Joel's Army?

Updated 03/20/17

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"Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess [Isa 5:30], a day of clouds [Dan 7:13; Rev 19:14] and of thick darkness, as the morning [the 4th watch] spread upon the mountains: a great people [H7227: abundant] and a strong [numerous; Gog +10-horns]; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations." Joel 2:1-2; p.p. Zep 1:14- 16

 

     If you're one of those asking, "Why the question mark in the title?" Maybe it's because you were taught like me that "the army" mentioned in Joel 2, will consist of the saints of God, and in particular what Revelation 11 and 12 calls the Two Witnesses/Man child (company). That errant teaching claims the army mentioned in Joel 2 are the saints in Revelation 11:5 (see below). They say since the two witness brethren cannot be killed until after their 42-month ministry is finished, that they must be those described in Joel 2:8 which we will talk about later. So let's start to compare these two groups of people that the Bible says comes forth at the same time in the end-time, which are Joel's army and the "two witnesses"/"man child" brethren.

 

"And if any man will [G2309: wants to] hurt them [the witnesses], fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed." Revelation 11:5

 

"Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word ["the Lord liveth" vs 5:2], behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, [meaning these Christian leaders will speak their own judgment] and this people wood, and it shall devour them." Jeremiah 5:14

 

     Jeremiah 5:14 just told us (in anti-type) what we are really dealing with in Revelation 11:5; even though in this instance in Jeremiah 5, "the fire" (judgment) is meted out by the northern army, who is "Gog & the horns." Apparently, God's people from the least to the greatest, were not only refusing to receive correction in Jeremiah 5 (and in the present day household of God), but they were actually proclaiming their innocents to Jeremiah. Not only that, but they even proclaimed how absurd it was that God would even consider judging His little honeys in this way. God said that now His Words "shall become like fire in their mouths." In other words, because they proclaimed "the Lord liveth" with their own mouths, and yet continued to increase in sin, GOD'S righteousness had to bring, and will yet bring, the fiery judgment upon them that their hypocritical pronouncement deserves. Thus, what will come out of the Witnesses' mouths, will bring similar judgment and more to any that try to stop them. Now whether or not the "fire" the witnesses speak forth is actual "flame of fire," or the burning conviction from the spoken Word, will be up to God Himself. Furthermore, there are many places in the Bible where judgment is spoken of as a fire sent to purge the dross. As for paralleling verses, the next two in Joel 2 and Jeremiah 5 are speaking of the same situation in time.

 

"They shall run like mighty [abundant, numerous] men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks:" Joel 2:7


"Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the LORD'S. For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt very treacherously against me, saith the LORD." Jeremiah 5:10-11

 

     Another verse some like to use to prove that the "two witness"/"man child" company spoken of in Revelation chapters 11 & 12 are the same as the army that is spoken of in Joel chapter 2, is the one found in Joel 2:8 below. Now the Bible does say these brethren in Revelation 11 will be given some sort of supernatural power that will protect them until the end of their 42-months of ministry. However, Satan will also have his army going forth at the same time, and there are some verses that appear to say they too may have some type of a satanic supernatural covering for a time, but I believe that interpretation comes more as a result of the phraseology (etymology) that was used at that time. I say that because Isaiah 5:27-28, which contextually parallels Joel 2:8 below, does not carry the same thought that supernatural powers will be given to that army. Furthermore you will see the KJV misinterpreted Joel 2:8 at a crucial point of reference.

 

"Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall UPON the sword, they shall not be WOUNDED [H1214: to break off, that is, (usually) plunder. So they will be helped by their evil allies; they will unite and not attack each other]." Joel 2:8

JP Green Interlinear translation of Joel 2:8:

"And each does not press his brother, they each go in his paths. And if they fall BEHIND their weapons, they shall not be CUT OFF." Joel 2:8

 

     So here we see the original Hebrew has a much different connotation to it. It does not say "...when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded." It says, "...And if they fall behind their weapons, they shall not be cut off." It's talking about a confederacy of militaries becoming one for the purpose of fighting a common enemy, the saints of GOD. So if someone is wounded they will not be left to die, they will help each other; they will be untied. The key word here is "behind," not "upon," like the KJV says. It's not even necessarily speaking of being wounded. One can "fall behind" simply from exhaustion. We see this same alliance of murderers in Isaiah 5 below.

 

"None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep [unlike both groups of virgins]; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken [this means they're ready well equipted and itching for war: Rev 6:4: the red horse and rider]: Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind:" Isaiah 5:27-28

Vs.

"And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will [wants to] hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will [wants to] hurt them, he must in this manner be killed." Revelation 11:3-5


     As previously stated, I believe that contextually Joel 2:8 is speaking of "Gog's" confederate army (the ten horned beast in Rev 13:1) coming to purge the saints and judge the sinners. I also believe the following verses tell us "that old serpent" will in like manner give "his power" onto the "False Prophet" to make war with the saints during the time of their ministry.

