Written by Lee Stevenson, sorry I am not every good at editing.
We are in the time of judgment. Things are rapidly winding down. God has warned us what to look for so we could prepare. God also built up his peoples faith and courage in times past before judgment started. I am going to cover in this blog post how God prepared people and how he also prepared them to receive the the promises he had given them. Those who choose to oppose the beast and refuse to get the mark will be seen as vulnerable just as God’s people were seen in times past. God always protected and saved them no matter how powerful the enemy seemed. God has saved his people and protected them in the past and he will again when the whole world is judged. There is nothing that is secret to him so we have to patiently wait as things are exposed. We are told many will doubt we are in the last days so we have to expect that many will have hardened hearts and will not believe the warnings even with all the signs occurring around them they will be blind to the truth. The bible warns many will choose to believe the lie. So just as in times past we will be criticized by others including our own family and friends for sounding the warning. We have to be patient Jesus is going to expose the truth even now we see the corruption being exposed in world wide governments and religion world wide.
(Exodus 15:8-10) 8 By a breath from your nostrils waters massed together; They stood still, holding back the floods; The surging waters congealed in the heart of the sea. 9 The enemy said: ‘I will pursue! I will overtake! I will divide spoil until I am satisfied! I will draw my sword! My hand will subdue them!’ 10 You blew with your breath, the sea covered them; They sank like lead in majestic waters.
(Ezekiel 38:10-12) 10 “This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah says: ‘In that day thoughts will come into your heart, and you will devise an evil plan. 11 You will say: “I will invade the land of unprotected settlements. I will come against those living in security, without disturbance, all of them living in settlements unprotected by walls, bars, or gates.” 12 It will be to take much spoil and plunder, to attack the devastated places that are now inhabited and a people regathered from the nations, who are accumulating wealth and property, those who are living in the center of the earth.
(1 Corinthians 4:5) 5 Therefore, do not judge anything before the due time, until the Lord comes. He will bring the secret things of darkness to light and make known the intentions of the hearts, and then each one will receive his praise from God.
(2 Peter 3:2-4) . . .. 3 First of all know this, that in the last days ridiculers will come with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as they were from creation’s beginning.”
(Matthew 24:48-51) 48 “But if ever that evil slave says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying,’ 49 and he starts to beat his fellow slaves and to eat and drink with the confirmed drunkards, 50 the master of that slave will come on a day that he does not expect and in an hour that he does not know, 51 and he will punish him with the greatest severity and will assign him his place with the hypocrites. There is where his weeping and the gnashing of his teeth will be.
One of the requirements God has is his people had to worship in truth. They could not have any other gods. As a matter of fact in times past God’s people were known by his name Jehovah, which means one who brings about or causes to happen. In times past those who opposed true worship learned to fear Jehovah’s name because he protect and those who worshiped him in truth and called on his name. When Jesus was restoring true worship he made God’s name known. Many bibles have removed God’s name and have taken it from the bible. How can they know what god is the one true God if they do not know his name. God is a general term and not a name. Even the bible stated there were many God’s but only one true God. If there was someone who promised to protect you but you did not know his name or anything about him would you really trust that person? If people do not know the name of the one true God or do not know anything about him could they fully put trust in him?
(Exodus 23:27-33) 27 “I will send the fear of me ahead of you, and I will throw into confusion all the people you encounter, and I will cause all your enemies to flee from you in defeat. 28 I will send the feeling of dejection ahead of you, and it will drive the Hiʹvites, the Caʹnaan·ites, and the Hitʹtites out from before you. 29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, so that the land does not become desolate and the wild animals of the field multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land. 31 “I will set your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Phi·lisʹtines and from the wilderness to the River; for I will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out from before you. 32 You must not make a covenant with them or their gods. 33 They should not dwell in your land, so that they may not cause you to sin against me. If you should serve their gods, it would surely become a snare to you.”
(Malachi 1:11) 11 “For from the rising of the sun to its setting, my name will be great among the nations. In every place sacrifices will be made to smoke, and offerings will be made to my name, as a pure gift; because my name will be great among the nations,” says Jehovah of armies.
(Deuteronomy 28:9, 10) . . .. 10 All the peoples of the earth will have to see that Jehovah’s name has been called upon you, and they will be afraid of you.
