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30 August 2014 | Shoftim

The Greater Exodus / April 2001

The Greater Exodus
Why the Torah has more to do with your future than your past

A very old story is told of a Gentile who came and asked a Jew to explain the Torah. However, the Gentile wanted the explanation to be short and to the point. So, he requested that the Jew stand on one foot to give his answer. He was a great teacher and the leader of the Sadducees. Upon hearing the request and its conditions, the teacher took a broom to shoo him away. The Gentile went to another teacher. The second Jew was the leader of the Pharisees and did as the Gentile asked. Standing on one foot, he said, "Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you. The rest is commentary."

This is essentially the same answer that Yeshua gave in the golden rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The only difference is the negative vs. positive approach. There are other ways to give a short summary of the Torah but they are all similar in nature such as, "Love one another. On this the Law and the Prophets hang." You may have heard this one also, "The Old Testament is the New Testament hidden. The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed."

I would like to offer another perspective of the Torah that few have heard before. The Torah is the guide for the last generation saints to endure the great tribulation until the Messiah comes. It is the story of the exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land; it is the pattern for the greater exodus from this world to Messiah’s Kingdom.

The Torah is a story of a generation of people who were delivered out of Egypt and transformed from slavery into free men. The book of Genesis simply explains where they came from and how they got into Egypt to begin with. What makes the Torah truly unique is not that it is a classic story of freedom from oppression, nor the most definitive set of instructions for all men to live. The Torah does speak of those things. However, the unique part is that there is a prophetic connection to the future for the last generation – the descendants of Israel. By that I mean, the Torah has a specific and deliberate purpose in the future. What is so ironic about this unique purpose is that no one has seen this purpose until the last couple of years. You will not find a commentary, Christian or Jewish, that compares the generation leaving Egypt with the generation leaving this present age en route to the promised land (kingdom). You will have a rare find indeed to hear a teaching that explains the prophecies of the last generation with the lesson of the exodus. This is not a thematic thought; I am saying that the final purpose of the Torah in this age is to instruct the last generation how to enter the Messiah’s kingdom. This is an interpretation, not a sermon.

To grasp the concept quickly and raise your interest level, let me point out a couple of obvious items. The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, speaking of the end of the ages, spoke of another Exodus. But the Exodus would not be like the one from Egypt.

"Therefore behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord, "when they will no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil."
Jeremiah 23:7-8
When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer.
Ezekiel 39:27-28

Moses wrote a song of deliverance (Exodus 15) at the first Exodus. Upon crossing the Red Sea and seeing Pharaoh’s chariots drowned, he sang that song – the song of Moses. I’m sure you have heard the words, "The horse and rider He has thrown into the sea." But, did you know that Moses wrote a second song. The second song is also a song of deliverance and according the book of Revelation, it will be sung along with the song of the Lamb by tribulation saints at the end of the age. The second song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32) is for the greater Exodus.

And they sang the song of Moses the bond-servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; Righteous and true are Thy ways, Thou King of the nations. Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; For all the nations will come and worship before Thee, For Thy righteous acts have been revealed."
Revelation 15:3-4

The children of Israel left Egypt with the clear expectation that they were going to the promised land – the land of milk and honey. However, they did not go directly to that land. Instead, they went into the great, terrible wilderness for 40 years and camped at 42 different places. Then, they came to the Jordan river and crossed over to the promised land. Many things happened in the wilderness. They heard the voice of God, they received the ten commandments, they sinned with the golden calf, they built the tabernacle, they also rejected the promised land and were judged in the wilderness. Only two, Joshua and Caleb, actually made it into the promised land from those who were 20 years and older that left Egypt. The children of the children of Israel are those who took possession of the land.

Today, the average Christian is looking forward to leaving this world and going directly to the promised land by way of the rapture. However, we too have a great and terrible wilderness before us in our journey. It is called the great tribulation. Whereas, Israel camped 42 times, our tribulation is 42 months. The Hebrew word for Egypt is Mitzrayim. It means trials and tribulations. We will be leaving Egypt also. The lessons in the wilderness are also planned as the lessons for the last generation. But something is definitely different when it comes to results. Only two made it into the promised land on the first Exodus; the prophet John in Revelation (Rev 7:) said that he could not number the tribulation saints entering the kingdom (promised land).

