Friday, April 5, 2019
Some ask, “What’s the urgency of the end-times?” Answer: time is running out, and very few have been taught the truths of what to expect and how to prepare. Reborn Israel has now aged 71 years, and Jesus said the generation (70 to 80 years based on Psa. 90:10) that sees Israel flourish would not pass away before all end-time events take place (Matt. 24:32–35). Therefore, roughly 9 years remain to complete the arrival of Antichrist and his seven-year tribulation which occurs in two halves of 1,260 days each, then Christ gathers His elect saints on one of the unknown 90 days following, see Rev.11:3; 12:6 and Dan. 12:11–12. This is not sensationalized and foolish “date setting”, but Christ-taught and Spirit-led “discernment of season” of end-time events.
Others ask, how is one “counted worthy to escape all these things” (Luke 21:36)? First, “it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16 KJV) and “without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14 NIV). We must live holy lives by true faith in Christ, being born again, not compromised, not lukewarm, and not spiritually inattentive. Secondly, knowledge of the truth is paramount, and exchanging the truth Christ taught for the pre-trib rapture lie will surely fail you. God does not remove His people from earth pre-tribulation, but is with them through it.
Consider Noah who had a choice to believe God and prepare for the deluge that would destroy the world, or, he could have thought that because he was righteous God would remove him and his family from the earth pre-flood. But Noah believed God and built the Ark saving him and his family. Consider that Jacob in ancient Egypt had a choice to believe God for the prophesied famine that would destroy many, including Israel, or he could have thought God would remove him and his people from the earth pre-famine and do nothing. But he believed God and prepared for the famine, saving not only his people but the whole house of Egypt.
Consider ancient Israel suffering 400 years of slavery, then coming to their Passover moment. Had Moses and Israel not believed God and prepared for the Passover, the firstborn of Israel would have been slain along with the firstborn of Egypt. And when God told Moses and Israel to possess Canaan, most disbelieved God when they saw giants and consequently could not possess their Promised Land! THAT ENTIRE GENERATION PERISHED BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF! Only Joshua and Caleb of that generation entered the Promised Land. Jesus did say “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14). Forty years later God said, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself” (Exo. 19:4).
Consider the promise of God: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’ Surely He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler” (Psa. 91:1–4).
Western cultures are affluent and impatient. The deceptive effects of convenience and faster technological development has taught us that we can have what we want, now. And not just do we want it now, our slogans urge us to “Have it your way”. Even our music reminds us, saying, “I did it my way”, which “lyrics were written by Paul Anka and popularized by Frank Sinatra”. (Wikipedia) However, the Christian life is lived by God’s commands, NOT the wishes of man. And it’s “those who wait on the Lord [who] shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:31).
Scripture repeatedly uses the metaphor of “eagles’ wings” as God’s protection, provision and deliverance for His people. That might seem foolish to some, but remember “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 12:14). With that in mind remember that “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise” (1 Cor. 1:27a KJV). Thus, when we see God’s repeated use of “eagles’ wings” and how it applied from ancient Israel to The Revelation, we do well to pay particularly close attention to its use at the great tribulation.
Speaking of the great tribulation, Jesus spoke to the urgency of being prepared when “the one will be taken, and the other will be left…the one will be taken, the other left…the one will be taken, and the other left” (Luke 17:34–36). (See the 03/15/2019 Letter for the meaning of to “be taken”). Jesus prefaces this discourse with “Remember Lot’s wife” (17:32), a command directly correlating to Lot’s urgent need to leave Sodom and Gomorrah with his wife and daughters. So it will be for those who “watch” and are “counted worthy to escape all these things” (Luke 21:36) at the mid-point of the tribulation. The moment will be urgent, and its window of time, small.
At their short notice and command to flee, Lot, his wife and daughters fled the twin cities under God’s command to “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains lest you be destroyed” (Gen. 19:17) But as they were escaping for their lives, the heart of Lot’s wife was not found “worthy to escape all these things” because her heart was where her life stuff was, back amongst the cities, she didn’t really believe God, and was left behind!, for “his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt” (Gen. 19:26). She was likely holding her husband’s hand, and then let go, but loving God more than his wife, Lot didn’t turn back, but remembered God’s urgent Word, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you…” And at our time to flee, we too must love and obey God more than anyone or anything. With that example and backdrop intended for our benefit, read with discernment Matt. 10:37.
At the end of the Luke 17:32–36 discourse, where “one shall be taken, and the other left”, we know Jesus was speaking of a place of safety and provision for the believing who watch and are prepared to quickly leave everything behind, their homes, jobs, opportunities and possessions, to access the place God has provided, where the
wise are sheltered under His wings. We know this because “they answered and said to Him, ‘Where Lord?’ So He said to them, ‘Wherever the body is, [God’s provision] there the eagles will be gathered together’” (Luke 17:37). In God’s love, mercy and grace, He’s given us a sign that wherever “the eagles are gathered together” that that is the place to which His prepared and watchful saints flee at the time of the mid-tribulation crisis. Sound foolish? Remember 1 Cor. 1:27a KJV. Those who know not of that safety will be “left behind” and open to the wrath of the dragon, who “went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17). In those days many saints will be hunted and killed by the beast.
Therefore, when we come to The Revelation of Jesus Christ regarding the highly pivotal time at which to flee Satan’s wrath as he is hurled to the earth, and the pit is opened from which come demon spirits and hybrid beings, as black smoke obscures the sun, when God’s two witnesses are slain then resurrected and ascend to heaven, while Antichrist walks into the temple in Jerusalem claiming to be God, and blasphemes the God of heaven and those dwelling there; then it is holy and consistent with the witness of Scripture that “the woman [the watchful Church, prepared to escape] 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, (3 1/2 years) from the presence of the serpent” (Rev. 12:14). This is critical, because “In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back” (Luke 17:31). “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32).
Fellow born again saints, in living a holy life, we must endure through the difficult time God calls the first 3 1/2 years of tribulation, and then be prepared to find His safety and provision for the last 3 1/2 years of great tribulation, because there will not be a pre-tribulation rapture, as that entire narrative is a lie from deceiving spirits to keep you from finding the Rev. 12:6, 14 safety and provision of God for the most horrible time in the history of the world. And many will suffer greatly because they exchanged the testimony of Jesus Christ at Matt. 24:29–31 for the empty and deceptive pre-tribulation rapture promise of false teachers. Do not be one of their victims.
Marlin J. Yoder