Posted by: Michael Stevenson on Mon, May 16, 2011
THERE is greater unrest that is growing each and every day around the world. So is great violence and terrorism. Bad news has seemed to have replaced good news in every part of the world—even in the small towns. World troubles and conditions now are growing more and worse each and every day. People are unsure of what the future truly holds for them. Many people now fear the arrival of end-time prophecies and WWIII. Most are quite unaware of what the Bible really says and that there is hope for true Christians to escape the dreaded Great Tribulation which is coming very fast, which will actually lead us to Armageddon. But, the plain truth is that no one has to be caught off guard—they can be prepared for what is really ahead in the future of mankind!
What does the Bible actually say regarding the future? What does the future really hold? Do you really know? Chances are, most people out there have no clue as to the truth! All want to actually know what is ahead for them. Many have their opinions and ideas, but there are few who really actually see the real answers and who know where to look. Others think that they understand the prophecies of their own Bibles—and this is probably most true of the book of Revelation. Yet, the fact is, most human interpretations of the Bible are all false and based upon false teachings that have been created by the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestants. The truth is this, there are only a few people on earth who even actually do understand the truth because they are true students of the Bible! The popular human interpretations of the Bible’s biggest prophecies are just plain absurd and hold no water. They are a jumble mix of ideas and speculations where a little truth is usually mixed with a great amount of error. These are almost always painful to read—yet, major magazines all report that great numbers do indeed believe these erroneous lies.
Adding to the great amount of confusion,, there is a culture of “end-of-the-world” prophecy scholars who have come about. These supposed experts all will usually manipulate and twist biblical prophecy to feed the public’s hunger for “understanding.”
Even the very disciples of Jesus Christ’s, who had heard what He said in Matthew 24, did not at first really understand the timing of the events that will precede His Return. Likewise, the prophet Daniel did not fully understand what he was inspired to write of. “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, God your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end”—Daniel 12:8-9.
The end of this age is actually much more closer than anyone even realizes or understands! Daniel’s prophecies are no longer “sealed”—their meaning is now able to be known. It has now become that very time for us to understand and know what really does lay ahead for our future! Things are now fully set and the stage is ready for the finale of things—and now nations must be warned of what is just about to come around. So must you also be warned of the truth!
Revelation describes for us soon-coming events that will be terrible and earth-shaking! Take heed. If you do, then God’s Word also reveals that you will be able to escape—and, as you have seen, it will not at all be by a secret rapture—but, you will escape into a place of safety here upon the earth!
The Great Tribulation
God has promised a real protection for His people from all the events of the Great Tribulation—He will protect His people so that they do not have to go through those same things that the world will go through during the Tribulation. His statements are very real.
First off, let’s notice that Jesus Christ has said for us to “Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man”—Luke 21:36. Here, the phrase “all these things” really means all the end-time events—those that will take place just before Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming. Recall that verse 35 tells us that “For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” It is God’s purpose that His people be spared—that they escape this global time of trouble.
We also read of this great time of trouble that “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect’s [God’s people] sake those days shall be shortened”—Matthew 24:21-22.
Then we further find Daniel adding that “There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time…”—Daniel 12:1. Of this time, Jeremiah records for us that “And these are the words that the LORD spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus says the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace…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”—Jeremiah 30:4-5, 7.
So then, we see that this time is referred to as the time of “Jacob’s trouble” and this is telling us then that only a remnant—a tenth—of Jacob (those modern descendants of Israel) will actually be surviving this terrible time of trouble which will befall upon the world (Ezekiel 6:8; Isaiah 6:11-13; Amos 5:1-3).
The True Church of God
God also makes a promise in Revelation to His Philadelphians that He will protect them. “Because you have kept the word of My patience, I also will keep you from the hour of temptation [trial, meaning the Tribulation], which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”—Revelation 3:10. This then has to be the same as the “snare” of which is found in Luke 21:35. Yet, those who claim the rapture will try to site Revelation 3:10 to try to back their theory up—but they do this in great ignorance, not looking at other texts to see the real truth!
Do you see what the PLAIN truth is? Jesus Christ only built ONE true Church (Matthew 16:18) and it is not splintered into many factions as is the Roman Catholics and Protestants! This Church of which Jesus built does His Work of announcing the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God and warning the nations of what is going to come upon the whole world in the near future! It further holds to and declares all those many truths of your own Bible! This Church also has further existed and functions under God’s government! There is no mistaking who this true Church really is—if you see them practicing all the various teachings of the Bible, then you can know clearly just whom they really are!
