Whether we view the Revelation-12 Woman as bloodline Israel, or as Christian Israel, or both, God is shown protecting a people in the tribulation while they live on the earth, a picture which directly counters the pre-tribulationist claim that the only way to save the Church from the anti-Christ's rampage is to remove Her completely from the earth (in the pre-trib' rapture). So take heart.
It has been my opinion that, to insure protection more completely, we ought to be living on our own(ed) wilderness lands. Otherwise we will be required to seek food while trespassing on the farms/lands of others, only to subject ourselves to arrest (or worse). There will be many pre-tribbers among these trespassers, who, of course, will no longer be pre-tribbers at that time. Predictably, when believers are incapable of removing themselves from private lands for lack of anywhere else to turn, adversity from angry landowners will, in some cases, lead to death (especially if the owners are doggedly anti-Christian).
Will homeless Christians not be able to turn to their own brethren who do own lands? Can an elephant fit in your fridge? With all the pre-tribbers today, those who do not prepare will be legion!
It is less likely that military machinery will roll up onto our front yards where we own those yards. But police forces, and military units where required, will be dispersed into the wilds to weed out and arrest Christians who will come to trespass. Because of the great numbers of such unprepared Christians, coupled with the bad publicity that they will receive, some will be shot to death, or worse, whenever the troops think that they can get away with it...in no-man's land. Murder might be an ideal/easy way out of the dilemma...if the Lord removes the spirit from the body before great pain and horror takes hold. Blessed are those who die for the Lord, especially if it turns out that they don't feel the pain! But what if no one comes around to murder you, pre-tribber, so that you must live out a miserable existence?
My advice is that you create a homestead situation on your own land. It, too, may stand a chance of being burned down or looted, but what if it isn't noticed/touched until the final year of the great tribulation? You just never know, you may not be harmed at all; you may go up in the rapture from your own front yard. Jesus declares that very thing in Matthew 24. Oh, yes, read it and see if you can find where.
While I don't feel much liberty to say that God will support Christians in their trespassing over wilderness lands...stealing food and so on to survive...remember that, if you ever find yourself in such a position, God had made a law enabling the poor to freely take from the outer edges of the farmer's field. Small consolation, I know. But because He did not say that one could camp on the farmer's field, I do not believe that He is ordaining our running about on the lands of others. If anyone does so, they will be doing so, I believe, against His will.
Or, consider this argument: God will use our tribulation conduct to glorify His Name, meaning that He would not ordain such a poor display as our running about on the private properties of others, only to have us hounded by the property owners and police departments. Better to sleep on public lands and eat the edges of the farmers' fields than to trespass like a snake in the grass and steal like a fox.
Better yet to offer yourself to the farmer as his slave. But BEST to provide yourself with a tract of land that you own, and to prepare it before the tribulation arrives. Submit yourselves to the Babylonians, but do not bow down to their gods. Pay a few year's property taxes ahead of time, and then live at peace while the Lord conducts his Strange Work throughout the 1260 days.
While the beginning of Revelation 13:10 informs us that some of our numbers will land in prison, the latter part commands us not to attempt to kill those who arrest us, nor anyone else, at any time, during the persecution that we may receive. The purpose behind this command may just be to spare us the ultimate persecution. Remember that a soft answer turns away wrath. Be a pacifist when arrest comes your way, Jesus is saying, and keep in mind that those living legally on their own lands and growing their own food in peace will have much less, if anything, to be arrested for than those trespassing through the wilderness.
It will be true for some that no matter how well they behave, they will receive the ultimate persecution. This is necessary, even as it was with the men whom Jesus loved most, with the result that the powers of darkness will be judged forever as being unworthy to rule God's creation. In Revelation 20, we see that some will be killed by having their heads sliced off (perhaps this is more of a Middle-Eastern fate than an American/European one). The Purpose? To create rulers for God's Millennium. Ruling with Christ requires dying with Christ, and those who die physically for Christ tend to be the greatest leaders (e.g. John the Baptist).
It appears that God is cruel when we consider these things, but dying with Christ is not to be viewed anywhere near as horrible as dying without God...as an enemy of God. After the difficult moment of their bravery, martyrs find themselves standing before eternity, and we know that God is standing beside them as they meet "death." The reason that they are said to rule for only 1,000 years and not for eternity is, I believe, that ruling will become a thing of the past after the Millennium. Afterward, GENUINE PEACE. Rulership is required only where there are rebels to contain, just as law is necessary only where there are lawbreakers. Jesus hinted that the Law will pass away when the earth passes away (Matthew 5:18), and that timing is said to be after the Millennium (Revelation 21:1).
As we read on in Revelation just a few verses after we see the Protection of the Woman, we find the Dragon succeeding through the anti-Christ Beast in conquering, not the Woman, but The Rest of Her Seed: "AND IT WAS GIVEN TO IT [the anti-Christ beast] TO MAKE WAR WITH THE SAINTS AND TO OVERCOME THEM" (13:7).
