Grace For Your Day November 6, 2023

So far, in our studies of the Book of Revelation, we have seen how the Lord Jesus revealed Himself to John through a vision in chapters 1-3. Then he gave him a second vision in chapter 4 of heaven which does not end there because it takes him to the earth. As Revelation 6:1-2 says:

Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, “Come.” I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

Without going into all of the details of that event, this passage begins what has been referred to as “the Great Tribulation.” It is a period of time that lasts from Revelation 6-18 when the Lord will judge the earth by bringing about a cataclysmic series of disasters which will ultimately culminate in the return of Christ. According to one scholar, it is so important that the Bible uses 22 terms to describe it such as the following:

- The great tribulation (Matthew 24:21)
- The day of the Lord (Isaiah 13:6)
- The great and terrible day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5)
- A day of trouble and distress, destruction and desolation, darkness and gloom, clouds and thick darkness (Zephaniah 1:16)
- A time of distress (Daniel 12:1)
- A time of Jacob’s distress (Jeremiah 30:7)
- A day of destruction (Obadiah 12-14)
- The indignation (Daniel 11:36)
- The overwhelming scourge (Isaiah 28:18)
- His unusual task (Isaiah 28:21)
- The day of trumpet and battle cry (Zephaniah 1:16)
- The day of the Lord’s anger (Zephaniah 2:2-3)
- The fire of His jealousy (Zephaniah 1:18)

The point in each of these passages is that this day will be a time of overwhelming misery for the inhabitants of the earth. For anyone who lives through it, it will usher in a time of suffering and pain unlike the world has ever known. However, there will be a few bright spots in the midst of all the chaos and one will be a revival among the people of Israel. Revelation 7:1-8 says:

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth or on the sea or on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”

And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:

From the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, from the tribe of Gad twelve thousand, from the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, from the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, from the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand, from the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, from the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, from the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand, from the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, from the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, from the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand were sealed.

When it says that John saw the angels holding back the four winds of the earth, that means that the angels were holding back the judgment that was to come. In other words, for a brief moment of time, the Lord will give the world a break from all the destruction until He has time to draw thousands of Jews to Himself because God is not through with the people of Israel. He still wants to save them.

Such a passage is very relevant in light of recent events because, on October 7 of this year, a terrorist group called Hamas brutally attacked the nation of Israel indiscriminately killing Jewish men, women, and children of all ages. Hamas acted this way because it is their stated objective to oppose the Jews even to the point of eradicating them. However, the Bible says that they will not be able to succeed in their mission because the Lord will preserve the people of Israel all the way up until the end. Even though they are at war right now, God will protect them as a race until the final days of the Tribulation because He has not forgotten them. They have a special place in His heart which is what we are going to talk about this week at Grace Fellowship Church.

This Sunday morning, we are going to study “The Future of Israel” in order to tie it into the recent conflict in the Middle East. Acts 5:31 says, “Jesus is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” In other words, Jesus came in order to save the Jews and this passage in the Book of Revelation shows us how the Lord will do that on a worldwide scale in the earth’s final hours in a way that has never been seen before in history.

Please join us as we look at that together. The service will begin at 9:30 on Sunday morning and the sermon will be recorded and placed on our You Tube Channel afterwards for all those who cannot make it in person.

- Jeremy Cagle