"Pray That Your Flight"
Jesus Christ commands His true saints in Mat. 24:20 "To pray that their flight be not in the winter neither on the Sabbath Day; For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."
Are you one of God's saints, who believes and has the faith that this is a prayer that Christ demands you should be praying at this season and time in God's plan? Are you as a member of His true body obeying His command in order that you might be in that flight, and be protected from the great trial and tribulation coming on all the earth, and that this predicted flight would not come during the winter season or on the Sabbath? Why pray this? It is because of the heavy physical and spiritual burden the flight at that season and day would bring on His saints! This prayer and petition to God is telling His saints first, there will be a flight, and secondly, some part of it will be traveling on foot. Does this Scripture quoted above, plus other like Scriptures given by Jesus Christ concerning this event, promise to you, if you are a part of His true body, that He truly has prepared a place and will lead you to a place of safety, protection and nourishment for that coming time of great trial? Are you preparing by being physically fit-healthwise as much as you can, and to be spiritually led and prepared in your mind, heart and life for that flight? This will be a physical flight for those selected, that will be based on spiritual growth of having overcome one's sin, growth and maturity in God's Spirit, and not a random selecting of the saints to be protected! This will not be a spiritual rapture or resurrection to a sea of glass at this point of Christ's judgment that much of professed Christianity teaches! Can truth and understanding about this flight be found in Scripture, that Jesus Christ will provide a place of safety, protection and nourishment for His saints during the great tribulation, called the Day of the Lord, or is all of this just a figment of one's imagination, as one teacher has written in the church news Journal?
There are three, and maybe four basic beliefs that are accepted to be the understanding and truth by different ones in the Churches of God on this important subject of protection during the Day of the Lord. One belief that is held by one group of teachers and believers about a place of safety is, that all of this information is really people's imagination and can not be supported by Scripture! There is a second belief held by another group of believers, who believe that Scripture does speak about a place of safety and protection, but only for those in their many organizations of their Church of God fellowships, who are submitting to their church government hierarchy as the basic qualification to be accepted for that protection.
There is a third belief held by a third group of believers, who also believe God will provide a place of protection and safety from Satan and his inspired, wicked, bestial government, but are saints not under any organized church ministry hierarchy. This group of believers, who are few in number, have been cast out, scattered, or have withdrawn themselves from these bodies of the Church of God fellowships and their organizational hierarchies because of their loyalty to Christ's leadership in their lives through His Spirit. The spiritual leadership of Christ in their lives is above loyalty to any of these church organizations and their satanic synagogues. The brethren of this third group have been scattered by these church hierarchists and have withdrawn from their organizations, their divisive false teachings, their perverted gospel teaching, and their satanic church government. These are members who also know from their study and without any doubt, that the Scriptures do teach and promise a place of protection, but only for those who truly know Jesus Christ, and are serving under His leadership, and have Christ living in them. This group of believers have learned that they are not to serve Christ under and through any of these false organizations with men ordaining men to govern themselves through a church hierarchy, which Christ commands His church not to follow, and not to be a part of such governing, Mat.20:25-26. This third group serves Christ through the power of His Holy Spirit, by obeying His Word and all of His commandments and are active in doing God's work in their lives as examples to others!
This third group also knows from Christ's Word that He will choose some members for protection and safety from the great trial, and others will be rejected by Him. This third group of cast off and persecuted brethren know why one church member will be protected and another member will be rejected, and that is because they know from Scripture that Jesus Christ states plainly why He will accept some for protection and reject others, and Christ gives the reasons why! Is God a respecter of persons? Absolutely not!!!! The reasons why this third group of scattered believers will be protected is because they have shed their filthy clothing of commandment transgression pertaining to the worshipping of men, the sin of idolatry! These saints have rejected man's evil church government and its many false teachings which lead brethren into breaking many of God's commandments and church divisions, and they have repented of those commandment transgressions! These saints understand the true teaching of Christ's Gospel, and are now obeying Christ and His true Gospel! These saints have been made white through their obedience and faith to Christ, and have grown in their understanding and work of God's Spirit, and know what is true righteousness! They know Jesus Christ has given good, sound Biblical reasons why He will lead some out from that great time of judgment coming over the earth, and reject others! Do you, as a called to be saint, know and understand about these reasons given by Him?