Consider the suffering implied in the following verse by those "coming out of the great tribulation," where it appears that these saints will not receive much Protection, and can therefore be viewed as the Rest of Her Seed:
"They will no longer hunger nor will they thirst any longer, nor will the sun or any heat fall on them...and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes" (Rev. 7:16-17).
Yes, the verses read as a blessing, but the underlying suffering experienced beforehand is also made apparent. The saints will be hungry, thirsty, sun-scorched (without adequate shelter), and overwhelmed with tears during the great tribulation. Perhaps this sums up the tribulation testing for the Elect as a whole, including the Protected segment of the Woman, but I would confidently venture to say that anyone constantly on the run on the land of others will experience a much more seething test of faith than those living legally on their own land in pre-planned shelters, with garden plots and reliable wells to the side.
If you feel certain that Murphy's Law applies to you at all times, so that there is no question in your mind that you will be one of those given to this ultimate persecution, or, if you are of the belief that most Christians are Destined to meet up with such violence so that you're quite sure to be included, relax a little and recall that Jesus mentioned two people working the field, two grinding grain, and two others sitting/sleeping on beds on the very night/day that he returns (Matthew 24:40-41, Luke 17:34-35). Thus, realize that these as-usual, non-threatening conditions, if they exist for the Elect on the post-tribulation day of His return, must also exist within the 1260 days.
Where are the six believers that Jesus speaks about? They are definitely not being chased like animals through the country sides, nor meeting death in the jaws of a guillotine, nor are they in prison. Because we know that the three who are taken will not receive the mark of the beast, we reckon that they are not going to be working the fields or grinding grains in any commercial capacity. For this reason, I see them working on lands that would translate into their tribulation retreats, owned by themselves or by other believers.
Did Jesus highlight working in fields and grinding grain because they were common occupations in his day, or because they evoke self-sufficient living...necessary for, or common-place in, tribulation survival?
Do we explain the typical activity on the very day that Jesus returns as his returning before the tribulation? That's what pre-tribbers would tell you. But the Return that Jesus refers to, found in Matthew 24:40-41, refers back to the Coming in verse 30, the timing of which is clearly "after the tribulation" (v 29).
Behold how those not taken in the post-trib' rapture will be working on tribulation retreats, side by side with Book-of-Life Christians. Will those not taken have the skincode in them when the Lord returns? Not likely, for they are working alongside those who will not take the mark. In that case, refusing the mark/image of the beast is not enough to assure salvation. No, and neither is it enough to be a post-tribulationist who lives on a tribulation retreat. And so we must ask why it will be that some who refuse the mark/image, to the very end of the great tribulation period, are refused by the Lord.
It brings to my mind the parable of the sheep and the goats. In this case, the end-time goats are those "believers" who refuse the mark and live among us but feed only themselves. They will not go out to visit believers in prison, nor invite Christian strangers to partake of their retreats, nor feed or give drink to them, nor care for their sicknesses, but they will merely look out for their own wool.
On the other hand, the sheep will work as family, caring for all in their groups as well as themselves, as is only characteristic for them to do -- so characteristic that they will not see themselves doing anything special in particular. This love is what validates one's faith at all times, but especially in the great tribulation where the collective needs of the Church are going to be greater than ever. Without love, our faithful endurance is dead...mark that in your right hand and on your forehead!
Some might fall in with misguided groups who become cultish in their wilderness living, serving the leader(s) of a compound rather than the Lord. But if you are a Book-of-Life sheep, I trust that God will guide you right...into the communities owned by sheep. Better yet, start your own and be sure!
Why has God not openly revealed to us, via the Bible, any particular regions for the global Church to flee to, and why has he not itemized strategies for building/maintaining our tribulation properties? Could it be that the security of tribulation Christians will depend on His revealing as little as possible beforehand, to keep the Dragon and his sons from knowing what to do and where to do it in opposition to us? That makes sense.
Furthermore, without a Biblical Instruction to buy and build in a wilderness, the possibility of repeated false alarms from generation to generation has been diminished greatly. And in order to keep the Church from fleeing at the wrong time, God has granted us key prophecies that must occur first. I have devoted a few chapters in this book to the specific signs that must not only precede our wilderness flight, but precede the Abomination of Desolation by as much as years. You would do well to read the chapters as hardly anyone in the Church is sharing the early signs with you, for reasons to be told in those chapters. Some of these signs must have as their Purpose the Signaling of the Appointed time for us to get our trib' retreats finished. We must not begin the building of retreats when the Abomination of Desolation arrives, as that will almost-certainly be too late.
