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CHAPTER 3 – THE SUBJECT IN THE TRIBULATION

3
THE SUBJECT
IN THE TRIBULATION

“For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deut. 7:6-8).

God addresses three main entities in Scripture we’ll call subjects: Israel, the church, and the Gentiles. Our concern in this study is with Scripture clearly distinguishing between Israel and the Body of Christ. Together they occupy the overarching Biblical themes, as each becomes the subject of specific passages and Books unfolding into an intricate colossus of systematic theology.

The Bible makes it clear that Israel is NOT a perfect nation. Unfortunately, those of us that support her – as Scripture commands – are often attacked for doing so. Let’s be clear. The Lord’s love, mercy, and patience are beyond human comprehension. Israel’s rebellion in no way abrogates God’s promise of a future King and kingdom. Prophecy has been preloaded with immutability guaranteeing His providence and protection on through to Covenant fulfillment. Find that with any other nation on earth.

Dr. Scofield offers this insight into God’s purpose for Israel – yet to be fully realized: Israel, so named from the grandson of Abraham, was chosen for a fourfold mission: (1) To witness to the unity of God in the midst of universal idolatry (Deu_6:4); (Isa_43:10); (Isa_43:12); (2) to illustrate to the nations the blessedness of serving the true God (Deu_33:26-29); (1Ch_17:20); (1Ch_17:21); (Psa_144:15). (3) to receive, preserve, and transmit the Scripture (Deu_4:5-8); (Rom_3:1); (Rom_3:2). (4) to produce, as to His humanity, the Messiah (Gen_3:15); (Gen_12:3); (Gen_22:18); (Gen_28:10-14); (Gen_49:10); (2Sa_7:12-16); (Isa_7:14); (Isa_9:6); (Mat_1:1); (Rom_1:3). According to the prophets, Israel, regathered from all nations, restored to her own land and converted, is yet to have her greatest earthly exaltation and glory.

Israel’s Prophets

“Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets” (2 Kings 17:13).

God’s prophets were men God appointed during a time when there was no completed canon of Scripture. The fact is, Israel owes her existence to the Spirit-inspired prophets of God who witnessed to her, warned her, and predicted her future with 100% accuracy. [1]  We find this of extreme significance when Israel first constituted as a nation under Moses (study Exodus). During his tenure as leader, he was God’s voice to the people. He wrote five Books called the Pentateuch. In these Books (Genesis-Deuteronomy), God taught Moses how to work, worship and walk in the Lord, which included an elaborately detailed system of commandments, judgments, and ordinances. He in turn taught all of this to Israel. He also taught her about God’s mandate for holiness, demanding separation from the egregious occult religious practices permeating Canaan, including child sacrifice [modern day abortion], sodomy [homosexuality], [2] and bestiality that awaited her in the land.

In the end, it was Joshua, not Moses God chose to lead Israel across the Jordan into Jericho and on to the conquest of Canaan. Once settled in the land, evil wasted no time presenting itself in the form of a seductive “religious” system with priests and “prophets” Moses had warned about. In order to distinguish His prophets from the devil’s, God’s men were required to speak bold clear messages that were verifiable by any number of supernatural signs including miracles, and prophesies – both short and long range – that had to be fulfilled with 100% accuracy (Deut. 13; 18). [3]

This was the beginning of the office of prophet originating with Samuel (Acts 3:24). From that time forward, everything the Lord wanted Israel to know, these Holy Ghost inspired men received and relayed: “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).  Dr. Henrietta Mears carefully condensed the prophetic topics into four major categories [my comments in brackets]:

  • The dispersion and captivity of God’s chosen people.
  • The coming of the Messiah: [The Jew is still looking for his Messiah]
  • The restoration of the chosen people to their own land under the coming Messiah, David’s greater Son. [This is happening in record numbers today]
  • The reign of the Messiah over the whole earth. (What the Bible is All About, 1953, 1983, p. 209)

A Nation that exists from prophecy

“And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods” (2 Samuel 7:23)?

We opened our book with a premise that runs throughout our treatise: Israel and the Body of Christ – aka the church– are not the same and neither are God’s plans for them. Israel exists from prophecy spoken by the mouth of the prophets “since the world began” (Acts 3:21), and the church exists from a mystery revealed only to Paul which was kept secret “since the world began” (Rom. 16:25). To briefly contrast them once again,

Prophecy program for Israel: “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). An earthly Kingdom is the promise from “time past” and in the “ages to come”.

Mystery program for the Body of Christ: “… according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Romans 16:25). A heavenly inheritance is the promise made in the “but now” revelation of the mystery.

It’s crucial to Bible study, therefore, to build on the Biblical distinction between Israel and earth (time past, ages to come) the Body of Christ and heaven [4] (but now) – and their distinct programs – because this provides us with a working dichotomy that actually lends itself to sensible systematic theology. It includes separate ordinances for Israel (earth) and for the Body of Christ (heaven) (Jer. 33:25) that actually began without much fanfare in Genesis Chapter One, which is the first mention,[5]

“In the beginning God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH” (Gen. 1:1).

Read what that says carefully. Notice what it does not say- God “created the UNIVERSE”, or God “created the heavens and the earth” as many people make the mistake of saying. It says God created the HEAVEN and the EARTH. This is because He has a special purpose concerning Israel and earth, which is completely different from His purpose concerning the Body of Christ and heaven. While the Body of Christ occupies a settled position in “heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3, 20; 2:6; etc), Israel [6] is the most important nation in the earth. “And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem” (1 Chron. 17:21).  With regard to her overall importance, as Dr. Chafer points out, “Israel occupies nearly four-fifths of the text of the Bible, while the Church, with respect to primary application, occupies slightly more than one-fifth. Because of a strange inattention on the part of many, it needs to be stated that there are two major divine purposes, both quite apart from that which concerns either the angels or the Gentiles. The distinction between the purpose for Israel and the purpose for the Church is as important as that which exists between the two Testaments. Every covenant, promise, and provision for Israel is earthly, and they continue as a nation with the earth when it is created new. Every covenant or promise for the Church is for a heavenly reality, and she continues in heavenly citizenship when the heavens are recreated.” (Systematic Theology, 1948)

Israel’s Preeminence

“And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods (2 Samuel 7:23)? “And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began” (Luke 1:69-70).

