A Voice in the
The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion. Rule in the midst of Your enemies! (Ps110:1-2)
Now these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and Judah. "For thus says the LORD: 'We have heard a voice of trembling, Of fear, and not of peace. Ask now, and see, Whether a man is ever in labor with child? So why do I see every man with his hands on his loins Like a woman in labor, And all faces turned pale? Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob's trouble, But he shall be saved out of it. 'For it shall come to pass in that day,' Says the LORD of hosts, 'That I will break his yoke from your neck, And will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them. (Jer30:4-8)
There is a great confusion in these days about what is about to come upon the world. The unregenerate false prophets teach the people that the Lord is not going to come for His Church prior to the outpour- ing of His wrath upon the world, even though Scriptures plainly tell us that "God has not appointed us to wrath" (1Ths5:9) they go about "rejoicing" in what they suppose to be God's "purifying of the church" as He is "grooming the church" for the upcoming time of trouble on the earth. While they claim "My Master is delaying his coming"(Mt24:48) they refuse to "watch therefore" for the "blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Tit2:13) and they feel that Jesus' words to "be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass" (Lk21:36) is "escapism mentality." That we are somehow trying to reject something "wonderful" the Lord has for us. They are still part of the world, and thus do not rest in the promise "because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth."(Rev3:10) We have spoken often about the "pre-trib" Rapture, so we will not here.
But let us see what is the nature of this time, often labeled the Tribulation, or "the Great Tribulation."(Mt24:21) Is it going to be a "wonderful blessed" time? While the Church has experienced "tribulation" (Jn16:33) throughout the centuries as "the gates of hell" (Mt16:18) have TRIED TO prevail against it; but could not. The time that is to come, often spoken of in the O.T. as "in that day" is a time when the "vio- lence in heaven" (Mt11:12) which Jesus spoke of will come to a head.
Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. (Zec14:3) You notice "Who" is on the offensive here. The Lord. It is a time when, instead of satan having access to God's throne (Job1:6) to request permission of God to test various Believers (Lk22:31) as he is called the "accuser of the brethren" (Rev12:10); we see that "war" breaks out in heaven. (Rev12:7) And satan and his angels are cast out of heaven to the earth.(vs9) This is a first step in God making Jesus' enemies His "footstool."
"Now" that satan is cast to the earth, what is the status of things? The heavens are rejoicing because satan is no longer there.(vs12) But for the earth? "Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
So now the battle moves from the heavenlies, to the earth. Now that Satan has been thrown out of heaven, his earthly kingdoms must be defeated. After all, keep in mind that he is presently "in charge" of the worldly kingdoms.(Lk4:6) As the announcement is then made, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ..!" (Rev11:15)
So, the seven year period of Daniel's 70th week (Dan9:27) is a time of satan's wrath as he is being defeated. It is a time of God's wrath upon the world, and a time of bringing His people, Israel, back into purity and fellowship.
It is part of the "day of the Lord."(Zec14:1) As satan is cast to the earth, he makes war as never before with Israel. He will have lost regarding the Church, because it was raptured. So now he focuses in on God's chosen, Israel.(Rev12:13) And Jerusalem will be the focal point of this conflict (Zec14:2) as has been prophesied, "And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. (Zec12:3) We see the three major religions claiming it as their heritage of origin. And all the Arab nations want to push Israel out to sea, as many of them refuse even to label "Israel" on their maps of the region.
Will some "purifying" be going on? Yes, indeed! The time of "Ja- cob's trouble" ("Jacob" a name for rebellious Israel). "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire...He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness.(Mal3:2-3) And then will be fulfilled, "This is the cove- nant 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."(Jer31:33)
How is God going to accomplish victory for Israel? "IN THAT DAY," says the LORD, "I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the people with blindness."(Zec12:4) ..I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."(vs9)
And here we get back to our opening Psalm. "He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries."(Ps110:5-6)
And then, to Jesus' words, "When the Son of Man comes in His glory...then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides sheep from the goats."(Mt25:31-32) Judgment will be meted out based on the nation's treatment of Jesus' brethren, Israel.
You see, for a time, God's focus was taken away from Israel and given to the Gentiles,(Acts28:28) As Israel was pruned away that the Church might be grafted in. (Rom11:19) But God's promise is that Israel will be grafted back in again, and "so all Israel will be saved" as the promise is fulfilled, "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; ...when I take away their sins."(Rom11:26)
The ultimate outcome of all this; if you read throughout the book of Ezekiel; seeing all the judgments on the nations who are against Israel; the judgments upon Israel for her unfaithfulness; and then God's restoration of Israel; the result of God's "wrath" being poured out; this phrase that repeats numerous times in the book...
"Then they shall know that I am the Lord GOD." (Ez28:24)