Friday, May 20, 2016

PREVIEW: What Comes Next for Us? The Exodus out of Egypt

"That which has been is that which will be,
 And that which has been done is that which will be done.
 So there is nothing new under the sun."
- Ecclesiastes 1:9 

"History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes." - attributed to Mark Twain

To Know the Future, Look at the Past

Recently the Lord opened my eyes to a powerful prophetic parallel in the Bible. This moment in history we are in right now is mirrored by the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt. Ahead of us are a series of increasingly severe plagues on the land. At a time when our backs are against a wall, God will part the Red Sea and deliver us by his mighty hand out of Egypt. Except we will go up through the heavens instead of through water. This is the rescue of the saints - the Rapture. We will spend a time in the wilderness, nourished by God, just as He did for the Israelites with daily manna. Except our wilderness is a dwelling place in our Father's house in heaven. Then we will return, cross the Jordan River, defeat the Canaanites and occupy the Promise Land. Instead of carrying the ark of the covenant across the Jordan River, we will follow the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS on white horses through an opening in the heavens. The battle of Armageddon will ensue. Jesus Christ, the Lion of Judah, and his heavenly army will emerge victorious over the beast and the armies of earth. Finally, Jesus Christ will reign from Jerusalem for 1,000 years over a restored earth, the new Promise Land!

The Bible is full of prophetic symmetry, where one event or person signifies and portends another in the future. God the Father designed the story line of history to unfurl like a flower. Movements build one upon another. His genius hand arranged for the themes of the exodus, the wilderness and the Promise Land to repeat like poetry in the end times.

Key That Unlocks the Mystery - Eagles' Wings

The symbolism of eagles' wings in Revelation 12 and Exodus 19 is a key establishing the prophetic parallel between the exodus from Egypt and end-times events.

Revelation chapter 12 is a profound passage that covers a broad sweep of history and flows into end-times prophecy. The passage is poetic and metaphorical. The woman represents God's people, Israel, the Church. The dragon represents Satan and the third of the stars of heaven that he swept from the sky represent the angels that followed him in rebellion against God. The male child who will rule all the nations with a rod of iron represents Jesus the Messiah. 

"And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent." - Revelation 12:13-14

When the dragon is cast out of second heaven (his current residence) and thrown down to earth in the end times, he will persecute the woman. But God will give her two wings of a great eagle to fly away to safety in the wilderness, where she will be nourished for a time and times and half a time. The last part is a euphemism for three and a half years, which matches the 42 months of the beast will be allowed to reign on earth:

"There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him." - Revelation 13:5

Flying away on eagles' wings is the same metaphor the Lord God used to describe how he brought the Israelites out of Egypt:

"Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, 'Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the sons of Israel: "You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself."'" - Exodus 19:3-4

In Exodus, the eagles' wings represent God's miraculous deliverance from Egypt - the plagues on the land, the pass over and especially the parting of the Red Sea. The Israelites walked across on dry land, but the waters fell on and drowned the pursuing Egyptian army. In Revelation, the eagles' wings represent the miraculous end-times rescue of the saints that we call the Rapture.

Where did God bring his people, according to the Exodus passage? To Himself! The Israelites encountered the presence of God on Mountain Sinai, just as we will encounter God on his holy mountain in the heavens.

The analogy continues with the wilderness. The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness nourished by God. He provided them food daily with manna from heaven and their sandals and clothes never wore out. In the same way, the raptured saints will be nourished in heaven, away from the presence of the dragon on earth, during the 42 months of the Great Tribulation.

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