The teaching that Israel will escape to Petra
was born from anti-Semitic thought. To teach this would be to boast us,
the Gentiles above the Jew. Paul gave us severe warnings about doing this
in Romans 11:15-22. Most do not realize that it was from this boastful
view that Petra the refuge was born. This belief was passed down to the
Church by the writings of teachers from the past, long ago.
1. Today the common belief in the Church is that Israel will escape to
Petra at the middle of the tribulation. There the two witnesses will feed
them until Jesus comes back at Armageddon.
2. When Christ arrives at
Petra, the Jews who are in Petra will shout and cheer to see that their
Messiah has returned. From there he will go to Jerusalem to set his foot
on the Mount of Olives which will cause a tremendous earthquake. He will
then hide the Jews who are living in Jerusalem in the crater from this
3. After he does this, he will destroy the armies of the
Antichrist and return to Jerusalem to enter the Eastern Gate. It will be
at this time the Jews will accept him as their Messiah. At this time they
will notice the nail scars in his hands and realize that Jesus was the
same one that they had rejected almost two thousand years ago. Which will
cause much sorrow for the people of Israel.
Although most born again Christians today are not
anti-Semitic the teaching that the Jews are going to Petra was
born out of anti-Semitic thought over 150 years ago. It was just
like the Gentiles to put Israel in a box and leave them there for three
and half years without ever being able to do anything for Jesus. This way
the Gentiles were privileged to do all the labor for Christ and the Jews
wouldn't get to do anything during the last part of the dispensation of
grace. In Petra they would be in a prison or a concentration camp waiting
out the tribulation, cowering from their enemies. The reasoning was that
they had it coming, they rejected Jesus, right? Jesus told us a parable
about Israel (Matt. 20:1-16) when he told of the laborers who worked in
the field all day and at the end of the day other laborers came into the
field to work. The latter only worked a short time but received the same
reward as those who labored all day. This is speaking of Israel coming to
Christ in the final years to be saved. Notice that those who came in last
labored in the field just like those who had labored all day. If you are a
born again Christian I believe that you can tell in your spirit that what
I am saying is true. When you got saved, God saved you for a purpose and
that purpose was to share Jesus with others. Israel has the same
The teaching that Israel is going to Petra was also born out of the
need to figure out where they would go when they escaped. Because of the
lack of spiritual knowledge concerning Bible prophecy the people who
believed this considered Petra to be the only place they could go.
However, Joseph's life being a shadow of Christ and the Church explains
that Israel will go to a nation, not a canyon to be protected. It is there
in the nation that God has chosen for this purpose Christ just like Joseph
will be revealed to them. They will then be free to witness for Jesus any
time they want during the last half of the tribulation period.
There are always two witnesses to every event in Bible Prophecy. It is
God's way of making sure that we understand. The only two witnesses that
we have in Scripture is in Revelation the 12th chapter when Israel escapes
on two wings of a great eagle and the other is found in the life of Joseph
that is a shadow of Christ and his saving both Gentile and Jew.
The scriptures that are used to prove the things the Church commonly
teaches are these. I am going to explain to you about these scriptures but
first I would like for you to read them.
the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the
glory of his majesty.
1.Send ye the lamb to
the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the
daughter of Zion.
2: For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast
out of the nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of
3: Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night
in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that
4: Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert
to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end,
the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.
And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in
truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and
I will surely assemble, O
Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put
them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their
fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of
Rev. 12:6: And the woman fled into the wilderness, where
she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a
thousand two hundred and threescore days.
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.
15: 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.
16: 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.
17: 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
The word Petra means rock. The word Petra is not found in the Bible but
the word Sela is. A little research will tell you that Sela and Petra are
the same place. It is a canyon in Jordan that we today call Petra. If you
ever saw the movie "The Last Crusade" you saw Petra. A little narrow
canyon that winds and winds through the mountains of Jordan. It is a box
canyon in a very rocky area.
This is what Holmans Bible Dictionary
page 1101 says:
PETRA (Pe' tra) Capital city of the Nabatean Arabs
located about 60 north of the Gulf of Aqabah. Petra is sometimes
identified with Sela (Judg. 1:36; 2 Kings 14:7; Isa. 16:1; 42:11),because
both names mean, "rock." Lack of archaeological evidence of Edomite
settlement in the basin suggests that Sela is better identified with Um El
Bayyuarah on the mountain plateau overlooking Petra. The Nabatean king
Aretas IV (2 Cor. 11:32-33) reigned from Petra.