Revelation 12 gives to us the overview of the 2,000 year history of the true Church of God. We read in verses 1-4 how Satan attempts to destroy Jesus Christ when He was born of a “woman” who is shown there. This woman symbolizes to us the Old Testament Church that was ancient Israel (Acts 7:38).
Further, we then read that “And the WOMAN [now spiritual Israel, the New Testament Church] fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days”—Revelation 12:6. We will then see that, on numerous times—this is one—history proves, that God sent His people into a place of safety to keep them safe.
In biblical prophecy, a day often will represent a year, as revealed in Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6. With the Nicene Council of 325 C.E., the Roman Empire had forbade the true Church from even functioning within its own empire, forcing the people of God to flee northwest into Europe. Ultimately, this then allowed God’s people greater religious freedom. Catholic domination ended in Britain around 1585 (sometime shortly after in Holland). Thus, 1,260 years of suppression and martyrdom finally ended—thus, fulfilling this very prophecy!
Further, we continue to read that “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him”—Revelation 12:9. This then leads us to the even which verse 13 tells us of “When the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman [the true Church of God] which brought forth the man child.” The timing of this is yet in the very near future—and it will most likely take place within the lifetime of many who now are reading this booklet. It may even take place within twenty years at the most of the writing of this very booklet.
Notice now of how the woman [the Church of God] will be kept safe from the Great Tribulation: “To the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished, for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent”—Revelation 12:14.
First off, it is very imperative that we understand that a time is equal to about 360 days. Revelation 12:14 is referring to a time period of three and one half times—Revelation 11:2 tells us forty two months—approximately 1,260 days (3½ x 360 days). This then tells us in units of literal days just how long. This is going to be important then for us to study Daniel 12:11-12 because the 1,260 days that we read correspond with this very scripture passage. The Revelation 12 Church mentioned of was taken into “her place” in the wilderness—a literal place of safety for three and a half years—the length of the Tribulation. This is then inconsistent with any sort of rapture taking place. For if there was to be a “rapture,” then it would be apparent that there would be no need for the Church to go into any sort of place of safety here on the earth!
Some have greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted what the phrase “she might fly into the wilderness” to mean. This does not at all say any type of transportation, but, rather, it is speaking of the woman escaping or fleeing—flying—from Satan’s persecution. Notice over in Exodus 19:4 that here we have the same term again used: “You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto Myself.” Here, we see that Israel never literally flew out of Egypt on any mode of transportation—they walked! Yet, God (the “great eagle”) had carried them on “eagles’ wings”—thus, He had proved for them and gave them great protection while they were on their journey—even swallowing up the Egyptian armies in the Red Sea.
The providing a place of safety for the Church (Revelation 12:14) then corresponds with the promise that was given to the Philadelphians (Revelation 3:10). We further see that “And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman [again the Church of God], that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth”—Revelation 12:15-16.
Here, we have a very dramatic picture painted for us with a very awesome and real miraculous delivery that was needful for God’s people to have real survival. The term “flood” represents for us an army that was sent to destroy the Church. We have a great deal of scriptures that use this analogy. For instance, Isaiah tells us that “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him”—Isaiah 59:19. Speaking of Korah’s rebellion, Numbers 16:32 says that “And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.”
The account here of the earth swallowing up the flood is also an analogous to the Red Sea that closed up and had drowned the armies of Egypt that was pursuing the Israelites in the Exodus. The parallels are very clear. Thus, Revelation 12:15-16 is point out to us that God will deliver His Church in the future yet to come—providing for us therefore a place of safety “in her place” where we will be nourished and kept safe (v.14). The timeframe further seems to indicate that Satan will attempt to destroy God’s Church—which could be shown happening now with some of the splintering that continues in God’s Church. For example, we have seen how one of the major organizations which left our former association of the Worldwide Church of God had a splinter over governance and a few other issues. With these splintering which is taking place in various organizations, it is highly possible that Satan is using this to come against the Church and to try to destroy the very Church of God.
