Exodus in Revelation
Given By: "Glenn D. Blank" On Saturday, April 16, 2011

This month I have been teaching on Revelation, and Passover is now around the corner.


As Dan Juster has pointed out in his book Revelation: the Passover Key, there are striking parallels between the events remembered in Exodus and the foretold in the end-time prophets and Revelation. So, as we prepare for Pesach, let us also prepare for the last days of deliverance, by telling the story. Exodus 13:8 says, "You shall tell your son on that day, saying, 'It is because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.'"

Every Passover, we must retell the story of the deliverance of our ancestors from slavery as our story.


One way that the reality that Passover is our story comes home to us is when we consider that God has delivered us from our own bondage to sin, suffering and death.  V'eemru? (And let us say?) Another way to appreciate the Passover study is to see how it prepares us for the last days.  V'eemru?


The story begins with Joseph, dreaming of the sun and moon and eleven stars bowing down to him. Joseph's brothers and his Dad Jacob recognized that the dream was about them-and they don't like it.


In Revelation 12:1, we read about "a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars."  Just as in Joseph's dreams, the sun and moon represent Jacob & his wife-the Patriarchs & Matriarchs-and the twelve stars represents the children of Israel. Chapter 12 of Revelation interrupts John's apocalyptic vision to summarize eschatological history.


Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt. Joseph had to suffer much because of his brothers. So Yeshua son of Joseph has had to suffer much because of his brothers, who do not understand him. Yet Joseph was raised up to the right hand of Pharaoh, and became a deliverer for Egypt from famine. And then Joseph's brothers came down during a famine, and bowed down-just as in the dream! And later Jacob came, too, and all Israel dwelt in Egypt under the protection of Joseph. So the symbolism of the dream came to have a deeper meaning than Jacob and his sons had foreseen. It wasn't about Joseph lording it over them, but Joseph providing for and protecting them. When we encounter the symbolism of Revelation, rather than respond with fear and confusion to its awesome imagery, let us trust that Yeshua showed these things to provide for and protect us. V'eemru?


Then another Pharaoh arose in Egypt, who didn't remember Joseph, and enslaved our fathers in Egypt. In the bitterness of bondage, the children of Israel cried out to God, and God heard them.  A deliverer was born among them-even though Pharaoh had commanded that all the male children of Israel be slain. So we read in Revelation 12:2 and 4, "She is pregnant-crying out in birth pains, in agony to give birth. Now the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that whenever she gave birth he might devour her child."


In Egypt, though Satan tried to kill him through the edict of Pharaoh, the deliver Moses lived. In Bethlehem, though Satan tried to kill him through the edict of Herod, the deliver Yeshua lived. God protected both of them-so that they might grow up and deliver their people. So the Passover story is a key to understanding the cosmic struggle between the Satan the dragon and Messiah the Lamb.


God sent Moses and his brother Aaron to Pharaoh, to bear witness to them that the God of Israel had sent them to tell him, "Let my people go!"

Now the story gets really hot and heavy!  Consider the parallels:


In Exodus, an evil Pharaoh arose, seeking to oppress and destroy the children of Israel. In Revelation, an anti-Messiah will arise, seeking to oppress and destroy the people of God (both Israel and the believers in Messiah).


In Exodus, God raises up two witnesses (Moses and Aaron) to prophesy against Pharaoh's power. In Revelation, God will raise up two witnesses to prophesy against the power of Anti-Messiah.


In Exodus, plagues fall upon Egypt, demonstrating the power of God to Egypt. In Revelation, plagues will fall upon the world, demonstrating the power of God to the world and the gods of this world.


Plague #1: Water is turns into blood. Exodus 7:20-22, "So Moses .  lifted up the staff and struck the water that was in the Nile, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, and all the water that was in the Nile was turned to blood.  The fish that were in the Nile died, and the Nile became foul, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile." 


The plague of blood in the Nile was a judgment on the Nile god known as Hapi, who was as associated with fertility, food and water. With all that fish rotting, Hapi looked pretty helpless! Similarly, in Revelation 8:8-9, "The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died."


I don't know about you, but if I saw the sea turning to blood, I would be reminded of what happened in Egypt. But in the last days, not everyone will get the message right away, just as they didn't in Egypt. Pharaoh's magicians tried imitating Moses with their tricks. And in Revelation, Anti-Messiah's false prophet will seek to deceive many with his false signs. Revelation 13:14, "And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast."  Just remember, been there, done that!


