COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE
Responding to God's Warning Message
By James Duffee
Revelation 18:4) And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5) For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
God has warned His people in the final days to come out of the symbolic city of Babylon, to avoid taking part in the sins of the world and receiving of the plagues that He has proclaimed would come. He has told us quite plainly that the only way for Christians to be safe from these things is to be separate from the worldly system. This is certainly not the first time God has given this message to those He loved. Beginning with Noah, He has often warned His people to separate themselves from worldly people in order to avoid the punishments that would be placed upon sinners.
Noah was told to take his family, the animals and a tremendous supply of provisions into the ark, so all would be saved from the destruction of the flood. Lot was told to take his family and all of his possessions and flee from the city before it was destroyed. The Israelites were told to take provisions of food, as well as jewelry, cattle and other possessions from Egypt and flee into the wilderness. Every time God has told His people to flee and warned them of impending disaster, He has made a way for them to survive the tribulations and hardships they would face. God's love for His people can be seen in the many examples of the way He provided for them in times of need.
Knowing that a drought was soon to come, God sent Joseph to Egypt to prepare a means of survival for the family of Jacob, the house of Israel. Having been sold into slavery by his own brothers, Joseph must have thought the worst thing in the world had happened to him. But God used the Pharaoh of Egypt to send a message of warning to His people; a dream which only Joseph could interpret, foretelling the seven year drought. Joseph's solution to this coming problem was to have the Egyptians store up vast quantities of food during the good years, and save it for the seven bad years. When the drought came, there was enough stored up to feed not only the Egyptians, but the family of Jacob also.
Knowing that King Herod would seek to kill Christ as an infant, God sent wise men from Asia with gifts for the newborn King. From the story of Christ's birth, it is evident that these wise men had been traveling for two years, following the sign of the star. God warned Joseph in a dream to flee into Egypt. But Joseph was a poor carpenter, having no possessions other than what the little donkey could carry, and had no money to make such a drastic move. The gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, three of the most valuable commodities of the time, enabled Joseph to take his family to Egypt as God commanded.
In each instance of warning, we can see the divine planning of events - God working in many ways to ensure the safety of His people. In this final age, not only has the warning been given, but the plans have been made and set in motion as well. God has virtually given us a schedule of events that will come, and has promised to keep us safe if we follow His plan. God's blueprint is laid out for us in the story of the Exodus from Egypt. The parallels are far too precise to be coincidence.
Exodus 3:16) Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and [seen] that which is done to you in Egypt: 17) And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
This is the message God told Moses to give to the Israelites. He told them that because of the hardships in Egypt, a land of idolatry and wickedness, He would lead them into the wilderness and bring them to "a land flowing with milk and honey". Similarly, He has told us to flee from Babylon - to go into the wilderness - and He will lead us to New Jerusalem.
Exodus 5:1) And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. 2) And Pharaoh said, Who [is] the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.
For hundreds of years, God has spoken to the governments of this earth through preachers, prophets and the Bible. He has told them in many ways to leave His people in peace to worship Him. In almost every instance, the response has been the same; "I know not the Lord".
Exodus 5:6) And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, 7) Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves.
As the time of the Exodus drew near, the Pharaoh made conditions even worse for the Israelites, forcing them to do more and more work. Current world events make it clear that as the time of our Exodus draws near, conditions for us are made worse by the governments. Our freedoms are being stripped away one by one, in an attempt to eliminate God and faith from the equation. "Christianity" is becoming an evil word in the politically correct mainstream world, and Christians are beginning to face tribulations at the hands of the government and liberal, ungodly organizations.
Exodus 6:6) Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I [am] the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: 7) And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I [am] the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
Just as God promised the Israelites He would lead them out from under the burdens of Egypt, He has promised to lead us out from under the burdens of this world. He has proclaimed that He would redeem us with a mighty hand and great judgments, as He did for the Israelites.
Exodus 7:16) And thou shalt say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. 17) Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I [am] the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that [is] in mine hand upon the waters which [are] in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. 18) And the fish that [is] in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall lothe to drink of the water of the river.