Yet, still in the future, “…the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant [those who are remaining faithful] of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ”—Revelation 12:17. This takes place during the time of the Great Tribulation—the time of Satan’s wrath against the modern nations of Israel and the very Church of God—the true Church! The “remnant of her seed” are those who will not be kept safe. The Greek word loipoi translated “remnant” also means “remaining ones”—those who do not go into the place of safety. These are those who are lukewarm Laodiceans—the final era of God’s Church—those who have neither held to pure biblical truths nor even stressed the personal growth and overcoming within their own personal lives as they ought to be doing. But, they do still keep the laws of God—the commandments of God!
Then, Revelation 12 therefore is giving to us a 2,000 year historical overview of the Church from the time of the New Testament Church until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ—thus painting for us a picture of what we can expect in the near future!
Seven Church Eras and the Place of Safety
One of the major doctrines which today is another least understood point of truth is that there are seven successive Church eras of the Church of God—this is what starts with the New Testament Church and we find Jesus Christ describing this in Revelation 2 and 3. Those who dismiss this plain record of truth that the Philadelphians is promised a place of safety, also will usually dismiss the very existence of there being seven church eras. Likewise, they will also reject the doctrine of a literal place of safety.
The chart we included here is greatly helpful to understand the successive Church eras which have existed in God’s Church and as are found in Revelation 2 and 3. We felt that understanding this historical chart would be a great benefit so that you could see the dates of God’s Church on down through the centuries.
It appears that if the people will repent, then there would be people of three different eras alive when Christ returns—but, only if they are willing to repent as individual members within the two eras which are found next and are an undivided true Church under God’s government and are doing His Work—the true Church being a spiritual Church with the true government of God.
First we find in Revelation 2:25, Christ speaking to the Thyatiran era saying “But that which you have already hold fast till I come.” This gives us a hint that there might be a small remnant (rather small) from this era who are alive when Jesus returns.
Now then, we have Christ addressing His Church in Revelation 3:3-4 by saying “Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white: for they are worthy.” Here, we have Christ correcting the Sardis Remnant at His Return. He is telling them to shape up, repent and to realize those truths which they do have—holding fast to the truth or otherwise He would come and they would be caught off guard.
Then we come to the promise that Christ made to the Philadelphians which read that Christ would protect His Philadelphians from the hour of the Tribulation (Revelation 3:10) which does not actually start until late in the Laodicean era with the Philadelphians existing at this time and being the remnant of the Philadelphian era—which will include those who have “anointed their eyes”—v.18 which would mean that they have received the truth and are able to see the truth clearly because of their true conversion into the true Church of God.
Here, Revelation 2 and 3 is showing to us that there are going to be remnants of Thyatira, Sardis, and the Philadelphians which will be existing upon the earth at the time of Christ’s Return at the time of the Laodicean era. So then, it becomes obvious, however, that only those of the Philadelphian era will actually be the true Spirit-led people of God. So then, what this really means is that them of the Thyatira and the Sardis are being given a warning that they need to repent before Christ returns so that they can have a hope of being protected throughout the Tribulation, as well as the more important hope of gaining final salvation in the Kingdom.
Scripture further also shows to us that none of the Laodicea survive the Tribulation. Those who purchased “gold tried in the fire”—Revelation 3:18 will die physically, but will survive spiritually. Those who have yielded under pressure and who take the mark of the Beast (Rev. 13:15-17), to save their own physical lives, will obviously lose out on having eternal life because they failed to hold fast to the truth of God.
Further, these scriptures we have looked at here show to us how interrelated the true knowledge of the Church eras is with the place of safety. Anyone that actually rejects either one of these true doctrines will usually abandon the other. Therefore, we need to pay special attention that we continue to heed to these doctrines because of their great importance to our understanding the truth.
A Prophecy to Sober Us Up!
We find in Ezekiel that there is a very real and amazing prophecy that concerns the nations of modern Israel within the coming Great Tribulation. We need to pay careful attention to this prophecy for God’s real and true protection that He has promised to His faithful servants.
First we read that “And you, son of man, take you a sharp knife, take you a barber’s razor, and cause it to pass upon your head and upon your beard: then take you balances to weight, and dived the hair”—Ezekiel 5:1.
We next read of what will happen to the portions of thirds: “You shall burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and you shall take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part you shall scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them”—v.2.
Then in verse 3 e see that we are told “You shall also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in your skirts.” Then verse 4 goes on to read that “Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel.”
To fully understand this passage, we need to allow the Bible to interpret itself. For when we allow the Bible to be its own interpreter, then we will gain the true understanding of what it is really indeed saying. Now, we read in verse 12 that “A third part of you shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of you: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about you; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.”
