How to Fully Escape
the Great Tribulation
By Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., 2001
Edited by David Sielaff, September 2009
Read the accompanying Newsletter for June 2001
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In the Gospel of Matthew, Christ Jesus prophesied of a major time of trial to occur near the End of the Age which he called the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21). That time of trouble begins with the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation in the holy place of the Temple in Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15). Indeed, every major prophecy about the End-Times (both in the Old and the New Testaments) has to do directly (or by a pointed inference) with certain events associated with a Temple in Jerusalem.
Indeed, there can be no literal fulfillment of any of the prophecies connected with the Second Advent of Christ unless there is in evidence a physical Temple in the Holy City of Jerusalem.
All chronological prophecies leading up to the exact time for Christ’s Second Advent are benchmarked by events involving Temple affairs. Isn’t it interesting that for the past five years, I have had the opportunity of showing people in the world (for the first time in modern history) just where the former Temples of God were located in the City of Jerusalem. Will there be another Temple built in the City in order for the prophecies of the End-Time to be fulfilled? As yet, there is no Temple in Jerusalem. Should we expect the construction of another one? Where will it be built? No longer can scholars maintain that the Dome of the Rock is the proper spot of the former Temples. Just where will the future Temple be erected so that the prophecies of the End-Time can occur? Time will tell.
The construction of another Temple in Jerusalem will allow a major factor in End-Time prophecy to be in existence so that the prophecies of the Bible can be fulfilled. Indeed, the Great Tribulation has to do with events that commence around and within the Temple at Jerusalem. Christ gave information how people in Jerusalem and Judaea should escape from this period of trial. And yes, all Christians should be interested in learning how we might be aware of this time of difficulty and discomfiture, and how we might escape its crushing grasp of harmful events. Let us look at some of the factors associated with that Great Tribulation.
There is a central fact about avoiding the Great Tribulation that all of you readers will admit is truth. If a person IS NOT in the area where the Great Tribulation will occur, then that person could fully escape that time of intense trial (and this means entirely and without a shadow of exposure to its consequences). Let’s face it, if one is not in the area, then any person could NOT be a participant in that ominous trial mentioned by Christ in Matthew chapter 24. So, if you want to fully escape its consequences then do not be in the area OR do not be exposed to situations where the Great Tribulation will occur. In a word, do not be caught up in an environment that will cause your involvement. Obviously, if you are absent from the region (or regions) where it happens, then you will escape it and its consequences.
How can Christians NOT be in the environment where the Great Tribulation takes place? This is where a major problem has arisen in biblical interpretation between various Christian groups, and this even involves those who rightfully believe in (as we do) the final Universal Reconciliation of all humans to Christ. To escape the Great Tribulation is of real importance to some and they have invented a major prophetic belief that will cause them to escape from its terrible pangs. They think they can apply some verses of the Scriptures that (to them) show how Christians will be absent from the geographical area where the Great Tribulation occurs. The doctrinal name of this teaching has been called “the Pre-tribulation Rapture.” Many people believe they will “escape” the dreadful situation on earth by being escorted away from the environment of earth, and taken by Christ to heaven.
This “Rapture” is the belief that consecrated Christians in good standing with Christ (those who make up the true ekklesia of Christ throughout the totality of this earth) will be snatched up to heaven (this “snatching-up to heaven” is the usual English phrase used by adherents to the teaching). In plainer English, it means that there will be a “lifting up” into the clouds of Christians from all areas of this earth and (supposedly) these Christians will then be transported bodily into heaven. They suppose this happens at a special return of Christ seven years BEFORE the official Second Advent of Christ to this earth. They think that this is also when the righteous dead are resurrected (they say, according to Paul in 1 Thessalonians chapter 4). These simultaneous events mentioned by Paul in First Thessalonians will (they claim) transpire seven years before the normal Second Advent of Christ to rescue people from having to endure the Great Tribulation on earth. It is believed that good-standing Christians will be taken “out of the geography of earth” where the Tribulation takes place. Others say the “lifting up” to heaven of the living saints (at the resurrection of the righteous dead) will occur three and a half years before the main Second Advent.
If either of these interpretations concerning “the Rapture” is correct, then you have the principal answer on how to fully escape the tribulation. The main problem with the interpretation is NOT that the “Rapture” (or lifting up) will take place, because it certainly will, but the argument among Christians is when will this simultaneous occasion with the resurrection from the dead and the gathering of the saints to meet Christ in the clouds take place? If the doctrine is true that it will happen seven years before the Second Advent (or, some say three and a half years before the Second Advent), then all Christians have to do is to wait until this “Rapture” transpires and Christ will transport all Christians in good standing to heaven. Many accept this doctrine “Pre-Tribulation” (or, “Mid-Tribulation”) to be the absolute meaning of the Scriptures. It is all a question of timing of the “Rapture.” The word “Rapture” is not found in the King James Version, but it is a Latin derivative that answers to the Greek word used by Paul that means “lifted up.” The problem is, when does this event take place.