If you follow the free-will pathway of life God set before the people He created, you find one leading to His heart for Israel’s supremacy on earth. It has been God’s plan from the garden to be in fellowship with man as he exercised disciplined dominion over the earth. When Adam sinned, God saved a family (Noah) and waited for a man who would become a nation from his son Shem (Abraham) and God made a Covenant with him. King David – a man after God’s own heart would provide seed for God the Son as the Messiah King, and God made a Covenant with him as well. Think of all God has done with these people.

  • He has called them “Israelmine elect” (Isa. 45:4).
  • He gave them everything they needed for establishing His earthly kingdom including Judaism, desire, direction, people, power, land, health, strength, wisdom and wealth.
  • He Covenanted to David and his family the Kingdomin perpetuity: “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. Psalms 132:11 “The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne” (2 Samuel 7:16). “I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,  (4)  Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah” (Psalms 89:3-4).

Now here’s the gist of it. If you can accept the aforementioned information, you’ll have very little problem understanding the rest of this book – or the last days for that matter. The fact is God forecast His plan for the earth through prophecy with Israel at the core. Places, people, property – all pointing to Jerusalem and the Revelation of Jesus Christ – the King of kings – in full view of the world to establish His Millennial Kingdom at the end of the final dispensation of the Kingdom according to His Covenants in fulfillment of the prophetic word  (Zech. 14:4; Matt. 24:29-31; Rev. 19:11).

A Nation Chosen and Blessed

God’s love and plan for Israel is greater than her disobedience (Jer. 31:3). “The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8).

When the Bible refers to “Israel”, it is using a broad-brush term for the twelve tribes we call the Jews–the corporeal offspring of Jacob (Gen. 32:28). God spoke to the Jewish Patriarch Abraham and how far reaching it really was, “And I will make of thee a great nation, [7] and I will bless thee,[8] and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  (3)  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3).

God’s Earthly Jewish Kingdom Plan

Earth ——————————————————-Jewish Kingdom

Bear in mind throughout this treatise that God’s overarching blueprint for earth is a Kingdom in Israel. Everything in between is an explanation or enhancement of that immutable plan. Dr. Chafer elaborates on the scope of God’s elect by explaining something she enjoys that no other entity in the universe ever has or ever will- her covenantal significance, “An elect, [9] sacred, and everlasting nation is the plan or purpose of God for Israel. This people came into being miraculously as the seed of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob. They are the object of immeasurable covenants and promises and this becomes their major identification or destination, for the covenants are secured or sealed by the act of Jehovah. Israel stands alone, in distinction from all other nations combined. Those many nations are known as Gentiles, but Israelites as Jews. Individual Jews are such because of the fact that they were born into covenant relations with God by a physical birth. Herein lies a great contrast, since Christians are such because they were born by a spiritual birth into right relations with God. Because Israel sustains a covenant relationship to God, He gave them a specific rule of life through Moses. Keeping the rule of life, however, did not and could not make them children of Jehovah’s covenant. They were to keep the rule of life because they were already in the covenant. The believer has a rule of life secured by his position under grace today and so keeping this or any rule will not make him a child of God, although being a child of the Father above he should walk according to His revealed will.” (Systematic Theology, 1948- bold added)

Israel’s Purpose

“And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else” (1 Kings 8:59-60).

Prophecy highlights God’s purpose for Israel which is most unique, serving as the key unlocking many of the mysteries associated with the earth, the tribulation, the kingdom, and those associated with all of them.

  • Israelexists from prophecy and includes 5 Covenants covering her past, present, and future
  • The goal of prophecy – as well as Israel’s covenants) is the glorious appearance (Revelation) of the Messiah – from the lineage of David
  • The purpose of the coming of the Messiah is to establish Israel’s kingdom (Dan. 2:44) of heaven on earth in the city of Jerusalem(Isa. 24:23; Mic. 4:7) – in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant (1 Sam. 7:16) following the tribulation – which is the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24-25; Rev. 19-20)
  • Jacob is Israel(Gen. 32:28)
  • The tribulation trilogy is a three-part, end time’s message for Israelunfolding the goals of prophecy through a Progressive Revelation introduced in Daniel’s prophecy where it was revealed and codified into a seventy week period.
  • The term is Seventy weeks” (of seven years- 490 years total, with one still future). It focuses on “thy people” (Jews) in “thy holy city” (Jerusalem), in order to “finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness” (the Kingdom), which means “to anoint the Most Holy” (the reigning King, Messiah).
  • This prophecy continued its Progressive Revelation journey through the Olivet Discourse where the Lord Jesusclarified it and where John in the Revelation will conclude it.
  • All of this is in fulfillment of prophecy as the Lord Jesussummarized in the Olivet Discourse recorded in Luke 21:22: “For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” Fulfilled for whom? Israel!
  • The mystery Body of Christwas never seen by the prophets, so nothing has to be fulfilled through her; the tribulation is clearly prophecy for Israel.

A Nation with divine covenants

“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Exodus 19:5-6).

God is a covenant [10] making, covenant keeping God. Scholars have identified eight [11], five of them unilaterally contracted with Israel, the apple of His eye (Zech. 2:8). The majority of the Scriptures relate in some way to these important contracts, which guide and guard her in perpetuity and purpose. All other entities are subordinate to Israel’s covenants outlining God’s plan for earth.[12]

The Abrahamic Covenant triggers God’s subsequent Jewish covenants, and the New Covenant concludes them.

(1) Abrahamic Covenant (God called a family He could bless and that would be a blessing),

(2) Mosaic Covenant (God formed a nation with Laws),

(3) Land (Palestinian) Covenant[13] (God gave the nation land),

(4) Davidic Covenant (God promised the nation a righteous King and an everlasting Kingdom), and

(5) New Covenant (God promised a better – everlasting- Isa. 61:8 covenant. This is the final Covenant that will exist throughout the Millennial reign of Christ. It’s established on better promises than the Old Covenant, resting on an accomplished redemption [the Old was not] securing the perpetuity and future conversion of Israel. The Body of Christ does, however, share in the blessings of the New Covenant, as the blessings of this covenant are spiritual rather than physical. May I point you to Dr. Chafer’s explanation in the annotation below.[14]

As we’ve learned, God made five covenants with Israel through prophecy, which guarantees her a Kingdom as part of His overarching plan for the earth. She is also the most despised. Except for Paul’s epistles to the Body of Christ – Romans through Philemon – Israel is the focal point of prophecy from Genesis twelve through Revelation 19. Still, what I find most amazing is this. Regardless of how ardently we study the Old Testament, earth, Israel, and prophecy intertwine so naturally most Bible students rarely make the connection. Add to this the fact that Israel is God’s preeminent nation on earth (2 Sam. 7:23) and focus of prophecy. Think about this. Israel is the nation God chose to set His name and establish a kingdom of righteousness on earth, shortcomings and all. While this is anathema to some, it is a fact the Bible makes very clear.