It truly is the "Greater Exodus." The Torah is full of instruction and prophetic insight as to what the last generation will endure and how we will escape. Consider with me some of these instructions and insights just as Moses said.

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.
Deuteronomy 29:29

We are the "to our sons forever" that Moses referred to.

Pharaoh and the Antimessiah

The Exodus from Egypt focused on the conflict between Pharaoh and the God of Israel. Pharaoh hardened his heart against the Lord and great judgment befell Egypt. The purpose of these judgments was so Pharaoh, the Egyptians, and all nations would "know the Lord." The Scripture says that Pharaoh forgot Joseph, the man who helped save Egypt and the world in his day. In like manner, the greater Exodus will have its Pharaoh – the antimessiah. The antimessiah will also harden his heart against God and not remember the son of Joseph (Yeshua the Messiah). Great judgments will befall the world and the antimessiah so that the everyone will "know the Lord."

Moses and Aaron – the Two Witnesses

Moses and Aaron went into Pharaoh and spoke the Lord’s will, "Let My people go." With each refusal, Moses and Aaron pronounced God’s judgments upon Egypt and Pharaoh. In like manner, we will have two witnesses prophesying in Jerusalem, pronouncing judgments upon the world, and warning the people, "Behold, Here is your God!"

Israel's First Born and Jerusalem

Moses was informed that the judgment upon Pharaoh and Egypt would result in the death of the first born, because they refused to let God’s first born, Israel, go. In a fascinating and mysterious way, the very phrase, "Israel, My first born," is a sign about Jerusalem. According to the equidistant letter count popularized by the Bible Code, "Jerusalem" is spelled out every third letter. Today, Jerusalem is the focus of controversy in the world and the Middle East. It is Jerusalem that the Lord emphatically states will be His destination and focus for world judgment. Jerusalem is God’s first born in the greater Exodus and it will be the focal point for the day of the Lord and His return.

God's Judgments as Sets

The ten plagues that hit Egypt were three sets of three judgments with a final judgment. They can be identified by where Moses was when the judgment is brought forth. Beginning with the first judgment, water into blood, the judgments came forth in this manner: At the river Nile, at the Palace, then unannounced. This pattern repeats itself through the first nine. Therefore, the judgments were actually three sets of three each. It is not that the judgments announced at the river Nile happened first then all the Palace announcements happened, etc. They were integrated with each other. In like manner, we can see that the future Revelation judgments are three sets of seven. It is not that the seals happen first followed by the trumpets, then plagues. Instead, following the pattern of the first Exodus, they are integrated together and sequenced to bring out God’s purpose, to know the Lord.

The Locusts and Darkness Judgment

Judgment number eight and nine in ancient Egypt were particularly difficult. These preceded the final judgment. God demonstrates His great wisdom and judgment by doing the same with us in the great tribulation. In the final days of the tribulation, an asteroid, meteor, or comets strikes the earth in a deep impact scenario. According to the prophet Joel and John, great clouds billow up to darken the sun, moon, and stars. All the prophets have spoken of the world being in darkness before the coming of the Lord – in the final days of the indignation. From the abyss in the earth, demons come forth in this darkness to terrorize men. They are compared to locusts, following in mass and devastating everything in their path. The combined judgment of locusts (demons) and darkness begin on the anniversary of Egypt’s plague of darkness, in the springtime just prior to Passover. This darkness unlike Egypt will not last 3 days; instead, it will last 5 months.

And they have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months.
Revelation 9:10

Leaving Egypt and Sukkot

Israel was instructed not to go by the way of the Philistines – the most direct route to the promised land. Instead, God purposed to bring Israel to the mountain first. As the children of Israel left Egypt they did not understand all that would happen before they came to the promised land. All they knew was they were going to the promised land. In like manner, the average believer wants to go to the promised land also. He does not know what God has in store for us before we reach His kingdom. Many believe that we may be raptured right to the kingdom, that we will not go through a tribulation. Many have no idea that we will leave our homes and go on the greater Exodus. The Exodus is something in history for Israel but not for them. Believing the imminent rapture is the way of the Philistines; it is shorter, but it is the way of death.