Let's look at the first scripture about this, which is found in
Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the
dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.
find that it amazes me that I could have ever taught this myself, but I
did. I used to teach what is commonly taught. That this scripture is
referring to the Jews hiding in Petra because it said to enter into the
rock and hide. The real truth in this scripture is that God is talking
about Christ himself. Isaiah is telling Israel to get into Jesus, a place
where their lives will be hid in Jesus Christ. The dust is referring to
the humility that they or anyone should have when coming to him to do
Don't you find it amusing that as Gentiles this is exactly what
this scripture would mean. You see we even sing a song about it. "Rock of
ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee." We do this so often, it
almost seems that we Gentiles believe that all the salvation scriptures
are just for us and that God has left Israel completely out of redemption.
We do this without a second thought. Remember that God has promised to
save all of Israel. They must come through Jesus he is the door.
The next set of scriptures are these:
ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the
mount of the daughter of Zion.
Most people believe that this is
the scripture that ties Israel to Petra as the place to hide. But, read
and understand what Isaiah is saying. He says to send the lamb, which is
referring to Jesus, to the ruler of the land from
Sela (Petra) to the wilderness, to the mount of the daughter of Zion. In
this scripture he is not saying anything, not even a hint, about Israel
going to Sela (Petra). He is saying send the Lamb (Jesus) to
the ruler of Moab. From Sela to the wilderness, to
the mount of the daughter of Zion was considered the territory of
2: For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the
nest, so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon.
counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of
the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth.
mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the
face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler
ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land.
In verse 2 God is showing the daughters of Moab in a very confused
state of mind. It is an allegory about something that will happen at the
same time that Israel is trying to escape from the Antichrist. Did you
ever see a baby bird fall out of its nest? Confusion, fear, not knowing
what is going on, trying to fly, but not knowing how? This all describes
the way Moab will be feeling at this time. It will be at this time that
God will be asking them to help Israel to escape, to hide them from their
Verses 3 and 4 are very plain. God tells them to be a
shadow during the day, hide the outcast, let mine outcast dwell with thee,
be a covert from the face of the spoiler. He also tells them in verse 4
that he will bring an end to the spoiler and all the oppressors. They will
5: And in mercy shall the throne be established:
and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and
seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.
This verse is talking
about the return of Jesus when he will set on the throne of David ruling
There is one thing to consider while we are thinking about the nation
of Jordan and that is this. Jordan is a Muslim country and although not
actively involved in supporting terrorism or violence they are sympathetic
to the cause of the more radical Muslims. Believe me, Jordan has no love
for Israel. The Bible says that Jordan will escape the
Daniel 11: 41: He shall enter also into the glorious
land, 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
These people all makes up the nation of Jordan today. We
also know that God makes a request to Jordan to hide his people Israel
when they are escaping from the Antichrist.
But, there is one thing that we do not know and that is whether
or not Jordan will do this. I have always taught in the past that they
would. If the nation of Jordan helps Israel to hide and the Antichrist
realizes this, he will destroy Jordan. We know that he isnít going to
destroy Jordan because the scriptures say that they will escape out of his
hand. So if they do hide Israel then he never realizes it or, he does find
out and pursues Jordan as well as Israel. If this happens then both
nations will escape him by running away.
But if Jordan was to refuse to hide Israel the Antichrist may respect
their country and not invade it seeing no need to force them to accept his
leadership knowing that they will support his effort anyway. This could be
the way they escape out of his hand; they do what he wants. There are two
reasons why I wonder on this happening. One is that the Muslims are so in
tune with what Christians teach that they have sealed up the eastern gate
in Jerusalem and have placed a graveyard in front of the sealed up gate.
They did this because of the foreknowledge that the Jewish Messiah would
come through the eastern gate of Jerusalem. They have done this in an
effort to keep the Jewish Messiah from coming through the gate. They
believe that he will not pass through the graveyard and defile himself as
he comes in. They have sealed the gate with rocks and mortar to back up
Since they know this and have acted on this knowledge, donít you also
know that they realize that the Church believes and teaches that the Jews
are going to escape to Petra in Jordan? Since it is highly probable that
they do know this, then they will also act on it to prevent it from
happening. When the Antichrist armies invade Israel from the north, I am
sure that the Antichrist will ask the Jordanian army to prevent Israel
from escaping into Jordan as he attacks. This is why Jesus did not tell
them to escape to Jordan but rather to escape to the mountains. I have
always taught that America would rescue Israel from Jordan after they
escape into it, but I have to re-think my view on this. It is very
possible that we will rescue them by air from the mountaintops of Israel.
