and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. — Isaiah 29:24
So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,
|January 1, 2008||
Volume 7 Number 1
A Refuge in Times of Trouble
Have you heard the bad news? Trouble is on its way. This is the message that Yahshua (also called Jesus) brought to the world concerning the time before His second coming. It is called the "great tribulation" in the gospel of Matthew:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. -Matthew 24
In the gospel of Mark it is called the days of "affliction:"
19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created to this time, neither shall be. -Mark 13
This is a very unpopular topic that few people want to hear. Therefore, many are comforted by the passage that Paul wrote to the Thessalonians which, hopefully, suggests that God’s people will be removed before the time of the "great tribulation." He writes that the "trump of God" will sound and the dead in the Messiah (also called Christ) will rise and those who are still alive will "meet the Lord in the air:"
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in the Messiah shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. -1 Thessalonians 4
Which "trump" is Paul revealing to the Thessalonians? He appears to be describing the same event as the "mystery" that he also revealed to the Corinthians. He calls it the "last trump:"
51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. -1 Corinthians 15
The "last trump" is also called the seventh trumpet. As the seventh angel begins sounding that final trumpet, the "mystery of God" is finished:
7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he has declared to his servants the prophets. -Revelation 10
According to Yahshua, He will send His angels to sound that trumpet as He returns to gather His elect:
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. -Matthew 24
He says that this happens after the tribulation:
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. -Matthew 24
The same event is also described by Yahshua in the Gospel of Mark. He says that He will return after the tribulation to gather His elect from both earth and heaven:
24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the utmost part of the earth to the utmost part of heaven. -Mark 13
However, before the "last trump" sounds, six other trumpets must first be heard. The fifth, sixth, and seventh trumpets are all called "woes," as they bring great trouble upon an unbelieving world:
13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabitants of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound! -Revelation 8
When that last trumpet sounds, God reclaims the kingdoms of this world and reigns as King forever:
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Messiah; and he shall reign forever and ever. -Revelation 11
Those who had refused to repent and believe Yahweh are angry. Their power over the earth is taken away and they are subject to judgment and the final wrath of God. Those who fear His name, however, will be rewarded:
18 And the nations were angry, and your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth. -Revelation 11
At that seventh trumpet, Yahweh’s people, both the living and the dead, will be delivered from judgment into everlasting life. Daniel explains:
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. -Daniel 12
The Hebrew word,jlm (malat), which is translated here as "delivered, " also means "saved." Joel used the same Hebrew word when he prophesied that those who call upon the name of Yahweh shall be "delivered:"
32 And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Yahweh has said, and in the remnant whom Yahweh shall call. -Joel 2
Quoting Joel’s prophecy, Peter said that whoever calls upon the name of the Lord [Yahweh] shall be "saved:"
21 And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord Yahweh shall be saved. -Acts 2
It is the name of Yahweh (whose short form is Yah) that "delivers" ("saves") His people. Yahshua came in His name as "Yah the Savior." Ironically, the name that saves God’s people also brings affliction upon them:
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. -Matthew 24
Even so, Yahshua offers hope for His people:
13 But he that shallendure to the end, the same shall be saved. -Matthew 24
Who could endure such times of great wrath?
17 For the great day of his wrath has come; and who shall be able to stand? -Revelation 6
An angel having the "seal of the living God" showed the answer to that question:
3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. -Revelation 7
Those with the "seal of God in their foreheads" have hope. The power of the "seal of God" to protect His people was shown at the sounding of the fifth trumpet. As demonic forces (called "locusts") were released from the "bottomless pit" to torment the people of the world, those having the "seal of God in their foreheads" were spared:
4And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. -Revelation 9
What is this "seal of God?" What is in the foreheads of His people?
1 And I looked, and, behold, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. -Revelation 14
It is the name of Yahweh! Those who know it will put their trust in Him during times of trouble:
9 Yahweh also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
10 And they that know your name will put their trust in you: for you, Yahweh, have not forsaken them that seek you. -Psalms 9
The people of God know that He is their refuge. They trust in Him and His name:
7 Sometrust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of Yahweh our God. -Psalms 20
When trials come, Yahweh hears His people:
9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, Yahweh is my God. -Zechariah 13
When the times of trouble come, He is the refuge for those who know Him and who call upon His name.
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