Readings: Ezekiel 20, Revelation 12
1. THE FIRST EXODUS
The story of ancient Israel's exodus from Egypt is well known. One would be hard pressed to find a Christian minister who had not, at some time or another, told his congregation the story.
2. TWO PROPHECIES
Before going any further, let us introduce you to two Bible prophecies that tell of this soon-coming event. The first prophecy is found in chapter 20 of the Old Testament book of Ezekiel. Read the whole chapter to get a better picture of this almost incredible eventuality. Whilst reading, try to appreciate the Almighty's amazement and sorrow at His people's continued rejection of His law, particularly His Sabbath days. Note also His rising frustration as He outlines His plan to gather Israel ( and this includes true believers in His Son who are grafted into the Olive of Israel ! ) and lead them into the 'wilderness of the people.' Bear in mind that this is not an exodus from the four corners of the earth to the present land of Israel; a phenomenon which has already been in progress for the better part of this century. No, this is a high level exodus from human society to a location the Eternal calls the 'wilderness of the people,' a term never used when referring to the present land of Israel. In that 'great desert' the Almighty plans to 'plead with His people face to face, just as He pleaded with Israel of old in the desert of Egypt.' The very concept that we are being invited to consider here is breath-taking to say the least; and were it not so well documented in scripture we would be amongst the first to dismiss it without further thought. But it is there for examination and it would be foolish to ignore it. In that 'wilderness' the Most High plans further to individually identify His people like a shepherd marks His flock: and to purge out rebellion against His holy law, especially His Sabbath law ! Then He plans to bring His people into, what He calls, 'the bond of the covenant.' All this is scheduled to occur before He leads us into 'His holy mountain in the height of Israel:' a high and holy state which is foreshadowed by the present mount Zion in the land of Palestine. Now for proof of this amazing prospect.
|Ezekiel 20:||34: 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. |
35: And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
36: 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.
37: And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:
38: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the countries where they sojourn, and they shall not enter the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
39: As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.
40: For in mine holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, saith the Lord God, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, serve me: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the firstfruits of your oblations, with all your holy things.
41: I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen.
|Revelation 12:||1: And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a
woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon
her head a crown of twelve stars: |
2: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
3: And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5: And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.
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.
7: And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8: And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9: And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
10: And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11: And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
12: Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
13: And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
14: And to the woman were give 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 Christ.
3. IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
'But,' you may well ask: 'Where is this wilderness? Is it a desert in the Middle East or some other area on earth? How will I get there? And if I'm to go, how will I survive in a wilderness?' More importantly, 'How will Yahweh's people know when to go?' Without reasonable answers to such questions the very idea of another exodus to a wilderness is a non-starter. So let me first briefly list the events that will lead up to a world situation where this seemingly impossible eventuality not only becomes likely, but inevitable.
4. THE SEVEN SEALS OF REVELATION
In our booklet Understand the Revelation the future of mankind as recorded by the Apostle John is explained. If you haven't already studied the on-line booklet, then now is the time to do so: because this paper assumes that you are acquainted with end-time prophecy. For those who are not, the seven seals of the Revelation are briefly listed and explained below to show how just such a situation will arise when the Almighty's obedient servants will be compelled to leave human society.
5. THE COMING WORLD GOVERNMENT
You will see from the foregoing, that in 1994 we are still awaiting the events under the 6th Seal: which, of course, could burst upon us any day! ( And now we are at 2007 twelve years later 'even at the door' )! Once the events under that seal begin, they will move so rapidly that most of the human race will be taken completely by surprise. It will be at about that time that the new world government will rise to devour the whole earth. ( Dan.7:23 ) The new world order is already in the making. One can see it in the way business organizations are becoming internationalized: and how economic sanctions, when applied, overcome the most powerful of nations. The devastation sustained at the 6th Seal and the first four trumpets of the 7th Seal will speed this process. Using economic sanctions as its main weapon, the new world order will be very different from the military empires that have gone before. Under it the greed for gold will decimate earth's natural resources. At its head will be the Antichrist, the Son of Hell, who, as the little horn of Daniel's prophecy, will even dare to challenge the Almighty God and pollute His heavenly sanctuary. ( Dan.8:9-27 ) The Antichrist will be worshipped by the terrified human race as the only one capable of saving humanity from its myriad problems. We are told in Bible prophecy that he will reveal himself and be worshipped as God! When he arrives he will become immensely popular and will vainly attempt to annul the Almighty's Sabbath and Festival commandments by instituting his own. ( Dan.7:25 )
6. MIRACLES & LYING WONDERS
The Bible tells us that many false prophets, all claiming to be spokesmen of the Almighty, will arise in the last days. They will perform astonishing miracles and cures which will deceive multitudes into rejecting the commandments of the Eternal.