This is where Christ told them to run.
If Jordan blocks Israelís escape to please the Antichrist then it is
easy to see why we see Jesus coming out of Bozrah with his garments
dripping with blood. Because it will be his wrath on Jordan for not doing
what he told them to do. He clearly tells them that he is going to destroy
the people who are pursuing Israel. If they donít listen to him then they
will be the first to be destroyed when he returns. This may be why we see
him coming out of there first.
Sometimes we don't get a clear picture because we don't know all the
details. I need to give you an example to understand what I am saying. In
the days of the life of Jesus many people had a problem believing in him
because they did not know all of the promises about him. Micah told us
that Jesus would come out of Bethlehem. When Jesus began his ministry most
of the people did not know that Jesus had been born in Bethlehem. Since
Jesus was raised in Nazareth people thought that his life did not line up
with the scriptures. Had they known that he was born in Bethlehem and that
the scripture also said that he would be called a Nazarene then they would
have understood. In most of their eyes Jesus was supposed to live in
Bethlehem all of his life because it said he would come out of Bethlehem.
The story of Israel escaping into Moab is the same thing. Most of us
know that God told Moab to hide them and let them live with them, but the
scripture does not tell us if they will do this or
not. Moab is part of the modern day nation of Jordan. In
Daniel the 11th chapter God reveals something about this
Daniel 11:41: He shall enter also into the glorious land,
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
Edom, Moab and Ammon all make up the modern day nation of
Jordan. In this scripture, found in Daniel, God tells us that Jordan
itself will escape from the Antichrist. Edom was descendants of Esau. Moab
and Ammon are all descendants of Lot. They are all distant relatives of
Israel. God is telling us that the time will come that Jordan will escape
as well as Israel. But what does it mean to say that they escape?
To put this together let's look at the return of Jesus at the time of
Isaiah 63:1: Who is this that cometh from Edom, with
dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel,
travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in
righteousness, mighty to save.
2: Wherefore art thou red in thine
apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?
have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with
me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and
their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my
4: For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of
my redeemed is come.
This scripture shows Jesus beginning his
day of vengeance in Edom (Jordan). The thought I would like for you to
consider is this: If Edom and Moab and Ammon are still living in Jordan
and God is simply not allowing the Antichrist come into their land, why
would Jesus kill anyone in Jordan since his enemies are not there?
The truth of this is that if the people of Jordan that escape from the
Antichrist are escaping because they helped Israel, Then the people that
Jesus is destroying are the people of the Antichrist who are occupying
Jordan at the time of his return. But, if they escape the Antichrist
because they are working with him and stand in Israel's way at the time
they are escaping the Antichrist, then God is going to destroy them.
Here are the reasons that God is going to bring Israel to
There are going to be seven nations fight against the
Antichrist and his ten nations. They are the seven shepherds of Micah 5:5.
These are nations that are going to act as shepherds to watch over the
nation of Israel. These nations are not going to leave Israel for the
Antichrist to destroy.
Israel's gifts and calling is another reason.
Israel is called to take the Gospel to the world. Not just 144,000 men of
Israel, but the whole nation. The 144,000 that will take the Gospel are
called to take the Gospel to the nations that the Antichrist has control
over. He will only conquer 1/4 of the earth. The Jews that escape will
take the Gospel to the world. The scripture shows this happening.
18: For I know their works and their thoughts: it
shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall
come, and see my glory.
19: And I will set a sign among them, and I
will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul,
and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off,
that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall
declare my glory among the Gentiles.
In these scriptures God is telling Israel that he is going to use them
to gather all nations and tongues to come and see his glory. How does he
do this? They will preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what we are
doing when we are sharing Jesus with the lost. He said that he was going
to set a sign among them, and send those that escape of
them unto the nations.. He will send Israel to people who
have never heard of Jesus before.
An interesting thing about the scriptures above is that our learned
scholars teach that this is going to happen during the thousand-year reign
of Christ. My question is this: Since every eye is going to behold him and
every tongue is going to confess that Jesus is Lord at his return. Who is
not going to have heard of him on this earth after he gets back? Every
nation will have to go to Jerusalem once a year to worship him. These
scriptures are talking about before the thousand-year reign, not after.
