Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Joel, and more specifically, is found in the first seventeen verses of the second chapter. “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, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Joel 2:1-2). BLOW A TRUMPET! SOUND AN ALARM! When the prophet Joel transitions to the second chapter of the prophetic vision he received from the Lord, he begins by calling the people to blow a trumpet in Zion, and to sound an alarm on the holy mountain of the Lord. Through the prophet Joel, the Lord was warning the inhabitants of the land of a very great and terrible visitation. There was something that was truly great and terrible that was about to strike the land, and through the prophet Joel, the Lord was calling the people to recognize and understand that things were about to change in their culture and society, and things were going to be completely different than they ever were before. If you read the second verse of this chapter, you will find the description of what was about to take place in their midst: “There has never been anything like it, nor will there be again after it to the years of many generations.” That which was about to take place within the land had not happened before, and it was something the inhabitants of the land had not experienced it before. A day was coming and quickly approaching the land of Judah, and through the prophet Joel, the people were being warned of what was about to take place. When I read the first few words of this chapter—“Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on my holy mountain”—I can’t help but wonder if these weren’t words that were spoken in Joel’s ears, as it was he who was instructed to blow a trumpet in Zion, and it was he who was instructed to sound an alarm.
One thought that I cannot escape or remove from my mind is if the initial trumpet and alarm came through the prophet Joel, but if there were others who themselves took up the sound of alarm, and the sound of the trumpet, and brought those sounds throughout the land. The prophet Joel was instructed to blow a trumpet in Zion, and to sound an alarm on the holy mountain of the Lord, yet I can’t help but wonder if the sound of both the trumpet and the alarm were meant to be brought and sounded throughout the land. I do believe that there were a vast majority of those during the days of the Hebrew prophets who ignored the warnings and words of caution being issued by the prophets, but what if there were those who took seriously and heeded the voice and warning of the Lord, and then took the sound of that message and warning throughout the land. The book of Joel doesn’t reveal to us where he prophesied in relation to the land of Judah—whether he prophesied merely in Jerusalem, or whether he prophesied in whatever town, city or village he was from. One thing that may be absolutely certain, is that there were those who trembled at the word of the Lord their God, and who took the sound of the trumpet and the alarm, and warned their families, warned their friends, warned their loved ones, and perhaps even anyone they could find. In the days of Joel, the Lord was calling for a trumpet to be blown, and an alarm to be sounded, and I believe with all my heart that we are living in similar days today. I believe with all my heart that we are living in days when the Lord is calling for the trumpet to be blown in the land, and for an alarm to be sounded within the land. If you take the time to read, watch or follow the news, you will clearly see that there are those among us who are taking the time to listen to the heart and voice of the Lord, and who are taking the warning He is giving, and speaking it forth to the inhabitants of the land. I can’t tell you how many times the wall of my social media page is lit up with various blog posts and writings where men and women are sounding a prophetic alarm within the land that something drastic is going to take place.
I believe we are living in days of a prophetic alarm, and days of the prophetic trumpet, and the Lord is looking for those whom He can warn,and those who will take His prophetic message to. The words which were spoken to the prophet Jeremiah are ringing loud in my ear, for the Lord asked of the prophet Jeremiah of whom He would, of whom He could give warning. In other words, through the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord revealed His desire to find a man who would stand in the gap, and would build up the hedge, in order that He might not destroy the land. Through the prophet Ezekiel, we find the Lord looking for one who would stand in the gap, and who would intercede on behalf of the nation, and the inhabitants of the land, in order that He might not bring the devastation and destruction He had decreed upon it. Through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord was looking for those to whom He could speak and give warning to—those who would hear and listen to the prophetic voice of the Lord, and those who would hear the sound of the trumpet being blown in their ear. Tell me dear brother or sister—do you hear the sound of the trumpet being blown in your ear this day? Do you hear the sound of the trumpet being blown in your prayer closet when you enter in with prayer and supplication and intercession? I believe that in this late hour, the Lord is sounding forth a prophetic trumpet, and is sounding forth a prophetic alarm in the earth, and is warning the people of that which is about to take place. Up until fourteen years ago, we believed our nation was impenetrable, and untouchable, and that we were completely and totally secure. We believed that our borders were secure, and that no enemy, no foe, no adversary could enter into our land and launch any type of attack against us. The events which took place fourteen years ago revealed that our nation is not as untouchable or impenetrable as we had previously thought, and that we could be touched and invaded by the forces of the enemy. I would even dare say that up until seven years ago, we believed our economy to be absolutely sure and secure, and that absolutely nothing could topple our economic system. That whole jaded and misguided perception changed when our economy collapsed and crashed seven years ago, and we have been experiencing the impact and effects ever since. I have written before concerning the events which took place in our nation fourteen years ago, and how I wondered if they weren’t prophetic signs—prophetic portents and symbols if you will—of the danger that lie ahead.
