Braxton Hicks, Labor Pains, and the Time of the End

For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  Romans 8:22

I’m not a pastor.  I’m just someone who has given birth.  I know that all births are painful, and that many babies have particularly challenging births.  My kids were of those.  Subsequently, the references in the Bible to creation “groaning in the pains of childbirth” and “the beginning of birth pains” have taken on a lot more meaning for me.

“Practice” Labor – Braxton Hicks of the Church Age:

First, let’s think about what pregnancy is like.  Sure, some women have it easier than others, but being pregnant is uncomfortable for all women at times.  For some women, pregnancy is quite unpleasant.  For a few it is even life-threatening.  This is a good description of the Church Age (age of Grace):

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. 2 Corinthians 4:17

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too… For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:1-3, 8-9

God allows trials and tribulations in our lives to grow us more into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).  Some of us have few trials, some of us have many trials, and some of us are jailed, tortured, or killed for our faith.  This has marked the entire church age (Foxe’s Book of Martyrs).   I like to think of these trials as “Braxton Hicks contractions”.  Wikipedia defines Braxton Hicks as:

Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as prodromal labor or practice contractions, or false labor, are sporadic uterine contractions that sometimes start around six weeks into a pregnancy.  However, they are not usually felt until the second trimester or third trimester of pregnancy.

Braxton Hicks contractions are often infrequent, irregular, and involve only mild cramping.  As pregnancy goes on, Braxton Hicks contractions go from unnoticeable amounts of pain signals to irregular, infrequent cramping to strong frequent cramping and then finally labor pains.

Jesus describes the false labor of the Church Age in one broad sweep:

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. [“See that you are not led astray” v8] [“See that no one leads you astray” v5] For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ [“the time is at hand” v8] and will deceive many. {23 And they will say to you, ‘Look, there!’ or ‘Look, here!’ Do not go out or follow them.} [Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. v6-7] And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Matthew 24 / Luke 21 / Luke 17 / Mark 13

The Church Age will be marked by false messiahs, false doctrine, wars and rumors of wars, and trials and tribulations of many kinds, but the end is still to come.  Indeed, there have been many offshoots from Christianity proclaiming “partial truths” throughout the last 2 millenia – bearing the name of Christ but not acting in Godly character nor professing salvation through Jesus’ atonement alone.  There are many religions (including “Christian ones”) who have added prophets or books or personal interpretations onto the Bible.  We can also think of horrible atrocities that have been done (and are still being done) in the name of religion.  Even though many of these were done in the name of “god”, I can assure you that they were not done for the One True God.

“Hard Labor” of the “Tribulation”:

How will we know when “true labor” – the actual time of the end – begins?  The Bible speaks of the “time of the End” as being similar to actual labor pains and childbirth.  When it hits, there will be no mistaking it.  It’s going to rock the socks off this planet we call home.  These are the passages:

Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.  Because of this, all hands will go limp, every heart will melt with fear. Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.  See, the day of the Lord is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger—to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.   (Isaiah 13:6-9)

Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,  for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.  While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.  (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3)

These are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah:  “Thus says the Lord: We have heard a cry of panic, of terror, and no peace.  Ask now, and see, can a man bear a child? Why then do I see every man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor?  Why has every face turned pale?  (Jeremiah 30:4-6)

Labor and delivery, for me anyways, involved a lot of screaming, writhing, and pain.  Unmistakable and incomparable.  The “beginning of birth pains” are defined by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse:

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. (Matthew 24)  8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. (Mark 13) 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21) 

When the Day of the Lord (“Tribulation”) arrives, it will be marked all at once by the arrival of widespread war, global earthquakes, famines and pestilences, terrors and great signs from heaven.  Collectively, “all these” are the “beginning” of the birth pains.  We know from Revelation 6 that this “beginning” of birth pains results in the death of 1/4 of humanity.  (I believe the Seals of Revelation 6 are opened all at once, when the time for the end (determined by God) has come.  The scroll is seen sealed in Daniel “until the time of the end”, and it is opened in Revelation 6.)

The labor pains continue throughout the tribulation (7-10 years). In it is contained all the trumpet and bowl judgments of God as well as the deception and wrath of satan. The last 3.5 years involve the worst pain – For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.”  (Matthew 24:21)  Finally, at the Second Coming of Christ, the earth is delivered of its’ suffering.

