THE GREAT TRAVAIL OF ZION:
BIRTHPAINS and CONTRACTIONS
By Pastor Dan Gayman
One merely has to scan the news headlines on national television, survey major daily newspapers, and catch news casts by radio to know we are moving into a time of unparalleled, worldwide tribulation. The words of our Lord Jesus Christ as delivered in the Olivet Prophesy come to mind: “And ye shall hear of wars, and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:6-8).
The English word sorrow is translated from the Greek and refers to pain, especially as in childbirth, with the travail and contractions that precede birth. Jesus likened the end of the age and the arrival of His Theocratic Kingdom as being much like a woman in travail. We in the 21st Century are witnessing nearly all the trends that were to accompany the consummation of history, the arrival of the King, the salvation of His living remnant, and the actual establishment of Christ’s Kingdom on earth. The 21st Century is filled with rumors of war, famines, deadly diseases, and the proliferation of earthquakes. Our planet is undergoing tremendous convulsions; thus, all indicators confirm we are moving consistently toward the consummation of the ages. The birth pains and contractions of this present world are much like contractions in childbirth.
For emphasis, God used childbirth as His an analogy of end times. These examples appear frequently in Scripture, and more often than not, they portray an important epic in history. For example, Jeremiah 30:5-7 describes the consummation of this age with these words: “For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”
Every woman who ever gave birth understands the pain that accompanies childbirth, especially one’s first birth. For His own reasons, Jehovah chose childbirth as an analogy for us to understand the travail and pain that will precede the actual establishment of His Kingdom. The birth pains of the 21st Century are clear for all to feel: political, economic, social, and moral troubles fill our planet. Spiritual apathy and moral decadence of the covenant people of God have ushered in an era of war, violence, political upheaval, pestilence, disease, social dysfunction, and sorrow on a scale unknown before.
Consider additional words from the Prophet Isaiah: “Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? Saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? Saith thy God.” This reference to childbirth specifically refers to the travail of Zion, which will witness the birth of both a nation and a people, giving rise to the broader meaning of the word Zion. The people could refer o the Christian remnant living on earth at the consummation of history, and the nation could refer to the physical land area of God’s Kingdom.
The words of the Prophet Isaiah seem appropriate to describe the travail of our age: “Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD. We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen” (Isaiah 26:17-18). The travail of Zion can be enlarged to include the birth of Jesus Christ from the womb of the Virgin Mary, the travail of the man/child company or Christian remnant that was to be born from the woman Israel, and the actual birth of Christ’s theocratic Kingdom on earth. Bible readers are quite familiar with the word Zion, which appears more than one hundred times. The word first appears in II Samuel 5:7: “Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.” The word Zion last appears in Revelation 14:1: “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.”
The mountain or hill of Zion became the fortress or stronghold called the city of David. In the course of time, the name Zion took on a much wider application than simply designating the place or mountain near Jerusalem where David exercised his rule and kingdom. David pitched the Tabernacle at this ground gained by blood and tears from the Jebusites. Mount Zion continued to gain significance until at last the word became a generic term to describe not only the city of David, but also the millennial Kingdom of God on earth and the people themselves.
All of us are familiar with the well known words of praise found in Psalm 48:1-2, 8-14: “Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah. We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth; thy right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments. Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.”
Examine if you will the three different means by which the travail of Zion can be understood. First is the travail of the woman to bring forth the man child, our Lord Jesus Christ, as the ultimate King to reign in the literal Mt. Zion, when the words of Micah 4:1-2 will be fulfilled: “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”
The Birth of Jesus Christ
Both the travail that was to precede the man child company or Christian remnant and the establishment of God’s Theocratic Kingdom are contingent upon the Virgin Birth of the King, His rejection, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and triumphant Second Coming to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords to rule the inhabitants of this earth. Of the travail that was to usher in the birth of Jesus Christ, we read this: “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. . .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” (Rev. 2:1-2, 5). This woman can be thought of as a singular woman, the Virgin Mary. Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ, the man child Who ultimately will rule all nations with a rod of iron. The woman may also be Israel, a collective body of people, out of which God will bring forth a man child company (a remnant) during the travail of Zion or period of prophetic history called “the time of Jacob’s trouble.”
Regarding the immaculate conception and marvelous birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, we learn this from the Prophet Isaiah: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14). The child to be born from the womb of a woman and destined to be ruler in Israel was foretold by the Prophet Micah some seven hundred years before the event occurred: “But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. The child born in Bethlehem, later rejected and crucified, will still yet become the ruler of a worldwide Kingdom.
In reference to the child that was to become a triumphant King, the angel Gabriel declared this: “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:31-33).
Remember that conception cannot occur in the womb; rather, it occurs in the fallopian tubes. In the case of the Virgin Mary, the Holy Spirit planted a fully fertilized seed into her womb, as we read: “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:34-35).
