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Romans 5:9

Saved From the Wrath of God”

(part 2)


Romans 5:9, “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!”  "This morning I'd like us to open our Bibles to Romans 5, and use it as a diving board to look at another promise in the Word of God concerning our deliverance from the wrath that is coming upon this planet.  Romans 5, verse 9, speaking of the results of Gods work of love, Paul tells us that we have been justified by Jesus' blood, and then he tells us in verse 9, if you would read it with me, I'd appreciate it, he says “much more than having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him.”  Last week we saw what that wrath of God was.  We took a tour through the Old Testament and into the New and we saw that the wrath of God was the phrase for the time of the tribulation that's coming upon the earth when God pours out his final wrath upon an ungodly and Christ-rejecting world.  It's better known as the 7-year tribulation period of time. [Dispensation pre-millennialist denominations believe it's a 7-year tribulation, whilst Classic pre-millennialist denominations believe it's only going to last three and a half years.  World War III is going to last (Classic view) for two and a half years, and The Day of the Lord is going to last one year (7 Trumpet plagues take a year, Seven Last Plagues could last for up to four months, culminating on our and Christ’s descent onto the Mount of Olives.).  Other than the 7 years verses 3.5 years, the depicted events are the same or similar.]   Revelation itself says the Seven Last Plagues will fill up the wrath of God upon the world.  We also saw that those who experience the wrath of God are those who are not believing in Christ.  All unrighteousness, all ungodliness of men is who the wrath of God is poured out against, Romans 1:18.  And we saw that the only people who will not go through this time of the wrath of God are those, according to verse 9, who have been justified by the blood of Jesus Christ.  And if that has been your experience, you've been declared "not guilty" by faith in Christ's work in your behalf, and you now have a personal living, alive relationship with Jesus Christ, the verse goes on to say “that you shall be saved from the wrath of God through him.”  We saw that the clear teaching of the Word of God, is that in order for us to escape the wrath that's coming, we must be taken out of the world before the wrath comes.  [Dispensationalists and Classic premillennialists only really disagree on where we're taken for protection-one groups says to heaven, God's very throne, the other group to a "place of safety" somewhere on earth (speculation, Petra).  The Bible doctrine that God is going to remove his ‘Philadelphia era believers’ from having to go through the “hour of trial that is to come upon the earth” is very sound Bible doctrine.  It merely gets fuzzy as to whether it's a Rapture or “place of safety.”  I and this site am not promoting or disagreeing with either interpretation.  I am justified by the blood of Jesus Christ, and am fully willing to wait to see which way the Lord  is going to protect me, should I still be alive when the end comes upon the world.  I am not disagreeing with Pastor Mark.  But I will try to find a study that gives the “place of safety” interpretation, to go side-by-side with this study, so that you may be able to see both interpretations, and know for sure that protection is promised.  But get this, it is promised to active, alive believers, not luke-warm believers.  We'll also take a close look at Revelation 3 where both types of believers are described by Jesus, and see only one group is promised protection.  This is a serious matter, and not preached enough in today's churches.  Many saints are being led in the direction of being in danger of becoming “tribulation saints” without knowing it.]  This is called the “pre-tribulation” rapture.  Pre- meaning before the tribulation, and the word “rapture,” don't let that be a tough word for you.  People say ‘that's not in the Bible,’ but it actually is in the Bible, in 1stThessalonians 4:16-17, it's in the Latin Bible.  If you were to take the Latin translation of that, it says ‘And we will be rapere,’ we will be raptured, caught up,’ your Bible says, ‘to meet the Lord in the air when the Lord returns.’  I don't know why a Latin word caught on like it has, and we talk about the “rapture” instead of maybe using the Greek word which is harder to pronounce.  Maybe that's why.  I don't know why we don't call it the “caught up” of the church.  That sounds weird too.  So however you look at it, the Bible teaches that you're not going to be here during the time of the wrath of God, and during the time of his anger toward the world being poured out, you will not be here, you are going to escape that, because you're in Christ.  And the way that occurs is that he takes you out just before.  We saw that the teaching of the Old Testament clearly taught that, where the wrath of God was coming upon the pre-flood world.  Yes, there was a worldwide flood, yes the entire earth was covered with water, and yes, only one man and his family escaped, and that was Noah.  But before that flood occurred, and Noah was carried safely through that flood, there was a man named Enoch who walked with God.  Enoch, a preacher of righteousness, the New Testament says, we could translate it, a preacher of justification, he was a preacher of the gospel.  Enoch preached and proclaimed, and then one day it says, “he was not.”  He was just taken up to be with the Lord.  We talked about that last week.  What a beautiful picture of Enoch and the Church, how the Church that walks with God will taken out before the great tribulation.  There will be people going through the tribulation, because there will be people saved outside of the Church, they'll be saved as God picks up his ministry again with Israel, they will be saved as the Gospel of the Kingdom is preached and the Gospel is proclaimed by the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and the two witnesses.  Hang with me, it doesn't makes sense to some of you.  It's putting the pieces together.  Others of you are going ‘What?’   Don't worry, the point is, you're not going to be here if you trust Christ, you believe in the Lord.  So Enoch is caught up, raptured before the wrath was poured out.  Before God's wrath could be poured out on Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of that valley, there had to first be a removal of righteous Lot and his household.  And so Lot, before the angel could do anything, Lot had to make tracks.  The angel in fact said to him, Genesis 19:22, ‘Hurry, escape!  For I can't do anything until you arrive safely there.’  The angel could not bring down the wrath of God on those cities, an atom-bomb like destruction upon those cities, until Lot and his household had safely escaped, and was tucked away in a safe place.  [There is sort of a historic type in this as well with our very own Pilgrim fathers.  The Mayflower landed our Pilgrim fathers in 1621, and then 10 years later 30,000 Puritan believers landed in Boston.  Right after they landed a brutal civil war full of religious persecution and executions started in England, which these believers were spared from.  Just before Jerusalem was surrounded by Titus in 70AD, the believers in the Jerusalem Church of God were warned by a voice heard in the temple, “Remove from hence” (I believe the phrase was repeated three times), and the believers fled to Pela and survived this first brutal Roman war against the Jewish nation.  Jerusalem and Herod's Temple were destroyed, with most of the inhabitants of Jerusalem being killed, and the survivors being made slaves of Rome.  Lot was saved by moving him somewhere else, as were the believers in Jerusalem, and the Pilgrim and Puritan believers from England.  This is a Biblical principle, regardless of whether it's a rapture to heaven or a removal of believers to “a place of safety.”]  Again, Abraham said the principle well when he said, “far be it from you to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, far be it from you.  Shall not the judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18.  And so, Abraham understood that God was not going to destroy the righteous with the wicked, nor did he keep Lot in that fire and just protect him through it, he took him out of it.  Could God protect Lot through the fire?  Sure, he did with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  Right?  But it's interesting to note that whenever God is dealing with Israel in particular, they go through the fire with the Lord.  They go through the flood in typology.  But the Church is always snatched out before.  We don't go through it.  We say, ‘that's very nice, Mark.  You sure?’  


