End-Time Revival Or End Time Apostasy?
Author: Carol Brooks
Edited By: Vicki Narlee
Also See: Understanding Prophecy and Typology
Author: Carol Brooks
Edited By: Vicki Narlee
Also See: Understanding Prophecy and Typology
"So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth." (Hosea 6:3 NASB)
In this age of great apostasy the one thing the church needs above all else is revival. Unfortunately, although anointing has the dubious honour of being the most overused, misunderstood, and misinterpreted word used in the Christian world, "revival" seems to run a close second.
The word "revive" means to bring back to life or consciousness; resuscitate. To give new health, strength, or spirit to. In other words something has to be restored from an inactive, dormant, or unused state.
What Revival is NOT
1. Evangelistic Meetings
Unfortunately, all too many churches apply the term "revival" to a special evangelistic meeting, or a series of such meetings... the ultimate aim of which is to convey the Gospel message to non-believers. These are usually held in a church building, rented hall, or an open air venue, and can involve guest speakers, a concert or play, and even possibly a meal or light refreshments. The culmination of these meetings is usually the "altar call" which invites the non-believer to 'make a decision for Christ', or uses the non-Biblical term "ask Jesus into their hearts". Obviously, the number of people who do so is the litmus test of the success of the event.
Please note: The modern "altar call" is a concept unknown to the New Testament, which teaches that new believers make a declaration of faith by being believing, repenting, and being baptized (which identifies them with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection), not traipsing down the aisle to the altar.
While, I am sure that some people can be genuinely saved through these programs, they are not authentic Biblical revivals, simply because only a person who already has, or once had, spiritual life can be 'revived'. Noting that the Hebrew word shûb means to "turn back", Psalm 80 says:
"O Lord God of hosts, restore (Heb shûb) us; Cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved." (Psalms 80:19 NASB)
2. Spiritual Entertainment/Experiences
Nor is revival getting your whoop-de-doos down at the altar, as I have heard it amusingly, but accurately, phrased.
Much of what passes for revival in the modern church is designed to get people to feel good about themselves, or have some kind of mystical (often terribly weird) experience. In all cases, it is me-centered. Some Pentecostal and charismatic churches think of revival in terms of how many people display bizarre physical behavior. The allure of receiving some form of 'deeper' spiritual experience has deceived countless millions into accepting various counterfeits. Certainly, revival is not what has been happening at Toronto, Brownsville, or Lakeland. As perfectly expressed by Congregation Shema Yisrael:
"The whole gamut of today's so-called revival scene, from Toronto to Pensacola, must be seriously faced! Videos of the services show people crawling on the floor, howling like wolves, barking like dogs, roaring like lions, going through bodily contortions impossible without the aid of some spiritual power, unable to speak or even remember their names when they try to give a testimony, and worse. Many of those being baptized at Pensacola seem to lose consciousness or shake so violently that they must be carried out of the baptismal tank lest they drown. Others flail about so wildly as to require several men to handle them. Such manifestations were also found in past "revivals" among the Shakers, the Mormons and many other cults. That such things could now be widely accepted as evidence of the Holy Spirit only testifies to the extent of the delusion that is already permeating the Messianic Community!" 
Tragically, the church that should have been a bulwark against evil has, with apostate leaders and a Biblically illiterate population, latched on to the coat tails of the world and adopted practices that are DIRECTLY derived from the Occult. [See The Modern Church's Literal Doctrines and Practices of Demons]
What Revival IS
As said earlier, the word "revive" means to bring back to life... to give new health, strength, or spirit to. In the Christian context, the word, therefore, has to mean a spiritual reawakening. As Spurgeon once put it: "to rekindle into a flame the vital spark which was nearly extinguished." 
In other words, a Christian revival is a increased or renewed spiritual interest in God and His word. While an individual can certainly be spiritually renewed, the word revival more commonly refers to a group of people who have been turned from the things of this world, to the things of the Lord. It usually involves a conscious and continual awareness of the presence of a holy, just, and almighty God. Suddenly, one is aware of just how "big" He is, and just how "small" we are, which brings an overwhelming realization of just how sinful we are. This obviously leads to repentance and holiness. [See What is Holiness?]