(John 17:25, 26) . . .. 26 I have made your name known to them and will make it known, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in union with them. . .
We will be asked to leave many things behind. Abraham was very wealthy and he had to leave all this behind. Noah when he entered the ark knew he would be leaving everything behind and never see it again. Many knew they would not see the future promises but they still had faith that God would fulfill what he had promised. Just as Noah survived the flood many who God has found worthy will survive when God’s great day arrives and the fire of his rage consumes the earth.
(Hebrews 11:7-16) 7 By faith Noah, after receiving divine warning of things not yet seen, showed godly fear and constructed an ark for the saving of his household; and through this faith he condemned the world, and he became an heir of the righteousness that results from faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, although not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived as a foreigner in the land of the promise as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the very same promise. 10 For he was awaiting the city having real foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith also Sarah received power to conceive offspring, even when she was past the age, since she considered Him faithful who made the promise. 12 For this reason, from one man who was as good as dead, there were born children, as many as the stars of heaven in number and as innumerable as the sands by the seaside. 13 In faith all of these died, although they did not receive the fulfillment of the promises; but they saw them from a distance and welcomed them and publicly declared that they were strangers and temporary residents in the land. 14 For those who speak in such a way make it evident that they are earnestly seeking a place of their own. 15 And yet, if they had kept remembering the place from which they had departed, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they are reaching out for a better place, that is, one belonging to heaven. Therefore, God is not ashamed of them, to be called on as their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
(Hebrews 11:32-38) 32 And what more will I say? For time will fail me if I go on to relate about Gidʹe·on, Baʹrak, Samson, Jephʹthah, David, as well as Samuel and the other prophets. 33 Through faith they defeated kingdoms, brought about righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the force of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from a weak state were made powerful, became mighty in war, routed invading armies. 35 Women received their dead by resurrection, but other men were tortured because they would not accept release by some ransom, in order that they might attain a better resurrection. 36 Yes, others received their trial by mockings and scourgings, indeed, more than that, by chains and prisons. 37 They were stoned, they were tried, they were sawn in two, they were slaughtered by the sword, they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, while they were in need, in tribulation, mistreated; 38 and the world was not worthy of them. They wandered about in deserts and mountains and caves and dens of the earth.
(Zephaniah 1:18-2:3) 18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them in the day of Jehovah’s fury; For by the fire of his zeal the whole earth will be consumed, Because he will make an extermination, indeed a terrible one, of all the inhabitants of the earth.” 2 Gather together, yes, gather yourselves, O nation that feels no shame. 2 Before the decree takes effect, Before the day passes by like chaff, Before the burning anger of Jehovah comes upon you, Before the day of Jehovah’s anger comes upon you, 3 Seek Jehovah, all you meek ones of the earth, Who observe his righteous decrees. Seek righteousness, seek meekness. Probably you will be concealed on the day of Jehovah’s anger.
So how did God prepare those who put faith in him? He first restored true and pure worship. Then he prepared their hearts by having them take in and apply his word so it would guide all they do. Those who delivered the messages and were helping to restore true worship often times were not viewed favorably even by their own people. They often times had to go into hiding , even Jesus sometimes had to do this. Jesus and many of the past prophets did not tell the people what they wanted to hear they told them what they needed to hear. So that we do not get misled or become hardened in our hearts we need to know our bibles well so that we cannot be misled. When you read your bibles there are many examples where they had more love for the false teachers who tickled their ears then for those delivering the truth and trying to teach people what God required. Just as the anger always came to a head and they would attack and try to kill those restoring true worship this will occur again on a world wide scale. Many of us will have to flee or go into hiding. We must do our best to desperate ourselves from false worship so we do not suffer the same fate they will suffer. So we must figuratively write his word on our hearts so it will guide all we do. When we do not understand something we must look into it deeper so we do not get misled. We know the destruction is going to come quickly at a time no one expects so we must be prepared just as Noah and others in times past prepared.
(1 Kings 18:3-6) 3 Meanwhile, Aʹhab called O·ba·diʹah, who was over the household. (Now O·ba·diʹah greatly feared Jehovah, 4 and when Jezʹe·bel was doing away with Jehovah’s prophets, O·ba·diʹah took 100 prophets and hid them 50 to a cave, and he supplied them with bread and water.) 5 Aʹhab then said to O·ba·diʹah: “Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the valleys. Perhaps we can find enough grass to keep the horses and mules alive and not have all our animals die.” 6 So they divided between themselves the land they were going to pass through. Aʹhab went alone by one way, and O·ba·diʹah went alone by another way.