|Matthew 24:24||"For there shall arise false Christ's, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; inasmuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."|
|Revelation 12:17||"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 Christ."|
7. WHEN WILL THE COMING EXODUS OCCUR?
You will see from the foregoing that the final events under the 7th Seal are scheduled to last about seven years: and that the predicted exodus to the wilderness will occur during the second half of that seven year period. How near, then, is the start of that seven year period? The following details are given to show that we are fast approaching that starting date. Man's allocated term of 6000 years will be over in about one years' time. We have now arrived according to the sacred calendar of the God of Israel to the year 6001. The sacred calendar year 6002 will be March 20, 2007. In other words, the starting date for the last 7 year period ( when the seven trumpets begin to sound ) has arrived ! Could it be that the Almighty's millennial Sabbath is so near? World events lead us to believe that it is.
|Ante Deluvian Patriarchs||Year
|Genesis 1:27||Adam created in the God's own image||in year||0
|Genesis 5:3||Seth born when Adam was||130||in year||130
|6||Enos born when Seth was||105||in year||235
|9||Cainan born when Enos was||90||in year||325
|12||Mahalaleel born when Cainan was||70||in year||395
|15||Jared born when Mahalaleel was||65||in year||460
|18||Enoch born when Jared was||162||in year||622
|21||Methuselah born when Enoch was||65||in year||687
|25||Lamech born when Methuselah was||187||in year||874
|28||Noah born when Lamech was||182||in year||1056
|Genesis 7:11||The Flood came when Noah was||600||in year||1656
|Post Deluvian Patriarchs||Year
|Genesis 11:10||Arphazad born 2 years after flood||2||in year||1658
|12||Salah born when Arphazad was||35||in year||1693
|14||Eber born when Salah was||30||in year||1723
|16||Peleg born when Eber was||34||in year||1757
|18||Reu born when Peleg was||30||in year||1787
|20||Serug born when Reu was||32||in year||1819
|22||Nahor born when Serug was||30||in year||1849
|24||Terah born when Nahor was||29||in year||1878
|26||Abram born when Terah was||130*||in year||2008
|21:5||Isaac born when Abraham was||100||in year||2108
|25:26||Jacob born when Isaac was||60||in year||2168
|Genesis 12:1-4||Yahweh called Abram out of Mesopotamia when he was 75 years old. This call came ( 2008 + 75 ) in year||2083
|Israel's sojourning was to last 430 years after the covenant with Abram. ( 2083+430=2513 ) This brings us to Israel's EXODUS from Egypt in year||2513
|1 Kings 6:1||Building operations started 480 years after the Exodus. ( 2513+480 = 2993 ) in year||2993
|1 Kings 6:37-38||Building operations finished in 7 years, in year||3000
|The Birth of Jesus Christ|
|The Saviour was born in the year 3996 A.M. ( see References )||3996|
|The Current Year ... 1994|
|Add 1994 years to 3996 and we arrive at the AM year||5993|
J B Dimbleby & Others
J B Dimbleby, astronomer, chronologist and author of the book entitled ALL TIME PAST, differs from Archbishop Ussher by some 8 years. Along with other chronologists, Dimbleby calculates that the creation occurred 3996 BC, not 4004 BC. According to Dimbleby and others we will reach the 6000 year mark between 2001 AD & 2007 AD.