There is probably a fourth belief held by another group of believers who are scattered around the world, and who are asleep and confused about what the Bible teaches. It is because of what men have been teaching them, and so do not know what to believe, but still do have a desire to learn. Maybe the words and information given in this article will help them to know and understand, and if you are one of these of this fourth group, who can make the necessary changes of shedding your filthy clothing that you need to make in your spiritual life, then you too can be part of Christ's third group!
First, let's look at this first group, who believes Christ's Word does not support the teaching about a flight to a place to be protected for those who will be accounted worthy. Here are some questions from Christ's own words that need to be answered by these people. Why did Jesus Christ tells His called and chosen ones, "To pray that their flight be not in the winter neither on the Sabbath day," Mat. 24:20, (this sentence of Christ continues in verse 21 ) "For then (at that time) shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." The last part of this sentence identifies the time and season that His people should be praying this prayer. And Christ in His Word in II Thes. 5:3-4 tells His children, His true brethren, in speaking of that day and season, when this prayer should be prayed, by Christ inspiring Paul to say, "That this period of time should not overtake them as a thief in the night."
Some brethren are sound asleep spiritually! They believe they are being led by God's Spirit, which they are not, but are being led by their own spirit, or the spirit of certain ministers influenced by Satan. They are content to continue in their spiritual deception about real conversion, repentance, forgiveness, righteousness, and many other teachings of Christ, and they encourage one another in their group, that what they believe in their state of deception is truth. Other brethren are nodding and falling to sleep by following these Churches of God and their lack of spiritual understanding in all of their teachings. These slumbering brethren have not been watching world news as diligently as they should have been doing because they have been led to believe that the real news of prophecy can come only from the ministry of the large Churches of God and its ministry! However, these half awake brethren are still somewhat studying God's Word and praying enough to receive some oil of His Spirit, and are looking more and more to Jesus Christ instead of all the sleeping ministers and their leadership. These slumbering brethren at times have not been as sober minded as they should be by permitting themselves to become drunk on all the church socializing, church pot lucks, and vain spiritless church fellowshipping, and being led by false ministers in making all of this social fellowshipping a top priority, the number one event in their church life.
The ministry of the Churches of God has been teaching them that fellowshipping is more important than doctrine. Some of these brethren have been waking up, and have been for the most part, withdrawing from such mesmerizing, tranquilizing, happy time events that shut out the reality of these evil days. Christ said to His true brethren that they are, "Not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, and so much more as you the see that great day of tribulation approaching and they are to provoke one another to have love and good works. " This love and good works includes unity in the Spirit and speaking the same thing, not provoking to divide and speaking not the same thing as is the case with the Churches of God. This command is given in Heb.10: 25,24.
Jesus Christ warns in Mat. 24:49 and in Luke 21:34, "Take heed to yourselves, unless at any time your hearts be overcharged (heavy burdened with all the cares and worries of the flesh) and surfeiting (eating and party making, as being the main desire for being a part of the church) and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares." Mathew gives this end time warning as brethren "smiting each other and eating and drinking with the drunken." The Churches of God have been smiting each other, contentious, suing each other, dividing over fleshly or carnal reasons, not for reasons from the leadership and unity of God's Spirit that is based on His Word and doctrine. Many have been made spiritually drunk through all their socializing and partying and putting church fellowshipping above doctrine, as has been the teaching of some ministers. These spiritually drunk brethren are not discerning the work of God's Spirit and His truth given in His Word. This is obvious, by their fruit of not crucifying all of the carnal ways, concerns, and desires of the flesh! They continue to fuel their vanity by the following of men, the vanity of wanting to be first, to be exalted in their erroneous, hierarchical governing. They have become contentious, dividing, and content and desirious to just have a social club, to play church, rather than humble themselves to be Christ's true spiritual church, doing His true work in their lives, and helping others to do the same. Why did Christ warn His true saints to be alert and be spiritually discerning about that day and period of time, and to pray about the flight to safety at this time, if He did not mean this was to be a flight to a place of protection, and that they could be spared from that terrible time, a time that there will never be another like it? Christ desires and commands His chosen saints to be prepared that they may be accounted worthy to escape what is about to come to pass?
