The Prophets Of Power & Plague: End Times Today With John Claeys

Description: The Introduction of God’s Two Tribulation Prophets & the Repentance of Israel.

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Description: The Introduction of God’s Two Tribulation Prophets & the Repentance of Israel

What in the World Is God Doing?

Viewer Screen: “Setting the Stage for a Peace Process that Can Work,” Dore Gold, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Dore Gold is an Israeli American political scientist and diplomat who has served in various positions under several Israeli governments, such as serving as an advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has seen many proposals presented by U.S. presidents to serve as a peace plan for Israel and the Middle East. Here is what he wrote regarding the recent peace plan proposal by President Trump: 

“The current initiatives that are being tried by the Trump administration are important because they are trying to liberate us from all the failed peace plans of the past.”

Gold goes on to say why past proposals failed and why this proposal could work. He writes: “We have to give this larger peace plan a chance, as we have in the past, and right now there’s nothing else on the table that has any chance of working.”

The point is: This plan presented by President Trump is unique; this proposal has never been presented by a U.S. president. It is one that Israel could live with, and Middle Eastern leaders have indicated they could support it. Could it be the basis of the 7-year treaty with Israel that begins the Tribulation period? While the U.S. will, ultimately, not be part of this prophetic treaty, might God use this proposal as a starting point for negotiation? Time will tell, but it seems to be a possibility.

This is: “What in the World Is God Doing?”

Prophets of Power & Plagues: Part 1

Viewer Screen: Prophets of Power & Plagues: Part 1

Today’s broadcast will begin a 3-part series on two unique prophets of power and plagues. These prophets will be used of God during the future Tribulation period to reach Israel with the good news of Jesus Christ. As a result, 144,000 Jewish evangelists will take the gospel of Jesus throughout the world to reach people from “all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues” (Rev 7:9).

The role these two prophets will play, and their incredible uniqueness, is worthy of a series. While we are introducing them today, this broadcast will place them in context and do an overview of their ministry. Next time we will do a deep dive into their powerful ministry.

Before looking at these two powerful prophets, let’s put them in context. 

Viewer Screen: Leaders of 10 nations will confirm a 7-year treaty with Israel.

As we learned in past broadcasts of End Times Today, leaders of ten nations will confirm a 7-year treaty of “peace and security” with Israel. This treaty will start the clock ticking on the 7-year Tribulation period in which God will pour out his judgments upon the earth.

Viewer Screen: The Rapture of the Church

At the very moment this treaty goes into effect, Jesus will snatch away from the face of the earth all who have believed in Jesus for eternal life. This event is called the rapture of the Church. 

The reason the Lord will remove the Church—the universal body of believers in Jesus—is because the Tribulation period will be God’s focus to: 1) focus on Israel—to bring Jews in Israel to salvation; and 2) to use Israel to be a “light to the nations”; that means God will use believing Israel to reach the nations of the earth with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Viewer Screen: When the Church is removed, who will bring the gospel to Israel?

So, if all believers in Jesus are removed at the rapture of the Church, who will bring the gospel of Jesus to Israel so that Israel can reach the nations? The answer to that question comes in the form of two mysterious men of God presented in Revelation 11. They are introduced to us in verse 3: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth’ ” (Rev 11:3). 

Here God reveals that these two “witnesses” will be His prophets to Israel for a very specific time—1,260 days. Using a Jewish calendar of 360 days to a year, this comes out to exactly 3½ years. These two will “witness,” or validate God’s word to Israel, wearing sackcloth. 

Viewer Screen: Why will the prophets be wearing sackcloth?

But why will these two prophets be wearing sackcloth? In biblical times, sackcloth was the garment of mourning and repentance. The command to repent appears in the book of Revelation ten times, demonstrating its emphasis for believers and unbelievers alike. The purpose of the ministry of these two witnesses is to call the nation of Israel to repentance. 

Viewer Screen: What is repentance?

To understand what it is, we will begin with what it is not. It is not a requirement for receiving eternal life. The very same author who wrote the book of Revelation also wrote the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John was written to show readers how to receive eternal life—by believing in Jesus Christ for it. So, if repentance is necessary for receiving eternal life, we would certainly expect to find it in a book that was written to show us how to receive eternal life. So, do you know how many times the concept of repent or repentance is found in the Gospel of John? Zero; nada; zippo; not one time! What does that tell us? Repentance is not a necessary ingredient for receiving eternal life.

