A militant image from a popular prophetic ministry. Does Dominionism embrace survivalism?
An essay by Gavin Finley MD
The website End-Time Pilgrim is a devotional resource. The main focus of what I have been called to do is to entreat the saints to prepare themselves spiritually for the end-time witness. This is what the Parable of the Ten Virgins is all about. However, I get a lot of emails from sincere Christian believers asking about End-Time physical preparation and survival issues in the latter days. Their questions deserve an answer. But it seems very few ministries want to tackle this hot potato.
Let's face it. When it comes to Christian mothers and children this matter of End-Time Bible Prophecy and our preparation for what we must face and do involve some very important issues. Women especially are inclined to ask this question. What sort of a God do we serve? Does He take care of His people?
The Judeo-Christian people are in Jacob a nurturing and caring people. This comes from their God. Our patriarch Abraham bargained with God to withhold His judgment upon the wicked city of Sodom for the sake of ten good people. Similarly, Jacob showed his concern for the safety of his household after his meeting with Esau. Jacob told his brother Esau that he would not be riding fast and furious with him but would move along slowly behind him so that his little ones and the flocks would be cared for and would not die in the migration.
But here we are, perhaps facing the end-time witness in our lifetime. Did Jesus give us any hope of personal survival if we are called up to witness? Apparently not. Here in the Olivet Discourse He tells us this.
LUKE 21So what are we to say about the issue of End-Time Preparation. Does personal survivalism come into play? Or not? Just how are we as Christian believers disposed to the sword, the knife and gun in the latter days? Are these the instruments of our End-Time preparation?
12.But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
13 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
14 Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
Some bad news for carnal Christians here. It seems that if we do enter into the latter days this idea of enforcing our own personal agenda by our own force of arms does not appear to be a viable option. In fact, Jesus gave us a very sobering warning about this. He said,"Those who live by the sword will die by the sword".
Here is another related matter. Do we really want to join the ranks of the wild end-time Edomites?
God told Esau and his Edomite descendants, "by your sword you shall live".
Apparently the wild and earthy Edomites will be prominent in the latter days.
Judging by what we see in our declining culture and society today the restless, angry, godless tough guy Esau is back.
He is shaking off all the gentle restraints of Jacob, his nurturing brother of the family and flocks.
See this article on The Edomites in the Latter Days.
I realize we have been told otherwise by our Pre-Trib churchmen. But God's Elect will be here to attend to some important family business in the latter days, family business they, who claim to be of the Family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have chosen to ignore. Our End-Time preparation should focus first and foremost on this. The pathway ahead is a Highway of Holiness. This is the true and faithful Way of the cross. It is the blood covenant Christianity to which we have been called. This is the true End-Time Preparation in which we shall be equipped beyond anything we can begin to imagine. Those who have been called out and set apart are the true Church, the saints, a royal priesthood and a holy nation. They ARE important in this end-time witness! And they WILL be there!
Let us establish this right from the outset. The Holy One of Israel loves His covenant people. He wants the very best for them. Living or dying He will cover them. There is no angst or pain in His Pesence. And He will protect and preserve all His people eternally.
God is in control here. The Book of Revelation is one big court case. As we enter the 70th Week of Daniel the Ancient of Days will sit. The Sovereign Ruler of the Universe will hold court. HE is the One who will be presiding over events and controlling and limiting events here below. Many of us will go up to witness on the stage of history in those awesome times to come. This is the end-time witness. And it will happen in many and varied ways. So our End-Time preparation should be a spiritual one before we think of anything else in the way of the physical preparations.
But the Holy One of Israel is a merciful God. He has a huge survival plan for the women and children of His Elect in the latter days. No one speaks of this in standard Bible prophecy sessions. It is a bit too awesome. Carnal Christians make up the bulk of our numbers. The specter of the end-time witness, does not appear in their mind's eyes under the glory of the Holy Spirit. It is just a chamber of horrors. So for many at this stage in holy history it is a bridge too far. It is too fearful to even contemplate. But we read in Revelation 12 that there will be a place of safety away from the face of the Dragon in the latter days. No, we have not been taught about this in public ministry. But yes, it is a future reality.
The Bozrah Exile is an untold story. Perhaps hundreds of millions of God's people will fly off in an epic migration during the latter half of the future 70th Week. The flight to Mystery Bozrah and the Bozrah deliverance at the end of the age by the returning Messiah is a huge story. The prophet Jeremiah has prophesied that it will eclipse the former gathering and exodus in both worldwide scope and in sheer numbers. See Jeremiah 16:14-16
It seems that there will be a corporate physical migration from
the face of the 666 dragon. This will be going on during the last 3.5 years of this age.
So here is some good news. Our End-Time preparation has already been largely taken care of by God it seems.
Physical flight to a place or places afar will be presented to us as an option in that future 666 era.
The Woman, God's covenant people, will be prominent among the many 666 rejecters
in that spellbinding future time. The Woman will be given the wings of a great eagle.
(Which country might be involved here do you think?) In Revelation 12:6 and 12:14
we see that she will fly out to "her place", wherever that is.
