Gathering Together and Great Escapes
The Gathering Together In The Great Assembly
1 Kings 8:65 – “Solomon held the festival at that time, and all Israel with him, a great assembly”
Psalm 22:25 – “From Yahweh comes my praise in the great assembly.”
Psalm 35:18 – “Then I will thank Yahweh in front of the great assembly. I will praise you before all the people.”
Psalm 40:10 – “I have not kept the good news of Yahweh’s justice hidden in my heart; I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power. I have told everyone in the great assembly.”
Older Covenant scripture speaks to us about “gathering together” [qesheth shakak H7198 – H7918] as the “great assembly” [rab qahal H7228 -H6951] in many different places.
According to Nehemiah and Ezra, every seven years, during the Sabbath rest for the land, all of the people would gather at the Temple Mount for a great assembly, at which time they would celebrate the appointed feasts, read the Torah Scroll received by the King from the High Priest and also any letters received from the King in Babylon which were given to the Governor by the High Priest, the Kohen Ha’Gadol [H3548 – H1419]. This is mirrored in the Newer Covenant in Revelation 5:5-7 which tells us that the Lamb enters the platform at the Temple and reads from the seven sealed scroll.
— Zephaniah 2:1-2 warns us to gather ourselves together, yes, gather, before the decree (time of wrath) takes effect.
— Deuteronomy 32:21 tells us that an undesirable nation (the Church) will be raised up to provoke Israel to jealousy.
— Daniel 9:27 tells us that this undesirable nation is to be gathered together before the Day of Yahweh’s wrath.
Newer Covenant Parallels
Hebrews 12:22-24 – “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of Elohim, the Heavenly Yerushalayim, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in Heaven, and to Yahweh, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Yeshua, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.”
— We are to attend the “general assembly”; to assemble all together.
Ephesians 1:10 – “His goal was to carry out his plan, when the right time came, that all things in Heaven and on Earth would be gathered together in Yeshua as the head.”
— We are “gathered together in Yeshua”; all together with Yeshua as our head, our King, our Lord.
2 Thessalonians 2:1 – “Now we request you, brothers and sisters, with regard to the coming of our Lord Yeshua Ha’Mashiach and our gathering together to him.”
— We are “gathering together to him.”; a complete collecting of all who call Yeshua Lord.
Hebrews 10:25 – “You should not stay away from the gathering meetings, as some are doing, but you should gather together and encourage each other, even more so as you see the day of Yahweh’s wrath approaching.”
— We “gather together”; for encouragement as the Day of Wrath approaches.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 – “Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with the resurrected dead in Yeshua in the clouds to meet Yeshua in the air, and so we will always be with him.”
— We are “caught up”; seized or plucked up by Yeshua to be with him forever.
Luke 24:33 – “They got up at once, returned to Yerushalayim and found the Eleven gathered together with their friends”
John 20:19 – “In the evening that same day, the first day of the week, when the talmidim were gathered together behind locked doors out of fear of the Judeans, Yeshua came, stood in the middle and said, “Shalom aleikhem!”
Acts 2:1 – “The festival of Shavu‘ot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place.”
In Revelation 4 & 5, the saints gather together with the angels in a great assembly at the crystal sea of glass, or the platform where Yahweh’s throne is. In Revelation 5:5-7 Yeshua enters the platform at the Temple and opens the Seven Sealed Scroll, a parallel image to the letters received from the King by the Kohen Ha’Gadol (High Priest) in the Nehemiah and Ezra passages.
Two more Newer Covenant gathering images:
— The undesirable nation is gathered before the day of wrath, mirror images to the scripture in Daniel Chapter 9:27 and Deuteronomy 32:21 (Matthew 21:43, 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 12:14).
— These three scriptures speak about his return to gather us together (John 14:1-3, John 5:28-29, John 6:39-40).
Either way, it is just as simple to say we are “going to be raptured!” as to declare we are gathered together.
The Great Escape
Daniel 12:1 – “There will be a time of distress unlike any other from the nation’s beginning up to that time. But at that time your own people, all those whose names are found written in the book, will escape.”
Those who hope in The Rapture are often attacked for looking for the great escape, for the hiding away from calamity. This, some say, is pure fantasy. But the scriptures say that this hope is no fantasy at all, but reality – those who are called up in the Rapture will be hidden away, concealed in the secret places during the time of Yahweh’s wrath.
The Hebrew words often translated saved or delivered are malat [H4422] and especially natsal [H5337] which means to escape, to slip away; causatively to release or rescue; specifically to deliver, escape, lay, leap out, let alone, let go, preserve, save. In the Greek, it is often the word ekpheugo [G1628], or the word soteria [G4991].