The first place Israel camped upon leaving the city of Rameses was Sukkot. Sukkot means tabernacles or tents. Israel set up booths, huts, and tents. Sukkot is also a holiday in the fall. It is the Feast of Tabernacles. We are commanded to keep this holiday and remember how our ancestors escaped from Egypt. It is also the holiday that teaches the last generation how they will escape from the world. Leaving your house and all its comforts, going out with your brethren and living in a temporary setting, camping out, teaches you what to expect in the great tribulation. Furthermore, the Lord says that once we are in the kingdom, after the Lord has returned, we will observe the same holiday, the Feast of Tabernacles, as the first activity of the kingdom. It is the marriage feast. Simply put, keeping Sabbath is practicing to live in the kingdom. Keeping Sukkot is training for the great tribulation and rehearsing our wedding ceremony.

I have shared this with many brethren before, but let me say it one more time. You have to be willing to leave Egypt to go to the promised land. You have to be willing to leave this world including your home and church if you are to walk into the kingdom. If you will check your Bibles again, you will discover that there won’t be any church buildings in the kingdom. There will be a temple in Jerusalem and Biblical feasts. Failing to keep Sabbath and Festivals is a sure way to walk into the kingdom ignorant of everything.

Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps [Sabbath and Festival] and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:19

I know I’m starting to sermonize, but this is exactly what Paul referred to when he said the Sabbath and Festivals are the shadow of things to come.

Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day – things which are a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Messiah.
Colossians 2:16-17

The Messiah is the Lord of the Sabbath; it is His shadow we see. He is also the host of every festival.

The 10 Tests in the Wilderness

Israel was purposely tested in the wilderness. God wanted to transform the people and teach them to trust Him.

And you shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. Thus you are to know in your heart that the Lord your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.
Deuteronomy 8:2-5

Beginning with the crossing of the Red Sea and ending with Israel’s rejection at Kadesh-Barnea, Israel failed 10 tests. These tests are summarized by two categories (belief and disobedience) as the following questions:

    Belief and Trust:

  1. Will God save us from Pharaoh (antimessiah)?
  2. Will God provide water?
  3. Will God provide food?
  4. Will God be with us to defend us?
  5. Is God the One and only, true God?
    Obedience and Blessing:

  1. Will we reject God’s provision?
  2. Will we reject God’s presence?
  3. Will we reject God’s salvation?
  4. Will we reject God Anointed?
  5. Will we reject God’s Kingdom?

At the Red Sea, Pharaoh and his chariots approached to slaughter the children of Israel. The unbelievers cried out that Moses had brought them out to die. But Moses answered and told the people to be quiet and see the salvation of God. God led them through the Red Sea and drowned the Egyptians before their eyes. When the great tribulation comes, the first test will be whether God will save us from the antimessiah and his chariots. Many believers have been told that the antimessiah will be very powerful in the world. The antimessiah will be given power for a specific period; however, our God will not forsake us nor abandon us to the enemy. He is a savior and His arm is not short to deliver those who take refuge in Him.

The Apostle Paul makes reference to these tests explaining that they are to teach us. He also says they are intended for the people at the end of the ages (the last generation).

Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
I Corinthians 10:11

Following the Cloud by Day and the Fire by Night

Of all the things that Israel did wrong in the wilderness, there is one thing that they did right. They followed the pillar. Whenever the pillar lifted above the tabernacle, the children of Israel prepared to leave. They followed the pillar and camped when it came to rest on the tabernacle.

And throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up. For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.
Exodus 40:36-38

What will the pillar be like in the greater Exodus? Will it be cloud by day and fire by night? To be honest, I don’t know. I do know that we will have the Holy Spirit. We will have the 144,000. We will have God’s presence. I also know that the Lord will lead us and show us where to take refuge in Him. Whether we see a pillar is not essential; what is essential is that the Lord will guide us and not forsake us.

Hearing the Voice of God

The children of Israel gathered at the base of Mt. Sinai and heard the very voice of God speak the 10 commandments. It was a frightening and soul stirring experience. The whole mountain shook as God spoke. It is said that even Moses was full of fear and trembling. In like manner, the tribulation saints are going to have a similar experience. This time, God will shake more than the mountain. He says that He will shake the heaven as well.

