The Sheepfold In Edom
By Dan Stolebarger
With the world falling apart—being literally shaken to its core—combined with the dismantling of many Arab nations and dictators, I think it would be advantageous to take a look at the centerpiece of end-times prophecy.
We know the trigger point for the beginning of the Tribulation will be when the new world leader signs a covenant of peace with Israel and that will come some-time after the Rapture (Daniel 9:27 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17). Since Israel is the central player, I think as “Issacharians” we need to understand what I term Israeli Eschatology. This article will give snapshots and glimpses of future events that the Bible unveils and will conclude with an amazing portrait of the ultimate Shepherd at the ultimate sheepfold.
But first the craziest event in the entire Bible—I love Chuck Missler’s quote concerning the Rapture:
“Clearly, the idea of the Rapture can be considered the most preposterous belief in Biblical Christianity; perhaps the only thing going for it is that it is unquestionably correct.”
The timing of this event keeps all of us Believers on our toes because no one knows when this event is going to take place! But as we look at the world today, it is hard not to find oneself listening for a trump and trying to catch a glimpse of the lightening!
But what happens next here on the earth after the Rapture? One thing for certain is that we know the Lord is not finished with His covenant people. They will be center stage in the events that will be unfolding during this seven-year period that will conclude with His Second Coming!
The vacuum created by the rapture will undoubtedly set the stage for the man of lawlessness. Someone will have to make sense of what has transpired, thus paving the way for a new global society! I love the line from the movie Independence Day, when the President addresses the world after the initial alien invasion:
“The question of whether we are alone in the Universe has now been answered. We must now set aside all our differences and unite as a global community to fight for our existence.”
Something like this will be spoken to a shell-shocked world contemplating the disappearance of hundreds of thousands, and possibly even the unborn residing in their mothers’ wombs. Once the world settles in for the tribulation period, let’s take a glimpse at what the fate of Israel will be. We read about a covenant that will be broken after three and one-half years, and the words given to those who see the actual abomination of desolation occur on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem:
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.” – Matthew 24:15-18
Before chasing this down, let’s not forget that God is using the Jews in these days for what we might call evangelism; we have both the two Prophets on the Temple Mount creating holy havoc as well as 144,000 fired up Jewish evangelists, and to top this off we have an Angel of God flying around proclaiming the everlasting Gospel (Revelation 14:6). So those remaining have no excuse; death comes with conversion but conversion is possible.
Now let’s go back to these who heed the warning of Jesus when He says that when you see the desolation of the temple, FLEE and don’t go back. Where do they flee to? Let’s turn to the Word as we attempt to piece together this mystery. First things first, Daniel reveals that the Anti-Christ will not have the entire world under his domination, and one of those places he does not control is Edom.
“He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.” – Daniel 11:41-42
We also know that in the book of Isaiah it appears that the returning Christ’s first stop will be in Bozrah. Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah,
“This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength? “I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? “I have trodden the wine-press alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes.” – Isaiah 63:1-3
The word Bozrah is translated sheepfold. Where might a sheepfold be found in the mountains of Edom? Could modern day Petra be this place?
Recently we took a group to Petra as part of KI’s Berean Israel Tour. As we made our way through the Siq, the image of a sheepfold became crystal clear: Yeshua, who is the same yesterday, today and forever and who said that the volume of the Book is written of Him, was once again fulfilling His role as the Good Shepherd for His brethren.
You see, the Siq is a long winding passageway with cliffs on both sides that tower hundreds of feet high. At some of the twist and turns this passageway is, at best, three wingspans abreast. And when the Siq ends, it empties out to a great expanse that has natural fences on all sides; in other words, only one way in and one way out.
It will be here that the Good Shepherd will lay down and become the door or gate of the sheepfold. I can see Jesus providing this supernatural protection for the remnant that will invite Him back as they look at the One whom they pierced:
“And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” – Zechariah 12:10
And then the request from the believing remnant, which will be the fulfillment of the words of Hosea:
“I will return again to My place Till they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” – Hosea 5:15
Then the Lord will reveal Himself in His glory at Petra along with His heavenly army. However, He will be the only one fighting, as we read about His vestments being drenched in blood. Can you picture it? Jews and Christians now together on our way to the Mount of Olives! That’s right, Jews and Christians together! I love the following quote from Dr. Michael Brown regarding the future of the Jews:
“His (that is, God’s) covenant with Israel was reiterated through Moses, repeated by the prophets and rehearsed by the psalmists. Jesus Himself affirmed it (Matthew 19:28), Paul articulated it (Romans 9-11), and the gates of New Jerusalem announce it for-ever (Revelation 22:11-12). God has chosen Israel as His covenant people.”
So, as Believers, let us continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for a Jewish revival, which we are seeing the first fruits here in our day. We know that the days ahead will be difficult with massive deaths and immense persecution! No doubt the strategy of Satan is to wipe out the Jews so there will not be any around to make the Hosea 5:15 request.
This is why the nations rage and Jerusalem will be a cup of trembling to the entire world. This is why the “Hamans” of our day are longing to not only drive the Jews into the Mediterranean but to wipe them off the face of the earth. As followers of Yeshua, let’s roll up our sleeves and get busy doing His work and my oh my … what a great time to be alive and to await His glorious coming! MARANATHA!
Call to Action
With tough times ahead, let’s remember what Jesus said at the judgment of the sheep and goats … “When you did it for the least of these My brethren ….” Last time I checked, Jesus was Jewish which makes His brethren Jews! Also, Paul reminds us Gentiles of the following:
“It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.” – Romans 15:27
And finally the unconditional promise given to Abraham:
“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:3