If you examine the events that devastated and shook this nation fourteen years ago, you will see that the twin symbols of our economic strength and power were brought down upon themselves in a heap of rubble, and then seven years ago—almost as if it were like clockwork and of divine origin—the economy of this nation collapsed. I remember thinking and wondering to myself if the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center collapsing upon themselves wasn’t a portent and sign of the collapse of our economy, but also if the attack that took place upon our Pentagon wasn’t in and of itself a prophetic sign and portent of that which is to come. Though the Pentagon—the symbol of our nation’s military might and strength—was not completely destroyed, it was nonetheless attacked, and part of it was destroyed by a plane which was hijacked and turned into a guided missile heading straight toward the Pentagon. I have wondered if the collapse and crashing down of the World Trade Center was a sign of the collapse of the economy, then is it possible that the attack on our Pentagon wasn’t a sign of some type of devastation upon our military might and strength. Is it possible that we may very well see something in the days, weeks, and months ahead that will bring upon our national military might and strength a tremendous amount of devastation? Is it possible that the three targets of 9/11 weren’t in and of themselves prophetic signs and warnings of what could very well come to this nation if we persisted in our stubborn rebellion and transgression before the Lord?
This month especially, there have been a number of articles and blogs that have been written about this month being a very critical and crucial month in the history of this nation, and perhaps even in the history of the earth itself. More importantly, however, there are many who believe this month could be very significant and crucial for the tiny state of Israel that is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, and surrounded by foes and adversaries who want to completely annihilate and wipe out her very existence. There has been a tremendous amount of dialogue that has taken place concerning this month, for not only is this month the month of the Shemitah, but there is also in this month the fourth and final blood moon in a series of blood moons known as a tetrad. What’s more, is that this isn’t merely going to be a blood moon, but it is going to be a super moon, which happens when the earth passes between earth and the sun. How interesting, and perhaps even ironic that the fourth and final blood moon is going to be the largest one of the four. There has been much discussion and debate as to whether or not the cosmic signs in the heavens are themselves providing us with a prophetic warning concerning that which is about to take place in this nation. There are seven days left in this month, and I would by lying if I told you that I wasn’t curious what the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord was, and is trying to speak to this nation and to this generation. Is the Lord using cosmic signs in the heavens to bring us warning concerning what is about to take place within this nation, and even within the earth? This fourth and final blood moon occurs not only on the heels of the finalization of the Iranian nuclear deal, but also the arrival of the Pope to this country. Just yesterday, the internet was abuzz over the arrival of the pope on American soil, and there were several videos of his arrival—including a video of the President and his family greeting the pope as he stepped off the plane. There is a great part of me that can’t help but wonder if all of this isn’t connected, and if we as the people of God need to be watching and praying.
I believe we are living in an hour—in a divine moment—where we need to be on our knees in faithful prayer and intercession like never before. I believe with all my heart that now more than ever we need to be in the Word of God, studying and reading it in order that we might prepare ourselves before the Lord. I am making absolutely no attempt to be a gloom and doom writer, and I am in no way attempting to strike fear in the heart of any man, woman, or child, but what I am doing is calling us to take a step back, and to truly examine the signs of the times, and the events which are taking place upon the earth. It almost appears as if events are taking place with such rapid succession, and like the prophetic clock has somehow been activated, and not only activated, but also accelerated. Is it possible that the prophetic clock began when Israel was reformed and reborn as a state again? Is it possible that this same prophetic clock continued to tick when Israel annexed East Jerusalem, and united the city of Jerusalem under Jewish and Israeli control? Is it possible that every event that takes place, and every event that has taken place up until this moment has been in direct connection and relation to the state of Israel? It has been said before that the generation which witnessed the rebirth of the nation of Israel would be the generation that witnesses and experiences the return of Jesus Christ to rapture and gather together His Church and His body. I do believe with all my heart, and with everything that is within me, that the Lord is calling for a trumpet to be blown in the land, and for an alarm to be sounded on my holy mountain. The Lord is calling for those who will step out of the prayer closet with a divine message from heaven, and with a sure warning to the inhabitants of the land. Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and surely it is near, and we would be incredibly wise to listen and pay attention to such a reality. I do not believe that we have much time to waste—if any time at all—for the day of the Lord is not merely coming, but it is near to us.
