Believers in Yeshua in the First Century
Before Yeshua returned to His Father, he repeated Daniel’s prophecy concerning the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. We find this in Matthew 24:15-16 (ESV), referring to Daniel 11:31: “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.” Many believe this will have a more complete fulfillment in the last days under the reign of Antichrist.
Where are the mountains Yeshua spoke of? Judea has hills, but the taller mountains are across the Jordan River.
Did Jerusalem Christians Flee to Pella?
The fourth-century church historian Eusebius says that as the Romans approached the city, "The people belonging to the church at Jerusalem were ordered by an oracle revealed to approved men on the spot before the war broke out, to leave the city and dwell in a town of Perea called Pella." The destruction of the city, Eusebius says, came only after the Jerusalem Christians made their escape. The historicity of this flight is uncertain, however.
The site of ancient Pella lies in the modern country of Jordan, about two and a half miles east of the Jordan River and seventeen miles south of the Sea of Galilee.
Gessius Florus (GAY-see-oos FLO-roos) was the seventh and final Roman procurator of Judea from 64 until 66 AD. He was a cruel and despised despot. He looked the other way as Greek forces slaughtered more than 20,000 Jews, emptying Caesarea of its Jewish population.
According to the historian Josephus, “… the whole nation was greatly enraged; so they divided themselves into several parties and laid waste the villages of the Syrians, and their neighbouring cities, Philadelphia, and Sebonitis, and Gerasa, and Pella, … and some cities they destroyed there, and some they set on fire … and an immense slaughter was made of the men who were caught in them.”
If there was a massive slaughter there, as Josephus suggests, a sparsely inhabited area with empty homes would have looked quite inviting to fleeing Christians. Their concerns might have been for safety afforded by a semi-secluded location and, most importantly, water. Its site in Jordan still boasts a large flowing spring. The results from that flow are clear by the vegetation in this satellite map.
People from surrounding countries found refuge here over the centuries and do to this day. There are about 760,000 displaced people from neighboring countries, who call Jordan their home-away-from-home. The most recent statistic for the number of registered refugees in this country of 10.5 million people stands at approximately 655,000 Syrians, 67,000 Iraqis, 15,000 Yemenis, 6,000 Sudanis [sic] and 2,500 refugees from a total of 52 other nationalities.
Although The Kingdom carries a significant burden to supply water, food, clothing, and housing (tents) to their refugees, the increased population makes it a great financial struggle. Fortunately, a few other nations see their plight and assist in various ways. America is one of them.
The Zaatari (zah-ah-TAR-ee) camp near the village of the same name in Mafraq (MAH-frahk) Governorate opened on July 28, 2012. They initially designed the white-tented city to hold 60,000 people, but they had to expand it because of the influx of refugees. At its peak in 2013, it housed over 200,000 people, becoming the fourth-largest city in Jordan. While many refugees have since returned to Syria or moved on to other countries, the camp is still home to some 68,800 people, with more than half of them (55 percent) children.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a barren, resource-poor nation. Perched on an arid plateau, the country is bound to the west by a sliver of arable land along the banks of the Jordan River and to the east and south by deserts. As a testament to the inhospitable nature of its landscape, the country’s only remnants of ancient civilization hug the Jordan Valley or are desolate, Roman-era defensive outposts. Not naturally endowed with the makings of a great state, Jordan’s security and prosperity have relied heavily on the interests of external political players since the British first conceived its borders in 1921.
In 1920-1921, after World War I, Great Britain designated the area of Transjordan as a staging zone for Jews returning to Palestine. No one realized it would become a country itself. For more information on how this played out politically, see our blog of November 7, 2019, titled, “The Land Across the Jordan River - Part 2” under the heading “Churchill Created Jordan.”
Believers in Yeshua at the End of the Age
We expect the same wilderness through which Moses led the people of Israel will be the one where the bride meets her Bridegroom one more time.
