Revelation Series #24
Fred R. Coulter—February 3, 1996

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This is a question which is being discussed on the various computer networks that the Ezekiel message is for the two witnesses—one person says, Another one says that the Ezekiel message is for the Church. Who is it for? First of all, the Ezekiel message was for Israel—that's true. A lot of it's prophetic. A lot of it applied right there at that particular time.

This is a question that is being discussed on the various computer networks that the Ezekiel message is for the two witnesses—one person says. Another one says that the Ezekiel message is for the Church. Who is it for? First of all, the Ezekiel message was for Israel—that's true. A lot of it's prophetic. A lot of it applied right there at that particular time.

It's preserved for us. We might even have something different than this. The two witnesses have a specific job, but also there's going to be an end-time Elijah—and it wasn't what we were told. Let's see if we can also bring in a possible end-time Elijah. It hasn't been anybody that we know of—we can say that for sure. How do we know that this is going to be done by the two witnesses? Does that mean that there are two Ezekiels? Let's look at it and see if there's really any basis for it. How do we know that God is not going to raise up someone who's going to preach to the children of Israel while they are in captivity?

This is when they were in captivity (Ezek. 2). Ezekiel was in the concentration camp of the River Chebar when he was given these prophecies. So it could very well be that God is going to raise up someone in captivity this time to bring the Ezekiel message. We can take principles of it, which are true, because all Scripture is given so that we can use it; it's not an exclusivist thing.

Ezekiel 2:1: "And He said to me, 'Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you.' And the Spirit entered into me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet, so that I heard Him Who spoke to me. And He said to me, 'Son of man…'" (vs 1-3). This is almost an instantaneous spiritual thing that takes place. God could do that again, without a doubt!

"'…I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation, who have rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children…'" (vs 3-4). That's worst than stiff-necked. You can't pierce them!

"'…I am sending you to them; and you shall say to them, "Thus says the Lord GOD."'" (v 4). Then He says what He's going to do.

Then He tells them, v 8: "…'Do not be rebellious…'"

Ezekiel 3:1: "And He said to me, 'Son of man, eat what you find. Eat this scroll, and go speak to the house of Israel.' So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll. And He said to me, 'Son of man, cause your belly to eat, and fill your belly with this scroll that I give you.' Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was like honey for sweetness." (vs 1-3)—but it was bitterness afterward.

We find something very similar to this in Rev. 10, where he's told to take the roll and eat it, but it was bitterness. Could this not be a raising up—or a type of raising up—of someone who's going to bring the Ezekiel message again in the end-time? If you're going to be in a concentration camp you're not going to have Bibles all around. You know you're not going to be able to say, 'Ok, brethren, gather around and open….'—won't happen! But here in Rev. 10, we find something similar just before the end.

Revelation 10:8: "Then the voice that I heard from heaven spoke to me again, and said, 'Go, take the little book that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the earth.' And I went to the angel, and said to him, 'Give me the little book.' And he said to me, 'Take it and eat it; and it shall make your belly bitter, but in your mouth it shall be sweet as honey.' Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it; and it was sweet as honey in my mouth; but after I ate it, my belly was bitter. And he said to me, 'You must again prophesy against many people, and nations, and languages and kings'" (vs 8-11).

Here's another whole separate ministry going on just before the last trumpet is blown. Ezekiel is like that. Is he not sent to many nations? Not only the house of Israel, but you read back here some of the things that he says of the different nations; where God's judgment is against them. One thing that is for sure here, he keeps after them all the time. Anyone who wants to be Ezekiel, you can have it. He had to go through the worst things that were possible that could have ever been. He was told to lay on his side 1200+ days and 300+ days for Judah. He was also told to mix up this grain and put human feces in it and eat it, and he said, 'Ah, Lord God, please!' So God said, 'Okay, cow dung is good enough.' And he had to go naked! I mean, anyone who wants to be Ezekiel, go ahead! But you better make sure that God has called you, because then you're putting your will against God.

Ezekiel 14:1 is really something! God's going to remove all these things away: "And some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts… [those are the worst kind to get rid of] …and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces…. [that's why I did the sermon Invisible Idol/Visible Man] …Should I at all be inquired of by them? Therefore, speak to them, and say to them, "Thus says the Lord GOD, 'Every man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him according to the multitude of his idols: So that I may take the house of Israel in their own heart because they have deserted Me for their idols—all of them.'"'" (vs 1-5). Nothing could be truer than today. So, I think this is going to be a repeat of another concentration camp ministry that may be Rev. 10 tells us about.

Verse 6: "Therefore, say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Repent and turn yourselves from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations…. [then he again reiterates, for if they don't do that]: …I the LORD will answer him Myself…."'" (vs 6-7). You don't want to have God answer you directly! I mean, that's tough news! The easiest way of correction is;

  • Let God's Spirit strike your conscience, repent
  • Out of the Word of God when you study it, When you find you're wrong, you repent
  • when a minister brings something out in teaching and preaching and you need to change and correct—you can do that

The worst kind of correction is when you're put through a trial. If that doesn't work and God has to answer you to your face, you're in trouble. You don't want that kind of correction—that's something else!

Verse 8: "And I will set My face against that man, and I will make him for a sign and for a proverb. And I will cut him off from the midst of My people; and you shall know that I am the LORD. And the prophet, if he is deceived, and he speaks a word, I the LORD have deceived that prophet. And I will stretch out My hand upon him and will destroy him from the midst of My people Israel" (vs 8-9). We're seeing that happen today! Very thing today, same thing!

