A Refuge From the Storm

John J. Blanchard
September 14, 2015
Feast of Trumpets

If you like to title your sermons, today’s is called A Refuge From the Storm.

The Feast of Trumpets, the day that we are keeping today, is the first holy day of the fall holy days. As such, it is a transition from the spring holy days, which have much to do with the Church and the calling of the firstfruits, into the period of time of the great harvest. That, which we know, has to do with the innumerable multitude of people who find their way into conversion, and they receive God’s Holy Spirit. It is a transition from the spring small harvest to the fall huge harvest.

The Feast of Tabernacles is a very interesting time that follows the Feast of Trumpets, but Trumpets is really the start of that big fall holy day harvest. Something changes at Trumpets. Like I said, it’s a transitionary holy day.

We understand that Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th, but He was born in the fall. He was born in the early fall, somewhere around the Feast of Trumpets, and perhaps even on the Feast of Trumpets. We know that the second coming of Jesus Christ will mirror that first coming. He will come in the fall on the last trump.

The Church itself looks forward to the fulfillment of this day because of the resurrection—because of the sacrifices that Church has made down through the ages. The Church is looking forward to a reward and a rest from its labors. Of course, we are looking forward to seeing our Savior and being like Him. There is a lot of joy associated with the Feast of Trumpets, but there is also a fair amount of sadness.

SOME WILL NOT BE READY FOR CHRIST
The Church has a very important obligation to get ready for Jesus Christ, and not everyone does. That is the unfortunate truth about Jesus Christ’s second coming. A significant number of people are not ready who should have been ready. I am not going to dwell on that today. I want to look at Matthew chapter 24, just briefly, and Matthew 25, and then we will get on with the rest of the sermon.

Let’s take a look at Matthew chapter 24. I want to start in verse 36. Speaking of the return of Jesus Christ, He says this about Himself. Matthew 24, verse 36: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

This is a very strong warning to believers here, because we are the ones looking forward to Christ’s return. Much of the world still doesn’t understand that Jesus Christ is our Savior. It has very little knowledge really about what this day—the Feast of Trumpets—and His return have to do with mankind’s future.

Now let’s go to Matthew 25, where it is also speaking to the Church. Matthew 25, beginning in verse 1: “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”

It’s another strong warning that it looks like at least half of the people at that point in time when Christ comes are not ready for His return! That makes the Feast of Trumpets a day that should be joyful, but it is tinged with some sadness. It also means it is very crucial for the Church to realize we must not waste time getting ready for the return of Jesus Christ.

Each year we have a reminder of how crucial the time is and how crucially important Trumpets is, and that is the period of time between Trumpets and Atonement. At Atonement it truly is finished for whoever was left behind, as we saw in these Scriptures, to have changed at all. You have ten days, and we don’t know exactly what that period of time represents. It is probably ten years. Whoever is left behind has more or less a second chance, but that’s it. Those who go up with Christ at His return don’t have to worry about the second death. We are told that in Revelation.

EXAMINE OUR LIVES
This is a crucial period of time in history in the future. But in the history of the Church now, we need to use the fall holy days as something similar to Passover where we examine ourselves. We really work on correcting the things that we have wrong with ourselves. We get ready for the Day of Atonement, which is just ahead. That concludes for the Church what we can do really for God in His holy year. Then we are off to the Feast of Tabernacles where we enjoy the fruits of our physical labor and our spiritual growth. The sadness is that there wasn’t the spiritual growth during the year, but don’t get down about that. Obviously, it looks like Christ is not coming this Feast of Trumpets; therefore we have some time. But it is precious little! That is all I want to say. It’s an admonition to take the time seriously and not waste it.

