God's Protection

Today, we are going to take a break from the news (and there is an awful lot of it) to talk about getting God's protection in the months and years ahead. Our God, as opposed to the god of this world, but rather Our God has told those who love and obey him that this world will undergo great tribulation. A horrible period of trial, travails,  disasters, suffering and yes, death. While many scholars like to give the time frame as a specific time period - 42 months, 7 years, etc. the truth is this tribulation is likely to simply grow upon the world as it continues to reach peak population, peak resource usage, peak wickedness and peak folly. Then yes, the greatest part of that tribulation will probably last that final 42 months that the beast and false prophet are allowed to reign upon the earth. In short this paper will try and look at how to obtain God's protection in the times ahead. I write this to keep you in faith not fear. Too many bloggers and internet Christians are feeding on a diet of constant fear-mongering. We must focus on God and what he can and will do for us if we obey his voice.

I think that the first thing that needs to be stated is that if anyone thinks God's protection means that trouble, tribulation or even persecution will not touch us, then that person has another 'think' coming to them. There will be no way around some of these things. Being here will make us at least partially vulnerable to the trials and tribulations of the world around us. So before we begin, what do I mean about God's protection?

I mean God's ability to keep us and our souls unto the day of Salvation without putting upon us more than we are able to bear. That God, in his wisdom and love will keep us, strengthen us, guide us into the kingdom of heaven and from the wiles, traps and works of the devil so that they will not prevent us from entering into the kingdom with great shouts of joy and thanksgiving; something that the hordes of hell are working overtime in preventing.

This is the key, it's not in avoiding trouble and suffering. These things are a given for all the sons of men and tribulation (troubles, ordeals) are part of what Christ promised his sheep. There is no way around it if you belong to Christ.

But some are destined to different trials than others and thankfully, God knows just what we can bear.

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.  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.
(Rev 3:7-10)

This was one of the highly favored and un-rebuked Churches within the seven that existed in Asia during the time of John. Christ noted their works and that they had kept to Christ's word. In other words, they were obedient to him. They did as he commanded. It was for this reason the Lord made the promise that he would keep them from the hour of temptation, trial.

This is a very important promise and one of the key conditionalities that grant us a high level of divine protection. I must warn you, that it is not a guarantee of a trouble free life or one without persecution. If we notice in the same seven Churches section in Revelation, we get another sense for those who are praised by our Lord and were obedient to him. Yet their fate before going to glory was quite different.

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
(Rev 2:8-11)


Here the faithfulness of the Lord's people would not protect them from serious tribulation. Even though they were faithful and obedient, yet and still they had to undergo a serious trial. They had to go into prison and suffer for ten days. The implication here was that their imprisonment would precede their execution/death. The commandment was that they should be faithful even to death and then they would be blessed with the crown of life.

The key here I think is in the very last section of this letter to Smyrna and one that most Christians take for granted. That our salvation is less to do with our comfort, pleasures, careers, marriages down here on earth but making certain that we do not wind up being hurt by the second death. This is and was the entire basic purpose of our salvation, to be saved from that horrible fate that shall befall all of the unredeemed and fallen sons of men. Christ came to save us from that fate and those who obey his word will not be hurt by it. Recognizing what God has promised us and what he has NOT promised us will help us to avoid a lot of confusion and unbelief in the face of fiery trials.

I think a look at what one of the old testament saints and one who was greatly beloved of God had to go through is a perfect example. With Daniel, it was both both his faith in God and as the passage shows almost certainly a great deal of political jealousy by his fellow administrators that got him into serious trouble. This is a rather long passage but I will post it all in the hopes you read it and get a feel for what was going on in the Royal court which like all centers of power is full of intrigue, maneuverings and backstabbings.

It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom an hundred and twenty princes, which should be over the whole kingdom; And over these three presidents; of whom Daniel was first: that the princes might give accounts unto them, and the king should have no damage. Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Then these presidents and princes assembled together to the king, and said thus unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions. Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Wherefore king Darius signed the writing and the decree. Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime. Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. Then they came near, and spake before the king concerning the king's decree; Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered and said, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not. Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day. Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him. Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statute which the king establisheth may be changed.
(Dan 6:1-15)

The long and short of this is that the King was reorganizing the kingdom's administration in a very significant way. Because Daniel had shown himself to be exceptionally wise and as the passage says, had an 'excellent spirit' in him. Daniel had arisen to one of the top positions. The passage seems to indicate that Daniel was really the first man in the kingdom, after Darius.

Daniel was doing a great job, an excellent one and they could not find anything against this man of God. Yet his enemies went into their secret chambers and plotted to take Daniel down. They were going to use Daniel's devotion and his worship of God against him.