Why Was 2nd Thessalonians Written?


You see the whole reason why one of these letters in the New Testament, 2nd Thessalonians was written, the whole reason, if you want to turn there, was because somebody had come to the church in Thessalonica and they had said, ‘Ooh, things are really bad’ -- persecution was increasing, the government was beginning to persecute Christians in a really bad way, the heat was on.  As they read some of the Old Testament accounts of the great tribulation, maybe the shoe fit here or there, you know it was a time of indignation, the Church was being battered badly.  And so the Christians there began listening to false teachers who began to tell them that they had had visions, that they were in the Day of the Lord right now.  Someone had even made a phony copy of a letter of Paul, saying the same thing.  They had forged a letter in his name, saying “We're in the great tribulation, the Day of the Lord.”  The Day of the Lord, the great tribulation, the time of Jacob's trouble, the day of the Lamb, the day of the wrath of the Lamb, that's all the same day.  The Bible has these awesome names for the day of the great tribulation.  The Church was upset.  Paul writes them.  And he said, “Look, don't let anybody shake you from your composure” chapter 2, verses 1, 2, and 3, he says, ‘Remember what I told you when I was with you.  Don't let anybody tell you they've had a vision from God and they've seen we're in the great tribulation.  No, remember I told you there had to be a departure, first, and apostasy, a departure, a falling away first.  And then that which restrains, the Holy Spirit in the ministry of the Church, the Church would have to be taken out.  And then the anti-christ would be revealed and deceive the world.  No, you're in trouble, you're in persecution, you're in tribulation, yes, but it is not the great tribulation.’  Some of us today, we're in trouble, we're in tribulation, but it doesn't hold a match or a candle to what the furnace of the great tribulation is going to be like.  I'll tell you, it's nothing compared to experiencing the wrath of God.  Right now the trouble that we get is the world throwing trouble at us.  During the great tribulation, it's God throwing trouble at the world, and believe me, he can throw a lot harder. He can. [Again, Pastor Mark has gotten some terms mixed up.  The great tribulation is Satan's wrath turned against the world, bringing on World War III, man against man.  God's wrath comes right on the heals of Satan's great tribulation, WWIII, and it is to stop Satan's wrath and man's insane genocidal WWIII.  God makes war with man in order to stop man from making Satan-inspired genocidal war against himself.  The Classic pre-millennial interpretation is that Satan's WWIII will last 2.5 years and God's wrath-the Day of the Lord -- will last one year, making a total of 3.5 years.  The two events are different in that who is causing one is not the same as Who is causing the other.  People often make the mistake of lumping the tribulation period in with God's wrath, the Day of the Lord, simply because one follows directly after the other.  What actually occurs, is that God's wrath puts an end to the Satanic wrath of two warring world powers who are about to destroy all life from off this planet.  God's action is to bring a stop to man's genocidal action.]  Paul says ‘Don't you remember what I wrote you?’  Let's see, where does he say that?  Verse 5, “Don't you remember that while I was with you, I was telling you these things.”  What things?  Well, back in 1st Thessalonians 1:10 it says that 'he's proud of them, of how they turned from idols to serve a living and true God, and that they're waiting for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, that is-read it with me-"Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come."  Jesus does what?  He delivers us from -- what? -- the wrath that's coming.  Well, that's not hell, by the way.  That's not hell that I'm delivered from.  Because I was delivered from hell the moment I believed, when I was saved.  I was saved from hell.  I'll never experience hell.  That's not the wrath of God.  Hell is never called the wrath of God.  It's called eternal punishment, it's called everlasting punishment.  But it's not called the wrath of God.  The wrath of God is that 7-year period, specifically the last three and a half years, of the 7 last years of earth's history -- earth as we know it.  We have been saved from the wrath that's coming, through Jesus Christ.  Chapter 5, verse 9, we'll read another verse, he's saying Don't you remember what I said when I was with you?’  1st Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 9, “For” read it with me, “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Can you imagine somebody, a new bride-groom, picking a bride, and he looks for the most beautiful, he's waiting, this is the woman of his dreams, and before they can even get to the aisle, he carries her and throws her in a sewer?  And he's doing it in order to purify her.  Can you imagine doing that to your precious bride?  Not on your life.  You see, the Church is on the way to the wedding ceremony, the wedding supper of the Lamb.  And we've been taught [erroneously by some who cannot properly interpret the Word of God] that the Church would be put into the tribulation, the Church would be kept through it, oh it would be all around us, it'll be affecting us, we'd better flee to the mountains, we'd better go buy property up in Bumblebee or someplace, go to Buzzard's Gulch and live there and stockpile our food and sure we've got water and guns.  And I know people, I know a church not too far from here that had people buy land in bizarre places that no one's ever heard of and no one would ever want to go to.  No wonder they'd be safe, they can't even find the land they bought, there's no roads to get to the land they bought.  Preparing, preparing, preparing.  I tell you, as I read the book of Revelation there's nothing you can do to prepare for earthquakes that will shake every mountain, that will cause every island in the sea to disappear!  [Look up]  Now tell me, how do you prepare for that if you live in Hawaii?  Your island is going to sink and disappear.  Get a life-raft?  All the great cities of the earth crash in earthquakes.  All the trees and the forests burn down.  There's no food, everyone around you has gone crazy.  There's demons in human form, there's demons not in human form, they're everywhere.  How are you going to prepare for this?  Your stockpile of food is going to get you through this?  Give me a break.  There's no preparing for it.  Jesus said, unless that time were shortened, no one would be alive.”  I'm not going to be here, and I'll tell you, and I'll tell you why I know I'm not going to be here, because it says ‘Jesus has not destined me for wrath, but for salvation, through my Lord Jesus Christ.’  God hasn't destined me for wrath. 


