There is a Bad Time Coming!
Unlike anything before and unless it is cut short, no one would be left alive
- Matthew 24:21 The Great Tribulation
- Joel 2:11 the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord
- Daniel 12:1 A time of trouble, such as never was
- Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; … the time of Jacob’s trouble
- Revelation 3:10 The Hour of Trial
Will everyone have to endure this? While this is going on what will happy to God’s favored people?
Prophecy of Ezekiel 5
Ezekiel 5:1 “And you, son of man, take a sharp sword, take it as a barber’s razor, and pass it over your head and your beard; then take scales to weigh and divide the hair
Ezekiel 5:2 You shall burn with fire one-third in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are finished; then you shall take one-third and strike around it with the sword, and one-third you shall scatter in the wind: I will draw out a sword after them.
Ezekiel 5:7 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Because you have multiplied disobedience more than the nations that are all around you, have not walked in My statutes nor kept My judgments, nor even done according to the judgments of the nations that are all around you’—
Ezekiel 5:12 One-third of you shall die of the pestilence, and be consumed with famine in your midst; and one-third shall fall by the sword all around you; and I will scatter another third to all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.
Ezekiel 5:3 You shall also take a small number of them and bind them in the edge of your garment.
Ezekiel 5:4 Then take some of them again and throw them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire. From there a fire will go out into all the house of Israel.
These that are set aside are the spiritual Israelites, those who are members of the Church of God.
Some, the “small number” will have to go through some of these bad times:
Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
This is referring to the purification of their character by trial.
Others of the “small numbers” will have a “Place of Safety.” This term is not found in the Bible in those words, but the concept is!
God Can Protect Us Where We Are…
We have many examples of this:
- The 144000 of Revelation 7 make it through Great Tribulation but are then protected from the Day of the Lord
- Daniel was protected in Babylon and in the lion’s den
- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were protected in the fire
- Rahab was protected from the walls of Jericho
But, He Promises to Protect us in a Place
Zephaniah means “Yehovah has concealed;” God has hidden. The context is the Day of the Lord. The term “Day of the Lord” is mentioned 7 times in the first two chapters of his book and 2 times in these verses:
Zephaniah 2:1 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesirable nation,
Zephaniah 2:2 Before the decree is issued, Or the day passes like chaff, Before the LORD’s fierce anger comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD‘s anger comes upon you!
Zephaniah 2:3 Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, Who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the LORD‘s anger.
These have to be God’s people, His true Christians, because how they are defined verse 3
We are this “undesirable nation” by the world’s standards
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Peter 2:10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
Psalms 31:19 Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You In the presence of the sons of men!
Psalms 31:20 You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion [sukkah:booth] From the strife of tongues.
Leviticus 23:42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths,
Leviticus 23:43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.’ “
It was God that saved them and gave them refuge. He took them out of world of sin that they were in. He gave them the Feast of Booths and told them to dwell in sukkah’s so they would remember and focus on the fact that God brought them out and protected them.
The Indignation of God
Isaiah 10:5 “Woe to Assyria, the rod of My anger And the staff in whose hand is My indignation.
Isaiah 10:24 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD of hosts: “O My people, who dwell in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrian. He shall strike you with a rod and lift up his staff against you, in the manner of Egypt.
Isaiah 10:25 For yet a very little while and the indignation will cease, as will My anger in their destruction.”
Now having the context and the meaning of indignation (Day of the Lord), we see what happens during this time:
Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past.
Isaiah 26:21 For behold, the LORD comes out of His place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood, And will no more cover her slain.
It will be on Earth
This place of safety will not be in heaven as we just saw in the previous verse, but perhaps see better in :
Revelation 12:14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
Psalms 17:8 Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings,
Exodus 19:4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.
Revelation 12:15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.
Revelation 12:16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
We see here also a reference that is earthly:
Isaiah 33:16 He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure.
Where on Earth?
Does the Bible give hints?
Isaiah 16:1 Send the lamb to the ruler of the land, From Sela [means rock; crag] to the wilderness, To the mount of the daughter of Zion.
Isaiah 16:2 For it shall be as a wandering bird thrown out of the nest; So shall be the daughters of Moab at the fords of the Ar non.
Isaiah 16:3 “Take counsel, execute judgment; Make your shadow like the night in the middle of the day; Hide the outcasts, Do not betray him who escapes.
Isaiah 16:4 Let My outcasts dwell with you, O Moab; Be a shelter to them from the face of the spoiler. For the extortioner is at an end, Devastation ceases, The oppressors are consumed out of the land.
Sela is translated as a city name, but later it is translated as the meaning of the word:
Isaiah 42:10 Sing to the LORD a new song, And His praise from the ends of the earth, You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it, You coastlands and you inhabitants of them!
Isaiah 42:11 Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voice, The villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing, Let them shout from the top of the mountains.
KJV: Isaiah 42:11 Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit: let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains.
Who is this that is singing the new song? Revelation 14:3 shows them to be God’s chosen people who will be afforded protection during the end-times.
Some have taken this to mean Petra which is a tourist attraction in the area and a former habitation of Bedouins. Petra means “rock” and it is in modern day Moab (Jordan).
Some have said that this could very well be the place of safety because it has ready made caves/rooms and is fortified with a strategic narrow entrance that is easy to defend.
None of this means anything without God — especially today! With modern day warfare all of this can be easily overcome.
I say, “pray that your flight not be on the Sabbath or in the winter or to Petra” [tongue in cheek]
We also need to take into consideration:
Psalms 27:5 For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.
This does not seem to be in line with Petra.
There is a Criteria
For getting into the place of safety there are some conditions that must be met. Not everyone that wants to go will be able to go and not everyone that says Lord, Lord will be saved (Luke 13:25).