(1 Kings 19:9-18) 9 There he entered a cave and spent the night; and look! Jehovah’s word came to him, telling him: “What are you doing here, E·liʹjah?” 10 To this he said: “I have been absolutely zealous for Jehovah the God of armies; for the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, your altars they have torn down, and your prophets they have killed with the sword, and I am the only one left. Now they are seeking to take my life away.” 11 But He said: “Go out and stand on the mountain before Jehovah.” And look! Jehovah was passing by, and a great and strong wind was splitting mountains and breaking crags before Jehovah, but Jehovah was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but Jehovah was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake, there was a fire, but Jehovah was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a calm, low voice. 13 As soon as E·liʹjah heard it, he wrapped his face in his official garment and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then a voice asked him: “What are you doing here, E·liʹjah?” 14 To this he said: “I have been absolutely zealous for Jehovah the God of armies; for the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, your altars they have torn down, and your prophets they have killed with the sword, and I am the only one left. Now they are seeking to take my life away.” 15 Jehovah said to him: “Return, and go to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive, anoint Hazʹa·el as king over Syria. 16 And you should anoint Jeʹhu the grandson of Nimʹshi as king over Israel, and you should anoint E·liʹsha the son of Shaʹphat from Aʹbel-me·hoʹlah as prophet to take your place. 17 Anyone escaping from Hazʹa·el’s sword, Jeʹhu will put to death; and anyone escaping from Jeʹhu’s sword, E·liʹsha will put to death. 18 And I still have left 7,000 in Israel, all whose knees have not bent down to Baʹal and whose mouths have not kissed him.”
(2 Timothy 3:15-17) . . .. 16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good work.
(2 Peter 1:19-2:3) . . .. 20 For you know this first, that no prophecy of Scripture springs from any private interpretation. 21 For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were moved by holy spirit. 2 However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among you. These will quietly bring in destructive sects, and they will even disown the owner who bought them, bringing speedy destruction upon themselves. 2 Furthermore, many will follow their brazen conduct, and because of them the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively. 3 Also, they will greedily exploit you with counterfeit words. But their judgment, decided long ago, is not moving slowly, and their destruction is not sleeping.
(James 4:4) Adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is making himself an enemy of God.
(Revelation 18:4) And I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.
(1 Corinthians 10:21, 22) 21 You cannot be drinking the cup of Jehovah and the cup of demons; you cannot be partaking of “the table of Jehovah” and the table of demons. 22 Or ‘are we inciting Jehovah to jealousy’? We are not stronger than he is, are we?
(Jeremiah 16:11-13) 11 You must reply to them, ‘“Because your forefathers abandoned me,” declares Jehovah, “and they kept following other gods and serving them and bowing down to them. But me they abandoned, and my law they did not keep. 12 And you have behaved far worse than your forefathers, and each one of you follows the stubbornness of his wicked heart instead of obeying me. 13 So I will hurl you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your forefathers have known, and there you will have to serve other gods day and night, because I will show you no favor.”’
(Revelation 16:8-11) 8 The fourth one poured out his bowl on the sun, and to the sun it was granted to scorch the people with fire. 9 And the people were scorched by the great heat, but they blasphemed the name of God, who has the authority over these plagues, and they did not repent and give glory to him. 10 The fifth one poured out his bowl on the throne of the wild beast. And its kingdom became darkened, and they began to gnaw their tongues because of their pain, 11 but they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their ulcers, and they did not repent of their works.
(Revelation 16:15, 16) 15 “Look! I am coming as a thief. Happy is the one who stays awake and keeps his outer garments, so that he may not walk naked and people look upon his shamefulness.” 16 And they gathered them together to the place that is called in Hebrew Armageddon. . .