 

"And I saw one of his heads [Satan possessing the 8th head/Little Horn/Pope: Rev 17:11; Dan 7:8] as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast [Gog + ten horns + False Prophet]: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? [it/them]And there was given unto him a mouth [the media; certain government leaders, etc] speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." Revelation 13:3-7


"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb [the true Lamb had the "Spirit" & the "Word" as His horns of power or authority; this beast/"man of sin"/"False Prophet"/Pope will be given "Satan's spirit" and "Satan's words"; he will be possessed by Satan] and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast [now it's Satan]; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image [666: in their heart] to the beast, which had the wound by a sword [the Word of GOD], and did live." Revelation 13:11-14


     We could also compare "the fire" that Revelation 11:5 says the "Two Witnesses" bring forth, with the "fire" that Revelation 13:13 says the "beast with two horns" will be given. I believe both of these will be supernatural powers, only they are from two different sources for two different reasons. Without a doubt, this "man of sin" will have the Devil dwelling in him! It may be like a replay of "Jannes and Jambres" trying to outdo Moses (Ex 7:11; 2-Tim 3:8).

 

     For us to understand exactly who Joel's army really is, we must let the time period this chapter describes define which army of God we are reading about in Joel 2:1-11. The context of the chapter itself tells us this army cannot be the saints of God (see Joel 2:25 below). It cannot even be the "armies in Heaven," which are mentioned in Revelation 19:14, and later in Joel 3:11, because that army returns at Armageddon with the LORD to "remove far off from you the northern army..." Joel 2:20. No, this army that ushers in Joel 2, is sent by God to punish, and then later destroy the whorish, backslidden, church, to chastise the "sleeping" foolish virgin Church, and to purge the "slumbering" wise virgin Church. Then when this army has done its "strange work," God will destroy them at Armageddon.

 

"And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, MY GREAT ARMY which I sent among you." Joel 2:25


     So why is it the context of Joel 2 and Isaiah 5 shows God warning His own people about this "great people" that shall come from "the north?" It's because they need to repent and turn back onto the LORD before the great and terrible day of the LORD does come, because it'll be too late by then to repent. Brethren, why would God need to warn His own people about the "armies in Heaven" coming back to save them "from the northern army?" Therefore it's not only contextual, it's more than obvious that the army mentioned in the first part of Joel 2 and the last part of Isaiah 5, is "the northern army" (the north/Gog + horns) as described in so many other places thought out the scriptures.

 

     One of the things that had previously clouded my understanding (and I believe many others) as to who this great army is, was the fact that God talks about this army in terms that describes them as His own army. However this is anti-typing and spiritual sarcasm, because in like manner God describes Gog as "His army" many times over in the Bible. If you still don't believe me then read Ezekiel 38 where it says that GOD Himself will send Gog against His own people.

 

"And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army: And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land [Joel 2:2]; it shall be in the latter days, and I WILL BRING THEE against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified [set apart as a tool of judgment] in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them [spiritually backslidden Gentile believers & unbelieving natural Israel]? And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel (Rev 11:19)." Ezekiel 38:15-19


     Therefore, what we just read in Ezekiel 38, is that God is going to use Gog to shake spiritual and natural Israel in the end-time, thus the warning in Joel 2:1; "sound an alarm in my holy mountain..." Did you notice how one of the natures this army in Joel 2 is described as having, is the nature of "the thief"? Howbeit Jesus said He too would return "as a thief" at in Revelation 16:15, but again, this anti-type of Jesus' appearing is even going to be manifested through Gog's army as described in Joel 2:9

 

"For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth [the ten horns] and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief [Lk 12:39]. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." Revelation 16:14-16

 

     In essence, what Joel 2 is showing us is how He (GOD) will use one stronger wicked army comprised of many wicked nations, but mainly Russia (the northern army: Meshech, Tubal, of the Ten Horns: Eze 38:2—13), to come against  many weaker wicked nations (spiritual Babylon/Egypt [The USA + allies]). This war in Joel technically begins even before the great tribulation time period begins, at what's called "midnight"/the "travailing." Then later once the Two Witness/Man Child Co. is martyred and called up to join the great cloud of Witnesses, the persecution will greatly intensify during the time period "immediately after" the great tribulation, which is also known as the indignation. This will be the time when "the abomination" has become fully "set-up" during the first six vials: from the end of the 1,260-days to 1,290-days Daniel 12:11, Revelation 18. Yet, "the battle of the great day of the LORD" will have its climax when Yeshua returns at Armageddon. This is when the LORD Himself will drive out the northern army in part, as He did in Midian where He caused an over whelming force of troops to kill each other out of abject fear once the glory of the LORD was shown in type by the 300 "broken" [travailed] vessels with the lamps inside (the glory of God exposed).