The Holy Spirit supplied all forty-six chromosomes for the body of Jesus Christ. This DNA came from the seed of Abraham (Heb. 2:16), the tribe of Judah of the house and lineage of David (Luke 2:4; Rom. 1:3; II Tim. 2:8). Mary’s egg was not used. Not one minute bit of Mary’s DNA was ever transmitted to the body of Jesus Christ. Jesus was very God and very man, meaning He was 100% God and 100% man. These two perfect natures were inseparably united, without division, change, confusion, or co-mingling. This seed provided by Jehovah God through the power of the Holy Spirit was miraculously placed into the womb of the Virgin Mary. Jeremiah describes it this way: “…For the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man” (Jer. 31:22). This God/man placed into the womb of the Virgin Mary would be born without the pain and contractions associated with normal birthing. Isaiah gave a forecast of how the Son of God would be born some seven hundred years before the Virgin Mary ever conceived and bore Jesus: “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child” (Isa. 66:7). The birth of Jesus Christ was painless because the child, being both divine and human, was without sin. The judgment of Genesis 3:16 was not applicable in this birth.
The Birth of the Man Child and Company
The woman of Revelation 12:1-2 was to also travail in birth as she brought forth the man child and company of redeemed saints: “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” This company of redeemed saints that were to be birthed at the end of the age is described in Micah 4:10: “Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail:…” The Prophet Isaiah likewise speaks of the travail of Zion as she brings forth her redeemed saints: “….Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children” (Isaiah 66:8).
Psalm chapter 80 represents the cry and travail of the people of Zion in the time of tribulation just preceding Christ’s return in glory: “Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh stir up thy strength, and come and save us. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved…Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself…Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.” The Prophet Jeremiah may refer to the remnant that will be saved in the travail of the latter days: “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer. 3:14-15). It is becoming increasingly apparent that the fortunes of the Anglo-Saxon peoples of the earth are growing less promising as their standard of living plunges in response to the tidal wave of non-White immigration into their homelands as well as the ever accelerating rate of welfare and government entitlements (educational, medical, and housing benefits to the non-White masses)—all being carried on the backs of the diminishing numbers of Caucasians.
The plunging birth rates of Anglo-Saxons and the ever increasing fecundity of the non-White masses will guarantee the passing of these Anglo-Saxon nations into the hands of the surging Black, Hispanic, Muslim, Indian, and Oriental peoples. The non-White masses will own the ballot box, while the indigenous White population will become disenfranchised in their own countries.
The diminishing economic fortunes and opportunities of the native White population of America and other Anglo-Saxon nations will bring radical changes to how we live. The travail of covenant people will grow increasingly more intense as the birth pains of this worn-out system of political policies, perpetual war, economic bondage, and moral decadence grip the heart and soul of the Anglo-Saxon world. In the shadows of this world chaos can be seen the presence of a powerful, totalitarian, one-world police state seeking to dissolve all national boundaries into one global super state, complete with a universal monetary system, a one-world currency, a universal political head, and finally the merging of all religions into one universal, anti-Christ religion.
This counterfeit kingdom of the anti-Christ will endeavor to seize control of the real estate of this earth and the souls of all men in advance of Christ’s Second Coming and the establishment of His Theocratic Kingdom. Persecutions will increase as this anti-Christ kingdom subjugates the earth. This intense travail is all a part of the birth pains and contractions that will characterize the 21st Century. In the last stages of this intense travail, when the contractions give rise to the birth of the Kingdom of God, the earth will witness the fulfillment of Daniel 2:44: “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”
The Travail of the Kingdom
The final birth contractions will give rise to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, the translation of the living saints, the resurrection of the dead in Christ, the wrath and judgment of the unsaved wicked, and the establishment of the Davidic Monarchy with the Lord Jesus Christ as the Greater David sitting upon the throne of government. Out of the travail of Zion, the Kingdom of God will be born. In that day, the words of Joel 3.17, 20 will find fulfillment: “So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her anymore…But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.”
Out of the travail of Zion, the Kingdom of God will be birthed. We are presently experiencing just the preliminary contractions of the birthing of God’s eternal Kingdom. The final birth of this Kingdom cannot be delayed any more than a full-term child in the womb whose time to be born has come. The final contractions that burst the child through the birth canal and into the world are a harbinger of the intense spiritual, political, economic, and social pains that will be present in this world as Christ’s Theocratic Kingdom comes into full view.
The Kingdom of God will not come in peaceably! There will be intense travail as the wicked and ruthless Edomites and their proselytes seek the total control of this earth and the souls of men. The persecution of the saints will grow more severe as biblical Christianity is declared to be the enemy of the totalitarian state. The anti-Christ’s rule will be reduced to a period of three and one-half years, during which time he will seek to wear out the saints of the Most High God. In the final stages of Zion’s travail, the Lord Jesus Christ will arrive with His army and declare war on the anti-Christ forces that rule the earth and its people. To the glory of God, “…The saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever” (Daniel 7:18). In that day the words of Jesus Christ will be fulfilled: “Fear not, little flock; it is your Father’s good will to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). This will mark the fulfillment of Rev. 11:15: “And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
The travail of Zion will be over. The Lord Jesus Christ will rule upon the throne of David in His divine, theocratic Kingdom. The redeemed children of God will enter their thousand-year millennial sabbatical of rest. In the meantime, may every Christian be inspired to keep His eyes upon Jesus Christ. We are embattled soldiers in a life and death struggle, the travail of Zion that will usher in the triumphant return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom. Psalm 102:16; 149:2; 132:13 declares, “When the LORD shall build up Zion he shall appear in glory…Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King…For the LORD hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation.”