Plague #2: Frogs. Exodus 8:3, "The Nile will swarm with frogs, which will come up and go into your house and into your bedroom and on your bed."   If you think frogs in your bed is ooey, wait until you see what's in store in Revelation 16:13, "And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs." Note that the frogs and later locusts are unclean spirits that look like frogs.  That's a principle for interpreting Revelation: the plagues are unclean or evil spirits.  God regarded them as unclean spirits in Egypt, too. The plague of frogs was a judgment on the god Heket, who had the head of a frog and was worshiped as a god of fertility.


Exodus 9:10-12, "It became boils breaking out with sores on man and beast. The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians as well as on all the Egyptians. And the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not listen to them." From the river the plagues came into their homes and then on their skin. So in Revelation 16:11, "they cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and sores, and did not turn from their sinful deeds."

In Exodus, in spite of the awesome signs of God's judgment, Pharaoh amazingly hardens his heart.


In Revelation, in spite of the awesome signs of God's wrath, many people will still refuse to repent. (We should not be surprised that many refuse to repent, for as Yeshua said in Matthew 7:13-14, "wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.")



Just as plagues of locusts and darkness fell upon Egypt, so they appear again in Revelation 9:2-3, "He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit. Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power was given them, as the scorpions of the earth have power."

In Exodus, the plagues fall upon Egypt, the greatest world power of that time.


In Revelation, the plague fall upon all the nations of the world which defy the God of Israel. For just as God judged Egypt for its mistreatment of the children of Israel, God will judges all the nations for how they have treated His covenant people Israel.  As He says in Joel 3:2, "I will gather all the nations And bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land."


Through all these plagues, God makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel.

Exodus 9:26, "Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel were, there was no hail."

In Revelation, God protects His people who have His seal: Revelation 7:3, "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads!" The seal of God is probably not a cross on your neck or even jewelry with the Messianic seal; it's the Spirit of God living in your heart.  As 2 Corinthians 1:22 says, "He put his seal on us, and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee for the future."

In response to the seal of God Anti-Messiah demands that the mark of "666" appear on the rest- the number of man, apart from God.  (In Hebrew numerology 6 is the number of man.)


In Exodus, God protects his people in Goshen.

In Revelation 9:4, the demonic locusts will be commanded to harm "only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads."

In Exodus, the sons of Israel overcame the angel of death by means of the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their houses.

In Revelation 12:11 the children of God will overcome Satan "by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony

In Exodus, the armies of Pharaoh foolishly defy God by coming out to attack Israel.

In Revelation, the armies of the nations will again defy God by making a final assault against Israel.

In Exodus, God splits he sea to deliver his people.

In Revelation, Messiah will split both the heavens and the earth to deliver his people, taking them up through the veil between the seen and unseen to be with him for the wedding of the Lamb.

In Exodus, the armies of Egypt are drowned in the sea.

In Revelation, the armies of anti-Messiah are consumed by nuclear fire.

In Exodus, Moses and Miriam lead Israel in a song of victory and praise to God. In Revelation, the elders of Israel lead the saints in song after song of glory and praise to the Lamb. It's glory to God, both in Exodus and Revelation. V'eemru?


Yet there is also grit and gruesomeness, darkness and despair, tears and terror.


In Exodus, the children of Israel suffered in bondage until their cries aroused God's compassion. In the last days, the blood of the saints or kedoshim will also cry out to God. In Revelation 6:10, "they cried out with a loud voice: 'Lord, the One who is holy and true, how long until You judge and avenge our blood from those who live on the earth?'"


A key to ushering in the final victory is the suffering and the blood of the kedoshim.  On the one hand, God distinguishes and protects His people, sealed by His Spirit. On the other hand, some of His prophets and kedoshim do willingly suffer for His name's sake.


By identifying with the blood of the Lamb, the trials and even the blood of the martyrs take on eternal significance and power, filling up the cup of Messiah's sufferings. Since humanity ceded authority over this world to hasatan, we are responsible for its devastation. So humanity will shares in the restoration of this world by sharing in Messiah's suffering-Messiah will call some of His holy people to take a stand against the spiritual forces of darkness in this world.


Hashem does provide protection for His people through the tribulation--the seal distinguishing them for those afflicted by the locusts and other plagues; the place of refuge in the wilderness to which the woman representing Israel flees from the dragon; the calling up rapture of the kedoshim into His presence at the sound of the seventh shofar, for the glorious wedding with the Lamb.


