Article Based on a Sermon given 26 October 2002

The Place of Safety - Philadelphia - Part 4

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

The last few Bible Studies that I’ve given have been on Revelation 3, and in particular, the message to Philadelphia. And we are instructed, within that passage, to "...hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown" (Revelation 3:11). It obviously indicates that men are going to start trying to take our crown by the things that they are going to be saying. It also says; "Behold, I come quickly..." (Revelation 3:11) Which also is a very apt point that we need to keep in mind. As far as God is concerned - even though it has been a number of years now since Mr Armstrong’s death, as far as He is concerned, it is quickly. It is all on schedule, it will, in fact, all come exactly on schedule in the way in which God has determined.

I pointed out that there are a number of things that we do have, that are actually mentioned within that passage on Philadelphia. One of the things is the fact that the Word of God is coming from Christ Himself. That is something that we indeed do have. The other thing that He mentions is that, "...thou hast [very] little strength..." (Revelation 3:8) That implies that the strength that we do have must come via the Holy Spirit. We cannot succeed in any way shape or form unless we get that firmly in our mind. Another thing that we have is that we have kept His word - "...and hast kept my word..." (Revelation 3:8) Another thing; "thou hast not denied my name." (Revelation 3:8) I went through each of these points, and also "...hast kept the word of my patience..." (Revelation 3:10) Other scriptures point out that there is the keeping of the commandments, and also the faith of Jesus, or the testimony of Jesus Christ.

If you put that together it goes back, almost like a full circle, back to where it is coming from - Christ, initially anyway and that testimony that we are holding onto - that we have to hold onto - is a revelation. It is a revelation that has been given to us, and it came to us through an apostle sent to us. All these things are all tied up together.

I took two Bible Studies to go through those points. The next one I gave was on the fact that the Devil was coming down to this earth, having great wrath. The word 'devil' means slanderer. It is indicative that part of the way in which he is going to get at us in the Church is through slander. Eventually all nations are going to hate us. Every single nation on earth will hate the Church, and hate what we stand for.

All these things are really preparation for an event that is prophesied to take place, which is what the sermon is about today. That is the time in which we must flee. We must literally get out of this society, away from this society, and there is actually a place prepared for the Church. It is quite clear within scripture that there is a Place of Safety, and that is the subject I want to talk about today. I have got five points I want to deal with.

1) Why a Place of Safety? Let’s face it, God could allow us to die. He could allow the Church members to die, or protect us in our individual homes. He can protect us wherever He wants to protect us. Why a Place of Safety? What is it all about?

2) Other examples of protection that God mentions and gives us, in this light.

3) Why Petra? Because if there is a place mentioned within scripture it is Petra. I am not saying that it is Petra, because that is not the way I have been taught. But if there is a place mentioned, it is.

4) How are we going to get there? What are the sequence of events that will allow us to get there?

5) How do we know when to go?

Why a Place of Safety? (PLAY FROM 04:13)

Turn over to Revelation chapter 12. This is the heart and core, and if you are going to go into the subject at all, Revelation 12 is where you'd go. I remember listening to I think it was a Bible Study from Mr Armstrong in 1971 is what I have in my notes. He went straight into Revelation 12:6:

"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days [1260 days]. (Revelation 12:6)

Now for that particular instance - as Mr Armstrong pointed out - there were two possibilities that you can look. Either it is the same occurrence as you will find over in verse 14, where "...the woman...is nourished a time, times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." (Revelation 12:14) Or, it’s a different one.

That again, was Mr Armstrong in 1971. He said it is almost certainly a different one. The indication is that this one in verse 6, is the 1,260 years when from about 300 AD to about 1500 AD the Church was in the European mountainous areas of the Alps. And it was there really to be protected from the Catholic Church. It wasn’t until the ascendency of Great Britain that this, in fact, was then was allowed to come to an end. Notice, it goes on in Revelation 12:9:

"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God [remember this is an inset chapter giving the history of the Church with Satan. Chapter 13 is the inset chapter of the satanic church and Satan. Then it goes into the actual showdown between them all, from chapter 14 on], and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." (Revelation 12:9-10)

So it happens shortly before the Kingdom of God is actually set up. Because once it has happened, now it is about to occur. So when we are looking at Revelation 12:14, it certainly indicates that this is just before the Kingdom of God is set up, this fleeing, this Place of Safety that is being mentioned. Revelation 12:11:

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death [I commented on these verses quite extensively last Bible Study on Satan]. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time [so it happens just before the Kingdom of God, just before the tribulation]. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child." (Revelation 12:11-13)

Now pure speculation; I wonder if it has already happened? You look at the Church today, and the shattering that has taken place on the Church today, and I wonder if in fact it has already happened. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Revelation 12:14:

"And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time [or 3 ½ years], from the face of the serpent." (Revelation 12:14)

Now notice she goes into the wilderness, so this Place of Safety is a wilderness area. It is a place that is prepared for her, so it is a specific location prepared for her. She is nourished in that particular place, and she is away from the satanic forces, so she is protected. Also, it talks about flying into the wilderness on two wings of a great eagle. Again, we can go back and read what that was about.

