lord, what does that really mean?
Lee Brainard: Well, we have to think in the concept of the full day. When we look at the 24 hour day in the English language we typically start the day in a technical sense at midnight, and it goes 24 hours around. But we can also talk about the crack of dawn, which is the twinkling of the morning star. We can talk about our civil or civic or civil daylight, which is the sun is six degrees below the horizon. There’s nautical daylight, 12 degrees below the horizon. There is astronomical twilight, which is 18 degrees below the horizon. And then there’s just a common sense, which is the sunrise. Well, when we look at the full picture of the Day of the Lord in the Bible, we have two primary aspects that we see, we see the dawning of the day with the twinkling of the morning star, which is associated with the Rapture of the Church. And we see the rising of the sun with the full arrival of the day, which is associated with Israel in the Second Coming of the Lord. And then everything in between is ever increasing daylight, which is the Day of the Lord creeping up little by little upon the world.
Tim Moore: Wow.
Nathan Jones: And that fills the Daniel’s 70th Week prophecy, right?
Lee Brainard: Absolutely.
Nathan Jones: So, the Day of the Lord would be then from the Antichrist, being recognized as making a covenant with Israel to Jesus Christ return, is the Day of the Lord, or does the Day of Lord extend beyond that?
Lee Brainard: Well, I would even have the Day of the Lord begin in the sense, right with the twinkling of the morning star. The Rapture is the first warning shot fired over the bow of the world, that the Day of the Lord is coming. That’s the first warning shot. And then we see that, of course, increase during the 70th week. And then when the fullness of the day comes, that is full judgment. There is no more grace.
Tim Moore: And so almost after that sun rises, after the Lord returns. That we enter that Millennial Kingdom. But there would be no shadow, no hiding.
Lee Brainard: That’s right.
Tim Moore: Because of brightness of the Son light, as He reveals all and people are judged for their righteous deeds or their evil deeds.
Lee Brainard: Yes. And I think it’s perfectly legitimate to regard the entire Millennium as the Day of the Lord in a figurative sense.
Nathan Jones: Interesting.
Lee Brainard: Because His glory will be manifested for that entire thousand years.
Nathan Jones: Well, you got the Church removed before the Day of the Lord. And then we get the prophecy, which I just read, where the people are, it’s almost like we’re back into the Old Testament where there’s tongues and evidences of the Holy Spirit to move people to come to Jesus, because it’s a time of Tribulation and to get people on their knees to return to Jesus Christ. As you studied the book of Joel in the original languages and all did you find new insights or something come up at you that really kind of riveted you about the book? Something you walked away with and said, hey, this made Joel really stand out to me?
Lee Brainard: Well, one of the things that did stand out was in Joel chapter two, where we have some of the versions say, “They will fall upon the sword and they shall not be wounded.” Some versions will say, “They’ll fall upon the weapons” or something similar to that, “and they will not be wounded.” And I looked into that and realized there might be a little debate on how to technically translate this Hebrew word, but it’s obviously in the in the realm of weapons of warfare, whether you’re going to translate a generic term like sword or in a more generic term, like weapons of warfare. But the whole idea that this army that descends from heaven can fall upon the sword and not be wounded or killed, is amazing. Can you imagine riding down from heaven on those white horses? And here’s the army of the world, they’re all gathered in Armageddon, and they’re thinking that they’re going to meet the army coming down from heaven, because what do they think they’re the UFO army or something? Who knows what they think they are? And they open up with their 50 caliber machine guns, and their grenade launchers, and their rocket launchers, and nuclear bombs, whatever they got, and you have 50 caliber bullets, ripping right through you. You say wow that felt weird.
Tim Moore: It won’t harm us at all.
Lee Brainard: That’s right.
Nathan Jones: So, it’s almost like the book of Joel with the armies descending is a reflection of the armies that Jesus was talking about coming. Not only the evil hordes that will predominate, the Tribulation, but the armies of God returning. Is that we’re then we see Jesus in the book of Joel?
Tim Moore: Yeah, where do we see Jesus in the Book of Joel? Is that it? Because it’s pointing to Him throughout.
Lee Brainard: Well, yes, because see, for instance, in Matthew 24 when we talk about at the end of the tribulation says, “Immediately after the tribulation, there’ll be the signs in the heavens, the sun and the moon are going to be dark and the stars are going to fall and there’ll be a great shaking.” Well, those signs in the heavens, wherever you see them, in the Old Testament, or in the New Testament, they’re associated with the end of the Tribulation, and the coming of the Lord. And those signs, that heralds the coming of the Messiah. And when you see that army coming down from heaven, that’s another one that’s associated with the Lord. We know from Revelation 19 that at the front of that horde of soldiers on white horses is the Lord Jesus.