Jesus’ Promise To The Church


And probably the most beautiful and clear and precious promise given to the  Church concerning our absence during the great tribulation is in Revelation chapter 3.  Let's turn there, Revelation chapter 3, verse 7.  There are seven messages to seven churches at the beginning of the book of Revelation.  They are messages from Jesus Christ to his Church.  They were seven real churches at the time, in Asia Minor.  However, the messages to these churches also represents seven periods [or era's] of church history, and it fits like a glove.  You have an Ephesus period [from 30-31AD to John and Polycarp in the early 100s AD], you have a Smyrna period, a Pergamum period, a Thyratira period, a Sardis period, a Philadelphia period, a Loadocian period.  Check the pages out in Revelation on the churches, and I think you'll get a kick out of them.  The Lord really taught us a lot. [The Sabbatarian branch of the body of Christ has traced out what they believe were their seven era's corresponding to the messages to the seven churches in Asia Minor in Revelation chapters 2-3.  A copy of this history is at .  To this time I have not been able to trace out seven distinct revivals or periods in the Church for the New Testament, non-Torah observant Gentile Christian side of the body of Christ.] 


The Last Two Church ‘Eras,’ Philadelphia & Laodicea


It doesn't mean there weren't five distinct era's or periods, as there probably have been, leading up to the last two-Philadelphia and Laodicea-the two era's that are prophecied to co-exist side by side in the "end times" -- one is offered protection (either by a rapture to heaven or being removed to a place of safety, we'll have to wait and see which comes true) -- the other goes into the tribulation and suffers martyrdom.  That is what Revelation 3:7-21 says, not me.  Read it for yourself.]  But we Scripturaly and prophetically are living in the last two churches here [isn't that what I said?]  There are two churches [or church periods or era's], actually there's sort of three.   But that last two churches that have any life in them [again, he's talking about church era's or periods, what also might be termed as revivals] in the end-time is the Church of Philadelphia (which can be translated “brotherly love”) and the Church of Laodicea.  It's interesting, the Church of Laodicea is a church that is into positive confession.  Did you know that?  Look at verse 14.  The Church of Laodicea, the luke-warm church that God's about ready to throw-up over.  And that's not being gross, that's just what he says.  “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the creation of God says this, ‘I know your deeds, that you're neither cold nor hot.  I would that you were cold or hot.  So because you're luke-warm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth (the word is "vomit you").  Because you say” -- here we go, brother Copeland, brother Hagen, all of our positive confession people -- it's prophecied this would be in the last days -- “‘I am rich, I have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you don't know that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked.”  Here's a church that is known for walking around making amazing statements, “I'm healed, I'm rich, I have need of nothing.”  And the Lord says that's a bunch of bunk.  You're wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked, why don't you admit it and buy some from me what you need.  You need gold tried in the fire, you need eye-salve so you can see, you need white raiment to cover up the shame of your nakedness.  “Be zealous therefore and repent.  As many as I love I rebuke.”  ‘That's why I chasten.’  And so, if you're in that, if you're in that movement, or you have friends that are in that movement, or you're leaning that way, you'd better pay attention to the Word of God.  The Word of God prophecied that in the last days there would be that kind of a movement.  And one of the last-day churches would be saying those things.  And yet, they're really dead inside.  They're wretched, poor, blind and naked.  I'm reading the book right now about the fellow that was really involved in the PTL scandal.  Dortch's book, “Integrity, How I Found It” or something like that.  And Rev. Dortch was heavily involved in this ministry.  And here on the outside is a ministry that looked rich, and yet he tells us what the people were seeing on TV, then he tells you everything that was going on underneath all of that, and it was wretched, miserable, poor, blind, nakedness is what it was.  And it fit the Church of Laodicea perfectly, great on the outside, inside, nauseating.  Make sure your faith in Christ is a real thing, get real with God.  Don't get into appearances.  What's important is what's on the inside, what's important is the truth. 


