First of all, the world will progressively divide into two parts in a way that will be clearly visible in relation to mankind: There will be those who want to go with God, and those who increasingly will rebel against Him and His commandments; those who will show themselves to be His sons and daughters, and those who will not; the one part will be wheat, the other chaff. Paul writes “the whole creation is in turmoil (of birth pangs) to see who will be the children of God” (Romans 8:19-22).
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
And as John further explains: Those who have Him have life, those who do not have Him will not have eternal life.
This is a very serious and absolute matter. Once the end comes, it will be evident who has been saved by believing and obeying the Lord, and who has been lost. There will be no in-betweens.
Satan is fighting a desperate and final end-time battle to catch as many men and women as he can in his net, and prevent them from reaching out to God.
And God will let every man and woman make his or her choice about who to follow. He will even make it easy for people to follow after their own fleshly and carnal desires. As Paul writes: God allowing a strong delusion to ascertain who will want to truly follow Him, and as Jesus Himself said to His followers, the closer He came to His crucifixion, “Don’t you also want to leave Me?”
God wants to know for certain what is in a man’s heart. Those who are holy should be holier still – those who are filthy will be filthier still. We see this trend very clearly in today’s society. People increasingly want to throw off all restraints in order to embrace the most abominable and absurd perversities and obscenities. What they are doing no longer matters to them, and in the end – as Paul writes in his epistle to the Romans – God Himself will give them over to their own carnal lusts (Romans 1:24).
This is an extremely serious matter indeed, for it concerns our very souls and where we are likely to spend our eternity: In hell or in heaven.
The battle on earth is therefore being fought with increasing ferocity. On one hand the Evil One does all he can to thwart God’s purposes and win over God’s creatures, and on the other hand God is gathering His OWN, empowering them by His Spirit and manifold counsel to stand and, having done all, to keep standing. As Jesus said: Only those who endure through these perilous times to the end will be saved.
There is today a multiple and often coordinated onslaught orchestrated by the Evil One and his hordes against those who want to be faithful to the commandments of God and to Jesus, His Son, as we read in Revelation 14. It is an offensive against God’s people, the believing Jews and the true believing Christians – both of them the sworn enemies of Satan.
But as the world increasingly chooses its way, away from God and His commandments, and away from faith in His Son, the Messiah – there is simultaneously a uniting and purifying of all those who truly believe and want to be faithful to the Judeo-Christian precepts in the way they live.
In the end these will be one flock, one people – God’s own people.
In Ephesians 2:11-22 Paul, specially designated an apostle to the Gentiles, brought this message to those who, up to that time, did not belong to God’s chosen people:
Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh – who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands – that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
Those who formerly were not God’s people now heard that they could become part of His people because of their repentance and faith in the Jewish Messiah – Jesus. They thus would be grafted into the tree and commonwealth of Israel, become children of Abraham themselves because of their faith, and the children of the God of Israel who welcomed them to be part of His people.
This is not generally understood, neither by most Christians nor by the majority of the Jewish people, that there are not so much two separate people of God – one the Jews and the other the Christians – but that in fact Gentiles, when they have come to faith in Jesus, have converted to a purely Jewish-originated faith.
It is not the other way round!
A Gentile thus coming to faith in the Jewish Messiah comes, through Him, to accept and be accepted by the God of Israel Himself. In a way many Gentile believers have understood this, but what they have far less understood is that they, because of their faith in the Messiah, have become part of God’s flock and people! As once the Gentile (Moabite) Ruth said to Naomi, the Jewess: “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16).
Identification with our Jewish roots and basis has thus been vastly lacking in most of Christianity.
A big part of the reason for this was the rise to predominance of Rome and Gentile believers, with the result that not only did this Jewish-born faith become more gentilized (and sometimes even paganized) but that eventually it was cut off from its Hebraic Jerusalem orientation, thus becoming a separate religion (called Christianity) severed from its biblical foundation.
This was all made possible because of two main factors: Jerusalem, after being destroyed first by Rome’s Titus and then by Hadrian, had become Aelia Capitolina. And the Jewish ecclesia, having been guided and supervised by Jewish leadership, (Peter – John, James, Paul and others,) became essentially a Gentile-dominated church! This after the first pope, Peter, had been a Messianic Jew, and the mother of our Lord an orthodox Jewish woman.