The question is, why would the Church need to be protected in this way? Turn over to Isaiah 61. There is something we have got to keep in mind. You see the Church isn’t just we who are baptized here within the Church. In this room, there are several children, and it says here in Isaiah 61:1:

"The Spirit of the Lord [Eternal] is upon me; because the Eternal hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound [this is a prophecy that Christ specifically mentioned about His purpose in coming to the earth, and it goes into the purpose when His Second Coming occurs, it says in Isaiah 61:3]; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the [Eternal], that he might be glorified." (Isaiah 61:1,3)

The Church is going to be that way. We are looking at the Church now. In Isaiah particularly - again I’m not going to go back and show you all the scriptures, because I have done it a number of times - but where it says Zion, you are talking about the Church. Where it says the house of Israel, you are looking at physical Israel. That is the tendency throughout the entire book as you go through it. Isaiah 61:4:

But in this context; "And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations. [and down in verse 9 it says;]...And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the [Eternal] hath blessed." (Isaiah 61:4,9)

Now these are the children of the Church. These children of the Church are very important to God. One of the major reasons why there is a Place of Safety is so the children might be protected physically to form the nucleus of the very World Tomorrow. One of the major reasons, not the only, but one of the major reasons.

The reason for that, if you turn back to Matthew 24:3 Christ was asked on the Mount of Olives: "...Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the [age]?" (Matthew 24:3)

This is the context of which these verses are actually given, down in verse 14, it says:

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, [Daniel, it means] let him understand [we are coming to that a little bit later]:) 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. ...But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation [this is the reason for the flight - because of the tribulation], such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:14-18,20-22)

Now it is because of the tribulation. Another reason you can put down in your notes, and you can go back and read it over in Malachi, is that the temple has got to be there, to which Christ will return. If there is no organised church - and in the tribulation Laodicea will hang on by the skin of their teeth - but an organized Church, a temple, to which Christ will return, must be there. This is why the Church didn’t always use the term 'Place of Safety'. It used the term 'place of final training'. That is what Mr Waterhouse always talked about. Mr Waterhouse was actually commissioned by Mr Herbert Armstrong to go around the Churches on his circuits. I think he made six, I don’t know, however many times he went round. He was commissioned to get the Churches' minds focused on the World Tomorrow. That was his very purpose in life. That was his purpose given to him by Mr Herbert Armstrong. And the place of final training featured largely in that. Because that is what it is for.That is the reason why God is going to preserve us. So that we are trained as that temple to which Christ will return.

Other Examples of Protection (PLAY FROM 13:25)

While we are in Matthew 24, let’s look at the second point. Let's look at some of the other examples that God gives. If you go over to verse 32 it says:

"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:32-34)

Now that verse is still there. "...This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:34) We used to speculate and say how long is a generation, thirty years? We used to say thirty years therefore from 1952, which was the date when hydrogen warfare would destroy all life on earth. It obviously wasn’t thirty years from then, because we are still here. It still says that this generation will not pass, will not die out until all these things have been fulfilled. So we are in that era, in that time. Matthew 24:35:

"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away [they will be remembered]. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matthew 24:35-36)

Now I've heard people quote that verse, and say, "Oh, therefore we shouldn’t be predicting." "Prediction addiction" is also a oft repeated term, and yet that verse is always found in the context of the fig tree and watching the fig tree. It is not found outside of it. It is in the context. You go to the concordance, and look up about 'the day and hour knows no man', and you will find it is always in the context of that fig tree. So okay, you don’t know, but you jolly well do know the things that need to be watched for, and that is necessary. We need to be alert to those things. Matthew 24:37:

"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be [this is one of the examples that we should really examine]. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." (Matthew 24:37-40)

Let’s read it in another area over in Luke 17. The context of these verses are in verse 20:

"And when he was demanded of the Pharisees [they were being quite bolshie towards Him], when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with [an outward show, or with] observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you [or the midst of you]." (Luke 17:20-21)

The sovereignty of God, the King of God. He was the King. He was there in the middle of this group of Pharisees that were throwing all these questions at Him. The Pharisees certainly didn’t have the Kingdom of God within them, their heart, because they are a bunch of rat bags. They would not have the Kingdom of God within them. Notice, He then said to the disciples, to clarify certain things about the Kingdom of God and how it should come. Luke17:22:

"And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day [when Christ comes, every eye will see Him, that is what will happen, that is what Christ is pointing out, it is not hidden in the midst]. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark [now the timing is when Noah enters the ark, that is what is being addressed in this particular passage], and the flood came, and destroyed them all." (Luke 17:22-27)

And then it goes on and talks about Lot. So again, putting a marker in there, let’s notice a little bit in Genesis 6 regarding Noah and the time in which Noah actually entered into the ark. It is quite an interesting section here. I've heard other explanations, but I will give you what I have been taught. Genesis 6:3:

"And the [Eternal] said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." (Genesis 6:3)

Now it indicated that it was 120 years to the flood. That is the indication, that is the way I was taught at college. It was the indication to Noah, that he actually did know that it would be 120 years. It was a rough 120 years, but he did know that it would be roughly that length of time. Genesis 6:12:

"And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth." (Genesis 6:12)

I can’t say exactly what was going on at that time. We don’t know, we can speculate. It is interesting that Mr Armstrong said there was something to do with eating and drinking incorrectly, and marrying and giving in marriage. It was the breeding or the drugs, or whatever it was, it was being done in a wrong way. Now today, the study of genetics, the way in which they are splicing genes, where you are actually taking say a human cell and perhaps splicing genes from a pig into that human cell, if it goes into one human cell, what does it do to the cells of the brain? How is this subject of genetics going to carry on? I don’t know. But you can say, it’s not just marrying and giving in marriage, it’s not only just homosexuality, it is not just corruption in that way, but is something that is actually damaging the very basis from which God's Spirit is going to work.

Whatever was going on in this particular time, and Mr Armstrong points out that it was something to do with the breeding: "That sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them all that they chose." (Genesis 6:2) And the fact that "...Noah was...perfect in his generations..." (Genesis 6:9) Something was going on in that area. And because of that, here was this individual with his family, notice - with his family! If you notice down in Genesis 7:4 it says:

"For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth." (Genesis 7:4)

So a warning was given to Noah that in seven days time this will actually occur. The way I was instructed, is that when you come to verse 13 it says: "In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;" (Genesis 7:13)

It is talking about in one day, Noah and all his family, all the animals, the entire ark was filled in a day. That is the indication within the Hebrew from Genesis 13 down. If you notice in Genesis 7:7:

"And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah. And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth." (Genesis 7:7-10)

So there was actually an interval of time between when Noah went in and when the flood came on the earth. Noah went in all in one single day with all the animals, but then seven days later the flood came. He was probably in there taking care of the animals or whatever, and people were outside jeering. "Hey, you built this boat, how long are you going to stay in there, how many years?" There was a cloudless blue sky, and he couldn’t necessarily see, nor did he know. But he had been instructed, and it was very clear that "...it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth." (Genesis 7:10)

It is also interesting that it was God that locked them in, verse 16: "And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the [Eternal] shut him in." (Genesis 7:16) So the Eternal shut Noah into the ark at that time.

Now we are going to go back to Luke 17. There is another example given here as well. It says in verse 28:

"Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." (Luke 17:28-30)

The word is 'revealed,' you can check it in Strong’s (601), it actually means, 'the covers come off'. That is what it means. In other words, all of a sudden you can see the end - there! It is right in front of you. You can see immediately. By tying it up with Daniel and the days in Daniel, you know specifically how long it is going to be before Christ comes. It is that particular point, it's the time in which Noah went into the ark, it is the time the covers come off. It is the time the Church flees is what is being talked about. Luke 17:31:

"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 [that is an interesting point as well, it is all in this context, in the context of fleeing, in the context of the Place of Safety]. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it." (Luke 17:31-33)

That also is in the context of 'remember Lot’s wife'. So again, we need to put that into its context. Now turn back to Genesis 19:4 and just learn a little bit as to what was going on in Sodom. The angels had come and were encouraged to come off the street by Lot, and in verse 4:

"But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them [it is 'know them', as in Adam knew his wife and conceived. It is rape them, as Moffatt translates it]. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man..." (Genesis 19:4-8)

I want you to notice that, in the context of "Remember Lot’s wife." (Luke 17:32) Here are two daughters who have not known men, they are virgins. Genesis 19:8:

"...let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes..." (Genesis 19:8)

It goes down then into Genesis 19:12:

"And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the [Eternal]; and the [Eternal] hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law [these daughters must have been different, they were not the same daughters as the daughters that had not known men], which married his daughters [remember he had just been talking about do you have sons-in-law, do you have sons? Could there be sons there as well?], and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the [Eternal] will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here [so the two daughters who were there in the house - the ones he had been referring to]; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the [Eternal] being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city." (Genesis 19:12-16)

So they actually got hold of Lot and his family, dragged him out of the city and said, "Right now, go over there!" It wasn’t a kind of nebulous word that came to Lot and said, "Feel as if you are going to go over to this particular place." It was very definitive, it was something very concrete. In fact, the angels grabbed onto him by the scruff of the neck and they dragged him out, and said, "Right now, go over there!" And he argued with them! 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 [he was also told to flee to the mountains. The same thing is told to the Church, it is another parallel with the account]. 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:" (Genesis 19:17-19)

Because there were wild animals in the mountainside, and he didn’t want to go in that area. I know there were mountain lions in those areas because I was in the Judean wilderness and actually saw one. I turned around and went back again! 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." (Genesis 19:20) He let him escape to that particular city. But notice in Genesis 19:26:

"But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." (Genesis 19:26)

The indication is that she actually went back, and started going back. Now remember what it says over in Luke 17. This is given to us for good reason. It is going to be very, very hard. Remember what happened in Lot’s case. The sons-in-law mocked him. They said, "Oh it’s a lot of rubbish. It’s a clear blue sky, nothing like that is going to happen, it’s ridiculous." He was being mocked. Yet it says in Luke 17:32:

"Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it." (Luke 17:32-33)

His lifestyle, that is one way of reading this verse. Lot lost everything, he lost his home, his goods, everything was gone except the shirt on his back. He got out with just the shirt on his back. Noah had a bit more. Yes, he had a long time to prepare and he had what he needed to go through the flood. In the case of Lot, it was a case of just getting out of there by the skin of his teeth.