We will now explore several factors setting Israel – the Covenant nation – apart from every other entity in the history of the world.

A nation of judgments and ordinances

“Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 18:4-5).

We’ve established that Israel and the Body of Christ are not the same. The former operates in “time past” and “ages to come” and the latter exists in the “but now” period. Accompanied by that distinction, are two separate sets of ordinances. The ordinances for the Body of Christ come from the writings of Paul (Romans – Philemon). Remember, these also remained a “mystery … kept secret since the world began” – until Jesus revealed them to Paul alone (Rom. 16:25). Conversely, the ordinances for Israel apply to the realm of earth and were systematically metered out by prophets through “here a little, there a little” Progressive Revelation [15] – that unfolded everything Israel needed with perfect timing and divine regularity.

God incorporated these ordinances supernaturally into a body of Law consisting of 613 judgments and commandments as part of the Law of Moses [16] along with, Five Covenants we discussed earlier which He fully communicated to Israel through prophecy. All of these specifically for the Jewish people [17] and all leading them to the royal seed and the glorious Kingdom centralized in Jerusalem.[18]

A Nation promised a King and kingdom

From our studies, we’ve learned that Israel is an elect nation called, blessed, and protected by God through five contracts called covenants. Abraham was the first man identified as a Hebrew.[19] At the time he received the First Jewish Covenant, he had no idea what lay ahead for his progeny and no extended history to which he could refer when judging the future. Moreover, there is no indication he fully understood the broad implication of his family being as “the stars of the heaven” and “the sand which is upon the sea shore” (Gen 22:17). He was simply called by God to believe, and except for a few foibles, he did.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, [20] as it is in heaven” (Mat 6:10). Christ’s words here are part of what’s been termed “The Lord’s Prayer.” They were taught to Jews during His Sermon on the Mount where He outlined principles that will exist in Israel’s Kingdom. It is prophecy, it was under the Old Covenant, it concerns earth, and it is expressly for Israel. It has no bearing on the church and those claiming otherwise are deceived men who can become deceivers (2 Tim. 3:13); a special danger to those who insist on dividing the Bible between the OT for Israel and the NT for the church. These are the ones that automatically assume that the moment Christ appeared, the church is implicated. That simply isn’t true.

When Christ came to earth 2000 years ago, it was to Israel for the purpose of fulfilling the Davidic Covenant by setting up the Kingdom in Jerusalem. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” (Mat 4:23). The Gospel accounts focus primarily on the Lord’s Messianic Mission to “the lost sheep of Israel” (Jer. 50:6; Matt. 10:6; 15:24). Paul confirmed the Jewish nature of Christ’s calling: “Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers” (Rom 15:8). [21] Using signs and wonders – proving He was the Promised One (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-7; Luke 7:22) Jesus revealed Himself as the Messiah who had come to set up the “kingdom of heaven” [22] on earth. This of course was the kingdom covenanted to David and his seed (2 Sam. 7:16), prefigured by Daniel (7:13-22) and prophesied by John (Rev. 19-22). In lieu of that, both the Lord Jesus and John the Baptist heralded the arrival of the Davidic Kingdom by preaching a clear invitation to Israel: “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17). Israel’s stiff-necked religious leaders – steeped in tradition revolving around greed – refused the offer and made nefarious plans for disposing of the King [23] with nary a heart to repent.

Israel and earth are connected and prophecy is often explaining or enhancing the coming King or the kingdom. Prophecy for Israel occurs either in “time past” or the “ages to come.” Israel’s earthly greatness is founded on eternal promises (Rom. 9:4; 15:8) – called Covenants which are encapsulated in a body of ordinances. Beginning with the Abrahamic Covenant – God assured him of an expansive posterity in a promised land (Gen. 12:1-5; 15:18; Gal. 3:16) bequeathed by God. Along with a large progeny and beautiful land with established laws governing her, God promised Himself as Messiah to Israel, leading the nation into world prominence, power, and peace everlasting (Daniel 2:44-45, Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7, Jeremiah 23:5). This was one of the Covenants Christ came to fulfill (Luke 1:70-80). With that, God also revealed the lovely Jerusalem as the capital city and the place He wanted the earthly kingdom located (Gen 13:15, Deut 34:4, Psalm 37:22, 102:21; Isa 2:2-4; 4; Zech; Matt 5:5,). The Lord Jesus revealed through the sheep and goat judgment that this kingdom has been in the works from the beginning of creation: “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34).

Once again, we need to bear in mind throughout this treatise the Bible truth that God’s overarching blueprint for earth is a Kingdom in Israel. Everything in between is an explanation or enhancement of that plan:

Earth/Israel/Nation (Mystery/Church/Body) Jewish Kingdom
“Time past” (2:11-12) “But now” (Eph. 2:13) “Ages to come” (Eph. 2:7)

A Nation offered a kingdom and rejected her King

Arno Gaebelein writes: “Now if Israel had accepted the testimony of John, and had repented, and if they had accepted the King, the Kingdom would have come, but now it has been postponed till Jewish disciples will pray again in preaching the coming of the Kingdom, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is done in heaven.” That will be after the church has been removed to the heavenly places. The history of the Kingdom is given in the second chapter. The Gentiles first, and Jerusalem does not know her King and is in trouble on account of Him.” (Annotated Bible, 1919)

Israel’s corporate rejection and execution of Jesus was more than just an evil act. It was the scheduled postponement of God’s earthly kingdom promised in the Davidic Covenant – for a future day dispensationalists [24] believe is upon us now. Studying the events leading to the rejection of Christ reveals a religious cabal consisting of scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and other fascist hypocrites who plotted to cut off the Messiah as Daniel predicted (Daniel 9:24-26). In all irony, Israel’s leaders – always quick to make others believe they were scholars – should have known the Messiah from their OT studies. They didn’t and as such, received a stinging reprimand from Lord Jesus which appears to have alluded to the coming tribulation (see full explanation in Annotation below [25], “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes … “ (Luke 19:42).

