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Joel's Army is a spiritual warfare movement based on Joel 2:1-2. It is linked to Dominionist movements and to the now-disgraced Florida megapastor Todd Bentley. They believe that Roe v. Wade constituted a new Passover.
The origins of the movement are sketchy, but trace back to at least two influences, the Latter Rain movement and Dominionism.
The Latter Rain movement gained traction in the 1950s as a movement holding Pentecostal beliefs but largely outside the existing Pentecostal denominations, teaching the imminent rise of a victorious church that trenscended denominational organizations and endowed with supernatural power through miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. The early Latter Rain movement is sometimes linked to William Branham, although most reject Branham's Jesus-only baptism beliefs, and may have also had some influence on parts of the Jesus Movement and on the Discipling and Shepherding movement. Among the Latter Rain movement's teachings were that the rise of a victorious church of "overcomers" endowed with supernatural power to wage spiritual warfare and perform miracles would usher in the second coming of Christ. The terms "Manifest Sons of God" and "Joel's Army" referred to these "overcomers".
Dominionism is a movement that began in the 1970s with Calvinist roots, teaching that the Biblical admonition for Christians to "take dominion" over all the earth includes taking dominion over civil government and law, and that civil law should be based on Biblical teachings.
A combination of Latter Rain and Dominionism began to take form in recent years, especially within non-denominational megachurches, and at revival meetings where engaging in "spiritual warfare" and performing miracles such as faith healing has often taken place side by side with sermons encouraging Christians to be active in the political realm "taking back" civil government. Believers see themselves as part of an End times army of overcomers, supernaturally empowered, with a mission to take control of the earth for God in preparation for the second coming of Christ, see millennialism.
Closely related movements exist not using the Joel's Army name, but with identical beliefs in an end-time army engaged in spiritual warfare to take dominion over the earth. One such movement calling itself the New Apostolic Reformation has been linked to Rick Perry's 2012 U.S. presidential campaign.
- 2:1 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; "The day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand." 2:2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: 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.
- Joel's Army and The Call, Right Wing Watch
- The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfare. Fresh Air. National Public Radio. 2011 August 24.