Joel 2 states that God’s Spirit will fall upon “all flesh”? Does that include the unsaved?

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God’s Spirit – Joel 2:29,29

“And it shall come to pass afterward

That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

Your old men shall dream dreams,

Your young men shall see visions.

And also on My menservants and on My maidservants

I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

All flesh

The Lord would love nothing more than to pour His Spirit upon all flesh but that is not possible for the sinners exercise their free will and reject His blessings. Joel 2:23 confirms that and stresses the free will of people by saying, “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” Therefore, only those that seek the Lord will receive His blessings (Romans 10:13).

The passage by Joel was also quoted by Peter in his sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:21). The Jews understood the passage in Joel to mean that all true worshipers of Jehovah would constitute the phrase “all flesh.” This certainly includes the Gentiles in the prophecy.

It was God’s plan that by widespread missionary outreaches that the remnant of Israel would carry the truths about God and His salvation to the world that didn’t know Him. The failure of Israel to carry on that job transferred the mission to the Christian church.

Also, Joel 2:28,29 implies that God will pour His Spirit on the various age groups including the young people that would share in the spiritual blessings. In addition, it says that the bond and free alike would receive the Spirit meaning people from all social classes (v. 23).

Early fulfillment

This special pouring out of the Spirit results in the display of supernatural gifts. On the day of Pentecost, when the apostles “were all filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:4),  the apostle Peter affirmed that “this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel” (v. 16).

In the early church “the manifestation of the Spirit” was given “to every man to profit withal” (1 Corinthians 12:7). Various gifts were in evidence, such as “the word of wisdom,” “the word of knowledge,” “faith,” “healing,” “working of miracles,” “prophecy,” “discerning of spirits,” “divers kinds of tongues,” and “the interpretation of tongues” (vs. 8–10).

End-time fulfillment

The events of Pentecost were but a partial fulfillment of Joel’s prediction. The prophecy is to reach its full accomplishment in the manifestation of divine grace which will accompany the closing work of the spreading the truth to all the world through the ministry of the believers. These saints will be characterized as those who keep the commandments of God, including His seventh day Sabbath, (Exodus 20:3-11) and the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:12; 12:17).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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