First I want to say that I’m not a teacher, scholar, or theologian by any stretch of the imagination. I’m just a born again believer and servant of Christ. What I have to say is a result of a study I’ve done and being a sin-tainted person (as we all are), I am prone to error. But I’m giving it a shot.
Joel’s army… there are Christians who believe that the army spoken of in Joel speaks of a mighty Godly army that will rid the world of evil in these last days. They say it’s the world’s greatest revival complete with signs and wonders that will exceed the apostles and the prophets of old. A staff minister from Vinyard Ministries said the following:
“This army will inspire fear and terror in the hearts of its adversaries. In Joel 2:4-6 it says this: ‘They have the appearance of horses, they gallop along like a flame of fire (???) with a noise like the chariots they leap over the mountain tops like a crackling fire consuming stubble, like a mighty army drawn up for battle. At the sight of them nations are in anguish, every face turns pale.’
Bob Jones calls them, ‘THE DREAD CHAMPIONS.’ Those that will be raised up to champion the cause of God who will bring dread to the hearts of men.”
He described their activities as follows:
“They will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before. Every miracle, sign and wonder that has ever been in the Bible – they’ll move in it consistently. They’ll move in the power that Christ did. Every sign and wonder that’s ever been will be many times in the last days. They themselves will be that generation that raised up to put death itself underneath their feet and to glorify Christ in every way. . .and the Church that is raising up in the government will be the head and the covering for them. So that that glorious church might be revealed in the last days because the Lord Jesus is worthy to be lifted up by a church that has reached the full maturity of the god-man!” (Visions & Revelations, Fall 1988.)
You want to talk about a grave misinterpretation????
Joel’s Army are demon spirits turned loosed with their master, Satan, to express their final rage upon earth’s wicked inhabitants.
I’m going to type both accounts below from the KJV so you can compare.
Blow 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 comes, for it is night at hand; 2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there has not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of the many generations. 3 A fire devours before them; and behind them a flame burns: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. 4 The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. 5 Like the nose of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devours the stubble,, as a strong people set in battle array. 6 Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. 7 They shall run like mighty 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: 8 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. 9 They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. 10 The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. 11 And the Lod shall utter his voice before his army: for hs camp is very great: for he is strong that executes his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. 5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of the scorpion, when e strikes a man. 6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. 7 And the shapes of the locusts were like to horses prepared to battle; and on their head were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. 8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions. 9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 10 And they had tails like to scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue has his name Apollyon. 12 One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. 13 And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God. 14 Saying to the sixth angel which has the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. 16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimston: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.
Now let’s compare some of these verses…
Joel 2:11 Blow the trumpet in Zion…
Rev. 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded (with a trumpet)
Joel 2:2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness.
Rev. 9:2 …and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
Joel 2:4,5 …and as horsemen, so shall they run. 5) Like the noise of chariots..
Rev. 9:9 …the sound of their wings was the sound of chariots of many horses running into battle.
The rest of this story in Joel and Revelation describes a destructive battle between these demons and the inhabitants on earth. The reason why I don’t think these two events are different events is because not only are the overall stories the same, but the exact wording is used to describe these events in three places.
Another reason is because both of these accounts can be integrated into one event without contradiction.
The Bible has numerous examples of describing the same event while using different details. (the Gospels for instance) That doesn’t make each account a different event. There’s just additional details given in order to get a fuller picture.
Some people believe it is God’s army, (mighty group of men/Christians) because of Joel 2:11 because it says ‘his army’.
Joel 2:11 And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great…
“His army” does not mean a mighty men of God. It simply means everything and every creature is under His command. These demons did not get out from under His foot and start running amok. Everything that happens is ordered by God and so it is correct to call this army “His army”. God holds the key to the bottomless pit, He gave it to the fallen star (a divine agent – probably an angel), He is the overseer in everything. God is using these demonic agents as a tool to carry out His divine judgments making this army ‘His’, but it is not His army in the way that man has interpreted it.
Another trademark of this army being under God’s control and direction is the fact that the army doesn’t break rank – it is orderly, without chaos or confusion just like God.
In closing, there is not going to be a great, Godly army that’s going to take back the world for God in these last days. This belief is a result of failing to study Joel and Revelation correctly, and a failure to pray and be guided by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth and the Holy Spirit definitely did not teach this. This faulty belief in Joel’s army fosters pride, arrogance, and transfers the focus from God to man. It is fantasy.