The Purposes of the Judgment in Jehoshaphat
This brings us to the purposes of the Judgment in Jehoshaphat.
Although it will serve to pour out God’s wrath on a God-hating Gentile world and a depraved Muslim world, the main purpose of the Tribulation is to bring the Jewish people to the end of themselves so that they will finally turn to God, repent and accept His Son, Yeshua, as their Messiah.
Remember, the seven years of the Tribulation constitutes the last week of Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks of years (Daniel 9:24). Daniel was told that during those 490 years God was going to achieve six things among the Jewish people:
- “Finish the transgression” — The Jews’ acceptance of their Messiah
- “Make an end of sin” — The sins of daily life
- “Make atonement for iniquity” — Repentance for rejecting Yeshua
- “Bring in everlasting righteousness” — Establishment of Messiah’s kingdom
- “Seal up vision and prophecy” — The fulfillment of Messianic prophecies
- “Anoint the most holy place” — Anointing of the Millennial Temple
Daniel’s 70 weeks of years was put on hold at the end of 483 years when the Jews rejected their Messiah and demanded His crucifixion. That was when God set the Jewish people aside in discipline and began working through the Church.
It was like a timeout in a football game. Well, the timeout is about to end. God is about to send His Son for His Bride, the Church, and then resume the countdown of the final seven years of Daniel’s prophecy, when all the goals will be achieved.
Resumed Focus on the Jews
Zechariah says that during the second half of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will succeed in killing two-thirds of the Jewish people, resulting in a holocaust greater than that of the Nazis (Zechariah 13:8-9).
Many of the Jews will flee to the area of modern day Jordan, perhaps to the city of Petra. Daniel says that the Antichrist will be prevented from entering Jordan in pursuit of them (Daniel 11: 41).
Others will evidently flee throughout the Middle East and continue their revolt against the Antichrist. I say that because Daniel says the Antichrist will ultimately gather an army for a major invasion of the Middle East (Daniel 11:40- 45).
While he is doing this, the indication of the Scriptures is that many Jews will return to Israel and Jerusalem. Also, a revolt throughout Asia will occur, producing an army of 200 million that will start marching toward Israel to challenge the Antichrist (Revelation 9:16).
Daniel says that when the Antichrist arrives back in the Middle East with his army, he will rampage from Syria down through Israel to Egypt and then, according to Zechariah 14:1-2, he will return to conquer Jerusalem. And just as he has conquered half of Jerusalem, he will hear that the Asian army has reached the Euphrates River. This news will motivate him to retreat from Jerusalem to the Valley of Armageddon where he will prepare to confront the invading armies (Daniel 11:14-15).
Sometime during these concluding days of the Tribulation, God will pour out His final wrath in the form of the Bowl Judgments which will destroy the European Empire of the Antichrist in one hour of one day (Revelation 16:1-12 & 18:8- 10).
The Second Coming of Jesus
It is at this point that Jesus will break from the heavens in His Second Coming. Revelation says the Church Age saints in their glorified bodies will come with Him (Revelation 19:8 & 14).
He will return to the Mount of Olives from which He ascended into Heaven (Zechariah 14:4). The Jewish people will come out of the city, bow before Him, repent of their rejection of Him and receive Him as their Messiah, crying out, “Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai!” (“Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” — Matthew 23:39).
Then according to the prophet Zechariah, Jesus will strike the Antichrist and all the armies gathered in the Valley of Armageddon with a supernatural plague that will instantly annihilate them, as if a neutron bomb had gone off (Zechariah 14:12). Zechariah says their eyes and tongues will melt and their flesh will fall from their bodies, resulting in blood up to the horses bridles (Revelation 14:20).
Incidentally, you and I are going to witness these events of the Second Coming personally because hundreds of millions of us who were taken up in the Rapture will return with Jesus in our glorified bodies. We will fill the Kidron Ravine and the sky above as we watch Jesus replay a day in His life.
Once before He came to the Mount of Olives riding a donkey as He made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem during the last week of His life (Matthew 21:1-11). Thousands who had heard of His resurrection of Lazarus filled the Kidron and waved palm branches in worship and cried out “Hosanna! Hosanna to the Son of David!” A week later many of those same people were crying out, “Crucify Him!”
It will be very different when He returns. He will be riding a white war charger, the symbol of a victorious general. After He has spoken the plague on the Antichrist and all the armies gathered at Armageddon, He will ride that horse down into the Kidron Ravine and up to the Eastern Gate which has been closed for over 400 years. And as He approaches it, the Gate will blow open, allowing Him to enter the Temple Mount.
That event is described in Psalm 24 in these words:
7) Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in!
8) Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
In the eighth and final part of our study of Armageddon, we will end with some good news.