THE EARTHLY INHERITANCE SERIES of BIBLE SUBJECTS
Various Bible study guides in subjects pertaining to
New Earth prophecy, as taught by Paul Phelps.
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD,
they shall inherit the earth. Psalm 37:9
REMNANT REFUGE for some Last Day Believers
Bible quotes are from the New Revised Standard Version
except for my own translations or as otherwise indicated.
Not all endtime believers are destined as martyrs;
there are some who will survive into the Kingdom.
A Bible study project by Paul Phelps.
After several years of study this writing was completed in 2010.
Apostle Paul says that at the Lord’s return, we who are alive will be caught up
to God (1 Thes. 4:13-18); and the Bible also says we will return to earth with him
to assist in ruling the nations in his earthly kingdom (Rev. 2:26).
There is now much discussion among Bible readers about the timing of this
‘catching away’ event. This topic is complicated by several theology questions,
some of which are hard to resolve. Nevertheless God’s promise is true, and we
can be confident of it. A more useful question for us is this: What should we do
to prepare for the last-day events that we find ourselves in?
Jesus said the last days will be like the days of Noah (Matt. 24:37). We are in
the last days because the world-wide signs around us proclaim it. We must give
serious attention to our Lord’s prophecy about the last days, in Luke 21:34-36,
Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with
dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life,
and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap.
For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.
Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape
all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.
The Bible says that God shall protect some of his “elect remnant” for survival
through the endtime tribulation. Matthew 24:21-22,
For at that time there will be great suffering, such as not been
from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.
And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved;*
but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
The Book of Revelation reveals events of the endtime. In Chapter Twelve, the
Kingdom gospel (a woman who is 'our Mother;' Gal. 4:26-27) is shown fleeing to
a place of safety for a surviving remnant on earth.
v 6 ... and the woman fled into the wilderness,
where she has a place prepared by God, so that there
she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred sixty days.
And then, Satan, the dragon, tries to kill the woman...
v 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman;
it opened its mouth and swallowed the river
that the dragon had poured from his mouth.
v 17 Then the dragon was angry with the woman,
and went off to make war on the rest of her children, those who
keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus.
Zechariah’s prophecies have a primary application to Israel, and also have an
expanded world application; (Israel serves as a prophetic pattern for the world).
In the tribulation, Israel’s population will be cut to one-third. And the plagues in
Revelation will together diminish the world population to one-third; Zech. 13:8-9,
In the whole land (earth), says the LORD, two-thirds shall be cut off
and perish, and one-third shall be left alive. And I will put this third
into (through) the fire, refine them as one refines silver, and test them
as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them.
I will say, They are my people, and they will say, The LORD is our God.
Therefore we may say two-and-half billion will survive to enter into the Kingdom
without dying—and a remnant of elect believers will be among the survivors.
This is the endtime remnant that survives the tribulation: "Seek the LORD, all you
humble of the land, who do his commands; seek righteousness, seek humility;
perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the LORD’s wrath." (Zephaniah 2:3).
The prophet Micah foretells Judah's Babylonian captivity—but this is symbolic
and prophetic also for believers; God is now forming his remnant. Micah 4:7-10,
The lame I will make the remnant,
and those who were cast off, a strong nation;
and the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion now and for evermore.
And you, O tower of the flock, hill of daughter Zion, to you it shall come,
the former dominion shall come, the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem.
Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in you?
Has your counsellor perished, that pangs have seized you like a woman
in labour? Writhe and groan, O daughter Zion, like a woman in labour;
for now you shall go forth from the city and camp in the open country;
you shall go to Babylon. There you shall be rescued,
there the LORD will redeem you from the hands of your enemies.
(NOTE: Prophetically the terms Zion, daughter Zion, and Jerusalem refer to God's
endtime Christian believers as the earthly kingdom remnant.) The prophecies
of Joel will be finally fulfilled in the last days before Christ's return. Joel 2:28-32,
v 28 Then afterwards I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and
your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and
your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female slaves,
in those days, I will pour out my spirit.
v 30 I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire
and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the
moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.
v 32 Then everyone who calls on the name of the LORD
shall be saved (survive); for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said,
and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.
(NOTE: For New covenant believers, the names Mount Zion and Jerusalem have
additional symbolic significance beyond the literal.) As New covenant believers
our salvation is in Heavenly Zion (Rev. 14:1-5) and New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:1-4),
and some believers will survive the tribulation. 2 Kings 19:31, and Isaiah 37:32,
For from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion
a band of survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
In the last days God will provide for his people as a shepherd tends his flock.
Shepherd your people with your staff, the flock that belongs to you,
which lives alone in a forest in the midst of a garden land;
let them feed in Bashan and Gilead* as in the days of old.
*(Bashan and Gilead were fertile pasture for Israel’s tribal land in the east)
The Bible foresees pastoral conditions for his remnant people in the endtime,
and at the right time we will be called to refuge places under God’s protection.
Thus says the LORD: In a time of favour I have answered you,
on a day of salvation I have helped you; I have kept you
and given you as a covenant to the people, to establish the land,
to apportion the desolate heritages; saying to the prisoners,
‘Come out,’ to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’
They shall feed along the ways, on all the trails shall be their pasture;
they shall not hunger or thirst, neither scorching wind nor sun shall
strike them down, for he who has pity on them will lead them,
and by springs of water will guide them.
And I will turn all my mountains into a road, and my highways
shall be raised up. Lo, these shall come from far away, and lo,
these from the north and from the seacoasts, (YAM, ‘sea’ or ‘seaward’)
and these from the land of the Chinese. (SINIM, ‘Chinese people’)
(translation notes are mine)
The endtime remnant is global, so there are many refuge places. Jer. 23:3-4,
Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands
where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold,
and they shall be fruitful and multiply.
I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them,
and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed,
nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.
(verses 5-6 continue about the return of Jesus as King)
God has said that a remnant will live through the tribulation into the Kingdom
but it is also true that many will die as martyrs (see Rev. 6:9-11; Daniel 7:21-22).
They are assured of Resurrection at Christ’s return. Rev. 20:4,6,
v 4 Then I saw thrones,
and those seated on them were given authority to judge.
I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded
for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God.
They had not worshipped the beast or its image
and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands.
They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
v 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection.
Over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests
of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
(NOTE: In v 4— 'those seated on thrones with authority as judges' are the Christian
Church saints who were taken up earlier and since then are already in heaven.)
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