‘Nagorno-Karabakh announces its dissolution as 65,000 flee;’ Will most Christians flee to safety when they should?


Ethic Armenians are fleeing after Azerbaijan attacked and gained control over an area Armenians often refer to as Artsakh, more commonly known as Nagorno-Karabakh:

Nagorno-Karabakh announces its dissolution as 65,000 flee

28 September 2023

The separatist government of Nagorno-Karabakh announced Thursday that it will dissolve itself and the unrecognized republic will cease to exist by the end of the year, and Armenian officials said more than half of the population has already fled.

That is after Azerbaijan carried out a lightning offensive to reclaim full control over its breakaway region and demanded that Armenian troops in Nagorno-Karabakh lay down their weapons and the separatist government dissolve itself.

A decree to that effect was signed by the region’s separatist President Samvel Shakhramanyan. The document cited an agreement reached last week to end the fighting under which Azerbaijan will allow the “free, voluntary and unhindered movement” of Nagorno-Karabakh residents and disarm troops in Armenia in exchange. …

By Thursday morning, more than half of Nagorno-Karabakh’s population — 66,500 people — had fled to Armenia, and the influx continues with unabating intensity, according to Armenian officials. …

The massive exodus began on Sunday evening, and the only road linking Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia quickly filled up with cars that created an hourslong traffic jam. …

It isn’t immediately clear if any of the ethnic Armenians that have populated the region will remain there. https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20230928-more-than-65-000-flee-nagorno-karabakh-separatist-republic-will-cease-to-exist

Nagorno-Karabakh will cease to exist from next year. How did this happen?

September 28, 2023

The self-declared republic of Nagorno-Karabakh will cease to exist from next year after its president signed a decree dissolving state institutions following its defeat by Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijani victory last week triggered a huge exodus of ethnic Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh and marked the end of decades of conflict – and potentially the end of centuries of Armenian presence in the region. …

Azerbaijan launched its offensive on September 19, firing missile and drones at the regional capital of Stepanakert in what marked the start of a third war fought for control of the region in as many decades.

Under the Soviet Union, of which Azerbaijan and Armenia are both former members, Nagorno-Karabakh became an autonomous region within the republic of Azerbaijan.

Karabakh officials passed a resolution in 1988 declaring its intention to join the republic of Armenia, causing fighting to break out as the Soviet Union began to crumble, in what became the First Karabakh War. About 30,000 people were killed over six years of violence, which ended in 1994 when the Armenian side gained control of the region.

After years of sporadic clashes, the Second Karabakh War began in 2020. Azerbaijan, backed by its historic ally Turkey, reclaimed a third of the territory of Karabakh in just 44 days, before both sides agreed to lay down their weapons in a Russian-brokered ceasefire. https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/28/europe/nagorno-karabakh-officially-dissolve-intl/index.html

I reported about some of this earlier this week (see ‘Armenia PM signals foreign policy shift away from Russia’ and 120,000 expected to flee Azerbaijani rule!).

The Armenians are in my prayers.

Anyway, the situation between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan has been tense for a long time.

While many in Nagorno-Karabakh thought Russia or Armenia would protect them, that protection did not come as many there had hoped.

Those fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh now consider that the Republic of Armenia is their new place of safety.

That said, is there a ‘place of safety’ for any Christians?


However some, particularly among evangelical Protestants, hope it will be heaven in what they hope will be a pre-tribulation rapture. However, that is a false hope. Scriptural details are in the article: Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected?

There are various Church of God groups, mainly those whose organizations had leaders with some former tie to the late Garner Ted Armstrong, who do not believe that they will go to a place for protection.

But, in addition to overlooking scriptures such as Revelation 12:14-17, that view seems to not fully grasp persecuting prophecies such as the following:

25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
For a time and times and half a time.  (Daniel 7:25)

5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.  (Revelation 13:5-9)

So, the above is clear that not all Christians will be protected by staying where they are.  The reality is that most Christians will not flee when it is time.

An awaking came to thousands of Armenians that they were no longer going to live as they wished in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Jesus gave warnings to Laodicean Christians to wake up in Revelation 3:14-18–yet most will not in time.

But Jesus did promise the Philadelphian Christians protection in Revelation 3:7-13.

Now some have suggested that the Bible gives no clue about where the place of safety will be, yet this is inaccurate. First notice that apparently some of God’s people will apparently be in the area of Judea and Jerusalem around the start of the Great Tribulation:

5 Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say:

“Blow the trumpet in the land;
Cry, ‘Gather together,’
And say, ‘Assemble yourselves,
And let us go into the fortified cities.’
6 Set up the standard toward Zion.
Take refuge! Do not delay!
For I will bring disaster from the north,
And great destruction.” (Jeremiah 4:5-6)

The above passage is suggesting that there will be a time that will come that those in Judea and Jerusalem will have to flee into a place of defense. This is consistent with what Jesus told His followers to do in Matthew 24 :15-16 when they see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel (which happens right after the sacrifices, which have not yet started, have been stopped). And Jeremiah is basically warning that disaster will come from the north–in this case apparently the King of the North. And this may be because some of God’s people have fled to Judea/Jerusalem in order to escape from some of the persecutions from this northern power (for more information on WHEN to flee, please see the article Who is the King of the North?).