The only trouble is, everything in the Holy Scriptures about fully escaping the Great Tribulation is NOT in contexts about going to heaven. In all circumstances, the contexts are to escaping to certain places on earth. For example, Christ spoke of going to a site in the mountains (Matthew 24:16). And in Revelation 12:14, it speaks about a place of escape in the wilderness. Isaiah gets more widespread in his interpretation. The prophet spoke of hiding yourselves within your own homes (Isaiah 26:20–21). It should be noted that all of these places to which God’s people escape are located on this earth, NOT up in heaven. And the apostle Paul (after setting the context about the activities of the Son of Perdition and the Man of Sin in 2 Thessalonians 2:4–12) said to those in Northern Greece that prayer is powerful enough to have God’s protection from all evil men on earth. He said:
“That we might be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men [on earth] for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful who shall establish you, and keep you [guard you] from the evil one.”
2 Thessalonians 3:2–3, Greek
Yes, the Greek Christians were also promised to be guarded and protected by Christ from the evils of the time of the Antichrist. These promises of protection (of being able to escape the times of evil at the End of the Age) are mentioned in the contexts of having a protection on earth.
True, there are those today who believe (as I have stated) the Pre-Tribulation “Rapture” of God’s people to heaven. Those who believe that heaven is the destination of those who escape are prone to look on the arrival of Christ to earth mentioned in First Thessalonians as a secret advent that represents only the first phase of End-Time events. Thus, there is in their minds a two phase advent (one secretly for his ekklesia before the Great Tribulation when Christ resurrects the righteous dead and takes the “Church” to heaven, and another advent that occurs ostensibly (altogether visible) after the Tribulation when he comes to judge the nations). But the Scripture states in no uncertain terms that the resurrection of the righteous dead occurs immediately AFTER that Second Advent when Christ judges the nations as shown in Revelation chapters 19 and 20. This coming back to life of the righteous dead is even called “the first resurrection” and it is described very clearly in Revelation 20:5. I emphasize the matter because it is so misunderstood by some Christians. But brethren, this first resurrection (and this word “first” is relational to chronological time) occurs after the Great Tribulation has finished. The saints of God will have been on earth during these evil times and under God’s protection in various ways that God will provide.
Christ further emphasizes this in his teaching during the Olivet Prophecy. He said that when people see the Abomination of Desolation stand in the holy place at the Temple at Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15), then people in Jerusalem and Judea should flee to the mountains. He told them to leave the area of Palestine because a “Great Tribulation” is coming to that region (Matthew 24:21). Christ then said many false Christs would then emerge on earth (plus the Antichrist will also appear during that Tribulation). The Antichrist is a single great deceiver (mentioned elsewhere in Scripture) who would spread false teachings during this time of deception with woe on those who do not follow him.
Now note this point carefully. Christ then distinctly states that “immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days” (i.e., immediately after that Great Tribulation) the signs associated with the occasion of Christ’s return to this earth will begin to take place (Matthew 24:29). This is followed by the Second Advent itself (verse 30). That is the precise time when Christ will “gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven [from all areas within the earthly atmosphere] to the other [end]” (verse 31). This is also in reference to the resurrection and the gathering up of the dead from their graves in all areas of the earth.
This period of the FIRST resurrection that the apostle Paul described in 1 Thessalonians 4:14–17 comes AFTER the time of the Great Tribulation is over. This FIRST resurrection of the righteous dead is associated solely with a single Second Coming of Christ. As Paul stated, the dead in Christ shall rise first, and then in a simultaneous glorification, we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Note that the dead rise first, then those who remain alive shall be caught up together or at the same time. And so shall we ever be with the Lord. This actually occurs at the Second Advent and is immediately after the judgment on the nations (Revelation chapter 19 with Revelation 20:5). This grand sweep over all the earth to garner together the living and the dead in Christ takes place at the Second Advent AFTER the great tribulation not before the Tribulation as those who accept the false theory called “the Pre-Tribulation Rapture” believe. This “Pre-tribulation Rapture” is pure fiction.
We not only read about the Great Tribulation in Christ’s Olivet Prophecy found in Matthew chapter 24, but it is also referred to in the Book of Revelation. In fact, Revelation helps us in understanding the time period in which the Great Trial takes place. Just when does the Great Tribulation occur? In the Book of Revelation that time is found in detailed form in only one chapter and that is chapter 6. Chapter 7 of the Book of Revelation informs us of this fact. This is because in chapter 7 we read that the Great Tribulation is over and past. This fact is easy to recognize if you will pay close attention to the texts.
