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Author Topic: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains  (Read 28912 times)

judykanova

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2003, 12:04:50 AM »
Quote from Sandybisbee:

Quote
But even when we come together outside of the church setting how can we keep Satan out?  If he can come into the house of God and take over, what stops him from coming into our little groups?  You see, we need to be very careful or we become judges of another's heart You see, we need to be very careful or we become judges of another's heart.  We begin to tell people that if they remain in churches where Satan is clearly on the throne, then they are not truly saved.  Or we tell them that if a true believer remains in the church then the believer will come under eternal Judgment!  How arrogant this sounds to me.  

No church is perfect, how could it be?  When a believer is in a church where Satan is clearly ruling then they won't be comfortable there for long, just like you and I weren't.  But, on the other hand if we have a church that teaches the doctrines of grace alone, with more than mere lip service, and a church where false doctrines are reputiated, and expelled, where discipline is administered, then we can stay and help to strengthen what remains, and draw strength from one another through exhorting, and encouraging.  


Sandybisbee, first of all let me say that it's clear from your post that you are not advocating that anyone remain in an apostate church.  So we can put that aside, (although some may be inclined to overlook what you've said in order to make an issue out of a non-issue).  

It's one thing to faithfully decalre that God's judgement will first fall upon apostate churches before the final judgment; this is clearly taught in the Bible, (although I know from some of your other post that you feel this has been true throught the NT period).    However,  I agree that the Bible does not declare that God's judgment will fall on all churches and proceed to tell others to leave their church now, glossing over the CONTEXT of unfaithfulness, as well as the fact that each person must make this determination for themselves, based upon when they see the abomination of desolation sitting in the Holy Place.

Mark 13:14

But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:



The stance that Satan has now invaded all churches, yet fellowhips (which by biblical definition is a church) are somehow immune by virtue of the fact that they've done away with pastors & elders, is not substantiated by Scripture, taken in context.

Given the sorry state of today's churches, I also would not be surprised if the vast majority will have fallen upon Christ's return; yet God may allow a remnant to hold steadfast.  This is under God's control, and another 'end-times' issue  where Scripture is somtimes 'stretched'  or misunderstood to say what it doesn't say.  Those who take this stance would then have to honestly deal with the issue of fellowships, if indeed 'faithfulness'  has nothing to do with it.

judy
'For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.'   Ps 119:89

stacia

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2003, 11:20:00 AM »
Tony,
The scriptures you have quoted are excellent.When we know the truth the truth will set us free.I personally believe that whoever God has chosen He will get them out of this abomination and this is his work and we cant debate on that.No believer can worship satan and he/she will come out the moment he/she knows it.
God bless

beauty4ashes

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2003, 11:40:46 AM »
I don't believe darkness and light can worship together.

The head is the key, and if satan is the head there is always bickering and devouring one another.

When the son of peace is the head of the church you certainly know it.

sandy

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2003, 02:16:48 PM »
Hi Tony S,

Your reply does not address the original question.  What does Christ mean when He tells us to “flee to the mountains?”  I have shown verses, there are many more, that seem to indicate that “mountains” symbolically represent places of worship.  Can you show me otherwise?  The “mountains” even represent places of worship for pagans.

2 Chron. 21:11   Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit fornication, and compelled Judah thereto.

Isaiah 65:7   Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.

Jer.13:15   Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.
16   Give glory to the LORD your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

Tony when we come into this world, (at least the vast majority, there are exceptions as with John-the-Baptist, who was saved in the womb) we are born spiritually dead.  Even  the elect of God must be given spiritual life.  This happens at different stages of peoples lives.  No two conversions are identical, or happen at the exact same moment in time.  Since we are born spiritually dead, we, like all reprobates, believe in free will.  We must be taught sovereign grace.  We do not understand it until we are taught it, either through our own personal study, or through the means of preachers, teachers.  Many, who are elect of God have begun in apostate churches.  We simply do not know any better.  Myself for instance learned about Christ, and was saved through a Free Will Baptist church.  Am I any less saved today because I learned of my salvation through an apostate church, where Satan was very much on the throne, and worshipped there?

Quote:  “Moreover, God gives us assurances that we cannot remain in a situation like that, yet you say that this has gone on throughout the whole NT period?”

And many will, have been, and continue to be  in churches that represent the greatest abomination of all - man’s free will.  Until God shows His own truth, and He will, they will not have a problem with being there.  

Quote:  “The worship of Satan is not without repercussions.”

Like you have often done with the Scriptures, you have again taken verses out nilly willy to prove an unbiblical perspective.  You would like us to believe that those elect of God who remain in churches will be condemned along with the reprobate.  You use verses from Rev. 13 & 14 to say, “see you will be eternally punished.”  When we put these verses back into their proper context here is what we actually find:

Revelation 13:4   And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
5   And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6   And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7   And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8   And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
9   If any man have an ear, let him hear.
10   He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Who here is worshipping the beast?  Those whose names are NOT written in the book of life, this is NOT the saint.  Even though they are overcome by the beast because he is allowed to blaspheme His tabernacle, they do NOT worship the beast, and in another place of Scripture we find the saint does NOT even worship his image.  It is the beast who is killed eternally, NOT the saint.  

Quote:  “This is what the GT period is all about, the warning of the true believers against this deception of Satan being worshipped.”

Believers are warned against the deception of Satan throughout the church age, the whole New Testament era.  You show us Rev. 14: 9, 10, and 11 but when we keep reading we find something quite different than what you present.

Revelation 14:12   Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13   And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
14   And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

The saints are overcome, and killed, but God says they are blessed.  Where do we find eternal Judgment against the saint in the context of these verses?

It is clear that you will not accept the fact that we have been in the end times, last days, latter days, last times since the cross.  It is impossible to understand end times events unless you know when that time period began.  Again, I would ask that you address the original question.  If my assumptions about “mountains” representing places of worship is incorrect, then I need to be shown this.  If you believe that “mountains” symbolically represent something else, then please show me through Scripture what Christ means when He tells us to “flee to the mountains.”