However, even with Israel’s most favored status as an earthly nation, there’s a problem keeping her from receiving the ultimate promised Kingdom: national repentance!

A Nation existing in disobedience

“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Exodus 19:5-6).

Although somewhat hidden in plain sight, Abraham’s calling reinforces the Biblical division between the stars (heaven) and the sand (earth) that has unfolded before us today. This earth-heaven blessing began when he had his Isaac who in turn had two sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob whom God renamed Israel (Gen. 32:28) had 12 sons which Scripture often refers to as the twelve tribes collectively known 647 times specifically as the “children of Israel.” It is this collective family – the children of Israel – that are the elect of God with whom God promised to bless if she would obey Him, and chastise her when she didn’t (study carefully Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28).

During her history, Israel has cycled from a relationship to rebellion and back again several times as seen in the Book of Judges: “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them” (Joshua 2:11-16).

The unspeakable rejection of her Messiah and resultant international displacement is a major reason Christians buy the lie that the church has replaced Israel. She hasn’t! This teaching is called Replacement Theology and it originates – as Christ revealed – in the synagogue of Satan (Rev. 2:9; 3:9). Hitler used similar rationale with infamous consequences. So have Romanists. What the perpetrators of this evil ruse refuse to understand is this: Performance is NOT God’s standard for standing. It’s based on divine imputation (Psa. 32:2; Rom. 4:6-24; etc) Sovereignly, and Providentially rendered (Deut. 7:6-8). Therefore, though imperfect a people as the world has ever seen, from the beginning Israel remains a peculiar treasure (Exod. 19:5; Deut. 14:2; Psa. 135:4; 1 Pet. 2:9) chosen by God for regal purposes that no doubt seem unfair to the world.

Israel’s Punishment

“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit” (Leviticus 26:3-4).

Currently Israel is in a state of unrepentant rebellion against the Lord and yet returning to her promised land in miraculous numbers (Isa 43:5-6; Jer. 23:3-6; etc). When you study Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, the path to God’s blessing is very clear. So is the path to judgment. While Israel will forever be God’s elect nation – He can’t – and won’t – bless sin.

“But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you. And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times [26] more for your sins” (Leviticus 26:14-18).

Looking in “time past”, this waywardness didn’t begin at her rejection of Christ. It developed much earlier. Richard Milne of Probe Ministries offers insightful comments, “Israel’s history demonstrates that when they broke the laws God gave them, they experienced exactly the results God predicted would happen if they were unfaithful. No other nation has prophesied its own downfall with such accuracy. Thus history demonstrates how accurately God predicted what would happen to Israel if they disobeyed His laws. And what did God predict? To summarize nearly a hundred verses, Israel’s disobedience brought wasted effort in labors; natural disasters such as drought, blight, and locusts to their crops; and disease and death to their animals and themselves. Their enemies would defeat them in battle and besiege their cities, resulting in plague, famine, cannibalism, and starvation. They would be scattered to foreign countries. There some would die; others would live in constant fear of both real and imagined disasters, or turn to other gods. They would be sold as slaves. Their numbers would decline greatly, as they suffered from fearful plagues, prolonged disasters, and lingering illnesses. What an amazing list of disasters!”

Let me be clear. Every Christian should be praying for Israel, God’s elect. However, to support her and pray for her doesn’t negate reality; while chosen, she isn’t perfect. As such, beginning with Abraham God began promising blessing for obeying as well as punishment for disobeying (see Gen. 22:18; Lev. 26; Deut. 28). As a direct result of Israel’s defection, she has been set aside to await national chastising via “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) we also know as Daniel’s seventieth week. During this scheduled tribulation (see Appendix [i]) God will make the adjustments necessary in Israel’s heart to finalize all the Covenants He made with beginning with Abraham. Bible students who keep God’s love of Israel and His plans for her earthly Kingdom as the vanguard for interpreting Scripture – such as we are doing with this tribulation trilogy – are far more capable of construing once obscure passages by keeping in mind the following short list,

  • Israelis a holy [set apart by God] nation by election, the most important in history.
  • Israelis at the forefront of eighty percent of the Bible and subject of all non-Pauline prophecy.
  • Israelhas been promised an earthly kingdom and reigning Messiah.
  • Israelis in a covenant relationship with God that guarantees her future and guides her to it.
  • Israel’s imperfection requires a disciplinary measure which is the reason there is a tribulation coming upon earth (Deut. 4:30; Jer. 30-31). [27]

“For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I

have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished” (Jer. 30:11).

“The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it” (Jer 30:24).

We will now briefly discuss God’s remedy for Israel’s moral departure.[1] Total prophets number about 56. Not all were writing prophets, however.

[2] Today unrepentant sodomites strut the streets of Jerusalem in full defiance of the Biblical warnings given to the Fathers. Note the prophetic significance in Revelation 11:8. Pray for Israel and the peace of Jerusalem.

[3] Now let’s pause for a moment to comment on the unequivocal qualifier just mentioned. Signs – which included prophecy – confirmed the message by conforming the messenger (Ex. 3:20; 4:8-9; Heb. 2:4; Acts 4:29-31; 14:3; 15:32; 2 Cor. 12:12 etc). In so doing, God’s people knew who to trust. Any violation or deviation of any of these things by any prophet resulted in disqualification and death (Deut. 13:5; 18:20). You would NEVER see God’s prophets parading around in front of a TV camera raising money like the mendacious merchandisers extant today (2 Pet. 2:1-3). In this dispensation “faith cometh by hearing … the Word” (Rom. 10:17. Christians don’t need prophets or signs to confirm the Bible. We are called upon to believe it, and act upon it – period. In lieu of that, after Revelation (95-96 AD) – the final book of the canon – was completed, the prophetic office ceased.

[4] Heaven and earth are mentioned in the Bible at least 156 times together.

[5] In Hermeneutics, the first time a subject is mentioned in the Bible is how it stands connected in the mind of God throughout Scripture. This is called the Law of First Mention, or First Mention Principle.

[6] She originally became a nation following the Exodus from Egypt under Moses in the 15th century BC. In God’s economy Jerusalem has been and always will be her capital.