More and more Gentiles – often retaining their pagan customs and ways – joined this faith, until ultimately Constantine instituted it into a separate new religion called Christianity. “Church fathers” arose; men like Chrysostom, “the golden mouthed,” who initiated what would later spread like a cancer all over the church, even up to Luther’s reformation: a fulmination against and condemnation of the Jews.
“Christianity” was thus not only being cut off from its Jewish roots and so replacing the “Old Covenant” people of God; it generated a tirade against the Jewish people that eventually lead to the horrifying persecution, vilification and even murder of Jewish people by those claiming to be followers of Christ.
Dr. Michael Brown wrote a heart-wrenching book about this. Our hands are stained with blood – The tragic story of the “Church” and the Jewish people (Destiny Image Publishers, Shippensburg, PA, 1992) details the horrors the Jews were put through at the hands of Christians! Here are some of his recorded examples:
After nineteen centuries of Christianity, the extermination of six million Jews, among them one-and-a-half million children, carried out in cold blood in the very heart of Christian Europe, encouraged by the criminal silence of virtually all Christendom, including that of an infallible Holy Father in Rome, was the natural culmination of this bankruptcy. A straight line leads from the first act of oppression against the Jews and Judaism in the fourth century to the Holocaust in the twentieth. (Eliezer Berkovits, “Judaism in the Post-Christian Era,” reprinted in Talmage, Disputation and Dialogue, pp. 287f, quoted by Michael L. Brown p. 91)
Writes Elie Wiesel:
“Imagine the chief rabbi of the town forced by German officers to clean the pavement, to sweep it with his beard. And all around, proud soldiers, warriors puffed up with their victories, slapped their thighs in merriment. Imagine: a distinguished officer, a man of good family, orders Jewish children to run, like rabbits, and then he takes out his revolver and begins shooting at the terrified living targets, scattering them, mowing them down. Imagine: no, let us not imagine any more. In those days, the executioners had more imagination than their victims.” (Elie Wiesel and Albert H. Friedlander, The Six Days of Destruction, Meditation toward Hope, New York/Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1988, pp. 33f.)
They were satanically creative. Wiesel continues:
“They used every science and technique. Among them were philosophers and psychologists, doctors and artists, experts in management and specialists in poisoning the mind.” (Ibid., p.34.)
These were all driven, all impelled, all given over to the humiliation, degradation and extermination of the Jews. Only yesterday they were neighbors and friends!
When the Nazis murdered all the patients of the Lodz ghetto hospitals, they threw newborn babies out of upper-story hospital windows. Precious Jewish infants were splattered on the pavement! But for one teenaged SS soldier this was not enough. He asked permission – and was granted permission – to catch the falling babied on his bayonet. Is there no limit to hell’s depravity?
The horrors of the Chmielnicki massacres in Eastern Europe, taking over 100,000 Jewish lives from 1648 to 1656, must have been demonically inspired. What else would motivate peasant mobs to tear open the bellies of pregnant women, cut off their hands to render them helpless, and then place living cats within their bellies – just because they were Jewesses? (Michael L. Brown, pp. 160f).
It is distressing, extremely distressing, that a faith which was started wholly by Jews, Jesus, the Apostles and the early Church – Apostles who nearly all died martyrs’ deaths as Jews for bringing Gentile believers into their flock or ecclesia – developed into a gentilized Christianity, which often rose cruelly and without mercy against the very root that bore them.
Thus was the basic unity presented in the Bible – between true believers in the God of Israel and His Messiah on the one hand, and the believing Jews on the other hand – almost completely lost, blurred through these terrible and tragic developments.
So well did the Evil One do his work that today even those who, with all their heart and soul, are ready to pray and live this prayer of Ruth – “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God” – encounter a lot of suspicion and even rejection by Israeli or Jewish people. Too much has happened in history for this to be a quick and easy journey: back along the road to becoming one people again.
But become one people we will, as Jesus Himself prophesied when He said:
And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they (the Gentile believers) will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd (John 10:16).
“Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ there it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living God.’ Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and appoint for themselves one head; and they shall come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel! (Hosea 1:10-11).