Psalms 72:3   The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.
4   He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor.

Psalms 72:16   There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth.

Psalms 87:1   His foundation is in the holy mountains.

Jer. 50:6   My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.
7   All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.

Jer. 50:20     In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.

Since my original writing of this article further study has convinced me that mountain represents fleeing spiritually to Christ.  modified 4/8/06

John

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2003, 07:17:18 PM »
Here are the assumptions:

1. All the elect have been sealed (Rev 7:3)
2. The Tribulation has begun (Matt 24)
3. The Holy Spirit has departed from all churches (2Thes 2:7)
4. The Candlestick is removed from all churches (Rev 2:5)
5. Satan rules in all the churches (2Thes 2:4)
6. All churches are Satan's -- we must flee (Luke 21:21)

Based on this, all Christians are worshipping Satan by attending church. Those that refuse to flee are taking the mark of the beast and are worshipping the image of the beast.  Those that don't depart are drinking of God's wrath -- they have come under judgment.  Since the elect cannot be deceived (Matt 24:24), then those who continue to remain in the churches, who don't heed the warning -- these can be none other than the deceived spoken of who worship false Christs and false prophets.

Is this correct?

Though I am not as wise as most, I judge the conclusions to be in error. The basis for the error seems to be a subtle shift in who are the major players in the Bible. Rather than interplay between believers (elect) and the reprobate the shift is toward those in the corporate church vs. those who are outside the church. Rather than judgment falling on the reprobate, judgment falls on the corporate church. They are not the same group.

1. Is Rev 7:3 saying once the elect are sealed then salvation is cutoff during the tribulation period?  The hurting of the earth and sea will not occur, this hurting is a wind blowing, but it is restrained by the four angles (vs. 1).  Is the lack of a blowing wind synonymous with the Holy Spirit not saving? Rather I think (watch out, I'm thinking) this calmness reflects that God IS saving -- sealing His elect -- right up until the end. When the wind blows, i.e., Rev 6:13, a mighty wind blows the untimely figs -- it is "For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Until that time salvation continues, the elect are sealed a spiritual 144,000, right up to the end.

2. The nature of the tribulation is deception by Satan and his false teachers. But who will be deceived?  By Matt 24:24, the whole reprobate world is Satan's, they carry his mark in will and deed. But never will God's elect be deceived in such a manner. Though many churches are corrupt and assemblies of Satan -- the elect are not deceived. The elect are not identified easily, they are not simply those who attend fellowships because they fled a church. The elect continue to assemble themselves across the world. As long as believers assemble the church continues -- believers ARE the church, not the building structure around them. To depart out and assemble only establishes another Christian assembly, it is a church, though in disobedience to proper church government. Satan can overthrow a Fellowship as easily as a church, if not easier -- since they have removed the Biblical safeguards (deacons, elders, pastors).

3. But hasn't the Holy Spirit departed from all churches? “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” The "mystery of iniquity" was working during the flowering age of the NT church, Satan's was bound -- the elect were saved yet the mystery of iniquity worked its work.  The Holy Spirit is not taken away from the churches, He is taken out of the way so that the lawless one(already present with Paul) can be revealed (Satan grows strong). The Holy Spirit continues, indwelling His believers and in the midst of His faithful churches.

4. But isn’t the removal of the candlestick the end of the church age? The candlestick represents the gospel light of God's elected light-bearers -- His church. The seven candlesticks represent not so much the perfection of all church building in the world -- but the actual light-bearers who make up God's church. God walks amongst (Rev 2:1) His elect to examine each of us. If sin is found we either repent or risk being removed from His church body, just as the evil branches risk being broken off the Olive Tree. The 'removing the candlestick out of its place' implies you are like the broken branch suitable for burning -- the 'place' you are removed from being out from under God's covenant. Certainly the covenant promises to each church are individual (i.e., hidden manna, white stone, new name to those who overcome). The curses and promises are not upon church congregations but deal with individuals and their deeds. This is important if we wish to say God departs from corporate churches -- God doesn't know corporations (your church name goes here), He judges the hearts of individuals.

5. Though the tribulation features apostasy, does Satan rule every single church?  I think not. Even in the hotbed of Satan's seat (Rev 2:13) the church of Pergamos "holdest fast My name", even surrounded by Satan's strength. Satan may overthrow many churches, but still there will be believers that keep His name and they are His church. Even when a church falls, the believers go underground and continuing to meet; the covenant church cannot be killed. That is not to say the witness of the witnesses cannot be to the world 'as if' they were dead in the street of Jerusalem.

The church was never the effectual means of salvation (meaning regeneration), the elect do not regenerate they witness to the truth. Whether that is effectual depends on God who gives the increase (prepares the soil). Today there are still many churches that remain faithful, imperfectly so, but still predominately faithful. God does not judge churches corporately, He judges individuals individually, each by their deeds (even people in fellowships).

6. Are we commanded to flee the corporate church?  We are commanded to flee immorality, fornication, and youthful lusts. If a sinful assembly will not repent, then the faithful should leave and assemble elsewhere, keeping themselves pure.  Joh 10:5 "And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers".  I think the conclusion that we must flee all churches is fatally flawed. God does not engage in blanket condemnations. While Israel may be overthrown for sin, Judah yet continues. While wicked men overthrow one congregation, another faithful church starts afresh or a nearby church continues unaffected.

Lu 21:21
Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.


And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4)

We know Jerusalem (city of God) will be trodden down (Luke 21:24), that is, the believers are suffering tribulation at the hands of the reprobate (those who pretend to be His but are not). Those that are in Judea, that is, those identified with the Kingdom of Christ, are to flee to the mountains:  As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about His people from henceforth even for ever. (Psalm 125:2)  We flee to the LORD who is able to save, we do not join with or remain with the Army of Satan, nor would we return to join them like a dog returning to its vomit.

