Events During the First Half of the Great Tribulation

Matthew 24: 9-14

Late in the afternoon on Wednesday the thirteenth of Nisan

DIG: How is this file and Jj – Nation Will Rise Against Nation, different? When will the righteous of the TaNaKh be delivered, killed and hated by all nations? How will anyone hear the Gospel at that time? Who will be doing the persecuting? When will the Jews finally see the truth about the antichrist? What will be the extent of the apostasy? Who will appear? Nevertheless, what will be the end result?

REFLECT: Understanding these coming events, how does that knowledge change your life? How does it shape your worldview? Do you view those alienated from Messiah in a different way? How so? Why? Does it create a certain sense of urgency in you? Why?

Although these verses are very similar to those seen in Jj – Nation Will Rise Against Nation, there are differences that show that Matthew is not dealing with the same time period here. The events described in Jj take place before the beginning of the age, or before World War I. But here the passage begins with the word then, pointing out that Christ was then answering the third question: What will be the sign that the end of the age has begun? While the words are similar they do not prove sameness.

Here Yeshua gives a far eschatological prophecy about the persecution the righteous of the TaNaKh who will be saved after the Rapture (see my commentary on Revelation By – The Rapture of the Church). Many will be saved by the preaching of the two witnesses (see my commentary on Revelation Dc – I Will Give Power to My Two Witnesses and They Will Prophesy for 1,260 Days) and the 144,000 (see my commentary on Revelation Cr – Then I Heard the Number of Those Who Were Sealed, from all the Tribes of Isra’el). This persecution will not be directed so much against believers as against ADONAI, whom they serve and represent.

Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of Me (Matthew 24:9 NASB). The one-world religious system known as Mystery Babylon the prostitute will be doing the persecuting (see my commentary on Revelation Dd – I Saw the Woman Holding a Golden Cup in Her Hand, Filled with the Filth of Her Adulteries). The prostitute will be responsible for death of some of the most spiritually perceptive Jews, and multitudes of Gentile believers during the first half of the Great Tribulation. This answers the question as to who murdered the Tribulation martyrs that are seen under the golden altar in heaven (Revelation 6:9-11).

However the vast majority of Jews will remain blinded to the Gospel until the very end of the Great Tribulation. The spiritual scales will only fall off of their eyes when they see the desecration of the Tribulation Temple (see my commentary on Revelation Dr – The Abomination That Causes Desolation) at the end of the first half of the Great Tribulation (Rev 11:2-3). Therefore, it will be in the second half of the Great Tribulation that Jews will be hunted down like animals and executed by the antichrist and his deceived disciples throughout the entire world. This would be the ancient Serpent’s and the antichrists’ hoped for final solution to the “Jewish problem” in the world.

There will be an unparalleled apostasy, or a falling away from the faith. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other (Matthew 24:10; also see Zechariah 13:2-6). As persecution intensifies and the righteous of the TaNaKh begin to be arrested, hated and martyred for Messiah’s sake, many will fall away from the faith. Yochanan declares that such counterfeit believers’ leave because they never really stepped over the line from knowledge to faith: They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us (First John 2:19; also see Hebrews 3:12 and Second Timothy 2:11-12).

And many false prophets will appear and deceive many people (Matthew 24:11). Just as some false prophets will reveal their true spiritual identify because the cost is too high, others will align with the antichrist because they are deceived about the Gospel. During the Great Tribulation false prophets will join the counterfeit messiah’s and will deceive many (Matthew 24:5). They will teach doctrines that seem true and godly but are, in fact, false and satanic. The end time will be filled not only with overt evil such as the world has never seen before, but also with spiritual deception as never seen before. Until the very end, Satan will continue to use the guise of an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14).1331

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. Love fulfills the Torah, so it is logical that love will decrease as many turn away from Ha’Shem at that time. The Holy Spirit will no longer restrain evil (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7), and as the enemy of souls is given greater freedom, believers will suffer as never before. Unbelievers, however, will continue to harden their hearts toward ADONAI. The same sun that melts wax also hardens clay. But those Jews who believe in Yeshua Messiah after the Rapture, who survive and stand firm to the end of the Great Tribulation will be saved (Matthew 24:12-13) when the Jewish leadership at Bozrah pleads with Him to come back (see my commentary on Revelation Ev – The Basis for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ).

The seven years before Christ’s return will be the darkest in the history of the world. But in the midst of the increasing darkness will be a ray of light. And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world by 144,000 Spirit filled Jews and the two witnesses as a testimony to all nations. And then the end of the Great Tribulation will come when the Messiah returns (Mt 24:14). Therefore, a great multitude of Jews and Gentiles will be saved as a result of their ministry.

 

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