by Bertrand L. Comparet

The prophet JOEL left a message written for our day---a warning which, If we had heeded it, would have kept us out of the troubles we now face, both within our nation and from outside. Like all men of his century, he was familiar with war and trouble, for war was almost the normal condition of the kingdom of that day; and conquerors then did not help their defeated victims back to prosperity, as we do --- if the losers were not exterminated, they were either enslaved or put under heavy tribute taxes, after first being thorough­ly looted by the conqueror. Therefore, it took a startling vision, indeed, to arouse Joel to the excitement he displays in this short book: It is some­thing unlike anything previously seen.

He begins, "The word of the Lord that came to Joel, the son of Pethuel: "Hear this, ye elders, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation." There had been nothing like it In the past; neither was It for the near future, but the prophecy was to be preserved for many genera­tions. His prophecy deals with the Day of the Lord"---something which has not yet come, but which all the signs of both prophecy and current history prove to be just a short time ahead of us, today.

But the Day does not come without long preparation---it is the result of a very extensive cause, and it develops gradually over many years. The signs of that development, and how It ripens into the final conflict of the age, are taken up by Joel: but we cannot get the complete picture by reading just the book of Joel: the Bible was not written that way. Many men have written whole volumes on some one book of the Bible, but never have they given us a true and accurate picture: for the writings of each prophet must be confirmed and amplified by the further details given by other prophets---indeed, this mutual corroboration is the only proof of the genuineness of each one. Sev­eral other prophets have also written of the Great and Dreadful Day of the Lord; and we will see how they amplify Joel's prophecy.  The Day of the Lord erupts Into the greatest World War ever known, of course; but that war has its beginnings in the long period of "cold war" of evil against good, by which we are being broken down and "softened up" for the final attack. God has blessed us with great strength, because we are His People; and the enemy dares not attack us until that strength has been wasted. Therefore, the attack really begins from within, by infiltration, corruption and treachery. Mere numbers will not make a nation strong enough to conquer the world --- or to defend it---its real strength depends upon the economic resources which can supply the army with modern weapons. The numbers of our soldiers were not enough to tip the scales in either World War: we won because we could overwhelm the enemy with such an enormous flood of weapons and munitions. Therefore, the way to defeat us would seem to be to break down our economic strength.

Lenin said, "We will make the United States spend itself Into bankruptcy;" and Stalin and Kruschev have many times said that they would make our strength collapse from internal troubles. For a whole generation, our own government has been infiltrated and infested with men who are Marxists, completely devo­ted to the ideal of totally destroying our whole economic and political Sys­tem so that they can replace it with Socialism. These men who are Communists in everything but name always call themselves "Liberals." This, also, was foretold in the Bible to for Isaiah 32:5 encourages us to wait for a time when, as the prophet says, The VILE person shall be no more called 'Liberal.

The prophet Joel compares the work of these men to a plague of insects, saying, "That which the palmerworm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cank­erworm left hath the caterpillar eaten." (1:4) lie know that he was not speak­ing of a succession of real insect plagues, for the locusts leave nothing edi­ble for others to eat: it is symbolic of something which impoverished us. Do other prophets give us further clues? Yes: Haggai 1:6 shows that we produce much, but have little for ourselves: "Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put into a jar with holes." We earn the wages, but can't keep them; we produce the food, yet many are hungry. WHERE DOES OUR PRODUCTION GO? That is what Joel is talking about. We know that God is bringing upon us the innumerable masses of Russia and Asia as the natural Inevitable punishment of our misdeeds: In Ezekiel 38:16, speaking of Russia, s coming attack upon us, God says of them, I will bring thee against My land, that the heathen may know Me, when I shall be sanctified In thee, 0 Gog, before their eyes.

In Joel 2:25, God again speaks of "the locust * * the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmer worm, My great army which I sent among you." Since we already know that these insects are here used only as a symbol, this identifies them as being part of Russia's general Communist apparatus. We produce more of everything good than any other nation In the world; yet we are getting less and less of it --- our wages go Into a bag with holes, because the pro-Red "liberals" in our government are bleeding off more and more of our earnings to distribute among our enemies, so that our enemies may be made st­rong. Remember how they always give more to so-called "neutralist" nations and those which openly side with Russia than they give to our few friends? Remember how they always Insist that our aid must be given "with no strings on It", no requirement that those who receive our bounty shall not help our enemies? All this is part of the Red plan to "make the United States spend herself into bankruptcy, as Lenin said: it is to soften us up before the kill.