So, what is the purpose of repentance? The purpose is to bring people into fellowship, or a close relationship, with God. A perfect illustration of this is the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15.

In this parable, a son, who represents a believer in Jesus, asks his father, who represents God, for his inheritance ahead of time. (By the way, nowhere in the Bible is an unbeliever called a “son” or child of God.) The son then takes his inheritance, journeys into a far country (which represents wandering far from God), and wastes his inheritance with foolish living. 

Then what we see in the parable is a perfect picture of repentance, moving back into fellowship with God. The son takes steps toward coming back home to his father which includes confessing his sin to his father. The father then runs to the son, hugs and kisses him, clothes him with a robe, a signet ring representing being fully welcomed back, then a party is thrown for him, representing the joy of coming back into a close relationship with God.

Viewer Screen:  “ ‘ “Thus says the LORD: ‘Israel isMy son,” ’ ” (Exodus 4:22).

From nearly the beginning of the Bible, God declared Israel as His son. That means that, in the OT, for example, Israel is a picture of a believer in Jesus Christ, even though many, if not most, Jews were not believers in Christ. But Israel, as a nation, is a picture of a believer in Jesus, though a prodigal believer who needs to repent, that is, come back into fellowship with God.

John the Baptist, who was to prepare Israel for Jesus’ coming, called Israel to repent. However, the Apostle Paul reveals in Acts 19:4 what John the Baptist called individual Jews to do:

Viewer Screen: “Then Paul said, ‘John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus’ ” (Acts 19:4).

As a nation, Israel needs to repent; individually, Jews need to believe in Jesus Christ for eternal life. Israel will, as a whole, repent, and, individually, will believe in Jesus for eternal life. 

Repentance is not necessary for someone to receive eternal life, as eternal life is received simply by believing Jesus for it. However, some individuals can be prepared for receiving eternal life through repentance. For example, an unbeliever who is experiencing a wreck of a life may begin to seek God in prayer and by taking steps to better his life. In the process, he may encounter someone who shares the good news of Jesus Christ, and he believes! In this case, God used his repentance to prepare his heart for receiving eternal life. (By the way, in Acts 10, Cornelius is an example of one who sought God through prayer and good deeds; as a result, God sent the Apostle Peter to present the gospel to Cornelius, at which point, Cornelius believed in Jesus to receive eternal life. In Acts 11:18, the apostles called this “ ‘repentance to life.’ ”)

Repentance can prepare someone to receive eternal life. Because the nation of Israel is such a strong-willed son of God, it will need to repent in order to be prepared to receive eternal life.

Thus, God will use these two future prophets to bring the nation of Israel to repentance. According to the Apostle Peter, here is what will occur when the nation of Israel repents:

Viewer Screen:  “ ‘Repent therefore and turn to the Lord, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began’ ” (Acts 3:19-21).

When the nation as a whole turns to the Lord—God will send Jesus to the earth to establish God’s kingdom upon the earth. In Acts 3:19-21, the kingdom is described as “times of refreshing” coming “from the presence of the Lord” and “times of restoration of all things.” Israel’s times of hardship and persecution will end, as the nation will experience refreshment from the Lord’s presence, referring to Jesus personally ruling in Israel. At that time, the “restoration of all things” will occur; the world will become a much, much better and different place than what we have experienced throughout the history of mankind.

Now let’s go back to where we started this introduction of God’s two future prophets: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘And I will give powerto my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth’ ” (Rev 11:3).

At the very beginning of the coming 7-year Tribulation period, God will raise up two prophets of power and plagues. While their ministry will only last 3½ years, it will bring Israel to the Lord and will result in global impact. 

Viewer Screen: Prophets of Power & Plagues: Part 2

Join us next time on End Times Today when we will do a deep dive into the powerful ministry of these two unique prophets of God and see how they will frustrate the enemies of God and prepare for the coming kingdom of God to the earth as we look at Prophets of Power & Plagues: Part 2. 

Questions / Answers

Q: Where does the great white throne judgment take place? The reason I ask is because I was listening to one pastor say the great white throne judgment takes place in heaven. That seems to present a problem because that would imply that unbelievers are actually in heaven before they are then cast into the like a fire. The Bible says that we cannot see or enter the kingdom of heaven unless we are born again, so it seems to me that the great white throne judgment would have to take place somewhere other than heaven. What do you think? — Jenna, MI

A: I agree, Jenna; the Great White Throne Judgment will not take place in heaven. Instead, it will occur on the earth following the thousand-year rule of Christ on Earth. After Jesus returns, He will establish God’s kingdom on the earth, which we call the Millennial Kingdom. Following the MK, God will raise up all unbelievers throughout history, and they will appear before Jesus for the Great White Throne Judgment, which is found in Rev 20:11-15:

Viewer Screen:  “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. . . . And they were judged, each one according to his works. . . . And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:11-15).