It is therefore clearly prophesied that, through their calling forth by way of the Word of the Gospel, and if they repent and believe, Gentiles will become part of God’s people.
We are now living in a time when this is increasingly being manifested – Jews and true Gentile believers in the God of Israel moving more and more towards becoming one people. As Zechariah prophesies:
“In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you'” (Zechariah 8:23).
Actually, this was Paul’s message from the beginning, as already quoted from Ephesians 2:11:
“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh–who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands– that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah” (Ephesians 2:11-13).
This understanding is finally dawning again upon many believers worldwide. And it will be enormously accelerated when, as promised by Ezekiel, Zechariah and others, Israel as a nation receives the fullness of the Holy Spirit, when God’s Holy Wind will blow upon them all.
As Zechariah prophesied:
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves” (Zechariah 12:10-14).
Ezekiel too, saw it:
“And He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ So I answered, ‘O Lord GOD, You know.’ Again He said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, “O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: ‘Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.'”‘ So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them. Also He said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.'” … “I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it,” says the LORD'” (Ezekiel 37:3-9, 14).
When that happens – when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon the nation of Israel as shown in these just-quoted verses – all Israel will be saved and all will be in truth the redeemed people of God. Then no one will need to say to his neighbor “Know the Lord” for they (all Israel) shall know Him!
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah – not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).
“And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins” (Romans 11:23-27)
This will happen to Israel before the return of the Lord Messiah, not at His coming as so many have wrongly maintained.
And when it happens, it will create a strong and almost immediate unity between the millions upon millions of Gentile believers and the doubly-reborn nation of Israel – then both physically and spiritually reborn. Under the double outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit the tree – with its grafted in Gentile branches and regrafted in former branches – will come to its greatest and fullest hour.
The Bible says that when Israel went out of Egypt, a mixed multitude also went out with them (see Exodus 12:38). And in relation to the prophesied coming home of the Jewish people we read the same thing:
“For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel, and settle them in their own land. The strangers will be joined with them, and they will cling to the house of Jacob (Isaiah 14:1).
Ezekiel specially mentions that those who have chosen to be among and live with Israel at this time will be given their place and inheritance in the land.
“Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance,” says the Lord GOD (Ezekiel 47:21-23).
This newfound unity between the Gentile fearers of God and the Jewish people in Israel, this coming together – as Ezekiel sees it – of the two sticks, Judah and Ephraim, (Israel and the fullness of the Gentiles) into ONE BIG STICK, will have colossal spiritual consequences. It will be sealed by the double pouring out of the Holy Spirit, the former and the latter rain of which Pentecost was a mere foreshadowing, on the whole house of Israel.
This, I believe, will happen one day during the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, where already in our day Jews and God-fearing Gentiles in the tens of thousands gather every year. It will be an outpouring of such proportion that it will cause this latter house of God’s people to supersede in power and glory the early church, which also consisted of thousands of Jewish and Gentile believers.
From the Day of Pentecost and right through Church history there have been miraculous outpourings of the Holy Spirit, in various lands and places. This coming one, however, will eclipse them all. It is of course understandable that people look back to these heavenly visitations, even visiting places where they occurred. But the greatest outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit is still ahead of us, and it will happen in Jerusalem just as Pentecost did.
It was however not the Feast of Pentecost which the Messiah used to announce the coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit, but the last and final day of THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES.
“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).
This is remarkable also because the passage from Joel quoted by Peter to explain to his people what happened in the upper room on the day of Pentecost was only partially fulfilled on that day. At the occurrence of Pentecost nearly 2000 years ago there was no darkening of the sun or reddening of the moon. It obviously still awaits a much more complete fulfillment, of which Pentecost was only the wonderful beginning. This is what Joel prophesied:
“Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God; for He has given you the former rain faithfully, and He will cause the rain to come down for you – the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame. Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the LORD your God and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame.
“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. 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 coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls” (Joel 2:23-32).
It is clear from this passage that the complete fulfillment awaits our time when, as promised, Israel will have again been gathered into their land, having entered a time of unparalleled blessing and prosperity, but at the same time with nearly all nations gathered against her for their own looming judgment.
It is called by the much-used biblical name of “the day of the LORD” with the sun darkened and the moon turned into blood – something that definitely did not occur on the day of Pentecost, although Peter in his sermon referred to this prophecy as certainly a fulfillment of the occurrence at Pentecost.