More questions that this first group of believers need to answer is, why did Christ say in Luke 21:36, "Watch and pray always that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man," if He really did not mean that command, and that He really meant there is no escape for any of His called to be saints from His great tribulation and judgment coming upon all the earth? Another question that this first group of believers need to answer is, what did Christ mean when He said, "Two will be in the field (working at their jobs) one will be taken and the other left, or two will be sleeping together at night in their bed, and one will be taken and the other left (behind)," Mat. 24:10, Luke 17:34? The setting and context of these verses given by Christ is the time of great tribulation, the day of the coming of the Son of man and His judgment over the earth! Without question, Christ was referring to His saints, whereas, some were led out by a flight to be protected from the suffering, misery, curses, and death of that Day of Judgment, and others were not! Why was one person selected for protection and the other was not? Why is it said that two who are living together as a husband and wife, and one is taken out, led out, and the other spouse is not? If you are one that has been watching and praying and growing in the leadership of His Spirit, then you will know the reason why, otherwise you will not know, because you have not daily been filling your lamp with His oil of His Spirit through the diligent study of His Word, with daily, diligent and fervent prayer to overcome and do His will. Many, many brethren today in all the churches, by the fruit in their lives, see no need to do anything more than what they have been doing in overcoming their sinful path. They are asleep spiritually and are so contented financially to stay that way!!! They see themselves as having no need of anything!!!
Other questions needing answers from Christ's Word is, why did Christ promise His true saints as written in Rev. 3:10, that He would "keep them from the hour of trial," the time of the great tribulation coming over the whole earth, which is the Day of Lord, if He did not mean that this was protection, and care for them at this trying time that is so terrible a time, that there will never be another time like it? Why did Christ say in Rev. 12: 14, that He would give protection for the woman, the spiritual church, as saints making up His spiritual kingdom and nation of Israel, if He really meant something entirely different, without explaining to His church of what He really meant in these verses? Christ says in this verse to His church, His spiritual nation, "And to the woman (Christ's church) 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." Christ here plainly promises nourishment and protection and safety for some of His saints from Satan and his wicked leadership in government at that time!
However, some still discount all these plain and clear Scriptures about Christ providing protection for His chosen and accounted worthy saints! Why? Because of the fact that certain strong, deeply converted, spiritual leaders, such as prophets, apostles, evangelists, and other spiritual leaders of the past have given their lives in death, who loved not their lives to death, and were sealed as witnesses of God and His way of salvation. These great leaders and witnesses were strong examples that did inspire dedication to spiritually weak, but proud brethren. These were proud brethren, who were contented in their lack of spiritual growth, rebellious, and were prideful and who had not grown to be led by the Spirit of God. These brethren, even though they profess to be commandment keepers, believed in Christ as Saviour, nonetheless, they were lacking in zeal, and were lacking in the understanding of God's Spirit, and what they must do to to become white, righteous, and justified before Him, to prove to God that they do love Him and His way of love more than their own life. The righteous examples of the righteous leaders as martyrs spoken above were given to inspire these unrighteous brethren and ministers that their growth must be in the Spirit of God. That is they were to humble themselves, and they were to overcome their life of carnality, of living by the flesh, in order to be in His Kingdom.
Christ reveals in Revelation about the examples of His two prophets, and that these two witnesses at the end of the 3 1/2 years of tribulation, called the Day of the Lord, will be giving their lives as examples to all brethren all over the earth. This will be an example of encouragement to all those saints who were rejected by Christ to be protected, because they are lacking in God's Spirit, still living in sin, have not overcome their sins, are still following their own fleshly ways, and have not grown to be made white. These powerless, weak, and called to be saints, have not made growth in the Spirit of God in their lives, and so now must be made white by giving their lives in death during the tribulation, just to be accepted in God's Kingdom. They, by their death, will prove to God that their life's work in the church has been of no righteous profit, useless, vain, filled with pride. At this hour of testing in their life, they must come to see the need of repentance, acknowledging and confessing that they have lived their life, not by God's Spirit, but by the flesh, their carnality, and now must show that being in His kingdom means more to them, than to protect their physical fleshly life for a few more days! Why will this be so? It is because they did not take the teachings and doctrines of Christ seriously!!!! These brethren were part of the church in body presence only, but who believed they had the truth, who believed they knew it all pertaining to salvation and needed no further growth and personal examination in their life. This was all because of them refusing to accept any further knowledge and understanding Christ had for them, and that He had made available to them!
