Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Will God Truly Save His People!?

Will God – and can God – protect and save His people!? Is He aware of what is happening here in the world with this COVID-19? Is He concerned with the grievous problems and concerns which we face each day? Will He protect us and save us when we need Him?

As I had hit on in the World News Items section of our Letter to our Friends – should Christians be ‘preppers’!? Those who store food and will have their basement stacked with enough supplies to last for 10 years!? Personally, I believe that Christians should have a certain amount of faith for God to protect us in times like this – and on into the future.

So, when the world does completely fall apart will God be there to rescue His people!?

Yes, He will!

God has a Plan for each and every one of us! And we are destined to become something that is so very great indeed! And, indeed, it’s a little hard to comprehend at times – especially when we are living day to day – when we are encountering the problems which we face each day and week. We so often get weak and frustrated at times! Just today, my wife was going on and on about – that we should start washing all of our steel pots-and pans in the dishwasher to help protect us from COVID-19! And, it’s frustrating at times living with a non-believer in the Word of the Eternal One. I put all my trust in God and our Lord Jesus Christ! I get frustrated also about how people are treated!

And yet, should we be surprised by this outright hostility – this hatred – this coldness from people!? And of this tribulation all around the world!?

Friends – have you ever noticed that we have the roughest trials and tribulations just before the Passover season!? Also, how Satan the devil and his demonic sycophants appear to mess with you during a Passover season!? April 9th, 2017 – at the beginning of God’s Passover, my wife, while trying to sleep in our living room, had a tremendous chill run through her! She heard a cacophony of many voices saying in unison, “Are you cold, are you chilly!?” She became frightened and thought something was after her. She came into the bedroom where I was sleeping and wanted to do an exorcism of the house. We’re on the very verge of the Passover – as of the typing of this – 9 days! And, are we – in the Church of God – truly surprised of the level, the intensity, of the fear and anxiety around the world!? Surely, this ‘birth pain’ is not by accident! – see Matthew 24:8.

Friends – God knows exactly where He’s taking us! And, He knows exactly what it is that we are going through. He will protect us when we need it the most!

God says, through the prophet Isaiah:

“’ Fear not, you worm Jacob, You men of Israel! I will help you,’ says the LORD And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. … 22) ‘Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; Let them show the former things, what they were, That we may consider them, And know the latter end of them; Or declare to us things to come’” – Isaiah 41:14, 22; the NKJV unless otherwise noted.

It was a prophecy about looking at the past and considering what happened so that you might understand what will happen now and on into the future. For history does tend to repeat itself. That’s part of why human beings tend to make the same mistakes over and over again.

Over in Genesis, the 28th chapter – a very interesting story! I just want to go over a little segment of this. It’s when Jacob had gone out from Beersheba and went towards Haran and he came to a certain place. The sun is going down and his journey for that day is coming to an end.

“ … And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep.” – Genesis 28:11.

And that night he had a dream.

“Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” – Genesis 28:12.

A remarkable dream of a staircase that goes all the way to heaven from the earth. Well, Jesus, actually referenced this Scripture in John 1:47-50. Nathanael, a man ‘in whom is no deceit!’ When Jesus answered Nathanael, He said, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’ And of course, Nathanael was amazed at this, and said, ‘How do You know me?’ ‘Rabbi, You ARE the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ And Jesus answered him and said, ‘You will see greater things than these!’ ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’

“And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: ‘I AM the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14) Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’” – Genesis 28:13-14.

And, of course, a lot of writers and commentaries realize that that is a reference to the lineage of the tribe of Judah that will eventually bring about the Messiah – Jesus Christ Himself!

“’ Behold, I AM with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.’” – Genesis 28:15.

Now, of course, He is reiterating the promises He gave to Abraham and Isaac. Now, it would be thirty-years before Jacob would come back to Bethel. But God was promising Jacob that He was going to protect him no matter where he went.

Now, Jacob would grow to be an old man, and he would have twelve sons – Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph, and Benjamin – who were the progenitor of many nations. And, we know the story of how Joseph was sold into Egypt and would eventually become viceroy of Egypt. We know the story of where he recognized his own brothers when they came to Egypt for grain. And he eventually revealed himself to them – and that was a very emotional story indeed.

God’s living Word tells us that all that generation died, and the pharaoh’s died that knew Joseph – and of the mighty deeds of saving the nation of Egypt. All the Israelites became slaves under the Egyptians.

