Hear the Word of the LORD,

You Who Tremble at His Word

66: 5-6

   DIG: Why is this message necessary? What will the faithful remnant endure during the Great Tribulation? Who will oppose them during the first three-and-a-half years of Tribulation? Why? Who will persecute them during the second three-and-a-half years? Again, why? Why is it important that the enemies of the LORD get all they deserve?

   REFLECT: How are you distinguished from your nation as a whole? When did your rebirth take place (John 3:1-21)? Where does your citizenship lay (see Philippians 3:20)? If you were arrested for being a believer in Yeshua Messiah, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Are you a friend of the world? Or trying to please an audience of One?

    The fervent prayer of the believing remnant in Chapter 64 is answered by God in Chapters 65 and 66. ADONAI makes it very clear that their sins and unfaithfulness were responsible for the judgment they had endured during the Great Tribulation. But their sins had not frustrated His promises and purposes concerning Israel; therefore, looking back at their actions during the Great Tribulation, here the LORD addresses the faithful remnant.

    This message distinguishes the faithful remnant from the secular Jews as they went through the Great Tribulation. God acknowledges the ones that Israel did not acknowledge. Just before the Second Coming, as the believing remnant confesses their sins and pleads for Yeshua Messiah to return, He acknowledges that they did not participate in the worthless sacrificial system in the Tribulation temple (see Ks – The Rejection of the Tribulation Temple). The secular Jews disfellowshipped them from the Temple (not that they wanted to worship there anyway), and supposedly put the cherem judgment, or that which was devoted to destruction, upon them (Joshua 6:18; Isaiah 34:2). Little did they know; however, that they had actually put the cherem judgment on themselves!

    God will make the distinction between the true and the false – that which is spiritually alive and that which is spiritually dead. In His parable of the Weeds, Christ said: Let the wheat and the weeds grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into My barn” (Matthew 13:30). The believing remnant was protected from destruction because of their faithfulness to His Word. Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at His Word (66:5a). ADONAI is always . . . always on the side of those who love His Word.

    The LORD may have protected them from the antichrist at the end of the Tribulation as they were hold up at Bozrah (63:1-6), but He did not protect them from their fellow Jews at the beginning of the Tribulation. ADONAI reminded them: Your brothers hate you, and exclude you because of My name. To be totally sold-out for God, to make His ways the very focus of your life, is to be an embarrassment to those who choose to follow their own way. Those truly seeking ADONAI become the butt of jokes. The lost say, “They are always constantly talking joy of the LORD and the glory of God.” Fine! Let the LORD be glorified somewhere else, so that we may see your joy when you’re on the street (66:5b)! During the first three-and-a-half years of the Great Tribulation the secular Jews will hate and taunt Jewish believers because they will refuse to worship in the Tribulation temple. Interesting, the entire first part of verse 5 describes the problem, and only the last two Hebrew words describe God's solution. But those last two words slam the door on their fate: They will be put to shame (66:5c).

    The very temple that was supposed to be a blessing will be a curse. Like Malachi, Isaiah saw that Jerusalem and its apostate temple would be the scene of God’s final judgment on faithless Isra'el (Malachi 3:1-5).257 The sound that will be heard coming from the temple in Jerusalem will be the sound of ADONAI repaying His enemies for all they deserve (66:6). As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous believing remnant will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear (Matthew 13:40-43).

    Who are the enemies of God? The Bible is very clear about this: Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world (First John 2:15-17) becomes the enemy of God (James 4:4). His enemies will not be Jews, but the wicked Gentiles present at the apostate temple at the end of the Great Tribulation. The Jews will not be anywhere near the apostate temple at the end of the seven years of Tribulation because they will be fleeing the persecution of the antichrist and his armies. But ADONAI will deal with the enemies of Israel because they are His enemies also. So just when the LORD’s judgment is about to be completed and the Tribulation temple will be proven to be totally useless, the rebirth of Israel will come. Darkness will suddenly turn to joy.

 

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