BibleTools

Topical Studies

 A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Printer-Friendly          E-mail this page


Bible verses about Place of Safety
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Psalm 18:1-3   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

David begins by declaring, "Fervently do I love you!" and then delivers a torrent of God's names, eight of them! He knew God's attributes as expressed by His names, trusted what they taught him, and conducted his life accordingly. By faith, he trusted God to intervene in the affairs of men. Paraphrased, the eight names are "strength," "foundation," "place of safety," "fountain," "deliverer," "my strong God," "defender," and "horn of my salvation."

Consider what David did in light of a modern circumstance: When the car needs repair, we take it to the person who has the title ("auto mechanic") or name (reputation). We do not take it to the dentist. In like manner, we are to seek God in our need in areas in which He has revealed Himself to us as skilled and willing to help. However, where does that leave one who has not sought God and does not know what He can and will do or what He requires?

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Third Commandment


 

Psalm 33:18-19   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The eye of the Lord is on all men, but it is directed with special attention toward those who fear Him. The nations of this world have their security in military power. Our security is in God. It is good to reflect on this regarding the Tribulation and Place of Safety because this not only promises His presence but also His deliverance.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Elements of Motivation (Part One): Fear


 

Psalm 83:1-5   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

These verses expose another conspiracy against God and His people, and the first couple of verses imply that they are taking this crafty counsel and conspiring together while Christians—"His hidden ones"—are in the Place of Safety. This psalm, then, has an end-time context.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What I Believe About Conspiracy Theories


 

Isaiah 16:1-5   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

These displaced persons are heading generally south, but they are milling around in confusion—they are terrified, frightened and do not know what to do. This is what they are doing at the fords of Arnon, saying, "What should we do? Where should we go? Maybe we ought to go to Zoar? It's a little place, you see. Nobody will pay any attention to us if we're there." But God admonishes them to make an offering—thus the mention of the word "lamb"—to the ruler of the land.

Who is the ruler of the land? It has to be Christ, because that is where His church is. He is governing His church, and He is admonishing the Moabites to make an offering. He is saying, "Pray, cry out for mercy to the ruler of the land, to Jesus Christ." The offering is to go through Selah: "From Selah to the wilderness," because that is where God's outcasts are. But He tells them, "Be sure nobody sees you. Hide them, hide My people. Don't betray where My people are," Then he encourages them, "Hang on! It's almost over. Christ is coming, and it's but a short time to when that will take place."

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 2)


 

Isaiah 33:14   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

In other words, who will survive? Who will escape these things? The answer comes in verse 15.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 4)


 

Isaiah 42:10-11   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

"Let them" (verse 11), meaning the inhabitants of Selah and certainly, in a smaller sense, those previously mentioned, but the focus is on those in Selah.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 2)


 

Isaiah 42:11-13   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

This place has all of the benchmarks of the Place of Safety: wilderness, a rock, Selah, Kedar. Where is Kedar? It is in what is today northwest Saudi Arabia, and it is the general name of the area in which Selah (Petra) was located.

Consider this: Today, that area contains nothing more than Bedouins passing through. God commands the inhabitants—those who live there—to sing praises to Him. Does it seem logical that at the end time when God goes forth, that the Bedouins would be singing praises to God? No, someone else┬áinhabits Selah, who will glorify and sing praises to God. It is those who are being sheltered there when the Lord goes forth like a mighty warrior.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 2)


 

Jeremiah 30:4-6   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God is setting the stage to help us to understand the times that confront us, and that are just ahead of us. We are moving toward a time that is unique in the history of man—as unique as a man giving birth to a child and being in the throes of labor. No historian has ever seen the kind of times that are just around the corner. Unless God has a place of safety for us, then we are going to find ourselves involved in these unique times that are coming.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 1)


 

Jeremiah 30:6-7   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God is, of course, speaking of the nations of Israel. They will be going through it—we know that for sure because "they shall be saved out of it." In other words, their protection will not come until they have gone through perhaps most of it. They are going to suffer through it. Then God will intervene—save them out of it. If God does not save them out of it, then what Jesus says in Matthew 24:22 ("no flesh would be saved") will come to pass. They will all die in it. It is going to be that bad!