Verse 10: "'And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeks unto him. So that the house of Israel may never again go astray from Me, nor be defiled again with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people, and I may be their God,' says the Lord GOD. The Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'Son of man, when a land sins against Me by trespassing grievously, and I stretch out My hand on it…'" (vs 8-13).
We're still to take these words and not say, 'It's Ezekiel doing them, but when the time comes, we're to use the Scriptures and tell the people this. So any minister ought to do this when he sees it. So it's not to set up anyone as an Ezekiel messenger. This is the living Word of God at any time.

"…and break the staff of its bread, and send famine on it, and will cut off man and beast from it" (v 13).

We're always just on the verge of famine. Do you really understand it? Today we're slaves to the supermarket! Just stop and think: How long can I last without the supermarket?

  • they don't know how to plant food
  • they don't know how to harvest it
  • they don't know how to grow it
  • They don't even know what seeds look like
  • they don't know what a cow looks like
  • they don't know where meat comes from

They just go down to the supermarket and there it is, all the time. So, when things hit, it's going to be famine, I would say within 30-40 days there's going to vast famine. Anyone who is walking around who has flesh on his bones you're either going to be killed—they'll find out where you are—and take what you've stored up, or you're going be their next meal!

Verse 14: "'And though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver only their own lives by their righteousness,' says the Lord GOD." Then He goes through and repeats it four times. That's something! It's going to be that way! He's got all of them there, every one of them.

Verse 15: "'If I cause wild beasts to come through the land, and they spoil it and it becomes desolate, so that no one may pass through because of the beasts, though these three men were in its midst, as I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters. They only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate. Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, "Sword, go through the land"; so that I cut off man and beast from it; though these three men were in it, as I live,' says the Lord GOD…" (vs 15-18).

This is different because He's stacking this up against what He did with Abraham. Remember Abraham and Lot in Sodom? These are the judgments that He sets upon Jerusalem:

  • sword
  • famine
  • noisome beasts

Some of these things intermix between Israel and Judah and Jerusalem and they're all kind of mixed in together. I think the most prudent thing to do is wait and whomever is going to be the Ezekiel preaching at the end, let it be like it says there in Ezek. 2: let God raise him up. Don't go and appoint yourself. He says He's going to come and take care of you. I think there is a possibility.

Again, this is a possibility; speculation. Sometimes we have to think on these things and we have to put them in the realm of not being dogmatic, because we can't say for sure. Could it be that the coming Elijah—though John the Baptist was called 'Elijah' by Christ—is going to pretty well do what Ezekiel was doing back there. I don't know; it's possible!

Malachi 4:5: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the sons, and the heart of the sons to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with utter destruction" (vs 5-6). When you have that, you have the children having their hearts turned back to the faith of the fathers—that's what it means. It has nothing to do with childrearing; and the father's faith to the children.

I view it this way: I think in Judea—not Israel—God is going to raise up someone who's going to be performing the work of Elijah. Maybe that overlaps into the work of Ezekiel, I don't know. Maybe someone else is going to do the work of Ezekiel in captivity, with the 12 tribes of Israel, I don't know. But I think that the two witnesses are also going to have a separate ministry that will not be in any way connected directly to Israel. I think that Elijah is going to take care of all of those in Judea who repent as a result of the two witnesses. The two witnesses are going to be two people.

I was recently asked: Could the two witnesses be two churches? Well, you can't have the bodies of two churches lying in the streets of Jerusalem! That we can eliminate. We thought they were churches. I remember Dr. Hoeh preaching and saying the 'the seven thunders of Rev. 10 are the messages of the seven churches through history.' How could he know? God told John 'don't write it.' You can speculate it could be, but, hey, the Church was hardly ever heard of down through the centuries; so, how can you say they had a thunderous message. You have to consider everything!

Let's look at the two witnesses, Revelation 11:1: "Then the angel gave me a measuring rod like a staff, saying, 'Arise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it'"

There's always been a movement to rebuild the temple, but it isn't going to happen until it is time. They have now discovered that the Mosque of Omar is not where the Holy of Holies was. There's a little altar thing where the old altar of burnt offerings was. They can build the temple right alongside it. They will never build the temple if they try and destroy the Mosque of Omar—never happen! I think the third temple is going to be a pitiful, little, meager building. I think everyone's going to be amazed how small it's going to be; but they will build it.

Verse 2: "But leave out the court that is within the temple area, and do not measure it because it has been given up to the Gentiles; and they shall trample upon the Holy City for forty-two months." You've always heard that a year in prophecy is 360 days. However, there's no Scripture in the Bible, which says that it's 360 days—it doesn't! Forty-two months and 1,260 days are exactly the same length.

Verse 3: "And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." 1,260 days! If they're exactly the same time-period—beginning and ending at the same time—why is one 42 months and the one 1,260 days? That got me started thinking! What do we know for sure? The one thing we know for sure the end is the end, whenever the end comes!

So, one day at services I said let's put down in the lower right-hand corner 'the end.' We're going to have to speculate from there because we don't know anything else. If the end is the end, let's say it's the Feast of Trumpets—Christ returns, Feast of Trumpets, puts His feet on the Mt. of Olives. Day of Atonement, Year of the Jubilee, the trumpet is blown again for freedom, release and all of that; Satan is bound.

The beast and the false prophet are cast in there, and the beast is the one who cuts off the sacrifices. Well, his death ends at a different time than the death of the two witnesses, because the death of the two witnesses takes place three-and-a-half days before the resurrection. So, if the first resurrection is on Pentecost—I think we can pretty well show from the Bible that it is—the two witnesses' 1260 days ends three-and-a-half days before Pentecost.