Tim Moore: Jesus Christ. You know, there’s one other warning that’s offered at the end of the book of Joel, I don’t think we can overlook because God promises that one day Judah will be blessed beyond measure, but that His, the Lord’s indignation, will burn against those nations that have done violence to the sons of Israel.
Lee Brainard: That’s right.
Tim Moore: And I think He will be quite displeased with those who did not actually seek to bless His chosen people. And perhaps even those who have attempted or currently now are attempting to divide the land that He promised to them.
Lee Brainard: That’s right. That passage brings my mind to Matthew 25, we have the separation of the sheep and the goats. Because a lot of people, when they think of the sheep and the goats, they’re thinking just two classes of people. They see the unbelieving Gentiles and they see the believing Gentiles. But there’s actually three groups of people there. We also have the Jewish people there. These are the Lord’s brethren. They’ve already been gathered first. And then the Gentiles are gathered all around the throne of the Lord in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And the ungodly, their unbelief is proven by the fact that they did not bless the people of God, which was the children of Israel. And the godly were blessed because they did prove their faith by blessing the children of God. And the Lord’s attitude is, if you did this to my brethren, you did it to Me, and if you didn’t do it to my brethren, you didn’t do it to Me.
Nathan Jones: And the timing of the Sheep Goat Judgment being the end of the Tribulation.
Lee Brainard: That’s right.
Nathan Jones: Jesus returns. Whoever survived the Tribulation, is left alive, is gathered to the Valley Jehoshaphat. The goats go on to Hades to await judgment.
Lee Brainard: That’s right.
Nathan Jones: The righteous into the Millennial Kingdom.
Lee Brainard: Amen.
Tim Moore: I think that is a beautiful insight, because most of us have probably thought about those who are the least of these as just the poor and the oppressed around us.
Lee Brainard: Yes.
Tim Moore: But the Lord also always has the Jewish people as the apple of His eye.
Lee Brainard: That’s right.
Tim Moore: You need to be looking for ways to bless them. And again, certainly not try to take them off of their land or divide their land in violation of the Word of God.
Lee Brainard: That’s right. And I don’t have a problem if Christians want to take an analogy from Matthew 25 and apply it in the secondary sense to downtrodden Christians or your downtrodden neighbors. But we have to understand, this is just an application. The intended principal is the people of Israel in the Tribulation.
Tim Moore: Well, Lee in terms of a Christian who says, well, I want to learn, I want to understand, how can I because I don’t speak Greek or Hebrew?
Lee Brainard: Right. Right.
Tim Moore: And all I have is my English translation. What would you encourage them to do?
Lee Brainard: Well, if all you have at your fingertips is the English, basically 99.5% of the difficulties you’re going to face on what does this word mean? What does this passage mean? What’s the meaning of this doctrine? You can find those answers without knowledge of the Greek or Hebrew, if you have, you’re using like, let’s say, two or three literal English translations, you’re comparing them. But you’re also comparing passages, parallel passages, related passages. The Bible is its own commentary on itself. And it’s the best commentary. And if we develop the habit of going to commentaries first rather than the commentary of the Scriptures first, we’re going to make a mistake because we’re going to end up leaning on men. And this brings up another thought, too, because one of the biggest difficulties we face as believers is not learning the letter of the text. I know a lot of believers that have a strong knowledge of the letter of the text, and they are operating on a very superficial level and they’re very good there, I don’t want to knock that at all. But the fact of the matter is, we need to learn to think for ourselves. And we need to be willing to be regarded as wrong, or we’re going to not going to attain all the truth that we can possibly attain.
Tim Moore: We need to be like the Bereans in that point, and let Scripture prove us. I will tell you; my favorite commentary is a concordance.
Lee Brainard: Amen.
Tim Moore: Because a concordance will point me to other passages that illuminate what I’m reading. And sometimes the Spirit will lead me to that. But if I get a brain freeze in terms of where is that connective verse located, a concordance will at least point me back to the Word of God. So, it is my favorite commentary.
Lee Brainard: Amen. It should be everybody’s favorite commentary.
Tim Moore: And as Nathan would know, there are lots of Greek translations, or at least I can go and look up a word in Greek and maybe for one word, explore the meaning.
Nathan Jones: Oh, Strong’s numbers, great place I go all the time, like, what does this word actually mean? Strong’s will tell you what the original Greek or Hebrew means. And then you can figure it out for yourself.
Lee Brainard: Yeah. And there’s a lot of useful Greek tools.