 

"For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction. And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him [contextually "Gog"] according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea [where God overthrew the Egyptians in the Red Sea], so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt. And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing." Isaiah 10:25-27

 

     Therefore, this conquering Goginite army is first sent to drive out God's people from the midst of Babylon and into some form of actual captivity (see link). Afterwards when Gog (the 1st beast in Rev 13:1) sees what great success he had in taking out America the Great, he will come against natural Israel to destroy them; that's when Yeshua returns with His army of overcomers at Armageddon to drive out and destroy Gog's united army. This is the last period of judgment spoken of in the sixth millennium, and it's properly called "the battle of the great day of the LORD." This time period is also referred to in Daniel 12:12, Revelation 19, and is portrayed in the verses below.

 

"Come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; and the Lydians, that handle and bend the bow. For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood [Rev 19:13]: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates." Jeremiah 46:9-10

 

"O thou daughter (outer court) dwelling in Egypt, furnish thyself to go into captivity: for Noph shall be waste and desolate without an inhabitant. Egypt is like a very fair heifer, but destruction cometh; it cometh out of the north. Also her hired men [the hirelings: pastors] are in the midst of her like fatted bullocks; for they also are turned back, and are fled away together: they did not stand, because the day of their calamity was come upon them, and the time of their visitation." Jeremiah 46:19-21

 

"Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished." Jeremiah 46:28

 

"For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country [Gog]: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain." Jeremiah 50:9

 

"Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation, and many kings shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. They shall hold the bow and the lance: they are cruel, and will not show mercy: their voice shall roar like the sea, and they shall ride upon horses, every one, like a man to the battle, against thee, O daughter of Babylon." Jeremiah 50:41-42

 

"Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the LORD hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes [Greece: type for the little horn's lineage]: for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the LORD, the vengeance of his temple [those who were martyred]." Jeremiah 51:11

 

    Brethren, God is warning His people that He must send this northern army controlled by Satan through the False Prophet to purge His own people from their sins. In fact, this is nothing new; God has always used the heathen to tribulate His people to cry out. Simply put, God is warning His people that in the "latter time" it will be the greatest time of persecution and chastisement that the Church has ever known. There are two other periods of judgment (the 42-months, and the indignation, see link) that come before the great and terrible day of the LORD; these are mentioned in places like Isaiah 8:7—8, and Amos chapter 9, just to name a few.

 

"Now therefore, behold, THE LORD bringeth up upon them the waters of the river [Rev 12:15: the flood of waters], strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks [the swelling of Jordan]: And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel." Isaiah 8:7-8

 

"Though they [contextually meaning backslidden /whorish/unbelieving natural & spiritual Israel] dig into hell, thence shall MINE hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down: And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them: And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good." Amos 9:2-4

 

 

The Types In Joel 2:

"The Horses & Horsemen" (Joel 2:4)

     

     These two types are predominately used in the Bible to symbolically represent strong spirits and the people they manifest through, both good and evil. Below are some verses in Jeremiah and Revelation that show these types.

 

"If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trusted, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan [the flood of waters: Isa 8:7-8; Rev 12:15]?" Jeremiah 12:5

 

"And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword." Revelation 6:4


"And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. And the shapes of the locusts [Joel 2:25]  were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold [meaning their authority is given to them by world leaders], and their faces were as the faces of men." Revelation 9:6-7

 

"And thus I saw the horses [Joel 2:4] in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions [Isa 5:29—30]; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone [war]." Revelation 9:17

 

 "And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." Revelation 19:14 -15


"Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and robbery; the prey departeth not; The noise of a whip, and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the prancing horses, and of the jumping chariots. The horseman lifteth up both the bright sword and the glittering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a great number of carcases [Mat 24:28]; and there is none end of their corpses; they stumble upon their corpses: Because of the multitude of the whoredoms of the well favoured harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that selleth nations through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts. Behold, I AM against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will show the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame." Nahum 3:1-5

 

"Run upon the walls... enter at the windows like a thief"

 

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way [or the window: Joel 2:9], the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep." John 10:1-2

 

     The preceding verses (and common sense) establish "the thief" type. However, as previously mentioned, 1-Thessalonians 5:2-3 and Revelation 16:15-16 (Behold, I [Jesus] come as a thief [to steal lampstands, kill unrepentant sinners, & to destroy the works of Satan]) establishes the "anti-type." Moreover, since Jesus describes "one of His appearings" as a thief, we need to see what Jesus says the thief's job is.

 

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy [at Armageddon: Rev 16:14-16]: I am come [first] that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10

 

"The Locust"; "The Cankerworm"; "The Caterpillar"; etc.

     

     The insect types used at the end of Joel 2 are in essence used to describe the natures of the judgment in "God's destroying army" (slow and methodical, but all destructive). God tells us this "great army" has actually been destroying things for a long time. Although, the fullness of this armies destructive power comes forth during "the day of the LORD" time period. The truth is, this army of "insects" has been persecuting God's people ever since God placed "the curse" on man in the garden.