So, what I did, I used the Calculated Hebrew Calendar—because I feel that God inspired it—then I said we're going to make one other assumption so we can guess—which can put us 30 days right or wrong—just an approximation, and, of course, the chart is not dogmatic, and the end is the end. Let's also conclude that it's also the end of the 19-year time-cycle. I went year 19, 18, 17, 16, 15—I put the leap year as the common year—and it came back to the beginning of the last seven-year period is the year 13, which is the number of rebellion.

It is amazing! Cutting off of the sacrifices—if the chart gives us any representation at all—appears to happen on the tenth of Nissan—which is the day for selecting the Passover lamb! Why does the beast get the 'deadly wound'? After you cut off the sacrifices, you're going to have a lot of zealot Jews looking for him. And I think the assassination squad gets him and he is wounded to death, but is revived back.

When you go back 1,260 days, you come back to a time 30 days after the Feast of Tabernacles which is not in the winter. That's when they start their ministry. Let's see what it is here and we'll carry on with the two witnesses:

Verse 4: "These are the two olive trees… [In trying to define this in the way of it being two churches; because]: …and the two lampstands that stand before the God of the earth." So, we look at the candlesticks and we automatically say, 'at the beginning of Revelation we have seven candlesticks and now we've got two.' I've heard people say that 'one is the leader of the Laodicean Church and one is the leader of the Philadelphian Church.' Well, I don't think that will be at all. We'll look at it. Let's see what the two witnesses do and we'll find out where it talks about the two olive trees. The two candlesticks means—not necessarily are they a church—that they are carrying the light of God. That's important to understand.

Verse 5: "And if anyone attempts to harm them, fire will go out of their mouths and devour their enemies. For if anyone attempts to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have authority to shut heaven so that no rain may fall in the days of their prophecy; and they have authority over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with every plague, as often as they will…. [whenever they decide] …And when they have completed their testimony, the beast who ascends out of the abyss will make war against them, and will overcome them, and will kill them" (vs 5-7). Same verbiage used in Rev. 13 against the saints. So, these are the last two that he goes after.

Verse 8: "And their bodies…" This cannot be churches. If these were churches, then you would have to be dealing with hundreds or thousands of bodies in the street. These are two individuals.

"…will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified" (v 8).

Why does God call Jerusalem 'Sodom and Egypt'? Because Judaism is actually the religion of Egypt—mystic Judaism! And the religion of Egypt came out of Babylon and then it was refined. What are we seeing today? New Ageism, which is Egyptian religion! What do we have in Memphis, Tennessee? We have a big pyramid! People go in and they go through the same vows—just as 'an experience,' of course—becoming an initiate in the Egyptian religions. All this New Age stuff defines what the world-religion is going to be. Sodom defines the morals.

When the two witnesses are killed, v 9: "Then those of the peoples and tribes and languages and nations shall see their bodies three and a half days, for they will not allow their bodies to be put into tombs…. [we're talking about two men] …And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, and will make merry, and will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets… [two single individuals] …had tormented those who dwell on the earth. Then after the three and a half days, the spirit of life from God entered into them and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, say, 'Come up here!' And they ascended into heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them rise" (vs 9-12). Here we have a perfect example of 'the last being the first.' The two witnesses are the last killed and the first raised.

To start the count to Pentecost you have the crucifixion of Christ, three days and three nights in the grave—He's resurrected right at the end of the Sabbath; then it's a little more than another half-day until the morning of the Wave Sheaf Offering when that is waved or elevated and accepted, referring to the resurrection of Christ. We have three-and-half-days to begin it, and we have three-and-a-half days to end it—both ending in a resurrection.

Now then, who are the two witnesses? I know it's not me, and I don't think it's going to be anyone in the Church! I think Zech. 3 tells us.

Let's first of all quote this from Matt. 24: 'And when you shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet stand in the Holy place.' Christ was telling the disciples, as they said to Jesus, 'Look at all of these buildings and how beautiful they are.' He says, 'I tell you there won't be one stone left upon an another that shall not be thrown down.' But He also said, 'When you see the abomination of desolation which stands in the Holy place, (he who reads let him understand)'—Jesus didn't say that. That was written in by Matthew, inspired of God, so that you have to understand what that's telling you.

This tells us that in order to have a Holy place you've got to have a temple site. At a minimum you have to have a tabernacle. I believe there will be a temple. In order to have that you have to have somebody to run it. What do you have to have? You have to have the priesthood! There is the Temple Institute, which is redeveloping all the implements. They have some of the musical instruments: the trumpets, shofars; they have some of the bowls for catching the blood; they have the two lots, one for the Lord, one for Azazel; they have the vestments that they're remaking again. So, they are ready. The only thing holding them back is God saying it is time.

Then you have to have a high priest. Let's read Zech. 3 concerning Joshua the high priest. We've erroneously applied this to various high ranking 'ministers' that we've known in the past. Let's not do that, because the temple is a Jewish event—within the Jews are the Levites. When I say 'Jewish event' I'm saying 'Jewish-Levitical.' Jews cannot stand at the temple—they are not to do that—just the Levites.

Zechariah 3:1: "And He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said to Satan, 'May the LORD rebuke you, Satan! May even the LORD Who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked out of the fire?'" (vs 1-2). Here's someone so bad he's ready to be counted worthy of the Lake of Fire, I would have to say. Or, maybe he just pulled back from the Tribulation. 'Fire' is strictly a Jewish thing. What did they call their experience in WWII? The Holocaust, the burning!