And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven."
Hebrews 12:26

What will He say? We are not sure, but instead of the 10 commandments, it is referred to as the seven thunders and John was prohibited from telling us the content. We will experience the seven thunders and hear the voice of God from heaven in the days of the seventh trumpet.

… and he cried out with a loud voice, as when a lion roars; and when he had cried out, the seven peals of thunder uttered their voices. And when the seven peals of thunder had spoken, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Seal up the things which the seven peals of thunder have spoken, and do not write them."
Revelation 10:3-4

Wanting to Return to Egypt

It didn’t take long before the children of Israel began to mumble and grumble among themselves. The accommodations were not all that great. Food and water were questionable. Eventually, Moses’ leadership came into question. They complained that in Egypt they had cucumbers, melons, leeks and garlic; in the wilderness, all they had was manna. They also had taken a lot of gold from Egypt. What could they spend their gold on out in the wilderness? All of this led to various groups and individuals rising up in opposition saying that they should return to Egypt. In like manner, I can assure you that these very issues will present themselves in the great tribulation in the camp of believers. They will get hungry for McDonald’s french fries, Chinese take-out, and pizza delivery. What’s more, many believers will bring money with them, but there won’t be anywhere to spend it in the camp. The temptation will come and our own brethren will rise in opposition to camp leadership. The issue won’t be the leaders; the issue will be money, and they will want to go spend it back in the cities. If they leave the camp, they will die.

For the Fear of our Children

The greatest concern and most difficult issue for Israel in the wilderness was preparing to enter the land of Israel. When the spies returned and said, "There are giants in the land," the people believed that their enemies would kill their children. For this reason, they would not trust the Lord despite all that the Lord had done and shown them. In like manner, we will face our greatest test in believing that the Lord will protect and care for our children. The children of Israel didn’t believe the Lord; they were judged for their unbelief and disobedience in refusing to enter the land. So God took their children and took the land with them. The parents died one by one in the wilderness. If we do not trust the Lord to protect our children in the great tribulation, then we will suffer the exact same fate. We will enter the kingdom after the resurrection. Our children on the other hand, will be changed from mortal to immortal without physical death. They will make it. It is just as the Messiah said. Unless you enter the kingdom like a child, you will not see it happen.

Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all.
Mark 10:15

Crossing the River Jordan

When Israel crossed the Jordan river, they entered the promised land as a nation. They had leaders, laws, and land. The Angel of the Lord went before them. They were no longer slaves to Egypt. They were a free people with a covenant from God. In like manner, we will be resurrected from the dead or changed by the rapture. We will have new bodies. We will have Yeshua with us. We will have the same Torah we have now. Only, the Messiah will be our Torah teacher. We will no longer be slaves to sin and the world; we will be free and servants of the Living God. We will receive another covenant – the covenant of peace.

And I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.
Ezekiel 37:26-27

Conclusions

So when do we leave on this greater Exodus? When will it be time for us to leave our homes and go to our Sukkot (tents, booths, campers, RV’s, etc)? The Torah gives this answer as well.

When did the first Exodus occur? When did Israel boldly walk out of Egypt and begin their wilderness journey? It’s obvious: on Passover day. There is a day coming when we will see the starting events of the Great Tribulation. It will be the shutdown of the altar in Jerusalem. We will see the False Prophet set up the image. We will see the antimessiah make his boasts against the Lord. We will see those in Judea flee into the wilderness and a great flood swallowed up. We will then keep the Passover meal with our loins girded, sandals on our feet, and staff in hand. We will walk out and not look back at Egypt again. We will be part of the Greater Exodus to the promised land – the Kingdom of Messiah Yeshua. We will be transformed from mortals to the bride of Messiah, without spot, blemish or wrinkle.

I encourage you Brethren. The Torah has more to do with your future than it has to do with your past. It is the instructions of how to be set free, develop a relationship with the Living God, learn to live with your brethren, and to be part of Messiah’s Kingdom. The rules of the camp in the Great Tribulation are the same as when the children of Israel were in the wilderness. Learn and live.