To recognize the chronological sequences within which “the Great Tribulation” occurs, notice in the Book of Revelation (about the selecting of the 144,000 Israelites in Revelation chapter 7). Those individual Israelites who make up the 144,000 individuals (and along with them are a great innumerable multitude) are those who have already “come out of great tribulation” (Revelation 7:14). Note this prophetic event carefully. It is important to note that the Greek preposition denoting their “coming out” is “ek.” That preposition in Greek grammar denotes that once the 144,000 were WITHIN the clutches of the Great Tribulation, but at the time of their “sealing” from harm in the description found in the Book of Revelation (in chapter 7), they had already “come out” of it.
When the 144,000 were sealed as mentioned in chapter 7, the Great Tribulation was already finished. What “tribulation” of the Scriptures did they “come out” of? Clearly, in the Book of Revelation we find that it was the trial mentioned as occurring under the Fifth Seal mentioned in Revelation 6:9. This is the same Tribulation as mentioned by Christ in Matthew chapter 24. The phrases are precisely the same. There were some saints killed in that trial and we see prophesied that there will be a few saints who are ordained to be killed even afterward (Revelation 6:11). The majority of God’s people, however, will be protected even during the Great Tribulation. But how will the protection be afforded for all people who are living on earth at the time? I will discuss that in a moment.
But there is one point that must be made, and emphasized. The Great Tribulation in the Book of Revelation is found with a detailed account in only one chapter of Revelation. That is chapter 6. The rest of the Book of Revelation (from chapters 7 to 19) has NOTHING to do with any period of the Great Tribulation that Christ prophesied about in which the saints will be involved. Remember, when the 144,000 were “sealed,” the Great Tribulation had already happened. It was past; it was over (see Revelation 7:14). Those 144,000 (and the great innumerable multitude) were sealed from all future harm, and this especially applies to the judgments that God the Father and Christ mete out on the world and its false system mentioned in Revelation 6:16–17. Look at this point with wisdom.
There is a further point to realize and it is of vital importance in understanding this issue. Before the words of chapter 7 of the Book of Revelation were written, we have the following inscribed in Revelation 6:16–17. It says:
“Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne [the Father], and from the wrath of the Lamb [Christ Jesus]. For the great day of his [Christ’s] wrath is come: and who shall be able to stand?”
Yes, a “great day of … WRATH” is soon to come to earth. It is detailed with precision from chapter 7 and on through chapter 19 of the Book of Revelation. That “wrath,” however, is NOT the Great Tribulation! This particular time of judgment is something created special by the Father and it is meted out by Christ. One must recall Isaiah 45:7 that tells us that God not only creates GOOD, but God is also actively involved in the creation of EVIL on this earth. Many Christians, sadly, do not believe what Isaiah 45:7 teaches, but it is a fact that God is the one who is in charge of all affairs on this earth (even those that involve the activities of Satan the Devil and his evil angels). God is the only one in the universe who has power to use “evil” in a way that will result in constructive developments that will lead to the final glory and exultation of mankind to a position of divine rank. Indeed, finally we will be sitting on a throne on God’s right side (Ephesians 2:6 and Colossians 3:1). So, the last major time period on earth before the emergence of the Kingdom of God on earth (that will be ushered in with the Second Advent of Christ) will be an age of WRATH on the world. The apostle Paul even stated because of the rebellion of people in the world:
“For this cause God shall send them STRONG DELUSION, that they [those of the world] should believe a lie [Greek: literally, should believe ‘the lie’].”
2 Thessalonians 2:11
That is correct, God shall Himself cause the world to believe the lie that the Antichrist (the Son of Perdition or the Man of Sin) is the Christ who has returned back to this earth. For those who will accept this LIE of the Antichrist, then a period of peace, security and prosperity will come their way. This will happen because they will accept the conditions of the Antichrist since the world will believe the lie that the Antichrist is the real Christ Jesus returned from heaven with his angels (as shown in Revelation 12:9 that they will mistake for the Second Advent of Christ). For those who resist this false system, then is when a time of great trial will occur upon them IF they rock the boat and begin to teach the Gospel openly and actively. The Antichrist, on the other hand, is NOT the true Christ, no matter if much of what he accomplishes resembles what Christ is prophesied to do when Christ does return to earth. If even great signs and miracles are shown by the Antichrist is no proof that he is the true Christ (Revelation 13:13–16).