But Wait!  Early Delivery Option:

The start of the Day of the Lord / Tribulation will come like a trap upon those on the earth, but there is an escape route:

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.  For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.  But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”  (Luke 21:24-26)  

The escape route is detailed by following God’s “birth plan”.  An overview of God’s “birth plan” is found in Micah:

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lordin the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace. Micah 5:2-5

The pattern in Micah 5 is:

  1. Birth of the Messiah (Comes Forth)
  2. Israel Given Up (God is Silent)
  3. Israel Births Another Child
  4. THEN the Rest of Israel is Regathered
  5. Messiah’s Kingdom Rule

The first part of this passage is a well known reference to Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem (v2).  Notice that the Messiah comes forth, and there is no reference to birth pains.  First, Israel births the Messiah at His first coming:

She gave birth to a male child [huion], one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron,  Revelation 12:5a

Before she was in labor she gave birth; before her pain came upon her she delivered a son.  Isaiah 66:7 

Jesus, the Head of the Church, is born (as a “type”) before the Body of the Church is birthed (as the “antitype”).  This is before Israel has any “labor pains”.  Jesus didn’t come to rule, though, as they expected, and so they rejected Him.  Jesus is crucified and resurrected.  He gives them 40 days to recognize this “sign of Jonah”, and then the opportunity closes.  Jesus ascends to heaven (calmly and slowly – not snatched).

At Pentecost, 10 days after His ascension, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit.  This is typically referred to as the “Church’s Birthday” – but were we really born then?  On this day, the Holy Spirit “came upon” believers in Jerusalem to officially begin the body of Christ.  When the Holy Spirit “came upon” Mary, she conceived Jesus – the Head of the church.  When the Holy Spirit “came upon” the first believers, could this be the conception of the Body of Christ?  (credit, Scott Clarke)

Currently, the Holy Spirit indwells each believer as a seal, a sign of the promise to come, a sign of our future deliverance:

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Romans 7:24

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Ephesians 4:30

Meanwhile, in Micah 5 verse 3, God turns His face away from Israel and gives them up to the nations because of their rejection of Him.  We see this foretold throughout the Old Testament as well as by the prophet Ezekiel.  This is the mystery of the “partial hardening” of Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles is complete (Romans 11:25).  The fullness of the Gentiles will be complete when the last one has entered into the new covenant in Jesus’ blood, at which point the body of Christ will be fully formed.

When the body of Christ is fully formed, it will be birthed.  This is the second birth in Micah 5:3.  We also see this in Isaiah 26:

Like a pregnant woman who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she is near to giving birth, so were we because of you, O Lord; we were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind. We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen. Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the deadCome, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain.   (Isaiah 26:17-21)

The birth pattern in Isaiah 26 is:

  1. Writhing and crying out in pain, near to giving birth
  2. Earth gives birth to the dead
  3. The risen dead, God’s people, enter their chambers and shut their doors
  4. God comes out of His place to punish the remaining inhabitants of the earth

The passage in Isaiah 26 begins with Israel (woman) trying to deliver herself.  She is pregnant, and near to giving birth, but has not successfully been able to do so.  I believe this is a picture of the political rebirth of Israel – the nation (1948).  Without her spiritual rebirth, she can only “give birth to wind” and “accomplish no deliverance”.  Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones have come to life, they are standing, but there is no breath (ruach) in them.  However, what Israel cannot accomplish, God is about to do.

Before the labor pains of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble start, right before God comes out to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their sin and unbelief, the earth will give birth to the dead.  We see this in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:

And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

The resurrected dead, combined with the living believers, then enter their chambers:

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. (John 14:2-3)

Isaiah 26 is particularly interesting in that it is an Old Testament passage that connects the dead rising (resurrection) and God’s people entering their chambers to hide (rapture) right before God ‘s wrath begins.

Again, examining God’s Birth Plan, believers in Christ have been “born again” (sealed) of the Spirit, but a time is coming when we will be “born again” physically as well:

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  John 3:3-4

Our birth is “already but not yet”.  Once the body of Christ has been birthed, THEN “the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel” (Micah 5:3).  This regathering of Israel occurs during the 70th week of Daniel (the “tribulation”, “time of Jacob’s trouble”), and is completed at the Second Coming of Christ.  God will deliver the remnant of Israel as foretold, right before Jesus is inaugurated into His Messianic Kingdom (Micah 5:4-5).