At this judgment, each individual will be given an opportunity to argue his or her case before the Judge—Jesus. Each individual will be judged by his works—in two ways. First of all, note the emphasis on being judged by works in verses 12-13:

Viewer Screen: And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

Jesus portrays this judgment in Mt 7: 

Viewer Screen: “ ‘Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?” And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” ’ ” (Mat 7:21-23).

Individual unbelievers will be given an opportunity at this future judgment to argue why they should be allowed into God’s eternal kingdom. The particular example Jesus cites in these verses sounds like a charismatic TV evangelist who did lots of amazing things in the name of Jesus, such as prophesying, casting out demons, and miraculous signs (“wonders”). In addition, this one believes Jesus is Lord. However, his works aren’t enough to allow him into the kingdom. After all, if one is depending on what he has done to get into the kingdom, his works and his life would need to be absolutely perfect. Of course, no one is perfect; and, as Jesus has said, “No one is good but God.” In the absolute sense, which is how Jesus would have to judge someone to allow them into the kingdom, no one is good; only God is absolutely good. 

This is why Jesus needed to die. God, who is perfect and, therefore, has perfect standards, cannot allow anyone into His perfect, eternal kingdom who isn’t perfected. So, He sent His Son to take our place—to take our sins upon Himself and to pay the penalty for those sins. Jesus made full payment for all sins which is why, as He was dying on the cross, He cried out, “It is finished!” Paid in full! 

Jesus paid the price for kingdom entrance and eternal life (life with God forever). That payment provided for us to have kingdom entrance; but to receive kingdom entrance, one must believe Jesus for it. At the moment one believes Jesus for his or her eternal destiny, one receives eternal life. At that moment, a miracle happens: One is born again with a new and perfect nature. Here is how Jesus presented it:

Viewer Screen: “Jesus answered and said to him, “ ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’ ” (John 3:3, 7).

To enter the kingdom, one must be born with a new nature, one that is perfect. Here is how the Apostle Paul expresses that concept:

Viewer Screen: “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe” (Rom 3:21-22).

Paul indicates that the person who believes in Jesus Christ receives the very righteousness of God, a righteousness that is perfect! Here is how the author of the book of Hebrews presents it:

Viewer Screen: “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified” (Heb 10:14).

The term “sanctified” can mean “set apart”; it can also mean “made holy.” We are both set apart to God and made holy at the moment we believe in Jesus for eternal life. As a result, we are “perfected forever”! Of course, we still sin while living in these bodies because sin indwells these bodies. But our new nature is perfected; it does not produce sin nor is it contaminated by sin. One day our body will be resurrected or glorified, and it will no longer have sin dwelling in it. Then our nature and our body will be perfected together—forever! Only because of that perfection can one can enter God’s eternal kingdom. 

At the Great White Throne Judgment, Jesus will allow individuals to present their case as to why they should be allowed into eternity with Jesus. But Jesus will show that their works, as good as they might seem, will fall infinitely short of the perfection needed to get them into God’s eternal kingdom. 

Then here is what those unbelievers will experience at the Great White Throne Judgment:

Viewer Screen: And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:15).

Those whose names are recorded in the Book of Life are those who have believed Jesus for eternal life. Everyone else’s destiny is the lake of fire, separation from God forever. 

Coming back to your question, Jenna; the answer is: The Great White Throne Judgment will occur on Earth following the millennial rule of Jesus on the earth. But we have also seen that this judgment is for all who have never believed in Jesus alone for eternal life; and the result is: Because they have not believed in Jesus for their eternal destiny, they will be separated from God forever. 

If you have believed in Jesus for eternal life, then thank the Lord for the guarantee He has given you of spending eternity with Him. But if you have been depending on the life you live to get you into “heaven,” take heed; your life won’t get you there. Only Jesus can provide entrance into God’s eternal kingdom. 

About John Claeys

John Claeys is an author, independent columnist for christianpost.com and simplybelief.com, and a professor of biblical studies. He has a B.A. from University of Northern Iowa and Th. M. from Dallas Theological Seminary.