Judgment has already begun at the house of God, I Peter 4:17! It is being manifested today by the fruit of which church members have Christ as their Master, Lord and Savior, and are being led in their lives by Him through God's Spirit, and the members who are led by the flesh, and their carnal reasoning, by following certain false leaders of the flesh, calling themselves evangelists, pastors and apostles! Christ has foretold that there is a definite distinction, and that it would be manifested at the harvest of His saints, between these two groups of church saints. One group, because of their growth and having been born of God's Spirit, will be led out in a flight for protection from Satan and his "new world order," and the other group of saints will be left behind to be made white, to be accepted for justification before Him. This last group of believers were are not being led by God's Spirit, even though believed they were. The work that they believed was the work of God in their lives and their church organizations, was in reality the work of men and organizations of men, influenced by Satan. The work of their church and following men of the flesh will be exposed and destroyed. Study I Cor. 3: 13-15, which adds much to this point and gives more understanding about this Christ rejected group, as each individual is judged.
Christ makes a clear distinction between the two groups of people who are called out to be His saints! Notice in Luke 8: 5-14, the parable of the sower to understand the Word of God. Notice the distinction or difference between one group of believers that heard the Word and went forth to do their own work, but brought forth no fruit to perfection, and the ones that heard God's Word, and did His work in their lives and brought forth fruit to perfection, which was through patience by perservering, overcoming and enduring through the help and power of God's Spirit to the end. Their lives were filled and led by God's Spirit, whereas, the first group of believers brought forth no fruit to perfection, but were waiting until the resurrection because of all the false teachings in the Churches of God about not being born again now, where God speaks of the saints bodies being changed to spirit. They believe it is at this time, the resurrection, that their hearts and minds would grow and be filled with God's Spirit in order to overcome their sins and bear spiritual fruit. They believe it is at this time when their hearts and minds would be born again of God's Spirit! If this is true, why did God create us in the flesh, with the need to live a life in the flesh to perfect His saints?
Another parable Christ gives about these two different groups is His parable about the wheat and the tares, whereas, Satan sowed tares, false brethren, among the wheat, the righteous brethren. At the harvest, or end of this age, God causes the tares to be gathered into groups, or church organizations, being directed by Satan's hierarchical, church governments of men, and were to be put in the fire, but the wheat was stored in God's barn, His storage area-His place of protection, Mat. 13: 30, "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, gather you together first the tares, and bind them in bundles (man's organizational churches) to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn," (place of safe keeping.) This parable is similar to Christ's parable about the Kingdom of God being like a net that was cast into the sea, and when it was full and was dragged to shore, the good, righteous, clean and good were gathered into vessels, but the unclean, the bad, the unrighteous, were cast away, Mat. 13;49-50, "So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever, or separate, the wicked from among the just, and shall cast the wicked into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." This unbelieving, truth rejecting, evil, know it all, pride filled group of church members will recognize at that time how they have been misled and became deceived about so many doctrines pertaining to God's Kingdom, and about Jesus Christ, His true Gospel, and true conversion. They will groan with shame, sorrow, the grinding of their teeth, wailing in pain for having been deceived about salvation and many other doctrines!
Christ's parable about the ten virgins is another like parable giving understanding about the two different groups of church people, where one group is led out with Christ to His marriage, and the other group was denied, rejected, and cast out, because Christ did not know them, Mat. 25: 10-13. The righteous knew Jesus Christ, but the unrighteous, who are content to just follow church government, and answer and submit to the government of men, and their false system of beliefs, including a false gospel, false conversion about being born again and many other deceptions concerning their false faith, and so were really not following and living by the faith that was once delivered. These members were rejected and denied to go in with Christ to the marriage! These unrighteous ones did not believe Christ would deliver His true body and church from the great tribulation, so they saw no point in praying about the flight to flee!