Most of today’s preachers and Bible teachers do not clearly see Joel’s promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit “upon all flesh,” which in our day and time – as prophesied by Ezekiel, Zechariah, Joel and others – will occur over the whole nation of Israel.
Then God’s Wind will blow from the four corners of the earth, not just over 120 Jews in one Upper Room, but over the whole nation from Dan to Beersheba, including those Christians who truly have been grafted into the tree and commonwealth of Israel. All this will happen soon, praise the Lord!
This then will in all likelihood take place just before the terrible “Day of the LORD” and His parousia. It will cause the Jewish and Gentile believers to become ONE BODY, ONE FLOCK and people of God, empowering them to go through the most difficult coming end days which will close in upon this world.
It may be a period of at least seven years, first of tremendous anointed ministry of three-and-a-half years just like the Messiah’s three-and-a-half years of powerful ministry on earth.
It will be a time of unprecedented miracles, purity and outreach, the believers witnessing with power and signs, sometimes even greater than those the Lord did during His ministry. But it will be followed by a terrible, dark, trying period, also three-and-a-half years, when the Beast, knowing he has a very short time, ‘will fight with the saints and overcome them,’ bringing upon the world and believers the night Jesus warned about, in which no one would be able to work for Him. This is the often repeated ‘one time, two times and half a time’, or three-and-a-half years, or 42 months, as is all mentioned in the prophetic writings of the Scriptures. It will be a terrible time, in which the Beast will be able to kill God’s major prophetic witnesses in the streets of Jerusalem after they have prophesied powerfully with signs and judgments, also for three-and-a-half years.
“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 11:3-10).
“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. … and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, … He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (Daniel 7:7, 20-21, 25).
“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:1-8).
The fact that the Bible tells us in both Daniel and the book of Revelation that the Beast that will arise in the end times “will make war with the saints and wearing them down will even overcome them,” in addition to the killing of their chief prophets in Jerusalem, reveals that the saints at that time HAVE NOT YET BEEN RAPTURED and that the words of the Lord – that if God would not shorten these awful days of fierce tribulation then no flesh would be saved – need to be considered seriously by every watchful saint.
(For why should the days of the final tribulation be shortened for the elect sake if the elect, as some have taught, have been already taken up!)
The words in Revelation: “Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” (Revelation 13:10b) are similar to the words of the Lord Himself speaking about these very same things: “He who endures to the end will be saved.” It will be a most difficult time for the believers and we had better prepare ourselves spiritually for it!
So there will be an amazing parallel between the Lord and His end-time people. After a most powerfully anointed ministry of three-and-a-half years, the whole world turned to unite against Him – seemingly overcoming Him in the trial and subsequent crucifixion.
“The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ. ‘For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done'” (Acts 4:26-28).
And as the Word of God says: ‘As He was in the world so are we’. He was born of the Spirit – we need to be born of the Spirit – He grew up in favor with God and with man – we need to grow up into spiritual maturity – He came to His crucifixion – we in some way or another need to go through our tribulation and persecution. After His death and resurrection He ascended to heaven. So will we.
I am writing these lines to show that these things are not inconsistent with one another.
Jesus had a powerfully anointed ministry of three-and-a-half years, with mighty signs, healings and wonders and multitudes following Him, and then the curtain suddenly falling on such a wonderful time, with the whole world nevertheless being united to cast Him out. So it will also be with the people of God in the end time: united under the double-outpouring of God’s Spirit, powerfully used in signs and wonders all over the earth, and then seeing the world under the influence of this terrible Beast, uniting against these powerfully anointed servants of God, seemingly overcoming them and wearing them down. This is what the Bible clearly teaches.
In a way this is also consistent with God’s redemptive story concerning His own people, whom He brought out of Egypt not before, but at the end of, the ten plagues, saving them on that Passover night from the angel of death and leading them out.
So also the New Testament reveals that at the sound of the LAST TRUMPET, we shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye and taken up, not before.
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17).
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
That the last trumpet here corresponds to the last or tenth plague can be seen from the six preceding trumpets as announced by God in the final book of Revelation. The result and effect of these trumpets will happen while the saints are still on the earth, so that all the previous verses quoted line up to say the same thing. Only at the very last trumpet will we be taken up.