Now, the first third of the population of all of modern Israelite nations are going to be perishing from disease and famine. The next third will die from military invasion while the final third will seek to escape—but they will do so without success. The majority of those who survive will be taken into captivity!
You can see how clear this becomes when we read that “And it shall come to pass, if they say unto you, Where shall we go forth? Then you shall tell them, Thus says the LORD; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity”—Jeremiah 15:2.
The word “skirts” in Ezekiel 5:3 is from the Hebrew kanaph which really means “wings”. This is the very same Hebrew word meaning “wings” in Exodus 19:4, where God had taken Israel from Egypt on “eagles’ wings”! Therefore, this then is right in line with Revelation 12:14 in which the Church of God will be taken to “her place” by the wings of an eagle. Ezekiel 5:4 then shows to us that some who are initially protected will be cast back into the fire—or in other words to go through the Tribulation!
Those That Wait Will Be Blessed!
We find further prophecy which says that God’s people “…shall be purified, and made white [righteous], and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand”—Daniel 12:10. There are two times of trial that we need to fully understand. One is already now taking place and the other is yet to come in the near future! This first trial is God’s people going through it—those who are truly spiritually made righteous—“purified, made white, and tried.” Their conversion is their purification—being made righteous. This process continues on into the second trial—the Great Tribulation—which “shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”—Revelation 3:10 and the modern nations of Israel in particular will go through this—the “time of Jacob’s trouble”—Jeremiah 30:7. Also remember that Revelation 12:13 tells us that the Church will be persecuted by the devil—this will happen during the coming years—it is a fact and something which is real, there will be no “escape by rapture” as many false prophets, teachers and preachers all claim!
Let’s look then at these three important time periods of which will relate greatly to this study! First, the Tribulation and the Day of the Lord together will last 1,260 days, or about three and a half years before Jesus Christ actually returns to set up His Kingdom on earth. The others are “1,290 days” and then 1,335 days.”
We read of the 1,290 days that “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the ABOMINATION THAT MAKES DESOLATE set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days”—Daniel 12:11. These are very plain and also literal days that will begin with the setting up of the abomination of desolation—which is the time that the armies will surround Jerusalem. So then, with the Church to be protected for about 1,260 days, there are 30 days before it will then arrive in its designated place of safety.
The 1,335 days is then found to be “Blessed is he that waits, and comes to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days”—Daniel 12:12. But, just what is this?
Let’s look! Starting 45 days just before the 1,290 days, we have the 1,335 date which counts down to the Return of Jesus Christ. This moment will signal the end of God’s Work of preaching the true Gospel for this age—the completion of the Matthew 24:14 commission which is to “warn” the world’s greatest nations of what is coming! Right now, we are doing just that with this literature—warning the nations of what is coming about! The 1,335 is when the “call” goes forth for God’s people to then assemble for fleeing into safety. Then, when the abomination of desolation is then set up—45 days later—events will culminate in Jerusalem and then the Church will actually flee and go to the place of safety. The 45 days will permit the Church enough time to gather from around the world in what we will see to be Judea.
These time periods are different events, but end with the same final event of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming! The following will be making this even more clearer!
1,335 Days—1,290 Days—1,260 Days—IMPORTANT TIMES!
Since Daniel has spoken of the event which will begin with the 1,335 days as “blessed is he that waits,” this then is designating for us the signal point—that time which will signal for God’s people to actually gather and to prepare themselves for their fleeing into the place of safety! Now it is highly possible that there will be some sort of specific event at this time—an event which the Church has patiently awaited (Matthew 24:13, 10:22; Luke 21:19; Revelation 14:12).
The very arrival of the critical 1,335 moment is something which this will only be known to those who are God’s true spiritual Church. An internal warning that will be inspired by Jesus Christ who is the true leader and Head of the Church of God (Colossians 1:18-19; Ephesians 1:22-23). True faith is going to be required for the people of God. God’s people will fully understand (But it will also be possible that at least partially recognized for what it is by certain people in the world for this to take place). Obviously, there will be miracles that will be greatly involved here. Merely remember that God will supernaturally eliminate Satan’s army just before the Church arrives in her place—just as how God eliminated Egypt’s army when Israel was brought forth from Egypt. How many other miracles will need to be taking place for the brethren from all over the world to gather and escape?
