We have learned that when the Messiah came, the Ruach ha Kodesh would descend on the people in power. This was part of what was expected in the eschatological congregation. In 1 Cor 12.1-11 we have the manifestations of the Spirit in power. These manifestations come upon an individual believer as the Lord wills, for the good of all. Rom 12.6-8 are the “charismatic” gifts. In other words, 1 Cor 12 is the “power” and “healing” is the gift. Here is an example, however, of a “healing verse” that is interpreted incorrectly and followed in many churches today. In Jam 5.14 it talks about anointing the sick with oil. The word for oil means “medicine” because back then they didn’t have Tylenol. Oil was used for medicinal value (Isa 1.6; Luke 10.34). The word “anointing” means to “rub, cover or smear” (Mark 6.13) and not done in a religious rite. In other words, it means pray for the person, but render him the medicine as well. You can check this out in Zodiates Key Study Bible, Thayer’s Greek English Lexicon and Unger’s Bible Commentary. We say this because we should find out things for ourselves, not what others tell you something is saying. We need to move in the power, and if it is in the medicine, give them medicine, if it is in the oil, give oil. But do what it tells you to do in the Scripture.
One of the things people need to be doing in their congregations is start evaluating what their congregation is supposed to be like. They should know what they are supposed to be doing and what to expect. They need to know how a congregation is structured. We have a teaching on “First Century Congregational Structure” on this site if you want more information. This should be part of our expectations for today also.
Joel prophesies about things in his day, the first coming of the Messiah, the second coming of the Messiah, prophetic events involving Rosh ha Shannah and Yom Kippur and the Messianic Kingdom. Remember, one of the concepts needed to understand biblical eschatology is that prophecies can have numerous fulfillments and still be correct. The prophets, and their prophecies, were not subject to time, and Joel 2.28 is an example. In Acts 2, the Messiah has come and the Malkut Shamayim (Kingdom of God) was upon the believers. This 50 days after the resurrection, on the festival of Shavuot. The Eschatological Congregation had begun. The Ruach ha Kodesh anoints those believers following the Messiah
Joel 2.30-32…This prophecy talks about the time period called the “Day of the Lord” specifically. Other names for the Day of the Lord is the Atid Lavo, the Sabbath of God, the Messianic Kingdom and the “Millenium.” In Acts 2, Peter says “This is what” was spoken of by the Prophet Joel, meaning the Messianic Age, or “Yom’ot Mashiach.” He is speaking from the beginning of this. When you know that prophecies have numerous fulfillments, this is no problem. Things are usually told from their fullness, and looks backward. For example, Isa 52 and 53 should be read looking at the tenses. Jer 31.31-43 is another example, look at the tenses, especially v 34. We are in the New Covenant, but not in the fullness of it yet. This New Covenant will come twice, at the beginning of the Yom’ot Mashiach and at the end of the Atid Lavo. These principles will apply over and over again. There is a term you must remember when talking about eschatology, and it is “Here now, but not yet” from Num 24.17; 2 Cor 4.18; Ecc 1.8-9 and 3.15.
We are in the Eschatological Congregation and the Spirit has been poured out, but not in fullness. The Malkut Shamayim is within us now, but we are promised more when Yeshua returns and reigns, in Jerusalem, and then it will come into it’s fullness at the end of the Atid Lavo (Messianic Kingdom; Day of the Lord). This time period is referred to as the “reformation” in Heb 9.10; the “restoration” in Acts 3.21 and the “regeneration” in Matt 19.28.
Joel.3.1… “In those days” is a phrase that we need to understand. “In those days” is “B’Yamin” in Hebrew and you will see it in Jer 33.15 and 50.4, and it is similar to “the days are coming” in Jer 23.5. These terms are always interpreted as the time when Messiah comes. You will see a similar phrase in Gen 49.1 “Acharit Yamin” and it means the “last days, the latter days and it is talking about the same time period. Isa 2.2 and Micah 4.1 also make reference to this time period. Psa 102.12-18 talks about another term “generation to come” or “Achan” in Hebrew, and this is from “Acharit Yamin.” So, lets work in these verses. In Psa 102.12-13 we have the return of Yeshua on Yom Kippur and the “golden age” of Israel has come. The Kingdom has come. Israel’s past is locked in her “stones” (v 14) and this refers to the archeology there. Preparations for the Temple are being made and the blueprint is ready. Priests are being trained and the vessels prepared. The exact locations of the chambers, altar and the courts are being accomplished through archeology. In verses 15-18 we are talking about the time to come, or “achan” and it is singular for “acharit” and it means the “last generation.” When is this? When the Atid Lavo, the Messianic Kingdom comes when Messiah returns.
In Joel 2.28 we want to go back and pick up one word. The word “afterward” or “after this” is “acharay” and it is tied in with the Yom’ot Mashiach and the Messianic Age. In Joel 3.1 we are in the Messianic Age, or Kingdom, because of this phrase “B’Yamin” being used. Then I goes on to say “restore the fortunes” (NASB) and what does this bring to mind? It means to “restore the captives” and in Isa 11.10-12 we have “In that day” (when Messiah comes) and his “resting place” (the Kingdom = Heb 4)) will be glorious. They key is in verse 11 where it says that the Lord will “recover the second time with his hand (a term for Messiah) the remnant of his people.” This is what is meant by the term “restore the fortunes” in Joel 2.28. Isa 27.12-13; Matt 24.29; Jer 31.7-8 and Isa 4.2 all refer to this “salvation” and gathering of the captives, or remnant, of Israel. There is a term we need to learn, it is called “the basar” and it means “flesh or meat” in Hebrew. It also means “good news, glad tidings or “gospel” and also “mankind” in Isa 66.23.
When we say “gospel” what do we mean? Most people will say that it means that “Jesus came and died for our sins and we can be forgiven” right? There is a Christian denomination called the “Four Square Gospel Church” that has “salvation, Heaven, Hell and the resurrection” as their four “square” pillar that they built the denomination on. However, that is not even close to the “basar” as presented in the Scriptures. Isa 52.7-10 says that the “basar” (gospel) is associated with peace, and peace is when the Messiah comes (Yeshua is Hebrew for salvation). In v 8 we see the phrase “brings back Zion” and this is the same as “restoring the fortunes (captivity)” or captives when Messiah returns. Verses 9-10 go on to give more detail. Isa 40.9-11 and Isa 61.1-3 also talks about the basar and the return of the captives. Jer 31.1-2 talks about “At that time” which is another way of saying “in those days” (B’Yamin) and refers to when Messiah returns, that the people who have survived the sword (the Birth-pains) will be gathered and built up again.
In Jer 31.1-18 is read during Rosh ha Shannah and Jer 31.13-22 is the Story of the Merciful Father in Jewish thought, but it is also known as the story of the Prodigal Son. It is the story of how Israel went into captivity, but how the Lord will bring them back in mercy. This is read on the Sabbath after Rosh ha Shannah, called Shabbat Shuvah, or the “Sabbath of return.” Yeshua was referring to this very concept when he told the story called the “prodigal son” by churchmen in Luke 15.11-32, but it is really the story about the “merciful father” based on Jer 31.13-22.
In Part 8, we will pick up here and work on this term “basar.” We need to know what it means. Joel 3.1 is part of the “basar” or “gospel” so we need to define what this is and how it fits into what the Lord is trying to communicate in the Book of Joel.