Tim Moore: And you don’t even have to buy or purchase something you can go to Blue Letter Bible app or online.
Nathan Jones: Logos Software.
Tim Moore: Yes, and online it will give you a wealth of information. So, what a tremendous resource.
Lee Brainard: Amen. Just developing in your heart, the ability to stand alone on the plain statements of Scripture and develop your theology from the plain statements of Scripture. The essence of all theological error is man being stumbled by a philosophical presupposition which causes them to question whether they can take plain statements of Scripture at face value.
Tim Moore: That’s very powerful.
Nathan Jones: If people want to know more about what you have to teach in the Bible, where do they go to find that out?
Lee Brainard: Go to my website: soothkeep.info. Or you can also find me on Twitter. Just look for Soothkeep.
Nathan Jones: Soothkeep, okay.
Tim Moore: Well, Lee, I told you how excited I was to have you. And I’ve shared with our viewers just your living testimony of a man who is, quote on quote, self-taught Greek and Hebrew, but really gifted in that regard, but you are so willing to share it. And how by studying the Word of God, all of us, and again, even the likes of me, can gain understanding, because the Holy Spirit illuminates our hearts.
Lee Brainard: Amen. Amen.
Tim Moore: And so, I am so glad you came. Joel said in his book in chapter two, verse one, “Blow a trumpet in Zion for the day of the Lord is coming; surely it is near.” And we actually sense that same kind of urgency today with everything that’s happening around us. But until he does, Lee may He continue to bless you and your work.
Lee Brainard: Amen. And Tim, may the Lord continue to bless Lamb and Lion. This ministry has been a blessing to people for four plus decades.
Tim Moore: Yes.
Lee Brainard: And may it continue until the trumpet blows.
Tim Moore: Amen.
Tim Moore: As a man who taught himself Greek and Hebrew, Lee Brainard is both inspirational and convicting. He proves that anyone can gain insight to the Word of God through careful study.
Nathan Jones: Well, I appreciate the fact that he is widely respected by credentialed Bible scholars like the ones who gather each year at the Pre-Trib Conference. Lee’s insights always result in edifying the saints and pointing to our Savior.
Tim Moore: You know that’s exactly what the prophet Joel did as well. We realize that his pronouncement of a locust plague would have been horrifying to an agricultural society. But Joel’s faithfulness to the Lord led him to convey God’s message to His wayward people in an effort to edify the nation of Judah.
Nathan Jones: Inherent in that pronouncement of judgment lies a message of hope. Had the king and the people of Judah repented of their wickedness, God would have indeed relented, just as He did with Nineveh.
Tim Moore: But the locust plague was a harbinger of an even greater calamity, an invasion by a foreign army in the short term, and the great and awesome day of the Lord in the long term. Even now, a day is coming when the Messiah will return to wreak justice on the earth. He will no longer be meek and mild but will come to pour out the wrath of God and judge the nations.
Joel records the Word of the Lord this way, “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.”
Nathan Jones: And soon, it will be too late to choose to follow Jesus Christ. Each person’s decision to accept or reject Him will be locked in. And, as Tim has described before, those who choose not to decide have in essence rejected Him already. So, before the Lord “roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem,” now is the time to embrace the Messiah as our Savior.
Tim Moore: Joel opens with a dramatic vision of natural catastrophe, a locust plague. He then transitions to a military onslaught and finally a cataclysmic battle between the nations of the world and the LORD Himself that will end in everlasting judgment.
But he also offers great hope: the promise of deliverance for the people of God, and restoration for the land that was subjected to a curse for so long. In agricultural terms, the Lord promises early and latter rain to ensure “the threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.” Even more significant, God promised that in the end times He will pour out His Spirit on all mankind, so that “your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.”
Nathan Jones: And that is beginning to happen today, as people around the world testify to being visited by angels unaware, and even Jesus Himself calling them to salvation.
Tim Moore: I’m glad you mentioned angels pointing to Jesus Christ, Nathan, because today we are featuring your book, The Mighty Angels of Revelation.
Nathan Jones: Well, thanks, Tim. Well, folks, if you want to meet the 72 angels and angelic groups found in the book of Revelation, then this book will be a blessing to you. For a gift of $20 or more, we’ll be glad to send you a copy. Just call the number you see on the screen or visit our website at lamblion.com.
Tim Moore: Well, that’s all the time we have. Whether you are on a mountaintop or in a valley today, we pray that you have already chosen wisely deciding to embrace Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and following Him all the days of your life.
Until next week, this is Tim Moore and Nathan Jones, saying, Look up and be watchful, for the Lord, the Commander of the armies of heaven, is coming soon!
End of Program