When Christ Jesus actually returns from heaven to earth at his true Second Advent, all of us who are Christians will be changed (or resurrected from the dead) and we will all meet Christ in the clouds of heaven. This is the sure sign to each of us regarding our abilities to tell the real Christ from the false one. When Christ comes, he will start a period of “wrath” that will happen on earth. This “wrath” will be unleashed by God the Father and Christ Jesus (Revelation 6:16–17). The apostle Paul said that Christians can escape all of this wrath that is prophesied to erupt on earth at the time of Christ’s judgment (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
Before this “wrath” occurs (that is inspired and sustained by God), the 144,000 will be sealed (and in addition a great innumerable multitude). The wrath will not happen to them. These 144,000 are later found with Christ on Mount Sion, and not the slightest harm has come on them during this period of anger expressed by Christ on the nations of the world that lasts from chapter 7 on through to Nineteen. After all, this is Christ’s WRATH on the world, it is NOT a wrath on the people of God. The whole of the rest of the Book of Revelation (when it speaks of events that are episodes of judgment and punishments) describes the details of Christ’s wrath on the world, and NOT any other “wrath.” The time of the Great Tribulation, on the other hand, that Christ told His disciples about in Matthew chapter 24 was a time in history that was already over and passed. The Great Tribulation had finished (this was succinctly described in Revelation 6:9 and it was fully confirmed in Revelation 7:14) by the time Revelation chapter 7 and the sealing of the 144,000 was penned.
So, the following chapters of Revelation 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 HAVE NOTHING TO DO with any Great Tribulation that Christ warned about in Matthew chapter 24 as recorded in the earlier parts of Revelation chapter 6. What we have before us in the prophetic writings is the fact that the first four seals of Revelation chapter 6 are actually a parallel description of Matthew 24:4–28. This denotes the Great Tribulation that will be on earth (Matthew 24:21). Some few saints will be killed during that time (Revelation 6:11). This part of scriptural truth informs us that there will be NO FULL escape from the Great Tribulation for a few whom God may select to perish in it. But still, let me tell you a fact. Because a few will be martyred does not necessarily refer to you or to me. We can escape it FULLY if we do as Christ states and if we are prepared to defend ourselves (with God’s help, of course) during that traumatic period. If you live at the time, then you will either have to escape out of the environment of trial or be prepared to answer the consequences with the only type of powerful protection that God will provide.
First of all, Christ said in His Olivet Prophecy to flee and Isaiah additionally said to hide oneself in one’s own home. If we are not able to flee or to hide ourself, then I will show what we must do (and it is a powerful means of preservation from all evil circumstances that will exist at the cataclysmic period of the Antichrist). Of course, the vast majority of knowledgeable saints of God will escape from Jerusalem and Judea and they will “flee to the mountains” (verse 16). This is fleeing from an EARTHLY “Great Tribulation” the likes of which cannot be duplicated in any manner ON EARTH. They are NOT taken to heaven as those who believe the “Pre-Tribulation” doctrine claim.
This time of trial upon Jerusalem and Judaea has been equated with the time of “Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). And note this carefully, this EARTHLY “Great Tribulation” commences with the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation in the Temple at Jerusalem (Matthew 24:15), which event is described further in the prophecy of Daniel 11:31 and 12:11. You will recall that Christ told his disciples to read the Book of Daniel because that is the book that will provide the pivotal knowledge of the chronological time periods for the establishment of the Abomination of Desolation in a Temple in Jerusalem. This time of trial occurs on earth and within the environment of Judaea in the Middle East.
Recall that the Book of Revelation also speaks about “War in heaven.” This refers to a HEAVENLY “Time of Trouble” (not to be confused with the Great Tribulation on earth, though some of the same words of intensity are used to describe it). This heavenly “Tribulation” is recorded in Daniel 12:1. This particular “Time of Trouble” occurs long after the setting up of the Abomination of Desolation mentioned back in Daniel 11:31 when the Great Tribulation here on earth that Christ referred to in Matthew chapter 24 commences. All the prophetic events recorded to occur between the time of the setting up of the Abomination and the war that Michael fights (which involve quite a number of important and significant events regarding the Temple and the Antichrist) will happen before Michael the archangel makes a decided and triumphant stand in heaven on behalf of the people of Israel as recorded in Daniel 12:1. This later period when Michael the Archangel is involved is at a time that is described (very much like the first “Great Tribulation”) as a “Time of Trouble such as never was since there was a nation” (Daniel 12:1). But one thing must be remembered. Any tribulation involving Michael the Archangel is a trial that has as its geographical setting the heavenlies (and NOT the earth).
Christ, however, spoke of the Great Tribulation of His prophecy as being on earth. That trial will be so severe that nothing before in history or nothing to follow in history ON EARTH can be as great (Matthew 24:21). Recall, Christ was speaking of events involving this globe of ours. But in regard to a heavenly environment that is referred to in Daniel 12:1, there will also be a great war in heaven the likes of which had never happened before IN HEAVEN (nor will it occur again IN HEAVEN). This is Daniel 12:1 and it is different. Make sure that you distinguish between the two separate events.
The fact is, it is a common interpretation (and one that I held to for years, until just recently) that the TWO events described in Daniel and Matthew/Revelation were ONE and the SAME. The truth, however, is quite different. One tribulation occurs on earth, the other tribulation happens in heaven.