Let’s examine the woman in Micah 5 and Isaiah 26.  Who is she, and who does she birth?   We have a woman in labor and giving birth in Revelation 12:

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth… She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.  Revelation 12:1-2,5

The sign of a woman clothed with the sun, the moon at her feet, and a crown of 12 stars is a reference to Jacob’s vision in Genesis 37:9.  The woman in the sign is clearly Israel.  That she is pregnant and crying out in birth pains references Isaiah 26:17.  We saw there that she only birthed wind, on her own.  Now, while Jesus certainly was birthed out of Israel, and He will rule with an iron scepter during the Kingdom Age (Millennial Kingdom):

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”  (Psalm 2:8-9)

Jesus also promises this rule to those who conquer:  

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of ironas when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. (Revelation 2:26-27) 

The ones who conquer over the dragon are these:

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. (Revelation 12:11)

The overcomers, conquerors, are those who are washed clean in the blood of the Lamb and those who hold firm in their faith until their end (aka, all true believers, or the invisible body of Christ).  These will rule over the nations with Christ “with a rod of iron”.

In Revelation 12:3-4, we see the alarming picture of a dragon waiting to devour the woman’s child upon its’ delivery:

And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. 

While Jesus certainly was pursued by satan after His birth (the destruction of all the toddler boys in Bethlehem while Jesus was safely hidden in Egypt comes to mind), for all we know Jesus lived a relatively quiet and peaceful childhood.  We are not told of any interactions with satan until His temptation in the wilderness, immediately after His baptism into ministry at the age of ~30.  During His ministry, He was always in control and could not be captured until the appointed time when He willingly gave Himself up.  As mentioned earlier, He most certainly was never snatched away from imminent devouring, but rose peacefully at His ascension while the disciples looked on.

We are told the dragon in Revelation 12 is satan (v9).  Could it be that the dragon standing before the woman about to give birth is satan trying to interfere with the birth of the church?  Could this be the reason war breaks out in heaven?

Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, (Rev 12:7)

It certainly seems possible, as once “the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come” (v10) – our redemption – “there is no longer any place for them in heaven” (v8).

Is Revelation 12 a picture of Jesus’ birth at all?  Could the church be in view?  In Revelation 12:5, there is a curious usage of the term “son” and “male child”.  The “son” is actually huion [Strong’s 5207] and the “male child” is arsen [Strong’s 730].  The word “arsen” can be used for offspring, children, gender neutral child.  This is actually a deliberate grammatical “error”.  This is detailed in The Celestial C-Section (Unsealed).  In Revelation 12, John follows the same pattern as seen in Isaiah 66:

Before she was in labor she gave birthbefore her pain came upon her she delivered a son. Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day?  Shall a nation be brought forth in one moment? For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the Lord“shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”  says your God.  (Isaiah 66:7-9)

In Isaiah 66, Israel births a son, a land, a nation, (a curious grammatical use) BEFORE she is in labor.  As SOON AS she is in labor, she brings forth her children.

This passage is typically used to refer to the rebirth of the nation Israel in 1948.  That land did, in fact, appear to be reborn in one day.  Here is the interpretation:

Bible passage: Isaiah 66:7-8
Prophet: Isaiah
Written: perhaps between 701-681 BC
Fulfilled: 1948

DID YOU KNOW – God used what Hitler did during WWII, to bring about TWO of His end times prophecies? It’s true!

In Isaiah 66:7-8, the prophet (1) foreshadowed the re-birth of Israel, and, just like the Bible says – (2) it happened “in one day.” The woman giving birth before going into labor represents Israel. This accurately describes what happened on May 14, 1948 – when “the world” briefly felt sorry for the Jews and returned Israel to them and they were able to declare independence for Israel as a united and sovereign nation for the first time in 2,900 years.

During that same day, the United States issued a statement recognizing Israel’s sovereignty. And, only hours beforehand, a United Nations mandate expired, ending British control of the land. During a 24-hour span of time, foreign control of the land of Israel had formally ceased, and Israel had declared its independence, and its independence was acknowledged by other nations. Modern Israel was literally was born in a single day.