Verse 3: "Now, Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And He answered and spoke to those who stood before him, saying, 'Take the filthy garments from off him.' And to him He said, 'Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with ceremonial robes'" (vs 3-4).

Here is a direct, Divine conversion of the high priest. He's probably in there doing all the things that Judaism wants him to do, mixed in with the sacrifices and everything. God calls him. There's going to be some supernatural intervention here.

Verse 5: "And I said, 'Let them set a clean mitre on his head.' And they set a clean mitre on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by. And the angel of the LORD charged Joshua, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "If you will walk in My ways, and if you will keep My charge, then you shall also judge My house, and shall also keep My courts, and I will give you places to walk among these who stand by"'" (vs 5-7).

There was a literal Joshua during the days of Zechariah who was subsequently put in charge of the temple. He was clothed with the clothes of the priesthood. I think that's going to happen again. Then he is going to be called to be dressed in 'sackcloth and ashes' when he takes over the function of being one of the two witnesses.

Verse 8: "'Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your fellows who sit before you; for they are men wondered at, for behold, I will bring forth My Servant the Branch! [Christ] For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua: On one stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave its engraving upon it,' says the LORD of hosts, 'and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day,' says the LORD of hosts, 'you shall call, each man to his neighbor, to sit under the vine and under the fig tree"' (vs 8-10). It blends right into the Millennium.

Zechariah 4:1, where it talks about the governor: "And the angel that talked with me came again and awakened me, as a man that is awakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, 'What do you see?' And I said, 'I see, and behold, a lampstand, all of it gold, and a bowl on its top, and its seven lamps upon it, and seven pipes to the seven lamps on its top'" (vs 1-2).

We're talking about what the seven golden candlesticks are like. Have you ever seen what the candlesticks are like that go in the temple? They are like a candelabra, but there is no wax candle. They have a cord running down into it and at the base of it, it is filled with olive oil. The olive oil comes up just like a wick up into each of these seven. Today, Hanukah uses nine candles, and the middle one is raised. There are four candles on each side and the middle one is raised. The middle one is symbolic to the 'queen of heaven.' Most people don't know that; it blows your mind when you hear it. If we can say that these seven lampstands are the seven churches; and I believe we could very well have, as God views the churches, seven churches at the end.

Verse 3: "'And two olive trees beside it… [the two olive trees become the important thing] …one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on the left side of it.' And I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, 'What are these, my lord?' Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, 'Do you know what these are?' And I said, 'No, my lord.' Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, 'This is the Word of the LORD to Zerubbabel, saying, "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,"' says the LORD of hosts" (vs 3-6). Who is Zerubbabel? The governor of Judea!

Verse 7: "Who are you, O great mountain?…. [type of the beast] …Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain; and he shall bring forth the head stone with shoutings, 'Grace! Grace unto it!'…. [or crying the way for Christ to return] …And the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house…. [I believe it's building the temple] …His hands shall also finish it.' And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. 'For who has despised the day of small things?….'" (vs 7-10).

Even the second temple until Herod came along and glorified it, it was really kind of a meager, little building. It's interesting that Herod was half Edomite. And there's quite a bit to do with the Edomites who were Jews and so forth, that he caused to be.

"…For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel. These seven are the eyes of the LORD which run to and fro through the whole earth" (v 10). So, God is doing what He is doing.

Verse 11: "And I answered and said to him, 'What are these two olive trees on the right side of the lampstand and on its left side?' And I answered again and said to him, 'What are the two olive branches beside the two golden pipes, emptying the golden oil out of themselves?' And he answered me and said, 'Do you not know what these are?' And I said, 'No, my lord.' And he said, 'These are the two anointed ones who stand by the LORD of the whole earth'" (vs 11-14). To me, that can be none other than the two witnesses:

  • the high priest who will be in charge of the temple

We don't know how long the sacrifices are going to be. Maybe the sacrifices will be going on two or three years before they're cut off.

  • the governor of Judea who helped do the whole thing so the temple could be built

They're going to be miraculously converted just like Ezekiel was into the job of the two witnesses. And it's not going to be a job to be desired!

I remember one man who said he was one of the two witnesses and that Herbert Armstrong would be raised back and he would be the other of the two witnesses. Herbert Armstrong was not raised back on the day that he said he would come back. So, he kind of intimated that he was the two witnesses. That's how crazy people get in holding onto their doctrine.

I would have to say, this is the best explanation we can do with the facts of the Scripture that we have as we know them. I'm sure there can be other factors brought in that could help us understand it more, and I hope that we can in the future. The two witnesses, I believe, are going to be the high priest from the temple and the governor of Judea. When that happens it is going to be known! I think that will simultaneously take place at the time the Church is taken to a place of safety.

The place of safety is where everybody wants to go. Right now, because of the agreement between the Israelis and the Jews, the Jews are going over to Petra and they are cleaning it up. They're digging up the water sources again, and they're getting rid of the dung and manure that's been there for centuries. There was a famous evangelist in the Church of God that went over there one day. He looked out and as he was doing the taping for his television program, a Jordanian military helicopter flew over it. He said, 'This can't be the place of safety. Look, they can come in and shoot you down.'

Well, the place of safety may be Petra; there are some things that indicate it. This has been the traditional explanation of Petra being the place of safety. It may be or it may not be. But I think that various churches throughout time have used the leverage of escaping and going to a place of safety as a means of keeping people under control. We've even experienced in our own time people who have their 'Petra boxes' all ready. There were those who were very concerned about childbirth control, so they had in their little 'Petra package' everything to prevent child conception. Well, trust me, God can close the wombs of multiple women, so we won't worry about that.