We must put ourselves into this because the church of God is largely located in the nations of Israel. The overwhelming majority of us are in the United States and Canada. Are we consigned to the same fate as Israel (in this prophecy) because we live in Israel? My hope is that God has a place of safety, and that I am worthy to escape. Nevertheless, you can see that we, as a nation, are facing very terrifying times.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 1)


 

Ezekiel 5:1   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God's instruction to Ezekiel is that he was to shave his head and beard, and then the hair was to be precisely divided. It was not a matter of, "Well, divide it into three piles." No, He told Ezekiel to use balances, and what He wanted was for each of the piles to weigh exactly the same amount. So we have a very precise division or separation of the hairs of his head, which represent the population of the nations of Israel.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 1)


 

Ezekiel 5:1-4   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The hair represents the people of the nations of Israel. Most of the church is in the nations of Israel, primarily the United States and Canada. The church is represented in the "small number"—represented by the hair that he puts into his pocket—taken from the third group, which goes into captivity and is thrown to the "four winds," showing a measure of protection. However, he then takes a part from that group and throws it into the fire. Now hair is the most flammable part of the body, and surely, the fire must indicate death.

This can be connected with the fifth seal of Revelation 6: the martyrdom of the saints. One can also connect it with Revelation 3:10 and the "Philadelphians" who are kept from the hour of trial that comes upon the whole earth. The group that he took out of his pocket and threw into the fire (and are therefore consumed in the fires of tribulation) represents the Laodicean church. It surely seems to indicate that very few, if any, of them will survive through the Tribulation. Five separations are indicated here in Ezekiel 5, but only one very small amount is protected in the fold of his skirt.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 1)


 

Ezekiel 9:1-6   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

One of the spirit beings who had "charge over the city" (verse 1) carried, not a battle-axe like his fellows, but a writer's inkhorn (verse 2), and he was also dressed differently, in linen. His is a different purpose. God charges him to go ahead of his fellows, saying in verse 4: "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it."

The others follow him, obeying God's command to go through the city killing and not having pity (verse 5), but in verse 6, God warns, "Do not come near anyone on whom is the mark."

Those people who sighed and cried somehow found a place of safety from the conflagration and the terror. They had God's mark on them, protecting them from His judgment. Sighing and crying over the abominations and the sins of the larger society, then, must be enormously important to us, too, as we also stand on the brink of similar tribulation.

Charles Whitaker
The Torment of the Godly (Part One)


 

Daniel 9:27   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Protestants try to ascribe the covenant of verse 27 to the Antichrist because "he," they say, refers to "the prince who is to come." But this cannot be! Remember the poetic organization! The key is the word "many." It is literally "the many," and whenever it is used in the Old Testament, it refers to either the covenant people Israel or to the saints, that is, true believers. Jesus says in Matthew 26:28, "For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Christ makes the covenant, not Antichrist!

Confirm means "strengthen" or "make firm"—almost to the point of being unbreakable. This helps substantiate its reference to the New Covenant, an everlasting covenant that strengthened the basic requirements of the Old Covenant. Significantly, when Christ in the Olivet Prophecy gives His disciples the signs of the end, He does not mention a covenant or treaty to be enacted between the Antichrist and the Jews, Christians, saints, or anyone! He does mention both of the events Gabriel mentions here: the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (Matthew 24:2) and the abomination of desolation (verse 15).

What about the final three and a half years of the seventieth week? They have yet to be fulfilled, but Gabriel leaves us hanging regarding when they occur. He does not mention them. When could they be fulfilled?

  • The seventieth week has been completely fulfilled by the three and a half year ministry of Christ. This seems to be the least likely of these options.
  • Christ will complete His ministry in the first three and a half years after His return, before Satan is locked in the bottomless pit. But the Bible does not indicate that any time elapses between His return and Satan's binding in Revelation 19 and 20.
  • They are the years of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord, during which Christ will complete His ministry through the Two Witnesses and/or to the church in the Place of Safety. Again, this is only speculation—although Paul's training in Arabia may provide a precedent (Galatians 1:11-18).

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
'Seventy Weeks Are Determined...'


