Because of the great interest expressed among God’s people, I am going to continue Dr. Kober’s “Prophecy Corner” study for the next few articles. Enjoy and SHALOM!
Last time, we discussed Jerusalem’s destiny during the millennial reign of Christ. Today we are going to go back prior to that time, and fill in the events of the last three and a half years of the of the tribulation, known as the Great Tribulation. It will be a time of unprecedented judgment upon a Christ-rejecting world.
We had touched on the fate of Israel during the first half of the reign of the Anti-Christ. The Church has been caught up, and world wide anti-Semitism will drive Jews back to their ancestral land. At first, the Anti-Christ poses as a protector of Israel, and permits the Jews to worship in their rebuilt temple. He even signs a seven-year covenant with Israel, but half-way through, he will break it (Daniel 9:26-27). Anti-Christ will persecute Israel during the last three and a half years, but God has a wonderful refuge prepared for Israel just east of the Jordan and the Dead Sea.
A brief outline of God’s protection of Israel during that time and punishment of the unsaved may help us to understand the numerous Scripture passages relating to this remarkable refuge.
THE REFUGE FOR ISRAEL
1. The Promise of a Refuge.
A. The Place: While Anti-Christ’s kingdom extends over the entire earth (Daniel 7:23), one area exempt from his rule appears to be the mountainous area of Ammon, Moab and Edom (Daniel 11:41) to the northeast, east, and southeast of the Dead Sea. This would include the mysterious city of Petra, where some 2400 rock-hewn buildings comprise an ideal refuge.
B. The Protection: In the Olivet discourse, Christ warned the Jews that when Anti-Christ moved into Jerusalem and desecrates the temple (“abomination of desolation”, Mathew 24:15), then the Jews should “flee into the mountains” (vs. 16, cf. Mark 13:14, and Luke 21:22). From the top of the Mt. of Olives, only one mountain range is visible and that is the mountains of Moab to the east of the Dead Sea. The escape route would be all down hill. The Dead Sea is only 15 miles away.
C. The Period: In the middle of the tribulation, Satan is cast out of Heaven. The scenario is described in Revelation 12:7-9. The serpent (Satan) pursues the woman (Israel), “and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God that they should feed her there for 1260 days” (vs. 6). Satan attempts to drown Israel but the earth swallows the flash flood (vs. 15-16).
II The Procedure of Reckoning.
A. Soon after Christ returns to the Mt. of Olives (Zech. 14:4), He will also be in Edom with Bozrah, its capital. Isaiah asks, “Who is he that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah?” (Is. 63:1-2). The bloody garments are the result of Christ’s judging the Edomites or, more plausibly, the Jews who have been hiding in Edom for 42 months.
B. The Purging: Ezekiel describes the judgment of Israel. God predicts, “I will bring you into the wilderness of the people…and will cause you to pass under the rod…and will purge out from among you the rebels” (Ezekiel 20:35-38). The wilderness where the judgment will take place may well be the wide valley extending 120 miles from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea, known as Wadi Araba. In contrast, the Gentiles will be judged in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, somewhere near Jerusalem (Joel 3:2, 12).
C. The Percentage of the Redeemed: Once Christ has removed in judgment those Jews who still did not trust Him as Savior, how many believing Jews are left? Perhaps the answer is found in Zechariah 13:8. While two-thirds of Israel will die as unbelievers, one-third of the Jews living during the tribulation will be saved. A mass revival will bring salvation to millions of Jews. And this believing remnant (Romans 11:26) will be the recipients of the new covenant and inherit the land promised so long ago to Abraham and his descendents (Genesis 15:18).
God Bless You All,
Love is an expression of God.