Does Daniel teach in his writings that all the saints and those called to be saints shall fall to the sword, flame, captivity and spoil as some teach? God says through Daniel that those that understand and instruct shall fall, and there are many that instruct and teach not only in the church, but also in the world's churches, and all professing to be of true Christianity. These teachers do instruct, teach, and understand certain truths but still do not know the true gospel in order to be saved, Dan. 11: 33-35. They teach truth mixed with error, lies, and twist the Scriptures! This is why they will fall! Daniel tells us it was to test them, to purge them, and to make them white, to help them to become converted and to really know Jesus Christ and His true gospel! But look at what Daniel says and who he identifies in Dan. 12:1-2, as to who will be saved and delivered. He says, "At the time of the end, the time of the great tribulation, that God's saints shall be delivered, protected, everyone that shall be found written in the book, His Book of Life." A saint must be made white to be written in the book of life! In plain words, God is saying to His saints that are saved and delivered, it will be because in their life of persecution and overcoming, they were made white. It was all because of them standing up for Jesus Christ and His Word and His true Gospel, and were led by His Spirit. They had been persecuted by their brethren and the world and overcome them through God's Spirit. They had been born again!!! They had been born of God's Spirit, meaning they had fully matured in the growth of God's Spirit in their life and now were ready to go with Christ to His place for protection! And in verse 2, God once again makes a distinction between two groups of people where He says, "Those that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt," being rejected or denied by Christ! This verse ties in and compares with Mat. 25:10-13, where two groups, true saints and brethren called to be saints are awakened, some to life and and protection, and others are denied and rejected by Christ to an everlasting contempt unless they come to repentance during the great trial coming to the earth.
Lastly, in Rev. 12: 14-17, Christ once again makes a distinction between the two groups of believers. This separation of those rejected and those protected takes place at the very beginning of the 3 1/2 year period of judgment and tribulation, coming on all the earth, called the Day of the Lord. This is about one group of Christ's true, righteous saints being given protection from Satan and his flood that he casts out against them, and those who were the remnant, who all were professed commandment keepers and who believe in Christ as Savior, but were given to Satan for their spiritual cleansing. One group truly did have Christ living in them and were truly converted by being led by His Holy Spirit, and the others were not, but who were led by their own flesh and their desires and cares of the flesh, and by their own spirit and mind of carnal reasoning, and had to be cleansed, Rev. 12:16, "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." Verse 17, "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." Yes, the remnant of the church were commandment keepers as they professed to be in their profession of their church associations and fellowshipping, and were believers and confessors of being in Jesus Christ, but their main focus was really on church government rather than on Christ and His leadership. They stressed church socializing through their spiritless fellowshipping, and concentrated on all the cares of the flesh, and then went about teaching that all in the church are sinners in order to justify their sins!
For any professed believers of Christ to reject what Christ has plainly said in all of His Word about protection for His true, faithful and righteous brethren during the coming great tribulation, is in fact rejecting and denying Christ, His Word, and His Power. Christ plainly says, "Pray that your flight be not on the Sabbath or in the winter." He also warns His people in Zeph. 2: 2-3, "Before the fierce anger of the Lord come upon you, before the day of the Lord's anger come upon you, (and in this verse Christ repeats twice about His anger)." Verse 3, "Seek you the Lord, all you meek of the earth, (you must be as a little child to be meek and be converted, Mat. 18:3) which have wrought (sought) His judgment (understands Christ's judgment against sin): seek righteousness (many do not even know what is righteousness) seek meekness (but the Churches of God have been teaching its people to seek to be exalted, to climb the hierarchical ladder, not to seek the humbling of one's self as a servant): it may be you shall be hid (protected at Christ's place of safety) in the day of the Lord's anger."
Everyone will be judged justly, and some worthy saints will be protected by the truth explained in God's Word, and not from men's carnal reasoning and words! Christ is coming to judge between the two groups of believers! He will judge one group to the trial of fire, and the other group will be led away for protection! Where do you stand in your relation to Jesus Christ? Does He live in you through His Spirit? If He does, then you will be praying about the flight to safety, by pleaing with God that He will not permit the flight to be in the winter or on the Sabbath, and you will be watching world events and understanding them to be prepared! You will continually be praying to God to help you to grow, to become white in order to become complete in His Spirit, so that you can be accounted worthy to escape all the things that is about to come to pass during the coming days just ahead!