Mar 04, 2018
Speaker: John Herbert
Series: The Word of God – A Survey of the Bible
Ex 12:23 “For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and not allow the destroyer to come into your houses to strike you.
Today we will look at death, burial and resurrection.
The full text of this week’s message can be found by clicking the PDF button.
Sunday March 4th 2018
The Word of God
A Survey of the Bible – Part 6H
‘Your Descendants After You’
1). Re 8:1 ¶ When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
The opening of the 7th and final seal on the 7-sealed scroll, along with the trumpet and bowl judgments found within it, will produce silence in heaven as the opening of this seal and the judgments seen through it will bring to completion God’s redemptive process with respect to His adulterous wife and the inheritance lost in the Garden and His judgment upon the Gentile nations.
a). And as we had seen last time, the judgments seen through the opening of the 7th seal are foreshadowed by the 10 plagues visited upon the Egyptians, prior to the Exodus.
b). And if we go to the Book of Exodus we can find the full extent these plagues had upon Egypt described in – Ex 10:7 Then Pharaoh’s servants said to him, “How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God. Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed?”
And this same destruction is spelled out for us again in Psalms –
Ps 78:43 When He worked His signs in Egypt, And His wonders in the field of Zoan; 44 Turned their rivers into blood, And their streams, that they could not drink. 45 He sent swarms of flies among them, which devoured them, And frogs, which destroyed them. 46 He also gave their crops to the caterpillar, And their labor to the locust. 47 He destroyed their vines with hail, And their sycamore trees with frost. 48 He also gave up their cattle to the hail, And their flocks to fiery lightning. 49 He cast on them the fierceness of His anger, Wrath, indignation, and trouble, By sending angels of destruction among them. 50 He made a path for His anger; He did not spare their soul from death, But gave their life over to the plague, 51 And destroyed all the firstborn in Egypt, The first of their strength in the tents of Ham.
And just as ‘Egypt is destroyed’ through the 10 plagues, so Antichrist’s worldwide kingdom will be ‘destroyed’ through the judgments contained in the 7th seal, prior to complete Israel, those still alive and those who are resurrected, being regathered from the Gentile nations in fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets, before returning to the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – Jer 23:7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 8 “but, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.”
c). And again, as we saw last time, the 10th and final plague exacted upon the land of Egypt was the death of the firstborn – Ex 4:22 “Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. 23 “So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.”‘”
The firstborn has to do with rulership, priesthood and a double portion, the one who inherits the right to rule within the father’s house, to be a priest in the father’s house and receive a double portion of the inheritance – and God’s statement in v22 makes abundantly clear that Israel is the son whom He has chosen to rule at the head of the nations holding the rights of the firstborn.
d). And given the one who rules from the heavens in a disqualified state even now, God’s statement concerning Israel, would have been directed at Satan as well as Pharaoh, giving notice of his replacement; a replacement which was first spelled out in the Garden – and the certainty of Satan’s replacement can be seen in the death of the firstborn throughout the land of Egypt and the death of Egypt itself, as Satan’s firstborn son, buried beneath the waters of the Red Sea.
2). Ex 11:4 ¶ Then Moses said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt; 5 ‘and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the handmill, and all the firstborn of the animals. 6 ‘Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again. 7 ‘But against none of the children of Israel shall a dog move its tongue, against man or beast, that you may know that the LORD does make a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.’
It is here in Exodus Chapter 11 that midnight is introduced in connection with judgment making a permanent link between the two so that whenever we see midnight presented in the scriptures, judgment is in view.
a). This is what we have seen in Ruth’s encounter with Boaz on his threshing floor, picturing the faithful Christian in Christ’s presence at His Judgment Seat – Ru 3:8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet.
And with the wise and foolish virgins, which pictures all Christians hearing the cry concerning midnight – Mt 25:6 “And at midnight a cry [literally – a cry concerning midnight] was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’
And in both these examples we can see judgment presented in relation to those who would be adopted or rejected as a firstborn son. Both Ruth and the wise virgins picture for us the faithful Christian who will become the Wife of Christ and as such will also be adopted as a firstborn son, which will not be the experience of the foolish virgins.
b). Now, we see from Exodus 11:7 that God made ‘a difference between the Egyptians and Israel’ with regards to the death of the firstborn – and that difference was the substitutionary death of the Passover lambs given to Israel, but not to the Egyptians. It was the application of the blood from the death of the substitute lamb that separated the one from the other – Ex 12:3 “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 4 ‘And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. 5 ‘Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 ‘Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 ‘And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it…………..28 Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. 29 ¶ And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. 30 So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
As we read of these events it is important for us to realize that all the firstborn in the land of Egypt died that night, both Egyptian and Jew, but for the Children of Israel the Passover lambs died in their stead.
c). From God’s perspective though, all the firstborn of the Children of Israel died that night as well as the Egyptians.
d). And not only within each individual Jewish household, but the Jewish nation, as God’s firstborn son, died that night.
e). Death was visited on the entire land of Egypt that night, but it was the death and shed blood of the Passover lambs that made the difference – a lamb for a household.
f). And so, as Israel left Egypt following the Passover taking Joseph’s bones with them – Ex 13:18 So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt. 19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had placed the children of Israel under solemn oath, saying, “God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here with you.”