I want to focus the rest of this sermon on what the Feast of Trumpets means to the world, because you remember I said this is a transitionary holy day. We are transitioning from the firstfruits and God’s work with the Church to what He is going to do with the world at large for this massive fall harvest that we are about to experience. Unfortunately too many preachers, whether they are in God’ Church or other Christian affiliations or just people trying to capitalize on fear, have viewed and taught the world to fear Christ’s coming. They portray Christ’s coming as a horrible event for the masses and a happy time for just a very few, but that is a misunderstanding of prophecy. We have talked about that many times, so I won’t go into all the prophecies that have been misunderstood. I want to focus on the hopeful part for the world that this day will play.

UNFOUNDED FEAR
It is not just death to those who are “unsaved,” to use a Protestant explanation, or death to unbelievers or massive destruction to planet earth. That is not what Christ is about! That is not His purpose. That’s not the Father’s purpose, and it never was. But these false teachings have engendered a lot of fear and anxiety throughout the earth. There’s been a misunderstanding. People are even turning away from Christianity thinking it is just too horrible to contemplate a God that is that harsh.

In some Christian circles people say, “bring it on!” They have the mentality that “I am ready.” I am getting raptured, or I am going to the place of safety. Who cares about everyone else! To them God says, he who seeks to save his own life, will lose it.

In some Islamic circles who believe prophecy is from Jesus Christ, they don’t just say, “bring it on,” they say, “we’re going to help bring it on!” We are going to hasten all this destruction and do God some favors! We will make things go faster than even God is anticipating. Let’s help Him get this over with! Of course, with that spirit, they go on to maim and to kill.

To some despots and tyrants around the world who don’t believe in God and they look at the folly of the Christians and the Islamic people, they say let’s manipulate them. Let’s turn them against each other. Let’s use their crazy fears and anxieties to get what we want in the world to gain power for ourselves!

The result of all this chaos and turmoil is a world that really seems to be coming unglued. Satan is having a field day, and Satan is not a country. If you are listening to this and you are from the Islamic persuasion, Satan is not a country. He is a spirit being, but he certainly influences countries. He influences leaders, and he influences religions. He is having a field day on the earth manipulating everybody, because he is the one who really wants everybody destroyed. He wants God to fail in His mission to save the earth and to save mankind for a glorious future.

If you have been following the news lately, the world has more refugees today than at any time since World War II! Millions are fleeing in fear from the despots and the people who are using fanatical versions of their religion to cause war and animosity around the world. Millions fear the crazy and chaotic place that the world has become, but where do they go? We see the news with people fleeing here and there. Where do they go? From country to country, crossing seas, and risking life and limb, religious fanaticism and despotic ruthlessness is what wrought all of this around the world, but it is Satan who influences those behaviors. They have made the world a very unstable and dangerous place.

Waves of refugees are washing up on the shores, and some having drowned. Surges of people are going across borders, and countries are almost helpless to stop them without using severe violence themselves. They are getting overwhelmed! We are talking about millions of people running to and fro to get away from all this fanaticism and to get away from all the violence! They risk it all to have a place they can call home and a place they can raise their children. That’s all they want. They want a place of peace and safety, and they are in many cases turned back and turned away or put in camps that you and I would find worse than a prison. They have to live under the heat of the sun and the elements, but to them even that’s better than living under these tyrannical fanatics or the despots who treat them so viciously.

The world is grappling with this problem. Leaders and people of conscience are trying to help, but they are overwhelmed. There is just so much money, and there’s just so much space. How do you deal with these people who need health care and education? They need food. They need shelter.

Yet the evil force that is pushing them is relentless. The pressure will not stop, and it will not let up. Every time a group of refugees finds safety and solace within a country, more say, well, then I’m going there, too! You can see the hopelessness that the world is in.

GIVE ME YOUR HUDDLED MASSES
Since the 1800’s, the United States has been the world’s relief valve. You could actually say before that. But in the late 1800’s we really became the defender of the oppressed, of the poor masses on the earth. The United States stood for liberty, freedom, justice for all, and an opportunity. Other Western countries have also followed suite, but it has been the United States that has stood as a beacon of freedom to the whole world.