 

Daniel 11:31-35   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

We have been warned that this is coming. There is always the possibility that God will not require that of us, and that He will take some—perhaps all of us—to the Place of Safety. Whatever the case, we need to take advantage of the time given to us to take the opportunity to stand firm in these days of training—our lives right now, when we are dealing with smaller tests of life—so that, when truly dangerous conditions arise, we will stand firm.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Does Doctrine Really Matter? (Part 4)


 

Matthew 2:13-14   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Notice, the message for them to flee came from God! Does God expect us to flee, or does He expect us to stay put and let Him put an invisible shield around us so that we are impervious to what is happening around us? No, God Himself sent a message by an angel to Joseph, and he fled immediately by night. The implication of those two scriptures is that he hopped up out of bed, gathered Mary, Jesus, and their things, and took off for Egypt while it was yet dark. Apparently, he did not even wait until morning to leave. Joseph, hand-picked by God to be the surrogate father (or stepfather) to His own Son, had enough spiritual know-now to flee. There is nothing cowardly about fleeing.

Why would God want us to flee? Obviously, there are things to be learned from fleeing that cannot be learned if God is always protecting us from the damage that we may sometimes bring on ourselves.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 2)


 

Matthew 10:22-23   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Though God is capable of the kind of physical salvation or deliverance that He indicates He will give to His people in Psalm 91, His general advice to His people is to "flee, get out, get away from the trouble." Even though God could protect one in the midst of trouble, He still gives this general advice. David authored Psalm 3 (where he said he felt safe surrounded by ten thousand people) while fleeing. So this in no way denigrates God, and it in no way makes for a "cowardly Christian" when he flees persecution and possibly certain death. We have to understand that God places responsibilities on us. As we take His advice—to flee—He will "open up the mountain" before us, so we can follow the path that He makes clear for us.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 1)


 

Matthew 12:14-16   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Could Jesus have been playing it safe? Yes! Verse 14 sets us up for that. The opposition of some of the Pharisees drove Jesus into semi-retirement for a little while. He was not seeking notoriety, and He was not about to provoke the Pharisees into a fight, so in this case, discretion was the better part of valor. The best thing to do was to leave the area and not challenge them.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 2)


 

Matthew 16:24-25   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Everybody has a natural inclination to avoid suffering and pain, and this is not necessarily wrong. There is a drive within all of us to preserve our lives and to extend them. Self-preservation, it is said, is the first law of the universe, and so we desire to ensure that we do not suffer any pain.

On the other hand, Jesus seems to be counseling us that, somehow, this drive for self-preservation, for self-satisfaction, for comfort, has to be be pushed from the forefront of our lives and into a secondary place.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 5)


 

Matthew 24:15-22   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

How will the days be shortened? Is God going to lessen time than would normally come? That is a part of the explanation. The implication, though, within the context, is that God will stop short what is occurring lest everybody be killed. If He allowed the events that were taking place to continue, everyone would die. When He stops the event, time in a sense stops—at least as far as this event is concerned.

To whom are the pronouns referring here? Verse 15, "Therefore when you." Verse 16, "Then let those." Verse 17, "Let him." Verse 18, "Let him." Verse 19, "But woe to you." These pronouns refer to those who understand the prophecies and are alive at the time these things are taking place. How many people are involved? It is unspecified.

One thing is clear. There is no doubt that, in this prophecy, deliverance involves flight (at least to those who are around Jerusalem during this unprecedented distress). In this case, to flee in no way implies flying. The verb here is phuego, and it means to flee, to escape danger. It indicates nothing other than escaping by running—shoe-leather express.

The context of the chapter is "literal and physical." It is not "figurative and spiritual." It involves physical survival worldwide, though the prophecy itself focuses on Jerusalem. It is worldwide because verses 21-22 make it clear "that no one would be saved alive." He means no one on earth, not just that no one around Jerusalem would be saved alive. This time is so bad that even the elect would die, except for God's intervention. Notice that God, through His servant Jesus Christ, says, "Don't stay in the midst of the trouble—get out."