Also 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 – though often wrongly used to prove the opposite – warns the body of the Lord’s people clearly that first the great falling away will occur and the man of sin set himself up in the newly to be built temple before we can even expect the Lord to come and take us. These are Paul’s words:
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5).
All this is very important, because if this is what God’s Word and the Lord Himself clearly teaches, we need to heed it with all of our hearts in spite of previously-held views which we thought were the correct ones.
The Apostles also closed their minds when the Lord tried to warn them about His impending rejection, suffering and crucifixion. They therefore were left unprepared and failed Him at the hour of His agony and suffering. May we, by God’s help, be softer-of-heart than they were, and not hold stubbornly to our dogmatically-held opinions.
We see in our world today the uniting of all the different forces which in the end – as they turned against the Lord – will turn against His flock. Therefore let us stand together in love and unity with God’s people in Israel, and having done all to stand and persevere to the end.
So we shall soon see these two mighty movements on the earth.
On the one hand the unification of true believing Jews and Gentiles under one biblical roof through the Messiah – the coming together of Judah and Ephraim, the two sticks which were shown to Ezekiel – with a double outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit awaiting them (I believe) during a coming Feast of Tabernacles, an outpouring which will seal that union and prepare God’s called-out ones for what is to come, both in powerful ministry as well as, with the Lord, for suffering and persecution.
On the other hand we shall see the coming together of the rest of mankind in a horrendous anti-God, anti-His laws and anti-His people alliance, which will make the nations ready and willing instruments to come, not only against God and His righteous laws, but also in an Armageddon-like hatred and war against His chosen people.
In the very near future we shall see both these movements come to the front.
There is a verse in Jeremiah which I believe is key to understanding the time we have come to. It says:
‘Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,’ says the Lord, ‘nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid. For I am with you,’ says the Lord, ‘to save you; though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you, yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice, and will not let you go altogether unpunished.’ (Jeremiah 30:10-11).
This is an amazing verse, for it speaks about God’s anger and fury at the way the nations have and are treating His people Israel, and His determined response to make a full end with all these nations.
This is consistent with other biblical passages like:
“For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, and His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter. Also their slain shall be thrown out; their stench shall rise from their corpses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; all their host shall fall down as the leaf falls from the vine, and as fruit falling from a fig tree. … For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, the year of recompense for the cause of Zion” (Isaiah 34:2-4, 8).
It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. (Zechariah 12:9)
“And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the LORD God, “that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the LORD God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.” ‘ (Ezekiel 38:18-23).
“And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the LORD. So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
… “I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. (Ezekiel 39:6-7, 21)
It is amazing how consistently this message runs through the prophets: that our God has a day of retribution against the nations on behalf of His people Israel. “A day of vengeance for the controversy of Zion” (Isaiah 34).
All those nations who dare to come against Israel, be it Gog or Magog or the array of all nations in the end against Jerusalem: THE SAME FATE WILL BE METED OUT TO THEM ALL. God warns they will be destroyed on the mountains of Jehoshaphat, running from Jerusalem right through to Bozrah south of the Dead Sea – a valley of slaughter and judgment; a winepress of the Lord’s anger.
For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. … And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the LORD will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand; Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance. (Zechariah 14:2-3, 12-14).
“For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land. … Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD. “Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow– for their wickedness is great.” Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. (Joel 3:1-2, 11-16)
Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength?– “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? “I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My own fury, it sustained Me. (Isaiah 63:1-5)
Thus what is clear from Jeremiah 30:10-11 and these other verses is that, in comparison with the terrible, terrible coming fate of the nations, Israel will do well and will only, as we see even today, be corrected in measure. But basically her terrible judgment, which she doubly suffered from the day Titus razed Jerusalem till the gas chambers of Hitler, is past. “‘For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;
But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,’ says the LORD, your Redeemer” (Isaiah 54:7,8).
This is the set time to favor Zion, not to judge her. The nations will be judged also for the dividing of God’s land and the way they have and do treat Israel. That is the sure teaching and warning of God’s Word.
