(week 46/01)
Olubi Johnson

In these times of trouble it is vital that God’s people understand His judgement and mercy.

The season we are now in marks the beginning of the tribulation of the Church. This is not the great tribulation of the world that is described in Matthew 24:15-36 and Revelation 6-19. The great tribulation of the world will come after the man-child Church has been caught up or raptured from the earth:

Revelation 2:26-27 (KJV): And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Revelation 12:5 (KJV): And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

1Thessalonians 4:17 (KJV): Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Revelation 12:12 (KJV): Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

In the above scriptures, the overcoming Church, typified by the man-child who rules the nations with a rod of iron, is caught up to heaven in what we call the rapture and the devil is cast down to the earth with great wrath unleashing what Jesus described as the great tribulation:

Matthew 24:21 (KJV): For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

So, this time we are in is not yet the time of the great tribulation, rather it is a time of trouble, which God is allowing at the dawning of this 3rd day to cause the Church to be perfected and so preach the gospel of the Kingdom to all nations for a witness before the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth.

This time or season is referred to as a time in which the wise will understand but the wicked or disobedient will not.

Daniel 12:9-10 (KJV): And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Consequently, it is vital now to understand God’s judgments. A lack of understanding can cause you to easily become offended in this hour and fall from the faith:

Matthew 24:9-13 (KJV): Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

However, with understanding you can better endure to the end and be saved or preserved in this time.

Why does God judge?

God judges His people because He is a holy God and demands a life of righteousness and holiness, after He has shown us undeserved love, mercy and goodness.

Romans 2:4 (KJV): Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Hebrews 10:30 (KJV): For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

1 Peter 4:17-19 (KJV): For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

The intrinsic stubbornness of the satanic nature in the soul (mind, will and emotions), and flesh causes God to allow afflictions and tribulations into our lives to break our pride and stubbornness to cause us to fully submit to God and so enter into the fullness of the Kingdom of God.

Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV): The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Romans 8:7 (KJV): Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Galatians 5:17 (KJV): For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Psalms 119:67 (KJV): Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.

Psalms 119:71 (KJV): It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Lev 26:18-19 (KJV): And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

Responding to God’s judgements

We should respond to God’s judgements by sincere and genuine repentance: rending our hearts and not our garments and forsaking our sins by active, consistent obedience to the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit.

When this is done God’s mercy is released that will triumph over the judgement:

Proverbs 28:13 (KJV): He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

James 2:13 (NIV): because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

So many times our pride does not allow us to accept that some of the afflictions and troubles we are facing are actually God’s judgements and not just satanic attacks. So in our pride and presumptuousness we try to resist the devil without submitting first to God in humility and genuine repentance.

James 4:6-7 (KJV): But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

This proud attitude will only cause God to increase the afflictions and if we do not repent in some cases cause God to allow us to die prematurely physically so that we do not lose our eternal salvation.

Leveticus 26:27-28 (KJV): And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.

1 Corinthians 5:3-5 (KJV): For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

So in this season of trouble and judgement, let us understand and be quick to repent, forgive others and obey God so that we will endure unto the end, manifest the fulness of the Kingdom of God to this generation so hastening the physical coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.