In our study of Joel chapter three, we will look at what the Bible says about the end of the nations and the coming new world government.
'In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink.'
The phrase "at that time" refers us back to the Millennial Reign as we saw in chapter two. At the end of this time of peace, we see that ALL nations will be drawn to this valley for judgment. The Valley of Jehoshaphat refers to part of the Kidron Valley that is between the Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives. We see that the nations that come to attack Jerusalem will be judged based on how they have treated God's people (the Jews). We see these same events described by John in Revelation 20. It is important to note, here, that ALL the nations of the earth will come to this valley. There are those who say that the USA will never abandon the state of Israel but God's word says they will. How is this possible? The answer is quite simple in that all of these events will take place after the church has been taken out of the world. Christians are the greatest friends of the Jews and, when we are removed, the USA will turn against Israel.
'Now what have you against me, O Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done. For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples. You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, that you might send them far from their homeland.'
Now, we see that God speaks to the nations of Joel's time with the charges against them. This also speaks of the attitude that will bring the nations against Jerusalem for the final judgment. The Millennial Reign is a time of example in showing the world what it is like when God is reigning in power. Instead of repentance and accepting God's authority, this time will bring about jealousy on the part of the nations which will draw them to this valley for judgment.
'See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.' The Lord has spoken.
The judgment against the nations of Joel's day was that the things that they did to God's people were going to happen to them. This principle was firmly established in God's promise to Abram (see Genesis 12:3). It was true then and it is true today and will be on the last day.
Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, 'I am strong!' Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there.
Joel now shifts back to the Day of the Lord and the fact that all nations will prepare for the battle to attack Jerusalem. We see the arrogance of this in the fact that the weak will say "I am strong!" It seems that we are so close to this time as we are told that, if the world would just band together, we can do anything. That is the big lie that Satan will use to convince the nations to attack Jerusalem.
Bring down your warriors, O Lord! 'Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side.'
We see that Satan calls the nations to attack but does not tell them that they will be against the armies that will appear with Jesus. They believe they are coming for a great battle but, as we see here, they are coming to their judgment.
'Swing the sickle for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes for the winepress is full and the vats overflow - so great is their wickedness!' Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
When will Jesus put an end to this rebellion? When the nations assemble in the valley of decision.
The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel.
The darkness that will occur prior to the return of Christ will be both physical and spiritual. As John described in Revelation 16, the whole world is plunged into darkness as the fifth angel pours out his bowl of wrath. We are reminded that it is Jesus who will defend His people and His city.
'Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.'
As we see in Revelation 19, Jesus handles the attacking forces and it is obvious to all that it could only be through the power of God. As Joel tells us here, the world will see that Jerusalem is the city of God and this will begin the period of time that is commonly called the Millennial Reign.
'In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the Lord's house and will water the valley of acacias. But Egypt will be desolate, Edom a desert waste, because of violence done to the people of Judah, in whose land they shed innocent blood.'
This Millennial Reign will be a big contrast between the rest of the world and the land of God. The earth will have been decimated by the plagues and judgments but the city of Jerusalem will stand like an oasis in the desert. It will be clear to see the presence of El Shaddai (God Almighty) the only One who has the ability to supply what is needed.
'Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon.' The Lord dwells in Zion!
We see that, at the end of this Millennial Reign, will be the final judgment. The sins of God's people are forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ and a new Jerusalem is revealed (see Revelation 21). At the center of the new Jerusalem will be the throne of God.