When the prophet Isaiah was granted a vision of the majesty and holiness of God, at whose voice the foundations of the temple trembled, his initial reaction was to give Him glory -- "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory" (Isaiah 6:3) -- immediately followed by an overwhelming sense of unworthiness:
"Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." (Isaiah 6:5 NASB)
However, while the Bible has much to say about end-time apostasy (eg. "When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth" Luke 18:8), what, if anything, does it say about end-time revival?
Revival In The End Times?
Opinion seems to be pretty sharply divided on the question of an end time revival, with the vast majority of conservative evangelical Christians falling into the 'no revival' camp. However, it is not just the spiritually weird faction of the church that believes there will be a great move of the Spirit in the last days.
On the face of it, those who believe there will be nothing but apostasy in the final days leading up to the end of the age have some pretty solid Scriptural evidence to back them up. For example, speaking out against the false doctrine called "Dominion Theology" or "Kingdom Now", Apologetics Index says:
"The Bible does not predict a great end time 'revival' or a spiritual super-race defeating death and ushering in the kingdom of God, but rather the very opposite: increasing evil, times of peril, a huge apostasy of those who profess to be Christians, false teachings, false prophets, deceptive signs and wonders, and a delusion that will even deceive God's own people if or when possible."
In support of this position they quote (among others) the following Biblical verses:
"Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold." (Matthew 24:12 NASB)
"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these." (2 Timothy 3:1-5 NASB)
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4 NASB)
"Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts," (2 Peter 3:3 NASB) 
The website of Congregation Shema Yisrael says this...
"Rabbi Paul assures us that the Last Days will be characterized by apostasy, not revival. We are not to be deceived into thinking that the apostasy won't come; it must come first, or Messiah simply will not return! Therefore the teaching that there will be a world wide revival in the Last Days, however well intentioned, is Biblically untenable. Paul's prediction can only mean that in the Last Days many professing believers will reject the biblical teaching that apostasy is inevitable." 
The Warnings About End Tine Deception
And they are certainly right. Dominion, or Kingdom, theology, is a false and highly dangerous belief system, based upon a post-millennial view which is that Christ will return to earth after the thousand year reign of God's kingdom. The church progressively brings righteousness and peace to the world which will eventually be Christianized. Following a brief time of tribulation, Christ will return to earth and establish a new heaven and a new earth for eternity.
Jesus Himself warned several times about end time deception saying, for example:
"...See to it that no one misleads you. "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many...Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many...For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect." (Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 24)
Paul stressed this as well:
"...that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?" (2 Thessalonians 2:2-5 NASB--emphasis added)
Besides which, Jesus Himself told us that in the days immediately preceding His return, we shall see strikingly similar conditions to those that existed just prior to the Great Flood (the days of Noah), one of which was that men became exceedingly wicked:
"Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.... Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence. God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth." (Genesis 6:5, 11-12 NASB)
Note: Genesis also tells us how "the sons of God" took wives for themselves from among the daughters of men, and had children by them, and that the Nephilim, the mighty men of old, walked the earth at that time. While it is patently obvious that mankind is getting worse and worse, if we wish to know what else we are to expect before the wrath of God rains down, then it is essential we know who these sons of God and Nephilim were. [See The Days of Noah]
So the position that there will be no end time revival seems to have strong Biblical support, which begs the question of whether there is any more to it than a superficial reading of the text tells us. Doesn't the Bible tell us that another harvest is yet to come?
Many of those who do believe that there will be a move of God in the last days refer to the words of the prophet Joel:
"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh." (Joel 2:28-31)
Note: The Lord often made Himself known to prophets in visions, and spoke to them in dreams ("...If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream." Numbers 12:6 NASB), which is probably what Joel's prophecy was referring to.
Were Joel's Prophecies Fulfilled On Pentecost?
On the day of Pentecost, Peter, referring to the disciples speaking in the various languages (or dialects) of the people gathered in Jerusalem that day, told the crowd that the men were not drunk as they supposed, "but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel." (Acts 2:15-16)
Which brings up a rather large problem...in fact, several large problems.
