The purposes for the great tribulation are clearly stated in the book of Daniel chapter nine: to finish transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place (vv. 24). Summarizing all, it is to make an end of wickedness and wicked ones. When YAHSHUA came in the period of the sixty-ninth weeks of the seventy weeks of years given to the Jewish nation, He took upon Himself the penalty of our sin and iniquity, He suffered the pain of the tribulation and of hell, so to deliver those who would accept Him. Those who believe in Him go through the process of regeneration, and sanctification and ultimately glorification through the new birth. As He told Nicodemus, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you that unless a person is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. What is born of flesh is flesh; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. God so greatly loved the world that He gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life; for God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; but he who does not believe in Him is judged already, because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God; The [basis of the] judgment lies in this: The Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works were evil” (John 3:16-19).
Chosen To Salvation
(I Thessalonians 5:1-11)
Children of light, children of the day, so are we who have been born again! Here, Paul opens our eyes to understand why we are not going to suffer Tribulation, the Great Tribulation, that is: We belong to the day…for God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord YAHSHUA the Messiah (vs. 8-9). Chosen to salvation, we are destined to share in God’s protection and deliverance from His wrath which is coming upon the wicked people. This is an uplifting hope we carry with us in the midst of a stormy world. God will regard those who love Him and reward them with deliverance from His wrath. In his Psalms David prayed asking God to make a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, at the time of His judgments: Gather me not with sinners, he prayed, and sweep me not away, nor my life with bloodthirsty men (Ps. 26:9); drag me not away with the wicked, with the workers of iniquity, who speak peace with their neighbors, but malice and mischief are in their hearts (28:3). God has a special place of refuge for His saints, for He is consistent in what He is and how he acts. Examples are seen in the lives of Noah and Lot in the times of God’s judgments that came to the earth. For those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High, they shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps. 91:1). There is no other more secure place than that of “under the shadow of the Almighty.” The Bible promises those who do so that no evil will befall them, nor any plague or calamity will come near their tent, for He will give His angels charge over them to accompany and defend and preserve them in all their ways; they shall bear them up on their hands, lest they dash their foot against a stone.. (Ps. 91:9-12). That’s a promise for God’s saints in His purpose and will for them.
The Matter of Taking Offenses
After John had been in prison a while, he sent a message in the form of a question: Are You the One Who is to come, or shall we [continue to] look for another (Luke 7: 20b) One to come-the Messiah. John seemed to have lost focus and seemed to have forgotten the experience he had at the time when he baptized YAHSHUA and God had revealed and confirmed to him by showing him the Spirit in the form of a dove out of heaven descending and resting on Him, as he had said, I did not know Him nor recognize Him, but He Who sent me to baptize in water said to me, Upon Him Whom you shall see the Spirit descend and remain, that One is He Who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. I have seen and my testimony is that this is the Son of God! John looked at YAHSHUA and declared, Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1: 29-36) But while in prison, things became obscure to John without outside reports from his disciples of what was happening. YAHSHUA, meanwhile, was healing many of sicknesses and destressing bodily plagues and evil spirits, and to many who were blind He gave sight (Luke 7:21). Seemly, John became offended in YAHSHUA when doubt entered his mind concerning YAHSHUA’S role as the Messiah. As a precursor of Christ, He needed to have evidences that demanded his beliefs that YAHSHUA was the One Who was to come. That was important to him as a prophet, who had introduced YAHSHUA as the One. YAHSHUA promptly sent John an answer that confirmed once again, Whom He was –the Son of God! He sent the message to John saying, Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the dead hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the good news; blessed is he who takes no offense in Me and who is not hurt or resentful or annoyed or repelled or made to stumble (Luke 7: 21-23).
