Friday, December 31, 2021
First, regarding the rapture, the gathering of Christ’s elect, on whose side are you? Are you with Christ, or the traditions of men “making the word of God of no effect” (Mark 7:13). Traditions would have us believe that Christ gathers His elect pre-tribulation; or mid-tribulation; still others, pre-wrath. Men created traditions in an attempt to absolve themselves from Jesus’ testimony that He gathers His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31). [My emphasis added] They can’t conceive of a God who would allow His people to endure the end-time tribulation. In this, who will you believe? Consider that Jesus said “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matt. 12:30). Pre-trib rapture theologians and preachers have become popular and even wealthy, but not by teaching what Christ taught, but by peddling the opposite! The large majority of Christians have been led by false teachers to believe they’ll be raptured pre-tribulation. They are against Christ. But with whom are you? You must decide; your decision will either offend, or defend you, in the seven-year tribulation just ahead.
Today, we examine another biblical witness from the Apostle Matthew in his synonymous witness of the Apostle Luke. I reiterate from previous Letters, it’s vital to prepare to endure the first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation; any Bible teacher who tells you otherwise is foolish, unable to discern the truth. Even now the ungodly are increasingly savage toward Christians, and that will rapidly worsen. Wise Christians will not go along to get along with demands of the authoritarian government leaders, they have in mind creating the New World Order. It’s ungodly, wicked, and anti-Christ. It’s driven by spirits of Antichrist, yet many Christians have become so united with the world that they are unable to discern the signs of the end-times.
Regarding the middle of the tribulation, Jesus Christ said “when you SEE the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads let him understand)” (Matt. 24:15). [Emphasis added] Do not allow the foolish to tell you that Christ was speaking to anyone but believers, for such is a deceiver. And “when you SEE the ‘abomination of desolation’” standing in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, and the two witnesses of Rev. 11:7–10 killed and lying dead in the street of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days, when Satan is also thrown out of heaven with his angels, Rev. 12:7–12, we know it’s the middle of the tribulation, and prepared believers, “the free woman” of Gal. 4:21–31, flee to God’s safety and provision for the 1,260 days of the great tribulation, see Rev. 12:6,~14.
And as we saw last week from Luke 17:26–37, this account from Matt. 24:16–28 is the second witness where Christ again teaches the extreme urgency of the time, just as it was in the days of Noah and Lot. In the love of Christ I warn you again, do not be fooled by false teachers who tell you these things don’t pertain to you. And don’t believe the foolish when they say you won’t see Antichrist, for Jesus Christ said “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), but the foolish think they have a better way; their argument is not with me, but with Jesus Christ Himself! They are foolishly against the Lord, and literally scatter people abroad, away from Christ, rather than believing Jesus and uniting believers around His end-time truths! Again, please see Matt. 12:30.
Jesus said “when you see the abomination of desolation…standing in the holy place”, the third, rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. [That’s also what Noah and Lot had to do] And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes…For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened” (Matt. 24:16–22). This is strong meat, as is its counterpart at Luke 17:26–37. But the father of dispensationalism’s pre-trib rapture, John Nelson Darby (1800–1882), didn’t like the thought of a God who would allow His people to endure the tribulation and had an epiphany that contradicted Christ, which happily, in his flesh, released him of all thoughts of needing to endure the seven-year tribulation. And since Darby’s death, literally millions in the church have flocked to his epiphany of a magnum deception; they place Darby’s epiphany above the teachings of Christ. They believe the pre-trib rapture lie. They think they will be excluded from the tribulation, which is in direct opposition to what Christ taught.
The Spirit taught believers’ escape to God’s safety and provision, Rev. 12:6,~14; and that once they are in that unique hiding place, Jesus said “if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ DO NOT BELIEVE IT…See, I have told you beforehand…if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ DO NOT GO OUT; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ DO NOT BELIEVE IT…For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together” (Matt. 24:23–28). [Emphasis added] In light of God’s love and provision from millennia past to present for those who actually believe, consider what Jesus is saying here: when true, prepared believers leave all their earthly possessions behind at the appointed time and flee to that place of safety prepared by God, as did Noah and Lot, beware, for Antichrist forces will do everything in their power to lure believers out of those safe places! For “when the dragon [Satan] saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman [the “free woman” of Gal. 4:21–31] who gave birth to the male Child. [Christ] But the woman [“counted worthy to escape” (Luke 21:36)] 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” (Rev. 12:13–14).
In the biblical record, God metaphorically carries His people on eagles’ wings. For example, “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). And “those who wait on the LORD 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). And “Behold, He shall come up and fly like the eagle, and spread His wings over Bozrah” (Jer. 49:22). In Strong’s, “Bozrah”, #H1224 means ‘sheepfold’ or ‘fortress’”. At that critical time God leads the prepared, and “counted worthy to escape” (Luke 21:36) into His “sheepfold or fortress” of provision for the last forty-two months of the great tribulation. In this regard, another prophet also said “I will surely assemble, O Jacob, [remember, believers are the seed of Abraham, Gal. 3:29, and by inheritance, of Jacob, his grandson] all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; [true believers are “true Jews” (Rom. 2:28–29) and thus “the Israel of God” (Gal. 6:16)] I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold; they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men” (Micah 2:12 KJV). These above O.T. texts are in perfect unity with the escape of the free woman of Rev. 12:6,~14.
However, we must not neglect to prepare ourselves for the first forty-two months of tribulation ruled by Antichrist’s harlot-beast system, Rev. 17. The totalitarian rulers of evil we now see in globalists’ seats of power is child’s play compared to what’s coming soon. Present-day ungodly global leaders mandating vaccines and booster shots, vaccine passports, and punishments that restrict the unvaccinated, are preparing the way for Antichrist and his harlot-beast system. The first forty-two months of the tribulation will be brutal. Believers will be increasingly marked for isolation, punishment and destruction. Food is being weaponized. Overt unrestrained evil will be the normal. Even now right is wrong, and wrong is right; and let’s not forget about the demonic beings unbelievers call aliens with a higher intellect than people that will soon deceive billions! Also present now, but to get wildly worse are massive geo-engineered earthquakes, volcanoes, wildfires, floods, droughts and storms. Into a world of chaos torn apart by fear and evil ruled by Antichrist’s harlot-beast system, is the setting for believers’ Bozrah moment and escape to God’s safety. Note the last half of Jer. 49:22 that, “the heart of the mighty men of Edom [unbelievers] in that day shall be like the heart of a woman in birth pangs”. Combine that with the below…
The prophet said: “Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand; a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness…A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been; nor will there ever be any such after them…A fire devours before them, and behind them a flame burns; the land is like the Garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; surely nothing shall escape them. Their appearance is like the appearance of horses; and like swift steeds, so they run. With a noise like chariots over the mountaintops they leap, like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, like a strong people set in battle array. Before them the people writhe in pain; all faces are drained of color” (Joel 2:1–6). [Emphasis added] These truths are God’s Word for the benefit of His people. But all of this, and voluminous other Scriptures, are made entirely null and void by pre-trib rapture believers, but their unbelief will produce great offense and the falling away of many.
And at the beginning of the great tribulation where we see “eagles gathered together” (Matt. 24:28 and Luke 17:37), is the believer’s unique place, Bozrah, of safety and provision. In this context “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence [COVID-19 virus or its variants] that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways” (Psa. 91:1–11). [Emphasis added]
When believers enter God’s Bozrah safety and provision for 1,260 days of the great tribulation, one’s ability to leave or go out from that place will be possible as agents of Antichrist proclaim that the Christ is here, or there. This is why Jesus warned, “Do not believe it…do not go out”!
Marlin J. Yoder