The people and governments of this world continue their evil ways, despite the repeated warnings from God. Pharaoh refused to listen, so God sent plagues upon Egypt. In the same manner, He will send plagues upon symbolic Babylon, as judgment and punishment for their sins.
Exodus 12:12) For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] the Lord. 13) And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye [are]: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy [you], when I smite the land of Egypt.
The final plague to strike Egypt was the destruction of the first born of every family. Only the Israelites, whose houses were covered by the blood, were spared. Under the final plague of the end times, destruction will once again come to the wicked, and only those who are covered by the blood of the Lamb will be spared.
Exodus 12:34) And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. 35) And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: 36) And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them [such things as they required]. And they spoiled the Egyptians. 37) And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot [that were] men, beside children. 38) And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle.
Here begins our Biblical lesson on how to survive in the wilderness. The Israelites gathered up food, clothing, precious metals (money), flocks and herds, and took them with them into the wilderness. Likewise, we are to store up food, clothes and other supplies for our time in the wilderness. Preparing for our life apart from Babylon means ensuring that we have sufficient stores of the necessities. We must be ready to live in an environment where there are no groceries stores, no corner drug stores, no gas stations. Everything that is needed must be brought with us, for there will be no way to obtain these things once we are forced to leave Babylon.
Exodus 13:21) And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 22) He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, [from] before the people.
God led the Israelites with fire and a cloud through their journey, and never took these things away until they were safe. Likewise, He has promised that He would never leave us or forsake us. He will lead us day and night, and never remove His guiding hand until we are safe.
Isaiah 4:5) And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory [shall be] a defence. 6) And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.
God has promised to work the same miracle for us that He did for the Israelites. He will lead us in the wilderness with a cloud by day and fire by night, and there will be shelter (a tabernacle) from the heat and from storms. There will be a place of refuge for us, a place where we will be safe from pursuit by worldly people and from the plagues of God's wrath. God promises to provide us with food, pure water, shelter and protection from enemies. This is what He will do. The example of Israel's Exodus from Egypt tells us what we should do.
1 Corinthians 10:1) Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2) And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3) And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4) And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5) But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6) Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
Paul states here that the events of the Exodus are examples for us, so that we will not do the same things the Israelites did. We cannot avoid repeating the mistakes of history unless we learn what those mistakes were.
Numbers 14:22) Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; 23) Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:
The Israelites in the wilderness, though they had seen the awesome display of God's power in Egypt, tested Him ten times. Because of this, they were not permitted to see the promised land. We can see this as a warning, that if we test God in the same ways, we will not be entering into the new promised land. In New Testament terms, Christ promised the reward of living forever with Him for those who overcome the tribulations (Rev. 2:7), while the "fearful and unbelieving" will not enter His Kingdom (Rev. 21:8). Certainly none of us wants to be among the fearful and unbelieving, so we must learn how Israel tested God.
Exodus 14:11) And they said unto Moses, Because [there were] no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? 12) [Is] not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For [it had been] better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
These two verses contain the first two tests. The first is a test of God's wisdom in bringing them out of Egypt. They claimed that it would have been better to remain in Egypt than to obey God's voice. When they reached the Red Sea, with the Egyptian army pursuing, the Israelites lost all faith in God's ability to protect them from harm. This is the second test. Though they had just witnessed the miracles of the plagues and seen the mighty hand of God at work, they suddenly doubted that He was able to save them. At this point in the journey, they did not fear the wilderness or the Red Sea, they feared the Egyptians.
Exodus 14:13) And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14) The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
When the tribulations begin and we are forced to flee to the wilderness, will we repeat these tests, or will we trust that God will fight for us? Will we complain to our leaders that it would be better to live as slaves in "Babylon" than to die in the wilderness? Or will we stand on God's certain promise that He will protect us?
Exodus 15:23) And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they [were] bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24) And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
Test number three. After watching God turn water into blood in Egypt, then seeing the Red Sea parted at His command, the Israelites doubted God could give them water to drink. Under the second and third plagues of God's wrath, all water will become like the blood of a dead man - poisonous. Will we also doubt that God will supply us with pure water, or will we rely on His sure promise?