In Zion will be escape – the Bible says. In a way, contrary to what many believers have believed or have been taught, ISRAEL, COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING, WILL BE THE MOST SECURE PLACE FOR BELIEVERS – be they Gentile or Jewish – during those awful days of the end time.
Perhaps that’s why we see the two end-time prophets – like Moses and Elijah – prophesying freely for three-and-a-half years, bringing all kinds of plagues and judgments on the nations of the world – yet unharmed in Israel till the Beast arises and slays them.
“Tribulation and anguish,”writes Paul, “on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek.” (Romans 2:9)
From the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, down the long and painful road of the Jews’ dispersion among the Gentiles, with the numerous massacres and humiliations, culminating in that most awful of all massacres, the Holocaust – the Jewish people have certainly known and experienced the truth of this verse.
As Isaiah writes “they have suffered double.” But now has come the time of favor, of restoration, of comfort, of a very good end for His own people, not another great tribulation as is un-biblically taught in many a Christian circle. It is “the set time” to favor Zion, and THEREFORE THE LORD urges us believers to comfort them and speak tenderly to Jerusalem. No new tribulation is awaiting the Jews; that horror is, however, now to be the portion of the Gentile nations as the above-quoted verse of Jeremiah 30:10-11 so clearly spells out: “I will make a full end of all the nations where they were scattered,” nations which not only caused them often to suffer more but who today are in the forefront of a worldwide attack against and criticism of Israel, which eventually will develop into a full-scale Armageddon-like military attack against the recently reborn nation.
Nevertheless, as we see in all the just-quoted Bible verses, in all of this – by God’s grace and intervention on her behalf – Israel will be victorious and not defeated. Both Gog and Magog as well as all nations coming up against Israel will be destroyed, and terribly so. But Israel will live and be victorious! The Jews have had their long, dark night of suffering and death. Now, as Paul warns in his epistle to the Romans – it is time for the Gentiles to be judged in the winepress of God’s wrath. That is the clear teaching of God’s Word!
One old pastor friend from the United States believed he received these words from the Lord:
“I am leaving the nations. For almost 2000 years I have been calling a remnant out of each nation. Now I am returning to Jerusalem. I am building up Zion, for there I will be glorified.”
Those are remarkable words that seem to resonate what Jesus Himself said when His disciples asked Him the question:
“Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8)
It is difficult for many to imagine this all, just as it was very difficult for Jesus’ disciples at the time to grasp that their time as a sovereign nation had come to an end; that Jerusalem would be destroyed and the remnant of the Jewish people scattered throughout the world.
Now we have come full circle! It is not Jerusalem, the Jewish capital today, which is set up for destruction. It is the cities of the world, many of them copies of that great pagan city of Babylon, that God will destroy as He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and as He allowed the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies.
This time it will be the Gentile lands and cities that will face their destruction, signifying that increasingly their dispensation of grace has ended.
Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (Revelation 16:17-20)
The whole chapter of Revelation 16 is so significant in this respect that it should be read in full!
Also, in that very telling passage in Isaiah 61, the time of grace (the acceptable year) is followed by a day of wrath while at that same time a day of comfort for those who mourn in Zion.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the foreigner shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers. But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, they shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory you shall boast. (Isaiah 61:1-6).
The general picture we get from the prophetic biblical word concerning what will happen with Israel immediately after their final return to their God-given country is a very positive one. They will receive the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 37) or, as Zechariah puts it, “the spirit of grace and supplication.” They will receive a heart of flesh and will be circumcised in their hearts. No one will be able to uproot them again from their land. They will be victorious against all their enemies – as we have already seen during their recent wars:
- the 1948 war of liberation, greatly outnumbered and outgunned by five Arab nations: won
- the 1956 Sinai campaign: won
- the 1967 Six Day War against 4 Arab nations: won
- the 1973 surprise attack Yom Kippur war: won
- the 1982 Peace for Galilee war: won
And the Scriptures go further: They will gloriously win their war against all the forces of Gog and Magog. They will win the onslaught of all the nations gathered against them in the end by the furious intervention of the Lord Himself. In other words, Israel has come home to stay, whatever the odds are against them. That is both clear from their recent history, as well as from the promises of Scriptures!
The question arises however: Is there no more suffering or punishment awaiting this young reborn nation?