Luke 21:21 is a injunction to ensure you are saved as the end is at hand (Son of man coming). It is NOT a command to flee all churches, Jerusalem is not the corporate church, it is the covenant community that identifies itself with Christ. The Kingdom of Christ is under attack by the kingdom of Satan. Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of messengers

Re 20:9    And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.  

Lu 21:20    And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.  

In other words, when you see Satan attacking the body of believers (with false prophets) and prevailing, know that the end is near. Because of unbelief the Jews were broken off from the Olive tree, they stumbled and fell.  This is identical to Jesus saying "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." Mt 23:38. The riches she had were not 'in-Christ", she became naked and poor. The desolation of the tree whose Root is Christ comes via tribulation, causing a falling away, the removal of untimely figs. The Root remains to sustain those who cling to it (flee to the mountains), the rest are fodder for Satan and to be destroyed by fire from heaven (under God's wrath).

This is not speaking of your church, or my church, or the church around the corner. It is speaking of a spiritual battle that essentially begins the separation between those who are God's (elect) and those who are sanctified under the covenant, but are none of His. Whether you flee your church or not is not the question here: Are you clinging to the Root or are you a branch to be broken off for unbelief. The reason this period when Satan is loosed is so important is that the tree is almost left desolate and barren. Will Christ find faith on the earth? Not much. Like OT Israel, a great many branches are to be cast off.

The visible result of this spiritual battle is that churches will be apostate. The representation of Light-bearers (with candlesticks) will be rather few. They will continue to meet. They will continue to preach. The True Branches will survive -- they will be faithful until His appearing on the clouds. There is no command to form fellowships. No command to not meet together, especially as the day draws near. No command to stop the Lord's Supper, remembering His death until He comes. No reason to flee you faithful church.

The most grievious part of the current DOT is the blurring of the reality that there are only two kingdoms that God cares about. It is not Fellowships vs. Corporate churches. It is not inside a church building vs. outside a church building. It is not who departed out vs. who did not depart out. These are non-spiritual things that God cares less about. Rather than preaching to depart out, the True Vine should be preaching salvation, right up to the end. Rather than trying to prove each others churches are really apostate because they hold some doctrine or use the WCF, preach Christ crucified.

As a note: This forum years ago used to discuss salvation, TULIP, and Grace endlessly with visitors. It seems to be a rare commodity today (I could be wrong). It seems to me the focus in Christian circles has changed from salvation in Christ from hellfire to:  Salvation in fellowships from local churches.  

I welcome your critique,

JH
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Tony Warren

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2003, 09:08:11 PM »
>>>
God IS saving -- sealing His elect -- right up until the end.
<<<

On this point, that would be a "major" inconsistency on multiple levels. The Messenger ascending from the east is Christ, and His command that the four messengers be restrained from hurting the earth before God's servants of Israel are sealed (Saved), is synonymous with the binding of Satan until the Church is built. That is the whole point of Satan's binding. That He couldn't hurt the earth until the nations are brought into the Covenant with Israel. Thus by necessity the four (universal) messengers that were restrained while believers are sealed, correspond to Satan being bound while the Church is being built (revelation 20). Satan's losing is not on the last day, so there is ample time after the sealing is done.

And it is also synonymous with the two candlesticks/Witnesses of Revelation chapter 11  prophesying until the time their testimony is Finished. i.e., there are no more left to save. And "only then" can the beast be loosed from the bottomless pit. And again, it is not the last day. All these things and more are illustrating that this time when they are sealed is the New Covenant Church period, and the messengers are loosed only after all are sealed, and it is not the end. It is a time when iniquity abounds and Satan is loosed to deceive the nations. The reason he was bound is so that he couldn't deceive the nations, and people from all tongues, and creeds would be gathered into the commonwealth of Israel. When he is loosed, that is not possible. Else Satan's binding was without meaning.

Moreover, in Revelation 9 when we see that those sealed are still on earth, and the Bottomless pit is opened, and people of the earth are hurt, all except those who were sealed in their foreheads, it is abundantly clear that these are still upon earth and this is not the last trump. i.e., in Revelation 7 none could be hurt until after all Israel was sealed, here people are allowed to be hurt, all except those sealed. Makes perfect sense only when we understand the nature of the restraint of Satan until all are sealed.

Revelation 9:3-5
  • " And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
  • And 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.
  • And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man[/i]."
Clearly, this is why this pit couldn't be opened until all Israel was sealed in their foreheads. This is a world wide Phenomenon and all will worship the image of the beast "except" those who were sealed (secured) that they cannot be hurt by these locusts.


Quote
>>>
The nature of the tribulation is deception by Satan and his false teachers. But who will be deceived?  By Matt 24:24, the whole reprobate world is Satan's, they carry his mark in will and deed. But never will God's elect be deceived in such a manner. Though many churches are corrupt and assemblies of Satan -- the elect are not deceived.
<<<

I think everyone would agree with that. That's not really in debate. None of the elect are deceived, because the elect are those who were sealed or secured with the Holy Spirit of promise.


Quote
>>>
As long as believers assemble the church continues.
<<<

Acts 7:38
  • "This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:"
The "indivisible" Church continues, for where two are gathered together in Christ's name, there is the Church. Just as it continued after Christ died, but the corporate "Covenant Church," the external representation of the Children of God did not. It fell like Babylon, and great was the fall of it.

So there is a distinction made (by God) between the indivisible Church, and the Covenant Church (which includes believers and unbelievers).


Quote
>>>
since they have removed the Biblical safeguards (deacons, elders, pastors).
<<<

Deacons, Elders and Pastors are no safeguards, as Church after Church in our day has proven UNEQUIVOCALLY. On the contrary, in most cases, they are the problem. And will be Judged, as they always have been.

Jeremiah 23:2
  • "Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD."
The only real safeguard is to be sealed with the Holy Spirit that we know when we "see" Abomination stand in the Holy place, and not chalk it up to "No Church is Perfect."


