GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
Robert R. McLaughlin
December 13, 2018
Pastor Rick Bettez
The ancient prophets would teach about doctrinal circumstances within their day but it almost always had implications for what was to come in the future and often it touched backward in history as well.
The background for Joel’s prophecy is the national disaster to Israel, the locust plague which caused an economic depression. This catastrophe fell under the 3rd cycle of discipline which promises economic disaster.
The locust plague became the basis of Joel’s eschatology and he warns of the future invasion of the Assyrians. This also will hint to the Tribulation period as well.
Deu 28:15 But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: pestilence, famine, physical and mental illness, captivity by enemies… etc.
Joel 1:4 What the gnawing locust has left, the swarming locust has eaten; and what the swarming locust has left, the creeping locust has eaten; and what the creeping locust has left, the stripping locust has eaten.
Just like the locust had four stages each being able to cause varying degrees of crop damage the coming march of 4 Assyrian kings in the future was also in view. Tiglath-Pileser III, Sargon II, Sennacherib, Esarhaddon. (Isaiah)
The invasion of locust that caused crushing economic damage (3rd cycle of discipline) was used as a prophetic warning of armies yet to come.
Fifty years after Joel departs from the scene we have the first of four great Assyrian invasions (locust armies). God’s word never comes back void!
The Bible has depth and accuracy concerning not only historic change but also future disaster. It is the only source of guidance for our daily life, yet it is ridiculed, ignored and minimized by the majority.
Joel 1:5 Awake, drunkards, and weep; and wail, all you wine drinkers, on account of the sweet wine that is cut off from your mouth.
This was a historic point in the art of wine making skills.
The drunk or addict is frustrated when his crutch is removed, therefore he can no longer practice escapism, he can no longer practice sublimation. This is the case beyond alcohol & drug abuse reaching into many forms of dependency.
Ecc 3:11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart,
yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
The prophet Joel is addressing Bel’s who have had fair warning and ample time to get back in line with the commandments of God, yet they have replaced that with a lazy attitude and pursued a ‘party-lifestyle’ opposed to truth.
Alcohol is never condemned in the Bible….drunkenness is! For those with a weakness in any area (alcohol) they should refrain completely, but not expect that to be a standard for everyone else.
Isa 5:11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning that they may pursue strong drink, who stay up late in the evening that wine may inflame them!
Rom 13:13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy.
(1Cor 5:11, Eph 5:18, Pro 20:1, Pro 23:20)
1Tim 5:23 No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
Psa 104:15 And wine which makes man’s heart glad, so that he may make his face glisten with oil, and food which sustains man’s heart.
Joel 1:6 “For a nation is come up upon my land” — that nation is Assyria. Assyria had become a great nation, first of all industrially and secondly from the military standpoint.
It is Bible Doctrine that makes a nation vigorous, gives it strength and longevity. If a nation is standing strong with the Word of God at its core, God will bless and protect those people.
Psa 34:19 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.
The Bel who is living within PPOG
is the person who gets delivered.
Joel 1:9 The grain offering and the drink offering are cut off from the house of the LORD. The priests mourn, the ministers of the LORD.
These offerings called for animals, for wine, for flour & oil, and all of these things have been removed because of the locust invasion first and then the Assyrians in the future.
Notice the locust have already done this damage, but the future prophecy is blended right into the current day event. This is common among God’s prophetic scriptures.
The neglect of BD for the Bel is actually a misery that will eventually encompass many aspects of his/her life. Family, friends, career and health, each and every thread of the Bel’s life can be effected.
Heb 12:15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled
Gal 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.
This is why it is essential that leadership has its basis secured in the Word of God. If Moses, Joshua & Caleb had not remained steadfast in truth, the Exodus generation would’ve marched back into Egyptian slavery.
1Cor 5:11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one.
Each Bel is responsible for their own decisions, yet leadership is expected to set the standard & maintain the focus on truth as well as extract obstacles for the majority.
You will find a minority turns into a majority quickly when lies and manipulation are at the helm. Truth rarely finds momentum in the cosmic system because it offends the OSN.
Mat 7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Even after salvation it is the minority of Bels who remain positive and have true impact in the PPOG. Many Bels become useful idiots within Satan’s plan after salvation.