Yes, sadly, there is. And this is why the quoted Scripture from Jeremiah 30:10-11 is so significant, for although God says that He will make a FULL END of all the nations where His people were scattered and not with Israel – He does say that He will “correct them in measure and not leave them altogether unpunished”.
No one that is intimately familiar with the history of Israel since their return to their land can deny the accuracy of this verse. They have suffered in measure since their return! All the wars, the many terrorist attacks inside and outside Israel on Israeli men, women and children – soldiers and civilians, and the continual harassment by the nations, their critical attitude, boycotts, and UN unilateral condemnations – all amply prove the accuracy of this verse: God is not giving Israel an easy ride, but at the same time He is miraculously helping them overcome in all their battles because He is faithful to His promise!
Sadly enough this is necessary, as Israel has not yet chosen to live on this their land according to God’s Way. Many Israelis often prefer to live as the Gentiles do, only giving minimum adherence to their Jewishness. Actually, Israel is in the midst of a ‘Kultur Kampf’ as an advisor of one of Israel’s prime ministers once confided to me. Will she choose to be a Jewish state, faithful to God; or will she be a Gentile-like state, faithful to the dictates of the increasingly decadent and lawless world? This is the question now being fought out in Israel. What will the young state develop into?
As we have seen, the Bible tells us Israel will become God-fearing and faithful. But this will not come about, as so many Christians have wrongfully been taught, by a new and even more terrible holocaust than the one that gave rise to their rebirth as state. Not that way!
It is clear that the time of Jacob’s trouble as described in Ezekiel 37:1-8 and Jeremiah 30:1-5 is a terrifying occurrence that will happen preceding the return of the Jewish people to their land, and not after their return.
Therefore, if Israel’s final redemption will occur, not as a result of another great tribulation, as presented by many a Christian preacher, nor because of the physical return of their Messiah – in other words only at the very end – then what will cause this nation to be spiritually grafted back into its own tree, as Paul writes in his epistle to the Romans?
And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? (Romans 11:23-24).
There are certain things that God will use in His great mercy and love for His battered people, all of which will play a part in their final redemption.
I will name some of them and expand on them. Some I have already mentioned, like the coming outpouring of the wind of God’s Spirit – this time on the whole nation – the Spirit of grace and supplication which will result in the immediate effect of Israel seeing Him Whom they have pierced.
It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. (Zechariah 12:9-10)
This will not happen at the time of the physical return of the Lord as described later in Zechariah 14, when His feet will stand upon the Mount of Olives to conquer the nations who have gathered against His people.
It will occur before that, and will be a pouring out of the Holy Spirit, or Spirit of grace and supplication, on the whole nation, (just as Ezekiel 37 prophesies) that will cause the physically reborn nation of Israel also to be a spiritually reborn nation before the Lord returns.
As Jesus said,
You shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ (Matthew 23:39).
In other words, something spiritually will have to happen in Israel with the people before they will be willing to welcome their Lord! And it will!
But before this great spiritual outpouring takes place there will be some things or steps that will prepare the nation for this.
One will be the remarkable miracles which God will work out on Israel’s behalf that will not only cause the whole nation slowly to turn in faith to Him, but will also shock the increasingly secularized nations of the world into taking note.
God says it in various places like Ezekiel 36:23:
And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the LORD God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.
I am doing these things that the nations may know that I am the God of Israel and Israel will begin to realize this too.
The beautiful and moving film “Against all odds”, made by my friend Bill McKay, and currently being screened by the Trinity Broadcasting Network documents some of the remarkable miracles God has already done for Israel during her last wars. No one seeing this can be left in doubt – neither the nations nor Israel – as to on which side the God of Israel stands in this Middle East conflict.
And there is much more to come. Great and amazing divine interventions and occurrences will happen both in relation to future wars as well as concerning discoveries, archeological and otherwise, that will send shock waves throughout the world, especially among the Jewish people themselves, as they see that God is returning to Zion and is causing the fallen hut of David and all that used to belong to Israel to be restored and reinstituted. That is what even Peter said following the day of Pentecost to His Jewish brethren:
“… and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:20-21).
But we find this also expressed by the prophets:
“And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations” (Isaiah 61:4).
“On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old” (Amos 9:11).