Considering the timeframe, Psalm 91 would have to be modified to apply it directly to us, because our understanding from other portions of God's Word is that He expects us to get out, to flee to some designated place called "your chamber" or "her place." It involves segregating ourselves away from something. We can also understand that we will have help from God in segregating ourselves, as I Corinthians 10:13 indicates. He makes a way of escape that His people can take, just as He did for Israel. He opened up the Red Sea so that they could escape. They walked to safety, fleeing from the Egyptian army. Nevertheless, God intervened.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 1)


 

Luke 4:28-30   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

When Jesus was faced with violence, He fled the area. His work had to go on, so God intervened. Psalm 91 came into play here, in that Jesus was the victim of something He could not foresee. He was not tempting God in any way. He was doing His job, and persecution quickly arose against Him, so God protected Him from the immediate danger. Jesus fled to another area, to Capernaum.

God is not illogical, nor does He defy His own laws. He expects His people to use both faith and wisdom—maybe we could say, common sense.

Because of faith, God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves—as He did for Jesus in protecting His life, miraculously enabling Him to pass right through a very angry crowd. But Jesus' wisdom is also clearly shown in this case. God wants us to do something physical to remove ourselves from the danger, as Jesus did in leaving the area. There is a faith factor as well as wisdom. The wisdom is a fruit of one's faith.

In addition, there is a third factor. God is deeply involved in working in us. He knows how far along in the process of His work He is. So we have our faith in God, we have wisdom or common sense, and we also have God working with us.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 2)


 

Luke 21:20-22   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The times are so bad at this point, He says not even to come down and get one's clothes. How can a person, in coming down off his housetop, not go through his house and pick up some clothing? The answer involves the way the homes were built in Jerusalem. It was entirely possible to run from one housetop to another because they butted up against one another. The top of the houses were built flat, and the people used it in the same way that we would use a patio. In the cool of the evening, they went to the top of their house and sat there and talked to their neighbors on the adjacent rooftops.

So if a person was on his rooftop when the time came to get out of Jerusalem, he could literally run from housetop to housetop to housetop without ever coming down on the street for a long distance. Such a thing would never happen in the U.S. and Canada. But, nonetheless, it conveys an intense sense of urgency. If indeed a person happens to be there in Jerusalem at that time, he would have to flee immediately for his life.

The question always arises, "Was this fulfilled when the Temple was destroyed in AD 70?" It is interesting when one looks into church history (apart from the Bible), though not necessarily true church history - call it "secular church history," in which the people call themselves Christians but their doctrines do not conform to the Bible. These people left a record of events of the time. The church historian, Eusebius, had this to say regarding the true church in Jerusalem during the period between AD 66 and 70:

That it [the church] was instructed to leave Jerusalem and take up residence in one of the cities of Perea.

The church did not flee in the sense that Jesus means in Matthew 24. It migrated from Jerusalem to one of the cities of Perea, Pella. Pella is not in a wilderness area but one of the cities of the Decapolis. Decapolis means "ten cities"; there were ten small cities in a small area right around the Sea of Galilee. It is not in the mountains, though it is near some. The church probably left somewhere in late AD 69. If they had left earlier than that, they would have run headlong into Vespasian's army, because Vespasian's army was stalled fighting in the area of Galilee. In AD 69, Vespasian was recalled to Rome where he was crowned Emperor. His son Titus took over the army and came down on Jerusalem. Now by moving his army toward Jerusalem, it became safe for the church to migrate away from Jerusalem.

Josephus records that on the Day of Pentecost, while a great multitude was in the Temple, the people heard a voice say, "Let us go from hence." The church, then, left in an orderly way without urgency, migrating to the area of Pella. This is the exact opposite direction the Bible indicates the Place of Safety is located. So we would have to conclude that what happened in AD 66-70 was a "type" of the church being removed to a place of safety so that it could survive. However, it was not what Jesus was talking about for the end-time church, when some will flee with such urgency that they do not even come down into their house for their clothing.

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 1)


 

Luke 21:21-23   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

If we are in Judea at this time, we should flee and not expect God to protect us there. Wisdom dictates that we follow God's instruction and get out. God's purpose in our lives will be worked out somewhere else. He also warns that, if we are outside the city, do not go into it—more wisdom. Why? "These are the days of vengeance."