Yet just as Messiah willingly laid down His life in suffering and death, in order to fulfill the purpose of God, some of the kedoshim in the last days will willingly present their testimony to those who hate it, for the sake of some who will turn and trust in God. I think of my friend and mentor Carol Ann, who willingly gave her life in intercession the rebirth of faith in Israel and the Islamic world.  I think of Jill Shannon, a Jewish believer to whom the Lord has revealed her own martyrdom.  She was thrilled to see it at first, but when she accepted her calling and destiny, it transformed her.


To the martyr-witnesses there is special honor in the judgment of the just. Revelation 20:4, "And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for testifying about Yeshua and proclaiming the Word of God, also those who had not worshipped the beast or its image and had not received the mark on their foreheads and on their hands. They came to life and ruled with the Messiah for a thousand years."


Yet even for those of us who are not called so, there will be opportunity to keep trusting in the faithfulness of God during times of shaking and terror all around us. 


How do you respond to the trembling of earthquakes, to the sudden rush of tsunamis, to the growing disaster of nuclear reactors spewing radiation into the air and the sea?  How do you respond to suffering in your own body or the body of someone you love?  How do you respond to the voice of the enemy threatening to overwhelm you, "You're done for!"


Fear is natural in such circumstances; faith is supernatural. 

Will we see with natural eyes only, or with supernatural?  God gives us supernatural insight. As Romans 8:15 says, "For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father!" Today we can cry out to Him, "Abba Father," and keep trusting in Him. V'eemru?


At this point, I'd like to share a testimony about what happened to me, just last Shabbat. Before service began, I was experiencing some fairly intense warfare-this though came into my head: "The congregation is small and it's going to fold"-just as I am about to leave Lehigh and go full time. Hasatan is persistent, seeking to distract and if possible discourage me.  I just prayed and worshiped the Lord through it.  


But then came four prophecies that spoke directly against these attacks.

First, during the prophecy time, Paul Kofchock opened with a word, "Do not fear.  I am with you.  Do not fear."  I hope that word spoke to others as well, but it spoke with resonance to my soul. 

 

Second, during oneg, Ira Goldstein came up to me and said he had a word that he had to share with me. When he came into the sanctuary that morning, the Lord said to him, saying, something like this (all you prophets will have to forgive me for paraphrasing a bit): "Though the congregation may seem small now, do not despise small things-David was small when he when against Goliath; Israel was a small nation when it received God's word. The congregation has a solid foundation, and it will grow-like a large tree from a seed."  Coming from Ira, who is a relatively new believer whom I have been discipling, that was an impressive word! 


Third, after the Messianic Jewish Foundations class, Emma Delatore said to me and Nancy Hahn, the Lord gave her a vision of the congregation growing to such a point that people would be packed into the sanctuary shoulder to shoulder.


Fourth, after Emma left, Nancy Hahn said to me, after she attended my retirement talk at Lehigh, the Lord spoke to her spirit, "Now that you have gotten out of the boat and begun to walk by faith, I will bless you and expand you."  Nancy asked, "Lord, how have I gotten out of the boat?" The Ruach replied, "The word was meant for Glenn.. But you are also getting out of the boat and walking on the water with him."  She wasn't sure what that meant for her. Perhaps he is referring to her willingness to make a covenant commitment to the congregation? Nancy also said that soon there would be a time of clarity or clear sailing for me and the congregation. Four prophecies in one day in pretty amazing! V'eemru? So I sought the Lord  about it that evening. 


My sense is that He wants to encourage me to overcome these attacks and also strengthen me to get through the current time of struggle.  It will end soon.  I said to the Lord, "With you soon may not necessarily be the same as with me and other humans, soon.  He replied, it will be soon for you.


When I summarized all this to Pamela, she suggested that I write it down, in case I need reminding when I am struggling with whatever until the breakthrough. I share it with you all, in case you need reminding when you are struggling with whatever.


Persevere and press on to the goal of Messiah's calling!

The breakthrough is coming! Messiah will fulfill His plans for us. V'eemru?  Baruch Hashem!


The story of Exodus was written as an example for us: we should re-tell it as if it were our own story. The story of Revelation was written as a warning and an encouragement to us: we should ponder it as it were our own future-for it will be.


In that day, you and I will cry out Abba Father, and keep trusting in Him, so that we will say, as Job 19:25 says, "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. and after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God."


In Rev 2:10, Yeshua tells the congregation of Smyrna, "Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested. and I will give you the crown of life."


That crown is worth waiting for, worth enduring for. V'eemru?

The worship team may come forward.  Let's pray..