I know that this is a strange title. I want to communicate 2 things. First, I want to express that we need to have a mental acceptance of what is coming. We need to get deeply immersed in God and in His Holy Spirit in order to wade through the hell that is coming upon the earth. Second, I want to address the verse in Romans 11, “They are the enemies of the Gospel for your sake.”
So lets deal with our first topic. When touching on the end times and what it will take in order to make it through to the end, I am almost always found speaking of the need for wisdom. This somewhat makes sense. But in a lot of ways, it doesn’t make sense. Why would wisdom be what is absolutely necessary? Wouldn’t it make more sense that what we need is a game plan or some formula? There is never a formula.
How can we define wisdom? I would like to suggest that our current understanding of wisdom is inadequate. For most, wisdom is what we gain with knowledge. It is an understanding or common sense of sorts. But there is an ultimate wisdom. There is a wisdom that is attributed to being with God from the very foundations of the earth (Proverbs 8). This wisdom cries out in the streets. It declares the ways of God. It makes known His paths. It speaks to the righteous, but rebukes the fools. This wisdom that is found over and over again in the Book of Proverbs (specifically chapters 1-10) cannot be our conventional wisdom. It cannot be something that comes with knowledge.
Even knowledge is not rightly understood. If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, then what shall we say of the atheists? There are some very intelligent atheist and agnostics. Are they without knowledge? This knowledge surpasses words. This wisdom goes beyond having smarts or experience or common sense judgment. These are two concepts that the Bible speaks heavily upon, but few believers comprehend. It is not beyond anyone to grasp these concepts. In fact, it is quite the opposite. But these words need to be apprehended (which usually comes from being apprehended by them).
So when we speak of wisdom, what are we indicating? First and foremost, the Book of Proverbs gives personality to wisdom. This personality seems to line up very closely with the personality of the Holy Spirit. The same is true for the characteristics given to wisdom. It is for this reason, that I think that wisdom and the Spirit are synonymous. That does not mean, however, that if we have the Spirit that we are filled with wisdom.
We must nurture the Spirit within us. We must learn to listen and hear what the Spirit says. We must seek understanding. The kind of wisdom that will get us through the end times is this: a wisdom that expresses the ultimate path and choice of God when all other experience up to this point has never given us any bases to look back upon. What do I mean by that? When we live a life that is very safe, we can learn how to survive. Even when we move to a new environment where we aren’t sure how to adapt, we eventually get into the swing of things. This kind of wisdom is not necessary for that.
Imagine a scenario where everything you have ever learned up to this point cannot tell you one iota or shred of wisdom of how to respond. Here is an example: your son runs up to you and cries, “My head! My head!” and then falls to the ground. What do you do? Most would say to take him to the doctor. What if you’re living in the middle of the “wilderness” (lets say central Montana where the nearest doctor is 30 miles away)? What do you do?
Even in this example, there are bits that can inform you of what to do. Past experience can play a role in deciding what to do next. For most of us who don’t live in these places where we are 30 minutes away from the nearest town, we can’t fathom what the options are. Lets take this a bit further.
Lets say God is speaking to your heart to take in the Jews in the last days. You need to provide a place of refuge for them. It doesn’t matter if you live in the city or in the country. When it happens, how do you let them know they can run to your place? How will they know they have a safe haven there? How will you stand up for them? What will you do? Where will you hide them? What if you’re found out and you need to send them onward? How will you know when and where to send them?
These are the kinds of questions that nothing can prepare you for. You can study the Underground Railroad. You can look into the history of World War 2. Just because you learn a couple techniques of what others did does not constitute that you will know what you should do. It takes a very specific kind of wisdom. It takes knowing what the Lord has to say. That is the only thing that will get you through to the end. And if He decides that you get found out and are killed, that is up to Him and not you.
But on the note of “how will they know to come to you,” you obviously can’t put up a sign on the door. It is at this that there are a couple ways to look. The first is one that says we need to get in contact with the Jewish community. We need to let them know we’re friends and not foes. Then the will feel comfortable to flee to us when they need it. But even this seems manipulative and as though it doesn’t fully trust in God. The other option is equally as difficult. It is to do nothing but trust that God will provide those people and speak to your heart when the are coming and when they come. In a sense, this is exactly what seems like the legitimate option. But in another sense, it seems to be totally opposed by reason. I am all for communicating with the Jewish society around us. How can we say that we stand with Israel and then ignore the Israel within our own towns or cities? But I don’t think that our ultimate reason for communicating with them ought to be “to build relationships” so they know that we’re safe. That is still promoting a lie and a deception. Our reasons must be pure.