Quote
>>>
The "mystery of iniquity" was working during the flowering age of the NT church, Satan's was bound -- the elect were saved yet the mystery of iniquity worked its work. 
<<<

Indeed! Truly. And if iniquity was already at work deceiving while Satan was bound and the nations were being Saved, think what it will be like when Satan is loosed. A Deception so clever, it would even deceive the very elect (if that were possible). What better deception than the one which Satan has always pulled. Saying Peace, Peace, when there is no Peace. Peace is a synonym for Salvation. Peace with God. Satan is coming with his ministers, pastors, etc., preaching a gospel which cannot Save, while saying Peace, Peace. That is the deception so great it would even deceive the elect.

Matthew 24:21
  • "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."
It's not like God hasn't told us before.


Quote
>>>
God does not judge churches corporately, He judges individuals individually, each by their deeds (even people in fellowships).
<<<

This is certainly Not true. The Fig tree which God cursed illustrated that national Israel, the corporate congregation was judged of God. ...Just as He 'beforehand' prophesied He would. Israel lies as a tree without ever bearing fruit, and will never bear fruit again, lying in spiritual blindness to this very day, evidence of that curse, and His judgment upon "His Corporate Congregation."  Yes, God does judge congregations Corporately.

Your statements about prophecy are not taking into account "the whole" that scripture says about these topics. Most certainly the corporate congregation of Israel was judged. Only a remnant of Israel were chosen of God, and they are not still worshiping in the synagogues of Israel. Why? "Because" the Congregation of Israel is under Judgment and the true believers had to "Come Out!"

nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
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Tony Silva

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2003, 04:30:46 AM »
>>Your reply does not address the original question.  What does Christ mean when He tells us to “flee to the mountains?”  I have shown verses, there are many more, that seem to indicate that “mountains” symbolically represent places of worship.  Can you show me otherwise?  The “mountains” even represent places of worship for pagans.<<

No, I didn't address that question, but when we are addressing such a complicated issue as this one, it is impossible to cover every question in one sitting, as all who contribute on this board and spend the time to give a thorough answer, know.

It is true that the mountains can represent a place that has been desecrated by the unfaithful within that assembly, (as you have shown), but the context of Matt.24:16 is one of fleeing the abomination of desolation ( the desecrated place) to a safe place (the mountains). In this context I believe the mountains are referring to God Himself and not another more faithful church as you and other have suggested. We are commanded to flee when we see Jerusalem encompassed by armies, these armies are Satan and his followers as we see from Rev.20.

Revelation 20:9  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

We also know that Satan and his armies are not destroyed immediately by this fire that comes out from heaven from God, but only after they have overcome the saints and killed them.

Revelation 11:7  And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Revelation 13:7  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

So if God is commanding us to flee the destruction of Jerusalem, which is the place where the believers are found (Rev.20:9) throughout the NT era, and is simply telling us to flee to another church, then why didn't God command that we flee to another city as He did in Matt.10?

Matthew 10:23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

I believe there are a number of reasons for this, one of which is that Jerusalem normally represents the most faithful of cities, the last to fall to the Babylonians, before they were completely subjugated. Therefore if Jerusalem has now become spiritually adulterous and back under the bondage of sin and Satan, what can we expect from the other cities (churches)?

Revelation 11:8  And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

Matthew 24:15-16  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

A good example of the command to flee to the mountains is found in the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah which has many parallels to the commands in Matt.24. and the book of Revelation.

Genesis 19:17  And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

This language sounds very similar to:

Matthew 24:16-18 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

Yet like many Christians today, Lot resisted the idea of abandoning the cities (churches) altogether and besieged God to let him flee to Zoar ( a little church).

Genesis 19:18-19  And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

It appeared to Lot as it does to many today, that abandoning the church (cities),  is detrimental to their spiritual health.

Genesis 19:20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.

Fleeing to another church seems like the more faithful option of the two, but is that really the case? Wouldn't the more faithful thing to do, be what God has commanded and not what our common sense tells us is the right thing to do?

Genesis 19:20-21  Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.

People think that they know better than God, what is the right thing to do and God let's them find out for themselves sometimes that it is better to do it God's way in the first place. And so we see this in our day. God is not forcibly herding Christians out of the churches, nor is He physically destroying the church buildings as He did the Jewish temple or these cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, but He is testing us to see if we will obey His commands. The DOT is a matter of personal conviction that the church is under the rule of Satan and that God is commanding us to flee this situation, we have no choice in the matter.

Genesis 19:24  Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

Revelation 9:17  And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

Although the source of the fire and brimstone in Genesis 19 is from God in heaven, ultimately the fire and brimstone in Rev.9 is also from God as it is He who sent Satan and his emissaries agains't the church.

Genesis 19:27-28  And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

Revelation 18:9-10  And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Genesis 19:25-26  And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

>>Like you have often done with the Scriptures, you have again taken verses out nilly willy to prove an unbiblical perspective.  You would like us to believe that those elect of God who remain in churches will be condemned along with the reprobate.  You use verses from Rev. 13 & 14 to say, “see you will be eternally punished.”  When we put these verses back into their proper context here is what we actually find:<<   
   
Judgment agains't the worshipping of Satan is not something that I made up, nor do I say anywhere that the elect will be condemned along with the reprobate, the Bible is clear that only the people with the mark of the beast will worship Satan, you are the one that insists that the believers will be in that situation (in the church), where Satan is ruling, till the end.

Matthew 24:15-18  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

Luke 17:31-32  In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot's wife.

Tony S

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2003, 09:37:08 AM »
Quote
I would rather be judged as arrogant and warn true believers that they are worshipping Satan than to sit idly by while Satan is being worshipped as God in the churches even for a minute.

Tony S., since this is what you believe,  would you comment on a few things you haven't yet addressed ...