Luke 21:34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
Luke 21:35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Luke 21:36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
What is this criteria that we will be judged on?
Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
I beseech you therefore…so this is really his summation and conclusion to all that we have read so far [chapters 1-11 ]
In the Book of Romans up to this point Paul is talking about justification, sanctification, salvation, reconciliation, redemption, but now he begins to bring it home with APPLICATION
How are we to be a Christian, How are we to put God’s law into practice, the ongoing correlation between faith and works
Chapter 12 shows us how to apply this way of life first toward God and then towards our fellow man
One of the most critical scriptures for us in this day and age to fully comprehend and implement.
We should therefore sit up and take notice
Present…an obvious reference to the sacrifices of the OT “present before the LORD”
It is also goes hand in hand with what he previously covered in the book of Romans
Romans 6:13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
So Paul is saying that we are not to present ourselves in an unclean disobedient and lawless manner, but in a righteous way following the example of Christ, we are to be a sacrifice too that is:
acceptable to God…Without spot or blemish
1 Peter 2:4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
1 Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
This is what Paul is about to expound on in this chapter
living sacrifice… Still sacrifices for today and this is where we come to the critical u/s for us today, especially in this time of the Phil/Lao era
They were not willing to make the spiritual sacrifices as the Philadelphians had done, thus allowing the Philadelphians to be spared physically. So what happens to the Laodiceans and the rest? They then must go through the Great Tribulation and will have to lay down their life physically or perish spiritually.
This is how crucial it is to be a living sacrifice today is!
which is your reasonable [logikos log-ik-os’ ; rational (“logical”): – reasonable] service….
It is logical if you have God’s spirit – otherwise why would we do this? We do it because we are servants, servants of God and servants to righteousness. As servants we present our bodies; we give them and sacrifice them as God requests because they are no longer ours to do with as we wish.
We are not bound by or to the flesh. Jesus Christ paid the penalty and ransom for us. He redeemed us, bought us back!
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
We gave up our life a long time ago!
We are to draw near to God; put on Christ; understand and live by His law and apply it righteously.
do not be conformed to this world…
We are to come out of the world and their ways
John 17:16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore “COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.”
Do not go back into what we came out of, but continue this transformation.
But be transformed… metamorphoō met-am-or-fo’-o ; to transform (literally or figuratively “metamorphose”): – change, transfigure, transform.
A process of changing from what we were to what we are to become. This transformation is something that we do, it comes through action. This is exactly what the Philadelphians of Revelation 3 do!
Revelation 3:7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “HE WHO HAS THE KEY OF DAVID, HE WHO OPENS AND NO ONE SHUTS, AND SHUTS AND NO ONE OPENS”:
Revelation 3:8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
Revelation 3:9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
Revelation 3:11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
Revelation 3:12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
Some have assumed the whole church will be “taken to a place of safety” for the three and one-half years. Obviously not if the two witnesses are members of God’s true church. They are converted, with God’s Holy Spirit, and therefore members of the spiritual “body of Christ,” which is the church.
So, not everyone that “deserves” to go to the place of safety will. Some will have go through a martyrdom like Peter and the other Apostles:
John 21:18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”
John 21:19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
Also remember what we read previously:
Zephaniah 2:3 ….It may be that you will be hidden In the day of the LORD‘s anger.
I have a feeling that not everyone in the place of safety deserves to be there like the example of Rahab shows. She was the one that acted properly, but her relatives were saved as well.
2. Ironic Catch
Luke 17:33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
Too many have had a greater focus on being saved physically in a place of safety from a physical tribulation than they have of being saved spiritually. Do you think God is more concerned with saving our physical lives than He is about saving our spiritual lives? Which is more important? Where is our focus?
There is only One that can save us both now and later; both physically and spiritually!
In that vein let’s look briefly at Psalm 91
Psalms 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalms 91:2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Psalms 91:3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.
Psalms 91:4 He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
What did the Israelites in Egypt do to save themselves?
We read before: Exodus 19:4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.
What did they do?
1. blood on the doorpost
2. left in haste
God did the rest. The physical salvation came through Him as it will for us and the coming Place of Safety
Revelation 12:14 … the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place
Psalms 91:5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Psalms 91:6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
Psalms 91:7 A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you.
Those that may be chasing us to the Place of Safety
Psalms 91:8 Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked.
When we see the retribution that God brings on the world during the Day of the Lord
Psalms 91:9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
Our true place of safety is in God – no matter what we are going through now or later. Even in the Place of Safety, we will abide in Him and He in us.
Psalms 91:10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
Psalms 91:11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
If we call upon Him, and He will answer us in our time of trouble and deliver us to His salvation.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
We have a small part to do BUT our salvation, both physical and spiritual will be up to God.
Let’s be diligent in doing our part and God will be faithful in doing His.
Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.
Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
Joel 3:15 The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness.
Joel 3:16 The LORD also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the LORD will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel.
Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Matthew 24:38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,
Matthew 24:39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Daniel 8:19 And he said, “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be.
Daniel 11:36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath [KJV:indignation] has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done.
Zephaniah 3:8 “Therefore wait for Me,” says the LORD, “Until the day I rise up for plunder; My determination is to gather the nations To My assembly of kingdoms, To pour on them My indignation, All My fierce anger; All the earth shall be devoured With the fire of My jealousy.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
Hebrews 10:27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
Hebrews 10:28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Hebrews 10:29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
Clearly, these scriptures point to THE TIME AT THE END…just ahead of US! These things are written for “..OUR ADMONITION upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (1Cor. 10:11)
Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
Hebrews 2:2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward,
Hebrews 2:3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,