Now then, let's read it here where it does give an indication that it could be, Isaiah 16:1: "Send the lambs to the ruler of the land from the rock of the desert… ['Selah' (KJV), Hebrew word for the Greek word 'Petra'] …to the mount of the daughter of Zion… [people take that as being the Church—possible] …for it shall be that as a wandering bird cast out of the nest, so shall the daughters of Moab be at the fords of Arnon…. [that's getting on down close to Petra] …'Take counsel, do judgment; make your shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; do not betray the fugitive. Let my outcasts dwell with you, Moab; be a shelter to them from the face of the destroyer; for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceases, the oppressors are consumed out of the land'" (vs 1-4). So, they say, 'This has got to be the Church going to Petra and a place of safety.'

Verse 5: "And in mercy the throne shall be established; and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David…" (v 5)—and blends into Christ sitting on the throne of David. So, it's possible.

Let's go where the Scriptures tell about going to the 'place in the wilderness.' We've got a sequence of things here; Satan is cast down, Revelation 12:7: "And there was war in heaven…" I think there's going to be another war in heaven. Don't anyone get upset if I say that we don't know the time. I mean, we have to say that! How long will it be? We don't know! What are some of the indications that give us some indications that could be?

  • there's a space station they built
  • there are a couple of other things that involves China

 

Turkmenistan is on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea. They have such oil reserves there that it is called and likened unto the second Saudi Arabia. They've been trying for years to negotiate to get a pipeline going west. But they would have to go through Georgia, Armenia, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria. Everybody wants a little 'slice of the pie.' So, you get an add-on, an add-on and add-on.

When you're dealing with all of these governments, one gets jealous of the other, that one is going to make more than the other. Should the one sending it out first get more than the one who opens the valve at the end that goes in the ship? This has been going on for quite a while. So finally, those in Turkmenistan said, 'All right, we're going to go the other way. All the oil companies said, 'Phooey on negotiating with these people, we're going to go east.' They're going to put the world's largest pipeline, going from the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan and they're going to come right through China to the China Sea. This is going to mean untold wealth for the Chinese. It's going to put big highways there, which makes it convenient for troops coming from the east. I don't know when it's going be finished, but it's going to be a reasonably decade-long project.

Also, I found out by watching Discovery Channel that they were talking about this project in China that rivals the Great Wall of China. They've approved it, and I didn't know it but they've been working on it five years already. They're building the world's largest dam and they're going to dam up the Yangtze River; from top to bottom, there's going to be 578 feet of water, and it's going to go back hundreds of miles. This is going to produce a tremendous amount of hydroelectric power. It was showing an interview with one of the Chinese officials, and he says, 'When you fly over America at night, all the cities are lit up—we want this dam so we can have electricity.' Electricity is going to mean: power, jobs, economy, manufacturing; you kick in the oil pipeline and now you have the money to build a real army; now you're going to have money to have high technology. I think there's going to be a melding of high-technology and demonism, as you read Rev. 9 and the things that are going to take place there.

How are you going to get an army of 200-million outfitted with all these sophisticated instruments that are shown there in Rev. 9. You're not going to do it unless you have 'bucks'; lots and lots of 'bucks'; unless you have a lot of computer expertise and so forth to go along with it. I feel that the return of Christ is not going to be until those things have been completed. (That's my opinion.)

Also, you have to have something that is worthwhile for those nations to fight against Christ. There has to be. I can think of nothing than China—struggling, after how many thousands of years—prosperous, productive, powerful, money, wealth. They'll fight Christ for it, because they don't believe in God. I just throw that in as something to consider.

I also believe with the space station that it's very possible that Satan could go up—possessing the person of the beast—in a rocket and be on the space station and then there is that war; then Satan is 'cast back down.' I realize that's a little speculation, but I think we need to think real big 'star wars' stuff. By the way, Star Wars stuff is New Age. Yoda is the spelled out word on how to pronounce the Hebrew letter 'Y.' What is the name of the Lord? YHVH or YHWH! So, when you say Yoda, it's direct blaspheme against God.

This may come down differently than we think. Satan is 'cast back down' and his angels are cast down with him:

Revelation 12:10: "And I heard a great voice in heaven say, 'Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ because the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, who accuses them day and night before our God. But they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death. Therefore, rejoice you heavens and those who dwell in them. Woe to those who inhabit the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, having great wrath because he knows that he has only a short time'" (vs 10-12). How long is a 'short time'?

Verse 13: "And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who had brought forth the man child. And two wings of a great eagle were given to the woman, so that she might fly to herplace… [it's a specific location] …in the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent" (vs 13-14). How long is a 'little time' a 'short time'? It's a little longer than three-and-a-half years. How much longer? Don't know!

Before the war is made, there's the persecution; follows the same pattern that Hitler did. Marked out all the Jews and you wear a yellow star or a yellow armband—persecution! Destroy the stores. Then they round them up and the war begins by killing them. That's what's going to happen with the Church. Part of the Church is going to go to a place of safety, and we'll answer the question who and how you are going to be taken there.

Verse 15: "And the serpent cast water out of his mouth as a river, so that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth, and swallowed up the river that the dragon had cast out of his mouth. Then the dragon was furious with the woman and went to make war with the rest [remnant (KJV)] of her seed…" (vs 15-17).