Almost the whole of the information in the Book of Daniel refers to heavenly events. This is one of the main reasons why the geographical areas and the political events associated with them do not seem to fit the present political boundaries and sites in our contemporary Middle East. The time is soon coming, moreover, when the Book of Daniel will be abundantly understood, and when the full revelation is revealed, people will be amazed at its true teaching. Prophetic events recorded in the Book of Daniel have little to do with earth (other than some crucial events associated with the Temple on earth), but it has a great deal to do with events in heaven. The Book of Daniel provides a glimpse into the wars that take place in heaven (Revelation 12:7–12). We do not yet have the proper parameters of those heavenly regions involved in this celestial warfare to fully comprehend the Book of Daniel correctly. 1
God promises, however, that these identifying matters concerning the final events in heaven will become available before the End of the Age (Daniel 12:4, 9). We will then understand plainly what is happening in God’s divine plan for the redemption of the human race to Christ, and the time periods for it to be accomplished. The main problem in our comprehension of the sequence of prophetic events for the near future involves the chronological aspects as they relate to one another in the prophetic scheme. Our lack of understanding proper chronology is the main difficulty. This is precisely what Christ Jesus told us in his Olivet prophetic discourse found in Matthew chapters 24 and 25. Even we cannot show chronological truths if Christ has not yet revealed them to us. One thing, on the other hand, is certain. We are clearly informed that there will be an earthly “Great Tribulation” that is followed later by a heavenly “Time of Trouble” that the heavens have never seen before nor will they ever experience again. It is important to realize that these are TWO different events are under discussion in the Bible.
Remember, Michael, the subject of Daniel 12:1 is a heavenly creature, with great powers from God and Christ. We later read of him in a prophetic role mentioned in Revelation 12:7–12. In that section of Scripture, Michael is involved in a major war in Heaven of outstanding proportions. It results in the complete expulsion of Satan and his angels from their heavenly abode. This outcome will be catastrophic to Satan and his angelic horde. The earth will also be judged for three and half years. But Satan is finally incarcerated and kept in chains for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1–5). Then will occur the time of the first resurrection of the saints, which is also referred to in Daniel 12:1. As for God’s people who are living at this time, they will be protected on earth, during those hazardous periods of judgment that occur on earth or in the heavens.
The “Great Tribulation” mentioned by Christ in Matthew chapter 24 is also described in the Book of Revelation 6:1–11 (and referred to as already passed in Revelation 7:14). During the Tribulation, it is Satan and his angels who are mainly causing the harm to some Christian saints. But I again want to emphasize a singular section of Scripture that has NOTHING to do with any Great Tribulation, but is often confused with it.
That is the time of Christ’s “wrath” upon the world and its nations who are not sealed. The story of the “wrath” begins with chapter 7 of the Book of Revelation. That chapter commences by sealing the 144,000 Israelites who are described as already “coming out of great tribulation” in order to receive further protection by being permanently “sealed” from harm (Revelation 7:14). They are “sealed” from what harm? From what is mentioned in the rest of Revelation chapters 7 to 19 inclusively, and that means ALL the judgments of those remaining chapters of Revelation. Why are the 144,000 sealed and protected? Because ALL that is mentioned in those remaining chapters of Revelation is describing the WRATH of Christ Jesus (see Revelation 6:16–17). Those later chapters are not speaking about the Great Tribulation in heaven or the WRATH of SATAN and his angels upon the world. This section of Revelation describes Christ’s WRATH.
What a wonderful thing for all of us. This means that none of us who are God’s children (and this particularly applies to those of us who understand and apply the teachings of “the Mystery” mentioned by the apostle Paul in Ephesians and Colossians) are reckoned in God’s eyes to need punishment from Christ at this time. As I explained in the Doctrinal Report about “The Philosophy of Christianity” (http://www.askelm.com/doctrine/d010501.htm) we of “the Mystery” are now accounted as sinless in Christ. We have met all requirements for being judged and found innocent. We have been found in God’s eyes to be perfectly righteous because of our divine attachment of being “in Christ.” In no way, does God hold any WRATH towards you or me. We are all in Christ, and our punishment for our sins has already been paid for us by Christ when He died on the tree of crucifixion. There is thus not the slightest need for God or Christ to judge us who are “in Christ.” So, none of the judgments mentioned in Revelation 7 to 19 apply to us — not in the slightest. Though none of us are a part of the 144,000 Israelites who are “sealed” for that period of time; still, all of us are “sealed” with a special sign of righteousness that we have obtained through grace by our being attached to Christ.
Again, it must be emphasized that it is not normally recognized by biblical interpreters, but every judgment mentioned in Revelation chapters 7 to 19 has to do with Christ’s WRATH upon the world and those who do not know or accept the truth of the Gospel. The apostle Paul taught specifically that Christians will be delivered safely from the wrath that is to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10). God has no need to punish you or me in these judgments referred to in those chapters. That is why even the 144,000 Israelites (and those under the umbrella of the Woman mentioned in Revelation chapter 12 who brings forth the man child) will be sealed against any harm during the times associated with the end and the Second Advent of Christ back to this earth.