(Revelation 19:19-21) 19 And I saw the wild beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the one seated on the horse and against his army. 20 And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who worship its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur. 21 But the rest were killed off with the long sword that proceeded out of the mouth of the one seated on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
In times past God would have Israel read his statutes over and over so they would remember them and live them so it would guide and protect them. When you read God’s word a part of your life it prevents the world from robbing you of your identity and give us much more confidence and faith in God. Almost no matter what we endure we can remain happy. So it is very important to set aside time for studying the bible daily and meditating on it. We must be cautious of those who do not want to read the full world of God because it can reveal the intention of the heart so some may react violently when they are faced with the truth. Things are rapidly winding down and very soon we will be told to stop sharing the bible truths. We are not to just believe the bible but we are to meditate on what we have read and research the things we have heard to make sure they are true.
(James 1:22-25) 22 However, become doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves with false reasoning. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, this one is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself, and he goes away and immediately forgets what sort of person he is. 25 But the one who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and continues in it has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work; and he will be happy in what he does. . .
(Matthew 7:24-27) 24 “Therefore, everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does them will be like a discreet man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and lashed against that house, but it did not cave in, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Furthermore, everyone hearing these sayings of mine and not doing them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and struck against that house, and it caved in, and its collapse was great.”
(Hebrews 4:12, 13) 12 For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints from the marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is not a creation that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and openly exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we must give an account. . .
(Joshua 1:7-9) . . .Do not deviate from it either to the right or to the left, so that you may act wisely wherever you go. 8 This book of the Law should not depart from your mouth, and you must read it in an undertone day and night, in order to observe carefully all that is written in it; for then your way will be successful and then you will act wisely. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be courageous and strong. Do not be struck with terror or fear, for Jehovah your God is with you wherever you go. . .
(Acts 17:10, 11) . . .. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thes·sa·lo·niʹca, for they accepted the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
Some of the final prophecies marking the last days have been fulfilled. Only a few have not and that is for the harlot , the beast and it’s allies to establish one government world wide and to buy sell or trade they will try to force people to bow down to the beast instead of God. They will require people to put their faith in a human government instead of God. The beast will offer false hope. Then the beast will turn on the harlot which is false worship and destroy her. The beast is the disgusting thing that Jesus mentioned that we are to be aware of . It is the final act of rebellion against God. It started in the Garden of Eden when Satan convinced Adam and Eve they did not need God to rule over them and guide them. It will come to a climax when man tries to replace God on a world wide scale. Once the beast destroys false religion Satan and his people will become angry and try to destroy those who are worshiping God in truth and then the beast and people world wide would turn on true worship. The bible warns us we will need to flee at this time. Jesus warned some will not even have time to grab their coats we may have to flee so suddenly. The bible does not say if you experience persecution. When you worship it truth it says you will experience persecution. Some may experience it sooner then others. You see these supposed teachers of God’s word that the world is very fond of. They get paid a lot of money. These ones are very famous. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing and they will turn on the sheep when the tribulation starts. The world is found of what belongs to it and we know the whole world lies in the power of the wicked one. Jesus only had the clothes on his back. He did not charge in order to teach. As a matter of fact he stated you received God’s word free you give it free. The apostles worked when they were in service to try and relieve the burden on the congregations they were visiting. Those who follow Jesus examples will be willing to give their lives for their sheep. Jesus referred to ones like that as white washed tombs.
(Matthew 24:15-22) 15 “Therefore, when you catch sight of the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place (let the reader use discernment), 16 then let those in Ju·deʹa begin fleeing to the mountains. 17 Let the man on the housetop not come down to take the goods out of his house, 18 and let the man in the field not return to pick up his outer garment. 19 Woe to the pregnant women and those nursing a baby in those days! 20 Keep praying that your flight may not occur in wintertime nor on the Sabbath day; 21 for then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again. 22 In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short.
(Luke 21:20-24) 20 “However, when you see Jerusalem surrounded by encamped armies, then know that the desolating of her has drawn near. 21 Then let those in Ju·deʹa begin fleeing to the mountains, let those in the midst of her leave, and let those in the countryside not enter into her, 22 because these are days for meting out justice in order that all the things written may be fulfilled. 23 Woe to the pregnant women and those nursing a baby in those days! For there will be great distress on the land and wrath against this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive into all the nations; and Jerusalem will be trampled on by the nations until the appointed times of the nations are fulfilled. . .
(2 Timothy 3:12, 13) 12 In fact, all those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted. 13 But wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being misled.