If we look at this instance of Lot’s wife, I would have thought that she did look back with longing to the children that were left in Sodom. That is the only conclusion I can have, and you can understand it. But what could she do? The sons-in-law mocked, they weren’t going to come out. There was nothing to go back for, you couldn’t save those lives. We may have to face that. I don’t want to put pressure on anybody by worrying people about it, but we may have to face that. We must remember what this warning says.

Remember Mr Waterhouse, used to go around and get our minds in context. It wasn’t just the Place of Safety. It is the context of the Place of Safety in regard to the Millennium and what comes afterwards. That is what it is all about, it is the context. If we lose sight of that, and if it is just the case of saving our own skins, we are very likely to do what Lot’s wife did. Put it in context all the time. We must continue to put this entire subject in context in the way that we did in the past.

Why Petra? (PLAY FROM 30:37)

Now the question is, why Petra? Why does the Church look upon Petra, or has the Church in the past, looked upon Petra as the place. Now just in case you think the Church never did, here in a Good News of April 1962; 'This is Petra'. It does give an article on Petra, written by Dr. Hoeh, sanctioned by Mr Armstrong at that particular time. Part of the reason for thinking about Petra, it says in Luke 17:32:

"Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it." (Luke 17:32-33)

If you go into Revelation there is an aspect there that you also need to be aware of, that some are not going to love their lives to the death. It does mention specifically in Luke 21:16, about 'some of you they will be put to death'. So there will be literal death. It can also be taken as lifestyle as well. In verse 34 it says:

"I tell you, in that night there shall be two men [or two] in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left [that was at night]. Two shall be grinding together; [this is in the afternoon] the one shall be taken, and the other left. [Now early morning:] Two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left [it gives three different time zones that this occurs]. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? [where were they going to be taken?] And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." (Luke 17:34-37)

Now there is only one passage that actually fits. Now let me say this; the Bible does not say clearly that Petra is the place, though the Church has published articles like this it has never said that this is definitely going to be the place. If the Bible does tell us where, then Petra is where because there are certain indications that give us this information.

Remember it talks about here, "...Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." (Luke 17:37) In Job 39, this is the only place you will find where it fits that quotation. It ties in a place of a rock. Job 39:26:

"Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the ['sela'. Where the word 'the rock' is the Hebrew word is 'sela'. Now that is also the Hebrew word for the place, Sela, which is also the place Petra because Petra is the Greek, Sela is the Hebrew], and the strong place. From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also suck up blood: and where [the body is] the slain are, there is she." (Job 39:26-30)

Now, how does that tie in? When it says where the body is, is that talking about the body of the Church? Or is that talking about the bodies of the people that were the armies, the flood that comes after the Church that will be destroyed? I don’t know. All I am saying is that this section is the only section that you will find within scripture that ties these things together. This is why this one passage is used to give an indication of where the location could be.

Another point. Again, you could check Luke 21:21, and Matthew 24:16, where it says you flee to the mountains. Now Jerusalem is 3,500 feet up. If you flee to the mountains from Jerusalem, you are going to go even higher. The only place you can go higher is to go right down into the Valley of the Jordan Valley and up the other side. You go up the other side into Trans-Jordan and all in that area south of the Dead Sea you are looking at the mountains. That is where Petra is. It is south of the Dead Sea in a mountainous area, in the Jordanian side of that Rift Valley.

Another one. If you turn over to Daniel chapter 11. These are the indications. This is why the Church has in the past looked upon Petra as the most probable site of where the Church will be sustained. That is all we can say. In fact, it wasn’t the place where the Church was sustained in New Testament times. We will go have a look at that. That was Pella, which is actually just below Galilee and down in the Rift Valley itself. Let's notice in Daniel 11:41:

"He shall enter also into the glorious land [around Jerusalem], and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand [this is the beast power, as the beast power comes down, and as the abomination that makes desolate is set up, so you’ve got the armies surrounding Jerusalem, certain countries are going to escape], even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon." (Daniel 11:41)

The mountainous areas which are near Jerusalem - where Petra is - is the area of Edom and Moab. In Jeremiah 48:28, it talks there about how Moab was actually going to have to refuge themselves in Petra, in Sela. As the Eastern hordes come over at the end time, they themselves will have to seek refuge in Petra. In Isaiah 16 are certain prophesies.