It is all too possible that I have "blabbed" too much in this book, saying more than God might approve of. On the other hand, it seems incumbent upon us to talk together, in order to plan/work together. I have tried to word this book in such a way as to bring the least harm and the greatest benefit. You fill in the blanks. Note that I have not so much as revealed my name in this public book. When you speak on these matters, be careful who you speak to, how you convey yourself, and what you disclose. If you write an internet book on this topic, know that someone somewhere must be drawing up a list of all who oppose the coming Skincode-and-Image system.
FED IN THE WILDERNESS
In that it would be callous or otherwise uncharacteristic of God to lead us into the wilderness without also preparing food and other necessities, we can at least be sure that we're going to be sufficiently looked after, IF we are in a wilderness site which He supports. But how is God going to prepare our needs in the wilds? Will he rain down manna once again? Will he make quail fall at our feet? The Revelation prophecy is not without a clue, and it does reveal that preparations are going to be made in advance. It also tells us that the Woman is going to be fed in the desert by a "they":
"And the Woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place there prepared from God, in order that they might nourish her 1,260 days" (12:6).
This spells out the divine preservation throughout the tribulation, and not just for the first few days or weeks. In the phrase, "that they might nourish her 1,260 days," how can we identify the "they" if the text does not speak of any particular group either before or after the verse? These servants come out of nowhere in the prophecy to feed the Woman.
"They" is a part of the Greek text (used in my interlinear) because the verb used ("nourished") is a third-person plural = "they will nourish." I point this out because the third-person pronoun, "they," is not included in some English versions of the Bible.
Although this pronoun may be referring to angels, it is also compelling to envision Christians which God has appointed to feed those who must flee. This will have great significance for some believers, especially the poorer ones, because of their coming across tribulation sustenance apart from providing anything for themselves. But to depend on this cheap and easy fix is not wise. Let's not be so sure that Preparation will be Made in reservation style, as though with individual names written on the backs of chairs, and with rows of tables just awaiting for us to plunge in the forks. What if God is calling you to be one of those appointees while you just sit back and hope that someone else provides for you? A sheep would never allow that to occur where there is means not to.
It would be good if you were to maintain close contact with the Lord concerning your personal task. It may be some time (maybe years) before you begin to see any Direction in your life, but keep your mind on the subject with a will to act. You never know when things are going to start clicking in your mind. You may begin to realize that some things which have already happened in your life appear to be leading you to tribulation service. Treat it as an adventure! Enjoy it man! Feel good about giving to God's people, and reaching the Heavenly Oasis together after thick and thin!!
The Greek verb (trephosi) under discussion literally means "they will thicken," and carries the idea of "fattened" in James 5:5. The same (trepho) is also used in Luke 4:16 when speaking of Jesus' up-bringing as a boy. In the form of a noun, it is found in the Lord's statement, "a worker is worthy of his keep" (Matthew 10:10). In other words, the Woman is not merely going to be fed food, but also "kept" (provided for) in other ways -- generally looked after as a father does his child.
As for the identity of the "they," you may agree with me that they are some of the appointees of the Lord found in Matthew 24:45-46, where the same Greek word is used for "food," and would, therefore, be better interpreted as "provisions":
"Who then is the faithful and prudent servant whom the Lord appointed over His Household [the Woman] to give them their food [provisions] at the set time? Blessed is that servant whom the Lord finds so doing when he returns.
At the set time? When he returns? We are to be providing for His people when he returns? Why, of course, for it will be provisions that the skincode will seek to take away from us, at a certain set time in the future, and right up until the Lord returns. But the Lord will thicken his Household because he has many faithful servants who glory in being appointed for the task. The Lord's question (in the quote above) appears to suggest that any Christian may apply, or that everyone of us should.
True, some have interpreted "food" in the spiritual sense, as food for the soul (i.e. Biblical teaching), and this is fine with me. But wouldn't it also represent physical food since he alludes to the great tribulation period in the phrase, "at the set time," and because we know we won't then be able to buy physical food in the ordinary way? With or without this verse, we know that Jesus wants us to feed/help one another in the great tribulation period.
Emphasize the words, "work" and "strong," in the following disclosure: "The people who know their God will be strong, and will work" (Dan. 11:32). This verse comes immediately after the verse in which we see the "abomination of desolation," meaning that the sheep are given a glimpse of their strength and courage in the great tribulation period. Note the contrast here between the strong tribulation workers and the weeping tribulation survivors of Revelation 7:14-17. Which do you wish to become?
There is Biblical evidence in the parable of the ten virgins that about half the end-time (professing) believers will not make it to the "Promised Land." The other half which do make it to the Wedding Feast represent the Elect Church. Of this half, it could be that 2/3 of it will be divinely protected in the wilderness, while 1/3 will be overcome with persecution. At least, this is how I read Revelation 12:4, that the stars thrown to the earth by Satan represent 1/3 the Christians of the last days.