The very same day the 430 years of the sojourn of the Children of Israel came to an end, dating from Abraham leaving Ur of the Chaldeans, God’s firstborn son, the Jewish nation, from God’s perspective was dead and in need of burial so that resurrection could then take place, allowing the rights of the firstborn to be exercised.
g). And Israel’s burial is seen in their passage through the Red Sea –
Ex 14:21 ¶ Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
We will remember that the ‘sea’ in scripture is used as a metaphor for the Gentile nations and the place of the dead.
h). As Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground with the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left, so we can see their figurative descent into Sheol, the place of the dead. But Israel walked on dry land – death could not touch them.
i). Here also is another picture of Israel, the nation, passing safely through the Tribulation – the Gentile nations, seen through the walls of water, cannot destroy them – here again, is Noah passing through the flood; here is Jonah in the belly of the great fish.
j). And just as Noah steps out of the Ark to a new beginning and Jonah is vomited onto dry land to fulfill his calling, so Israel emerged from the Red Sea onto the Eastern bank to go to the land of promise as God’s firstborn son – and here is resurrection – this is what God’s provision of the death and shed blood of the Passover lambs had done for them, it enabled them to be led by the Spirit to the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, something only possible in resurrection.
k). But not so for the Egyptians – Ex 14:27 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. 29 But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 30 So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.
Let’s remember that Egypt, Satan’s firstborn son, died the night of Passover, but there was no provision of substitutionary death and shed blood for Egypt, therefore no hope of resurrection to life.
l). And as Egypt was buried in the Red Sea, covered by the returning waters, there was for them, no resurrection. Rather they were engulfed in the waters of death from which there was no return.
m). And this, as we have seen, foreshadows the events at the end of the Tribulation when Israel will apply the blood of the Passover Lamb who they killed at Calvary 2000 years beforehand and the application of His blood will make the difference then, just as it had done in Egypt.
n). Israel, in resurrection, will be regathered to the land of promise as God’s firstborn son at the head of the nations – Mt 24:30 “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
But for the Antichrist and his worldwide confederacy, separated from the death and shed blood, there can only be total destruction, seen through every dead Egyptian on the shore of the Red Sea – Re 19:20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
This is simply the way the matter has been set out in the type from Exodus and the Antitype in the Revelation, for that which God has said cannot be changed and that which John has already seen cannot be altered –
Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’
Am 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
3). Now, as we consider these extraordinary events concerning Israel let’s remember that the purpose for all the events that led to Passover was not deliverance from Egypt for its own sake, but for a purpose that lay beyond Passover, a purpose that required death and resurrection to be accommplished – Ex 3:7 ¶ And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 “So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites.
This is the same purpose that had been promised to Abraham –
Ge 22:15 ¶ Then the Angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said: “By Myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son – 17 “blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
A promise given after the ‘death’ and ‘resurrection’ of Isaac. The very same purpose that God had set in place from the beginning – Ge 1:26 ¶ Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion……………..
A purpose that was only possible because the dry land was brought from beneath the waters as part of God’s redemptive process.
a). But, along with seeing God’s purpose, let’s also consider this – although God had adopted Israel as His firstborn son, although He had delivered the nation from Egypt through death and shed blood, although the firstborn had died and been raised to life on the Eastern banks of the Red Sea, God’s purpose for them was not yet fulfilled – Ex 19:3 And 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 children of Israel: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5 ‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 ‘And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
Israel had been redeemed for a purpose, but for that purpose to be realized there was a condition, ‘if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then..’
b). And obedience to God’s voice and the keeping of His covenant was made possible through resurrection, which of itself had required death.
c). As extraordinary and remarkable as Passover was it must be seen as the means to the end, not the end itself.
d). And this should in no way be surprising to us because, if we go back to the foundation in Genesis, God’s redemptive process for the material creation began with light shining in the darkness on day 1, but the process of redemption was not completed until day 6 when a Man and a Woman were to rule in day7.
e). Beyond day 1 were another 5 days of work, before God’s purpose for restoring the material creation was completed and as it was in the beginning so would it be with Israel.
f). For the fulfillment of God’s purpose for Israel, Passover is equivalent to the light shining in the darkness – and there was now to be a subsequent process involving faithful obedience seen through a journey to the land that was promised, with testing along the way, to reveal both faithfulness and unfaithfulness on the part of those to whom the promise was made, a process equivalent to the additional days beyond day 1 in Genesis Chapter 1.
g). God’s purpose for Israel is certain, it just remains to be seen who from that nation will realize God’s purpose for them through their faithful obedience.
h). And obedience for Israel is intimately connected with Passover
Ex 12:14 ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. 15 ‘Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. 16 ‘On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat-that only may be prepared by you. 17 ‘So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. 18 ‘In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. 19 ‘For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. 20 ‘You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.'”
The connection of the ‘Feast of Unleavened Bread’ with Passover, rather than with resurrection at the Red Sea is because of the typology and the prophetic calendar given to Israel through 7 Feasts, of which Passover and Unleavened Bread are the first 2.
i). Suffice it to say for the moment that the removal of leaven from the house, leaven picturing sin and corruption, was/is of paramount importance, because failing to do so would cause that same person to ‘be cut off from the congregation of Israel’.
j). Not cut off from Passover but cut off from the purpose for Passover – rulership in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
4). And all that we have learned here takes on enormous significance for us – 1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
‘All these things’ happened to Israel, and within our present context we can begin at Passover and were written ‘for our admonition’.
a). And in conjunction with this we see in – 1Co 5:7 ¶ Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
But this will have to wait until next time – if we are still here and the Lord is willing.