The marriage covenant was first made at the foot of Mt. Sinai (SEE-na-ee) . Israel renewed it before taking the promised land and again at the mountains of blessing and cursing. The final renewal will be at the staging area in the wilderness across the Jordan River. We read in Revelation 12:14-17:
And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
From the time we were children growing up in the church, our pastors taught the pre-tribulation rapture theory. They also said every believer would be a part of the bride. We no longer believe what they taught us. It is a complex study, but our conclusion aligns more with a post-tribulation scenario in which believers go through this dark time under divine protection. God kept Noah and his family safely ensconced in an ark while the rest of humanity perished. He also protected Lot and his daughters from the fiery destruction of Sodom. But a testing time will come for end-time believers, intensifying the last three and a half years before Yeshua’s return. To quote an old spiritual: “Everybody talkin’ ‘bout Heaven ain’t goin’ there.”
We draw the following parallel between the first exodus and what we understand as the future greater exodus recorded by the prophet Ezekiel. The overlay illustrates a post-tribulation perspective for the return. He will “plead face to face” with those who make the cut as the bride and bring those who are loyal to Him into the “bond of the covenant.”
As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:
And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched-out arm, and with fury poured out.
And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God.
And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:
And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. (Ezekiel 20:33-38)
Another important Scripture reference is Jeremiah 16:14 (ESV), which talks about the exodus to come from around the world as being so great, no one will remember the first one. “Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers.”
At the end of the exodus story, the men of Israel took part in a great moral and spiritual failure. They engaged in sexual activity with the Midianite women that was associated with their god Baal (ba-AHL). As a result, God purged the Israelite offenders, allowing only the righteous to enter the promised land. And as we read in Numbers 25:9: “Nevertheless, those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.” (ESV)
The older exodus generation died in the wilderness for lack of faith to go in and take the land. And many of the new generation failed the test of allegiance.
When we overlay Ezekiel 20’s last days ingathering with the original exodus history, the picture may become clearer.
Where will this happen?
As the evidence of history shows, the present-day Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan was, is, and likely will be a place of refuge. Although stressed from lack of resources and finances, it remains a place of asylum for displaced people. With almost three-quarters of a million refugees within its borders and the additional economic impossibility imposed with COVID, one can only imagine what the Kingdom is struggling with.
This link will show more than we can include in a blog. It, too, demonstrates the great hospitality we talk about.
Through our research, we now believe when Yeshua returns, He will initially appear in Egypt from where Israel departed and retrace the first exodus route through the Sinai Peninsula, across to Saudi Arabia, and up through Jordan to the crossing-over place on the north end of the Dead Sea where Israel entered the land God promised them.
We are working on a book about this subject, since we cannot possibly cover it in a blog. If you want to learn more, you can visit www.joelstrumpet.com. Click on “Free Resources” to access a PDF of what Joel has written in From Sinai to Zion, in which he lays out the scriptures contributing to this possibility. You may start in Part 3 on page 157.
The Definitive Biblical Statement About the End of Days’ Place of Safety
There are many scriptures pointing to the idea of safety in Jordan during the end of days. Some Bible doctrines are not crystal clear. They need a string of clues to convince the student. However, during the antichrist’s reign, nothing could be clearer about a refuge in Jordan than Daniel’s statement, which has:
· A person—the antichrist
· A place—Edom, Moab, and the chiefs of Ammon
· A time—Antichrist’s reign
“He (Antichrist) shall enter also into the glorious land (Israel), and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.” (Daniel 11:41)
Normalcy bias and timing are what we have to consider. What is normalcy bias? Believing a thing will always function the way things normally function. In other words, the “Ostrich Effect.”
Is now the time? What will be the indicators? Am I already too late to get a passport or book a flight? What do I have to do to be ready to go? Sell my home? Fix my teeth? Take a discovery tour? Educate myself about where I’m going?
Time is sneaky.
Some believers in Yeshua chose to move to Jordan before “the man of sin” comes to world dominance. Anita and I did (at the direction of the Holy Spirit). Maybe there is a stirring in your heart to do the same. Is now when these prophecies are scheduled for fulfillment?
Think about it.
Bible research is easier than it has ever been. We use e-Sword. It is a free, powerful download that can assist you in coming to a conclusion on this matter.
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 Map from https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Map-of-Jordan-and-the-location-of-Petra_fig1_334207864
 Church History, Book III:5, Eusebius
 https://carnegieendowment.org/2015/09/21/jordan-s-refugee-crisis-pub-61338 Accessed 09/03/2022