Since the 1890’s millions have been greeted by the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. There is a bronze plaque at the base of the statue that contains a poem by Emma Lazarus. It is a poem called The New Colossus. That poem has been there since 1903, and I would like to quote that poem.

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, with conquering limbs astride from land to land; here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand a mighty woman with a torch, whose flame is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. ‘Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!’ cries she with silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’”

That was a hope for the world. People felt, if I can’t live here, certainly I can go there. I can take my family there. And if I can’t afford to go there, maybe they will come here and save us from tyranny. Over and over again the United States and her allies have gone overseas and rescued those who were oppressed. But now an anxious world looks to this colossus, and they see a colossus just a shadow of her former self—weakened internally by moral decay, saddled with huge debts, full of internal division and strife, people consumed with the desire to be entertained, and too many of them worshiping the gods of technology, commerce, and leisure.

The world is about to realize where their real hope rests. It is not in a physical country. It’s in a God who is merciful to all countries.

The fulfillment of God’s promises are embodied in this holy day. Indeed all His holy days comprise His plan for mankind, but this is the transitionary holy day that opens the hope that we have to the entire world. This is a day when God’s trumpet sounds the end battles that destroy Satan’s power and set a captive world free.

CAPTIVITY BY SATAN
Turn to Isaiah chapter 14. You can read all of Isaiah 14 to get a feel for it, but it speaks specifically about Satan here. Isaiah chapter 14, and we will start in verse 12: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!”

It is Satan who has weakened the nations.

Continuing in verse 13 of Isaiah 14: “For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation…’”

That means he wants to be above all the other angels—the stars of God, and the congregation is the Church. He wants to be a god himself!

Continuing on in verse 13: “‘…on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit. Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?’”

RELEASE BY CHRIST
Satan will not release his captives—not willingly. He will be forced to, and that’s what this day through to the Day of Atonement is picturing. It’s the coming of our Savior to release the world from the captivity of Satan. We will talk more about that on the Day of Atonement.

Now let’s go to Isaiah chapter 49. Here the Scriptures explain something very interesting for the world and to the Church. Salvation isn’t just for a few, and help isn’t just for a few. Isaiah 49, verse 1: “‘Listen, O coastlands, to Me, and take heed, you peoples from afar! The Lord has called Me from the womb [speaking of Jesus Christ]; from the matrix of My mother he has made mention of My name. And He has made My mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand He has hidden Me, and made Me a polished shaft; in His quiver He has hidden Me.’ And He said to me, ‘You are My servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.’ Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain, I have spent My strength for nothing and in vain; yet surely My just reward is with the Lord, and My work with My God.’”

Jesus Christ was born from the tribes of Israel, of the tribe of Judah. As our Savior, He was born of a physical woman, but, of course, it was God the Father who brought Him and sent Him to this earth. He says, I have worked in vain. Go on to read verse 5, and we will see.
Verse 5 of Isaiah 49: “And now the Lord says, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel is gathered to Him…”

God the Father sent Jesus Christ to, of course, help Israel and Judah, and He is feeling like, what did I accomplish with them? That’s what He is asking here. It’s almost a rhetorical question. This was written before He was born.

Continue reading in verse 5 of Isaiah 49: “…(For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and My God shall be My strength), indeed He says [this is God the Father talking to Him now], ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

God the Father says it never was My intent for You to save just Israel and Judah. You are going to save the entire world! That’s what this day is picturing. It is opening up God’s salvation to everyone!

If you drop down to verse 8, we read: “Thus says the Lord: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard You, and in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages; that You may say to the prisoners, “Go forth,” to those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.” They shall feed along the roads, and their pastures shall be on all desolate heights. They shall neither hunger nor thirst, neither heat nor sun shall strike them; for He who has mercy on them will lead them, even by the springs of water He will guide them. I will make each of My mountains a road, and My highways shall be elevated. Surely these shall come from afar; look! Those from the north and the west, and these from the land of Sinim.’ Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted.”