This kind of struggle is ultimate. It will find you out in every way. If there is anything within you that will say, “I’m not willing,” it will be brought to the surface. God is not playing games. If you have an addiction or are in sin, God will be ruthless with you to pluck it out. You will undergo chastisement and suffering before they do. In order to be a priestly people to Israel, we will need to undergo similar suffering. We will need to understand where they are coming from so that we can minister to them.
It takes a certain kind of character that does not come about in a day. This will take years to harbor. It will all be the work of the Holy Spirit. In the end, we will not be able to take any kind of credit for our character or wisdom or love. Which, to bring up wisdom again, we will be required to give answer to the Jewish people for their suffering. If you think that playing nice because they’re going through a hard time is the correct way to speak with them, then you are sadly mistaken.
If God gives you a sharp reply, then you speak sharply. If God gives you a gentle answer, then you speak gently. If God would give you a personal revelation of such and such circumstance to speak a prophetic word, then you speak in faith. If God tells you to say to them that they are under judgment and to continuously push that button that they are out of the will of God and under chastisement, then you do it. If you are called upon to say nothing, then you give no answer. If you are told to give a layout of the whole end times, then you give an overview of the end times.
It all comes down to what God says, and not what we say. If we speak or act out of flesh, then we have forfeited all. This is part of what it means to be priestly. The priest would walk up the altar by a ramp. This was so that the robe would not lift up and expose any flesh (even a foot). The priest was to wear a certain thing, act a certain way, pray a certain way, and minister a certain way. Everything was to be conformed to what God called priestly, and not to what other nations called priestly. The priest taught the ways of God. So when we read of the Pharisees in the New Testament, one of the first questions should be, “Where are the priests?” If you read the Old Testament, it doesn’t take long to realize: like priest, like people.
If we are faulty in any way, then we will bring a faulty foundation to the redemption of Israel. This is a calling for ultimate sanctification and purity. We won’t be able to buy, sell, or trade. Why, then, would we expect to have medical, grocery, mail, internet, or any other convenience that we have in modern times? It will take wisdom to make it through this. It will take God speaking to us as a prophetic Body. Community is not an option. Community is the only way we can survive.
Sunday morning church isn’t enough. As much benefit as it might bring, there is an ultimate calling to daily fellowship. We must learn to go from house to house daily. We must learn to have all things common. If our brother needs a coat and we have 2, we give them one. How else will they survive if we store up for self and lock self away? This is life and death. The very teachings of Jesus and Deuteronomy will determine whether we live or die. If we aren’t one with each other, then we cannot be to Israel what we must. We will continue to give only a religion, but will not have the life necessary to breath into them (1 Kings 17:19-24).
The second thing I want to communicate is that it will not be easy to house the Jews. Paul tells us they are the enemies of the Gospel for our sake. Why would he say it is for our good? There is something in witnessing to the Jew that is more difficult than witnessing to anyone else. They are not only stubborn, but have an ingrained disdain for the name Jesus. They have “suffered by that name for 2000 years.”
I would recommend doing some research into their history. You will find that even under the name of Jesus Christ they have been persecuted. During the time of the bubonic plague, Jews weren’t getting sick. So they were blamed for the plague and genocide commenced. The reason they weren’t sick is because they kept to the Kosher diet as prescribed in Leviticus 11. During the middle ages, the Catholic Church spread the rumor that certain Jews were using Gentile blood while making their motzah. They were killed. During the inquisition, Jews were herded like cattle into their synagogues, where the buildings were then burnt to the ground. Hitler publicized himself as a Christian. The Nazi soldiers had crosses and their uniform had their own German version of “in God we trust.”
This enmity runs deep. There is something intrinsic within Jewish nature to reject and abhor the name of Jesus. If you think you are going to take them in and they will respect you and treat you kindly, you are wrong. They will be in panic mode, and the things they might say will be completely other than kind. They might bring up their tragic history and blame you. They might search out for any false motives and hold that over your head. They might degrade you. They might even be the reason why you are handed over to the authorities and murdered.
It will not be an easy thing to take in the Israeli. They that are Israel have seen their God at Sinai. They are able to scrutinize and see through any falsity. When we have our little religious prayers that are self indulgent, when we have our religious festivities on Sunday morning, when we have our midweek Bible Study, when we have our “corporate worship,” do any of these things bring an authenticity? Is there anything contained within it that is more than religion? I ask this as an honest question for honest assessment.