In chapter 15:1 it says: "The burden of Moab. Because in the night Ar of Moab is laid waste..." (Isaiah 15:1) This is talking about Moab now, So in Isaiah 16:1:

"Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion [the daughter of Zion is the Church, remember this is Isaiah and Zion is the Church, and so Zion, if you like, is in the wilderness, in Petra]. For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday [you make sure to darken any kind of traces that come out of this area]; hide the outcasts; [betray] not him that wandereth [in other words, the instructions specifically to Moab are to cover and hide the outcasts]. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab [Moab is presumably the Jordanian area at the moment]; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness." (Isaiah 16:1-5)

So it is all leading to verse 5 which is a prophecy for the future for Christ. And preceding that is this section at the beginning of Isaiah 16 that gives this instruction to Moab to hide these outcasts, that will be in Sela, in Petra. It is interesting, that when you put that together with Jeremiah 48, and it appears that Moab themselves are going to have to be preserved and protected when the Eastern hordes come across. So we are looking at one of the indications that Petra will be the place. Turn over to Isaiah 33:2:

"O [Eternal], be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation [our rescue] also in the time of trouble. At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered. And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpiller: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them. The Eternal is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the [Eternal] is his treasure [here is Zion with all the fear of the Eternal, having righteousness in Zion]. Behold, their valiant ones shall cry [outside]: the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly." (Isaiah 33:2-7)

Now we are looking at a time into the future when the ambassadors of peace are going to be weeping bitterly because of the trouble that is coming onto the earth. It says Isaiah 33:9:

"The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down... Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion [notice; the sinners in Zion, remember who Zion is!] are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites..." (Isaiah 33::9,13-14)

Now it starts getting really meaningful when you start to understand who Zion is. In the past I tended to read over this verse, thinking it’s talking about the outside world. I don’t think it is. I think it is talking about people in the Church who are in Laodicea. Isaiah 33:14:

"...Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? [Here it gives the answer] He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly [there aren't double standards - not a two-faced, double-tongued approach - and we have seen that within the Church]; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes [we have seen Churches trashed for the money that they have held], that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions [or the strongholds] of [Sela]: bread shall be given him [he is going to be fed there]; his waters shall be sure." (Isaiah 33:14-16)

Again, it may not be Petra as we know it, but whatever it is, it is going to have to be a place of a rock somewhere. Some kind of place of rock.

Verse 17: "Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off." (Isaiah 33:17) Apparently from Petra you can actually see Jerusalem. You can get onto the crags of Petra and see Jerusalem in the distance. You can actually see the smoke burning or whatever. You will be able to witness many of these things.

It is interesting that it talks about in Isaiah 33:6: "And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the [Eternal] is his treasure." (Isaiah 33:6)

Now you can put that together with Malachi 3:17, where it talks about: "And they shall be mine, saith the [Eternal] of hosts when I make up my jewels..." (Malachi 3:17

And who is it? verse 16 "...them that feared the [Eternal], and thought upon his name." (Malachi 3:16)

Those are the two things that are given over in Malachi 3. If we go over to Isaiah 42, we find another reference that gives another indication that if there is any location is mentioned in scripture, then it seems that Petra is the place:

"Sing unto the [Eternal] a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof [we live in islands]. Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice, the villages that Kedar doth inhabit [Kedar are the Bedouin tribes within Jordan]: let the inhabitants of the [Sela or Petra] sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains. Let them give glory unto the [Eternal], and declare his praise in the islands. The [Eternal] shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies. I have long time holden my peace..." (Isaaih 42:10-14)

The context is the time of the end. At the beginning of chapter 42 it deals with Christ’s first coming, but it goes into the time of the end by the time you get to Isaiah 42:13. But just before that, it is dealing with these people who are in the place of Sela, in the place of Petra or the place of the rock.

So those are some of the indications. As I say, the Bible does not definitely say so, but it does give an indication of where the place is likely to be.

How Does the Church Get There? (PLAY FROM 45:49)

Now how are we going to get there? We have just read in Luke 17, and also in Matthew 24 that it says; "...two...shall be in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left; Two shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and one left." (Luke 17:34-35) Now you might think, are they actually grinding at the mill today? How many mills have you ground at, or planted in the fields today? You may think from a western point of view. I am telling you, women in Africa in the Church, grind at the mill, hand grinding. So it is still applicable. But I want you to notice;

"...one shall be taken and the other shall be left." (Luke 17:35-35)

It doesn’t say that we will work out all the dates ourselves. That we will get all the various passages right and put it all together in a certain way, and that’s the way it all has got to be. Now it doesn’t mean that we don’t look at the scriptures. But it says very clearly, one will be taken and the other left, it talks about a taking.

It is from that, that people misconstrue the secret rapture. It is very clear that it is in fact, a taking there. I am not suggesting that it is anything like a secret rapture. Also notice what we have just read before, that Lot was actually pulled out. He was thrust out of Sodom. He was grabbed by the scruff of the neck and pulled out of Sodom. It was very, very clear to him and the indication is that it will be very clear to God’s people. The rest of the people in Sodom did not look upon it that way. The rest of the people in Sodom, like his sons-in-law, didn’t pay him any attention at all.