Exodus 17:2) Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?
Once again the Israelites doubted God's ability to provide them with water to drink, though He had already proven that He could and would do so. Test number four.
Exodus 16:2) And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: 3) And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, [and] when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
Here the Israelites complained that they had no food and would die of hunger. They said they would have preferred if God had killed them in Egypt where they at least had food to eat. To them it was more important for their bellies to be full than to follow the will and Word of God. This was the fifth test. It is the same with many Christians today. Having the comforts of the world is more important than obeying God's voice. But in the final days, those comforts will come at the cost of their eternal life.
In response to these complaints from Israel, God poured down manna from heaven and specifically told them to gather each day only what they could eat that day, and not try to save any for the next day (Exodus 16:18-20). Even after watching God provide the Manna, seemingly from nowhere, the Israelites still did not have faith that He would do the same the next day, so they tried to gather extra and save it. Test number six.
God also told them not to try to gather the Manna on the Sabbath, since He would not provide it on the Sabbath. Instead they were instructed to gather enough on the sixth morning to eat on the sixth day and on the seventh. But many of the Israelites went out on the Sabbath looking for Manna (Exodus 16:27). Test number seven. Will we also be looking for God to provide what He has said He won't? God tells us to prepare, to endure, to overcome the tribulations, and to war against Babylon. Will we obey, or will we expect God to come and swoop us away?
Numbers 11:4) And the mixt multitude that [was] among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? 5) We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: 6) But now our soul [is] dried away: [there is] nothing at all, beside this manna, [before] our eyes.
Talk about ungrateful! God provided the Israelites with food from heaven, yet this wasn't good enough for them - they demanded meat also. By this time, God was quite weary of the whining and complaints, so in response to this eighth test He gave them what they asked for, and then some.
Numbers 11:19) Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days; 20) [But] even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the Lord which [is] among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?
Will we also demand a different or "better" solution from God, or will we be content with what He provides for us?
Exodus 32:1) And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for [as for] this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 2) And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which [are] in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring [them] unto me. 3) And all the people brake off the golden earrings which [were] in their ears, and brought [them] unto Aaron. 4) And he received [them] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
At Mount Sinai, the Israelites were too impatient to wait for Moses to come down. Though they had seen the mighty ways in which God had worked on their behalf, they were tired of waiting to hear His words. So they made a golden calf and proclaimed it to be the god which had brought them out of Egypt. This was the ninth test, and it greatly angered God. When the tribulations come, will we wait on God, or will we be so afraid and so impatient that we try to create our own solutions?
Numbers 13:27) And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this [is] the fruit of it. 28) Nevertheless the people [be] strong that dwell in the land, and the cities [are] walled, [and] very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. 29) The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. 30) And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. 31) But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they [are] stronger than we. 32) And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, [is] a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it [are] men of a great stature. 33) And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, [which come] of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Moses sent out twelve spies to search the land and bring back a report. Ten of the spies claimed that Israel could not defeat the people of the land because their cities were fortified too well and the people were giants, much stronger than the Israelites. These ten spies knew only what their eyes saw. They saw giants inhabiting walled cities that looked impenetrable.
Numbers 14:1) And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. 2) And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! 3) And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? 4) And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
The Israelites listened to the ten spies and believed that they could not defeat the people of the land. This was the tenth test of God. Will we also listen to those who see only physical limitations, or will we believe God when He has promised to protect us and give us the victory?
Numbers 14:6) And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, [which were] of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: 7) And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, [is] an exceeding good land. 8) If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. 9) Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they [are] bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord [is] with us: fear them not.
In every conflict of God's people against the people of Satan, God will always provide a few leaders who will remain true to His Word. Like Joshua and Caleb, these leaders will not see giants and fortified cities, they will simply see opportunities for God to show His power, mercy and love to His people. Their instructions to us will be simple; "the Lord is with us, fear them not". Will we fear the people of Babylon during the tribulations, or will we behave valiantly, as men and women of God should?
Next in this series: "Life After the Beast"