Now remember, the daily sacrifice prophecy is dual. Matthew says that “When you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet [Christ validates both Daniel’s prophecy and timing], stand in the holy place, [whoso reads, let him understand]”—Matthew 24:15. Luke further goes on to say that “When you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is near”—21:20.
So then, the abomination of desolation will greatly involve not only the sacrifices that will be taken away, and also a religious figure standing in the holly place—NOT necessarily a temple, but in the holy place—there will also be armies surrounding Jerusalem! The most obvious of these signs will be when Jerusalem is surrounded! This seems to be the only part that true Christians will actually notice!
You need to notice and pay careful attention that all who believe in the rapture—all of them—are now being set up to go through the Tribulation! They will not be escaping and going into “heaven”! They have literally been set up to patiently wait until the Tribulation falls upon them like a snare. Remember, it will come upon them and catch them off guard—they will be unaware just a “thief in the night” and they will be greatly shocked and disappointed to see that they were lied to in regards to the rapture!
They have been greatly preached to that the worst of the Tribulation will begin three and a half years after they will have supposedly been removed into heaven. In addition, they have been lied to and made to believe that there would not be something that really will concern them! In truth, the Tribulation is going to be catching them off guard and they will be great surprised that they have been greatly lied to—that they have not been whisked away to spend time in heaven! They are blinded as to what is really going to be happening—and you cannot convince them otherwise because they are greatly blinded! But, the Tribulation also is awaiting other vast millions of professing Christians because virtually all other beliefs can also be proven to be very unbiblical and against what God’s Word has truly revealed—for these other false doctrines are all the inventions of men!
So then, the truth is this plain—that those who think that they are going to be taken away in a rapture are going to be in for a real surprise when they find themselves going through three and one half years of Tribulation—a time of great trouble for the whole world!
With Great Haste!
Now, another contradiction of the “rapture” theory is what Christ had said regarding the abomination of desolation! “Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto”—Luke 21:21. The message here is very obvious! True Christians will need to leave very quickly—they will need to leave with great haste! This warning is very urgent and the need to leave will be great for those that are true Christians—for they will not be able to return to their homes for anything—they will be leaving everything behind (Matthew 24:17-18).
Hosea has said that the same 30 day period will be before the destruction of Judah and certain great nations, as well as why the very destruction is going to take place. “And the pride of Israel does testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim [their modern descendants] fall in their iniquity [disobedience]; Judah also shall fall with them. They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find Him; He has withdrawn Himself from them. They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions”—Hosea 5:5-7. It is very plain that they Church will need to flee with great haste and that this will be a short time period of 30 days—thus 1,290 days to 1,260 days—God will be holding back events so that God’s people can leave! He did this also with Noah so that the ark could be built and also with Lot to leave Sodom. There is obvious destruction which is coming about and thus, time will be allowed for God’s people to be made ready to flee!
Christ had said that “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all”—Luke 17:26-27. Again, we find that just like it was within the days of Noah, when Noah was building the ark and preparing to take his family and animals on the ark, God gave Noah a time period for building the ark, and also we see that then the destruction—Flood—came about and destroyed the world who was caught off guard!
Let’s now then see Lot’s situation and what he went through. “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all”—vs. 28-29. As with Noah’s day and Lot’s day, there was sudden destruction while those God promised to protect where greatly protected.
First off, we see how God has kept Lot’s family in that little city of Zoar, but they also later took refuge in the mountains which were nearby them. Here, God’s instruction to Lot is “Haste you, escape there [Zoar]; for I cannot do anything till you be come there…”—Genesis 19:22. Thus, no matter of Lot’s location, God could still have caused destruction to come upon Sodom, but, He held back certain events until those righteous people of His were taken out of the way of harm.
Likewise, Christ also said that His people will flee in great haste, without returning for anything that they own, no pictures, no clothes, nothing! Events will become very apparent and held back until His people flee from Judea (Hosea 5:5-7; Matthew 24:16; Luke 21:21).
Isaiah also has spoken of those who will be protected by God from the army of Satan. “Let Mine outcasts [God’s true people] dwell with you, Moab; be you a convert [a cover] to them from the face of the spoiler [the devil]”—Isaiah 16:4. Now here, the location of Moab seems to be a very important key to seeing just where the place of safety is going to be located. The Bible gives to us real clues—but precisely where God might choose to protect His people is not what this booklet all about, rather, it is more about the fact that there will be NO rapture, but a true place of safety!
