Greetings MOL Family!
Welcome back to our study! In today’s lesson, we will continue to understand exactly what it means to be a survivor during these prophetic and solemn times of earth’s history.
How to Survive – For Christ’s Sake
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. – Luke 21:17-18
These are the survivors. Now these 2 verses are very interesting, the way they’re put together.
Ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. – Luke 21:17-18
We might wonder what that 18th verse means when we notice in the 16th verse the last part:
…some of you shall they cause to be put to death. – Luke 21: 16
That would sound like perishing wouldn’t it?
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16
To the Christian, death is but a little thing; it’s just a sleep from the time a person closes his eyes until Jesus appears in the resurrection day; and we are forever with the Lord. So, to the Christian, death is not perishing. The death which means perishing is the death that the sinner dies, the death that the wicked of this world die; a death that means that they will never be with God in the glorious city. This is indeed perishing. So, we want to survive, not merely this world, we want to survive the second death, don’t we?
So, we’re going to study some of the experiences that lie between us and the coming of our Lord, further experiences involving survival. You’ll notice in these 16th and 17th verses, Christ predicts a time of great persecution:
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. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But there shall not a hair of your head perish. – Luke 21:16-18
These predictions were fulfilled during the early ages of Christianity, as the followers of Jesus went out into the heathen world. Many of them met a martyr’s death. Then later in the Dark Ages, again multitudes of the true followers of Christ were betrayed, beaten, stoned, tortured in various ways and killed. But these prophecies are to be fulfilled just ahead of us in a very special way, as we go into the greatest time of trouble the world has ever seen. You will remember in Daniel 12, the scripture says:
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of Thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time Thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. – Daniel 12:1
So we want our names written in the book of life, that we may be among those that are delivered at this time. What will it be to live in a world where everyone hates you? Everybody hates you, that’s what this 17th verse says. “Ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.” The world is rapidly filling up with the spirit of hate. Nation against nation, race against race, one part of the world against the other part of the world, class against class; but the greatest hatred of all is religious hatred. Religious persecution has shed the blood of tens of millions down through the history of the world. And the wrath of satan increases as his time grows short. He is determined to blot out the Remnant from this earth, the Remnant of those that keep the commandments of God.
Let’s turn over to Revelation chapters 12 and 13. Here in this wonderful book, which shares God’s program of survival, we shall note the prophecies. Revelation 12:17 shows us this time when all the world will hate the people of God. When Christ’s prophecy will be literally fulfilled, “ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake”.
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. – Revelation 12:17
Those who keep God’s commandments then will be the object of the special hatred and wrath of the dragon. And in this, as we have already noted from other prophecies, the enemy will have the co-operation of the great powers of earth. “Ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.”
Why would an individual do what draws upon him, and brings upon him universal hatred, why would he do it? Jesus says in our opening verse, “for my name’s sake.” It’s a wonderful thing to love somebody so much that you’d rather be true to Him, even though all the world hates you, than disown Him and have all the world favor you. That’s what the love of Jesus means, isn’t it? And didn’t He do that for us? Didn’t He stand alone for us, with the howling mob all about Him, beaten, condemned, and then led out to be crucified? He bore that all alone for us, and He says to each of us: “If you love me, take up your cross and follow me.”
So the remnant of God’s children in this world, as they come right down to the end of time, the whole world is making war against them. They are simply following in their Master’s steps. To some it may seem a strange thing to be walking a path that we know is going to lead to this sort of an experience. Many would say, “Well, if you think this is up the road, why do you keep going up that road? Why not avoid it?” If a man were going up a trail, and somebody he knew told him that a grizzly bear was waiting around the corner of the mountain, what would he do? He’d probably turn back, wouldn’t he? Yes, but here is a war with the dragon; a terrible war. He’s angry and as we have seen, he’s going to bring all this persecution. Why go ahead and get into all that trouble? — For Jesus’ sake.