[7] Make no mistake here regarding her entity or ethnicity. There isn’t a shred of Scriptural corroboration for the Body of Christ supplanting Israel in God’s plan for earth, and those who do this in any form teach Replacement Theology -a rank anti-Semitic heresy the Lord Jesus said originated in “the synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2:9; 3:9). Israel is the epicenter of prophecy. She looks forward to the coming to earth of the Messiah from the lineage of David, to the city of Jerusalem (Isa. 24:23; Mic. 4:7), in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant (1 Sam. 7:16), following “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24-25; Rev. 19-20) God designed to bring her back from rebellion against Him to a relationship with Him (Zeph. 1:14-18; 2; Jer. 30-31).

[8] Many verses reinforce this blessing God made to the Patriarch Abraham. “Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?” (Genesis 18:18; see 22:17-18; 24:1; Gal. 3)

[9] Since the Bible is the best interpreter of itself, I can think of only two reasons why so many prophecy teachers   refuse to compare Scripture with Scripture when drawing a conclusion. First, they fail to recognize the importance. Second, it often refutes their ruse. Take for instance the word elect which is one of two “proof text” words misused most often by anti-PreTrib debaters. Please don’t misunderstand my candor, but I understand how easy it has been for end time’s authors to hoodwink folks that have been led to believe all their Christian life that the church has the exclusive use of the word elect when in reality it does not. In the Old and New Testaments, the primary focus of the word elect is Israel.   The First Mention in the Bible links it to Israel’s precious Messiah (Isaiah 42:1) then using the hermeneutic of Progressive Mention (Revelation) Principle we discover in the very next verse that Israel is God’s elect (Isaiah 45:4). Interestingly, the Lord Jesus used this word in the Olivet Discourse when He answered a question about when He would return to set up the Kingdom. He added this to His sterling description of the tribulation which we know was prophesied for Israel by Moses in Deuteronomy 4:30. Jesus said: “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 24:22). Although the Olivet Discourse is a continuation of the Old Covenant narrative and uniquely framed in a Jewish setting, rogue Bible teachers choose to consign the word elect used here to the Body of Christ so it fits their unprovable presumption. Since most Christians aren’t serious Bible students these teachers can delude them with impunity. Not only is this shoddy hermeneutics, it has been used too long as a cruel means to steal the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13)   from the heart   of novice or naïve believers who take the word of man without checking the word of God.

[10] The subject of divine covenants is of solemn importance in that they require bloodshed.

[11] Edenic, Adamic, and Noahic. While the term “covenant” is first mentioned with Noah (Genesis 6:18; see Genesis 9:9-15), the previous two are certainly implied. See Old Scofield Bible for more detail.

[12] While the Body of Christ is certainly a benefactor to these five covenants, none of them were made with us; they are all purposefully Jewish.

[13] Land Covenant wherein God bequeathed the title deed to Canaan that her Islamic enemies are incessantly trying to steal from her. Read Zech 12 carefully!

[14] Dr. Chafer comments on the New Covenant: There remains to be recognized a heavenly covenant for the heavenly people, which is also styled like the preceding one for Israel a “new covenant.” It is made in the blood of Christ (cf. Mar_14:24) and continues in effect throughout this age, whereas the new covenant made with Israel happens to be future in its application. To suppose that these two covenants—one for Israel and one for the Church—are the same is to assume that there is a latitude of common interest between God’s purpose for Israel and His purpose for the Church. Israel’s covenant, however, is new only because it replaces the Mosaic, but the Church’s covenant is new because it introduces that which is God’s mysterious and unrelated purpose. Israel’s new covenant rests specifically on the sovereign “I will” of Jehovah, while the new covenant for the Church is made in Christ’s blood. Everything that Israel will yet have, to supply another contrast, is the present possession of the Church—and infinitely more.

[15] Progressive Revelation is a hermeneutic principle that enhances Bible knowledge which requires a full commitment that lasts a lifetime. Isaiah discloses this succinctly: “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little” (Isaiah 28:9-10). In order to make this as simple as possible, I found this paragraph from Wikipedia that accurately explains it. “One of the most important underlying theological concepts for dispensationalists is Progressive Revelation. While some non-dispensationalists start with Progressive Revelation in the New Testament and refer this revelation back into the Old Testament, dispensationalists begin with Progressive Revelation in the Old Testament and read forward in a historical sense. Therefore there is an emphasis on discontinuity as seen in Scripture. Biblical covenants are intricately tied to the dispensations. When these Biblical covenants are compared and contrasted, the result is a historical ordering of different dispensations. Also with regard to the different Biblical covenant promises, dispensationalists place more emphasis on to whom these promises were written, the original recipients. This has led to certain fundamental dispensational beliefs, such as a distinction between Israel and the church.”

[16] Exodus-Deuteronomy.

[17] Cults thrive on low information people who don’t know how to rightly divide the Bible and easily fall for the ploy that the Law is for the church when there isn’t a verse anywhere telling us that. Study carefully Acts 15, and the Book of Galatians.

[18]  “… As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which (remember) have been since the world began” (Luke 1:70; cp Acts 3:21).

[19] Abram was from the Noahic line of Shem [Semites] and Eber [called Heber, or Hebrew] (Gen 11:10-26; 14:13)

[20] Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. (1 Chronicles 29:11)

[21] The promises were made unto the Jewish fathers; they have no bearing on the mystery Body of Christ which is distinct by decree and dispensation.

[22] Kingdom of Heaven is only mentioned in Matthew, which is the gospel of the King and His Kingdom. See references: Mat. 3:2; 4:17; 5:3,10,19,20; 7:21; 8:11; 10:7; 11:11,12; 13:11,24,31,33,44,45,47,52; 16:19; 18:1,3,4,23; 19:12,14,23; 20:1; 22:2; 23:13; 25:1,14

[23] The rejection of Christ led to the later destruction of Jerusalem (70 AD), Jewish banishment from the land and into many foreign nations of the world who accused and abused them.   Yet, it was in this condition – resulting from the rejection of Christ as Messiah – where they existed as a people without a country until a Spirit driven movement called Zionism surfaced at the end of the 19th century, steered by Theodore Herzl, that led to reconstituting the nation of Israel in her own homeland on May 14, 1948. It is to this nation – and Jerusalem in particular – the Lord Jesus will return to set up His Davidic Kingdom under a New Covenant written on the hearts of His people.

[24] In short, dispensationalism is distinguished by three key principles:  (1) a clear distinction between God’s plan for Israel and God’s plan for the Church; (2) a consistent and regular use of a literal principle of interpretation; and (3) the understanding of the purpose of God as His own glory rather than the salvation of mankind only.