Only One Point In Joel's Prophecy Was Fulfilled
Peter's words have led many to erroneously assume that Joel's entire prophecy was fulfilled that day. While what occurred on the day of Pentecost was awesome in itself, a simple reading of the prophecy makes it quite clear that almost none of Joel's words came to pass that day. No prophecies were made, no one dreamed dreams or saw visions. There was no blood, fire, or pillars of smoke. The promised terrifying displays of celestial phenomena were conspicuous by their absence....the sun did not turn to darkness, nor the moon to blood. In fact, even the most cursory comparison of the events of Acts 2 with the prophecy of Joel 2 clearly shows that they had only one thing in common...the Lord poured His Spirit out on people.
Additionally, it is significant that Peter did not say 'as it was written', nor that Joel's words were 'fulfilled' (in which case he would have used the Greek word pleroo which occurs some 90 times in the New Testament). For example:
"And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And He was numbered with transgressors." (Mark 15:28 NASB)
"Now He said to them, 'These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.'" (Luke 24:44 NASB)
The Prophecy Was Not Aimed Exclusively At Men
And there is one other factor. The people that were gathered in Jerusalem that day were there for the Feast of Shavuot, or the Festival of Weeks, which came fifty days after the First-fruits. Shavuot was one of three major feast that required all able-bodied Jewish men to travel to Jerusalem (the other two being Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles, or "booths" as it is sometimes called). [See The Seven Feasts of Israel]
"Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed." (Deuteronomy 16:16 NASB)
Acts 2:5 confirms that it was devout men who had gathered in Jerusalem that day: " Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven". However, Joel's prophecy makes it very clear that not only would the Lord pour out His Spirit on all mankind, but it specifically mentions that, as a result of this outpouring, His daughters would prophesy. Verse 29 also states the Lord's Spirit would be poured out on both male and female servants (Joel 2:28-29.)
The Prophecy Occurred After The Day of The Lord
Joel's prophecy began with the words, "It will come about after this..." (2:28)
To figure out 'after what', we have to go back to verse 11, which says speaks of 'the day of the Lord', which is followed by the call to repentance and the restoration of all good things (2:12-27).
Therefore, the prophecy applies to the time after the day of the Lord, which is another reason it could not have been fulfilled on Pentecost.
So What Could Peter Possibly Have Meant?
Bearing in mind that Joel's prophecy and the events of Acts 2 only had the pouring out of the Lord's Spirit in common, the only logical conclusion is that Peter was informing the crowd that the men were not drunk, but what was taking place was the same kind of thing that Joel spoke about. In other words, the same Holy Spirit that would, in the future, cause the people of God to dream dreams and see visions etc. was also responsible for the events on the day of Pentecost.
This can be easily established by not only digging a little deeper into the conditions that immediately preceded Joel's words, but paying close attention to what those events foretold.
The Plague of Locusts Foreshadowed What Is Yet To Come
Joel chapter 1 and 2 (you should read them in their entirety) first speak of a terrible and unprecedented plague of "locusts" which stripping the land of everything green, caused great suffering in the land of Judah. Chapter one, verse six, which speaks of a "nation" (probably the Assyrians) invading the land, gives us some basis for believing that the locusts are to be interpreted symbolically. This is reinforced by terminology that describes the invading army in terms that are military in nature. For example:
"They run like mighty men, They climb the wall like soldiers; And they each march in line, Nor do they deviate from their paths. They do not crowd each other, They march everyone in his path; When they burst through the defenses, They do not break ranks." (Joel 2:7-8 NASB)
However, it does not matter whether Joel was speaking of actual insects, or a foreign invasion, it was disaster so overwhelming that no escape was possible because it was brought about by the Lord Himself. Which means only the Lord could stop the invading army, which He did after the people repented.
(11) The Lord utters His voice before His army; Surely His camp is very great, For strong is he who carries out His word. The day of the Lord is indeed great and very awesome, And who can endure it? (12) "Yet even now," declares the Lord, "Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; (13) And rend your heart and not your garments." Now return to the Lord your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in loving kindness And relenting of evil. (14) Who knows whether He will not turn and relent And leave a blessing behind Him, Even a grain offering and a drink offering For the Lord your God? (15) Blow a trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly, (16) Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders, Gather the children and the nursing infants. Let the bridegroom come out of his room And the bride out of her bridal chamber. (17) Let the priests, the Lord's ministers, Weep between the porch and the altar, And let them say, "Spare Your people, O Lord, And do not make Your inheritance a reproach, A byword among the nations. Why should they among the peoples say, 'Where is their God?'"