(Matthew 16:24) Then Jesus said to his disciples: “If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and keep following me.
(John 15:20) Keep in mind the word I said to you: A slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have observed my word, they will also observe
(John 15:17-23) 17 “These things I command you, that you love one another. 18 If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you. 20 Keep in mind the word I said to you: A slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have observed my word, they will also observe yours. 21 But they will do all these things against you on account of my name, because they do not know the One who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me also hates my Father.
(John 10:12-15) 12 The hired man, who is not a shepherd and to whom the sheep do not belong, sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them— 13 because he is a hired man and does not care for the sheep. 14 I am the fine shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I surrender my life in behalf of the sheep.
(Matthew 10:6-8) . . .. 7 As you go, preach, saying: ‘The Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.’ 8 Cure the sick, raise up the dead, make lepers clean, expel demons. You received free, give free.
(Acts 8:18-24) 18 Now when Simon saw that the spirit was given through the laying on of the hands of the apostles, he offered them money, 19 saying: “Give me this authority also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive holy spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him: “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could acquire the free gift of God with money. 21 You have neither part nor share in this matter, for your heart is not straight in the sight of God. 22 So repent of this badness of yours, and supplicate Jehovah that, if possible, the wicked intention of your heart may be forgiven you; 23 for I see you are a bitter poison and a slave of unrighteousness.” 24 In answer Simon said to them: “Make supplication for me to Jehovah that none of the things you have said may come upon me.”
(John 10:13-15) . . .. 14 I am the fine shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I surrender my life in behalf of the sheep.
(John 15:13) No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his life in behalf of his friends.
(1 John 3:16) By this we have come to know love, because that one surrendered his life for us, and we are under obligation to surrender our lives for our brothers.
(1 Timothy 4:1, 2) 4 However, the inspired word clearly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to misleading inspired statements and teachings of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, whose conscience is seared as with a branding iron.
(2 Peter 2:3) 3 Also, they will greedily exploit you with counterfeit words. But their judgment, decided long ago, is not moving slowly, and their destruction is not sleeping.
(2 Timothy 3:1-5) 3 But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, 3 having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness, 4 betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 5 having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power; and from these turn away. . .
(Matthew 23:27-31) 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you resemble whitewashed graves, which outwardly indeed appear beautiful but inside are full of dead men’s bones and of every sort of uncleanness. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because you build the graves of the prophets and decorate the tombs of the righteous ones, 30 and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have shared with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Therefore, you are testifying against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
(2 Timothy 2:2-5) . . .. 3 As a fine soldier of Christ Jesus, take your part in suffering adversity. 4 No man serving as a soldier involves himself in the commercial businesses of life, in order to gain the approval of the one who enrolled him as a soldier. 5 And even in the games, anyone who competes is not crowned unless he has competed according to the rules.
We have to build our faith now. A time is coming when indecisiveness could cost us our lives. By building our knowledge of God, by learning to rely on him and to seek him out often in prayer we build our faith. Many are indecisive and are like waves on the ocean whichever way the wind blows this is the way they will go. By knowing what God requires and worshiping him in truth we know when to make our yes mean yes and our no mean no which will protect us and get us through what is about to occur. By studying Gods word. Praying to him and working towards our payers we are building our faith. The bible tells us anything done without faith is a sin. So we must have faith in God’s word, faith in the future promises. We must have faith that he has seated Jesus on the heavenly thrown and is about to give Jesus the command to set matters straight. Right now God may tolerate our serving two masters but the time for indecisiveness will end and if we are serving two masters and not serving God wholehearted it could cost us our life. The bible does not say if we experience tribulation and persecution it says when we experience it. Some may experience them sooner then others but we all will experience it. We can find comfort in Gods word knowing Jesus is going to set matters straight and many will walk through the great tribulation. Just as in times past when God judged a nation his people had to flee or go into hiding to escape the judgment we to will have to flee or go into hiding. When it is time to flee to delay would show a lack of faith and we have covered how doing anything without faith is a sin. We have to trust God with our whole soul, and our whole minds.
(James 1:5-8) . . .. 6 But let him keep asking in faith, not doubting at all, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and blown about. 7 In fact, that man should not expect to receive anything from Jehovah; 8 he is an indecisive man, unsteady in all his ways.