Joel sees that this is the preparation for the final military attack upon us, and he tries to awaken our leaders. "Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; * * For a nation is come up upon My land, strong and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek-teeth of a great lion."(1:5-6) There is no reply, those who are not corrupt are sound asleep. But who should have given the alarm first? The priests and ministers, for this Is all pro­phesied in the Bible, and they should know it. They should warn the people of the impending punishment for our abandonment of God's laws; they should bc leading the people back to repentance, seeking God's pardon before the disast­er falls. He urges them, "Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests'. howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night In sack-cloth, ye ministers of my God: * * sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord." (1:13-14) There is no answer. All that our ministers can suggest, today, is that we cry unto Russia and make the devil's peace with them on the devil's own terms.

Joel sees the Inevitable disaster: It Is no use to turn to man, but only to God. "Alas for the day! For the Day of the Lord is at hand, and as a des­truction from the Almighty shall It come. * * 0 Lord to Thee will I cry.

To those of us who study God's word, the present world situation is so clear, because He foretold it all 2,500 years or more ago. The entire picture is there for all to see---if they will only believe Him. But they prefer to believe the politicians and the left-wing "commentators", of whom God says, "They bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not Me, saith the Lord." (Jeremiah 2:3

Other prophets confirm this. Isaiah 56:10-12 says, "His watchmen are blind: they are all Ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds which cannot understand; they all look to their own way, every one for his gain* * Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.

But we have turned against all who gave warning: and how many have been terrified into silence? As the prophet Amos told us, 2700 years ago, "They hate him who reproves in the gate, and loathe him who speaks the truth. * * Therefore, he who is prudent will be silent at that time: for it will be an evil time." (Amos 5:10,13)

Joel cries his earnest warning, "Blow ye 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 cometh, for it is nigh at hand." Nahum 2:1 con­firms this: "He that dasheth in pieces is come up before thy face: keep the munition, watch the way, make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily." Since we will not reform and avoid the need for war, then prepare at once: Russia, which has shattered many nations, stands before us; we must stockpile munitions, increase our fortifications, watch every way the attack may start.

God's warnings always fall on deaf ears: this time also. As Jesus Christ said to the Pharisees of His day, "0  ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Matthew 16-3); so He also prophesied of this coming Day of the Lord, as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

So Joel now announces the coming of the war: "Proclaim ye this among the nations: prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: beat your plowshares into-swords, and your prun­ing-hooks into spears: let the weak say, 'I am strong.' Assemble yourselves and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves round about." (3:9-11) "A great people and a strong, there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. (2:2) We know that this Is the attack of the Asiatic hordes led by Russia, spoken of In Ezekiel 38 and 39 "a great company, and a mighty army, says Ezekiel.

Joel pictures the use of terrible new weapons, and a , total war" of com­plete devastation: "A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them." They move with for they are modern mechanized cavalry of tanks and troop ­carriers. Both Russia in World War II and China in the Korean war showed a total disregard of the slaughter of their own men, forcing them to attack str­aight ahead through mine fields and artillery barrages, regardless of losses, to overwhelm their foe under the tide of a "human sea". These tactics also Joel prophesies: "as horsemen, so shall they run. * * 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 ranks: neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path.

The prophet Isaiah also foretold the coming of this nation "that hath the teeth of a lion", for he says, "And He will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and behold, they shall come with speed, swiftly. None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be losed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken, whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent; their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind. Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yes, they shall lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it. And In that day they shall roar again­st them like the roaring of the sea: and if one shall look Into the land, be­hold darkness and sorrow, and the light Is darkened in the heavens thereof." (Isaiah 5:26-30) The Communist hordes do plunder the conquered lands of everything of value, from fountain-pens to factory machinery; they leave only a day of clouds and thick darkness, * * The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining." (Joel 2:2,10)

Meanwhile, what of the enemies with our own ranks, the "Liberals" In our own government who betray us at every opportunity? They have not repent­ed: they cannot! "Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil", says Jere­miah 13:23; Isaiah 26:10 pictures them, "Let favor be shown to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord." They are still trai­tors: Joel says "They shall run to and fro In the city; they shall climb up­on the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter In at the windows like a thief." (2-9)

So the picture develops: our preparation for defense lags, both because our leaders will not give the warning to arouse the nation to full activity, and because "Liberals' within our ranks still sabotage every effort to oppose the gathering might of Asiatic Communism; meanwhile, the enemy masses against us all the hordes of the heathen, getting ready for the military attack.

