Israel’s coming tribulation

Israel’s coming tribulation

While it is clear that Israel will continue until the end, it is also clear that this will be accompanied by severe tribulation and great oppression. In fact, Jesus promised Israel (via the Jews) that it would be the greatest tribulation that they would ever experience in all their history. (For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.Matthew 24:21) Other nations around them also sinned but God held Israel particularly responsible for their sin because they alone of all nations should have known better. The prophet Amos, speaking God’s words to Israel, said, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” (Amos 3:2)

Back around 740 BC, Isaiah gave God’s message to Judah and Jerusalem, long before they were taken into captivity (607 – 587 BC). Even then God pronounced them rebellious, sinful, iniquitous, corrupters, revolting, sin-sick from head to toe. He refused to accept their sacrifices according to the Law because they were corrupted, unclean from their spiritual adultery with the gods of other nations.

Some excerpts from Isaiah 1 demonstrating their serious problem with mixing the worship of God with the worship of false gods:
Isaiah 12Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the Lord hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
4Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. 5Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6From the sole of the foot even unto the head [there is] no soundness in it; [but] wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.
11To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 13Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; [it is] iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear [them]. 15And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
18Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken [it].

Judah thought they could enjoy sin as long as they carried out the temple sacrifices as well. They thought that it was OK as long as they also did what God required. But when you mix unclean with clean, the consequence is that it all becomes unclean. Even the “clean” actions of worshiping God according to the Law were rendered unclean by their worship of the unclean. Clean + unclean = all unclean!
Haggai 2:11-1411Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Ask now the priests [concerning] the law, saying, 12If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. 13Then said Haggai, If [one that is] unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. 14Then answered Haggai, and said, So [is] this people, and so [is] this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so [is] every work of their hands; and that which they offer there [is] unclean.
There are many today who believe the lie that it’s OK to do sin as long as you “get right” with God on Sundays!

Israel was warned to not serve other gods to see what happened or else they would be ensnared into worshiping them.
Deuteronomy 12:29-3129When the Lord thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 30Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

They were told, not just once or twice, but many times to not go after other gods.
Deuteronomy 6:14Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which [are] round about you;

They were to not to listen to close friends or family members who tried to get them to serve other gods. Instead, God ordered them to put such people to death.
Deuteronomy 13:6-96If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which [is] as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; 7[Namely], of the gods of the people which [are] round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the [one] end of the earth even unto the [other] end of the earth; 8Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: 9But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

Even after they (Judah) came back from captivity at Babylon, they went further in their spiritual adultery. Malachi was the last of the prophets of the Old Testament, writing about 400 years before Christ.
Malachi 2:11Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.

And Jesus declared the pharisees (who were effectively the religious leaders of their day, even overruling the Levitical priesthood) to be the children of the devil.
John 8:44Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

So ultimately, Israel (via the Jews) had dug a sinful hole so deep that they couldn’t escape from it. God had sent punishments one after the other, but while they might have temporarily repented and turned back to God, it never lasted; they just went deeper and deeper into spiritual adultery against God.
God had demonstrated His lovingkindness to them as His special people, yet they had abused this privilege. They would not be purged via God’s kindness, but by being refined in “the furnace of affliction“. God sent plague after plague, judgment after judgment, but even today Israel is still under God’s condemnation for their spiritual sin.
Isaiah 48:9-119For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. 10Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. 11For mine own sake, [even] for mine own sake, will I do [it]: for how should [my name] be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

Daniel 9:24 (Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.) makes it clear that one day their sin will be ended and they will be declared righteous for ever. This has never happened yet, in spite of all the affliction God has brought upon them so far. It will take an affliction far greater than they have ever experienced or could ever imagine to bring them to this point, to break them so surely that they will call upon the name of the Lord to be delivered (Joel 2:32). This time of extreme affliction is yet to come, and the fruit of that affliction will be their everlasting righteousness. (For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.Matthew 24:21)

Daniel 9:24 also mentions the 70 weeks determined for Israel, actually 70 x 7 = 490 years remaining on their timeline. When they rejected Jesus (John 1:11) after 483 of those years, Israel (via the Jews) were sidelined with the Church taking over their tasks and promises. They were 7 years short of the end of their timeline.
But one day (very soon, now) Israel will take over again their ministry as God’s people once more. They have one week of years (7 years) remaining, and this 7-year period will involve the most extreme affliction they could ever know, so extreme that Jesus said, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:21-22)

At the end of this final 7-year period, Christ their Messiah will return to annihilate their enemies at Armageddon and then set up His thousand-year reign over the earth.
Zechariah 12:9-109And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.
Ezekiel 37:22-2722And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: 23Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. 24And David (= Christ the son of David) my servant [shall be] king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 25And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, [even] they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David (= Christ the son of David) [shall be] their prince for ever. 26Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. 27My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Much of Revelation records the extreme tribulation of that final 7 years before Christ returns to save His people Israel. It is only this extreme affliction that could ever turn the hearts of Israel back to their God. It has to be far more extreme than anything they have ever experienced up until then, for nothing else less than that has ever worked. However, it also has to be limited in time or else even the redeemed ones of Israel would not survive.
Matthew 24:15-2215When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Just one final note here. Any who think that Israel being hit with such suffering will enable their enemies to better defeat Israel, think again. In spite of Israel’s extreme tribulation and suffering, they will be the ones left standing at the end after Armageddon! And God’s everlasting covenant with Abraham long long ago has never been rescinded, never been revoked.
Genesis 12:2-32And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Those who today are seeking the destruction of Israel had best keep this in mind. No matter how much weaponry, nor how many soldiers, nor how many countries try to oppose Israel, at this time they will not ever be destroyed.
Zechariah 12:8In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David [shall be] as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.


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