The Philadelphia Era Church


And that's why the message to Philadelphia is one we're zeroing in on now, because I believe that most of you are members of the Church of Philadelphia.  I'll tell you if you ask me, ‘Where's your church membership?’ I'm going to say “Philadelphia.”  Why Mark?  Because that's the church I want to be a part of.  Why?  Well, read it, listen to what Jesus says to that last-day church.  “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens says this.  I know your deeds, behold I have put before you an open door which no man can shut because you have a little power and have kept my word, and have not denied my name.  Behold I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews and are not but lie, behold I will make them to come and bow down at your feet, and to know that I have loved you.  Because you have kept the word of my perseverance I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world to test those who dwell upon the earth.  I am coming quickly, hold fast what you have in order that no one takes your crown.” (Revelation 3:7-11)  That's where I want my church membership.  I don't care if I'm on anybody else's [membership] role.  I want to be on the role of the church of Philadelphia.  It's an interesting church, it's a church that in the last day faces three things.  If faces, number 1, it faces he says “You have a ‘little power.’”  The church that doesn't have a great involvement in signs and wonders.  It's not known as the power church.  You have a little power.  It's not a church that's goes forth with tremendous healing crusades, and raising the dead and casting out demons -- it's really not known for that, although those things happen in it.  It's the church that has a little power.  Significant that he said that.  Significant in today's church growth movement which is power evangelism.  It's a big deal today, coming out of Fuller Seminar today, power evangelism.  Sorry, he didn't say he was going to build his church with power evangelism.  He says ‘You have a little power.’  And then he goes on, it's going to be a church that faces a second problem, it'ssecond problem is ‘You've kept my word.’  In other words, there's going to be widespread setting aside the Bible and going on to other things.  There will be widespread appearance of apostles and prophets, men who will have fresh words from God.  But they don't agree with God's Word from God.  We're living in a day when men proclaim to be as much an authority and speak as inspired as the apostle Paul.  We're living in a day today when people are departing on every hand from the Word of God.  We're living in a day today where our university, our Christian university here in town, now has professors who don't teach that the six days of creation were six days.  They were long periods of time.  Why didn't God know that?  Why has he been deceiving us for all these years, using the word for 24-hour periods, the first day, the second day.  Why did God even have to say “the evening and the morning”?  What's the matter with him?  Oh, there weren't scientists around yet to tell him what he was doing.  That's the problem.  Now we've got these scientists, and they know everything (this month).  [laughter]  Until their theory changes.  They sold their bookstore to a secular company.  And now their college students are coming to me and telling me, 'Mark, there's dirty cards in the store.  There's books that teach evolution in the store.'  It doesn't sound like a grand university to me.  There will be a massive departure from the Word of God.  But, the church in Philadelphia kept MY Word!'  Every word of the Book, we can trust, gang.  Every word has been inspired by God and is trustworthy.  You can bet your life on it and count your life on it.  And there's going to be a church in the last days that lives like the Bible is true, and they act like the Bible is true, and they make decisions for themselves and their families and for their livelihood, for their careers based on the idea that the Bible is true.  And Jesus loves that.  And then he said, thirdly, it's a church that hasn't denied his name.  Yes see that?  “And you have not denied my name.”  “You've kept my word, and you haven't denied my name.”  This Scripture, the Lord really just brought it to my heart once several years ago.  