[25] Luke 19:42-44 “Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.  (43)  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  (44)  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”

[26] In the Bible, time, times and a half is 3-1/2 years (Dan. 7:25; 12:7). It’s very possible God placed a reference to the seven years of the tribulation here. Remember, it was Moses who first revealed it to Israel (Deut. 4:30).

[27] The tribulation is for Israel. It punitive and preparatory. It has no bearing on the Body of Christ except in the writings of those who understand it least.

Appendix [i]
Excursus on the Tribulation

Prophecy is for Israel and the Tribulation exists purely as prophecy. Moses was the first to reveal it (Deut. 4:30). Through the years – by means of Progressive Revelation – the prophets unfolded it to Israel. However, in doing so, God never revealed His mystery Body to any of them; reserving it for Paul alone.

We would do well to study carefully the words of Zephaniah as he uses many terms for the tribulation for Israel:  “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. (Zephaniah 1:14-18).

Coinciding with Zephaniah’s prophecy, the Book of Revelation delineates the tribulation as a time of “wrath” by using the word at least 10 times in Revelation. It is called “the wrath of God five times (Revelation 14:10, 19; 15:1,7; 16:1) and “the wrath of the Lamb” once (Rev. 6:16 see v 17). Opening the first seal unleashes the tribulation [i] which continues 7 years (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 11:2-3; 12:6, 14) and concludes with “the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (Rev. 19:15) when Christ returns to fight the armies gathered against Israel at Armageddon (Rev. 19:11-21).

The following info is from the Old Scofield Study Bible. 

Seventy Weeks 

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. These are “weeks” or more accurately, sevens of years; seventy weeks of seven years each. Within these “weeks” the national chastisement must be ended and the nation re­established in everlasting righteousness (Dan9:24). The seventy weeks are divided into seven = 49 years; sixty-two = 434 years; one = 7 years (Dan – 9:25-27). In the seven weeks = 49 years, Jerusalem was to be rebuilt in “troublous times.” This was fulfilled, as Ezra and Nehemiah record. Sixty-two weeks = 434 years, thereafter Messiah was to come (Dan – 9:25). This was fulfilled in the birth and manifestation of Christ. (Dan_9:26); (Dan9:26) is obviously an indeterminate period. The date of the crucifixion is not fixed. It is only said to be “after” the threescore and two weeks. It is the first event in (Dan 19:26). The second event is the destruction of the city, fulfilled A.D. 70. Then, “unto the end,” a period not fixed, but which has already lasted nearly 2000 years. To Daniel was revealed only that wars and desolations should continue (Compare (Mat-24:6-14).

The New Testament reveals, that which was hidden from the Old Testament prophets; (Mat – 13:11-17); (Eph3: I – 10) that during this period should be accomplished the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven (Mat – 13:1-50) and the out-calling of the Church; (Mat – 16:18); (Rom – 11:25). When the Church-age will end, and the seventieth week be- gin, is nowhere revealed. Its duration can be but seven years. To make it more violates the principle of interpretation already confirmed by fulfillment. (Dan9:27) deals with the last week. The “he” of (Dan – 9:27) is the “prince that shall come” of (Dan_9:26); 9:26); whose people (Rome) destroyed the temple, A.D. 70. He is the same with the “little horn” of chapter 7. He will covenant with the Jews to restore their temple sacrifices for one week (seven years), but in the middle of that time he will break the covenant and fulfill; (Dan – 12:11); (2Th – 2:3); (2Th_2:4). Between the sixty-ninth week, after which Messiah was cut off, and the seventieth week, within which the “little horn” of Daniel 7. will run his awful course, intervenes this entire Church-age. (Dan – 9:27) deals with the last three and a half years of the seven, which are identical with the “great tribulation.” (Mat24:15-28) “time of trouble” (Dan_12:1) hour of temptation- (Rev_3: 10).

The Time of the End 

Daniel 11:35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed Here the prophetic foreview, having traced the history of the two parts of Alexander’s empire which had to do with Palestine and the Jews, namely, Syria and Egypt, to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, and having described his career, overleaps the centuries to “the time of the end,” when he of whom Antiochus Epiphanes was a type, the “little horn” of (Dan – 7:8) the “Beast out of the sea” of (Rev – 13:4- 10) shall appear (cf) (See Scofield) – (Dan7:8). Prophecy does not concern itself with history as such, but only with history as it affects Israel and the Holy Land. Antiochus Epiphanes was insignificant as compared with historical personages whom the Bible does not mention, but he scourged the covenant people and defiled God’s altar, thus coming into prophetic light. From verse 36 (Dan – 11:36), the “little horn” of (Dan7:8); (Dan7:24-26) fills the scene. His prosperity lasts until “the indignation” (the “time of trouble” of, (Dan – 12: 1); (Mat24:2 1) is accomplished (Dan – 11:36). This is parallel with; (Rev – 17:10-14); (Rev19:19-21). (Dan_11:37-45) supply details not mentioned in the New Testament The expression “God of his fathers” (Dan I 1:37) has been held to indicate that the “king” is an apostate Jew, but this does not accord with (Dan_9:26) which was fulfilled by the Gentile armies of Rome. The “little horn” is an apostate, but from Christianity, not Judaism (compare Ho – 2:18); (1Jo_2:19). (DanI 1:38-45) describe his career. Substituting “the god of forces” (that is, Forces of nature) for the true God (Dan I 1:38); (Dan1 1:39), he soon presents himself as that god (cf) (2Th 2:3); (2Th2:4). While his career lasts he is an irresistible conqueror (Dan I 1:40-44). He established his palace in Jerusalem, probably at the time of his su­preme act of blasphemous impiety; (Dan T 9:27); (Dan – 12:11); (Mat 24:15); (2Tb2:4). From this time begins the great tribulation; (Dan_12:1); (Mat24:21) which runs its course during the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week, namely, three and one half years; (Dan7:25); (Dan_12:7); (Dan_12:11); (Rev_13:5). 