Another scripture, over in Revelation 12:14 that we have read before, it mentions here: "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent." (Revelation 12:14)

Now specifically mentioned there are two wings of a great eagle. Notice in Deuteronomy 32:11, where it talks about how an eagle bear its young on its wings, so the Eternal bears you. But the most clear reference is Exodus 19:4:

"Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself." (Exodus 19:4)

Now the eagles’ wings, was the way in which they were actually taken out of Egypt, and what actually happened to the Egyptians. So that is the indication in Exodus 19:4 as to what it actually means. It is interesting that what it talks about in Revelation 12:15 says:

"And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood [Revelation 17:15 points out that waters refer to people, so it is an army of people] after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Revelation 12:15-17)

They have the spirit of prophecy, which is the testimony of Jesus Christ, but they are not keeping it, and they obviously haven’t believed it. They have it, but they haven’t believed it.

There are a number of other scriptures that you can put together with that. One Psalm that you certainly should be able to read and put together with that section is Psalm 46. It is reputedly written by Isaiah at the time that Hezekiah had the armies of Assyria against him. God then fought the armies of Assyria. Remember they all woke up and they were all dead men, and over 180,000 of the top leaders within that army were destroyed overnight. He went back to Assyria with his tail between his legs.

But there are actually two gatherings that are indicated. So how are we to get there? The indication is that there are two things that actually happen. Turn over to Jeremiah chapter 6. We will examine this a little bit more when we look at the timing involved. But the two gatherings are, first of all from the nations. So the Church, the true people of God, will have to be gathered out of the nations, and be taken to somewhere near the central location. The indication is that, that place near the central location appears to be Jerusalem. Jeremiah 6:1:

"O ye children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa [south of Jerusalem], and set up a sign of fire in Bethhaccerem [also South of Jerusalem, a little bit nearer]: for evil appeareth out of the north, and great destruction [so evil was coming down from the north to destroy Jerusalem]. I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman. The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her [we notice today that the Church is shattered and scattered and we literally have shepherds and flocks, we don’t have some great organization, it is almost as if the shepherds with their flocks will come to her]; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; they shall feed every one in his place. Prepare ye war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe unto us! for the day goeth away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces." (Jeremiah 6:1-5)

So we have got to be really alert if we are gathered to the area around Jerusalem. Indeed, as individual Church groups or whatever, we are gathered to all one Church. There is only one Church - the Church of God - but the true Church of God is gathered together and from that location you then know and are given a very clear indication as to what you then do. In fact you flee. Again, this is an indication of this gathering and that is all we can really say regarding that.

The wings of a great eagle very clearly are paralleled with ancient Israel coming out of Egypt. In their case, they actually walked out of Egypt. I have walked from Jerusalem to Jericho. It is an easy walk. From Jericho to Petra must be absolutely awful. But from Jerusalem to Jericho is an easy walk because it is downhill all the way. It goes from 3,500 feet up to a 1,000 feet down at the bottom. You will go down to Jericho, and you cross the Jordan at that point, and then you will go from there up into the mountainous area which is where Petra would be, IF Petra is actually the place.

How Does the Church Know When to Flee? (PLAY FROM 53:51)

But how do we know when? How do we know when to go? I've heard a tape which was very interesting, and went right the way down the line, virtually all the way. I agreed with the vast majority of what he was saying, with only slight variations to what I have been taught. There was one very slight variation within Noah that I mentioned to you. But he got right to the end and put his own interpretation on it. He gave his own interpretation of the days of Daniel, and that is not the way that I’ve been taught.

What he said was; you can take this Bible and you can determine when is the time to go. That you can make your own mind up completely from what it says in the scripture. He said that there are two things: one is that the sacrifices would start in Jerusalem, and the other thing is that somebody who would claim to be Elijah will call fire down from heaven. If you see those two things, you then have forty five days until the abomination that makes desolate. So you flee to Jerusalem as soon as you see those things. You stay at Jerusalem, and then you are ready for the time that, in fact, will take place.

Now that is not the way I have been taught. That is not what Mr Armstrong said. I went on the internet and saw what another individual had to say, and he gave the impression that in Jerusalem there would be a physical temple built. He put together certain scriptures and this physical temple would be built in the Holy of Holies. It would be right in the eye of the storm, and the Church, which would only be a very, very small group would actually be able to stay in the Holy of Holies, in the holy area of the temple, protected from all that goes on around them because the two witnesses will be there. The outer court is given to the Gentiles and be surrounded by the beast power but protected within the temple.

That is not the way I’ve been taught. There are several ideas and concepts out there about the Place of Safety. It is not just the case of how have we been taught, it is the case of what is the approach, what is the way in which we were taught. How did Mr Armstrong lay it down? Remember he got Mr Gerald Waterhouse to go around and tie this subject clearly into the World Tomorrow. It is not fleeing for fleeing’s sake. It is not a Place of Safety, for safety's sake. It is so that a people are ready for that World Tomorrow. We have got to put it all in context.

If we look at this subject it has got to be placed in that context. Without that context, we might as well forget it. We are not here just to save our necks, or save our skins.

