Wednesday, 12 December 2012
'Hidden in that Day'
In last week's Blog I suggested that the LORD used an astronomical event to cause the Plagues of Egypt...AND that He will use a similar astronomical event to cause the Revelation Judgments!
Luke 21.25-27 seems to confirm what will happen:
There will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
If this is what we should expect, what will happen to you and me?
Will we experience all the pain, fear, and horror of the Revelation Judgments?
The Word and Phrase Associations in the Bible suggest not....but only on certain conditions...
When we read the report of the Plagues on Egypt in Exodus, we note that the Children of Israel were protected by the LORD from some of the effects of the Plagues on the Egyptians:
1. The LORD will make a difference between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt. So nothing shall die of all that belongs to the Children of Israel...So the LORD did this thing on the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the Children of Israel, not one died.
2. Only in the land of Goshen, where the Children of Israel were, there was no hail. Exodus 9:26
3. Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the Children of Israel had light in their dwellings. Exodus 10.22-23
4. I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; ...Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. Exodus 12.12-13
Why did the LORD protect the Children of Israel from some of the Plagues, but not from others?
Perhaps the answers are that:
1. The LORD protected their livestock because they would take their livestock with them when they left.
2. He protected them from the hail because the hail destroyed life; the life of people as well as livestock.
3. He protected them from the darkness so that they could prepare for their departure. Remember that the darkness was the penultimate Plague, before the death of the firstborn.
4. He protected them from the death of their firstborn because He preserved their lives at the Passover by their commitment to Him through the blood on the lintels and the doorposts.
The LORD did not protect the Children of Israel from:
1. the 'blood' which killed all the fish because they did not take fish with them.
2. the 'frogs', 'lice', and 'flies', because these were not life threatening.
3. the 'locusts' which destroyed the crops because they could not take any of the crops with them.
So, our first conclusion might be that the Miracles of the Exodus experience were NOT the Plagues, since they were experienced all over the world. Rather, the Miracles were the way in which the LORD specifically isolated and protected the Children of Israel from those Plagues which would have damaged and harmed their depature from Egypt.
Our second conclusion affects us. If the LORD will bring about an astronomical catastrophe to effect the Revelation Judgments, similar to the astronomical catastrophe that caused the Plagues on Egypt in Exodus.....then will the LORD protect believers as He protected the Children of Israel?
The Prophet Zephaniah suggests that He will: It may be that you will be hidden in The Day of the LORD’S anger. Zephaniah 2.3
On what basis will we be 'hidden' and protected from the effect of the Revelation Judgments?
The answer to this question is NOT by the 'rapture' which, as we have seen in an earlier Blog, was the emotional invention of the over active imagination of Miss Margaret MacDonald in 1832!
Rather, the answer is found in at least 4 passages in the NT:
1. Matthew 7.22-23 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
2. Matthew 15.1-12 The Kingdom of Heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.....And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’....And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’....And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘LORD LORD, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
3. John 10:14,27 I AM The Good Shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.....
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
4. 1John 2.2-3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His Commandments. He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His Commandments, is a liar, and The Truth is not in him.
All 4 passages mention the importance of 'knowing the LORD'. It seems that 'to know the LORD' is dependent on 'keeping His Commandments' because:
In 1. you who practice lawlessness means NOT keeping His Commandments.
In 2. I do not know you refers to the 'foolish virgins' who ran out of oil. 'oil' is a Hebrew Image of God's Commandments. Therefore, the foolish virgins had failed to keep His Commandments.
In 3. to follow Him means to keep His Commandments.
In 4. by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His Commandments.
All 4 passages confirm that it is essential to keep His Commandments in order to know Him.
The bonus of 'knowing Him' is that we will be 'hidden' and protected in The Day of the Revelation Judgments.
Please,please, do NOT assume that to know Him by keeping His Commandments is salvation by works. It is NOT!!!
It is NOT possible, sensible, or practical to trust in, believe in, and commit to Jesus our Messiah and His finished work of Redemption and Salvation at His Crucifixion and Resurrection...without also expressing our trust in the way in which we behave....by 'keeping His Commandments'....because He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His Commandments, is a liar, and The Truth is not in him.
So, in conclusion, it may be that you will be hidden in The Day of the LORD’S anger....in the same way that the Children of Israel were hidden and protected during the Plagues on Egypt.
I hope, pray, and trust that you will be hidden because you know that you know Him, if you keep His Commandments.
Until next week....and the joys of the Messianic Age!!