There is a war that began in Heaven, as Revelation 12:7 says, war in Heaven between Christ and His angels on one side, and the dragon or satan and his angels on the other. They’ve been at it ever since. The last battle in this age-long war will be the most fearful of all the battles; but it will end in complete victory for Jesus and His children. Oh, friends, it’s wonderful to be on the side of Jesus, isn’t it? — On the side of love, on the side of obedience. He says: “If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments.”
Now in the 13th chapter of Revelation, I want to call your attention to some of the methods that the enemy is going to use in this warfare:
And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. – Revelation 13:16-17
Here is a plain prediction, in the Bible, that there will come a time when economic pressure will be exerted against those who keep the commandments of God. They will not be able to do what? — Buy or sell. May I call your attention to something very interesting? There never was a time in the history of the world when things were so arranged and organized to carry out such a procedure as this. There never was a time when people were so dependent on buying and selling just for the necessities of life.
Just a short time ago comparatively (say, a 100 years ago, or even 50 years ago), most people got at least part of what they ate, and some of them got most of what they ate how? — By growing it. Do they today? Oh, no.
If a wheat farmer, for example, raises hundreds and thousands of bushels of wheat. How much of it does he eat? Not a bushel. What does he do with it? — He sells it. What he gets to eat he gets out of the supermarket just as the way that people in New York or Chicago. Do you see what I mean, my friends?
There never was a time when so much of the world’s food was raised by so few people and carried from the grower to the consumer by a vast network of trucks, freight cars, and other methods of commerce. It’s a wonderful program. But note that it makes it easier than ever to put the squeeze on that this prophecy predicts.
He causes all, both small and great, free and bond, rich and poor, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads, and that no man might buy or sell save he that had the mark. Now how will the people of God get through this time? Let me say very simply friends that this persecution which we are studying, is going to bring us into two special times of trouble. One is after the close of probation, during the time the plagues are falling, I studied that with you. That’s the great time of trouble. But previous to that, during this time of the enforcement of this mark, there will what sometimes we call a short time of trouble, or a little time of trouble. During this time this economic squeeze will be on in a special way; continuing on into the great time of trouble, and finally resulting in a death decree. You’ll find the death decree mentioned in the 15th verse.
… [He’s going to] cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. – Revelation 13:15
That’s what it says, there’s going to be a death decree. Now, I want to ask you something friends, which comes first, the economic boycott or the death decree? — The economic boycott. You can see how that would be certainly. If economic measures were going to be used, they would be used before the people were killed that they were supposed to put the squeeze on. The squeeze begins with the lesser measures. As these prove ineffectual, harder and more cruel measures will be invoked. So first comes this boycott, and later the death decree. Now, how are we going to live through this time? Do you think the people of God will take this mark? Oh, no, they won’t take the mark. Because the 14th chapter of Revelation and the 19th verse shows us the warning of God:
… the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God… – Revelation 14:9-10
We would rather meet the wrath of men than the wrath of God. Do you agree? That’s the point. We would rather have the favor of God than the favor of man. We love Jesus more than we fear the dragon.
Now, turn to the 15th chapter of Revelation, and notice the wonderful song of victory that the Remnant will sing:
… I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten [what?] the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb… – Revelation 15:2-3
So who’s going to win, those who break God’s law, or those who keep it? –Those who keep it. — Those who take the mark of the beast, or those who reject it? – Those who reject it.
But now I come again to this practical question; How are we going to get through this time, how are we going to get through the time of the death decree? How are we going to get through this time of economic boycott that precedes it? Now I do not know, and nobody else knows, just how long that boycott will last. It’s going to last more than a day or two. It would take longer than a day or two for the squeeze to have any effect, wouldn’t it? If you really believe that the time is coming when you couldn’t buy or sell, I wonder what you’d be thinking about? I wonder what you’d be doing to prepare…?
Join us next week, to gain more principles for economic survival. Invite a friend, and we’ll see you then…
With a future so certain and near, we must have a spirit of urgency. It is time to separate from this world’s collapsing economic system, and learn to depend on God’s heavenly way of living. >> Learn More
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.