What are your views concerning fellowships?  By biblical definition, a fellowship is also a church.  Therefore if, as you say, all churches are now ruled by Satan, this would extend to fellowships.  This of course is not what the Bible teaches, nor something I think you would say.  But it should raise questions in your mind.  

So what is the underlying factor (that you appear to be overlooking) which determines whether or not an assembly of worshipers will have their
'candlestick' -- the Holy Spirit removed from their midst?  The answer --  faith.  As it is written, 'the just shall live by faith':

Rom 1:16-17

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Gal 3:11, 14

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith....
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Heb 10:37-38

37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.[/u]
[/color]


So anyone who says or implies that the faithfulness of a church doesn't matter,  is missing the boat; faith is at the very heart of the matter.  Churches who have the faith of Christ, will never have their 'candle stick' removed, as illustrated  among  2 of the 7 churches of Revelations 2-3.

Consider also those led by Moses out of bondage from Egypt (representative of the church).  Most perished in the wilderness due to unbelief.  Yet God allowed/enabled some to enter into the promised land.

Heb 3:12-19

12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
15 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief
.



The same goes for National Israel (the church) out of which came all the diciples, and others -- like the honorable Bereans.  So some yet remained in the true vine (in Christ), albeit  many natural branches were cut off, and the gentiles grafted in.

Acts 17:10-12

10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
12 Therefore many of them believed;...

Rom 11:20-23

20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.



So what does faith have to do with it.... it has
everything to do with!  This is why Scriptures pertaining to God's judgement upon the church should always be spoken of within this context.  Yes, this warning must be given;  when you think about it, this is the same warning that has been given to the church (OT & NT) throughout time, and will not be heeded by most of the churches of today.  But it nonetheless must be given within the same context that God gives it within His Word, or run the risk of saying 'thus saith the Lord', when the Lord hath not said.

I offer these final verses:

Heb 4:11-16

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
14Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Luke 18:7-8

7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
[/i]

Notice the question mark.  I believe this is addressed to both individuals and churches, and the answer rests upon the mercies of God, who we know will return while some of his elect remain on earth, some of which may be part of a faithful church body.  That's something we cannot dogmatically say one way or the another.

judy
'For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.'   Ps 119:89

Mike Repass

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2003, 01:53:59 PM »
Quote:
But, I am wondering why this word "mountain(s)" is plural?


I am interested to see this question answered.

Matt. 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)   16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:  

Isaiah 65:9 And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.

Tony Silva

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #39 on: July 18, 2003, 02:40:44 PM »
>>So what is the underlying factor (that you appear to be overlooking) which determines whether or not an assembly of worshipers will have their
'candlestick' -- the Holy Spirit removed from their midst?  The answer --  faith.  As it is written, 'the just shall live by faith':<<


That is exactly my point, it is by faith that we leave the place that we grew up in (spiritually) and had fellowship and kinship in. In obedience to God's command to come out of Babylon the harlot, just like Abraham was called out of the land of the Chaldeas.   
   
Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

>>Consider also those led by Moses out of bondage from Egypt (representative of the church).  Most perished in the wilderness due to unbelief.  Yet God allowed/enabled some to enter into the promised land.<<
   
The destruction of Sodom should also serve as an example to us, because God clearly calls Jerusalem, Sodom and Egypt in Rev.11:8. It shouln't surprise us that God calls His people out of a bad situation, He did it with Lot and with the nation of Isreal, as they were led by Moses out of Egypt, after which they were "tried" in the wilderness for 40 years. By the way that "tribulation" period was also cut short so that there would be some left alive to enter into the promised land, which I believe could be a figure of the GT period.

Matthew 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

Also remember that not all that perished were necessarily unsaved, take Moses and Aaron for instance, they was not allowed to enter the promise land alive because because of unbelief, but that doesn't mean they were unsaved.

Numbers 20:12  And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

>>What are your views concerning fellowships?  By biblical definition, a fellowship is also a church.  Therefore if, as you say, all churches are now ruled by Satan, this would extend to fellowships.  This of course is not what the Bible teaches, nor something I think you would say.  But it should raise questions in your mind.<<     
   
As for fellowship groups, I am not prepared to classify them as churches but I guess if they are structured like a church they could be one. I have not given fellowship groups much consideration and would have to learn more about them to give a definite opinion and how they fit in to the situation of the GT.

>>So what does faith have to do with it.... it has
everything to do with!  This is why Scriptures pertaining to God's judgement upon the church should always be spoken of within this context.  Yes, this warning must be given;  when you think about it, this is the same warning that has been given to the church (OT & NT) throughout time, and will not be heeded by of the churches of today.  But it nonetheless must be given within the same context that God gives it within His Word, or run the risk of saying 'thus saith the Lord', when the Lord hath not said.<<


Let me ask you this, at the point that God declared that Jerusalem had become Sodom and Egypt, who would remain faithful to God? Those that wanted to remain in Sodom and Egypt, or those that faithfully exited? It seems to me that it takes more faith to leave a situation in which we have grown comfortable, then to stay there no matter how bad the situation has gotten.

Exodus 16:2-3  And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

1 Corinthians 5:6  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

The leaven of Satan ruling has been introduced in the church has made the whole lump unprofitable.

Matthew 5:13  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Daniel 8:12-13  And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.  Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

The church has lost it's savour and it is being trodden down underfoot, where is the faithfulness in staying there? It has been dismantled so that not one stone is left upon another, the individual believers salvation is still safe in God's protective hand, but in the process of the destruction they have been dispersed, that means that as a corporate body they have become ineffective (killed).

Job 14:13  O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!

Luke 18:7-8  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

>>Notice the question mark.  I believe this is addressed to both individuals and churches, and the answer rests upon the mercies of God, who we know will return while some of his elect remain on earth, some of which may be part of a faithful church body.  That's something we cannot dogmatically say one way or the another.   <<

Yes, I notice it, but your conclusion that it could addressing the churches also does not fit the context, which is the avenging of the elect not the churches. The avenging of the elect is one of the reasons for the destruction of the church in the first place.