In fact, all those judgments will be brought on those who do not believe (who by this time in the next few years ahead of us will have been given much essential knowledge from God about the truths of real Christianity and they will finally reject much of it in favor of the reign of the Antichrist). But for all the judgments mentioned from Revelation chapters 7 to 19 (inclusively), Christ will be the one meting out those pangs of wrath. It is His wrath, NOT that of Satan and his angels. In fact, it is Satan and his angelic followers and their earthly counterparts who will be judged and punished for their pernicious ways. Simply put, the judgments that we find recorded in Revelation chapters 7 to 19 do not apply to us (1 Thessalonians 1:10). We need to rightly partition the Word of God as Paul told us to do (2 Timothy 2:15). There are some sections of the Scriptures that do NOT pertain to us who belong to Christ through the manifesto of God called “the Mystery. There is no need to put any of us through judgments intended for the world. God can and will protect us during all those perilous times.
On the other hand, there may be a few people whom God may select to live in the public gaze (not within the “closet”) in the time of the Antichrist when he is in full power. This is the time of the Great Tribulation. There is a way to find protection from harm even during that time, yes, even if one finds himself (or herself) in the very environment where the Antichrist flourishes on earth. What is that protection and how is it afforded? We have some prime examples of the Holy Scriptures that give us the answers, and those forms of protection are powerful indeed. It is only incumbent that God’s people utilize them in order to put the Antichrist in his place. If you apply them, you will make him leave you and your loved ones alone, even if you would live in a house next door to the Antichrist himself. What are these forms of protection? That is what I wish to give you at this time.
There is a sure way of defeating Satan in the context of trial or consequence when he falsely claims to be Christ returned from heaven to earth. Look at how Christ Jesus himself defeated Satan (and Christ did it ostensibly in front of Satan himself). In Christ’s trial before Satan as shown in Matthew chapter 4, you will note that Christ simply quoted the Scriptures in a correct and proper manner (no matter how much Satan wished to twist them to suit his evil purpose). In fact, Christ quoted to Satan exclusively from the latest book of Moses, that of Deuteronomy (this is one book that many scholars hold was written long after Moses’ time). Still, that is the very book that Christ quoted to triumph over Satan because Satan cannot violate the scriptural commands nor can he step outside the limited parameters under which God has placed him — see Job 1:12 and 2:6.
And for us who comprise the children of God under the banner of the doctrine of “the Mystery” as taught by Paul in Ephesians and Colossians, note that in our warfare against Satan and the rulers of darkness we should put on the “whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:13). If we simply do that one thing (that is, put on the “whole armor of God”), then Paul assures us “that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13). And in our “stand” all the armaments we possess are spiritual (not physical) ones and they all protect the front of our persons because we must be on the offense. God’s armaments do NOT protect the rear parts of our bodies in times of retreat. We must march ahead always on the offense.
And everyone of these items of protection and for offense in warfare is a spiritual item that comes from knowing and using the Word of God and its powerful words of truth. These spiritual factors are
(3) knowing thoroughly the Gospel of peace,
(4) and the use of full faith and belief in the Word of God.
Note that the real and powerful “sword of the Spirit” is simply “the Word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). This means we should actively advance against Satan and his wicked spirits by using the full and complete teachings of the Word of God making our forward motions against them all. They CANNOT stand against these truths. God will not let them prevail.
Listen for a moment. The time is coming when this world shall return to greater belief in the Holy Scriptures. Satan and his angels will take advantage of this renewed interest and acceptance of the Word of God by the world. Indeed, the Antichrist will come to this earth and be accepted by the world because he will seem to fulfill what the Word of God prophesies will occur on earth in the years ahead of us at the very End of the Age. He will make people believe he is Christ himself who has returned in a glorious Second Advent (note that Revelation 12:9 will be mistaken for the Second Advent of Christ with His angels). The Antichrist will then establish the Sabbath day mentioned first by Moses and also the Holy Days of the Old Covenant to control the people and make slaves of them like the Pharisees did the Jewish people in Jesus’ day. The Antichrist (under the guise of righteousness) will establish tithing once again. He will force people to eat only the clean foods of the Old Covenant legislation.
He will do things so much like Christ is prophesied to do when Christ actually returns (and by the way, Christ will establish those very things for those still under the Old Covenant when He comes in glory back to this earth). The Antichrist will not only force these laws of the Old Covenant on the Israelites, but he will demand it for the whole of the world. The Antichrist will deceive the world into believing that he is indeed the true Christ returned from heaven (that is why the apostle John called him the Antichrist because he will come “in the place of Christ”). He will mimic that he is Christ. He will use the teachings of the Scriptures to defend his false position (and he will do it by misquoting or misapplying the teachings of the Scriptures just like Satan did with Christ in Matthew chapter 4).
