THE LAST DAYS
“Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people, saith your God.” speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for all her sins” (Isa. 40:1-2)
When has Israel “received double for all her sins?” When God finally allowed Israel to be taken captive by Assyria and then Judah taken captive to Babylon, and the temple destroyed, and many killed; was this the punishment spoken of here as having “received double for her sins.” Ezra says, “And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this” (Ezra 9:13).
After their return to Jerusalem from Babylon, they rebuilt the wall and the temple and instituted temple worship and the service, but were in bondage to foreign rulership. Finally, years later, after their rejection of Jesus Christ, judgment came upon them again as Jesus foretold in Matthew 24:1-3. Rome came against them and besieged the city of Jerusalem, starving to death many inhabitants, crucifying and looting. They looted the Temple and burned it with fire. It was reported that melted gold flowed in the streets, when the fire grew so hot inside the temple. Those who escaped death were scattered all over the known world, seeking refuge. Jeremiah 16:17-18, “For mine eyes are upon all their [speaking of Israel] ways; they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes. And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things.”
When did the double portion of retribution against them begin? It seems in 70 A. D. WHY? Because they rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah. According to some estimates around 14 million Jews were killed since then. The greatest numbers at one time took place in the Second World War by the Nazi’s who exterminated and killed over 6 million Jews.
The very sad thing to my heart is that there will be another time of purging for the Jews during the seven years of tribulation. We are standing on the brink of the most horrible time ever to be experienced on this earth. Read Revelation. Before the Seven Years of tribulation, Israel will seek refuge in a man who will guarantee them peace and safety, which they so much crave. He no doubt will allow them to build a temple which they long for. At the present time the Temple Mount Faithful, has prepared all the furniture and garments of the priests, and the breastplate and mitre for the High Priest, and many other items to use in the new temple. They already have the blueprint for the construction. Being allowed to build a Temple may be the one thing that will get Israel to concede to the Palestinians.
Continue to watch the events of the Middle-East. Things could move very quickly, when they get started. The Scripture teaches that there will be a remnant of Israel who believe in Jesus kept through the seven years. At the end of that terrible time those Jews who are left will look up, and see Jesus Christ coming in the clouds and will accept Him as their Lord and Messiah. They will then enter into the Kingdom Reign of Christ upon the earth. The hope of all overcoming Christians today is to be ready to be taken to heaven without dying (I Thess. 4:13-18), before the tribulation begins.
PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS AROUND THE GLOBE. - Persecution of Christians is increasing in the world today. Statistics show that more Christians have been killed for their faith since 1900, than during the previous years going back to the time of the early church. Reuters reports that a group called Open doors supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, says it has documented 2,123 “martyr” killings in 2013, compared with 1,201 in 2012. There were 1,213 such deaths in Syria alone this year. It is estimated that one Christian dies every 5 minutes.
Open Doors places at the top of the list North Korea of 50 most dangerous countries for Christians, then Somalia, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. “In Syria, another war is thriving in the shadow of the civil war - the war against the church,” an Open Door representative said.
“Islamist extremism is the worse persecutor of the worldwide church.” Nine of the 10 countries listed as dangerous for Christians are Muslim-majority states. Nigerian Christians are suffering horribly, being killed and churches burned. Open Doors which started smuggling Bibles into communist states and now works in more than 60 countries, estimated last year that about 100 million Christians around the world suffered persecution for their faith.
Satan is working against true Christianity here in the U.S. also. Every day, it seems there is another headline of government interference concerning Christian belief. In this country we are guaranteed Freedom of religion, but at times you would not think so. Tribulation is coming when all will have to worship one way and one person - the Antichrist.
Pray for the persecuted church! We are one body with all believers in Christ. These dreadful times speak to us that very soon God will reckon with those who hate and persecute His saints. “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith the Lord” Romans 12:19. God’s wrath will not be stayed forever. He is not willing that any should perish (II Pet. 3:9), and so we are still here awaiting Christ’s return.
We are longing to be caught away from this tumultuous mess, this wicked, out of order world. I wonder if Noah felt the same way as he looked on the debauchery of his day. Enoch was translated so that he did not see death sometime before the flood. Let us not be discouraged, but LOOK UP