Now keep in mind the not so subtle implications of the accusations brought against Daniel who was favored by the king more than these malcontents. So they hatched a plot. They hatched one that they knew would ensnare Daniel who was devoted to his God. What happened to Daniel here was not happenstance, it was a concerted effort to destroy him by conspirators who were jealous of him. Moreover, Daniel understood the plot and made a point as soon as the decree was signed, to go into his chambers and pray like he always had. They did not like this 'foreigner' with so much influence with the King.

The king was trapped. He unwisely signed this law he did not realize was designed to take down his right hand man and after he signed it, he realized when all of Daniel's enemies stood before the King pointing the finger at Daniel, that they had undermined the King's prerogatives and brought division and contention into his court. The king however was clearly on Daniel's side and while he was forced to comply with this evil law he was tricked into signing, he wished Daniel well even while he was forced to place him in the lion's den.

The King then prayed and fasted for Daniel.

God's love for his servant as well as the King's prayers served him well. The lions suddenly became allergic to Daniel and did not molest him. Well, we all know the rest of the story - Daniel's enemies had to lie in the very same pit that they had dug for Daniel and did not live long enough to learn a lesson from their mistake.

The lesson here is this. Daniel had done everything right and was greatly respected. But his high place earned him the hatred of the "jealous Nellie's" in the court. As a result of their plot they got Daniel into the lions den but it availed them nothing in the long run. God protected Daniel and had someone else who was looking out for him, namely the King. Daniel was tried but was strongly protected by this God during the trial.

I don't think I need to recount the ordeal that Shadrach Meshach and Abednego endured. They too refused to give up the worship of their God and as a result were placed into a fiery furnace. Yet their God did something amazing... they were protected right within the fire! Here once again, the trial and persecution that was endured was a direct result of their worship of God. In both this instance and with Daniel's ordeal in the lion's den, the worship of God was the key issue. God's true servants will not bow down before idols and they will always continue to worship God. Let's take a look at this passage in Daniel chapter Three.



Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up? Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God. Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort. Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.
(Dan 3:14-30)



This passage, is a type for we Christians who shall be alive when the Mark of the Beast occurs. There is

The worship of an image.

The threat of death of one does not worship the image

The number Six Six and Six are encoded in the whole ceremony of idolic worship.

Let's take a quick look at the Image and it's dimensions.


Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
(Dan 3:1)


The image was 60 cubits in height and was 6 cubits wide. Then we have six instruments mentioned (three times within the passage - 666  - see Dan 3:5, 3:7, 3:15) to be sounded at the time of worship.

This is a clear type of what is coming for all of us who are alive when the 42 month antichrist system comes into power. Note that not a single one of God's servants was harmed, no matter how hot the king made the furnace. Those who were stoking it got burned, but not the servants of the Lord. They went into the fire, but were not harmed. Did not our Lord promise something very similar in the last days before his coming?

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
In your patience possess ye your souls.
(Luk 21:17-19)



We are not to fear those who kill the body and this was the lesson that Daniel and the three Hebrew administrators learned. They feared God above all. Above the fires, the lions, the plotting court, even the king. They feared the Lord and in so doing and keeping true faith with God, they were saved through (not from) their ordeals.

The key I think here for all of us to remember is this. God is sovereign. He has destined some of us to die in prison (Smyrna) others to live out our lives in quiet service, others to stand before Kings and rulers to bear witness, still others to be martyred. There is no set rulebook for avoiding trials and tribulations. The key is to ensure that we are in God's will. Being in God's will does not mean a perfect set of circumstances.

Think on Daniel for a moment. Were his circumstances perfect? Hardly! He was brought a slave to the a foreign court and while most Biblical scholars don't like to bring this up, Daniel may very well have been a eunuch as that was common practice in those days for slaves who worked around royalty. Like Nehemiah we have no record of his wife or children, only their lifelong service to the Babylonian King. Each prayed earnestly for the restoration of their people to their homeland. No, Daniel was not in what he saw as an ideal situation. But Daniel was in God's will and was in a place that God could use him. The same with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The same with Christ, Paul, Peter and the rest.

God knows all and knows the end from the beginning. He knows where we are and we must know what he expects from us and then do it. That is how we get God's protection for whatever circumstances we are facing.

I write this today for those of you who may be in situations that you never thought you would be facing, betrayed by your friends, countrymen family and stuck out in some kind of exile that you must now face.

FEAR NOT! God is with you and has a job for you to do. I offer this Godly advice to you.

Stop with the pity party - stop weeping and whining. Get up, stand up like a man and do whatever it is God commands you to do. The key for you... all of you is that faith not fear; obedience, not excuses are the path to life and God's divine guidance, favor and protection.

May God grant all who read this the wisdom, faith and fortitude to go wheresoever the Holy Spirit leads you and do so in holiness, righteousness and faith!

By

Brother Mark S. Watson


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