Joel realizes that our human and material resources are not enough to stand against this massing of all the powers of evil against us---only by God's help will we be able to defeat them --- so he Implores God's aid. "Assemble yourselves and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves to ether round about: thither cause Thy mighty ones to come down, 0 Lord." God's reply is swift: "Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the Valley of God's Judgment: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about." (3:12)

This is supported by other prophets; God told Isaiah ' (54:15,17), "Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by Me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. * * No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee In judgment thou shalt condemn. This Is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness Is of Me, saith the Lord.

But It takes more than just Joel's personal prayer to accomplish this: we, as a nation, must return to God and seek His help. Joel warns us, "Blow the trumpet In Zion; sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: gather the peo­ple, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders * * Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, 'Spare Thy people, 0 Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them; wherefore should they say among the people, Where Is their God?' Then will the Lord be jealous for His land, and pity His people." (:1:15-18)

Isaiah 13:3-11 confirms this: "I have commanded My sanctified ones, I have also called My mighty ones for Mine anger, even them that rejoice in My highness. The noise of a multitude In the mountains, like as of a great peo­ple; a tumultuous noise of the kingdom of nations gathered together: the Lord of Hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from, the end of heaven, even the Lord and the weapons of His indignation, to des­troy the whole land. Howl ye; for the Day of the Lord Is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. * * Behold, the Day of the Lord com­eth, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of It. * * And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrog­ance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

Isaiah speaks of the weapons of God's Indignation: we saw these  in Ezekiel 38 & 39, which clearly refers to the same war. They tell how God destroys the innumerable hordes of Asiatic Communism with His weapons: earthquake and volcanic upheavals, storms and floods, pestilence, panic and mutiny among the Red troops which fight each other in their madness to escape the horrors that come upon them. They are completely destroyed.

But this is much more than just a war between nations, however great: it Is the Day of the Lord, which is the climax, the judgment of the age. Joel keys his prophecy into that of the Book of Revelation, given 900 years later. God tells him, "Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the Valley of God's Judgment: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press Is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitud­es in the Valley of Decision: for the Day of the Lord is near in the Valley of Decision." (3:12-14) Now, we are on familiar ground, for we remember Rev­elation 14:14-20, "And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud One sat like unto the Son of man, having on His head a golden crown, and In His hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him that sat upon the cloud, 'Thrust in Thy sickle and reap; for the time is come for Thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.' And He that sat upon the cloud thrust in His sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, 'Thrust in thy sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.' And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress even to the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

By our apostasy from the laws of God, by allowing those who are the sworn enemies of our Redeemer Jesus Christ to immigrate, infiltrate our businesses and professions, our government, even our churches, we have made evil trium­phant. We see every effort to rally the nations against evil frustrated.

The prophet Hosea gives both the trouble, and the cure: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: * seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." (4:6) But God still provides the solution, for He tells Hosea, "0 Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in Me is thine help. I will be thy king: where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities?" (13:9-10)

God promises us deliverance, telling Joel, "But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him Into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea and his hind part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his Ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things." (2-20) After God restores His way in the nation, He will even give us back the prosperity, which the "Liberals' among us squander­ed among our enemies, for He says, "I will restore to you the years which the locust hath eaten." (2-25)

So we see the entire picture. It is now too late to avoid the world shaking catastrophe which threatens us: it will begln as our enemies have planned It. But God has never let our enemies destroy us, nor do more than punish us to bring us to our senses; and He will not let us down this time. War such as the world has never seen will break out, and that in the near future; but God will turn it Into the Day of the Lord, the Day of Judgment for the heathen and wicked nations; and He will preserve us, those who trust in Him.