Lesley working with a group of people, and one of them was a very Jewish, but secular Jewish person, but very much into Jewish culture, and very, very, very, very Jewish.  And her daughter was getting married.  And it was a big deal.  All the uncles, all the aunts were coming from all over the country, and they were going to have it [the wedding] at the big resort over here, and they asked me if I would perform the ceremony.  And I was so knocked over, I thought ‘Me?  I'm not a rabbi.  I'm just me.  Sure, what an honor.’  And I remember being in the elevator, leaving the office, and the Holy Spirit saying ‘Oh, you're a smart guy, aren't you?  You're just real smart, thanks for asking me if that's what you should do.’  ‘What, Lord?  What a neat opportunity to witness.’  And I did remember she says, ‘You could just have a little prayer at the end.’  And the Spirit looked in my heart and said, ‘How are you going to pray?’  ‘Oh no, in Jesus name?’  [laughter]  Well, I sweated and prayed, and sweated and tried to figure out a way to do it without saying Jesus name, and the Holy Spirit took me to this verse “I put before you an open door and no one can shut because you have a little power and have kept my word and not denied my name. Oh, no,  I thought I could pray “In God's name.”  ‘Jesus, you're God, right?’  I could pray in Yahweh's name.  I know Jesus is Jehovah.  “You have not denied my name.”  Oh, don't you just know how it feels when the Lord gets you good, you know, and it's like, wiggle out boy, you try to get out of it, squirm but there's no way buddy boy.   ‘I've got you!’  ‘Ok, I'll tell her I'm going to pray 'in Jesus name.’  I went to her, and I said, “You know, I've just got one problem.”  “What? what?” I said “The prayer at the end.”  “Yeah, yeah, the family is just looking forward to you, coming.”  I said, “But we got to pray ‘In Jesus name.’”  “Absolutely not!  Absolutely not!  No!, it's over!  We'll get someone else, don't worry about it!”  She almost ran away from me.  But man, how things can change over one word, you know.  Jesus [Yeshua for our Jewish believers].  And I'm never going to be ashamed of my Lord ever again.  I never was to begin with, but I was thinking maybe I could get around him, but [laughter].  No, he said ‘It's really better to witness and use my name, Mark, than witness and not ever mention my name.’  [laughter]  Why are you laughing?  Can you relate?  You've never done anything like that, right?  But he says, here's a church that is faithful in the last days, faithful to the Word, faithful to the name of Christ [whether that be Jesus Christ or Yeshua haMeschiach, in it's Hebrew version], faithful even though people persecute them.  Verse 9 talks about people who say they're of the Lord, but they're not, and they're fighting you, and he says, ‘Don't worry about them, I'll take care of them.’  A church that's causing some waves now and then, he says ‘Don't worry, some day they'll bow at your feet.’  Verse 10 is the precious promise.   Every saint here ought to cling to it, and if you can understand the English language, you've got hope, verse 10,  Because you have kept the word of my perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.”  [King James Version: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”]  The Lord says to the faithful church, he says, ‘The sphere of the trial that's coming is worldwide.  There's no rock, no cave, no secret place you can hide from this, the whole world will be involved in this hour of trial or testing.  So that's the only way that I can protect you, my children, since this is worldwide, is to take you out of the world.’  [Comment:  As we shall see in another study to go with this one, the Bible also mentions a “place of safety.”  The Calvary Chapel's do admit and say some of the Israeli Jewish believers will go to this “place of safety.”  The Bible itself merely implies that believers will go there.  Looking at all the Scriptures that seem to support a rapture in these two studies in Romans, and all the ones that seem to support a “place of safety” (as I will try to present in an unbiased fashion in another study following this one) show the Bible is fuzzy on the final place we go to, whether a “rapture” or “place of safety.”  This leads me to believe that the Lord doesn't want us to make a big issue of where we go, just the fact that, yes, we will be protected, and it's up to him to get us there and let us know the specific details when the time comes.] 