Rahab, a Woman of Importance in History- Past and Future
The Bible gives us a short synopsis of Rahab’s life just enough for us to know whom that woman was. In the book of Joshua we find the accounts about her as a prostitute and one who saved the Israelite spies. In doing so, she exercised faith and belief in the God of Israel. Rahab acknowledged to the spies what they all had heard concerning God’s supernatural deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Although, she lived among pagans, she confessed her faith in the true God- the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, by saying, “ The Lord your God is God in heaven above and on earth beneath” (Jos.2: 9-11). Her faith expanded to action to protect the spies, as a gesture of fear and respect for Israel’s God. She was chosen for that time with God’s purpose not only to save Israel, but to display His plan far off into the future. Sometimes, in our feeble mind, we get lost in our understanding of how God fulfills His plans. In the case of Rahab we wonder why a prostitute. Remember YAHSHUA’S reaction toward the Pharisees when they brought a sinful woman to Him, condemning her? He bent down and went on writing on the ground with His finger; when YAHSHUA raised Himself up, He said to her, Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you? She answered, No one, Lord! And YAHSHUA said, I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more (John 8: 8,10-11). No one is without sin, no matter the size of it. Rahab’s heart was right with God and when the opportunity presented itself, she chose to obey the Lord.
Joseph and the Seven Years
Pharaoh had two dreams two of the same. It is a dream of prophetic extension to the end times. God revealed to a Gentile “what He is about to do” and is going to do in the far future. Seven fat cows and seven undernourished ones; seven ears [of grain] plump and good; seven ears withered and thin were Pharaoh dreams, which caused him unsettledness of spirit. He was eager to understand the dreams, but not one of the magicians or wise men of Egypt could interpret them.
Two full years had passed since Joseph had interpreted the butler’s dream while both were in jail. The butler promised to mention him to Pharaoh when released from jail. But as it was, he forgot Joseph’s request and went on with his life. However, God hadn’t forgotten him. His purpose for Joseph’s life was going to be fulfilled in His time. Pharaoh’s dreams were the link to get Joseph out of jail. Not one day late, not one day early. He was only seventeen when sold to the Egyptians; thirteen years of struggles and unfairness toward him had passed. God in His sovereignty saw fit to exalt Joseph when he was ready. At the age of thirty, he was presented to King Pharaoh, who exalted him to greatness.
The Last Three Feasts Yet to Be Fulfilled (part 2) – The Feast of Tabernacles
The Feast of Tabernacles points to the future restoration of the Jewish nation. The meaning of the Feast of Tabernacle is of great importance in its fulfillment. According to A.E. Ware, the Lord YAHSHUA was born on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, which was on the 29th of October (The Restored Vision). One might doubt the date and disregard the point on that occasion, but YAHWEH established His feasts with a future in His mind. It was as if He was indirectly telling the world through Israel that those feasts were a shadow of what were to come in His prophetic plans for the world. They were not just ordinances to be observed, they were pictures of the true fulfillment embed in YAHWEH’S future. When YAHSHUA was born on the first day of this feast, Israel was unaware of the Light being shone that day through Him as the incarnate God. This was the most important feast of that year, signaling God’s faithfulness and love for all mankind. That feast would have been fulfilled completely if the Jewish nation had accepted YAHSHUA as their Messiah. However, they didn’t and therefore, the Feast of Tabernacle’s fulfillment was set for another time in history.
Behold, the Lord Will Make the Land and the Earth Empty
The land and the earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly pillaged; for the Lord has said this (Vs.3). This chapter of Isaiah is a mini book of Revelation. Throughout the Old Testament God’s future judgements are predicted ultimately to destroy the earth and its wicked people with it. It is His final measure to deal with the stubborn, rebellious people. When this period of grace is past, His wrath will dominate the world and none who have rejected Him will escape. It will be merciless, with vengeance and no turning back. We see in this chapter, the character of His judgements, and the extent of it in verses 1-3: The scope of His judgements will include all peoples and all class of people. It shall be with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with this master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the creditor, so with the debtor. No class of people will escape with the exception of those who have accepted Him. YAHSHUA said, For it will come upon all who live upon the face of the entire earth. But for those who have accepted Him He gave a word of warning: Keep awake then and watch at all times, praying that you may have the full strength and ability to escape all these things, that will take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man (Luke 21:35-36).