Now, God’s promise is further found in Isaiah. God promises these outcasts that they will be protected during that Great Tribulation, the three and one half years and that Day of the Lord. God says for us to “Come, My PEOPLE, enter you into your chambers, and shut your doors about you: hide yourself as it were for a little moment [three and a half years], until the indignation [God’s judgment during the Day of the Lord] be overpast. For, behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity [again, lawlessness, the breaking of the Ten Commandments, including the true Sabbath]: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain”—Isaiah 26:20-21. Here we see just the very proof that the Church of God will be kept safe—that they will be in a place of safety for three and a half years—not whisked off the earth for seven years to heaven as most people have you believe!
What of Jerusalem’s Fall?
Now then, there is a great and awesome even in the first century that took place when God protected the Church in Jerusalem. This was just before another time of great trial for that city and Judea. The protection here is a sign of what God is about to do for His Church today.
Remember that in about 60 C.E., there were great persecutions by Rome against the Jewish priesthood which finally led to a revolt by the Jewish separatists. This brought about great Jewish military reprisals which then resulted in a great deliverance of God’s true Church.
In Judea, 66 C.E., intending to bring the rebellion, the Roman army then under General Cestius, came against the walls of Jerusalem to take the city. For unknown reason, Cestius had lost his momentum and then turned back. The Jews took heart. Cestius had then missed his opportunity and later, a second Roman advance under General Vespasian, also halted very suddenly so he would race back to Rome to become the Emperor. Upon his leaving, his son Titus then assumed command.
These two delays were not random events. God’s people are still in Jerusalem! Of course, it was only a matter of time before Rome’s mighty armies inevitably conquered Jerusalem. But, Christ who is Head of His own Church was also guiding them and altering events so that His people could leave Jerusalem in time before the city was taken and destroyed.
Now, when we look at what Josephus, the famous Jewish historian had said in detail in regards to the account of various signs that took place at about the time of the Pentecost of 69 C.E., He had said that many had witnessed, shortly before the Pentecost, what had seemed to be a formation in the clouds which had took form of troops and chariots that had surrounded cities. Josephus wrote: “Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the] temple…they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a multitude, saying, ‘LET US REMOVE HENCE’”—Wars of the Jews, bk. VI, chapter V, section 3. So then, God does things supernaturally to protect His people is something that Josephus was trying to show us—something which we need to understand here as we begin to get closer to the time of when the Church will go into the place of safety here in the near future. This will be evident as we move closer to that time. We can already see how in the past God has used supernatural means for keeping His people safe and protected amidst persecution.
Supernatural Intervention A Must!
God’s people had left Jerusalem at that time. But, it did not happen without God’s intervention—God had to intervene so that they could leave. While the Romans were preparing for the siege, the congregation had left in full view of the soldiers, before crossing the Jordan River. The brethren then also had to contend with patrolling the Jewish fighters who had considered them traitors. With God’s very protection, the new exiles then had went northeast to another little town known as Pella. Within months, after this horrible suffering and starvation, Jerusalem then fell to the Romans. The Temple was then also destroyed.
We see that God is never limited in what He chooses to do—whatever He chooses to do, it is very miraculous. God may do something via earthquake, flood, cloud, or whatever, but He will do it! God brought ancient Israel out of Egypt with supernatural deliverance. God brought the congregation of Jerusalem out of Jerusalem with supernatural intervention. Likewise, when God has to bring His people out to the place of safety, it will be done through a supernatural deliverance. God always does things in a supernatural way to keep His people safe and protected. Just like how Paul had heard a voice while others did not (Acts 22:6-9, God uses means that others may not know. Those who are in tune with God will hear and will take heed as to what they are to do. Others may not hear the warning while those whom God has chosen will hear.
Some will ridicule the promise of a flight to any place of safety on the premise that “there is no way to know the time to flee” or “one could never know the signal or if it is real.” The truth is that God’s own people will know and they will take heed.
Why Believe in a Place of Safety?
WHILE many may find it very difficult or embarrassing to even believe in a real place of safety, there really will be a place of safety. These people usually will associate such an idea with Jim Jones, David Koresh and other such groups.
The actions of such leaders have caused people to often times scoff at the idea of a literal place of safety. They do not want anything to do with such an idea because they fear that God’s true people will commit suicide.
We read that “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you…And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of”—2 Peter 2:1-2. So then, it is easy to see why some people scoff.