In Luke 21:20-21, Jesus confirmed the concept that some of His people would be in the same area and would need to flee:

But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her.

It thus appears that the place of safety is not in Jerusalem or Judea.

Since the Bible also warns that God’s people should flee Babylon and go out of Chaldea (Jeremiah 50:8;51:6,44-45; Zechariah 2:7; Revelation 18:4), Babylon and Chaldea apparently are not the places either.

Notice the following,

“Flee from the land of the north”, says the LORD…Up Zion! Escape you that dwell with the daughter of Babylon (Zechariah 2:6,7).

This not only suggests that the place may not be in a northern land, but that some Christians will have need to flee from the land of the north.

But notice, that FLEEING is what is being taught.

Here are some clues about the place:

“He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, He who despises the gain of oppressions, Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes, Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, And shuts his eyes from seeing evil: He will dwell on high; His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks; Bread will be given him, His water will be sure” (Isaiah 33:15-16)…”Assemble yourselves and come; Draw near together, You who have escaped from the nations” (Isaiah 45:20).

Isaiah thus indicates this place will be a fortress of rocks for those that escape from the nations (note: the escaping from the nations suggests that groups with origins in CGI, such as ICG and CEM, are in error for teaching that God intends to protect people where they are). Some have suggested that a place in Jordan, such as Petra may be the place of safety.

It is also of interest to note that those that escape will be assembled–they are not lone independent Christians–this is also consistent with Zephaniah 2:1-3

Gather yourselves together, yes gather together, O undesirable nation, Before the decree is issued, Or the day passes like chaff, Before the day of the LORD’s fierce anger comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD’s anger comes upon you! Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger.

The Hebrew words translated as Zephaniah means “Yahweh Hides” or “Yahweh Has Hidden” (Holy Bible: Vine’s Expository Reference Edition, p. 826). Notice that a decree is issued, apparently by a church leader–and I believe that the leader will be part of the Continuing Church of God. This would seem to happen after the gospel has been preached enough to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14), Jewish sacrifices are stopped, and the abomination is set up (Daniel 9:27; 11:31) per Jesus’ statements in Matthew 24:15-16.

It remains my prayer that those who are Philadelphians and are scattered in groups will soon assemble together, before it is too late.

In the New Testament, while not all Christians are promised physical protection, the Philadelphians are promised to be protected from the Great Tribulation and this place is in the wilderness according to the Book of Revelation:

7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:7-10)

13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:13-17)

Since the church goes to the wilderness, we know that this location for safety is NOT heaven as it is not a wilderness.

That said, notice that there are two groups of end-time Christians according to Revelation 12:14-17–one group that is protected, and the other that is not. Revelation 3 shows which group gets protected.

One group will flee in time, the rest will not. The rest will believe that they have valid reasons to not flee, that the time is not right, and/or that they will not believe that the one to issue the decree is led by God to do it. They will be wrong on all those points, and hence face the Great Tribulation and the wrath of Satan and the coming Beast power.

Will you wait too long before you “gather together”?

Can you prove which church has the Philadelphia mantle or will you use your own (less biblical, people decide) standards?

Most who do not so gather will NOT believe it is time to flee when it will be.

That is something all Christians should consider.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. Two sermon-length videos of relaled interest are available Physical Protection During the Great Tribulation and Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2023, 2024, or 2025? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: Great Tribulation: 2026 or 2027? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation start in 2022 or 2023? Notice also: Can Jesus return in 2023 or 2024? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.
Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Does the Church flee or is it taken up just prior to the great tribulation? Who really is left behind? Here are links to three related videos Fleeing or Rapture?, Rapture or Fleeing? Which is Great Tribulation Protection? and Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture? Here is a sermon in the Spanish language: ¿El rapto o huida antes de la gran tribulación?
Herbert W. Armstrong, the Philadelphia Church, & the Mantle Herbert Armstrong claims God had him raise the Philadelphia up. Are there reasons to believe that the Philadelphia mantle in now within the CCOG? Here is a link to a related sermon: Herbert W. Armstrong and the Philadelphia Mantle.
Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18? Here is a link in the French language: Est-ce que l’Église Continue de Dieu confirme les signes d’Actes 2:17-18? A related sermon in the English language is also available: 17 Last Days’ Signs of the Holy Spirit.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 50+ Laodicean Prophetic Errors. See also Do You Hold to Any of These Laodicean Prophetic Errors?
Lost Tribes and Prophecies: What will happen to Australia, the British Isles, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States of America? Where did those people come from? Can you totally rely on DNA? What about other peoples? Do you really know what will happen to Europe and the English-speaking peoples? What about Africa, Asia, South America, and the Islands? This free online book provides scriptural, scientific, historical references, and commentary to address those matters. Here are links to related sermons: Lost tribes, the Bible, and DNA; Lost tribes, prophecies, and identifications; 11 Tribes, 144,000, and Multitudes; Israel, Jeremiah, Tea Tephi, and British Royalty; Gentile European Beast; Royal Succession, Samaria, and Prophecies; Asia, Islands, Latin America, Africa, and Armageddon;  When Will the End of the Age Come?Rise of the Prophesied King of the North; Christian Persecution from the Beast; WWIII and the Coming New World Order; and Woes, WWIV, and the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

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