Witness Him Now
It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness - a warning for God's people.
A few weeks ago I was reading in Joel 2 when I came across this passage: "Sound the trumpet in Jerusalem! Raise the alarm on My holy mountain! Let everyone tremble in fear because the day of the LORD is upon us. It is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness. Suddenly, like dawn spreading across the mountains, a great and mighty army appears. Nothing like it has been seen before or will ever be seen again.
When I read this passage, understanding entered my heart. I had just read 1 John 2:7-11 which said, "Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment - to love one another - is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining. If anyone claims, 'I am living in the light,' but hates his brother, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves his brother is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates his brother is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness."
To love means we are living in light. To hate means we are living in darkness. In the NLT Bible that I read from, it says to love or hate a fellow believer, but I don't think that is what Jesus meant. Jesus loves all people - the good, the bad, and the ugly. ALL PEOPLE. So when Joel 2 talks about a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness, I know that he is talking about a time period when people do not love one another. That is the time period we are living in. We have been pitted against one another. Democrat against Republican. Republican against Democrat. Black against white. White against black. Rich against poor. Poor against rich. Straight against gay. Gay against straight. Conservative against liberal. Liberal against conservative. DARKNESS. Deep blackness covers the earth.
Then Joel goes on to say, "Suddenly, like dawn spreading across the mountains, a great and mighty army appears. Nothing like it has been seen before or will ever be seen again." This is a spiritual army that is coming to destroy. Never in all of history has there been so much hate, and never will there be again.
"Fire burns in front of them, and flames follow after them. Ahead of them the land lies as beautiful as the Garden of Eden. Behind them is nothing but desolation; not one thing escapes." (Joel 2:3). The words that we are speaking against each other are setting worlds on fire. "If we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself." (James 3:2-6)
I remember the day I turned my back on all that was happening in the world. I couldn't do it anymore. It was November 9, 2020, the week after the election. See my live video on that day. I listened to all the things people were saying, and I knew that we were all burning our house down. Both sides of the isle. We were speaking things that should never be said. The spark. And the wind blows. Harder and harder, the wind blows. Who can put out this fire? No one.
So Joel goes on to say, "Fear grips all the people; every face grows pale with terror. The attackers march like warriors and scale city walls like soldiers. (These are spirits.) Straight forward they march, never breaking rank. They never jostle each other; each moves in exactly the right position. They break through defenses without missing a step. They swarm over the city and run along its walls. They enter all the houses, climbing like thieves through the windows. The earth quakes as they advance, and the heavens tremble. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars no longer shine. (Joel 2:6-10). DARKNESS. Hate. Fear. Terror. They climb like thieves into our heart without missing a step. The sun doesn't shine, and the moon grows dark. But listen to who is doing it.
"The LORD is at the head of the column. He leads them with a shout. This is His mighty army, and they follow His orders. The day of the LORD is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can possibly survive?" (Joel 2:11). Our God is the God of Heaven's Armies - all of them - the good and the bad. Satan is not the one in control. God is. "I am the LORD, and there is no other. I create light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the One who does these things. (Isaiah 45:7)
About eight or nine years ago I got hold of this verse in Joel, and it was the first time that I had ever heard that God was at the head of the enemy army. Say what?!? He is. It is God who does all things. That is why He can say, "If you obey Me, I will bless you, but if you don't, I will send curses on you." (See Numbers 26 and Deuteronomy 28-30). Once the LORD revealed this truth to my heart, everything changed. My heart began to rest in the fact that God is in COMPLETE control, and He knows what He is doing. So He created light (love) and darkness (hate), and He lets us choose which one we want. When we choose love, God teaches us how to give and serve. We start to see others as more important than ourselves, and we start to treat others like we would want to be treated. When we choose hate, our selfish nature takes over, and we take or horde or protect or whatever we want to call it. We lash out. We hold on to.