That Day
Isaiah 10:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel
, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. “That day”: often the equivalent of “the day of the Lord” (Isa_2:10-22); (Rev1 9:11-2 1). The prophecy here passes from the general to the particular, from historic and fulfilled judgments upon Assyria to the final destruction of all Gentile world-power at the return of the Lord in glory. (See “Armageddon,”; (Rev 16:14); (Rev – 19:21) “Times of the Gentiles,”; (Luk21:24); (Rev16:19); “The great tribulation,”; (Psa2:5); (Rev_7:14) 

Great Tribulation 

Revelation 7:14 And 1 said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. The great tribulation is the period of unexampled trouble predicted in the passages cited under that head from (Psa_2:5) to (Rev_7:14) and de­scribed in Revelation 11-18. Involving in a measure the whole earth (Rev 3: 10) it is yet distinctly “the time of Ja- cob’s trouble” (Jer – 30:7) and its vortex Jerusalem and the Holy Land. It involves the people of God who will have returned to Palestine in unbelief. Its duration is three and a half years, or the last half of the seventieth week of Da­niel. (See Scofield) – (Dan – 9:24). (Rev_11:2); (Rev1 1:3) [Editor’s note: Please never forget that the Lord Jesus promised to keep us from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth Rev. 3:10].

The elements of the tribulation are: 

  • The cruel reign of the “beast out of the sea” (Rev – 13: 1) who at the beginning of the three and a half years, will break his covenant with the Jews (by virtue of which they will have re-established the temple worship, (Dan 9:27) and show himself in the temple, demanding that he be worshipped as God. (Mat – 24:15); (2Th-2:4).
  • The active interposition of Satan “having great wrath” (Rev12:12) who gives his power to the Beast. (Rev – 13:4); (Rev_13:5).
  • The unprecedented activity of demons (Rev – 9:2); (Rev_9:11), and
  • the terrible “bowl” judgments of Revelation 16.

The great tribulation will be, however, a period of salvation. An election out of Israel is seen as sealed for God (Rev_7:4-8) and, with an innumerable multitude of Gentiles (Rev7:9) are said to have come “out of the great tribu­lation” (Rev_7:14). They are not of the priesthood, the church, to which they seem to stand somewhat in the relation of the Levites to the priests under the Mosaic Covenant. The great tribulation is immediately followed by the return of Christ in glory, and the events associated therewith. (Mat 24:29); (Mat-24:30).

  • The time of the end in Danielbegins with the violation by “the prince that shall come” (that is, “little horn,” “man of sin,” “Beast”) of his covenant with the Jews for the restoration of the temple and sacrifice (Dan9:27) and his presentation of himself as God; (Dan – 9:27); (Dan_11:36-38); (Mat24:15); (2Tb2:4); (Rev13:4-6) and ends with his destruction by the appearing of the Lord in glory. (2Th_2:8); (Rev 19:19); (Rev-19:20).
  • The duration of the “time of the end”, is three and one half years, coinciding with the last half of the seven­tieth week of Daniel. (Dan – 7:25); (Dan_12:7); (Rev_13:5). This “time of the end” is the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” (Jer – 30:7) “a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation” (Dan 2: 1) “great tribulation such as was not from the beginning of the world… nor ever shall be” (Mat24:2 1). The New Testament, especially the Book of the Revelation, adds many details. [i] The churchis never mentioned- nor can it be clearly identified- in any part of the 7 year tribulation.

The Tribulation is for Israel

Bible students are incessantly at war with Biblically sound hermeneutics by refusing to see a distinction between Israel- which exists from prophecy (focusing on a coming earthly kingdom)- and the church- which was manifest to Paul as the revelation of a mystery hidden from the prophets- Eph. 3:3 (that focuses on a current heavenly kingdom). As such they must force the church into some or all of the 7 year tribulation period even though it was clearly prophesied for Israel as the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) which will immediately precede setting up the long awaited (Jewish) Millennial Kingdom.

The tribulation is a future time of unequalled trouble and suffering for all those who are then living upon the earth. Among other names, it is referred to as the “great and terrible day of the Lord” in Joel 2:31 and “the time of Jacob’s trouble” in Jeremiah 30:7. May I remind the reader that Jacob is ISRAEL. When describing this holocaust in the Olivet Discourse, Jesus warned the Jews, “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).

Bear in mind. The Tribulation is primarily for Israel. There isn’t a verse of Scripture anywhere clearly placing the Body of Christ here for a single moment without pulling from context the words “saints” and “elect which in Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation refer to Israel.

No person that has trusted the Lord Jesus Christ prior to the tribulation will go through this time, because all believers will be raptured to glory immediately preceding this seven-year period (Revelation 3:10). Understanding the purpose for the tribulation will help define its participants. The purpose of the tribulation period is twofold: to punish the world for sin and anti-Semitism, and to purify Israel and her supporters for the Millennial at the conclusion of it. It is only when God’s judgments are in the earth that the world will learn righteousness (Isaiah 26:9). During this awful time the nation of Israel will be invaded and suffer the loss of two thirds of its population according to Zechariah 13:7-9. At the conclusion when Christ returns to Jerusalem in the Revelation, the remnant of Israel will repent and turn to the Lord Jesus, receiving Him as their King.

Dr. Gerald Stanton’s adds much insight to this time: “Posttribulationists have missed the plainly revealed purposes of the Tribulation period while dwelling on the supposed fact that God is purifying His Church. The Tribulation does not deal with the Church at all, but with the purification of Israel. It is not the “time of the Church’s trouble,” but the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” The emphasis of the Tribulation is primarily Jewish. This fact is borne out by Old Testament Scripture (Deut. 4:30; Jer. 30:7; Ezek. 20:37; Dan. 12:1); Zech 13:8-9), by the Olivet Discourse of Christ (Matt. 24:9-26, and by the book of Revelation itself (Rev. 7:4-8; 12:1, 2, 17, etc.). It concerns “Daniel’s people,” the coming of “false Messiahs,” the preaching of the “gospel of the kingdom,” flight on the “Sabbath,” the temple and the “holy place,” the land of Judea, the city of Jerusalem, the twelve “tribes of the children of Israel,” the “song of Moses,” “signs” in the heavens, the “covenant” with the Beast, the “sanctuary,” the “sacrifice and the oblation” of the temple ritual. These all speak of Israel and clearly demonstrate that the Tribulation is largely a time of God’s dealing with His ancient people prior to their entrance into the promised kingdom. The many Old Testament prophecies yet to be fulfilled for Israel further indicate a future time when God will deal expressly with this nation (Deut. 30:1-6; Jer. 30:8-10; etc.). Moreover, it is evident that the Tribulation also concerns God’s judgment upon Christ-rejecting Gentile nations . . .  wicked men, godless nations, suffering Israel – these may all be found in Revelation 6-18; but one looks in vain for the Church of Christ, which is His body, until he reaches the nineteenth chapter. There she is seen as the heavenly bride of Christ, and when He returns to earth to make His enemies His footstool, she is seen returning with Him” (1 Thes. 3:13). (Kept from the Hour, pp. 35-36)

The book of Revelation, chapters six through nineteen, records the awful judgments that will fall upon earth and its dwellers in ever-increasing severity. Since the Body of Christ (a mystery) will be gone, during the tribulation (time of Jacob’s trouble- Jer. 30:7) God’s message will be “the gospel of the kingdom” preached by 144,000 faithful virgin Jewish witnesses (Matt. 24:14; Rev. 7:4; 14:1-5).