(18) Then the Lord will be zealous for His land And will have pity on His people. (19) The Lord will answer and say to His people, "Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil, And you will be satisfied in full with them; And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations. (20) "But I will remove the northern army far from you, And I will drive it into a parched and desolate land, And its vanguard into the eastern sea, And its rear guard into the western sea. And its stench will arise and its foul smell will come up, For it has done great things." (21) Do not fear, O land, rejoice and be glad, For the Lord has done great things. (22) Do not fear, beasts of the field, For the pastures of the wilderness have turned green, For the tree has borne its fruit, The fig tree and the vine have yielded in full. (23) So rejoice, O sons of Zion, And be glad in the Lord your God; For He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain, The early and latter rain as before. (24) The threshing floors will be full of grain, And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil. (25) "Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. (26) "You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame. (27) "Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, And that I am the Lord your God, And there is no other; And My people will never be put to shame. (Joel 2:18-27 NASB)
That Joel was speaking about the last days and the millennium is evident from verse 11, which speaks of "the day of the Lord", and the twice used phrase "My people will never be put to shame" in verses 26 and 27.
In Christian theology, typology is a representation of one thing by another. In other words, a 'type', which always looks to the future, is an actual historical event (or person) which, at the time it occurred, was a rough draft, or glimpse, of one or more actual events yet to come, although the significance may not have been apparent at the original occurrence. The subsequent happenings are called the 'antitype', which usually are more intense and/or more important than the original type. [See Understanding Prophecy and Typology]
The plague of locusts - a terrible scourge that left the land decimated, was but a harbinger of "the day of the Lord" (a phrase frequently used by many of the prophets). It was both a forerunner of, and foreshadowed what is yet to come.
The CRUCIAL Timing of The Fulfillment Joel's Prophecy
Since both Revelation 6:12 and Matthew 24:29 speak about the sun being darkened and the moon turning to blood, we can safely conclude that they spoke of the same event as Joel did. Compare the three relevant passages. [All Emphasis Added]
Joel: "It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. "Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. "I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. "The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes." (Joel 2:28-31 NASB)
Matthew: "But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:29-30 NASB)
Revelation: "And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?'" (Revelation 6:11-17 NASB)
So when does this take place? Revelation 6:12 says when Christ "broke the Sixth Seal", while Matthew says "immediately after the tribulation of those days" which, obviously, have to be exactly the same point in time.
Matthew 24 (the Olivet Discourse), which has always been a notoriously difficult chapter to understand, becomes much clearer if the reader bears in mind that Jesus differentiates between the "Tribulation" He speaks of in verse 9, and the "Great Tribulation" of verse 21. Although He uses the same Greek word in both verses, He qualifies the second usage by the word "great" (verse 21), translated from the Greek megas, which is where we get the English word 'mega'.
"Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved." (Matthew 24:9-13 NASB)
"For then there will be a great (Gk. megas) tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short." (Matthew 24:21-22 NASB)
If one bears in mind that Jesus is talking about two separate and distinct tribulations, the chapter falls into perfect chronological order...the 'Seals' or the persecution of the church (see following note), are followed by the 'Trumpets' and 'Bowls', which are God's judgment on humanity. It is entirely possible that the spilling of the blood of believers is, in a manner of speaking, the spark which sets off the fire of God's wrath. Certainly, the opening of the Sixth Seal signifies the beginning of the Great Tribulation, symbolized by the Seven Trumpets.
Note: What is also not often realized is that the Seven Seals (Revelation 6-7) exactly parallel the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24). In other words, both sections of Scripture include, in the same sequence, both the events leading up to, and the actual tribulation or persecution of the church (in which Christians will be hated, betrayed and killed). Both then talk about the 'Great Tribulation' of God's wrath, a period of time such as the world has never seen). However, the subject is too long to go into here. [For details see The Seven Seals and Matthew 24 in which Matthew 24 has been analyzed one verse at a time]
In other words, the last days outpouring of God's Spirit in Joel 2 will take place after the persecution of the church and somewhere around the start of the Great Tribulation.
And the purpose of this outpouring?
