The Signs of the Times (22): Persecution

editor - 18 November 2018

“… If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also…”
John 15:18-20 NIV

In quite some end-time schedules you come across this sequence of events: the age of the ‘Church’ and the worldwide preaching of the Gospel will end with the ‘Rapture’ of the true Christian ‘Church’ that appears before the Judgement Seat of Christ to receive wages for their works. Then, there in the heavenly realms, the ‘Wedding of the Lamb’ will take place.

Before the “Thousand Year Reign” (the Millennium Kingdom) will begin on earth 7 years later, two important events will first take place on earth (where at that time THE antichrist reigns): the GREAT Tribulation for Israel and, after that, the JUDGEMENT on the nations of the world (Matthew 25: 31-46), just before the Kingdom of Peace & Righteousness  dawns.

Often particularly Jeremiah 30:4-7 is quoted regarding that Great Tribulations for Israel: “…These are the words the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Cries of fear are heard -terror, not peace. Ask and see: Can a man bear children? Then why do I see every strong man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labour, every face turned deathly pale? How awful that day will be! No other will be like it. It will be a TIME of TROUBLE for JACOB… ‘

And also Daniel 12: 1: ‘… “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a TIME of DISTRESS such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then…”

It occurs to me however, that the verses from Jeremiah 30 and Daniel 12 are often only quoted halfway. Like I just did. If however, we read Jeremiah 30: 7 entirely, it says: “…How awful that day will be! No other will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, BUT he WILL BE SAVED out of it…. “And Daniel 12:1 says: ‘… There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. BUT at that time your PEOPLE—everyone whose name is found written in the book—WILL BE DELIVERED….’

Great distress for Jacob/Israel, yes, but he will be saved from that! He will be delivered! Michael, Israel’s archangel, will stand by the people of Israel and, with his heavenly hosts, take up the fight in the heavenly realm with the powers of darkness that are out for Israel’s destruction. This means not another ‘Auschwitz’ in Israel for the Jewish people!

When He reappears on earth, His garment will be spattered with the blood of the NATIONS -not the blood of Israel- that He will trample in His anger. Isaiah 63:6 says: “…I trampled the nations in My anger; in My wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground…”Compare this with Revelation 19:11-16. So no judgment or wrath for Israel, but for the pagan nations.


The Signs of the Times
Many people are afraid of the future. Will the turmoil in the world lead to World War III? Or is there still hope? What do the ancient prophecies of the Bible teach us? Are we at the beginning of the end of this world? Or are we approaching a new beginning? Could Israel be a sign of hope? In this new series Rev. Willem Glashouwer looks at 52 of the many signs of the times that are mentioned in the Bible. The English edition of ‘The Signs of the Times’ will be published by Christians for Israel International in the coming months.

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