(Isaiah 55:6, 7) 6 Search for Jehovah while he may be found. Call to him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked man leave his way And the evil man his thoughts; Let him return to Jehovah, who will have mercy on him, To our God, for he will forgive in a large way.
(Romans 14:22, 23) . . .. 23 But if he has doubts, he is already condemned if he eats, because he does not eat based on faith. Indeed, everything that is not based on faith is sin.
(Matthew 6:24-32) 24 “No one can slave for two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stick to the one and despise the other. You cannot slave for God and for Riches. 25 “On this account I say to you: Stop being anxious about your lives as to what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your bodies as to what you will wear. Does not life mean more than food and the body than clothing? 26 Observe intently the birds of heaven; they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth more than they are? 27 Who of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span? 28 Also, why are you anxious about clothing? Take a lesson from the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not toil, nor do they spin; 29 but I tell you that not even Solʹo·mon in all his glory was arrayed as one of these. 30 Now if this is how God clothes the vegetation of the field that is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much rather clothe you, you with little faith? 31 So never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to wear?’ 32 For all these are the things the nations are eagerly pursuing. Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
(James 1:2-4) 2 Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you meet with various trials, 3 knowing as you do that this tested quality of your faith produces endurance. 4 But let endurance complete its work, so that you may be complete and sound in all respects, not lacking in anything.
(Luke 10:25-28) 25 Now look! a man versed in the Law stood up to test him and said: “Teacher, what do I need to do to inherit everlasting life?” 26 He said to him: “What is written in the Law? How do you read?” 27 In answer he said: “‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole strength and with your whole mind’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 He said to him: “You answered correctly; keep doing this and you will get life.. . .
(Matthew 24:20-22) 20 Keep praying that your flight may not occur in wintertime nor on the Sabbath day; 21 for then there will be great tribulation such as has not occurred since the world’s beginning until now, no, nor will occur again. 22 In fact, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved; but on account of the chosen ones those days will be cut short. . .
(Daniel 12:1) 12 “During that time Miʹcha·el will stand up, the great prince who is standing in behalf of your people. And there will occur a time of distress such as has not occurred since there came to be a nation until that time. And during that time your people will escape, everyone who is found written down in the book. . .
(Revelation 7:13-17) 13 In response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?” 14 So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 That is why they are before the throne of God, and they are rendering him sacred service day and night in his temple; and the One seated on the throne will spread his tent over them. 16 They will hunger no more nor thirst anymore, neither will the sun beat down on them nor any scorching heat, 17 because the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, will shepherd them and will guide them to springs of waters of life. And God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.”
(Jeremiah 25:31-33) 31 ‘A noise will resound to the ends of the earth, For Jehovah has a controversy with the nations. He will personally pass judgment on all humans. And he will put the wicked to the sword,’ declares Jehovah. 32 This is what Jehovah of armies says: ‘Look! A calamity is spreading from nation to nation, And a great tempest will be unleashed from the remotest parts of the earth. 33 “‘And those slain by Jehovah in that day will be from one end of the earth clear to the other end of the earth. They will not be mourned, nor will they be gathered up or buried. They will become like manure on the surface of the ground.’
So how can we identify true worship? We were warned the great apostasy would exist for a while before true worship was restored. Jesus also stated the gate to life is narrow and few would take it indicating most would not worship in truth. The great apostasy has been revealed by those teaching how to worship in truth and giving hope in the future promises the heavenly kingdom will bring. As a matter of fact the preaching of the heavenly kingdom throughout the whole earth is one of the final prophecies. This world wide work has been done in every nations from door to door. This witnessing work would expose the great apostasy and expose false worship. The bible said we would know them by their fruits and just as the pharisees talked a good talk and appeared to be righteous on the outside their hearts were far removed from God and they put undo burdens on people with their traditions of man. They lacked humility to serve others. Jesus set the example of how a real servant of God would behave when he washed the disciples feet which is something a servant would have done. We are warned that destructive sects would arise many there would be many led astray by false teaching and it is why there are so many different religious sects now days. We know we are in the last days because there would be signs of world wide distress. It is this witnessing work that will help to defeat Satan. He accuses just as he did Job saying that people only obey God not because they love and trust him but because he blesses them. So when we endure hardships and still love and trust God we are proving Satan to be the liar that he is.
