What is now happening in the Middle East, in Israel today, is not an accident of history. All events eventually concur toward a master prophetic plan that is laid out in the Scriptures.
We may not see nor understand all the details at this point, but we have been given the main lines and in abundance. These end time prophecies constitute more than one quarter of the whole Bible, and they are not all contained in just one or two or even twenty books, but they run throughout the whole of the 66 books of the Scriptures.
Let us learn the value of prophecies from past believers in the Bible. They always represented a beacon of comfort and hope. The hope through prophecy was experienced as far back as Adam and Eve who knew that the Savior was to come. They were the first recipients of that first Messianic prophecy. Enoch found comfort from the wide spread corruption which was already present on the earth.In a prophecy concerning the Second Coming Jude quotes Enoch, when he writes, Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His angels to execute judgment upon all. Jude 14-15.
Noah, Abraham and all others from the Hebrew Scriptures, Jews and Gentiles who were of faith, took great comfort in the knowledge of a better world built by God. This is where they are right now, just as Hebrews 11 testifies.
Who then, is proclaiming prophecies today? They are less studied and advertised in the churches and sadly enough, much less so in the synagogues. But it was not like this in the first centuries.
Ancient rabbinical commentators as well as the Talmud spoke of these dire times before the coming of the Messiah. In the Talmud they call this time; the pangs of the Messiah to describe the Day of the Lord. (b. Ketub. 111A). In one passage we read that one rabbi speaks of the Messiah and says, “Let him come, but may I not see him” and another came and said the same thing, “Let him come, but may I not see him” until some asked, “What is the reason [that some do not wish to see the coming of the messiah? Is it because of the turmoil of the Messiah? (b. Sanh. 11:1, I.105.A–D). They knew, they understood that much trouble will come over Israel before the end. This is lost in modern rabbinical Judaism.
Yet, there are so many of these prophecies in the Tanach and the whole Bible, that when one considers them, one would be surprised that not only do they exist, but they are not hidden or given through mysterious words. On the contrary, many are often so clearly stated.
Here we will have a brief overview of some of the next prophecies to occur, especially for Israel and the world, for it usually begins with Israel first and then turns to the nations, as Paul said in Roman 2:9, There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Gentile.
And so, Israel’s present tribulations concern all the nations of the world and all individuals. Have we so quickly forgotten the photos of that young girl who was taken into a car by the terrorists? Why this girl and not one of us? Israel is God’s prophetic clock for tribulation, war and persecution, and follows the principle to the Jew first.
Almost all the 16 writing prophets have something to say about the end times and in particular of the very difficult times coming up for Israel, just before Yeshua will deliver the nation. These prophecies remind us all of what we are beginning to see in the news. There are many terms they use to bring us to these final hours. The term the Day of the Lord was used at least 19 times among such prophets as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, and Amos. They used this term to describe the end. It has also been used 4 times in the New Testament by Paul and Peter.
In addition to the Day of the Lord, we have phrases like that day, the day, or the great day. Combining their entire number usage, we have these end time terms used more than 75 times. And these terms are followed by long descriptions.
Jeremiah (30:7) uses a very strong term that I chose as the title of this study; he called it “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” The Word trouble, tsarah is equivalent to Tribulation. It means affliction, anguish, or distress.
Another prophet, Joel, uses the Day of the Lord as the theme for his whole book because his oracle brings out the severity of the times. We see this when Joel says in 1:15 Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.
We see this with the prophet Amos as well. He wrote at a time when Israel was flourishing and the people were under the impression that the Millennium was soon to be established. This is much like what Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu believed would happen before the attack of Oct. 7, 2023. Amos tells them, Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! For what good is the day of the LORD to you? It will be darkness, and not light. Amos 5:18
Another book, Zephaniah, hammers home the message that the day of the Lord is as a day of final judgment. In Zephaniah 1:15–16 we read:
A day of wrath is that day,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of destruction and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
A day of trumpet and battle cry.
That is the Word of God for the near future. He warned us and really the message is clearly given, over and over.