Revelation 19:2  For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

We know for a fact that there will be elect left alive at His return (Matt.24:31), but I challenge you to show where there is even one hint in the Bible that the churches (corporately) will survive till the end.

Matthew 24:1-2  And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Tony S

Tony Warren

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #40 on: July 18, 2003, 03:11:11 PM »
>>>
But, I am wondering why this word "mountain(s)" is plural? I am interested to see this question answered.

Matt. 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)  16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 
<<<

A honest question deserves an honest answer.

It is not untypical to see God describe himself, or His protection of the saints by the use of mountains. God in scripture often uses worldly examples to illustrate "spiritual" truths. Here, God is illustrating the fleeing of the faithful from a situation that is abominable to God (and which will have judgment come upon it), to the safety and total protection His kingdom (the mountains). The mountains are spiritually where He dwells, the place of His feet. This is illustrating at this time, Christians must flee from unrighteousness in Judea to the "place" of righteousness. A place of  righteousness and protection, which only God's spiritual mountains can provide. We see the "Spiritual picture" of this refuge of righteousness and protection of the mountains illustrated in such passages as:

Psalms 36:6
  • "Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; thy judgments are a great deep: O LORD, thou preservest man and beast."

Here God signifies the righteousness of His kingdom is what preserves man, and He likens it to great "mountains." So when Matthew 24 says believers flee the unrighteousness of his house on earth, these are the mountains to which they are to flee. Or again we read:

Psalms 125:2
  • "As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever."

Here again, we see the Kingdom of God is likened or equated unto "mountains" which are around all His people, signifying His own strong righteous protection of them. Using scripture as our guide and interpreter, we understand that when we see in Matthew 24 speak of these false prophets arising deceiving many, iniquity abounding, love of many waxing cold, and this abomination standing in the Holy place, these are the mountains Christ is telling His servants to flee to. Flee to the Spiritual kingdom of God where His righteousness protects them. Even the context illustrates it is for God's righteous protection. It is the only place of true Peace and Safety.
 
Psalms 87:1
  • "His foundation is in the holy mountains.
  • The LORD loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
  • Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God. Selah."

Zion is the Kingdom of God, the spiritual city of God, the place of God's feet. The holy mountains illustrate where His foundation is where His people can never be moved. Mountains is plural to illustrate it's all encompassing nature, as when God pointed out to His people that He is the "mountains" that were all round about Jerusalem (Psalms 125:2). In other words, there is no breach point, God is as "many mountains" surrounding the Children of God that they are protected completely.
 
nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
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sandy

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #41 on: July 19, 2003, 05:19:57 PM »
It is true that corporate national Israel was judged, but it is also true that judgment was brought upon individuals within corporate national Israel.  Some, that is a remnant chosen by grace, were judged and found to be faithful.  Why is the nation judged corporately?  Because the nation corporately was chosen yes, but not the elect unto salvation.  The same holds true for the corporate church.  The nation of Israel shows us many truths, like the nature of man’s rebellious hearts, and our desperate need for a Redeemer.  But national, corporate Israel does not show us a picture of salvation as a corporate whole.  Neither does the corporate church.  God never intended the corporate church as a whole to be the elect or redeemed of God.  The corporate church was simply the means God established to bring His elect to salvation.

The letters to the seven churches in Revelations represents the corporate whole.  However, when we see the two witnesses we find that only two candlesticks (corporate churches) remain, yet the two olive branches (spiritual Israel, all believers) are still faithful, and remain.  This is because five of the candlesticks have already fallen as we are told:

Revelation 17:9   And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
10   And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

The seven mountains symbolically represent corporate churches.  It is the church in the New Testament era which has become the holy place for the worship of God.  It is the place established where believers can gather together in faith, but it is also a place where unbelievers are, and where the beasts make war against the saints.  Though five of these have fallen prey to the beast, two remain, and as vs. 14 shows when the beasts here makes war with the Lamb, the Lamb, and they that are with Him overcome the beast.  

Revelation 11:2   But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
3   And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4   These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

These two witnesses, meaning all believers, and two churches, (a small representation of the corporate whole) (two candlesticks) remain faithful.  The beast that will finally kill the last two faithful corporate churches is “the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven.”            

Here again we’re shown the same picture as in Revelation 17, but here the beast rises up out of the sea.  Symbolically the sea represents peoples, multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

Revelation 13:1   And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
5   And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6   And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7   And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Revelation 6:11   And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Revelation 20:3   And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

The saints under the altar are said to be reigning with Christ for 1000 years.  Satan is also said to be bound for 1000 years.  At the end of this symbolic 1000 year period of time the saints are given white robes and told they must rest for a “little season” until their fellow servants and brethren are killed as they were should be fulfilled.  Also at the end of this symbolic 1000 year period we are told that Satan is freed for a “little season.”  The death of the two faithful witnesses is symbolically represented by 3 ½ days.  Wherever we read about the saints being killed in Scripture, Judgment Day follows almost immediately.  In Revelation 13 we read that anyone who would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.  This is followed by a description of salvation and Judgment.  In Revelation 11 3 ½ days after the death of the witnesses, they are called to heaven and Judgment is given.  In Revelation 20 immediately following the surrounding of the saints, fire comes down from heaven, and Judgment is proclaimed.

When the last two faithful witnesses are killed why would God delay pouring out His wrath on the earth, and the corporate church?  The answer is, that He does not!  In the 3 ½ symbolic days period of time, God is fulfilling His promise to bring Judgment against the reprobate  Here is what is happening during this little season.  This “little season” is synonymous with Judgment Day!   In Revelation 14:8-20 we’re given a picture of the wrath of God being poured out upon the earth.  Then in Revelation 16 we read of the seven last vials of God’s wrath being poured upon all the reprobate.

In Revelation 10 John hears seven thunders utter their voices, and he is told to seal up what the thunders uttered.  Then in verse 7 we read:

Revelation 10:7   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 hath declared to his servants the prophets.

