We overcome the devil, the flesh, and the world by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony. Yeshua tells us how we are to overcome our anxieties about the things happening in the world today, and that are yet to come.
When the Holy Spirit led me to repentance and faith in Jesus, the man that God used for that knew the Scriptures, and also the times that we live in. He saw that prophecies and current events were coming together, and he could answer my questions about what was going on in the world. Still today, the prophetic Scriptures (and all Scripture is prophetic, since God knows the end from the beginning, and is leading us from here to there) help us to understand the spirit of the world in its opposition to Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God, and how YHVH is using this opposition to bring more persons to saving faith in Jesus/Yeshua.
The devil and the world want us to reject, or at least to take lightly, the Bible as the Word of God, the Word of Truth. The devil is a liar, and deceives us to think that he is speaking the truth, therefore making God the liar! If the Bible is not the Word of God, there really is no need to read and to study it. But since it is the Word of God, we need to know it in order to rightly use it as the sword of the Spirit against the lies and deceit of the world, which does not listen to Jesus, or to the apostles and the prophets of the Lord, whose voices are heard through the Scriptures which they wrote.
Anti-semitism and anti-Christian persecution are increasing and intensifying. Christians are the most persecuted people and faith-group in the world today. More believers in Jesus are being killed today for their faith today than at any other time in history. (Of course, there are more believers today than ever before, too.) The Scriptures tell us that this would be so as the return of the Lord nears.
What does Yeshua have to tell us concerning such things:
Jn 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many abodes: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
Do not let your heart be troubled: Yeshua is preparing a place for us in the Father’s house, and will come again and take us where He is.
Jesus gives us signs to watch for, leading up to His return. These are prophetic signs (otot אותות); and not every sign (siman סימן) is a sign (ot אות). The generation that sees the fig tree blossom, and all the trees (Mt 24:32-35; Lk 21:29-33); when we see the abomination that brings desolation (Mt 24:15) – these are prophetic signs that we can know without controversy that the time is near. Yet even these do bring controversy; at least for the present. The Holy Spirit will help us discern these things, so that we will have the peace which only Jesus can give us in times of trouble. Do not let our hearts be troubled!
Yeshua knows the end of things, and the way there. In His teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, He tells us how to live – not only in times of peace, but also – maybe even more so – during the times of trouble, when we lose peace of mind – as a witness and a testimony that we are His disciples indeed, trusting Him for who He is, and believing in, not ashamed of, His word and promises. We are to show our love for Him and for one another in the crisis. If we fall short, we have our Advocate with the Father. Praise God! When terror is all around, He tells us not to be troubled, for He has told us that these things must be first, before He returns.
We have wars all around the world, especially in the Middle East, Western Asia, Africa. Most of the wars involve Muslims; and the U.S. and Russia are involved as nations in many of these wars around the world. Yeshua/Jesus has told us that the end-times would see many wars, and that nations and kingdoms would rise up against one another. There is political turmoil in key countries now, which may result in advancing the necessary things which Yeshua told us must be.
Let us read from a chapter in the book of Daniel the Prophet:
Dan 8:1, 13-27 the ram (Persia/Iran) and the goat (Yavan/Turkey — not specifically Greece) at the time of the end (v 17, 19, 23, 26) Daniel had a second vision. The angel Gabriel was sent to explain to him what it meant, and he was told that this vision had to do with the time of the end. Four times, at least, in different words, Gabriel says that the wars and troubles that Daniel saw were for the end-times, leading to the wrath of God upon the enemies of His people. Iran and Turkey will fight against one another, the Jews and believers will be persecuted and killed, those at ease will not be spared, the evil king will be broken without hands.
Since the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel in 1948 (the fig tree), and the independence of the Islamic nations all around her since WW1 (the other trees), it seems that these wars and rumors of war have increased and intensified. We can see the war that Daniel saw in his vision developing in our days. The devil is working to destroy; but so, too, is God working to save many people, and to prepare the people and the nations for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to judge the nations and to bring the Kingdom of God to Israel and the rest of the world.
And as [Yeshua] sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Messiah/Christ; and shall deceive many.
And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows.
We have the commission to preach the gospel to all people, including to our enemies. We are able, if we understand what the prophecies in the Bible are telling us as they are being fulfilled in our own days, to give answers to people who are lost or confused, and want to know what is going on, and what hope there is. This is what God did for me through Dwight, the man who led me to repentance and faith in the truth of Jesus as Messiah and Lord. I have heard the term eschatological evangelism to describe this approach. This is like what happened at Shavuot/Pentecost when the apostle Peter explained to the Jewish people that the disciples were not drunk when they were all heard praising God in different languages. They were not drunk, but this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel, regarding receiving the Holy Spirit. He used prophecy to explain a current event which occurred in fulfillment of the promise of Jesus and the Father.
We can do the same, as we understand what is happening all around us today that the Word of God is bringing to pass towards the fulfillment of God’s covenant grace and truth. As we stand upon the Rock of who Jesus is, and believe and act upon what He says, we will have His peace as the storm rages: our hearts will not be troubled, and we will have a peace that surpasses all understanding, giving hope to others to put their faith and hope in the only wise God and Savior, and to call upon the name of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah/Jesus Christ for salvation.
Jn 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, November 1, 2019, and reposted with permission.