So, let’s pick up this story over in Exodus, the 6th chapter. We come upon the scene where – it’s been four hundred and thirty years later. And, if you were looking at today – it would be 1590 A.D. The Battle of Ivry was fought on 14 March 1590, during the French Wars of Religion. The battle was a decisive victory for Henry IV of France, leading Huguenot and English forces against the Catholic League by the Duc de Mayenne and Spanish forces under the Count of Egmont. In 1590, my ancestors were still in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. But anyhow, that’s how long ago that Joseph lived and here we are four hundred and thirty years later.

God appears to Moses within the burning bush.

“’ Therefore say to the children of Israel: ‘I AM the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7) I will take you as My people, [and NOTICE this promise here] and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I AM the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8) And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I AM the LORD.’” – Exodus 6:6-8.

And, of course, the Israelites – because of their fear and because they had been in bondage for so long – notice the next verse:

“So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they DID NOT heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage.” – Exodus 6:9.

They had lost any hope that they would ever again be free people!

Now, in the 8th chapter of Exodus, verse 22. And this was as the plagues begin to come upon Egypt, God tells Moses:

“’ And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, …’” – Exodus 8:22.

God had started these plagues – one right after another – and here are these swarms of flies, and God says, ‘I’m going to make a difference between Goshen and Egypt.

“’ I will make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.’” – Exodus 8:23.

And that’s exactly what happened!

In chapter 9, verse 5 – “So the LORD did this thing on the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the children of Israel, not one died.”

Now, the emphasis – let’s look down to verse 26. God’s protection was on His people! “Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.”

God had sent all this fire mingled with hail that destroyed all their crops, but it didn’t happen in Goshen where the Israelites were.

And the last one here – chapter 10, verse 21 – “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.’”

So, some of the commentaries say that God was not only striking and sending all of these plagues upon Egypt, but that He was actually striking their gods – and in this case, their god Ra. Their sun god. Now, we’re talking darkness like the darkness I and my wife came across when we had visited the Kartchner Caverns in Arizona when they had turned out the lights!

“So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23) They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.” – Exodus 10:22-23.

So, God’s people were not only protected, but they were saved from these terrible plagues that were coming upon Egypt. It truly was a miraculous event!

And I can’t help but think of the pitch-black darkened minds of many of these pagan nations which live in squalor, disease, and filth. And eat all kinds of detestable things. We were learning of that because of the COVID-19 as they were trying to find the origin of it. But here they worship these pagan gods of stone and wood and they are in a state of pitch-black darkness!

In Exodus 11 – the final plague comes.

“’ [A]nd all of the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the hand-mill, …’” – Exodus 11:5.

Every one of them is going to suffer the loss of their firstborn and even the firstborn of their animals.

“But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the LORD does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.’” – Exodus 11:7.

And of course, God followed through.

Exodus 12:7 – “And they shall take some blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.”

And of course, they slaughtered lambs – sacrificed lambs – put the blood on the doorposts of their houses.

“’ For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I AM the LORD.’” – Exodus 12:12.

And, once again, the Israelites were protected once again from this death angel which swept through the land.

Now, later on in the Book of Exodus, we come to the Ten Commandments. And it was fascinating how God dealt with the nation of Israel – leading them with a cloud by day and fire by night. He led them through the Red Sea – and they didn’t even get their feet wet. They walked on dry ground! And, by the end of that Moses was so inspired by what he saw and witnessed that he wrote a song recorded for us in Exodus 15.

“’ The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.’” – Exodus 15:2.

You can feel the exaltation!

God would later rain down manna when they had no food. He supplied them with water.

And the last verse here in Exodus.

Chapter 19 and verse 1 – “In the third month …”

A relatively short time when you think about all that has just happened to Israel! They were enslaved in Egypt and three months later they’re out of Egypt, had gone through the Red Sea and out in the Wilderness of Sinai.

“ … after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2) For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain.” – Exodus 19:1-2.

So, here they’re ready to receive God’s laws – His Ten Commandments.

“And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: …”

The same Jacob we just read about here in the Book of Genesis!

“’ You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5) Now, therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6) And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.’ – Exodus 19:4-6.

As I stated at the beginning - God has a Plan for each and every one of us! And we are destined to become something that is so very great indeed! We don’t always think of that as we’re driving down the road and someone cuts us off in traffic, or at the grocery store when the register rings up a bill – or just encountering people in general. We don’t think of ourselves as someday being in the great and awesome Family of God and the Plan which God Almighty and Jesus Christ have for us.

God protected and preserved His people when times were at their worst and when there was no hope. He saved them!

Now, in Psalm 34 it talks about those people who do have God’s protection. And, King David appeared to always be running from his enemies, always under duress. But he ALWAYS went to God for protection and words of encouragement.

“Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12) Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good?” – who indeed.

Verse 13 – “Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. 14) Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” – appears to be a simple formula.

