REDISCOVERING THE HEBRAIC ROOTS OF THE EARLY
CHRISTIAN CHURCH, CIRCA A.D. 60
FEAR NOT, O JACOB
“DO NOT FEAR, NOR BE DISMAYED O JACOB . . .
FOR BEHOLD I WILL SAVE YOU”
By Carmen Rachel
God has made a great promise to Israel regarding her future:
“Also your people [Israel] shall all be righteous; [redeemed] THEY SHALL INHERIT THE LAND FOREVER, [which is] the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, THAT I MAY BE GLORIFIED. (Isa 60:21)
I wanted to keep in touch with you all......certainly as we see the current events rising in the earth, we have a firm foundation of knowing that we are seeing God in action in the world today. Ultimately, in everything we see, God is going to “glorify Himself through Israel”.
"And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you [Israel] 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.” Ezek 36:23
The Lord states His purpose in all we are seeing today.
It is so painful to watch the current world crisis over Israel, but it is important for us not to be “caught up in the cares of this world....because it has been sent by the enemy as a snare for the world....but NOT for us.”(Lu 2l:35) It is astounding to see the Lord’s prophecy being fulfilled in exact detail in our own time. As I have pointed out over the years, the intensity of this increases sharply as we near the onset of “Teshuva” every year.....the time of testing and cleansing that just precedes the High Holy Days and is meant to “return the people back to God”.
Despite press reports, the current issues over Israel are not “border disputes,” but are the evidence of the greater spiritual warfare in the heavenlies over God’s will for His covenant people: His sovereign dominion over the earth and His “land,” and the authority of His King/Messiah. (Ps 2) As we are grafted into the inheritance of Israel through the blood of Yeshua/Jesus, we have been commanded to pray ceaselessly for the peace of Jerusalem, because there will be no world peace until there is peace in Jerusalem. And this will only happen when Messiah returns to take back dominion of the earth for God.
How Daniel longed to see the day we are living in: the biblical “fullness of time” and the closing of “the Times of the Gentiles.” We are witnesses of this in our own time and the world is being prepared for the coming of “the fifth Kingdom that has no end” that smashes and replaces all other kingdoms. (Daniel 2:44)
We can be comforted that the Lord promises:
“Surely the Lord GOD does NOTHING, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) “Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, DECLARING THE END FROM THE BEGINNING, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure.” (Isa 46:10)
These are some of the events of the END-times that the Lord has declared from the BEGINNING of biblical prophecy.....reviewing these helps us keep a biblical perspective of the world we live in, and to better understand the eschatology of Israel’s crisis today.
1. There will be a time of great global distress when the “Times of the Gentiles” draws to an end: but it will also be a time of final discipline for Israel.
'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.” (Jer 30:10)
This time of final correction and discipline for Israel is also described by the Lord as a time of great tribulation on the earth: also known in the Hebrew Scriptures as “Jacob’s Trouble” and the “Birth-pains”. In God’s plan of redemption, the Great Tribulation is a time of discipline for Israel in particular, but in general it will also be the time of judging the nations for rebelling against God’s will.
'For behold, the days are coming,' says the LORD, 'that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah,' says the LORD. 'And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.'" [May 14, 1948....from this time a perpetual war has been waged against the nation by Islamic enemies] So, the Lord continues.... “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 [Israel] shall be saved out of it.” (Jer 30:3, 5-7} (This scripture is the context of Jesus describing the Great Tribulation as the “beginning of Birth-pains” in Matthew 24:8 NASB)
2. The good news and bad news of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.
Although it is a time of severe testing for Israel and introduces the Great Tribulation and the distress of nations, it is also the time for threshing and reaping the Great Harvest of souls for the Lord.....the fruit of the End of the Age. To this end, Israel will be instrumental as an implement of God’s judgment. That is why she has become the focus of global conflict today.
"Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel.... I will help you," says the LORD and your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. "Behold, I will make you into a new THRESHING SLEDGE with sharp teeth; you shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, and make the hills like chaff. You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them; You shall rejoice in the LORD, and glory in the Holy One of Israel. (Isa 41:14)
The “threshing-sledge” prepares the harvest for the thresher, and this scripture is prophetic of Israel’s role at the end of the age. Israel’s mere existence on the “land” tests the hearts and minds of the nations. Can she be erased from the map of the world? “Why do the nations rage and imagine a vain thing?” (Ps 2) What we are seeing in the collective global hatred for Israel is actually evidence of a building spiritual resistance that opposes God’s will on the earth, and will continue to irrevocably divide the people of the earth into a choice to serve God or to oppose God. The action of “threshing” divides the wheat from the chaff and breaks apart the fruit from the stubble. The harvest is collected from the separation when it is winnowed. Israel is the threshing-sledge preparing the harvest for the Thresher......Yeshua HaMeshiach, Jesus Christ.