This is the calling of Israel, and these scriptures speak specifically of
those who escape.
Paul said in Romans 11.
26: And so all Israel shall be saved: as
it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn
away ungodliness from Jacob:
27: For this is my covenant unto them,
when I shall take away their sins.
28: As concerning the gospel, they
are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved
for the fathers' sakes.
29: For the gifts and calling of God are
God's gift to Israel is eternal life through
faith in Jesus Christ, and their calling is to take the Gospel to the
World. It is the same gift and calling we have ourselves. Remember? We
were grafted into their promise.
They are coming to America to be saved. The allegories in the story of
Joseph clearly show us that the children of Israel living in the Promised
Land will have to leave during the seven bad years. They will join up with
the rest of the children of Israel who live in the most powerful nation in
the world. At the time of Joseph it was Egypt today it is America. God has
two large gatherings of Jews in the world today. The largest gathering is
in the United States of America. There are six million living here. The
other large gathering of Jews is in the nation of Israel. These are the
two sticks of Ezekiel. God said that he would make two sticks out of
Israel. One stick for Joseph and Ephraim, the other stick is for Judah. He
said that he would bring them together before he brings them back to the
land of Israel.
God told us in Ezekiel 37: 16-19 that he was going to make these two
sticks one in his hand. He is going to do this before he brings them back
to the land to become one nation with one king. That king will be Jesus.
He is not going to gather all 11 million Jews from America and Israel plus
the other 2 million that are living in other countries to bring them all
to Petra to hide from the Antichrist. If he did enlarge the canyon big
enough to hold 13 million Jews it would be like living in a concentration
camp. I don't believe that God wants Israel to spend it's last 3 1/2 years
cowering in a canyon from the Antichrist instead of taking the Gospel to a
dying World. If you research your heart, you won't accept that either.
Here is another scripture that people use trying to prove that Israel
is going to Petra.
Micah 2:12: I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all
of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them
together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold:
they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of
The teachers of this scripture try to prove that Israel is
going to be like sheep in Bozrah. Bozrah is in the region of Petra. Notice
the first part of this scripture. He says that he is going to gather all
of Israel. Think about this, "all of Israel." Remember there are close to
13 million living in the world today. This is talking about putting
Ezekiel's two sticks together. The assumption is that they will be like
sheep in Bozrah. But, he said they would be
as the sheep of Bozrah. With careful research you
will learn that Bozrah was a preferred place to raise sheep. Bozrah had
millions of sheep. It was like some of the areas we have in Montana and
other states that was great for raising sheep or cattle.
simply saying that Israel would be a great multitude, not a few like so
many people try to teach. He completes this verse by confirming what I am
saying with; "they shall make a great noise by reason of the multitude of
men." He is talking about their great number comparing them to the great
amounts of sheep that were in Bozrah. He was not saying that they would
gather them in Bozrah.
Jeremiah 30:19: And out of them shall proceed
thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply
them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they
shall not be small.
Israel will come to America just like Joseph's family came to him in
Egypt during the terrible seven years of famine. They came to him in three
different journeys. This is exactly the way God is going to bring Israel
to America. Some will come right after the signing of the peace treaty
because many people will realize that it is the beginning of the
Tribulation. Knowing what is going to happen when the Antichrist invades
Israel will cause an outcry from the Church in America like you have never
seen. Once they get over not being in the Rapture at the time that they
think that they should have been, their eyes will turn to Israel. Fear for
Israel's safety will fill the hearts of the Christians in America.
Just as Pharaoh in Egypt sent transportation to move Joseph's family to
Egypt, America is going to provide transportation to bring the rest of the
Jews to America at the time of the invasion. It is during this tribulation
period that Israel will finally come to Christ to be saved. After Joseph's
family was all safe and fed and comforted, they all gathered up and went
to the finest land in Egypt, Goshen. When Christ Raptures the Church, he
will gather born-again Israel at the same time right before he pours out
his wrath at Armageddon. Israel will return from heaven after the marriage
supper as Christ brings his final defeat upon the anti-Christ and the
nations. They will then to go to their land that God had said would be
theirs forever, the Land of Israel. Christ will then reign for a thousand
years from Jerusalem. You see, people believing that Israel will be left
out of the Rapture of the Church are being taught by anti-Semitic thought,
not the Lord.
Your brother in Christ