Verse 15 – The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. 16) The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17) The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.”

Indeed! I recall last March President Donald Trump calling for a ‘National Day of Prayer.’ And, I hope that all people in this great nation dropped to their knees with our president and prayed to the Most High God!

Verse 18 – “The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. 19) Many are the afflictions of the righteous, …”  “ … But the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

We could worry our heads off about what is going to happen tomorrow – but God’s living Word tells us not to do that. It encourages us – from the stories of the children of Israel, and even the life of King David and so many others throughout the Holy Bible – not to take our eyes off of God Almighty and Jesus Christ! - for us to pray for Their protection, and Their love, and Their mercy, and Their strength, and Their will, and Their might! Because we know that They saved these patriarchs, and prophets of old. And They have a great Plan for all of mankind and for Their chosen people! And we look forward to that day!

In Psalm 50, and verse 14 – “Offer to God thanksgiving, And pay your vows to the Most High. 15) Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.’”

Now, also over in Psalm 91 – and I will only cover a little of this, I want you to go and continue reading this on your own –

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

Friends, be sure to finish reading this chapter and let in seek deep into you about God’s protection and how He promises to save us in times of great trouble.

And, over in Ezekiel, the 9th chapter – a chapter concerning the ‘writer’s inkhorn’ – Verse 2 – “ … One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar. … 4) and the LORD said to him, ‘Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.’ 5) To the others He said in my hearing, ‘Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. 6) Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; BUT do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.’”

The apostle Peter says, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” – 1 Peter 4:17.

God and Jesus Christ promise Their protection because of the seal which is on Their people.

Here are some things which our Lord and Savior says -

’ He who believes and is baptized will be saved; …’” – Mark 16:16.

’ I AM the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.’” – John 10:9.

And, Luke, chapter 21, a reiteration of Matthew 24, and Mark 13 – now, Jesus is speaking of wars and rumors of wars, famines, and pestilences, and even persecutions. But look at verse 17 – “’ And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. 18) But not a hair of your head shall be lost.’ – and, to whom is He speaking!? To whom is He addressing this!? This is a prophecy. This happened way back in 29-30 AD. But in truth, it’s a prophecy. We believe He’s speaking to what we call – in our own terminology – a group called ‘the end-time prophets’. Yet, God promises to protect us through this turbulent ‘great tribulation’ as well.

Turn with me as well over to Acts, the 2nd chapter. The apostle Peter – on the very day which is approaching for us here today – May 30th at sunset to May 31st at sunset; the Day of Pentecost – announced God opening up the Tree of Life (the glorious Holy Spirit) to those predestined to be in the Church of God in this dispensation – verse 16 – “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17) ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18) And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy.’ – and notice the time setting here –

Verse 19 – “’ I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke, 20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. 21) And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the LORD Shall be saved.’

Now, the apostle Paul would later also quote this Scripture (see Rom. 10:13), for he says, “blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” Yet, in that same chapter, he goes on to say, “all Israel will be saved!”

Indeed God Almighty and Jesus Christ have a Plan which is so deep and broad – let’s read some of this in Romans the 8th chapter.

Verse 33 – “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. … 35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36) As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’

37) Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38) For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39) nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

That is our great hope friends!

Let’s close with Revelation, the 7th chapter. Now, Mr. Garrett covers a God-revealed truth concerning chapter 7 in our free online article “Who Are the 144,000?” – I suggest you read that article to discover just who are the 144,000 – you’ll certainly be surprised to learn the truth on this subject. In this article I just wish to say that chapter 7 also has a most prophetic message for this end-time – “Then I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels [and these angels are not necessarily God’s angels] to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, 3) saying, ‘Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.’” – and indeed, this is picturing a time when God’s wrath is about to come to the earth.

Verse 4 – “And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed.”

Now, who was Israel!? Jacob. 12,000 from each of the twelve tribes. Also, verse 9 speaks of ‘a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, people’s, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, …” That for two-thousand years – even before Jesus Christ – were servants of God that are going to be in the glorious kingdom of God – and quoting from the King James Version “ … These are they which [will come after] great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

Friends, these are people who will come AFTER tribulation – after trouble, in this end-time - and, maybe not even in this end-time, maybe it had been in the Middle Ages (from the 5th to the 15th century) and the plagues which were all around – they were in tribulation.

So there is dear friends, no need to worry too much. If you have the seal of God then you are indeed protected – and you will be saved. God the Father gave His only begotten Son for our salvation – that within itself is the greatest act of love throughout all of humanity. He’s not going to let His children fail, He’s going to protect them – whatever trials and tribulation come. So, let us put our faith and trust in God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ. □

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