Many places that meet on Sunday morning are shallow. They don’t have the authentic reality to display to Israel and drive them to jealousy. Everything that we offer on Sunday morning is what the Jew can receive in their synagogue. Nothing will suffice less than the awe inspiring reality and presence of God that would cause for them to fall upon their faces once more and cry out, “The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” Do you live in that kind of reality? Are your friends and family stupefied?
I’m telling you that it takes more righteousness than what the Pharisees obtained. We like to read our New Testaments and see Jesus call them out in their sins. But what if the tables were turned? What if it was our religious functions and religious leaders that are being examined? How would they hold up? Are their lives governed and constituted by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit alone? Do they speak from their own minds, or has God sent them (Jeremiah had a lot of words to say about those folks)?
I’m not here to challenge anyone’s salvation. I am going to challenge the faith, as we know it in western society. I started with saying that the Kingdom of God is essentially Jewish. If that is true, then we ought to have some sort of Jewish perspective. I like the word Hebrew. It is more than Judah. The people of God stem back to before Abraham. There is a Hebraic root. Our mindsets and attitudes need to be changed and brought into a Hebraic understanding. There are a lot of ways that I can show how this applies. That, however, is for another time.
I only make the point that when we come at the faith from a Gentile or Greek or Western perspective, we will find that our contention with the Jews will shake us to the core. It is one thing to have a sentiment for Israel because it is “God’s people.” It is completely different to have the attitude of Paul that would say, “I could wish myself accursed for their sake,” Romans 9:3. What kind of burden must he have had that would cause him to say such a thing? He rightly apprehended the faith. Not only that, but also rightly apprehended the end times.
Because Paul was able to see the ultimate purposes for Israel, the Church, and the nations, he was able to make such a statement that would start with wishing himself accursed and end with ecstatic praise (Romans 11:33-36). This kind of view will change everything. It is apocalyptic, but it is also glorious. To rightly apprehend (which is to say, be apprehended by) this point of view will shatter any previous conception of the faith. Anything that is found wanting or shallow is either cast aside or dug into further. I can’t simply speak clichés. I can’t simply pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Because I know the coming judgment of God, when I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, I am praying for that judgment that will bring redemption and an ultimate peace that unless the judgment come, we would never have seen or comprehended that peace.
My religion can’t be trite. I cannot allow myself the privilege of simple sentiment. There are ultimate purposes that are going to take place. If I am not mature to be used of God in that time, then I will either be put aside or fall away. This is crucial. Triviality will sustain us for this time, but when the sun sets and all is not well, how then will we make it? When persecution breaks forth, and the Antichrist is creating hell for God’s people (Jew and Christian alike), how will we bear it? It takes something bigger than the view we currently have.
It takes the glory of God. This will strip everything from you. Anything that is not conformed to His image will come to the surface. Even in my speaking of these things and the harshness that we will be called upon to endure, things are rising to the surface. If you have any kind of contention that would rage against Israel and their purposes (for whatever reason), then you have already shown that you are against God and His purposes. It isn’t that you are too zealous for the Church or whatever other reason you want to bring. This will find you out. There is a scandal in specificity. I don’t know precisely what it is, but to get specific brings about rebellion. We don’t want God to choose this over that. We don’t want God to be specific.
In God being specific, we find that our knowledge and understanding does not suffice. We thought we understood and knew full well the plans and intentions of God. We thought we understood and comprehended His character. But when He chooses something that is other than what we had supposed, it suddenly challenges to the core. It isn’t about Israel. It is about us. The reason we kick against this is because we wanted their calling. We wanted to be the hot shots.
God has put it together so that in even considering this perspective will test and try our hearts. This is why they are enemies of the Gospel for our sakes. To even consider that we ought to go to the Jew first, and then to the Greek challenges our intentions. To even consider that they will suffer with us challenges us. I thought we were the people of God. I thought the Antichrist overcomes the saints. They aren’t saints! They are the people that have continually rejected their God since they came out of Egypt! They crucified their own Messiah! Why should they have anything to do with God’s Kingdom?
And in the very questions – if they are going through your mind – you display your own rebellion against God. This is deep stuff. Everything is stacked against us and is stacked against God. It is made to look as though this is impossible. We’ll see how many truly do believe “With God all things are possible.” This is my warning. Take heed to it. It will not be easy, and in taking up this kind of mindset and motive will bring against you all of the forces of darkness that have up to this point been able to yawn and say, “Jesus we know and Paul we know, but who are you?”
The realities that are all around us at every moment that we haven’t up to now been able to perceive and recognize will become tangible. It is for this reason that I want to next speak about the cosmic and eternal perspective, which is dealing with the principalities and powers of the air.