(Matthew 7:13-20) 13 “Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it. 15 “Be on the watch for the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? 17 Likewise, every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.
(2 Thessalonians 2:3-5) 3 Let no one lead you astray in any way, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction. 4 He stands in opposition and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits down in the temple of God, publicly showing himself to be a god. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you, I used to tell you these things?
(2 Peter 2:1-3) 2 However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among you. These will quietly bring in destructive sects, and they will even disown the owner who bought them, bringing speedy destruction upon themselves. 2 Furthermore, many will follow their brazen conduct, and because of them the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively. 3 Also, they will greedily exploit you with counterfeit words. But their judgment, decided long ago, is not moving slowly, and their destruction is not sleeping.
(John 13:2-11) . . .. 3 So Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands and that he came from God and was going to God, 4 got up from the evening meal and laid aside his outer garments. And taking a towel, he wrapped it around his waist. 5 After that he put water into a basin and started to wash the feet of the disciples and to dry them off with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him: “Lord, are you washing my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him: “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will understand after these things.” 8 Peter said to him: “You will certainly never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him: “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him: “Lord, wash not only my feet but also my hands and my head.” 10 Jesus said to him: “Whoever has bathed does not need to have more than his feet washed, but is completely clean. And you men are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For he knew the man who was betraying him. This is why he said: “Not all of you are clean.”
(Isaiah 43:10) 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares Jehovah, “Yes, my servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and have faith in me And understand that I am the same One. Before me no God was formed, And after me there has been none.
(Matthew 24:14) 14 And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
(Revelation 12:10-12) . . .“Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! 11 And they conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing, and they did not love their souls even in the face of death. 12 On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.. . .
So lets cover some more aspects to true worship. For example what are some things God required in the past? In the past they were to use no images in their worship of heaven above or earth below. We are to worship in spirit. God requires exclusive devotion. We are told not to learn the customs of the nations which can be a form of idolatry. Often times these customs involve materialism as expressions of love or involve giving honor to mythical characters instead of God. God requires exclusive devotion.
The nation of Israel would become a spiritual nation in fulfillment of the promise made to Abraham that his seed would bless all the families of the ground. Jesus fulfilled this and other covenants which opened the door for those who were not a part of Israel to become a part of the spiritual nation that the new covenant Jesus made had brought about. Jesus told the pharisees the nation would be taken from them and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. So this nation would be given to those restoring true worship. The nation of Israel had God’s perfect laws to guide them and they still failed miserably which demonstrated that the heavenly kingdom under Jesus rule in the heavenly kingdom is the only thing that can restore true worship and fix all the things man has done. The pharisees new of the bible prophecy but resisted Jesus because it meant they would need to change and accept the changes that were going to be made as Jesus fulfilled the old covenants and instituted the prophesied new covenant. Jesus gave us an example of what this true worship would look like but as shown earlier after the last of the apostles died the great apostasy would exist for a while then true worship would be restored.
(Matthew 4:10) Then Jesus said to him: “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.
(Exodus 34:13-16) . . .. 14 You must not bow down to another god, for Jehovah is known for requiring exclusive devotion. Yes, he is a God who requires exclusive devotion. 15 Be careful not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, because when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to their gods, someone will invite you and you will eat from his sacrifice. 16 Then you will surely take some of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters will prostitute themselves to their gods and cause your sons to prostitute themselves to their gods.
(Deuteronomy 5:8-10) 8 “‘You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. 9 You must not bow down to them nor be led to serve them, for I, Jehovah your God, am a God who requires exclusive devotion, bringing punishment for the error of fathers upon sons, upon the third generation and upon the fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing loyal love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
1 John 5:19-21 20 But we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us insight so that we may gain the knowledge of the one who is true. And we are in union with the one who is true, by means of his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and life everlasting. 21 Little children, guard yourselves from idols.
(Jeremiah 10:1-4) 10 Hear the word that Jehovah has spoken against you, O house of Israel. 2 This is what Jehovah says: “Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Because the nations are terrified by them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are a delusion. It is just a tree of the forest that is cut down, Worked by the hands of the craftsman with his tool. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold And fasten it with hammer and nails so that it will not fall over.
