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Camp Hope

Voice of the Kingfisher speaks out  …from a different perspective

                                                          by Elinor Montgomery

October 14, 2010

The eyes of the world have been focused this week on a little mining town called San José in Chile. People from every country in the world watched intently, as they witnessed the events, which would determine the fate of 33 miners, trapped for 69 days under the rock, deep beneath the surface of the earth.

For a brief moment in history, cultural boundaries disappeared as the entire world watched and waited with baited breath and hearts of one accord. Everyone wanted to see the trapped miners brought back from the pit in which they had been entombed, to be restored to life and their loved ones who waited and prayed throughout the entire ordeal in a place named ‘Camp Hope’.

This was no ordinary event, nor did it take place by chance. God had His hand upon it from beginning to end. It became the perfect picture of salvation, something men choose to ignore until a crisis appears in their lives and they are forced to take a hard look at their situation. Since man has literally ignored God’s principles for life, as written in the Bible, a merciful God has set us down, like the disobedient little children we are, to see, through the experience of these miners, exactly what are the consequences of our life choices and actions.

Thirty-three miners found themselves to be in the pit of hell with no escape route, were it not provided for them from an outside source. This is a picture of the destination of all mankind, which chooses to ignore Jesus. He was just a young man, 33 years of age, when He went down into the pit of hell for those 33 miners as well as for the rest of the world, so that we would not have to endure such a painful experience, though it is what we deserve for sinning against our Creator – the Rock of our salvation.

They, in fact, are representatives of you and me, who should be taking the miners’ place in that pit for the sin for which Jesus took our place. He, whom we have rejected, gave us 33 years of time here on earth, dwelling among us and teaching us how to get our lives right again with God. Then, He left behind for us His perfectly-taught apostles to write Scripture so that all generations would know the truth about the wonderful gift of life, which God wants to give back to mankind, in the same way He gave life back to those miners.

If this is not persuasive enough for you to recognize God’s hand in all of this, let us take a look at the number of days the miners were trapped underground. It is impossible to ignore the number 69, being the same number of weeks of years prophesied by Daniel for the captivity of man to death, until the Messiah (Jesus) would be cut off from the human race as He went to the cross, not for Himself, but for the salvation of all mankind. After the 69 weeks of seven years each, He chose to take our place in the pit (see Daniel 9:24-26). The 69 weeks ended to the day when He made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, just five days before His death.

What did He teach us about the cross? It is the crossroads of history to which every man will come spiritually where he will be required to choose between life and death. He offers us an extremely narrow path, leading to life in the kingdom along the Way, separated from the broad road of destruction that leads to hell. Two very different spirits guide us along the two very different routes, to the two very different destinations of our choosing.

Jesus stated that He is the Way, and the only Way, back to the Father, and what the world calls intolerant, Jesus designates to be very narrow, indeed. If it is sin man wants then man will declare this narrow way of Jesus to be intolerance on the part of Himself and His followers. The truth of the matter is that He, like His Father, has zero tolerance for sin.

If man does not want the narrow escape route from death, which Jesus provides, then the alternative is for him to make his own escape route from the tomb in which he is caught beneath earth and rock. Not one of the miners rejected the narrow way provided for them from above to be returned to the life, which was so close to being lost to them in that pit.

I would suggest to you that every one of the miners would tell you that he could never have escaped by himself in his own strength. They needed two very important things from above to keep them alive during those 69 days of captivity, in order to exit from the tomb of the mine, where men seek the riches of this world. They needed the oxygen and food, which were piped down to them through the escape route prepared from above.

Jesus has provided the same aids to us for our escape route from the world of sin. He sent us the Spirit of life, which man lost in the Garden to sin, so we could be born again unto life from death. And He gave us truth, the spiritual food and manna from heaven. I wonder if any of the miners would have rejected these life-saving gifts, once they recognized the seriousness of their situation. I doubt it very much.

That which we do know about some of the thoughts they experienced while trapped in this life-threatening situation, was that they recognized themselves to be victims of a spiritual battle between Satan and God. One miner declared that he was with God and the devil in this particular hell hole on earth. Another young miner told his father that there were not just 33 of them locked in the mine, but rather 34, for God was with them.

If he knew his Bible well, he might have been able to equate his situation with that of Jacob, who struggled with the angel of God and man all through the night before being victorious in earning God’s family name of Israel. Could it be that this miner recognized for the first time that Satan is battling God for the souls of man? Was this perhaps not God’s plan for this miner, and for the entire world, to recognize the spiritual truth of our times?

One other miner decided to propose to his long-time partner, making a commitment to love her in the proper relationship of marriage – the way God always wanted man to express love and be fruitful. Then, there were others who came to value their Bibles more than anything else when they found themselves cut off from the life and families they loved. They each had with them, their own small Bibles.

They turned to truth, found only in the Bible, and not to unholy secular books of religion, which offer man no hope for salvation outside of Jesus. I doubt that they were interested in the thoughts of gurus, or any other spiritualists, at this point, who call themselves holy men. These miners were surely beneath the site, which rightfully was called ‘Camp Hope’ by those who never gave up on them, but rather kept right on praying for their salvation.

San José is another way of saying, Saint Joseph, which means ‘Jehovah increases’, or ‘may God add’. Joseph, the son of Jacob, received the robe of inheritance from his father to become the scriptural symbol of Jesus, and the work He did to save His brothers and increase the tents of Israel. The 33 miners are the symbol of the spiritual brothers of Jesus, caught in the death trap of hell.

Ignore all these signs if you will, but there could be no clearer picture of what lies ahead for you and me, if we do not choose Jesus and the narrow way, which He has provided for us as our escape hatch during the coming nighttime of judgment.

Mankind is precariously perched at the end of the church age and the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel’s revelation (see Daniel 9:26-27). It begins with a prince to come (the Antichrist) who will make a covenant with many. My friends, we are sitting on the cusp of a peace treaty from Satan with the people of the Revived Roman Empire. Jerusalem shall burn again as the Israel of God becomes his target. So much for peace treaties and the promises of non-aggression with the enemy of man!

When the life-line collapsed inside the mine in San José, Chile, it was a very important message for our times. The covenant of God’s people with Him has been broken by sin again today, as the entire world is about to join in a One World Order of rebellion against Him. God could not have given a clearer picture of the only possible escape hatch open to us and how few are going to take the narrow way to salvation.

He has made certain that this message has gone out to all the nations, so that there is no excuse for not knowing Him as the narrow way, totally intolerant of any other way to salvation. I wonder how many who have watched this event will actually have ears to hear and eyes to see what the Spirit is telling and showing us with the incredible rescue of the 33 miners. There is a spiritual method of messaging by God, understood only by those who are spiritually connected with Him and prepared to receive them.

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. And whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:16-17). The Lord is speaking of the water of the Spirit.

In ‘Camp Hope’ they say, “Hope can move mountains.” Jesus says, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you (Matthew 17:20).”