And even Jesus said:
“Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will RESTORE ALL THINGS” (Matthew 17:11).
This all will lead to the Israeli people becoming more aware, some even convinced, that God has truly turned towards them in mercy and that indeed the pre-determined time to favor Zion has come.
“You will arise and have mercy on Zion; for the time to favor her, yes, the set time, has come” (Psalm 102:13).
Even the Ark of the Covenant may be found at a certain time and cause many Jews not yet in Israel to make Aliyah – believing that this is indeed the proof that the third Temple will be built, as they have prayed all over the world in their synagogues for so long, and that God has returned in favor to them.
Yes, then there is the witness and example of believers in the land who, by holding out in faith to the Lord and His Word, do proclaim in word and deed that there is a new way to relate to the living God of Israel as He Himself has prophesied through His prophet Jeremiah: the way of the New Covenant.
Many Gentile believers will be in the forefront in encouraging their Jewish brethren not to give in to the pressures of the increasingly corrupt and self-serving world, but to believe God is with them and will strengthen them to inherit all that has been promised to them, as they are instructed by God Himself to do when He says, “Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, speak ye tenderly to the heart of Jerusalem.”
This is already apparent in many movements and organizations forming among Christian believers worldwide, all expressing this love for the people of Israel, each in its own specific way, but together making a vast and meaningful company of millions upon millions of Gentile believers who have come out to stand up for and strengthen Israel at this hour, in a solidarity like that of Ruth saying: “Let your God, Israel, be our God and your people our people.”
It was one of Israel’s former prime ministers who said, at a public meeting with Christians and Jews where I was present, that these Christians were the best and most faithful friends the young State of Israel has in the world today. It is a movement which will only grow in strength and numbers, possibly reaching one day as many as one hundred million believers worldwide, just as Zechariah one day foresaw:
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ‘ ” (Zechariah 8:23)
But these are not all the steps God will take to bring His people back to Him. There will be also severe judgments, like the foretold earthquake that will take place in Jerusalem when that city, untrue to its holy calling, will allow itself to become a modern Sodom (see Revelation 11:8); an earthquake which will kill at least 7000 people with the result that the rest of the city’s population will fear God and turn to Him.
There will be other such occurrences which God will employ to teach His people that there is a price to be paid for running after the ways and sins of the Gentiles and so away from Him.
As Jeremiah proclaims: “they will be punished IN MEASURE,” that is, not through a new holocaust, but with a measured response to their willful and sinful ways. May it soon not have to happen any more and Israel’s people, leaders and educators wise up before more disasters will occur.
So in short, just as blindness in part befell the people of Israel 2000 years ago as Paul writes, so revelation and sight will come to Israel just as with the “pre-timely born” Paul on the road to Damascus.
They will truly be His people again; Israel and Jerusalem will become one of the safest places on earth to which many believing Gentiles will want to immigrate. Israel will win every one of her wars. She will not be uprooted out of her land.
She will be restored in every way and more than that.
- Her borders will be restored.
- Her prophetic servants like Moses and Elijah will be restored.
- The wealth of the nations will flow to her.
- The kingdom will be restored and a King from the house of David.
- The Temple, the third one, will be built – and the whole earth will benefit from what will happen in and around Jerusalem, the nations coming up each year to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles and worship the King Messiah.
The world, by this time without a moral spiritual compass, will send its leaders, kings and ministers up to Jerusalem to learn the ways of the Lord.
Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:3)
It is surely a given that, to reach all this, Israel still has to experience certain wars, terrorist attacks and tremendous isolation from the decadent nations of the world. But just as surely a given is Israel’s eventual glorious future.
May we all pray fervently for this peaceful destiny for Jerusalem, as the Lord proclaims through Isaiah:
For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns. …
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent. (Isaiah 62:1, 6).
Just as the fullness of the Gentiles was the result of the sacrifice and willingness of the believing remnant of the Jewish people, the Apostles and early Jewish believers, to give all of themselves, so now the believing remnant of the nations should be willing to do the same for modern Israel, that all Israel might come to her full redemption “as a lamp that burns”, a light to all the nations of this world!
Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director
International Christian Zionist Center
Republished with the kind permission of Author Jan Willem van der Hoeven, Director of International Christian Zionist Center.
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