What we read after the death of the two witnesses in Revelation 11, is vs. 15:

Revelation 11:15        And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

The only time left after the killing of the last two remaining faithful witnesses is used for bringing wrath and Judgment against all unbelievers.  The closing verses of chapter 11 give us glimpses of this symbolic time.  Then chapter 12 switches to the building of the kingdom of God, through the coming of Christ, and the establishment of the corporate church.  Chapter 13 shows us a time of great tribulation like no other that will come against the building of the Kingdom of God through the means of the corporate church.  Then chapter 14 begins by showing us a picture of the redeemed, but then shows the wrath of God to be poured out upon the great whore, Babylon, and all the earth.  Finally chapter 16 brings us to the seven last vials of God’s wrath and the seventh angel:  17  And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

As you ingest the preceding thoughts please bear in mind that they are not meant to be dogmatic, or absolute truths.  These thoughts of mine simply represent the mind of one who is searching for truths.  Please show me through Scripture why some or all of the opinions I have presented here are way off, or please show me also where you might agree, with maybe a little adjustment, to some of the opinions I have made.  It’s dangerous to be on an island all to yourself.  Therefore without confirmation from other believers I realize I need to go back to the drawing board, which by-the-way I always enjoy.  I am always happiest when I am sharing and receiving truth from the Word of God.  

P.S.  If I have rambled, which I often do, or haven't made any sense, please don't hesitate to ask for clarification.    

Tony Silva

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2003, 08:52:19 PM »
>>Quote:
But, I am wondering why this word "mountain(s)" is plural?

I am interested to see this question answered.<<


Mike Repass,

Along with the reasons already given, I believe that God used the plural word to represent Himself because He represented Himself in the plural in other passages of Scripture, for example in the very first verse of the Bible, the Hebrew word translated God is the word "elohiym" [Strong's 0430]. This is a plural word for God.

Genesis 1:1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Already in the first verse of the Bible God is preparing us to introduce Himself as a Triune God.

Genesis 1:26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

We know from the rest of the Bible that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are active in the work of redemption, therefore I am not surprised that God tells us to flee to the "mountains" plural.

Tony S   

judykanova

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #43 on: July 20, 2003, 03:25:09 AM »
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judy:>>So what is the underlying factor (that you appear to be overlooking) which determines whether or not an assembly of worshipers will have their
'candlestick' -- the Holy Spirit removed from their midst?  The answer --  faith.  As it is written, 'the just shall live by faith':<<

Tony: That is exactly my point, it is by faith that we leave the place that we grew up in (spiritually) and had fellowship and kinship in. In obedience to God's command to come out of Babylon the harlot, just like Abraham was called out of the land of the Chaldeas.


Tony, your point was that  everyone should now leave all churches, regardless of whether or not they are unfaithful, as was 'Babylon the harlot'.  As you know, I agree that no one should remain in an apostate church — that is not at issue.  So again, what’s the context of the verses you continue to reference?   The answer – Unfaithfulness.


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judy: >>Consider also those led by Moses out of bondage from Egypt (representative of the church).  Most perished in the wilderness due to unbelief.  Yet God allowed/enabled some to enter into the promised land.<<
   
Tony: The destruction of Sodom should also serve as an example to us, because God clearly calls Jerusalem, Sodom and Egypt in Rev.11:8.  It shouln't surprise us that God calls His people out of a bad situation, He did it with Lot and with the nation of Isreal, as they were led by Moses out of Egypt, after which they were "tried" in the wilderness for 40 years. By the way that "tribulation" period was also cut short so that there would be some left alive to enter into the promised land, which I believe could be a figure of the GT period.

Being called out ‘of a bad situation’, like an apostate church, is not at issue.  Again, the context of the verses you make reference to is Unfaithfulness.

The parallel you draw between the 40 years of trial wandering through the wilderness, and God cutting the GT period short so that some elect will still be living when Christ returns, is worth considering.  However,  I think you have to be careful here because God says that the GT period is like no other time in history (Matt 24:22).  Also, unlike the GT period, an specific period of 40 years is given (4x10) which symbolically may represent the ‘universality’ of trials/testing  that all true believers undergo as a process of refinement.  But this too is besides the point.


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Also remember that not all that perished were necessarily unsaved, take Moses and Aaron for instance, they was not allowed to enter the promise land alive because because of unbelief, but that doesn't mean they were unsaved.

Regarding this side-topic, I haven't forgotten that some, like Moses, were true believers yet didn’t enter the ‘physical’ promised land.  Consider instead, that they entered a far greater kingdom to be with God in heaven.  This does not alter the fact that God ‘reserved’ a group of Israelites to continue the nation (representative of the church), while the majority perished in the wilderness.


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judy>> What are your views concerning fellowships?  By biblical definition, a fellowship is also a church.  Therefore if, as you say, all churches are now ruled by Satan, this would extend to fellowships.  This of course is not what the Bible teaches, nor something I think you would say.  But it should raise questions in your mind.<<      
   
Tony: As for fellowship groups, I am not prepared to classify them as churches but I guess if they are structured like a church they could be one. I have not given fellowship groups much consideration and would have to learn more about them to give a definite opinion and how they fit in to the situation of the GT.

I’m not surprised that you aren’t 'prepared'  to give an answer to this question.   Perhaps you need to deal with this question first, before taking the stance that all churches are now ruled by Satan.


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judy:>> So what does faith have to do with it.... it has everything to do with!  This is why Scriptures pertaining to God's judgement upon the church should always be spoken of within this context.  Yes, this warning must be given;  when you think about it, this is the same warning that has been given to the church (OT & NT) throughout time, and will not be heeded by of the churches of today.  But it nonetheless must be given within the same context that God gives it within His Word, or run the risk of saying 'thus saith the Lord', when the Lord hath not said.<<

Let me ask you this, at the point that God declared that Jerusalem had become Sodom and Egypt, who would remain faithful to God? Those that wanted to remain in Sodom and Egypt, or those that faithfully exited? It seems to me that it takes more faith to leave a situation in which we have grown comfortable, then to stay there no matter how bad the situation has gotten. ...