Isaiah said the birth would take place before there would be labor pains. And that too is precisely what happened. A movement called Zionism began in the 1800s to encourage Jews worldwide to move to Israel, which at that time was called Palestine. Within hours of the declaration of independence in 1948, Israel was attacked by the surrounding countries of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

When reading Isaiah 66:7-8, keep in mind that Israel’s status as a sovereign nation was established and reaffirmed during the course of a single day, and that it was born of a movement called Zionism, and that its declaration of independence was not the result of a war but rather the cause of one.  (source: refinersfire)

While the nation of Israel is significant in end times prophecy, their “rebirth” in 1948 was only partial – they have only given birth to wind (Isaiah 26).  Israel’s restoration is following Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones in its’ resurrection.  If Israel’s establishment politically in 1948 partially fulfills Isaiah 66, it is only a shadow or “type” at best.  Israel has not been spiritually reborn, and is only about 45% regathered (and that’s just Judah – the Jews).  Israel is laboring, but it will not be fully reborn until the Second Coming of Christ and the Millennial Kingdom inauguration.

Scott Clarke postulates that the collective CHURCH BODY is the nation that will be “born in one day”:

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)

After the birth of the son, the male child, we do indeed see Israel birth another child (gender neutral), who is caught up (rapere, harpazo) to God:

but her child [teknon] – was caught up to God and to his throne,  Revelation 12:5b

For as soon as Zion was in labor she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the point of birth and not cause to bring forth?” says the Lord“shall I, who cause to bring forth, shut the womb?”  says your God.  Isaiah 66:8-9

Jesus was not “caught up” after His birth.  He grew up, ministered, died, rose again, then ascended calmly into heaven.  This “catching up” is the fulfillment of our salvation, the seal of the Holy Spirit delivering us up for redemption.  It is the Body of Christ being delivered, at long last:

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.  1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,  who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.  Philippians 3:20-21

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5

Listen! I am telling you a mystery:  We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed [allasso], in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.  For this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality.  When this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place:  Death has been swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?  1 Corinthians 15:51-55

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.  But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.  Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be destroyed is death.  (1 Corinthians 15:22-26)

Elect Israel herself is the woman, and after our catching up, she (spiritually) goes on to have more gentile offspring.  Her offspring is clearly those gentiles who believe in Jesus. The dragon (satan) makes war against these offspring during the latter part of the “tribulation”:

Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.  Revelation 12:17

Israel herself will be taken care of by God in the wilderness, after she obediently flees there at the sign of the Abomination of Desolation (Rev 12:6, 14).  She will await there until the appointed time – the Second Coming of Christ.

When’s Our Due Date?

One of the first questions a pregnant woman asks is – “When am I due?”  Initially, we ask this in eager expectation of the coming promise.  As the pregnancy progresses, the woman begins to ask when she is due because she yearns to be delivered.   Following God’s Birth Plan comparison, we eagerly anticipate our deliverance – which IS the coming promise:

And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  (Romans 8:23)

Do we know our due date?  It seems to be connected with the “great sign” given in Revelation 12:1-2.  The only other place a “great sign in heaven” is mentioned is in Luke 21:11, which is an interesting connection because Luke is speaking of the very beginning of the “birth pains” of the Day of the Lord.  Before Israel labors (Daniel’s 70th Week), she will give birth (Rapture of the Church).  Notably, this sign in the sun, moon, and stars is seemingly set to occur in September 2017 (see HERE).

Putting it All Together:

All of creation has been yearning to be freed from death and decay since the fall of humanity.  The church age has been marked by the “practice contractions” of tribulation.  These have been ramping up for some time now – increasing in frequency and severity.   For Israel, the church age is marked by God’s silence towards them.  It seems that God will remain silent towards Israel until the birth of the church.  At some point soon, Israel is going to enter the birth pains of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.  But before she labors, the body of Christ will be truly “born again” and safely delivered to heaven. At this point God will again turn to Israel and focus on bringing His chosen people back to Himself – “as a hen gathers her chicks” (Matthew 23:37).

I encourage you to watch the last 8 minutes of Scott Clarke’s exposition of the conception  and birth of the church HERE.  He suggests that we are “conceived” at our salvation, and “birthed” at our redemption; this is an interesting picture because if the “seed of the woman” isn’t fertilized by the “seed of the Father”, it is destined to die.  What a somber picture of those who reject God’s offer of eternal life.

 

Further Recommended Reading:

Micah Prophecy – Daniel Matson

Micah 5 Timeline – Revelation 12 Daily

Scott Clarke

Unsealed

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so! 

 

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