Everybody is going to have a chance, and the prisoners will be set free. Satan will not keep his iron-fisted grasp on the world much longer. The rewards will be awesome, and the time will be wonderful.

Go back to Isaiah chapter 2, verse 2: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.”

God’s nations—His spiritual nation and His physical nation of Israel—will rise up above all other nations, and they will flow to it for the knowledge of God.

Verse 3 of Isaiah 2: “Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

There will be no more fanatical terrorists and no more tyrannical despots. The weapons of war will be used for implements of peace.

Isaiah chapter 9 tells us this is what God’s plan was all along. Isaiah chapter 9, verse 6: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

That is the absence of war, so this day of the Feast of Trumpets isn’t about killing people everywhere. It is about bringing peace to the earth and disarming Satan. Of course, if there are people who do not want peace, God has ways to dispose of them. When you look at the refugees on the news, by and large the vast majority of mankind wants peace. They just don’t know how to attain it or where to get it!

Isaiah 9, verse 7: “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

God’s holy days will be fulfilled to the nth degree, and there will be peace. That peace will grow forever!

Isaiah 11, verse 9: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

The truth gets rid of these errors that lead to all the chaos that we see. The truth gets rid of fanaticism, violence, the mockery of those who say there is no God. The truth will bring us peace. It is literally up to someone on this earth to begin to preach the gospel of peace and good news to the world to prepare for Jesus Christ’s return.

Let’s go to the New Testament to Romans chapter 8. The world literally doesn’t know where to turn right now and who to look to, but it’s not going to stay that way. Romans 8, verse 18: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

God’s Church—the obedient ones—some will be ready.

Continue in verse 19 of Romans 8: “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.”

It’s the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets that reveals them at the resurrection. It reveals the sons of God.

Verse 20: “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”
It is not the liberty of a physical nation on earth. It is not the liberty portrayed so wonderfully by the Statue of Liberty. But it is the true liberty that gets rid of Satan—the enslaver. Satan is the one who pushes mankind to do all these crazy things.

Continuing in verse 21: “…because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”

That is what this day pictures when Jesus Christ does come and there is a resurrection. Jesus Christ says to those who are ready, I will give you a new body, and you will help Me in the battle against Satan and his demons between that day and Atonement. The world will be full of the knowledge of God and will begin to lay down their weapons. They will understand what God’s plan was all about all this time.

Now He has been working with mankind through a few that He calls the firstfruits, so that the many—the whole world—can be set free! This is a promise that God made long ago, and He never breaks His promises! Let’s go to Hebrews chapter 6.

People like to swear an oath on something when they are giving their word. They take a pledge or they say I promise to do thus and such. If God says He is going to do something and He promises, what would He take an oath on?

Let’s go to Hebrews chapter 6, verse 13. “For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, ‘Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.’ And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil…”

We have this hope because God promised and swore on two immutable things. We were told in verses 13 and 14 He swore on Himself! There are only two things that never change in the universe: God the Father and Jesus Christ. He said, We promise to bring you a refuge. That’s why I titled this sermon a refuge from the storm.

A REAL REFUGE
The world is looking for a refuge, and indeed that’s what a refugee is. A refugee is looking for a place to live in safety and security. God says I promise. I give you hope that I will make a refuge here in this world. The world’s real refuge is Jesus Christ and the plan that He and the Father have come up with. The fulfillment of the plan of God will bring a refuge to all of mankind and will get rid of Satan the devil. A refuge is a safe, secure place. In just a few days the Feast of Tabernacles is going to portray us dwelling in peace, safety, and prosperity. That is the way the whole world will be very shortly. Let’s look at a few Scriptures that I call the scriptures of refuge.

Let’s turn to Psalm chapter 9, verse 6: “O enemy, destructions are finished forever [this is news for Satan here]! And you have destroyed cities; even their memory has perished. But the Lord shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness, and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness. The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

I say to those who are refugees on this earth and to those who are discouraged, seek the real safety and refuge in God and Jesus Christ in listening to His word and obeying Him. You will have the peace inside that no nation could give you and no amount of money could provide, but the truth can give you.