"His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." (Mat 3:12) “Now also many nations have gathered against you, [Israel] who say, "Let her be defiled” But they do not KNOW the thoughts of the LORD, Nor do they understand His counsel; For He will gather them like sheaves to the threshing floor.” (Micah 4:11-12)
In the context of the Great Harvest, the Lord will make Israel the “threshing sledge” that is preparing the harvest to the place of the final conflict that brings the end of the age: the “threshing-floor” that David purchased on Mt. Moriah: the site of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. (2 Sam 24:21)
3. The Lord will use Jerusalem (the threshing-floor) as the place for final judgment when the “Times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”
The issue of Jerusalem has become the fierce central focus of spiritual warfare today. The reason for this is that Jerusalem is sacred to God. It belongs to Him - despite similar claims of Islam, Judaism and Christians.
“I have chosen Jerusalem...that My name will be there forever, and My eyes and heart will be there perpetually....in Jerusalem, which I have chosen....I will put My name FOREVER” (2 Chron 6:6, 7:26, 33:7) “For the Lord has chosen Zion: He has desired it for His dwelling place....”this is My resting place forever.....here I will dwell, for I have desired it.” (Ps 132:13-14.)....Jerusalem is “the place of the name of the Lord of Hosts....Mt Zion.” Isa 18:7 “And they shall call you the City of the Lord.....Zion.....of the Holy One of Israel” (Isa 60:14b) Despite these clear declarations of God’s will and intent regarding Jerusalem....that it is “the place of the name of the Lord of Hosts”.... today the name of Allah is currently displayed on the Islamic Dome of the Rock - situated over the ancient Temple Mount. All over the Dome, inscriptions are displayed that defiantly proclaim that “Allah is NOT a father...and he does NOT have a son” Certainly this identifies him as the false god of the Islamic world. Yet Jesus said that He “came in the name of the Father” and that “he who has seen Me has seen the Father”. He commanded us to pray to “our Father in heaven” and to go forth, “in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”. In Isaiah 45 the Lord declares, “there is NO OTHER GOD besides Me” Ultimately, when all Bible prophecy is fulfilled and the Lord has removed all the “false idols in the land” it will come to pass, “that MY NAME will be there [in Jerusalem] forever...the name of the Lord of Hosts.”
To this end, the Lord will use Jerusalem (the threshing-floor) as the place for final judgment when the “Times of the Gentiles are fulfilled”
“The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, [Muslim states] when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. "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.” (Zech 12:1) “For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem.... Then the LORD will go forth AND FIGHT AGAINST THOSE NATIONS, as He fights in the day of battle. And in that day HIS FEET will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and half of them toward the western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” (Zech 14:1-9) “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,” (Zech 12:10-11) (Even though “blindness in part has happened to Israel” and she is primarily secular today....she will repent and receive her Messiah in the collective sense of the “nation”when Messiah returns.) “Also your people [Israel] shall all be righteous; [redeemed] THEY SHALL INHERIT THE LAND FOREVER, [Which is] the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, THAT I MAY BE GLORIFIED. (Isa 60:21) AND THE LORD SHALL BE KING OVER ALL THE EARTH. In that day it shall be; "The LORD is one," And His name One. [the Lord is returning to establish an earthly Kingdom for the Millennial reign] (Zech 14:9) 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." (Ro 11:26-27) "Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath. He shall say, 'Surely in the LORD I have righteousness and strength.” To Him men shall come, and all shall be ashamed who are incensed against Him. In the LORD all the descendants of Israel shall be justified, and shall glory.'" Isa 45:22
We are comforted that “the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” Pray for Israel during this time of severe testing...for her time of trial will spread like “birth-pains” over the earth and “the heavens will be shaken”! But out of the chaos and “the rage of nations” there will be salvation for those who allow Messiah to be born in them: and out of the distress will come the emergence of the Kingdom Age! Let us pray urgently for that!
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
Shalom - Carmen Rachel
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