So now God is saying that this is a day of darkness and gloom, a day of thick clouds and deep blackness. There is no light. There is no love. The whole world is in darkness, deep blackness. There never has been a time like this, and there never will be again. So the enemy army comes. "Straight forward they march, never breaking rank. They never jostle each other; each moves in exactly the right position. They break through defenses without missing a step. They swarm over the city and run along its walls. They enter all the houses (hearts), climbing like thieves through the windows. The earth quakes as they advance, and the heavens tremble. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars no longer shine. The LORD is at the head of the column. He leads them with a shout. This is His mighty army, and they follow His orders. The Day of the LORD is an awesome, terrible thing. Who can possibly survive?" (Joel 2:7-11)
We have to be aware of the time period we are living in because with everything that is happening, with everything that is done to us, the LORD is asking us to love, to live in the light. He says, "Turn to Me now, while there is time. Give Me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don't tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead. Return to the LORD your God, for He is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. Who knows? Perhaps He will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessings instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the LORD your God as before." (Joel 2:12-14)
We serve a merciful God, One who is slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. But let me tell you, His patience is about at its every end. He says, "This is the city to be punished, for she is wicked through and through. She spouts evil like a fountain. Her streets echo with the sounds of violence and destruction. I always see her sickness and sores. Listen to this warning, Jerusalem (that's us), or I will turn from you in disgust. Listen, or I will turn you into a heap of ruins, a land where no one lives." (Jeremiah 6:6-8). "To whom can I give warning? Who will listen when I speak? Their ears are closed, and they cannot hear. They scorn the Word of the LORD. They don't want to listen at all. So now I am filled with the LORD's fury. Yes, I am tired of holding it in! I will pour out My fury on children playing in the streets and on gatherings of young men, on husbands and wives and on those who are old and gray. Their homes will be turned over to their enemies, as will their fields and their wives. For I will raise My powerful fist against the people of this land," says the LORD. "From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed. From prophets to priests, they are all frauds. They offer superficial treatments for My people's mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all - they don't even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them," says the LORD. (Jeremiah 6:1-15)
God is not playing. He tells Jeremiah, "Pray no more for these people, Jeremiah. Do not weep or pray for them, and don't beg Me to help them, for I will not listen to you." (Jeremiah 7:16). God is talking about His people. Don't pray for them anymore. He is tired of always giving us one more chance. But He is giving us. ONE. MORE. CHANCE. "This is what the LORD says: "Stop at the crossroads and look around. ASK FOR THE OLD, GODLY WAY, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, 'No, that's not the road we want!' I posted watchmen over you who said, 'Listen for the sound of the alarm.' But you replied, 'No! We won't pay attention!' Therefore, listen to this, all you nations. Take note of My people's situation. Listen all the earth! I will bring disaster on My people. It is the fruit of their own schemes, because they refuse to listen to Me. They have rejected My word.'" (Jeremiah 6:16-19)
So what does this crossroad look like? Isaiah 58:6-12 says, "This is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the LORD will answer. 'Yes, I are here,' He will quickly reply."
"Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and speaking evil things (this is huge). Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. THEN YOUR LIGHT WILL SHINE OUT FROM THE DARKNESS, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes."
Oh my goodness! WOW! The crossroad looks like a decision to treat others like you would want to be treated!!! The LORD's plan is awesome. Out of darkness and into light. "This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel , says: 'Only in returning to Me and resting in Me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it. You said, 'No, we will get our help from Egypt. They will give us swift horses for riding into battle.' But the only swiftness you are going to see is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you! One of them will chase a thousand of you. Five of them will make all of you flee. You will be left like a lonely flagpole on a hill or a tattered banner on a distant mountaintop."
SO THE LORD MUST WAIT FOR YOU TO COME TO HIM so He can show you His love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help. "O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem (that's us), you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries. Though the LORD gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, He will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left. Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them,"Good riddance!"
THEN the LORD will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock. The oxen and the donkeys that till the ground will eat good grain, its chaff blown away by the wind. In that day, when your enemies (principalities and powers) are slaughtered and the towers (pride) fall, there will be streams of water flowing down every mountain and hill. THE MOON WILL BE AS BRIGHT AS THE SUN, AND THE SUN WILL BE SEVEN TIMES BRIGHTER - LIKE THE LIGHT OF SEVEN DAYS IN ONE! (Love, love, and more love!) So it will be when the LORD begins to heal His people and cure the wounds He gave them.
Look! The LORD is coming from far away, burning with anger, surrounded by thick, rising smoke. His lips are filled with fury; His words consume like fire. His hot breath pours out like a flood up to the neck of His enemies (principalities and powers). He will sift out the proud nations for destruction. He will bridle them and lead them away to ruin.
But the people of God will sing a song of joy, like the songs at the holy festivals. You will be filled with joy as when a flutist leads a group of pilgrims to Jerusalem, the mountain of the LORD - to the Rock of Israel. (Isaiah 30:15-29)
So I am saying to the people of God, "Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light (love) shine for all to see. For the glory of the LORD rises to shine on you. Darkness (hate) as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the LORD rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance.
Blessings, my friends. May we live in the light as He is in the light, so that we can have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Today is the day that the LORD has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!!!
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."