But, to the true Christian, there is plenty of reason to see why God wants His people to be in a place of safety.
While there is also those that might think that Christians who flee to the place of safety are traitors and fanatics, the truth is, the true Christians will flee so that they can avoid the Tribulation. God has promised that His people will NOT have to go through the time of the Great Tribulation.
Even those in 69 C.E. may have also been considered traitors and fanatics and sometimes cowards. But, they knew that God had brought them forth and they followed God—they were not scared, but they still remained faithful and true to God and trusted in Him for their protection—they survived by following His instructions to leave. Obedience and great faith is required for God’s people to go to the place of safety!
God’s true people must always be steadfastly looking to Him so that they can know what they are to do, and when to do it. Timing will be very vital to God’s protection for His people. Suppose then if some in the congregation of Jerusalem had learned beforehand that Pella was going to be their place of safety, then they would have fled in advance. The result would have possibly been that they would have been killed by the Roman armies that had devastated Pella months earlier. God sent His people there only after this happened—He had perfect timing for His people!
Further, there are those who might have insisted at the time that Pella was also the worst possible place of safety for them because of the territory being easy for the Romans to get to. So then, consider if people listened. Yet, God protected His people where He had led them. They survived because they trusted and had great faith in God.
God can reveal all the things needed for His people to know. The first-century leadership of the Church would have eventually known their destination, as well as other important and crucial details. The Bible does not say what the sign will be for the Church to flee, but there will be no doubt among those who are willing to obey, that revealing of God’s instructions!
Are You Willing to Trust God?
Those that reject a real place of safety will deny all of God’s own explicit and exact promises to protect His people. Let’s keep it simple, but at the same time, let’s be sure to explain the plain truth on this subject—for the readers of this booklet need to learn what God has actually told us within His Word. You have seen that Scripture has proven that there will be a real and certain place of safety. This booklet has made that perfectly clear thus far! Part one was showing that there is no rapture—proof positive right from the Word of God!
Now then, let’s remember the very admonition from Jesus who had said “But pray you that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day”—Matthew 24:20. Thus, Jesus was saying that we should pray that we do not have to leave in wintery conditions, nor for us to have to flee on the Sabbath because then travel may be difficult for us. But then, when we back up to verse 15, we see the signal for the time that God’s people are to leave and flee—the time when the abomination of desolation takes place. Those who are in Judea at this time are to then flee into nearby mountains.
Verses 4-15 will then follow with Christ giving to us a very plain listing of certain events that will take place until His Return with verse 15 finishing “whoso reads, let him understand.”
Let’s look at that “whoso reads, let him understand” because it tells us a lot in itself. We see that God is actually speaking to the Christian—telling the Christian to understand what Jesus Christ is saying—for most people will not understand, they will misinterpret and misapply Scripture. This is also due in large to Satan having blinded the eyes of the world (Revelation 12:9). If we pay attention correctly, we then see that we cannot miss what Jesus is telling us. It is clear when we understand what other prophetic chapters are indicating throughout God’s Word. Therefore, with our understanding of those, then our understanding of Matthew 24, it all then becomes evident what Jesus is saying.
Most people today will not and do not understand the very real, but shocking events which are beginning to take shape. Here is why, God’s servants today obey Him. We read that “the Holy Spirit, [that] God has given to them that obey Him”—Acts 5:32. Understanding can come only from God’s Holy Spirit and through obedience. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments”—Psalm 111:10. So then, when we obey God, when we heed to His commandments, then we are given understanding of God’s Word—we are able to see what God has revealed within His awesome Word.
All who have yielded themselves and who obey God, and seek to do all that they can to serve Him through all ways will then greatly under-stand what God’s Word reveals, which means even the events of which are going to be taking place so that they can be counted worthy to escape in the Great Tribulation which is the worst time ever (Luke 21:36)!
The majority of the professing Christians usually refuse to obey God, they reject His great plan and truths of His Word, and then they also reject His authority over them. They remain blinded to His Word and His laws and precepts. They therefore have no hope for understanding His great purpose that He has for mankind. Stuck therefore in their own confusion and misunderstanding, they will be unable to see what is going to happen and then when the time comes, they will not know and they will be caught off guard—they will find that it has come upon them as a “thief in the night” and so they will be unaware of it happening until it is too late! That is why we are warned as true Christians—so that we are not caught off guard, so that we will know for the time when we need to escape!
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