Our Gospel Message Should Include A Warning To The World About What’s Coming


You see, that hour of testing that's coming on the whole world, there's no safe place to go.  What is the hour of testing?  It's the hour of God's judgment.  Revelation chapter 14, verse 7 says, “And he said with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give him glory because the hour of his judgment has come.  And worship him who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and the springs of the water.’”  This hour that's coming is the hour of God's judgment on the earth.  I know we don't like to hear about judgment, I don't like preaching about judgment, but it's coming whether we talk about it or not.  And most of the world doesn't know what's happening.  What if you knew the hurricane was coming, you're at the national or international weather bureau and you see it building and cooking and you begin to see it pick up speed and go toward the coast of North Carolina.  But you know people don't like bad news.  And you don't want them mad at you.  And so you just decide you won't say anything.  After all, you're safe, you're in Oregon or someplace where they don't have hurricanes and tornadoes.  You're safe.  What meanness.  What is your responsibility?  What cruelty, what absurdness to not tell the people that the disaster was coming.  We need to warn our world that a time is coming when the earth is going to be judged by God.  And we had better get the word out, because right now there's a open door.  You see, to the church of Philadelphia there's an open door, “I've opened the door and no man can shut.”  [Comment:  Here you have it from Pastor Mark, from a Calvary Chapel pastor that preaches the gospel of Christ, that this gospel should also include a warning to the world around us, a warning of what's coming.  Throughout church history, the gospel preached had no need of a warning element being added to the gospel of salvation -- it wasn't time or close to the time of the end.  Now Jesus himself may start inspiring some of his Holy Spirit led and inspired churches to add a warning element to their preaching of the gospel of salvation.  It is appropriate for the times we find ourselves living in, and besides, the 5th element of the Gospel message mentions the 2nd coming of Christ, see]  You want to know what the door is, read [Revelation] 4 verse 1, it's the door into heaven.  It's through the Church of Jesus Christ on earth in these last days that you can escape the wrath that's coming, and you can come into heaven.  There's an open door right now.  Jesus said “I am the door.”  “No one can come into the sheepfold except through me.”  Jesus is the door.  The hour of testing is the great tribulation that's coming upon the whole world.  But we are going to be kept, not safely through it, but kept out of it, kept out of it.  It says that the church will be kept from the hour of testing or trial.”  That is the time, the very time, the very hour of the great tribulation.  Why?  Because Jesus took that hour for us.  Hold your finger here and go to Mark, chapter 14.  Jesus is entering into the garden of Gestheneme, asking his disciples to please pray with him, just before he's arrested.  This is where he is surrendering his will completely to God.  Mark 14, verse 35, “And he went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began praying that if it were possible the” -- what? -- hour might pass from him.”  The hour of God's judgment, the hour of God's wrath is what was poured out on Jesus Christ, Yeshua haMeschiach.  That entire Calvary event, that entire cross event.  Why am I going to be kept out of it?  Because, hallelujah! He took it for me!  He took the hour for me.  There's no hour left for me to serve.  He took it all for me.  [and this goes for whichever interpretation you believe, “place of safety” or “Rapture,” these are “common-ground” passages.]  And in case you're interested in the Greek, the Greek is even more convincing, because the Greek actually says here “I will keep you tareoek is the word in Greek, which means “I will keep you out -- or to “keep out of.”  Jesus is choosing the words, I guess he knew what he wanted to say.  He knew that if he wanted to say “I will keep you in” the trial, like “keep you in, but safe” it would be tareoen, en.  Or if you take you through it, it could be tareothea.  But instead, he says “I will keep you tareoek.  But there are a lot of people who teach that well, you're going to go into the time of the tribulation, just part of the process, even though the Bible says you'll be saved from the wrath of God through him.  Even though it says God hasn't destined you for wrath (they're saying) God is still going to put you in the great tribulation.  But he'll keep you safe in it.  [Pastor Mark is not mentioning that the other major pre-millennial interpretation is the "place of safety" interpretation, which the Bible also mentions, but in the same vague manner that the rapture is covered in.  This interpretation says that those of the Philadelphia era are going to be taken out of the way before the tribulation starts by being taken into a “place of safety.”  Pastor Mark does mention that Jewish believers in Israel will be saved in a “place of safety.”  We'll if Messianic Jewish believers are saved and protected from the tribulation, why would God discriminate and separate the two parts of the body of Christ, taking one to heaven via a rapture and leaving the other in “a place of safety”?  Both are kept “from it,” so why the difference?  This is something the pre-millennialists have to hammer out amongst themselves amongst their various Bible scholars.  As believers, we have the freedom to believe either way, since this is one of the fuzzy areas of Scripture in this regards.  Regarding that we are promised protected from the hour of trial, that is not a fuzzy, gray area.  That is a firm Bible teaching.]   The verse says “I will keep you out, I'll keep you out,” not “I'll keep you in” not “I'll keep your through it, but you'll be OK, you'll come out on the other side,” no, it's “I will take out, alright, it's time, it's the hour, God's people go out!   Man, it's the rapture!  We're out!  Not wrath, the rapture!  Not going through, but out!”  You can't to heaven by hanging onto somebody who's a Christian, OK.  You won't get very far.  So our position is [that is, he's saying this is Calvary Chapel's doctrinal stance on this subject], that in heaven, we're going to be at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb while all this is going on [i.e. the tribulation and day of the Lord].  Then we'll come back with the Lord in great glory, riding white horses, we'll come back with the Lord, and establish his kingdom -- but only after his wrath has been thoroughly poured out upon the world.  “I will keep you from the hour of testing, taeroek, I will keep you out of the hour of testing.”  So I don't care what they say on Christian TV, I don't care what the debates are, turn the blab off, OK.  And just believe the Word of God.