The Early and Latter Rains
The Bible makes several references to the 'early' and 'late' rains. for example:
"...that He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early and late rain, that you may gather in your grain and your new wine and your oil." (Deuteronomy 11:14 NASB)
"They do not say in their heart, 'Let us now fear the Lord our God, Who gives rain in its season, Both the autumn rain and the spring rain, Who keeps for us The appointed weeks of the harvest.'" (Jeremiah 5:24 NASB)
"So rejoice, O sons of Zion, And be glad in the Lord your God; For He has given you the early rain for your vindication. And He has poured down for you the rain, The early and latter rain as before." (Joel 2:23 NASB)
"Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains." (James 5:7 NASB)
Both these seasons of rain had a very specific contribution to make towards a successful harvest. The early rain fell late in the year, beginning somewhere around mid or late October, after the seed was sown. These rains, which continued on through the winter, the showers gradually getting further and further apart, enabled the grains (probably wheat and barley) to germinate. Fine weather usually ensued early in the year.
The, much lighter, late rains fell in March and April, when the ears were filling. These rains matured and ripened the grain for harvest.
The Early And Latter Rain were a "Type"
The Early Rain
In this case, the ultimate fulfillment of the early rain was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Although the Holy Spirit was alive, well, and very active in the lives of some of the Old Testament stalwarts, this first 'rain' brought into being a new period when all believers can be transformed by the indwelling Holy Spirit. This by remarkably transforming the disciples who went from a dispirited and rudderless band of men who had just lost their leader, to dynamic preachers and leaders of the Church. Not even the resurrection of Christ had this kind of effect on them. The early rain watered and germinated the seeds that had been sown by Christ's preaching of the Gospel.
The Latter Rain
The latter rain will be a spiritual outpouring of God's Spirit that will serve to bring the 'crop' to maturity and ready for the harvest. This rain will once again usher in a new period...The Millennium.
The parable of the sower in Matthew 13, tells us that "He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; and the field is the world; and the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom". This harvesting in of the "sons of the kingdom" is "the Rapture", when the believers are physically moved away from the earth so that the Bowls can be poured out on the earth.
Until this point the faithful were protected from God's wrath by the mark on their foreheads, when it is time for God to make a final end of the kingdoms of this world, the 'harvest' will be safely standing on the far shore of the Red Sea when the waters come crashing in over the heads of the Egyptian army.
Revelation 14:14-20 makes it clear that this take place at the Seventh Trumpet.
Note that Jesus' words "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into My barn." (Matthew 13:30) indicates the tares are separated and symbolically 'bound' in some way, before the believers are gathered into His barn.
[For Details See That Earth Shaking Seventh Trumpet And The Rapture]
In summary, Hebrew prophecy does tell us that there will be a 'revival', but it will only come after the tribulation and will be a move of God...NOT the church. It will come in the form of one more outpouring of His Spirit, for those that turn to Him during some very dark days.
Joel recorded the Lord telling His people to return to Him with all their hearts... with fasting, weeping and mourning and He would have pity on them. He would remove the northern army, heal the land and restore the years the locusts devoured (Joel 2:12-27). After which He would pour out His Spirit:
"It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the Lord has said, Even among the survivors whom the Lord calls." (Joel 2:28-32 NASB)
That Joel was speaking about the last days and the millennium is evident from the twice used phrase "My people will never be put to shame":
"You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame. Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, And that I am the Lord your God, And there is no other; And My people will never be put to shame." (Joel 2:26-27 NASB)
The remnant of God's people who go through the tribulation and, as Jesus said, "endure to the end" (Matthew 24:13), will cry to the Lord for intervention and for deliverance, and the Lord will answer their cry and save them. As the prophet Hosea said:
"He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth." (Hosea 6:2-3 NASB)
There is, unfortunately, one additional point to be made...
The End Time "Falling Away"
2 Thessalonians 2:3 says:
"Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction." (NASB)
Note that the King James version renders the word apostasy as "falling away", which, very obviously, is one of the most telling signs of the beginning of the end of days. [See What Signs Herald The End Of The Age]. However, about this end time apostasy, Apologetics Index says [Emphasis Added] (Note that I am simply using their words as an example of what much of the Christian world thinks):
"We are warned that the deception that is to come will be so difficult to discern, even those who genuinely love the Lord might be deceived... a ''great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians'' has been predicted and will certainly happen." 