We have been taught by pre-tribbers that 1/3 the stars in Revelation 12:4 are fallen angels. This theory-turned-doctrine, where 1/3 the original angels rebelled against God to take Lucifer's side, comes only from this one verse, for there are no other texts in the Bible which confirm the theory. But the entirety of the Revelation 12-13 vision speaks concerning the protection and persecution of the end-time saints. Therefore, pre-tribulationists seem woefully desperate when attempting to connect this end-time theme to an attempted coup of Heaven and subsequent fall of angels prior to the Genesis creation.
Are the stars depicting angels at all? No, but as the brilliant, life-sustaining sun is a proper representation of God the Father, and as the pierced and battered surface of the moon reflecting the light of the sun is an appropriate depiction of the pierced and battered body of the Lamb, (no, the moon does not belong to the werewolf or the moon god), so the numerous stars were created by God to depict the Elect, as Abraham considered full well when God made the comparison to him. Daniel itself later asserts (in 12: 3), where the resurrection-rapture is touched upon, that "those who are wise shall shine as the stars forever and ever."
When the cosmic stars fade away at the end of the 1260 days as per several Biblical texts, it's not a coincidence that the saints will almost simultaneously rise up into the sky to shine forever more in glorified bodies. Many things are going to be Uprooted at that time to Cause better things to replace them. Thus, the stars in the sky were Created to represent the countless saints. Which star in the sky are you???
Because Satan is throwing 1/3 the stars in a text that touches upon the great tribulation, the Christian people of God are the last things that pre-tribulationists would interpret them as. Moreover, pre-tribbers can't interpret the stars as bloodline Jews because Zechariah 13:8 tells us that 2/3 the Jews will be given up for death (while 1/3 are spared for Millennial Salvation). Therefore, if pre-tribbers were to interpret the Revelation-12:4 cast-down stars as saints at all, they would have to interpret them as Christians, not Jews.
So now you know why they choose to interpret the stars as angels even though it doesn't fit the vision. Why doesn't it fit the vision? Because the picture of stars being cast down by Satan is one of persecution against the stars. Do we imagine that Satan is persecuting the fallen angels who are on his side? Indeed, how does anyone come up with a picture of Satan rallying supporters (i.e. angels) to his side from the picture of Satan throwing stars down???
How simple can this be? It is not God who casts the stars down to earth, but Satan himself, wherefore we should easily deduce that the stars are Satan's enemies. Here, you be the judge of what the stars represent:
"And his (Satan's) tail draws a third part of the stars of heaven, and casts them to the earth" (Rev. 12:4).
Now, compare that Revelation quote to Daniel 8:10:
"And it (the anti-Christ) became great, even to the host of the heavens, and it made some of the host and some of the stars fall to the ground, and it trampled them."
Because Satan would not trample on (persecute) his own fallen angels, but would definitely do so upon saints, it is no surprise that the stars in verse 10 of Daniel are revealed in verse 24 as the saints of God. The same logic should apply in the Revelation quote. But the ministers among us in scholarly clothing, who deny that the stars of Revelation 12 are Elect saints, thus rob us of some comforting knowledge, that 2/3 the end-time Elect will not be cast down by the devil.
Because verse 4 is written prior to verse 5, a reader can be led to believe that the stars are cast down before Jesus is born in verse 5. But prophecy has the habit of describing events from start to end, and then at some undisclosed point, backing up and starting again so as to describe other events from start to end. I see verse 4 as an introductory overview of the entire vision of Revelation 12 to 13. That overview is simply this, that Satan persecutes 1/3 the Elect during the 1260 days. Then verse 5 begins to describe that persecution beginning with the birth of Christ, the leader of the persecuted saints. We soon learn that the 1/3 cannot be the Woman that flees successfully into the wilderness, wherefore the 1/3 must be the Rest of Her Seed.
What else should we do with the financial assets that we will need to leave behind on this earth? I believe that the ones who keep their wealth tied up in banks or businesses until the skincode is enforced will end up "donating" it to the banks/businesses/government, but the one who spends it beforehand by preparing a wilderness retreat will end up with tribulation security, even a blessing for others that will store heavenly rewards. But build with God and not on your own wisdom. Here's what happens when we spend money on projects in the name of God that are not from God:
"On April 1, 2004, [Hal] Lindsey used his WorldNetDaily column to promote the sale of shares in the Zion Oil and Gas Company, citing Biblical prophecy as a basis for suggesting that there was oil in Israel. Critics have pointed out that Lindsey failed to mention that one of the directors of Zion Oil was Ralph DeVore, a director of Lindsey's ministries, as well as his cousin."
What wisdom is it for a prophecy "expert," while teaching the Church that the rapture is at any moment, to be asking the Church to support oil exploration, and in a country that he knows is about to be wiped out?