This Is The Judgment You’re Headed For If You Don’t Know Christ


The final point is this.  This is the judgment that you're headed for if you don't know Christ.  And here in the last couple of minutes I would like to make an appeal to you, if you're here, and you do not know for sure where you're going to be when that hour comes.  You make the decision not at that hour, it's too late then.  You have to make your reservation now [and this applies regardless of whether you believe in a rapture or going to a place of safety].  You have to make your reservation for heaven now.  You have to confirm it now.  The promise of Revelation 3:10 is only for those who have kept the word, who have believed in the name of Jesus, who have the Holy Spirit living in them.  It's not for those who have just been baptized, hey I'm an American, so I'm a Christian.  Hey, I'm a Catholic aren't I.  I'm going when they go, right?  I don't know.  Not necessarily.  My Bible doesn't say become a Baptist or a Catholic or a Presbyterian or a Lutheran and you shall be saved, it says “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”  And that “believe on” means you rest your whole life on him, you let him be your Lord.  Where are you going, are you going up?  Or are you going in?  Are you going to go through this?  Or are you going to be kept from it?  See, one of the interesting things is, if we go through that tribulation, in my Bible, as I read through verses 6 through 19 I see a lot of saints that are dying.  There will be people saved during the tribulation, but they won't be “Church” saints.  They'll be “tribulation saints.”  And there's a difference.  After the rapture [or going to a “place of safety,” whichever it is], you'll give your life for your faith, if you could believe.  But he says to the church in Philadelphia, “because you've kept my word, and you haven't denied my name, I'll keep you from the hour of testing that's coming upon the whole world.”  We're not going through it.  Hey, we have a lot of tribulation in the world [don't believe that, read Saga of the Pilgrims at].  And that's the world's tribulation thrown at us, but we're never going to experience what God's going to throw at this planet.  We'll be out of here, like Enoch, like Lot, we'll be gone.  [I find it interesting, Enoch may have been taken to heaven, it doesn't say.  Or he may have been transported to another location on earth like Elijah was in the Lord's flaming chariot (don't believe me, look it up).  Lot was “transported on his own two feet” to another tiny city, and then a cave.  So in these two examples, one perhaps could have gone to heaven, the other found safety in a cave.  Like I said, the Bible gets real fuzzy beyond the stated fact that we'll be protected.  It gets real fuzzy as to where the place of protection is going to be, whether heaven or perhaps the caves of Petra.  We've seen the passages Dispensational Pre-millennialists use to try to prove a rapture takes place.  We'll next look at the passages that mention a place of safety that is still on this planet.  As you will see, if you add all these passages up, the Bible is fuzzy on the subject, not dogmatic.  The Bible is dogmatic only up to the point of promising we'll be protected -- that's it folks (cf. Revelation 3:10).  Where or how is left in the gray, fuzzy area.  And the Lord probably did this intentionally.  Why?  Because he didn't want us majoring in a subject he views as minor-the subject of how we can save our butts in the physical sense.  Christianity has never been a how we can save our butts religion, it has always been more about how you can give your life for the cause of Christ.  Even though I used to believe in the “place of safety” scenario, I have stepped back from believing either way, simply because it's not important.  The Lord promised, I'll trust him to do it in whichever way he chooses to.  Which interpretation is more defensible?  I have my own opinions.  But this site is neutral on that subject.  You as a believer have to add up all the passages pro and con for each interpretation and come to your own conclusion.  If you fellowship with and are as member of a Dispensational Pre-millennialist denomination, and you believe in the Classic pre-millennial interpretation of a “place of safety,” then you are obliged to follow Paul's instructions in Romans 14 about personal spiritual beliefs in secondary areas.  “Have faith to yourself” is what he says in Romans 14:22.  In other words, don't let your own personal secondary spiritual beliefs be divisive within the group you fellowship and worship with-keep your mouth shut on those topics.  This site does not take stands one way or the other on divisive secondary teachings, but carefully provides teaching on both sides of the issues and lets the believer-reader decide for himself/herself what they are going to believe in those areas.  Your beliefs should always be a result of careful, prayerful Bible study more than the opinions of others.  Let your prayerful, careful studies lead to a Holy Spirit inspired proper interpretation of God's Word.  And remember, all these twiggy secondary beliefs one way or the other will evaporate at Jesus, Yeshua's 2nd coming.  Within the time-span of God's 7,000 year plan of salvation for humans the rapture or living in a place of safety for three and a half years or seven years at the longest occupies a very short percentage of time -- 0.1 percent.  How much effort do you think we as churches and denominations should put forth promoting and/or teaching about going to a “place of safety” or going up in a “rapture” for an event that occupies 0.1 percent of the time-span God has allotted in his plan of salvation for humans?  I think this is a question that leaders of the various Holy Spirit led and inspired Christian and Messianic Jewish denominations need to seriously consider -- because some of you guys are going all out, expending time and money, the Lord's money, on a subject the Bible itself isn't all that clear on.  Isn't that a misuse of funds and time -- both resources that Lord has given us to do a job (Matthew 28:18-20; 24:14)?]  The Bible also says Christ died for sins once for all, that the just for the unjust in order that he might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.  The Bible says that if you would believe in Jesus (Yeshua), you could be declared not guilty by faith, and then you could have peace with God.  The Bible says if you have been declared not guilty by the blood of Jesus, then you will be saved from the wrath of God that's coming.  The judgment is coming.  One last verse, John 5:24, and I'm going to ask you to make a response to John 5:24, you're going to say "yes" or "no".  You're going to believe or not believe this morning.  There's no middle ground.  Jesus says if you're not for me, you're against me.  There's not straddling the fence.  John 5:24 declares, “Truly, truly I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”  Can you this morning say with absolute assurance that you will not come into judgment?  Do you know for sure that you've passed out of death into life?  If you don't, you need to be sure, and you can be sure by walking through the door.  He says, “Behold I set before you an open door.”