Turn to II Peter. We have got to keep these things in mind as we examine any prophecy and prophetic writings. We have got to understand what God says. He makes it very plain in II Peter, in fact the entire book of II Peter is almost written to us in the Church at this time. It really is. II Peter 1:19:

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye [listen] take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:" (II Peter 1:19)

He talks about actually putting them into remembrance, that after his "...decease to have these things always in remembrance." (II Peter 1:15) We have writings! We understood the truth, not of our own intellect, not of our own reading of scripture - it was revealed to the Church and it was revealed through one individual. It is not a religion about Mr Armstrong, it is recognizing where the individual actually got the information from. It had to be revealed, he could not come to the information except it was revealed. II Peter 1:20:

"Knowing this first [before you know anything within scripture], that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation [we don’t interpret it ourselves]. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy [Spirit]." (II Peter 1:20-21)

If we understand that the Church was being led by the Spirit of God in the past, we have got to go back to that same leadership. We have got to understand that, that is where revelation came from to us. We have got to align ourself with the way in which we understood certain things at that time. If further revelation comes; if there is a prophet that actually comes up, fine. But there is not, as far as I can tell there is not. I know of nobody at all. We all have a single apostle, and that apostle is the one through whom God revealed His truth, and we go back to that foundation. We align ourself with that.

In that light, I'll read from this article on Petra from the Good News of 1962. I photostated it and underlined it. It says:

"It is only those that are having a part in the work of God who have their minds on the Kingdom of God...." (This is the context in which we, within the Church, put this subject. It is in the context of the Kingdom of God.) "...not some physical place of protection who will escape." (In other words, it is only those that have got their minds on the Kingdom of God, that have their minds correctly focused, not on some physical place of protection, that are going to escape.) "That escape cannot be planned for in advance." (So the concept that you can read the scriptures and plan it all in advance is not right.) "It is a supernatural escape." (This is what was taught to the Church by Mr Herbert Armstrong.) "Remember, if the Christians in Jerusalem in apostolic days had quit their work, and prematurely escaped to Pella, before AD 69, they would have been destroyed by the Roman Armies that devastated the city." (Pella was destroyed by Rome, by Vespasian I believe it was, as he came down.) "It was only those that completed the work of God who reached safety in AD 69 after the Romans destroyed Pella."

That is the philosophy. That is the way in which we were taught. That is how we regarded this subject. We have got to go back to that same way of regarding the subject. Mr Armstrong did not want to get our minds on a Place of Safety. It is on doing the work, doing God’s will, on the way of give, as opposed to the way of get. That is what he was focused on all the time.

How do we know when to go? Well obviously, "...one shall be taken, and the other shall be left." (Luke 17:34) that is the crucial part. It is the taking. Don’t ask me how it is actually going to occur, but it will be a taking. It may be that we are literally pushed out by people, because it does say that we; "...shall be hated of all [nations] for my names sake..." (Matthew 10:22)

Go over to Matthew 24 and it says very clearly in verse 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:)" (Matthew 24:15)

Whoever reads Daniel - you've got to go back to Daniel to understand this. This has also got to be put together with Luke 21:20 - the abomination of desolation. Although yes, it talks about the 'holy place', we are looking at the holy place being Jerusalem. It is armies around Jerusalem that is the abomination that makes desolate.

If we go back to Daniel and just have a look in Daniel 11:41: "He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon."

It then goes into Daniel 12:1: "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy 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 thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." (Daniel 12:1)

Notice that, and keep a marker in there, and turn over to Malachi 3:16:

"Then they that feared the Eternal spake often one to another: and the [Eternal listened] and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the [Eternal], and that thought upon his name." (Malachi 3:16)

That understood where their strength was. That it was not in a Place of Safety - although it clearly states that there will be one - but that is not where their strength is. It is that 'thought on His name.' The very name 'Eternal'. It is through His name that He will save. The earth moved, and the armies will be destroyed. That is the source of our strength.

"And they shall be mine, saith the [Eternal] of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him." (Malachi 3:17)

So the indication is that the important thing that we need to do is be serving God, doing the work, doing whatever we need to do. Whatever God has for us to do; cleaning our garments, of thinking on His name, of fearing God and walking in His ways. Malachi 3:18:

"Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." (Malachi 3:18)

But it is interesting, it does say a book of remembrance was written, and back here in Daniel 12:1 it says: "...every one that shall be found written in the book." (Daniel 12:1)

By the end of Daniel chapter 12, there is a key ingredient here that explains what chapter 12 is talking about, and that is verse 13:

"But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." (Daniel 12:13)

That unlocks the days of Daniel. It unlocks the entire scenario at the end time. It is interesting that it says in verse 9: "And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end." (Daniel 12:9)

Now I remember this being revealed. I can’t remember if it was the end of the 60's or the beginning of the 70's. It was around that time. I remember understanding this for the first time when Mr Armstrong explained it for the first time. The thing that unlocks it is Daniel 12:13, because Daniel will stand in his lot at the end of the days - at the resurrection. So all the days are concurrent. That is what unlocks it. When you understand that the days of Daniel are concurrent, they all run in parallel. So when you are looking at the 1,290 and so on, they are all running in parallel.

Now I mentioned to you about this particular individual who gave the understanding that you could just work it all out from scripture, and figure out when to flee - according to our own reading of scripture. That is not the way it is going to be. It just simply isn’t.

