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Written by Victoria Radin   

The Time of Sorrows

The words of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin express the urgency of this hour: “…we have to seize the day before its light fades, before the Day of Atonement turns into the Night of Extinction.”

As we approach the Festival on the Hebrew calendar known as Rosh HaShanah or Judgment Day, I am reminded that we are getting ever closer to the Day of the L-rd. Judgment Day can be seen as G-d’s warning to mankind of His impending wrath––the day He pronounces judgment––not the day it is carried out. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, ten days later is the day that it is carried out. Rosh HaShanah is the only feast that falls on the day of the new moon or darkest day of the month. As the darkest day of the month, it is quite apropos for Judgment Day.

Rosh HaShanah falls on the first day of Tishri in the Hebrew calendar. Tishri is an Aramaic word meaning to loosen or untie, hinting that judgment is about to be loosened or untied and allowed to permeate the earth. The rabbis teach that a future Rosh HaShanah will mark the ‘beginning of the end of the world’ known in Hebrew simply as 'ketz'. That Rosh HaShanah will usher in the final days of history before Yeshua’s (Jesus') return, during which the battle of good versus evil will be played out to its conclusion.

The Scroll containing the details of these events is described in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 5. The Seals that keep the Scroll of G-d’s Judgments bound up are about to be released. Each Seal releases a Time of Sorrow for the people of the world until the last Seal completely unravels the Scroll and thus reveals the Wrath to come––the Wrath of the Lamb known as the Trumpet Judgments (Rev. 6:16, 17) and the Wrath of G-d known as the Bowl Judgments (Rev. 15:1).

Both Jewish literature and the Bible take space to describe what the people of the world will look like at that time in history.

“In the last days, perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of G-d…” (2 Timothy 3:1-4)

While this Scripture tells us something about the lack of godly character in the people of the world, Yeshua tells us about the events that will help us discern the times even further. When He taught His disciples on the Mount of Olives (beginning with Matthew 24:4), He clearly described the sequence of events that would trigger “the End”.

Yeshua’ Teaching on the End of the Age - Matthew 24

  • First    “Many will come saying ‘I am the Christ’ and will deceive many” (24:6)
  • Second    “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars (24:6)
  • Third    “And there will be famines (24:7b)
  • Fourth    “And there will be…pestilences and earthquakes…” (24:7b)
  • Fifth    “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you…” (24:9)
  • Sixth     “…when you see the abomination of desolation…standing in the Holy Place…flee” (24:15-20) because the Great Tribulation is about to begin (24:21) “…the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (24:29)
  • Seventh “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory…” (24:30)

Yeshua’ teaching can be compared almost verbatim to what the Holy Spirit showed the Apostle John:

Book of Revelation Seven Seals - Revelation Chapter 6

  • First Seal – White Horse, False Savior of the World (6:2)
  • Second Seal – Red Horse – War (6:4)
  • Third Seal – Black Horse – Famine (6:5, 6)
  • Fourth Seal – Pale Horse – Death (6:8)
  • Fifth Seal – Martyrdom (6:9)
  • Sixth Seal – Sun becomes black, moon turns like blood; stars of heaven fall to the earth…(6:12-14). Men hide from coming Wrath (6:15, 16)
  • Seventh Seal – Releases the Wrath of the Lamb (6:16, 17)

A world leader, White Horse, will deceive many into believing he can save the world and bring peace. To accomplish this end, he is given power over all countries of the earth.

“And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” (Rev. 6:2)

In order to bring peace, he will make war, the Red Horse, with all who oppose his purposes. War will lead to famine, the Black Horse, which will in turn lead to pestilence, the Pale Horse, resulting in the death of one quarter of the world’s population (Rev. 6:8). Finally, in order to unify the world, the leader on the White Horse will demand unity of all religions, resulting in the martyrdom of all who refuse.

It is time to reach out to the lost as never before with the fervency of snatching them from the fire.

“…others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” (Jude 23)

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