In closing


I'd like us now to bow our heads, to close our eyes.  And if somebody would just open that big double door over there in the back, wide open, both doors.  Because that's the invitation, he says “I've set before you an open door, which no man can shut.”  Now if God doesn't open the door for you, you can't believe in Jesus [cf. John 6:44,65].  Because he says “when I shut, no one can open it.”  There can come a day when it is too late, for you to call on God.  [And I would like to add this, that open door statement also refers to doors Jesus opens for us to help our efforts to evangelize, spreading the gospel around the world.  It applies here, like Pastor Mark shows, to our individual callings, being able to come to salvation through Jesus, yes, that is a door Jesus and the Father have opened for each and every one of us.  But it also applies to doors Satan would like to see shut, but Jesus opens for us, doors for evangelism.  These doors too will be shut someday.  Why?  We'll be gone, one way or another, we'll be gone, no longer on the scene.  Nothing but tribulation saints will be left.  And yes, they will have a chance to evangelize, but the price will be paid with their very lives.  And when they've all died, the doors will be shut.]   The door won't open.  But this morning, the Bible says ‘today is ["a"] day of salvation.  Today if you hear his voice, don't harden your heart.’  Right now God is inviting you to come to him.  Just as these doors are symbolically open right now.  The time is now.  Right now, if you would pray a prayer with me, you could be saved from the wrath to come.”  [Transcript of Pastor J. Mark Martin, Calvary Community Church, PO Box 39607, Phoenix, AZ  85069] [All comments in brackets [ ] are mine.  editor


related links:


To learn more about making an intelligent choice about which Christian or Messianic congregation to attend, log onto .]

Read Petra - The Perfect Place of Safety

For a good study on the Philadelphia Era Church, click on the link below and scroll to the section on the Philadelphia era


Pastor Mark was about to give the prayer of salvation.  I have inserted a written version of this prayer below for your convenience.     

The following is excerpted from Dr. Mark Eastman's "Creation by Design" and answers a vital question many non-believers have once they have seen God's existence in Scripture and seen his Word in Scripture proven beyond a doubt.  Many may wonder, what next?  What should I do with this vital information?


"How to Become a Christian"  [4 steps]


First of all, you must recognize that you are a sinner.  Realize that you have missed the mark.  This is true of each of us.  We have deliberately crossed the line, not once, but many times.  The Bible says, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).  This is a hard admission for many to make, but if we are not willing to hear the bad news, we cannot appreciate and respond to the good news. 

          Second, we must realize that Jesus Christ died on the cross for us.  Because of sin, God had to take drastic measures to reach us.  So He came to this earth and walked here as a man.  But Jesus was more than just a good man.  He was the God-man--God incarnate--and that is why His death on the cross is so significant. 

          At the cross, God Himself--in the person of Jesus Christ--took our place and bore our sins.  He paid for them and purchased our redemption.

          Third, we must repent of our sin.  God has commanded men everywhere to repent.  Acts 3:19 states, "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord."  What does this word repent mean?  It means to change direction--to hang a U-turn on the road of life.  It means to stop living the kind of life we led previously and start living the kind of life outlined in the pages of the Bible.  Now we must change and be willing to make a break with the past.  [I would like to point out here, that this initial repentance, U-turn, is not anywhere near the total life-change that Jesus will enable within you later on.  This only comes after this next "fourth step", mentioned below.  It is not really possible for humans to follow God's will, expressed by his perfect law of liberty, until after receiving Jesus Christ into one's life.  That is why the saying, "Come as you" are is spoken so often by most pastors, in context with this understanding.]

          Fourth, we must receive Jesus Christ (Yeshua haMeschiach for our Jewish readers) into our hearts and lives.  Being a Christian (or Messianic believer) is having God Himself take residence in our lives.  John 1:12 tells us, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the children of God."  [Also be sure to read John 14, where Jesus explains how He and the Father dwell within us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.]  Jesus said, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in." (Revelation 3:20).  Each one of us must individually decide to open that door.  How do we open it?  Through prayer.

          If you have never asked Jesus Christ to come into your life, you can do it right now.  Here is a suggested prayer you might even pray:


Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I am sorry for my sin.  I turn and repent of my sins right now.  Thank You for dying on the cross for me and paying the price for my sin.  Please come into my heart and life right now.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and help me to be Your disciple.  Thank You for forgiving me and coming into my life.  Thank You that I am now a child of Yours and that I will receive Eternal life.  In Jesus' name I pray.  Amen.


When you pray that prayer, God will respond. You have made the right decision--the decision that will impact how you spend eternity.  In the meantime, find peace and the answers to your spiritual questions. [This website is loaded with answers to your questions.  I.e. Who is Jesus?--log onto] 

          If you just became a Christian, it is highly recommended that you find a Christian church to fellowship and grow spiritually in.  You are now part of the body of Christ.  You are a young Christian needing spiritual food to grow on.  Fellowshipping with other Christian brothers and sisters is also an essential part of the Christian's growth and life.  It is therefore recommended that you find some evangelical Christian church (or Messianic congregation) that your feel comfortable attending."




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