See http://endtimepilgrim.org/bozflight.htm and
On the Jewish side Jesus has some specific instructions in mind for His people over in Judea in Israel. As the Armageddon scenario builds they will be directly in harm's way. And yes, this End-Time preparation involves their willingness to take specific physical action for their own protection and the protection of their families. Jesus spoke of this in the Olivet Discourse. He said that when they see the midweek Abomination of Desolation those in Judea should leave the country and flee to "the mountains", (meaning other countries). Will our Jewish brothers and sisters be joining the other members of God's Elect and going off into exile to this Mystery Bozrah place or places? Probably so. Because God through the prophet Micah declared that He would gather ALL of Jacob. And there would be great noise at this gathering by reason of the huge multitude. (See Micah 2:12-13). This gathering of ALL 12 tribes of Jacob would include the Jewish house of Judah. What a camp meeting that will be! This prophecy is a blockbuster. It beggars description.
But for those who remain in the cities of the nations there will be a famine of the Word of God. Those whose hope is on this earth, ("those who dwell upon the earth"), will be happy to take the mark of 666. So they will carry on as usual, eating and drinking, buying and selling, marrying and giving in marriage and saying "world without end, Amen". They will not have any reason to go off to an unknown destination on this fearful awesome flight into exile. So they will not know what is going on. But when the returning Messiah comes they will be caught unawares, their personal lives broken into. They will be OBE, overcome by events, their agenda interrupted by a Messiah who returns suddenly, like a thief in the night.
Christians here in the USA revere their guns. And the rugged individualism of Americans is the stuff of legend. But Christian survivalists will not find any spiritual solace or physical safety in a cave in Idaho. This is NOT the End-Time preparation that will deliver. Satellite surveillance is a very present reality and becoming more sophisticated all the time. Furtive travel in remote places is monitored. Caves are not safe, no matter how much food and armament is stuffed in there. One missile fired from a helicopter at the cave entrance would seal the fate of all those inside. Christians who engage in personal hopes of avoiding the end-time witness are entering into some unhealthy thinking. I'm not even sure physical isolation in remote places equals any real safety in a future era of roving bands of lawless Edomite gunmen.
But how about issues of personal freedom? Well let's take a look at that matter Biblically.
Remember our Apostle Paul? No sign of survivalism there. On many occasions he was arrested.
Never did we see him bolt for the door, even when the earthquake sprung him loose and burst the prison doors.
He was a prisoner of the Word of God! And he was happy to be honored in that way.
Finally Paul was appealing his case to Caesar and going up to Rome, center of the ancient world at that time.
Paul was going up to his ultimate witness, before Caesar. And that was that.
Read the Biblical account in Acts.
The centurion didn't even bother to shackle him.
He trusted Paul to stay with him on the trip to Rome and not run off.
Paul even alerted the captain when those sailor survivalists were trying to launch the boat and skip out.
The shipwreck was imminent. And they were trying to escape. Why? Survivalism!
They were trying to save their own skins. The passengers could fend for themselves!
God takes a dim view of all this.
See this article on the Shipwreck of the Apostle Paul.
Our Apostle Paul was not a victim. A sovereign God was in the driving seat here, guiding his steps all the way. Paul was going up to Rome for a purpose. He was the apostle to the Gentiles. He was going up to Rome, the center of the Gentile world, to witness.
But there is more to this story. While there in Rome, and before he went to trial, Paul was given an apartment. He was given freedom to come and go at will for a full two years. He brought great encouragement to the saints in Rome. And yes, finally our Apostle Paul went up to face the Caesar. It turned out to be Nero! Not much hope of survival there.
Remember too when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane?
He said, "I am here!" And the soldiers fell backwards.
Such is the power of our witness that is in our Messiah.
So what is the lesson here. Yes, God has taken care of most of our End-Time physical preparation and survival. Huge masses of God's people will be preserved an an awesome end-time exile and later a magnificent end-time deliverance. BUT! God takes a dim view of personal survivalism when there are greater issues at stake and responsible members among His saints have been called up to witness.. Americans have all read "The Red Badge of Courage". They also know what signing up for military duty means. And those who marry for love and devotion are happy to say, "Unto death do us part". Is this too awesome a prospect for the average church-goer? Should he continue to be kept in the dark about this? Some are saying that he should not be told. Others, that he should be told.
So what can we say about all this. God will take care of His own. Mothers and children in the last 3.5 years of this age will be given passage to a place of safety where they can be fed and nurtured, both spiritually and physically. But if we are apprehended for our faith and brought to trial then we are in the arena. We should go on up to witness without a second thought. God will be with us. His Holy Spirit will cover us in, through, and out of our hour of trial. Jesus was victorious in the Garden of Gethsemane in His hour of trial. So we can be sure that He will preserve and keep us if and when we come to our hour of trial.
Here is the bottom line, the real bottom line, below the bottom line of Mammon.
Blood covenant issues supersede matters of personal survival. They require our diligent attention.
Such a blood covenant issue is the end-time witness.
Having said all that we can say this.
There is nothing wrong with a certain level of physical preparation with food and raiment.
The scripture here is relevant.
"The wise man sees the evil coming, and hides himself".
Some preparation with non-perishable food and water in our homes is prudent. Those in hurricane alley or on earthquake fault lines do that anyway.
So what can we say about the bigger issue of securing the safety of our families in the latter days?
Some of us will be going up to witness in the latter days, and for us there are no guarantees of physical survival.
But we shall arise to a better Resurrection.
The God who took Israel out of Egypt in a great Exodus will be at work again.
And He will take care of all the rest.
Grace and shalom to all the saints.