Let's understand something here concerning 'remnant' in the Greek. 'Remnant' means the others with no indication of number. 'Remnant' in English means a smaller, leftover portion. But not so in the Greek; it means the others. It could actually be more. We don't know how many Christians there will be that are truly converted. But we know that all are not going to go to a place of safety. And going to a place of safety and sparing you is a matter of what is the will of God.

"…who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (v 17). They're going to be martyred. These are going to be martyred with the fifth seal (Rev. 6).

Let's talk about the 'abomination that makes desolation.' Let's read that and plug that in here now. The 'abomination that makes desolate' during the time of Antiochus Epiphanies was the Gentiles walking into the Holy of Holies and offering swine on the altar. I feel that the 'abomination that makes desolate' is the 'man of sin, the son of perdition' (2-Thess. 2) 'who is exalted above all who is called 'God' and is worshiped' and he goes into the temple of God—just as it says. And he is the one who makes desolate the temple. That will be the great beast power—whoever he is! {Note sermon Jewish Messiah/Noahide Laws, where I show that the Jews are also trying bring their own Messiah.} This is going to be 'Messiah competition.' Who is the Messiah? Jews are not looking for Christ! When they say they're waiting for Messiah, they're waiting for a physical human being.

Matthew 24:24: "For there shall arise false Christs… [not just one antichrist, but many] …and false prophets, and they shall present great signs and wonders, in order to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
Verse 15: "Therefore, when you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place' (the one who reads, let him understand)." You can tie this in with Revelation 'he who has an ear, let him hear.' Make that a study. See all those places, because it's telling us something very important!

When the beast is making war against the saints, it is after his deadly wound is healed. There are some specific instructions, because there are a lot of people who feel that they must take up arms. How many have heard of the 'sovereignist movement'? They are the ones who say that we must 'withdraw from the government; we must fight for God; we must give up Social Security numbers; driver's license numbers; license car numbers; withdraw from the society. Get arms, get money, fight them.'

Here is a warning, what the beast is going to do after the 'deadly wound' is healed, and he continues, Revelation 13:5: "…and authority was given to him to continue for forty-two months."

Verse 7: "And he was given power to make war against the saints, and to overcome them; and he was given authority over every tribe and language and nation." He's going to control the whole world at that point. And all who dwell on the earth will worship him…" (vs 7-8). God in the flesh, the Divine being, the ones that Illuminists, the New Agers, have always wanted.

"…whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone has an ear, let him hear" (vs 8-9). Very important! We are to listen to this!

Verse 10: "If anyone gathers into captivity, he shall go into captivity. If anyone kills with the sword, he must be killed with the sword. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints." They don't do that! Very important, because people are saying now, as Christians, you ought to bear arms and fight. No! Christ didn't. Jesus said 'if My kingdom were of this world then would My servants fight.'

So, this 'abomination of desolation' is going to 'stand in the Holy place.' He's going to declare himself that he is God! Here's the first clue of the place of safety:

Matthew 24:16: "Then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains." The only place in the mountains you're going to go is down toward Petra.

Verse 17: "Let the one who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house." It's going to be quick! When it's time to go, it's going to be BAM! you pay attention to nothing else.

Verse 18: "And let the one who is in the field not go back to take his garments…. [so much for your 'Petra box'] …But woe to those women who are expecting a child, and to those who are nursing infants in those days!…. [it's going to be very difficult] …And pray that your flight be not in the winter, nor on the Sabbath" (vs 18-20)—which shows Sabbath enforcement at the end-time—without a doubt!

There are some people who say, 'Get your passports ready, brethren, we're going in January.' Don't believe it, that's in the winter. In the chart that I did, the 1,335 days fell naturally, without forcing a thing, from the Pentecost resurrection, back 1,335 days and it came within 30 days of the Feast of Tabernacles. That is before winter.

Verse 21: "For then shall there be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until this time, nor ever shall be again. And if those days were not limited ['shortened' (KJV)]…" (vs 21-22). It doesn't mean that God is going to cut short the time; it means that God is not going to allow it to go beyond what He's already designated. We've been leveraged against by saying, 'it's going to be cut short; you don't know when it's going to be, brethren'—'Christ is coming tonight' syndrome in a little bit different situation.

"…there would no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be limited" (v 22).

Let's look at another group. Let's go to the parallel account, Luke 21:20: "But when you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies…" They've had armies close to it, and even close to being all around it, but not as this describes.

"…then know that her desolation has drawn near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…" (vs 20-21). This shows there will be some fleeing a little bit early, which is okay, He doesn't say not to. But when you see the desolation occur, then you know you've got to go instantly, you can't wait! So, before they would be able to flee.

"…and let those within her go out, and let not those in the countries come into her" (v 21). You're not going to get a passport and pass through the Holy Land and go on into Jordan and meet the king of Jordan—King Hussein—and he's going to hand you a donkey and you give him $50 and he says, 'Yes, you go on down here and here's how you get into Petra.' It isn't going to happen! Those who are not there in Judea are going to get there some other way.

Verse 22: "For these are the days of vengeance, so that all things that have been written may be accomplished."

Now then, we come over here and we've had many, many sermons end with this, v 34: "Watch yourselves, lest your hearts be preoccupied with high living and drinking… [spiritual and physical] …and the cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly. For as a snare it shall come upon all those who dwell on the face of the earth…. [this is going to a worldwide thing] …Watch therefore, and pray at all times that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man" (vs 34-36).