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 2)


 

1 Thessalonians 5:2-3   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The Thessalonians' interpretation of Paul's teaching on the Day of the Lord was that it was immediate; they leapt to the conclusion that, because Paul was writing about these things, Jesus Christ would come immediately. The result was that some of the more unstable and excitable members of the congregation quit their jobs (II Thessalonians 3:6-12) .

John W. Ritenbaugh
A Place of Safety? (Part 4)


 

2 Thessalonians 2:7   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Pressure was mounting for these people. Jewish civilization was in turmoil. It would not come to a climax for some nineteen years after this in AD 69. An end would come upon Judea in 70 A.D. The church was already beginning to experience some of that turmoil. About a dozen years after the writing of I and II Thessalonians, Nero was emperor in Rome and persecuting Christians.

Tribulation against Christians broke out in one place and then another. It was scattered all over the world, a little bit here, a little bit there, some in Rome, some in Corinth, some in Thessalonica, some down in Jerusalem. Gradually, it built until the church was driven to the wilderness for 1,260 years, where it barely maintained its existence.

We cannot depend on that escape; that prophecy has been fulfilled. There will be no running away, not this time. There will be no disappearing into the woodwork, except for those to whom God gives the privilege of going to the Place of Safety. And who knows what true Christians will have to face between now and then? As it intensifies, the time of the end will be a very tumultuous period. We find in verse 10 that some were falling away, and unfortunately, that will be the "escape" some choose to take.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Don't Be a Prudent Agnostic


 

Revelation 3:10   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Before examining this promise, it may be helpful to understand what it does not say. Note how conventional wisdom would paraphrase this verse:

Because you consider yourself to be a Philadelphian, and because you are with the church organization that is doing the most to preach the gospel to the world, I will keep you from the hour of trial and will take you to the Place of Safety where you will be protected while all those who disagree with you will go through the Tribulation.

"Conventional wisdom" is not actually wisdom! It is what is generally held to be true by many, yet it may, in fact, be fallacious. This rendering of Revelation 3:10 is the conventional wisdom in some circles, illustrating how many take narcissistic liberties with this verse. It also shows why there is such an emphasis today on which church group is the best: because we are averse to pain and tend to try to avoid it. Thus, some convince themselves that they will be safe from what lies ahead because they are with the right church—rather than being right with God. This is extremely dangerous, as it indicates that they trust in the wrong thing.

The letters to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3 are written in large part from a perspective of "if the shoe fits, wear it." In each, Jesus concludes with "he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches"—plural—meaning we should glean all that we can from each letter rather than focus on our favorite one.

In this light, a way to approach Revelation 3:10 is that perseverance is part of what Christ uses to define who a Philadelphian is. Thus, an individual is a Philadelphian because he keeps His command to persevere, in addition to exemplifying the other things He says, such as keeping His Word and not denying His name (Revelation 3:8). In short, a person cannot conclude that, just because he is fellowshipping with a particularly faithful group, he will be carried along in its positive momentum and benefit from the promise of protection and other blessings. An unfaithful individual in an overall faithful group will reap what he sows, not what the rest of the group sows.

Christ says similar things in other places, as in Matthew 10:22: "And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved" (emphasis ours throughout). He makes no mention of group membership but addresses the enduring individual. Similarly, in Matthew 24:12-13 and Luke 21:36, He emphasizes what we do as individuals—our personal faithfulness and endurance—rather than the merits of a particular group. Just as Laodiceanism can be found in each of us regardless of the church we attend, so each of us can persevere and courageously endure no matter where we fellowship.

David C. Grabbe
Who Will Be Kept from the Hour of Trial?


 

Revelation 12:7-17   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

These verses give us a play-by-play of end-time events centered on the spiritual remnant. Satan, enraged that he has been cast down to earth, will seek to persecute the elect, a small group of believers under God's personal protection. Who comprises the faithful, protected remnant, and where are they protected?

In Isaiah 33:14, "the sinners in Zion" pose a question: "Who can survive the coming persecution?" God supplies the answer in verse 15—the righteous will survive it—and in verse 16, He explains where He will protect them—in a mountainous fortress where they are supplied food and drink. Verse 17 may indicate that the King, Jesus Christ, will teach them in the place of safety.

