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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
Brother Mark S. Watson