Now then, let's add another thing into the mix here, Psa. 91; this was also mentioned when this evangelist declared that Petra is not the place of safety. 'God can protect you wherever He is; wherever you are.' True!God can protect you wherever you are! But that is not the correct statement. The question should be: What is the will of God? If it's God's will that you die as a martyr, is He going to protect you? No!

Psalm 91:1: "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Whom I will trust.' Surely He will deliver you from the fowler's trap and from the destroying pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge.…" (vs 1-4). That's 'flying into the wilderness.' No, not necessarily! That's like a mother hen gathers her chicks. You're not doing any flying here.

"…His Truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flies by day, nor for the plague that walks in darkness, nor for the destruction laying waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand; it shall not come near you" (vs 4-7). God can protect you wherever you are. Here's the conclusion that is true: if it is God's will to do so! But if you are not protected by God, it is not His will to protect you, you are going to give your life and you are not going anywhere.

I hope this is not too disjointed. This is why many people want to be Philadelphians. Most of those churches that declare it, you see very little 'brotherly love.' You see the heavy hand of authority. And they read this:

Revelation 3:10: "Because you have kept the word of My patience…" That also has to be in love, brethren. {note Who is a Philadelphian?, #17 this series}

"…I also will keep you from the time of temptation which is about to come upon the whole world to try those who dwell on the earth" (v 10).

This is a worldwide event. We are reading of worldwide events that are going to take place. If He's going to keep you, how's He going to keep you? What are the ways He can keep you?

  • He can take you to a place of protection
  • you can be old and die

I see that there are going to be a lot of senior citizens that God is going to have put in the grave and not have them go through the Tribulation. Can some of the senior citizens take that? Of course not!

  • If you die in the faith are you ensured the resurrection? Yes!
  • Are you spared the Tribulation, which is coming upon the world? Yes!
  • Did you go to a place of safety in the flesh? No!

So, there will be that category. That's just one. I'm not saying that's what He's saying back there in Rev. 3, but I'm saying that is one way.

Isaiah 57:1: "The righteous perish, and no one lays it to heart, and merciful men are taken away; none considering that the righteous are taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace… [that is their grave] …they shall rest in their beds, each one who walked in his uprightness" (vs 1-2). There are going to be those that die in the faith.

What about those who are faithful and are alive? What's going to happen to them? Let's see something that will help us understand; there are certain things we can understand in it and there are certain things we cannot. But, I think this gives us a better understanding of it than anything else. As I've mentioned before, we have heard, 'when the time comes, the head apostle is going to call all the leading evangelists; the leading evangelists are going to call all the district superintendents or the regional directors; all the regional directors are going to call all the pastors; all the pastors are going to call all the local elders; they're going to call the deacons.

Some churches even had a phone network worked out that was miraculous! To let you know it's time to flee!

  • What if the electricity is out that day?
  • What if the phone lines are down?
  • What if the minister doesn't like you?

What if, at the resurrection, Christ comes to you and says, 'Oh, I'm glad you made it.' What do you mean, Lord, I willingly died, I gave my life. He'd say, 'Yeah, but you should have gone to a place of safety, but the minister didn't like you and he didn't call you. I'm just so happy that you made it.' NO! It isn't going to be left to chance that way! No man is going to select who's going to go! Can a man judge the heart? Look at the events that are happening in the Church today. Are you amazed at the choices that people are making because you didn't know what was in their hearts? Sure!

Luke 17:22: "Then He said to the disciples, 'The days will come when you shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man…" That's one of the days when He was in the flesh. But we're also going to see that He brings this forth, meaning one of the days of the coming of the Son of man.

"…and shall not see it. And they shall say to you, 'Look here,' or 'Look there.' Do not go, neither follow them. For as the light of day…" (vs 22-24). We think of a bolt of lightning—don't we? But that's not talking of lightning as a bolt of lightning. This is talking about the light of day.

Let's see what Matt. 24 says. It gives us a little bit of added information. This also fits in with what Satan is building up. What are we concentrating on now in many ways? Other beings in outer space! Haven't we heard that maybe a meteor would come in and crash into the earth? How's the sign of the Son of man going to appear? We know that the heavens, when He's revealed, are going be rolled back as a scroll, so something's going to happen! Let's see what this light is.

Matthew 24:27: "For as the light of day, which comes forth from the east and shines as far as the west…" That's talking about the sun. You can't say that's talking about the moon. You can't say that's talking about lightning as lightning in a lightning storm, because lightning in a lightning storm goes into the clouds, down to the earth and the earth up to the clouds. It goes north, south, east and west. So, this could only be talking about the light of day, as the sun.

"…so also shall the coming of the Son of man be. For wherever the carcass may be, there will the eagles be gathered together…. [He tells us when this is going to be]: …But immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken…. [so will the earth] …And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven…" (vs 27-30)—which is a light that appears like the sun.

When you're on the earth, with the earth turning, it appears like it's going from east to west, just like our sun does when we look out and visualize it. The heavens are going to roll back as a scroll and all of a sudden the sign of the Son of man is going to be there and they're going to say 'invasion from outer-space.' How far out this is going to be when they first see it—and I think it's going to come closer and closer and closer to the earth during the time-period. When the Tribulation against Israel is over, there's still about 15 months left, because there's a difference between the Tribulation and the wrath of God—the trumpet plagues of God!

"…and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (v 30).

Let's come back here to Luke 17:24: "For as the light of day, whose light shines from one end under heaven to the other end under heaven, so also shall the Son of man be in His day. But first it is necessary for Him to suffer many things and to be rejected by this generation. Now as it was in the days of Noah, so also shall it be in the days of the Son of man" (vs 24-26). Not just a single day.