The Jewish Calendar
The Jewish calendar, I understand, dates back to the birth of Seth's son Enos in the year 235 AM. In the Jewish calendar the year 1993/4 is year 5754 AM. Add 235 years to 5754 and we arrive at the year 5989 AM. In other words, by the Jewish calendar the year 1993/4 is also about 11 years away from the 6000 year mark!
8. WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN?
It certainly doesn't mean that AVITW, A Voice In the Wilderness - Canada is forecasting the year of Christ's return. The Saviour made it abundantly clear that no man can do this.
|Mark 13:32||"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father."|
|1 Thessalonians 5:4||"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."|
|2 Peter 3:8||"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."|
|Matthew 24:22||"And except those days be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened."|
9. THE EXODUS SIGNAL
Yes, these are details we already know. But what will be the signal for the coming exodus to the wilderness? How will we know when and where to go: if, indeed, we have to go anywhere? Will the signal be persecution, famine or disaster? Or are we to wait for some charismatic, miracle-working cult leader to lead us out of town? No, it will be none of these things. Over the centuries the church has lived through scores of persecutions, famines and disasters. As for miracle-working cult leaders posing as Christ's spokesmen, that is probably the most dangerous deception of all; because many deluded souls end up either believing them or dismissing Christianity as a farce fit only for small children, old people and Bible-thumping weirdos. Both options are tragedies, because the Saviour is definitely going to return to earth soon, even though we do not know the exact year.
Nevertheless the question still remains: What will be the signal or sign for the coming exodus to the wilderness? Our answer is based on Scripture and you must bear it in mind in the years ahead. The coming exodus to the great wilderness will not take place until the following events have occurred. The signal, in short, is a series of events. I list them:
WHERE IS THE WILDERNESS OF THE PEOPLE?
In my opinion, that wilderness is not a physical desert at all. It is a high level spiritual experience which we will enter when we are driven out of human society because we refuse to break Yahweh's law by accepting the Beast's Mark. It is a desert of rejection and isolation, where even food and fuel will be forbidden us, because of our stand for the Sabbaths of the Most High. Economic sanctions against the obedient church will then alienate it from all the world. We will be expelled from human society as Israel of old was thrust out of Egypt. Like spiritual aliens unfit for the new world order, circumstances will force the church into the 'wilderness of the people.' Life will be as hard there as it is when trying to survive in a literal desert.
|Exodus 12:39||"... they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry ..."|
|Psalm 91:||3: Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler,
and from the noisome pestilence.|
4: He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5: Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6: Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7: A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at the right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8:Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9: Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation.
10: There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11: For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
10. THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
What is the Everlasting Gospel? As its name implies, it is the good news that will never cease to apply: the good news that contains the key to life everlasting. Most Christians already know the Gospel, or the first part of it at any rate. But for those who may not know, here is the Everlasting Gospel that will be preached by the 144,000 during the closing days of this age. Bear in mind that this age, man's allocated 6000 year period, is coming to its end. When the events under the 6th Seal occur, the human race will hear the following message proclaimed with a power never witnessed in history.
|Revelation 14:||6: And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven,
having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the
earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,|
7: Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
From this it is evident that the Everlasting Gospel consists of a twin call to:
|Acts 16:30-31||"... Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."|
|Exodus 20:||8: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.|
9: Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it.
|Matthew 19:16-19||"... If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."|
That is the Everlasting Gospel in a single sentence. It is found in Ecclesiastes 12:13 and it encompasses the whole duty of mankind - for all time! In New Testament terms it means: Have faith in God and obey Him. We hope and pray that Yahweh will grant you the wisdom to take that advice to heart. We are now approaching the final stages in world history: and the time is going to be cut short! The 6th Seal is about to occur any day now. You do not have much time to mentally and spiritually prepare for the events that will follow that seal. To help you further understand end-time prophecy and the Almighty's amazing plan to save mankind from eternal death, turn to the Prophecy page which includes: