Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Jubilance of Joel: Joel 2:12-32

Joel 2:12 called for an individual to fast and verse 15 of this chapter calls for a corporate fast.

16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

This is speaking of a Yom Kippur, a national day of repentance from the youngest to the oldest. All is required to be in attendance. Just as all of Israel came as one to receive and accept the Torah upon themselves at Sinai, so too is Israel come as one to bear the consequences of not keeping that Torah.
This shows that Torah is more than just a bunch of laws, a bunch of do’s and don’ts, but a Ketuvah, a Marital Contract, Wedding Vows between God and Israel.

17 Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? 18 Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.

This location mentioned here “between the porch and the altar” is at the entrance to the sanctuary building.

I Kings 6:3 And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house.
Ezek. 40:48-49 And he brought me to the porch of the house, and measured each post of the porch, five cubits on this side, and five cubits on that side: and the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side. The length of the porch was twenty cubits, and the breadth eleven cubits, and he brought me by the steps whereby they went up to it: and there were pillars by the posts, one on this side, and another on that side.

Judah is even given what they should say when they assemble as commanded. Let me quote for you how the Stones Tanak renders this, for it is prayed in various places and at various times in the Jewish prayer book and on High Holy Days.

“Hove pity, HaShem, upon Your people, let’s not your heritage be an object of scorn, for nations to dominate them. Why should they say among the peoples, “Where is their God?””

Judah is called to invoke God’s remembrance to the Covenant He made with the Patriarch Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

This is not because God is forgetful, it’s moreso for the people to remember and it will create the feelings of pride and love for God and the desire to repent and return to God which is what is required to move God’s heart and act on their behalf.

This repentance is to be indicated and led by the Levitical Priesthood and followed by the masses of Judah. Why? Because it is partially their fault Judah is in such a state. If one reads the Books of Kings and Chronicles one will see that when Judah or Israel had Kings and Priests who kept and followed Torah, so would the people. When wicked rulers and leaders were in office they would end up turning Judah/Israel’s heart away from Torah.

ADONAI’s love and jealousy never dimmed for His people, however, He had to know and get Judah itself to recognize that down deep they still felt that way too toward God.

Sometimes God’s people needs to not only know when to repent, but how.

II Chron. 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

19 Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:

If Judah sincerely comes as ADONAI requires them, as mentioned above, then ADONAI will reply with sending the sustenance that the locust threaten to take away.

20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.

God says if the requirements for true repentance are met, that the locusts and the Babylonian or Greco-Syrian armies will be blown away into the desert to rot.
The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

“But I will remove far off from you the northern [destroyer’s] army and will drive it into a land barren and desolate, with its front toward the eastern [Dead] sea and with its rear toward the western [Mediterranean] sea. And its stench shall come up [like that of a decaying mass of locust, a symbol and forecast of the fate of the northern army in the final day of the Lord], and its foul odor shall come up, because He has done great things [the Lord will have destroyed the invaders]!”

Exodus 10:19 And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.
Isa. 34:1-4,8 Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree… For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.

North has also been the symbolic and idiomatic direction of evil and trouble.

Jer. 1:14 Then the LORD said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land.

There will be a stink rise from the smoke of the burning future Babylon, symbolic of the ultimate evil enemies of G-d and the things that led His people astray (Rev. 18).

21 Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.

In the light of repentance and resolve to obey the Torah there is deliverance and the absence of fear and judgment and gladness of reaping the blessing of obedience (Deut. 27-28).

Zech. 12:8-10 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

22 Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. 23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. 24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

When the people obey, even the plant and animal kingdom are blessed and prosper.
Former rain is a bit misleading when the Hebrew says, “a teacher of righteousness according to righteousness.” The Targum says this is referring to the prophets. We can go further and say that this ultimately refers to the coming of the Messiah, who also is a Prophet, along with being a Priest and a King.
It is believed that spring and fall rains which proceed harvest us dependant on the obedience of the people to God and His Torah and seeing as the former rain refers to spring, being the time of Passover and the Barley Harvest and the latter rain will be like the rain of the first month of Nisan/Aviv, which will occur in the month of Tishrei and the fall festivals of Yom Teruah (Rosh HaShannah/Feast of Trumpets), Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Rain is seen as a blessing and evidence if their commitment and obedience to Torah, as well as the deserved things that come from rain, such as foodstuffs.

James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

Once true repentance is made, restoration will take place and the years of disobedience will be as back pay from wages that have been withheld.

Punishment and devastation is not the goal or ultimate meaning of judgment. It is to produce repentance, which in turn brings about restoration. Repentance, true repentance repairs breeches that sin has made in the past, and such is the model for discipline in the synagogue.

In Christianity shunning can occur in various forms from: “You are not part of my denomination or see the same way I do doctrinally so I’m acting as if you have a disease or don’t exist.” To “Ew, you’re the town whore and your coming here to church!?” Or, “How can she dress like that!? Doesn’t she know she looks like a floozy!? Besides she should know our dress code as stated in our bi-laws!” Christians think of shunning towards a never converted sinner or their own kind when they "backslide". Rarely have I seen shunning used appropriately in the Christian Church.
In the Amish community if you leave the community and go out into the world you have in a sense turned your back on the Amish way of life and you are seen as dead. Now that’s the way it is when a Non Believing Jew converts to Christianity, accepts Yeshua as Messiah or joins a Netzari Jewish sect. Shunning in Judaism is reserved for "their own kind" In other words, the Jew who shunned my friend was because they obviously knew she was practicing a form of Judaism and that Jewish Convert shunned her because she was a believer in Yeshua. The reason being is that when a Jew walks away from Judaism, or the norms of mainstream Judaism, they are shunned in an attempt to 1. Let that person know they did wrong. 2. To give them space to figure things out. 3. To show and remind them of the fellowship they are missing out on. Shunning is never done in a, “Humph!” Snotty kind of way, but in a quiet, mournful politeness. As if the person was terminally ill and you are speechless. And that is about like it is in the Spirit.

It’s not, “Don’t bother calling us if your kid gets in a car wreck and you need someone to console you because we are shunning you!” God forbid something this horrid would happen, but most certainly this would be an opportunity to show even though you are shunning them you still love them and this might lead them to true repentance. But rather it’s refraining from social contact and interaction with them; like going bowling or out to eat, etc.

As a Nazarene Jew I have seen shunning used appropriately and it work. A family was in blatant rebellion against the Torah, we first approached them on a one on one basis with no avail. Then we held a Beyt Din (Messianic/Nazarene Sanhedrin) and confronted them before the Elders of the Synagogue. They listened and we gave them a time frame to clean things up. This time frame passed and nothing changed. So we held another meeting with them and decided to shun them, kick them out of the synagogue. Hey, Rav Sha’ul (Paul) told his congregations to do it when necessary. Anyway, they were gone for about a year then the wife came back in tears, confessed and admitted the wrong and she truly repented and came back and was restored, welcomed with open arms! Unfortunately the husband did not repent and return and it left a small rift in the family structure, but each individual is responsible for their own repentance, and sadly that was his decision.

Restoration is the ultimate goal of shunning, not punishment a guilt trip or cruelty.

26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27 And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.

Deut. 8:10-20 When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest [when] thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt [therein]; And [when] thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, [wherein were] fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where [there was] no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end; And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of [mine] hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for [it is] he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as [it is] this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish. As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God.

In these verses we learn of the Jewish Tradition of giving thanks for our meal AFTER we eat (v.10). Because it’s so easy to forget about God when we have what we want, we are not in any kind of need, and our bellies are full. 

The prayer for after meals is called the Birkhat Ha Mazon, and it goes something like this:

“You are blessed, Lord our God, the sovereign of the world, who provides food for the entire world in his goodness, with grace, kindness and mercy; He supplies bread for all living beings, for His kindness is everlasting. Because of His great goodness, we have never lacked food, nor will we ever lack it-- on account of His great name-- since He is God who feeds and provides for all and is good to all, and who supplies food for all His creatures which He brought into being. You are blessed, Lord, who provides food for all.”

The Talmud tells this story of Abraham Avinu (Abraham our Father), that he would make a lavish feast for guests, and when the meal was over the guests would arise to praise Avraham, and Avraham would say:

“Did you eat what is mine? You ate what belongs to the God of the Universe. Praise and bless the One who spoke, causing the world to be.”

(The following Scriptural citations are taken from the Scriptures Sacred Name translation of the Bible)
Philippians 3:19  “Their end is destruction, their mighty one is their stomach, and their esteem is in their shame – they mind the earthly.”

Everything we do, no matter how mundane is to be for the sake of Heaven, and the Glory of God.

Colossians 3:17  “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of Yeshua the Master , giving thanks to Elohim the Father through Him.”

In Nominal Christianity the Pharisees are often tagged as the “bad guys”. Only and hand full of them were crooked and self-righteous. Rav Sha’ul (Apostle Paul) was a Pharisee and even after he came to believe in Yeshua, he still called himself a Pharisee (Acts 23:6, Phil. 3:5).

As a matter of fact the people we recognize as Jews today are the descendants of the Pharisees. Why? Because the Pharisees sect of Judaism was not tied to the service of the Temple as were the Sadducees. So after the Temple was destroyed the Sadducees ceased to exist as a sect. However, the Pharisees lived their lives every day as if they were living in the Temple. Therefore they lived a life which goal was to glorify and recognize God in every way. Even in the most routine things in daily living.

It is sad to note that when God works behind the scenes, we have the uncanny knack of taking credit for our wellbeing and preservation. For you see this is the danger in prosperity. Did not the writer of Proverbs say something to the effect, “don’t give me too much or I will forget You and sin, and do not give me to little or I may steal, Just give me what I need”?

Devarim 8:14 “that your heart then becomes lifted up, and you forget YHWH your Elohim who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, from the house of bondage,”

John 15:5 says that, “… Without me, you can do NOTHING.”

Deut. 8:18 But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.

Deut. 9:4-6 Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the Lord thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee.
Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Understand therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.

May we be humble that God does “good” on our behalf, not because we are “good”, but because “they” are bad! The Full Life Study Bible says concerning Joel 2:26-27, “This promise is contingent on God’s people remaining humble and faithful to Him. If they became arrogant and return to the paths of sin, God’s blessings will be withheld and judgment will follow.”

28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

There have been many revivals in recent history, Azuza Street, Brownsville and recently Lakeland. I can’t understand how Christians can have a TRUE revival when the criteria for such is clearly not met. Namely Repentance and Torah Observance.

“Many believers who say they want to get back to the “New Testament Church”, long for the power, miracles and events in the book of Acts. So why no revival? It is because we have forsaken Torah! You look at every instance in the Bible where revival has taken place; King Josiah, the days of Ezra (Matter of fact, the modern day synagogue and its service is based on Ezra’s gathering of Israel together to read the Torah), Shavu’ot (Pentecost) in the book of Acts, and other instances, happened because the leaders and the people rediscovered, or realized their backslidden state, made teshuvah (repentance) and returned to Torah. Why no revival? Because many say the Torah is not for today, because we read, misinterpret, misunderstand, and misapply Scripture. We need to deprogram ourselves from this modern Christian dispensational thinking and pawning it off as what the first century believers believed. Many Christians today also believe that there are no such things as the Apostles and Prophets, just Preachers, and Teachers, and Evangelists, and they also dismiss most, if not all the gifts of the Spirit.” Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr, “Get Back to the First Century”

Healings, so what! They can be counterfeited by Ha Satan. EVERYTHING that God does and has can be faked by Satan and usually is!
And such recent activities that have been reported at some of these so called revivals are full of emotionalism, mass pandemonium and the conjuring up of every spirit but the Holy One. Manifestations that reek of ancient paganism, like people writhing on the ground and hissing like a snake, barking like a dog, cackling like a chicken, mooing like a cow and roaring like a lion. This has no place, nor can be found in and as the Scriptural definition for True Revival.
And so the prophetic fulfillment in light of the context in which Kefa (Peter) quoted this passage (Acts 2:17-21) should be obvious to the reader despite what modern day Christianity might say. Shavu’ot or Pentecost was the backdrop which inspired Kefa to quote this text from Joel.
Why would ADONAI release such an outpouring of the Spirit accompanied with such abilities and activities if there was not a context and proper framework and structure in which for them to operate? Though at times God is spontaneous and does fantastic things, He is God of order, just look at creation, the feasts, the words of Rav Sha’ul.
Rav Sha’ul said, (1Cor. 14:40) “Let all things be done decently and in order.” Therefore halacha and minhag, the protocol and weight of authority they carry are indeed important in the life of the Natsari. However, there is rigidity of rabbinicism which suffocates the truly Ruach led, spontaneity and thus quenches the Ruach’s influence among the Body of Moshiach.

1 Thess. 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

Whatever us done and expressed in spontaneity of the Ruach is truly of the Ruach of HaShem, it will line up with Torah and therefore be b’seder (in order).
The disgust of the show-boaters of the “barking, roaring in the spirit,” charismatic, health-wealth-prosperity, name-it-claim-it, word of faithers that have caused many Christians to walk away coughing and gagging due to the bad taste that is left in one’s mouth, those Christians turned Messianic/Natsari take comfort in the structure of stoic and respectful rabbinic influence which brings an solemn air of piety to ones walk. However the firm and steady hand of Rabbinic Judaism has turned into piercing talons into the Body and the Pendulum has swung back to the point which caused it to swing toward random charismatism in the first place. This shows we are people of extremes hard pressed to find the proper balance to the scales.

So where do we go from here?

I have found that there has been hair splitting over halacha and it has seemed to have sapped the simcha (joy) and divine spontaneity from the Body and we appear no different and just as distasteful as some of our non-believing counterparts, and we wonder why Christians ignorantly and falsely call us “judaizers.” We display nothing that they feel they need or want. On the shallowest levels most everyone is looking for happiness which is an indicator of a deeper fulfillment. Clearly we need a balance between a Natsari form of Rabbinicism and Hasidim. There needs to be a zealous and fervent adherence of Torah and a Ruach led bucking against man made halacha and minhag that has been designed to shackle and bind. This will ensure such balance that we seek will keep us hot and not cool us to lukewarm-ness so as enact God’s gag reflex against us.

Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Natsari Hasidism isn’t about or indicative of a type of uniform such as the black coats and hats of our non-believing counterparts, but it is about the joy and fervency of the Life of the inner man that makes a different in the outer world.
One may be able to look at it like this, the Torah, halacha and minhag macro-manage our lives and the Ruach HaKodesh micro-manage our lives and if we cannot rightly discern we can consult the Beyt Din, but if we are honest there is plenty of elbow room within Torah, halacha and minhag to unite us as one while at the same time allowing us to maintain our individuality and various cultural aspects of our lives.
As I travel throughout Messianic/Natsari Judaism I see many extremes of Rabbinic hairsplitting and finger pointing to loosy-goosy, let’s-all-dowhatever-we-feel-and-say-that-the-Ruach-told-us-to-do-it; rarely have I seen the harmony and necessary balance that I have tried to describe and bring across in this blog.
My purpose here is not to spell it all out, but simply to highlight, and bring ones attention to the needs so as to begin to take action and dialogue to come to a general consensus that will set us on our way to achieve a personal and individual balance.

Isa. 44:3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:
Ezk. 39:29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.
Zech. 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

These verses are practically the same words which begin Joel 2:28, and we see that, along with the passages in Acts and the context of Shavu’ot (Pentecost) that the Spirit flows from the Written Torah and that the Written Torah has a Living Form which has a face, which is Yeshua the Messiah; The Living Manifestation of the Written Torah. He said He is the Living Waters.

John 4:10-15 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

He has invited all who are thirsty to come and drink.

John 7:37 In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

And it will be for everyone from sons to servants because he is no respecter of person.

Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.

And we are all one in Messiah (John 17).

Gal. 3:26-29For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Col. 3:11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
I Cor. 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

Rambam suggests, “Perhaps a metaphor for the great cataclysm and upheavals of that day.” Almost immediately people’s minds drift to the Apocalypse and the things said in the book of Revelation.

Rev. 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

But to me this verse doesn’t suggest an end of all things, but the beginning. These verses sound like the plague that preceded the Exodus from Egypt which brought them to Mount Sinai by the fire by night and the pillar of smoke by day. And what greater sign could there be in the earth than a sea being split asunder!? Because of this sea, much Egyptian blood was spilled.
It was the real Exodus which caused Israel to know and call upon the name of ADONAI and it was all for the purpose of deliverance.
There will be one Last Great Exodus when the remnants of Israel and Judah will be called out from the Diaspora to return to the Land of Israel. Plagues will come against the evil and wicked ones during the Great Tribulation, God’s wrath will be poured out on them and the righteous will be spared just as Israel was spared. The plagues caused Pharaoh to oppress Israel even more and so satan will pour out his wrath and make war on the righteous.

Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Here is my personal statement of faith on the end times:

End Times / Eschatology
“I DO NOT believe, nor adhere to in any way the Pre-Tribulationalist or Dispensationalist view of the End Times, this view is so young (little over 100 years old), it in no way could be the view of Natsarim Judaism of the first century. It has NO roots in Judaism, and did not even exist in Christianity till the 19th century. Its main views are totally contrary to Judaism period. Here is a general view of the chronology of the End Times: Immediately AFTER the Tribulation (Mt.24:29; Mk.13:24) the Messiah will appear in the sky (Dan.7:13-14; Mt.24:29-31; I Thes.4:16-17) there will be a final trumpet (Rev.8:2; 11:15; Mt.24:31; Is.27:13; I Thes. 4:16-17; I Cor. 15:52) and there will be a resurrection (I Cor. 15:50-55; I Thes.4:16; Rev.20:4-6; Is.25:8; Hos.13:14; Ezk.37:1-14) and a gathering together to Messiah in the sky (Mt.24:29-31; Mk.13:24-27; 2 Thes.2:1; I Thes.4:17). This is followed by the Messiah coming with His set apart ones. In other words the “rapture, and the “Battle of Armageddon” happens all in one shot. (Jude1:14-15= I Enoch 1:9; I Thes.3:13; Rev.19:11-16; Zech.14:4-5). After this, the 1,000 year reign of Messiah is established (Rev.20:1-3, 7). The “rapture” is the regathering of Israel to the Land of Israel at the return of Messiah, and not a pretrib rapture of the “Church.””