Numerous examples are noted in scripture of righteous people being delivered from calamity or destruction while the unrighteous or evil are punished:
— Noah is delivered from/through the flood (Genesis 6)
— Lot is rescued from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:25-19:29)
— Rahab is rescued by the Hebrews when Jericho is overthrown (Joshua 6:22-23, Hebrews 11:31); whereas the unrighteous are kept under punishment for the day of judgment (2 Peter 2:9).
We know that the time of Yahweh’s wrath is also known as the Great Tribulation (Revelation 2:22, 7:14). It is also called the time of Jacob’s trouble in Jeremiah 30:7, and a time of great earthly and heavenly changes in Isaiah 13:13. Yeshua warns about these things in Matthew 24. Daniel 9:27 identifies this time as one week, or one shabua [H7620], in other words, a period of seven years. Revelation 11:2 and 13:5 each talk about a period of 42 months, for a total of seven years. The shabua comprises both the time of the “Wrath of the Lamb” and the “Wrath of Yahweh”.
Isaiah 26:20-21 – “My people, go into your rooms and shut your doors behind you. Hide in your rooms for a short time until Yahweh’s anger is finished. Look! Yahweh is coming out of his heavenly home to punish those on Earth for their sin.”
What scripture teaches absolutely in Isaiah Chapter 26 is that when the dead are raised, the righteous people will be hidden in a chamber (behind closed doors) during the time of wrath (time of indignation) until it has passed.
John 14:3 – “After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to myself, so that you may be there where I am.”
Since Yeshua is in Heaven during the time of wrath, so also will the righteous be in Heaven with him. The righteous have been raptured prior to the time of wrath, prior to the Tribulation period.
We find these images in the Older Covenant:
— Noah escaped the flood (Genesis 6).
— Lot escaped the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:25-19:29)
— The Hebrews escaped from death (Exodus 12:23)
— Rahab escaped death when Jericho was overthrown (Joshua 6:22-23)
— There are those who will escape the abomination of desolation (tribulation) period by heading to or living in what today we call the nation of Jordan. The people of Edom, Moab, and Ammon are spared (Daniel 11:30-41)
— The righteous will escape the famines and death that will be brought against a land that sins against Yahweh (Ezekiel14:13-14)
Newer Covenant Parallels
Joshua 6:22-23 is confirmed in the Newer Covenant:
— Rahab did not perish along with those who were disobedient when Jericho was destroyed (Hebrews 11:31)
Daniel 11:30-41 is mirrored in the Newer Covenant as well:
— All are to flee to the mountains when the abomination that causes desolation is seen in Yerushalayim (Matthew 24:15-16). This scripture is also mirrored in Mark 13:14 and Luke 20:20-21.
More Great Escapes
Great Escape 1 – The Sea of Suf
Exodus 14:19 – “The Angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the Pillar Of Cloud moved from before them and stood behind them.”
As the Jews made their escape from Egypt after four hundred years of slavery, Yahweh lead the way until Pharaoh’s army caught up, at which time Yahweh placed himself between his people and their enemies. The Jews were hemmed in by mountains to the north and south, the Sea of Suf to the East, and Pharoah’s army to the west. All seemed lost, but Yahweh had other plans for his people – the Sea of Suf parted to the north and to the south, walls of water forming a corridor through which the Jews were able to escape, while Yahweh destroyed their enemies.
Great Escape 2 – The Mount of Olives
Zechariah 14:4 – “In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel . . .”
Once again, we see Yahweh’s people hemmed in – this time with Jerusalem and Mount Moriah to the west, the Mount of Olives to the east, and the armies of Satan to the north and south in a pincer movement determined to destroy Yahweh’s people, just as Pharaoh had determined to do at the Sea of Suf. And once again, Yahweh, in the person of Yeshua, forms a corridor through which the Jews are able to escape. The Mount of Olives parts to the north and to the south, walls of stone and dirt forming a corridor through which the Jews are able to escape, while Yeshua stands in the gap between them and their enemies, whom he destroys (Revelation 14-20). It’s a repeat of the Sea of Suf!
Yahweh / Yeshua always stands between his people and their adversaries. The Sea of Suf and Mount of Olives vividly portray this reality. Yahweh / Yeshua always goes before his people to lead them into the promised land. The entry into the promised land through the Jordan River vividly portrays this reality. Yeshua has also gone before us and has crossed the river of death into life. The entry into life through the resurrection vividly portrays this reality. Will you let Yahweh / Yeshua be your guide and protector, will you let him resurrect you to eternal life and escape the tribulation period?
We are always to be ready for Yeshua to return. Are you ready? If not, then get ready. Exercise whatever time you have to repent and trust Yeshua for your eternal salvation. Do not test Yahweh’s patience and wait too long – the dress rehearsals will not continue much longer.