“The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary. You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the LORD God may dwell there.’[Psalm 68:17-18]
The Exodus of Israel from Egypt provides one of the best templates for the Day of the LORD and the mighty acts that God will perform on that Day. One of the most fascinating details that I have discovered in my studies involves Yeshua coming to liberate His people from bondage, literally setting captives free from the power of Antichrist. Just as the LORD delivered His people out of slavery in Egypt, He will return to redeem His people from captivity in the end.
Flee to the Wilderness
The Lord Jesus warned His disciples of the coming deception and ensuing destruction of the great tribulation. He prophesied that the abomination of desolation [Matthew 24:15-22, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12] would be the clearest sign that triggers the beginning of the great tribulation. This is the point when the Antichrist will exalt himself in the Most Holy Place, desecrating the Temple in Jerusalem.
When this happens, Jesus says, it is time for God’s people to flee into the wilderness to escape the ensuing wrath of the evil one. I am of the persuasion that many will flee into the Sinai wilderness to be protected during this time.
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people.[Luke 21:20-23]
‘And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.”[Revelation 12:13-14]
For God’s people dwelling in the Holy Land in the last days, it is imperative that they recognize the abomination of desolation and flee to the wilderness. The Scriptures even seem to imply that God will supernaturally preserve and protect His people in the wilderness for the duration of 3.5 years, much like He provided for Israel during its 40-year wandering.
Even though many of God’s people will be able to flee and escape the wrath of the Antichrist, others will be killed by the sword or taken into captivity — both Jews and Christians.
Into Captivity You Will Go
Once the Beast (Antichrist) is revealed and assumes his position of power, he will begin a 42 month (3.5 year) military campaign in the Middle East. His focus, however, will be the destruction of God’s people all over the world, as he is allowed to “make war on the saints and conquer them” [Revelation 13:5-9]. Again, the Lord provides a warning for the saints to heed during this great time of difficulty.
“If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.”
Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.[Revelation 13:10]
“They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”[Luke 21:24]
Prophets Zechariah and Joel also echo the words of Luke.
“Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.”[Zechariah 14:1-2]
“For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, and have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it … You have sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks in order to remove them far from their own border.”[Joel 3:1-3, 6]
The Scriptures could not be any clearer. As the Antichrist and his armies ravish the land and conquer many nations, some of God’s people will be able to escape and go into hiding, but many will be taken as captives for spoil and exiled.
It is in the midst of this desperate situation that King Jesus will return to carry out a military campaign of His own. He will strike down His enemies, set the captives free, and lead His people in triumphant procession from the wilderness back to Jerusalem to reclaim His throne from the Antichrist.
The Second Exodus
The testimony of the Biblical prophets is replete with detailed descriptions of the the liberation of God’s people, their regathering back to the Promised Land, the restoration of the fortunes of Judah, and the establishment of the true Kingdom of Israel.
Psalm 68, which is referenced above, is worth reading as one of the most comprehensive descriptions of the Second Exodus. I will share a few more here that speak of that great Day of liberation.
“On that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek Him, and His place of rest will be glorious. On that day the Lord will extend His hand a second time to recover the remnant of His people from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will collect the scattered of Judah from the four corners of the earth.“[Isaiah 11:10-12]
Alas! That day is so great
there is none like it;
it is a time of distress for Jacob;
yet he shall be saved out of it.
“And it shall come to pass in that day, declares the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and I will burst your bonds, and foreigners shall no more make a servant of him. But they shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.”
“Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD,[Jeremiah 30:7-11]
nor be dismayed, O Israel;
for behold, I will save you from far away,
and your offspring from the land of their captivity.
Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease,
and none shall make him afraid.
For I am with you to save you,
declares the LORD;
I will make a full end of all the nations
among whom I scattered you,
but of you I will not make a full end.
I will discipline you in just measure,
and I will by no means leave you unpunished.”
“Your procession is seen, O God,
the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary—
the singers in front, the musicians last,
between them virgins playing tambourines …”[Psalm 68:24-25]
Next time I will focus on the judgment of the survivors, the marriage supper of the Lamb, and the restoration of the fortunes of Jacob.