AntiPreTrib Problems Associated with the Tribulation

The Tribulation is a ubiquitous term that has become a well-known doctrine. Prophecy is for Israel and the Tribulation exists purely as prophecy. It was well known by the prophets (Deut. 4:30) so it was never a part of the mystery. That being said, there isn’t a prophecy or verse for that matter anywhere in Scripture: (1) clearly consigning the mystery Body of Christ to the time of Jacob’s trouble,  or (2) revealing her as being on earth for a single hour during this time [unless two terms used for Israel, “elect” and “saints” are pulled from their context to prove something that simply is not provable in any other fashion].

There are several problems AntiPreTrib advocates have with the Tribulation.

  1. Their first problem is what to call it.

Tribulation which includes the great tribulation (Matt. 24:21, 29), is part of “the day of the Lord” (Isa. 2; 13; 34; Jer. 30-31; 46; etc). It is also called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) [Jacob is Israel], “Daniel’s Seventieth Week” (Dan. 9:24-27), and the “time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1), and “the hour of temptation” (Rev. 3:10).

2. Their second problem is the length of it.

The first mention of seven in the Bible tells us how it stands connected in God’s mind. “. . . on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made” (Gen. 2:2). Seven from that point on signifies something started and finished. Since Daniel’s prophecy of seventy weeks is our Rosetta Stone for interpreting the tribulation trilogy, we have one seven year period still future, dispensational Bible scholars view in connection with the beginning and ending of tribulation and great tribulation period; Scripture bearing witness. In the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:21; 29), and the Book of Revelation, two separate three and one-half year periods form one whole seven year tribulation: 42 months (Rev. 11:3); 1260 days (Rev. 11:3, 12:6); and time, times, and half a time (Rev. 12:14).

However, in a concerted contrarian effort to thwart scholarly teaching, you’ll find antiPreTrib proponents to be of the most creative antagonists on the planet; especially those espousing the most recent – and perhaps most confusing – PreWrath rapture ruse. Their claim to fame is in arbitrarily placing the church into the time of Jacob’s trouble for most of seven year period with nothing more than bizarre calculations and misguided outcomes they arbitrarily apply to the Body of Christ without ever proving she is here during any part of the Tribulation aka Jacob’s trouble.

  1. Their third problem is not accepting its origin and purpose.

The Tribulation is for Israel through prophecy; Moses being the first prophet to reveal it (Deut. 4:30). The purpose of the tribulation is to punish sin and purify Israel and her supporters for the Millennial Kingdom (Jer. 30-31; Obad. 1:15; Matt. 25:31-46). “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city . . . to seal up the vision and prophecy …” (Dan 9:24). Although Daniel prophesied that the seventy weeks would seal up the vision and prophesy, there appears to be a secondary reference here to a cessation of prophecy which occurred at the 69th week and will last for an unspecified time. Knowing what we now know, that happened when God moved from prophecy to mystery at the rejection of Jesus’ Kingdom offer. Interestingly, the corollary to this rejection brought about a dual blindness each leading in separate  directions for distinct purposes.

  1. Their fourth problem is consigning the Body of Christto it.

The tribulation is a watershed for Israel given through prophecy before she ever knew about the coming kingdom (Deut. 4:30). It was later expanded upon by the prophets (Jeremiah, Isaiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, etc) through Progressive Revelation. When the Lord summed up Israel’s end time’s scenario in Luke 21:22, He referred to this epoch as “the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” The days of vengeance is the tribulation – aka the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), and the “time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1), also referred to as Daniel’s Seventieth Week for Israel and Jerusalem. All things fulfilled refers to Israel’s prophets. The notion that the Body of Christ will share in the prescribed horrors of the Jewish tribulation is an invented doctrine without clear Scriptural support.

There are only three ways to place the church in the tribulation: 

(1) by wresting Scripture from its context where it clearly can be found implicating Israel and the Gentiles, not the Bride of Christ (Rev. 19:9; 21:2,9; 22:17);

(2) by superimposing the church over the top of Israel, which is Satanic Replacement Theology condemned by the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 2:9; 3:9); or

(3) by a dogged determination to maintain the anti-rapture mantra even when presented with clear evidence refuting it. The tribulation is for Israel (Deut. 4:30; Jer. 30-31; Dan. 12:1, etc) and placing the Body of Christ here during that time is a manmade doctrine devoid of integrity and Biblical authority.

In summary, the Tribulation aka known by other names – covers Daniel’s Seventieth Week and as such is seven years in length.  Its purpose is to punish sin and prepare Israel for the Revelation of the Messiah and the Davidic Kingdom on earth which the prophets applied exclusively to Israel. Any suggestion that the Body of Christ will be here for a moment of the time of Jacob’s trouble is without Scriptural authority and should be rejected out of hand with no more ink devoted to it.

Contents for the Tribulation Trilogy

Dr. Mike Johnston

1 THE PREMISE OF  THE TRIBULATION TRILOGY. 6

2 THE SETTING FOR THE TRIBULATION.. 10

3 THE SUBJECT IN THE TRIBULATION.. 30

4 THE SUBSTANCE OF THE TRIBULATION.. 44

5 DANIEL CODIFIED THE TRIBULATION.. 54

6 THE OLIVET DISCOURSE CLARIFIED THE TRIBULATION.. 70

7 REVELATION CONCLUDES THE TRIBULATION.. 87

BIBLIOGRAPHY. 119

INDEX.. 120

APPENDICES. 121

For those who would like to obtain a hard copy of THE TRIBULATION TRILOGY: http://pmiministries.com/Tribulation_Trilogy_excerpts.htm

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