Read Joel 2:28-32
The Church Foretold
Proponents of the doctrine of dispensational premillennialism teach that Jesus came to this earth to establish a physical kingdom, but when He was unexpectedly rejected by the Jews, He set up the church instead. The church, according to premillennialists, was a “plan B” of sorts, a stopgap measure until He could return to establish His kingdom at a later date.
This doctrine fails to recognize several important facts. First, Jesus never intended to establish a physical kingdom. He told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). The very thought that man could prevent God from doing anything is ludicrous and must be rejected outright. Premillennialism falls flat on its face by suggesting such is even possible.
Second, premillennialism fails to recognize the church in prophecy. There are numerous Old Testament passages that point to the establishment of Jesus’ spiritual kingdom, the church. One of the most prominent is Isaiah 2:2-4, wherein the prophet says, “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it.” Isaiah foretells the establishment of the church as well as the universality of the church. The Lord’s kingdom would not be limited to Jews only; “all nations shall flow into it.”
Joel speaks of the amazing things accomplished through the gift of the Holy Spirit at the establishment of the Lord’s kingdom. “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” (Joel 2:28-29).
When were these things accomplished? On the first Day of Pentecost following the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord. Peter says to the group of Jews gathered in Jerusalem, “But this”—what you are witnessing right now with your very eyes—“is what was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:36). God knew what He was doing all along!