Verse 27: "They were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah went into the ark, and the Flood came and destroyed them all. And it was the same way in the days of Lot… [let's pay attention to this] …they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building" (vs 27-28). What are we doing right now? Same thing!

When the population multiplies, you have an economic boom, by the very nature of trying to provide food, housing and clothing for the people. That's why we have had an extended economic prosperity. They're doing it; thinks everything is fine.

Verse 29: "But on the day that Lot went out from Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed them all."

How did Lot and his two daughters and his wife leave Sodom? They looked up in the sky one day and said 'it's time to go.' NO! Angels came and said, 'We're taking you.' I think that's how we're going to go, if we go to a place of safety. We'd better not be like Lot's wife, because He said, 'Remember Lot's wife.'

Verse 30: "This is how it shall be in the day that the Son of man is revealed. In that day, let not the one who is on the housetop, and his goods in the house, come down to take them away; and likewise, let not the one who is in the field return to the things behind. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whoever shall lose his life shall preserve it" (vs 30-32).

Everyone who wants to go to a place of safety on the fear of going through the Tribulation—'Oh, I don't want to do that'—they are violating the Scripture, because they're seeking to save their life, and they're not going to go.

"…whoever shall lose his life shall preserve it" (v 33)—which means this: You lose your life in Christ and you grow in grace and knowledge and the love of God and trust in God in absolute faith, you'll preserve it. One day an angel will come knocking on the door and say, 'It's time, come on.'

It's not to the one who wills. It's not to the one who runs. But it is God who has mercy! Same thing to go to a place of safety.

Notice this, this is a little perplexing until you understand it properly, v 34: "I tell you, in that night… [He's talking about days] …there shall be two… [not men (KJV), but two] …in one bed; one shall be taken, and the other shall be left…. [It says taken! They'll be in bed—taken!] …Two women shall be grinding together… [Do they do that at night? No!] …one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two men shall be in the field; one shall be taken, and the other shall be left" (vs 34-36).

Do people work in their gardens and the field at night? No! What are we talking about? We're talking about how God looks at the earth, and we're talking about a day on the earth, which compasses day and night. Part of the earth will be at night—they will be taken even out of their beds if they're in bed. Part of the earth they will be up early in the morning, working and grinding. They other part of the earth it's going to be in the mid-day and they'll be out in the field working. So they'll be taken!

I believe this is telling us that the angels are going to come and take those who are to go to a place of safety. Now then, this solves a couple of problems:

  • If you don't know where it is—the location of the place of safety—because you've lost your life in Christ, you will find out where it is when you arrive. 'Oh, this is it.'
  • If you know where it is and you don't go, the knowledge of the place of safety does not do you any good because you don't get there.

People are focused so much on a place of safety and escaping to save their own lives that they miss the warning!

Doesn't tell us where it is. It could be Petra. It could not be Petra. We don't know. If it were Petra:

  • Could not God put a magnetic shield over that area, with a cloud cover, so no planes could penetrate it, no one could shoot the people? Yes!
  • Could not God open the waters of the deep and provide water? Yes!
  • Could not God rain manna down from heaven to provide for us? Yes!

That was the sin of the children of Israel. They didn't trust God! They said, 'How are we going to eat?'

Verse 37: "And they answered, saying to Him… [in relationship to where they were going to be taken] …'Where, Lord?' And He said to them, 'Where the body is, there will the eagles be gathered together.'" It says in another place, vultures. Vultures and eagles nest on high cliffs. Petra, and the mountains around there, is one of the stopping places for the migration of eagles and vultures and they have nests there.

Eagles are in the vulture family. The only thing is, it's a little more pleasant looking because it has feathers on its neck. Just think of it. If you had feathers all over your head, how could you be a vulture and go down and stick your head two feet inside the carcass of this animal that's bloody and rotten and pull your neck out, the feathers all messed up. No, God made the buzzard just right, a long thin neck; the vulture can just stick that neck in there and get any of that and just gorge itself on the worst stuff. Vultures can even eat anthrax and pass it through their system and eliminate it in harmless dung. There's a good use for vultures!

So, we need not concentrate on a place of safety. We can think about it. We can know about it. But we need to concentrate on our relationship with God. I'm convinced of this: If we really learn to love God the way God wants us to love Him, then He will take care of us! And if He doesn't, then we have to ask God for the faith and strength to be able to do what God wants us to do!

All Scriptures from The Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Ezekiel 2:1-4, 8
  • Ezekiel 3:1-3
  • Revelation 10:8-11
  • Ezekiel 14:1-18
  • Malachi 4:5-6
  • Revelation 11:1-12
  • Zechariah 3:1-10
  • Zechariah 4:1-14
  • Isaiah 16:1-5
  • Revelation 12:7, 10-17
  • Matthew 24:24, 15
  • Revelation 13:5, 7-10
  • Matthew 24:16-22
  • Luke 21:20-22, 34-36
  • Psalm 91:1-7
  • Revelation 3:10
  • Isaiah 57:1-2
  • Luke 17:22-24
  • Matthew 24:27-30
  • Luke 17:24-37

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 10
  • Matthew 24
  • Revelation 9, 6
  • 2 Thessalonians 2

Also referenced: Sermons:

  • Invisible Idol/Visible Man
  • Jewish Messiah/Noahide Laws
  • Who is a Philadelphian?

Chart: Revelation

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 6-6-10
Reformatted: 5/2014

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