Now, this is where you and I come into the picture. If we take on the armaments of God as shown in Ephesians chapter 6 as detailed by the apostle Paul, then we will not only be able to put Satan to the run, but we can actively pursue him and defeat him. In a word, Satan cannot stand up to those who know the Holy Scriptures of God in the manner that God intends them to be understood. Once Satan and his evil angels at that time realize that YOU KNOW the Holy Scriptures in such a profound manner, he will NOT be able to fool you. As a result, Satan will avoid you and anyone like you as though you were the plague (no matter if you lived next door to him). He will not want to confront you publicly because YOU can defeat him and his evil angels in front of important public figures with the truths of the Holy Scriptures.
But, brethren, let me tell you a fact. You had better know what you are talking about. If you slip up on misapplying or misusing the Holy Scriptures in a way that distracts from the real truths of God and His essential meanings for us who understand “the Mystery,” then get ready for the judgment and abuse of the Antichrist. If Satan feels he can wrap you around his finger because of your lack of knowledge of the Holy Scriptures (or of your misuse of them), then you will not stand in his presence.
Let me give you an example where Satan will leave you alone. You can (and should) defeat Satan in a public arena if you are knowledgeable of the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Indeed, if you (or I) would triumph over him in a public assembly, then this capitulation of Satan to us true Christians in front of important public and political figures would be a disaster to him and his evil angels. Let us say that you or I were on earth at the time that Satan inspires the Antichrist to say he is the returned Christ to this earth. I do not believe that Satan could win an argument with me on certain main issues of the teachings of God. For example, if Satan came to me in public and told me that I had to recognize him as the Christ or be severely punished for being disobedient (when most people would say he was doing such good works that he must surely be the returned Christ), I would simply tell him to his face:
“You are NOT the true Christ and in no way will I call you the Christ when you are not. Let me inform you why you could NOT be the Christ returned from heaven. That is because the Holy Scriptures tell us in the clearest of language that we Christians (which I am one) will be changed into immortality and meet the true Christ in the air and then be with Him forever. Since I am still a mortal on earth and have not yet been changed by YOU or anyone else, the true Christ has not yet arrived, so YOU ARE NOT the Christ.”
The plain fact is, if we are not yet changed into immortality (and have been brought up into the clouds to be with Christ), then we can know for certain that the Antichrist (though he says he is Christ) is NOT the true Christ. It is just that simple. I would give scriptural verses proving these points.
This is what I would inform these evil people at the time. Notice, however, that I did not cite to you readers of this article any Scriptures to back up what I am saying. However, I would have to give such Scriptures in any dialogue I might have with the Antichrist. The reason I did not show you the scriptures is to emphasize that you should study for yourselves to know where they are, and NOT depend on me to tell you. Do you know where those cardinal teachings of the Bible are located so that you would be able to use these biblical teachings correctly? You will have to know what you are talking about, and you will have to know where to look in the Holy Scriptures in order to defend yourself at such a time.
If you are an educated and mature Christian who has truly studied his (or her) Bible, then you should have no fear. The Antichrist will NOT want this type of scriptural information to become public knowledge because it destroys his sovereignty and his right to rule in the eyes of the Media. It shows he is truly NOT the Christ. So, the Antichrist would not want to confront people who know this truth and are able to defend this simple teaching of God. This means that the Antichrist (claiming to be Christ) cannot be Christ because we true Christians have not yet been changed into immortality. My point is: Do you know where these vital scriptural references are located that clearly show these biblical truths? If you do, you are in good shape in defeating Satan and the Antichrist.
Now, to the weak Christian who tells the Antichrist those things (but has little power of conviction on such issues, or does not know where the scriptures are located), the Antichrist will simply tell the person that he is a sinner and not righteous and that is the reason he (or she) was not changed into immortality when he supposedly came back to earth for the righteous people (that he supposedly took up to heaven). In other words, Satan will simply claim that such people are still sinners (which, of course, they are, as are all of us as far as our mortal flesh is concerned). He will convince them that they still need to be put to trial for their faith for being disobedient to him. He will then launch his evil devices against these weak Christians.
But note this, brethren. As for me, even though I know that I am a sinner, I can still defeat Satan at that time. This is because I happen to know that it is NOT my own righteousness or holiness (or even my sinful nature) that counts in God’s eyes. My righteousness is obtained through my being “in Christ,” NOT because of what I do or do not do. When you and I truly understand the full doctrine of Christ that we are saved through God’s grace and through His righteousness, we know it is NOT our own righteousness or good works that count. Since we are truly sinners, but in God’s eyes we are as sinless as is Christ Jesus. That is what really counts. When the true Christ returns in glory, He will change my mortal body into immortality and I (and all true Christians) will meet Christ in the clouds of heaven. But if this has not happened to us (no matter how many people state they are the returned Christ from heaven), we can know that such people who claim such things are liars. We can easily know who the true Christ really is. With us, Satan and his evil angels will not have a chance of the slightest victory.