It is interesting to note that the letters to the Thyatira, Sardis, and Philadelphia churches in Revelation 2 and 3 mention a remnant: "the rest in Thyatira" (Revelation 2:24); "a few names even in Sardis" (Revelation 3:4); and implied in the direct promise, "I also will keep you from the hour of trial" (Revelation 3:10). Laodicea, though, must go through the fire (Revelation 3:18-19).

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Remnant


 

Revelation 12:17   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Verse 17 contains the first allusion to the church. The woman, who is called here a "remnant," keeps the commandments and has the testimony of Jesus Christ. Now we can clearly see Revelation is describing the church.

Concerning the word "remnant," the marginal reference says "offspring." This is being used in the same sense as the woman giving birth to the Christ child. The overwhelming bulk of the church is in Israel. However, if we understand Revelation 12 properly, there is a portion of the church that will go to a place prepared with the nation Israel.

The woman is clearly identified right within the context of the chapter as not being the church until verse 17. Where it says, "which keep the commandments of God and has the testimony of Jesus Christ," further identifies who the remnant is. It identified the offspring as being the brothers and sisters of the Child that was brought forth by the woman, because Israel does not keep the commandments and does not have the testimony of Jesus Christ. The only part of Israel that keeps the commandments and has the testimony of Jesus Christ is the church within it.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Where Is the Beast? (Part 3)


 

Revelation 12:17   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

It is not until verse 17 that the church clearly and directly comes into the picture by being identified as Israelthe woman remnant. This is how it is translated in the King James:"with the remnant of her seed." This means her "offspring." The offspring are identified in verse 17 as "those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ," who was born to the woman earlier in the chapter. Israel the nation does not keep the commandments of God, nor does it have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Therefore, in the last half of verse 17, the subject has shifted from Israel the nation to the Israel of God—the church.

The Messiah, who was born of the woman, most definitely kept the commandments of God. The remnant that was born of the woman (identified as her offspring, just like the Messiah), is also clearly distinguished and separate from her, and they too keep the commandments and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Now putting verse 17 together with verses 7 through 12 shows that the church (the woman's offspring) will undergo some measure of persecution within Israel (the woman, the nation) before Israel the nation flees. This is very clear, because verses 7 through 11 come before verse 14 in time. If this is not true, then why does verse 11 say that "they overcame by the blood of the Lamb, and they loved not their lives unto death"? That indicates e a pretty harsh persecution within Israel the nation.

The whole subject of chapter 12 is Israel the nation, except for those mentions of keeping the commandments, the blood of the Lamb, and having the testimony of Jesus Christ, which appear in verses 11 and 17. So what do we learn from this chapter? That through the great expanse of time—from the time that woman [the nation] flees into the wilderness until verse 17 (an expanse of about two thousand years), Israel the church [the Israel of God] is within Israel the nation, wherever it is. This is not at all unusual.

Verse 17 then clearly infers that the dragon leaves the woman [the nation] who fled and goes some place else to persecute those who keep the commandments and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. It is at this point that a switch occurs between Israel the nation and the Israel of God (the church). Otherwise, why would it say that Satan leaves the woman that's he is persecuting and goes to persecute those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ and keep the commandments? By this time, in verse 17, they have separated from one another. The nation and the church are in different locations at the time verse 17 takes place. If I can speculate, the church has gone to its place of safety that is different from where God caused the nation to flee.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Where Is the Beast? (Part 4)


 

 




The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

The Berean: Daily Verse and Comment

Sign up for the Berean: Daily Verse and Comment, and have Biblical truth delivered to your inbox. This daily newsletter provides a starting point for personal study, and gives valuable insight into the verses that make up the Word of God. See what over 115,000 subscribers are already receiving each day.

Email Address:

   

We respect your privacy. Your email address will not be sold, distributed, rented, or in any way given out to a third party. We have nothing to sell. You may easily unsubscribe at any time.
Printer-Friendly          E-mail this page
 A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
©Copyright 1992-2014 Church of the Great God.   Contact C.G.G. if you have questions or comments.