Bible Correspondence Course Lesson 49, page 11, if you want to go back and check it: "The end of the Apostolic Era:[AD 68] ... in Judea the unconverted Jewish nation had risen in rebellion to drive out the Romans from Palestine. A Roman army under General Cestius came in sight of the walls of Jerusalem in AD 66." (So these things were almost like happening in waves. Very similar to what we have today.) "Had he only known it, the rebels were beaten. But something held him back! The rebels took heart, and his chance was past." (So Cestius came to the walls and withdrew.)

"But God’s headquarters Church was still in danger - in the doomed and besieged city! Nero had tended to favor the Jews because of his Jewish mistress. He died in AD 68, shortly after Paul. General Vespasian now commanded the Roman army and moved energetically to crush the rebellion." (So he was coming down to crush the rebellion.)

Now there was a new Emperor at that time. An Emperor called Galba. You probably never heard of Emperor Galba, because he only lasted seven months. Exactly how he died I don’t know.

"The new Emperor died suddenly. Leaving the army in Palestine to his son, Vespasian raced for Rome to be emperor. Again, the Roman armies temporarily withdrew!"

So they came up to the walls and they withdrew. They came up to the walls and they withdrew. They came up to the walls and surrounded the city and the city fell. How do you know which one it’s going to be? If you were a Jew at that time, how would you know? There is absolutely no way that you can do it humanly speaking.

In Josephus it mentions however, about the way in which Jerusalem actually fell. This is the 'War of the Jews', Book 6, Chapter 5, Section 3: "A few days after the feast, on the twenty-first day of the month Jyar. A certain and prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared; I suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related by those that actually saw it, and were not the events that followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such signals. For, before sunset chariots and troops of soldiers in their armour were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities."

Now this happened just before Jerusalem fell. Remember where it says; "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies..." (Luke 21:20) was it the armies of Rome that surrounded them? Or was it these armies that they actually saw? Question mark?

"Moreover at the Feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner court of the temple, as the custom was, to perform their sacred administrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, 'Let us remove hence.'"

What he basically said was 'Let’s get out of here.' That is really what was being said. It was that which was a signal for the Christian Church to actually flee, first to the mountains and then from the mountains to Pella. Now Pella is in fact north of Jerusalem. It is in the actual valley area, in the foothills on the other side of the Jordan River.

Go over to Luke 21. You see when we are looking at this event, what actually occurs, how we know when to go, the events that preceed it, Luke 21:12 says:

"But before all these [these what? It says there shall be great signs from heaven, just before that], they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons [or courts], being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer [now this is talking to the Church, and probably to the Church now, to us]: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience [you will save your lives, is better translation] possess ye your souls. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains..." (Luke 21:12-21)

So just before that we are looking at persecution. Persecution seems to be prophesied just before the end time. Turn back to Daniel 12:5:

"Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" (Daniel 12:5-6)

What was he referring to? He is referring to the end as it says in chapter 12, verse 1 : "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since..." (Daniel 12:1) So the end of the tribulation. Daniel 12:7:

"And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half [3 1/2 Hebrew years which work out to 1,260 days]; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished." (Daniel 12:7)

The RSV says: "when the shattering of the holy people comes to an end, all these things will be accomplished." It could well be that, that actually kicks the whole thing off. Daniel 12:8:

"And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand [it says let him that understands, read Daniel]. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." (Daniel 12:8-11)

Remember the key is Daniel 12:13. From the return of Christ, which triggers the resurrection of Daniel and those who have died in Christ, going backwards you go back to 1,260 days. That is the time of the tribulation. You come back another thirty days, to 1,290 days and you come to the abomination that makes desolate in verse 11. You come back another 45 days, and you come to verse 12. And it says:

"Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days." (Daniel 12:12)

So the thing that starts it, is Daniel 12:12. This is what people query - what is it? Now the way that we have been taught is that the work comes to an end. That is what we were taught. That is the only thing I can go back to. The work comes to an end. There has got to be a work of some description. The indication is that will be with persecution, and the persecution is going to get to such a state that the work will come to an end, and it may be that we are literally pushed out.

That is the understanding that we had. That is the understanding that we have to go back to as far as the foundations are concerned, because that came by revelation as far as I am concerned, from the apostle sent to us. This is such a crucial area. I can’t see any other way of this being the case. This is a crucial, crucial area.

Turn over to Luke 17:37: "And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? [in other words, where are they going to be taken?] And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." (Luke 17:37)

Notice what He then says. Luke 18:1: "And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to [give up]; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary." (Luke 18:1-3)

Who is the adversary? The word Satan means adversary, and it is most likely the same word. Luke 18:4:

"And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?" (Luke 18:4-7)

The sermonette today ended up, that you "...pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape these things that shall come to pass, and to stand ..." (Luke 21:36) It is prayer, it is our relationship with God, it is going the way of God. Those are the things that are important. That is what our mind should be on. This subject should be put into the bigger context of the Kingdom of God. If we do that, this subject gives us hope for the future. If we don’t do that, we will come unstuck. It won’t do us any good anyway.

As long as we make sure this subject is within the context that we have been taught and given, it is something that should give us a great deal of hope for the future. I hope going through some of the scriptures regarding it, has given some food for thought in that direction.