Thank you for your excellent question. The verse that you refer to in Joel 2:28 is also quoted in Acts 2:17, which reads: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.”

Joel 2:28 says that these things will happen “afterward.” An added detail is revealed in Acts 2:17 that these things will happen “in the last days.” In Micah 4:1,7, we read “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.”

Let us also read Matthew 24:29-30. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Notice the similarity between Matthew 24:29 and Joel 2:31, which reads: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.” As we compare these Scriptures, we see that the last days related to Israel are when the Lord Jesus Christ comes to reign over the earth after the Tribulation.

Now that we have the setting for this passage, I will answer the question. I find it very helpful to read all of Joel 2:28-29. These verses state: “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.” The phrase “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh” is immediately explained by the phrases that follow it. God is making it plain that all classes of Israelites will receive the Spirit. Sons, daughters, old men, young men, servants, and handmaids are all included.

We know from the New Testament that it is impossible for “all flesh” in Joel 2:28 to mean every individual on the face of the earth. Ephesians 1:13 states: “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise” (NASB). Therefore, only those who have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation receive the Holy Spirit. That will be a wonderful day for believers in Israel that is spoken of in Joel 2:28. We have tomorrow’s news today in God’s precious Word! Praise God that the message of the gospel is not only for the Jews but for all mankind. As we read in Mark 16:15, “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (NASB). Have you trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior? If not, please do so today. (320.1) (DJ)