This particular chapter in the prophetic book of Joel speaks of a great and terrible army that was going to rise up in the earth—an army of which a fire consumes before them and behind them a flame burns. The prophet Joel saw a very specific vision of an army that would arise in the earth—an army which would unleash and wreak havoc and devastation upon the earth. “A fire consumes before them and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but a desolate wilderness behind them, and nothing at all escapes them” (Joel 2:3). In the second verse, the Lord describes how there was a great and mighty people, and that there has never been anything like it, nor will there be again after it. The trumpet which the prophet Joel heard, and the alarm which he heard was a call, a warning, a word of caution concerning the arrival and invasion of a great and mighty enemy force in the earth. The emergence and arrival of this enemy was directly connected to the arrival of the day of the Lord, for it would undoubtedly be the day of the Lord that would bring this great army upon the earth. As surely as I am sitting here this day, I can’t help but wonder if the army which the prophet Joel saw was an army that would rise up in the latter times—quite possible during the very times in which we are living—and would unleash havoc and devastation upon the earth. Our nation was invaded fourteen years ago when radical Islamic terrorists hijacked four commercial airliners, and crashed two in the towers of the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and a fourth which would have crashed into the White House, were it not for the bravery and courage of those aboard United Flight 93. The tiny state of Israel is no stranger to the invasion of Islamic nations and peoples, for since her rebirth in 1948, she has experienced Islamic nations invading her borders in an attempt to exterminate and annihilate her very existence.
The vision which the prophet Joel saw was one of a great and terrible day of the Lord, and of a great and mighty people that would march upon the earth, and would unleash destruction and devastation everywhere they went. Pause for a moment and ask yourself one very important question—what do you believe the Lord is preparing you for in this generation? What do you believe the Lord is speaking to this generation in these Last Days? I am not suggesting that you be an expert on end times, or that you know and understand all that is going to take place, but what do you feel in your heart? What do you feel deep in your heart when you consider all that has taken place—even over the past fourteen years—and all that is taking place in the days in which we are living right now? Each time I go to the gym [though I thoroughly enjoy working out], there is a part of me that wonders how many men and women within it are completely oblivious to what is taking place in the earth today. One of the single greatest threats that is present in the earth today is a radical Islamic regime known as ISIS or IS—the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. It has been said that there has never been a threat or force as great or as dangerous as ISIS on the earth in decades—perhaps even centuries. ISIS has absolutely devastate and wreaked havoc in the nations of Iraq and Syria, and we are witnessing one of the greatest migration crises in all of history as a result of it. There are countless thousands, if not millions of refugees who are seeking asylum and safety in European nations in order to escape the horrors and devastation that is present in Iraq and Syria. Is it possible that ISIS is this final army that is directly connected to the day of the Lord? Is it possible that we are seeing some of the greatest manifestations and expressions of the spirit of the antichrist in the earth today? Is it possible that it is the spirit of the antichrist that is animating ISIS in the earth today, for ISIS is systematically targeting Christians within the nations of Syria and Iraq, and one can’t help but wonder if it is only a matter of time before they attempt to bring their conflict to the borders of Israel.