(Genesis 12:1-3) 12 And Jehovah said to Aʹbram: “Go out from your land and away from your relatives and from the house of your father to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great, and you will become a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who calls down evil on you, and all the families of the ground will certainly be blessed by means of you.. . .
(Galatians 3:7-14) 7 Surely you know that it is those who adhere to faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 Now the scripture, foreseeing that God would declare people of the nations righteous through faith, declared the good news beforehand to Abraham, namely: “By means of you all the nations will be blessed.” 9 So those who adhere to faith are being blessed together with Abraham, who had faith. 10 All those who depend on works of law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not remain in all the things written in the scroll of the Law by doing them.” 11 Moreover, it is evident that by law no one is declared righteous with God, because “the righteous one will live by reason of faith.” 12 Now the Law is not based on faith. Rather, “anyone who does these things will live by means of them.” 13 Christ purchased us, releasing us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse instead of us, because it is written: “Accursed is every man hung upon a stake.” 14 This was so that the blessing of Abraham would come to the nations by means of Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promised spirit through our faith.
(Matthew 21:43, 44) 43 This is why I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits. 44 Also, the person falling on this stone will be shattered. As for anyone on whom it falls, it will crush him.”
(1 Peter 2:8-10) . . .. 9 But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for special possession, that you should declare abroad the excellencies” of the One who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 For you were once not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not been shown mercy, but now you have received mercy.
(Hosea 2:23) 23 I will sow her like seed for myself in the earth, And I will show mercy to her who was not shown mercy; I will say to those not my people: “You are my people,” And they will say: “You are my God.. . .
(Galatians 3:26-29) 26 You are all, in fact, sons of God through your faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in union with Christ Jesus. 29 Moreover, if you belong to Christ, you are really Abraham’s offspring, heirs with reference to a promise.
(Romans 10:11-15) 11 For the scripture says: “No one who rests his faith on him will be disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek. There is the same Lord over all, who is rich toward all those calling on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” 14 However, how will they call on him if they have not put faith in him? How, in turn, will they put faith in him about whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach? 15 How, in turn, will they preach unless they have been sent out? Just as it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!”
So what would this spiritual Israel be called? Where would they come from? The bible teaches us that these people would be from throughout the whole earth. We get a clue also in the scriptures when God states he will take a people out of the nations for his name. This nation of Israel would be a people who once were not God’s people but the ransom sacrifice opened the door for people from all nations of the world to worship the one true God. Just as God’s people were called by his name in the post and known for using his name so would those who returned to worshiping in truth.
(Hosea 2:23) I will sow her like seed for myself in the earth, And I will show mercy to her who was not shown mercy; I will say to those not my people: “You are my people,” And they will say: “You are my God.”’”
(Romans 9:25, 26) 25 It is as he says also in Ho·seʹa: “Those not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not loved, ‘beloved’; 26 and in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”
(Amos 9:9-12) 9 ‘For look! I am giving the command, And I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations, Just as one shakes a sieve, And not a pebble falls to the ground. 10 They will die by the sword, all the sinners of my people, Those who are saying, “The calamity will not come near us or reach us.”’ 11 ‘In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen, I will repair the breaches, And I will restore its ruins; I will rebuild it as in the days of long ago, 12 So that they may take possession of what is remaining of Eʹdom, And all the nations on whom my name has been called,’ declares Jehovah, who is doing this.
(Acts 15:12-21) . . .. 13 After they finished speaking, James replied: “Men, brothers, hear me. 14 Symʹe·on has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written: 16 ‘After these things I will return and raise up again the tent of David that is fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins and restore it, 17 so that the men who remain may earnestly seek Jehovah, together with people of all the nations, people who are called by my name, says Jehovah, who is doing these things, 18 known from of old.’ 19 Therefore, my decision is not to trouble those from the nations who are turning to God, 20 but to write them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient times Moses has had those who preach him in city after city, because he is read aloud in the synagogues on every sabbath.”
(Isaiah 43:5-7) 5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bring your offspring from the east And gather you together from the west. 6 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back. Bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth, 7 Everyone who is called by my name And whom I created for my own glory, Whom I have formed and made.’
(Revelation 3:12, 13) 12 “‘The one who conquers—I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will by no means go out from it anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem that descends out of heaven from my God, and my own new name. 13 Let the one who has an ear hear what the spirit says to the congregations.’