Turn to Psalm chapter 46. We are going to read the entire Psalm. It’s not very long. Psalm 46, verse 1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of host is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”

There is safety and security coming, and those who will not listen will have their weapons destroyed. This is a certain thing. God says these things on two immutable things. They are promises on Him and Jesus Christ, and They never go back on Their word.

Psalm 48, verse 1: “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. God is in her palaces; He is known as her refuge.”

There is a physical Jerusalem, and there is a spiritual Jerusalem. The Church is to be part of that spiritual refuge for all mankind, teaching them the truth.

God says He offers protection to all who seek Him. That is what we saw. Let’s go to Psalm 91. It is often called the Psalm of protection and of safety.

Psalm 91, starting in verse 1: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.’”

Up to this point that secret place has been in His spiritual temple, as He was working with the firstfruits. He says, I have protected you. I have cared for you.

Verse 3 of Psalm 91: “Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence.”

This is speaking of Satan. He is the fowler.

Verse 4: “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”

He sends His angels to help us. That’s His feathers. They bring us the truth and messages from Him.

Psalm 91, verse 5: “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.”

We should not be afraid. There is peace and refuge coming. But if we seek God now, we can have that peace inside, and we can literally be protected and helped through the difficult times that the world is going through. We can learn about God and grow and watch what mighty things He is about to do when He fulfills what this day stands for, the Feast of Trumpets and the return of Jesus Christ.

The last Scripture in Psalms that I would like to look at is Psalm 142. It is another short Psalm that I would like to read all of. Psalm 142, verse 1: “I cry out to the Lord with my voice; with my voice to the Lord I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble. “

Don’t look to a physical nation to solve your problems. Cry out to God. He can use the nation and use people to help you, but cry out to God first. Put your faith in Him and be willing to obey Him when He shows you the truth. These fanatical errors that are out there are contrary to God’s plan.

Continue in Psalm 142, verse 3: “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then you knew my path. In the way in which I walk they have secretly set a snare for me. Look on my right hand and see, for there is no one who acknowledges me; refuge has failed me; no one cares for my soul. I cried out to You, O Lord: I said, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low; deliver me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Your name; the righteous shall surround me, for You shall deal bountifully with me.’”

We can be set free from Satan’s grasp. We can set our souls free. We should pray for that all the time. Cry out to God as a refuge in the land of the living. He can protect us now. He can help us now.

PREPARE FOR CHRIST
The Church has an important role to play in all of this. We need to prepare ourselves, and that’s why I spoke of examining ourselves. We need to repent. We need to get clean. We need to be able to hear that certain sound when the Feast of Trumpets really does happen. We want to be among those who go up and help settle this dispute with Satan.

If for some reason we are left behind, we need to use that time wisely as a second chance to accept God’s salvation. Right now why don’t we plan on being part of the solution and not part of the problem? The world is groaning and waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. We know they will be revealed. Let’s turn to the last book of the Bible. Turn to Revelation chapter 19.

Revelation chapter 19, verse 6: “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.’”

Maybe half aren’t ready for the marriage supper, like we saw in Matthew 5, but there are others who are!

Continuing in verse 8 of Revelation 19: “And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”

These are the acts we did before Christ returned. We need to have righteous acts now.

Verse 9: “Then he said to me, ‘Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true sayings of God.’ And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, ‘See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’”

We need to understand the prophecy correctly and bring good news to the world. We need to bring them hope and bring them a sure refuge that they can have peace now and an abundant life now and in the future.

I want to conclude with Romans chapter 10, verse 14: “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’ But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our report?’ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: ‘Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.’”

It will happen, brethren, as sure as the sun rose today! The Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled. There will be a refuge for the world in a time of remarkable and wonderful peace. We need to be ready to help the world learn now where that peace is going to come from. It comes from two immutable things: God the Father and Jesus Christ, and the fulfillment of Their beautiful holy days.

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