In the midst of a year of unprecedented upheaval throughout the world, a new voice in Bible prophecy has emerged coming out of Israel. Our guest this week on Christ in Prophecy blends a Jewish perspective as a Messianic follower of Jesus Christ with a passion for God’s prophetic Word. His name is Amir Tsarfati of Behold Israel.
Which Tribulation Christians Overcome
Tim Moore: Once the peace treaty enacted by this Antichrist with Israel is confirmed, the seven-year Tribulation is prophesied to begin. Today, there are many Christians who believe that the Church will have to live through and endure the Tribulation period. They hope to endure and overcome God’s wrath being poured out on the world. Amir, what would you have to say to those Christians?
Amir Tsarfati: I’m thankful that they will have a very good surprise by the Rapture happening before the Tribulation begins. I can tell you, though, that one of the problems they are having is the completely wrong interpretation of the book of Revelation. When people mix the saints of the Tribulation with the saints of the Church, and they don’t understand that the Church is not even mentioned throughout the Tribulation in the book of Revelation, they have a problem.
Another problem, there is always a sense from these people that they need to suffer more in order to be worthy of God’s calling. That’s so opposite to the message of Jesus Christ. Christ suffered on our behalf. Why would you need to suffer more?
When it comes to the flagship chapters about the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15, you would expect if the Tribulation had to happen before the Rapture that Paul would have mentioned it. Paul does not even talk about Tribulation, rather he’s talking about his own life. Paul believed the Rapture was going to happen in his lifetime. The Rapture can take place at any given moment, and yet, some people believe Christians must wait until the Tribulation has started or is all over.
Tim Moore: Paul and the Apostles clearly did not believe they would have to endure the Tribulation. Our lives are filled with grief, and little “t” tribulations, but not the big “T” Tribulation prophesied to last for seven years.
Amir Tsarfati: Exactly, people are confused by the word tribulation. “In this world you will have tribulations, but be of good cheer, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). So, they take that word tribulation and confuse it with the Tribulation. There have already been antichrists in history, but not the Antichrist, the one we are going to see Jesus defeat when we return with Him from Heaven at the Second Coming. The confusion is always inherent in the interpretation of terms that describe the Tribulation.
How to Make Israel Tangible
Tim Moore: Amir, you are a gifted guide who has led many people who have come to tour Israel and experience firsthand all of the wonders of what God is doing prophetically before our very eyes. For a person who is not sure whether a trip to Israel would be something they would want to take, what would you say? How valuable is a pilgrimage to Israel for a believer in Christ?
Amir Tsarfati: Many believers have their Israel in the Bible, or their Israel in the news. In the news, Israel is a perpetual war zone, and in the Bible, Israel is God’s chosen people. But, when you actually come to Israel and you look around, you will be amazed at what God has done and is still doing in that place. Also, you will gain a better understanding of the Scriptures. When you read the story of Jesus crossing to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, now you understand where these events occurred. Everything clicks. Everything makes sense.
One of the outreaches Behold Israel does as a ministry is we sponsor pastors. We pay for the whole trip. We bring pastors to Israel from all over the world, from 20-30 different countries. I want them to come because once the pastor gets Israel, his congregation will get Israel. Until he is getting Israel, how can I expect him to communicate Israel’s prophetic significance to his own congregants?
So, I believe that all of the pieces come together when you come to visit Israel, and your understanding of the Scriptures and your faith will grow.
We also sponsor youth. They don’t understand Israel at all. Nothing is tangible in their minds until they get here, but then they see what God is doing here. They return home and they are on fire for Jesus.
In the third part of this series with Amir Tsarfati about Messianic Jewish insights, we will learn what life is like for Amir living in Armageddon.