The church has lost it's savour and it is being trodden down underfoot, where is the faithfulness in staying there? It has been dismantled so that not one stone is left upon another, the individual believers salvation is still safe in God's protective hand, but in the process of the destruction they have been dispersed, that means that as a corporate body they have become ineffective (killed).

Again, as you know, I have made my position quite clear that no one should remain in an apostate church.  And the reason true believers leave is just the opposite of what you’ve stated – it’s because they grow uncomfortable (not comfortable) with what they, by the Grace of God, see happening.  

If you would remain focused on the issue at hand, instead of redirecting the focus,  and making it appear that I said something I never said, it would significantly cut down on the size of your posts, and the necessity of repeating myself.
Not to mention typing cramps and the inevitable typos. :)

You have yet to deal with or acknowledge that Scriptures dealing with God’s judgment on the church are all within the context of unfaithfulness.  Your declarations that all churches have Satan ruling in them regardless of the issue of faith, goes beyond the bounds of what God has declared in His Word.


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Exodus 16:2-3  And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

We’ve already established that despite everything, God reserved a remnant to enter the promised land.


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1 Corinthians 5:6  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

The leaven of Satan ruling has been introduced in the church has made the whole lump unprofitable.

This verse was directed towards a specific church and can only be used in reference to an unfaithful apostate church.  But it does not apply to those churches who, if it pleases the Lord, will remain faithful.  I won’t go through all the other verses you gave, since all are within the context of unfaithfulness, and therefore cannot be used to prove that Satan now rules in all churches.


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judy:>>Luke 18:7-8  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?  
Notice the question mark.  I believe this is addressed to both individuals and churches, and the answer rests upon the mercies of God, who we know will return while some of his elect remain on earth, some of which may be part of a faithful church body.  That's something we cannot dogmatically say one way or the another.<<

Tony: Yes, I notice it, but your conclusion that it could addressing the churches also does not fit the context, which is the avenging of the elect not the churches. The avenging of the elect is one of the reasons for the destruction of the church in the first place.

Revelation 19:2  For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

I’ll concede this one.  I agree this particular verse is primarily addressed toward individual elect of God.


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Tony: We know for a fact that there will be elect left alive at His return (Matt.24:31), but I challenge you to show where there is even one hint in the Bible that the churches (corporately) will survive till the end.

Matthew 24:1-2  And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Tony Silva, I’m not the one making dogmatic statements.  Just to refresh your memory, my closing statement was “the answer rests upon the mercies of God, who we know will return while some of his elect remain on earth, some of which may be part of a faithful church body.  That's something we cannot dogmatically say one way or the another.”

Also, as I recall, when I introduced a thread on the old board concerning the verse you quoted above (Matt 24:1-2), not only was nothing conclusive given, but you indicated that those verses were in reference to true believers …. Remember?  

Well,  I just hope you give this issue closer study and consideration, as you have presented nothing conclusive by way of  Scripture that declares all churches are not ruled by Satan.

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post.
I close with these verses as caution to us all as we study God's Holy Word.

2 Tim 2:15-18

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.


judy
'For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.'   Ps 119:89

Tony Silva

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Re: Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains
« Reply #44 on: July 21, 2003, 02:57:10 AM »
>>Tony, your point was that  everyone should now leave all churches, regardless of whether or not they are unfaithful, as was 'Babylon the harlot'.  As you know, I agree that no one should remain in an apostate church — that is not at issue.  So again, what’s the context of the verses you continue to reference?  The answer – Unfaithfulness.<<

Judy,

The point is that we should never second guess God. When He commanded Lot to leave Sodom, was Lot to look for a part in the city that had not been corrupted? No he had only one choice, that was to flee. When God commanded Abraham to leave the country in which he was raised and had all his family in did he make excuses to stay there or did he obey God? Like wise in the church after Satan is revealed as ruling in the temple of God and God commands us to flee, is that a command to look for a more faithful church or does it mean that we flee out of all churches? When it says that Satan is sitting (ruling) in the temple of God or standing in the holy place, this is not telling us that he is ruling only in part of the temple or holy place but Satan has desecrated the whole temple.

2 Thessalonians 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Daniel 11:15  So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mount, and take the most fenced cities: and the arms of the south shall not withstand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to withstand.

 Daniel 11:39  Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.

Daniel 11:45  And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

This language leaves no doubt in my mind that Satan will take over the whole church because he will plant the "tabernacles of his palace" between the seas in the "holy mountain", the picture is one of a body of land that is surrounded by the seas, so that it includes all the dry land in between the waters. Also notice it includes the "most strong holds" and the "most fenced cities", that is not language that gives us any hope that any will escape his rule, which is signified by the "tabernacle of his palace". The "temple of God" and the "holy place" are synonyms for the whole place where God is worshipped and not just parts. This is the point where you and I disagree and I must say that I have no problem with your belief that there could be faithful churches till the end, I just happen to believe that the Bible is saying otherwise.

Luke 18:7-8  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

I believe the answer to be no, but we need not argue the point as if we have to convince each other that we are right and the other is wrong, but we all have to live with the decisions that we make concerning the paths we take about this very difficult subject. As in all other matters that affect our walk with the Lord we must make these decisions from what we are taught in His Word. The Bible promises that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth, so if we are His children we have nothing to worry about.

1 John 2:27  But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

1 Corinthians 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

This is my testimony of what I believe God has taught me concerning the endtimes and the Scriptures in support, that others have a different opinion of what the Scriptures teach,  I have no problem with that,  as long as they can back them by the Sciptures. If they want to discuss or debate our differences, I am more than willing to do so.

Thank you for your imput on these and other very pertinent events of these last days.

Tony S

 


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