The 'Time of Jacob's Trouble'
Shortly after the return of Christ, all of the descendants of ancient Israel—including the descendants of the so-called lost 10 tribes—will again gather and resettle in Palestine. Jerusalem will once more be the capital city of the restored 12 tribes of Israel, as well as the capital of the world.
This reunion of all 12 tribes is described in some detail in Ezekiel 37:15-28. God also explained it to the prophet Jeremiah: "For behold, the days are coming ... that I will bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah ... And I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it" (Jeremiah 30:3).
But God also indicated to Jeremiah that, while He would allow the future descendants of the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah to fall into captivity, He would also rescue some of them from it. He calls this end-time catastrophe—especially on the descendants of ancient Israel's northern kingdom, now known only as the lost 10 tribes—the time of Jacob's trouble: "Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; and it is the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it" (Jeremiah 30:7).
God revealed to Daniel that such a time of trouble would occur at the time of the end: "At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time" (Daniel 12:1).
This and other prophecies indicate that Satan's wrath during the last days will be directed not only toward faithful Christians but also toward the ethnic descendants of all of Israel—the Jews as well as the descendants of the lost 10 tribes whose identity Satan has never forgotten. It apparently will be especially directed toward the modern-day descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh, the English-speaking peoples that sprang from descendants of the British Isles.
Notice the reassurances God gives to the beleaguered people of Israel in the last days:
"'So then, the days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when people will no longer say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,' but they will say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.' Then they will live in their own land'" (Jeremiah 23:7-8, NIV).
"'Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,' says the LORD, 'nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from afar, and your seed from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return, have rest and be quiet, and no one shall make him afraid'" (Jeremiah 30:10).
"See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return. They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back ... I will lead them ... because I am Israel's father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son'" (Jeremiah 31:8-9, NIV).
"On that day you will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me ... But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the LORD. The remnant of Israel will do no wrong; they will speak no lies, nor will deceit be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid" (Zephaniah 3:11-13, NIV).
Once Christ rescues the ethnic descendants of ancient Israel from this "time of Jacob's trouble" in the last days, He will use them to fulfill the role their forefathers agreed to carry out in the time of Moses. He will make them the world's model people, a nation of teachers, a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:6; compare Deuteronomy 4:5-8; Zechariah 8:23).
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