They, quite correctly, state that, just as predicted, apostasy will most certainly overtake much of the church. However, their words make it sound like the apostasy is yet to happen in the future, if not the distant future.
The Great Apostasy Is Already Here, And Very Well Disguised
Time to wake up?
This falling away isn't coming at some vague point in time in the hereafter. It's already here.
While I suppose that it possible that the apostasy can get worse, universal deception is already pretty firmly entrenched. Not only is most of the world, already prostate before one or another antichrist [See Antichrists and The Antichrist], but Christianity is already at an all time low, scraping the bottom of the barrel as it were. Today's fad driven church has turned aside so far from what the Scriptures say, to be unworthy to bear the name Christian. In vast numbers, Christians are, according to their own lusts, heaping up for themselves teachers who tickle their ears (2 Timothy 4:3).
The reason the apostasy has been so ill recognized is simply because it has not adhered to most people’s perception of what a "falling away" should look like. Most people probably expected humanity to become less religious and more materialistic - less spiritual and more worldly. While it is true that a large percentage of humanity has indeed become more carnal, a staggering number of people have actually become more spiritual, seeking out 'the divine' in every possible nook and cranny, including within themselves. [See Religious Pluralism]
Jacob Prasch says it well:
"There is no easy way to stop the decline of Christianity in the Western world. It has gone too far for too long. We have been sold down the river by our leaders. All the programs and hype and gimmicks in the world will not bring a harvest of souls. That takes rain. But the rain has stopped." 
And the tragedy of the matter is that almost all who the claim of Christ have no idea how dumb, dead, and damned they are. They trip off merrily to their churches, buy books that are supposed to teach them to be all they can be, or become a leader (just how many leaders do we need?), listen to one of many hot shot preachers whose theology is as far removed from the Bible as heaven is from earth, attend yet another in a long line of 'conferences', and retire to their inner sanctums to either roll out their Yoga mats, and/or 'get in touch with themselves'. Embracing and borrowing from other religions, cults and the occult we have truly become the Devil's playground.
[See Good For Nothing Christianity, Grab a Hose and Which Jesus]
Nor, I suspect, do many Christians realize just how close the man of sin is.
The Antichrist is Around The Corner
According to 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the falling away is followed by the unveiling of the man of sin. [See The Antichrist]
The Antichrist is commonly held to be a great and powerful world leader who will, with the willing participation of most of the world, usher in a time of unprecedented worldwide deception. In fact, the Bible indicates that he and his cohorts are going to make every effort to control every facet of our world, even at the cost of the lives of all that oppose him.
Although they are wrong about the details, the New Agers seem to know that he is well on his way and literally breathing down our necks.
The Lucis Trust (formerly Lucifer Publishing Co.), not only enjoys "Consultative Status" with the United Nations, but has spawned many other organizations such as: the Arcane School, Triangles, World Goodwill, Lucis Publishing, Lucis Productions, Lucis Trust Libraries, the New Group of World Servers etc. Last, but far from least, they maintain the UN meditation room.
And the purpose of these groups? At their core ALL of them exist for one purpose: in their words "the helping of the Great Ones and the rendering to them of that intelligent assistance which will make their plans for humanity materialize." This explosion of individuals and organizations (both large and small) are, by means of occult mediation, the Great Invocation etc, actively working towards creating the conditions necessary for the Reappearance of "the Christ". Except that this "Christ" has nothing to do with Jesus Christ of the Bible.
[See Alice Bailey and The Lucis Trust, The Global Alliance, The United Nations]
(If there is any consolation in this very dark time, it is that God has reserved a remnant which has not bowed the knee to Baal)
 Congregation Shema Yisrael. Last Days Revival or End Time Apostasy?
 What Is a Revival? by C. H. Spurgeon. From the December 1866 Sword and Trowel.
 Apologetics Index. The Way of Cain - Page 37. New teachings in the Christian Church- Where are They Leading Us?
[/B] Congregation Shema Yisrael. Last Days Revival or End Time Apostasy?
 Apologetics Index. The Way of Cain - Page 37.
 Jacob Prasch. Elijah- A man who could make it rain.