The fact is, though, you must be fully aware of these scriptural truths and be well versed in the use of them. If you are a mature Christian in Christ, then Satan (and the Antichrist) will not challenge you in public because he is only able to conquer weak and insecure brethren who are unknowledgeable of the real truths of the Gospel of Christ. But with us who understand the fulness of the mature Gospel of Christ, Satan and his evil angels (who will use the teachings of the Bible — falsely applied — to secure their evil kingdom) will avoid us like the plague. They will NOT want to confront us who are God’s people who truly know what the Holy Scriptures reveal regarding the real Gospel of Christ as shown in the teachings of “the Mystery.” Knowing and using the Holy Scriptures against evil will be a powerful force at the time. But there is to be (at that time) a famine of the hearing of the Word of God (Amos 8:11). God will not want any public teaching of the Gospel by Christians at that time. An angel will be commissioned to teach the Gospel at that time (Revelation 14:6).
But we Christians are commanded to enter into our homes and remain quiet and not publicly teaching the Gospel at that time (Isaiah 26:20–21). Our redemption and deliverance will be just around the corner. God can guard you and protect you through these perilous times. But if you should be brought into the public arena through no fault of your own in taking precautions, Christ states that the Holy Spirit will teach you precisely what to say at that time (Luke 12:11–12), if you have studied before what the scriptures relate on the important subjects of christology and matters of prophecy and salvation.
This is one reason why I have produced a book titled: The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine 2 to make sure that you can know (in a simple, but profound way) what the essential truths of the Gospel really are. If you study that book carefully you will know the truth. You need that book more than any other that I know (other than the Holy Scriptures, of course). It is the single book that will put in your hands the mature and full doctrines of Christ that are found in “the Mystery” that governs all mature Christians today. If you master the teachings in that new book which I wrote for your education in the essential doctrines of Christ, you will have in your hands the main and prime teachings of Christ that will afford you the knowledge of what your grand and awesome salvation is all about. But the book will also give you the simple but prime doctrines that Satan and his evil angels cannot withstand in their tempting of God’s people.
What we all need to do is to be assured of what the doctrines of Christ are all about. If we do, we will have all the armaments of God to stand in the evil days that are just before us. You can be protected from the time of the Great Tribulation, and certainly during that period known as the Wrath of Christ that is described in Revelation chapters 7 to 19 inclusively.
Let us remember one thing. Before anything of the Time of the End can start in its full fury and intensity, all of the major factors and contexts associated with that period must be put into place, especially in Israel and particularly in Jerusalem. As I stated at the beginning of this “Prophetic Report,” ALL of the prophetic themes of the End-Time have as their central focus a Temple that will exist in Jerusalem. God has now allowed us (and soon the world will have to admit to the truth of this) that the real and proper site of the former Temples of God is now known. Since I started putting together this new biblical and historical research in 1995, it is now certain where the Temples were located. They were all situated over the Gihon Spring about 1000 feet south of the Dome of the Rock (where most people erroneously feel the Temples were built). What will happen in Jerusalem NOW that the true spot of the Temples is known?
We are in for some very interesting times in the next few years. None of us can know for certain the chronological sequences of these prophetic times (Christ told us this fact throughout Matthew chapters 24 and 25), but we can know when the time is about to come to pass. The Book of Daniel says the prophecies (which are still closed up and sealed for the most part) will be opened up for all to witness and to understand (Daniel 12:4, 9). If there was ever a time for studying and researching the Holy Scriptures, it is now. I hope that all of us will be about our Father’s business and actively educating ourselves in the wonderful and illuminating teachings of the Word of God. That is the reason for the existence of ASK. We are here to help all Christians to know just what the real truths of God really are, and how to avoid the false teachings of this world. We have a great deal of work to do in order to teach these things to the world. I hope you will be behind us with your prayers, and yes, even your finances.
In closing, what all of us need to do is what the apostle Peter said as his own closing remark. He said:
“Beloved, seeing you know these things before [that is, avoid those who wrest the Scriptures from their true and intended meaning], beware lest you also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. But GROW IN GRACE, and IN THE KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
2 Peter 3:18
So, brethren, there you have it. Stand up to Satan and his evil angels (and all the other powers of darkness) with the true and resplendent light of the Word of God and your full knowledge of it. When you do, all the evil ones throughout the universe will flee from you and leave you triumphant in the safety of Christ Jesus.
L. Martin, 2001
Edited by David Sielaff, 2009
2 Portland, OR: Associates for Scriptual Knowledge, 1999/2001, 2004. Available online complete at http://www.askelm.com/essentials/index.asp or for purchase at http://www.askelm.com/books/book007.asp DWS
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