Two of the greatest threats that are present in the earth at this very hour is the radical, apocalyptic Islamic regime of Iran and the nuclear deal that was just struck with it, and the very real and powerful threat of ISIS that many fear could very well reach the shores and borders of this nation. One thing is absolutely certain, and that is that we as the people of God need to be prepared—prepared physically, prepared emotionally, prepared spiritually, prepared mentally. We as the people of God need to be prepared in our heart, in our mind, in our body, and our soul. We need to do whatever is necessary in order that our hearts are right before the true and living God, for I do believe the prophetic clock is ticking, and the Spirit of the Lord is calling for a trumpet to be blown, and an alarm to be sounded. You may very well ask how you prepare yourself for what is coming, and what is about to strike the earth, and that is actually a valid and legitimate question. If you want to truly understand what you are to do in order to ready and prepare yourself, you need read in this chapter, beginning with the twelfth verse. While this chapter contains a very powerful prophetic word concerning an army that would rise up in the earth, unleashing devastation and destruction in their wake, there is a very and powerful call to action to those who would have ears to hear. “Yet even now, declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping, and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindess and relenting of evil. Who knows whether He will not turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him, even a grain offering and a drink offering for the Lord your God? Blow a trumpet in Zion, consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of his room and the bride out of her bridal chamber. Let the priests, the Lord’s ministers, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare your people, O Lord, and do not make your inheritance a reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they among the peoples say, Where is their God?” (Joel 2:12-17).
RETURN AND REND! Return to the Lord and rend your hearts—this is the prophetic word and call to action that is manifested in this generation. Do you want to know what you can do and how you can prepare yourself in this very hour? You need return to the Lord your God, and rend your heart and not your garments. REND, RETURN, REPENT! At this very hour, the Lord is asking you if you are willing to return to Him, and if you are willing to rend your heart and not your garments. The Lord is gracious and compassionate, and He is slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindess and relenting of evil, which means that He is worthy to be and can be trusted. He can be trusted with your heart. He can be trusted with your mess. He can be trusted with your rebellion. He can be trusted with your immorality. He can be trusted with your iniquity. He can be trusted with your addiction. He can be trusted with your hurt and pain. He can be trusted with your sin and your wickedness. The Lord can be trusted with absolutely everything you carry, and everything you bring to Him. The Lord can even be trusted with your backsliding, for through the prophet Hosea, the Lord declared to His people that He would heal their backsliding. Oh you who have journeyed far from the Father’s house, you can arise from the pigpen(s) of immorality, idolatry, iniquity, and the like, and you can return to the Father’s house. It is not too late, yea, it is never too late for you to return to the Father’s house, for when He sees you, oh, when He sees you, He will drop everything and run toward and pursue you. You want to prepare your heart before the Lord in this generation, and at this very hour? You need return to the Lord your God, and rend your heart and not your garment. Oh that the people of God would blow a trumpet in Zion, and would consecrate a fast and proclaim a solemn assembly—an atmosphere and environment of intercession, prayer and intercession.
The Lord is calling on His people to ready and prepare the house for those in this generation who will return to the Lord, and who will rend their hearts and not their garments. The Lord is calling for His priests, His holy ministers to weep between the porch and the altar—to weep between the place of sacrifice and entering in. Oh that those who return to the Lord would find the priests and ministers of the Lord weeping between the porch and the altar in prayer, in supplication, and in intercession before the Lord. There is plenty of room in the sanctuary and house of the Lord, and I can’t help but wonder if this migration and refugee crisis isn’t a powerful prophetic picture of those who are in this hour going to seek asylum and safety from the storms, the chaos, the violence, and the devastation that is all around them. These countless refugees are fleeing the devastation and destruction of their homeland in order to find safety, shelter and security in places they wouldn’t otherwise even consider. Is this refugee crisis a prophetic wake up call to the church that there are going to be countless men and women in this generation who are going to seek safety, shelter and security from the storms that are raging all around them in the earth today? Is it possible that this is a wake up call to the Church of Jesus Christ, for in all honesty, the Church of Jesus Christ should be the first responders to such a crisis. Oh, what will you do if this Sunday morning, your church was filled with spiritual refugees—those who are seeking shelter, safety, salvation, and refuge from what is taking place in the earth today? Oh that we would sound an alarm and blow a trumpet in the land declaring to the people that there is room in the ark for them to find shelter and safety. Oh that we would understand that there was undoubtedly plenty of room on the ark which Noah built to provide safety in the coming flood, yet on the day the ark was sealed, only eight found shelter and safety in the ark. Oh that we would ready and prepare ourselves for the very real and powerful reality that refugees and prodigals are going to come home in this generation, and oh that we would show them their place among us, and within the body of Christ. Let us as the people of God be like the father who ran to meet the prodigal who returned home, and clothe him and throw a banquet, and not be like the brother who complained and murmured in his self-righteousness and legalistic attitude. Let us as the people of God welcome home all the prodigals and refugees that will be running to the house of the Lord in this generation.