The Passover is the story of the Israelites taking refuge in God, escaping plagues and fleeing Egypt. They obeyed God by putting the blood of a lamb on their doors posts and sheltering in their houses until the angel of death passed over –
‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’ Exodus 12:27
‘Striking down the Egyptians’ was the last of 10 plagues that God brought on Egypt, and paved the way for the Israelites to flee to the Promised Land.
Revelation describes another Passover. Spiritual Jews are to take refuge in God, ‘flee Babylon’ and have the mark of the Lamb’ to in order to be ‘passed over’. They go to the Promised Land –
“Come out of her (Babylon), My people, so that you will not share in her sins or contract any of her plagues. Rev. 18:4
“Do not harm the land or sea or trees (symbols of nations) until we have sealed the foreheads of the Servants of our God.” Rev. 7:3 –
The ‘Servants of God’ are passed over , they are spiritual Israelites who obey God by dipping their robes in the blood of the Lamb –
These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Rev. 7:14
To Him who loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood. Rev. 1:5
The PLAGUES OF REVELATION
Egypt had 10 plagues as a witness to Egyptians and Jews – leave Egypt and be bound to the God of the Israelites. That was 3,500 years ago, but the story hasn’t changed. God wants us to leave the things of this life behind and be bound to a better way of living. The Bible likens the love of this world to living in ‘Babylon’. God wants us to flee Babylon and go to the ‘Promised Land’ – His coming Kingdom.
Let’s compare these 2 Passover stories keeping in mind their remarkable similarities – written by different authors probably 1500 years apart but bound together by common inspiration. Instead of the blood of a lamb – the 2nd Passover story has salvation through the blood of Jesus –
THE MEANING OF THE BLOOD
At Passover, the blood on the doorposts was provided by the life of an innocent lamb – yet it pointed to something much greater – the life of an innocent man.
To Him who loves us and has released us from our sins by His blood. Revelation 1:5
Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 1 Cor 5:7
God told Israel that they were not to kill the innocent –
Innocent blood will not be shed in the land that the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed. Deut. 19:10
If a false witness testifies against someone, accusing him of a crime, both parties to the dispute must stand in the presence of the LORD, before the priests and judges who are in office at that time. The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is proven to be a liar who has falsely accused his brother, you must do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. Then the rest of the people will hear and be afraid, and they will never again do anything so evil among you. Deut. 19:16-21
Israel not only turned away from their covenant with God, their leaders also shed the innocent blood of their Messiah. Under the Law of Moses, the punishment for killing the innocent by false witness was death. But God doesn’t punish us as we deserve and it is through the blood of Jesus that everyone (Jew & Gentile) has a way back to God.
TIMING OF THE PLAGUES
Revelation not only gives us another Passover story, it gives us the sequence and timing of the plagues that precede the 2nd coming of Christ. They are heralded by 7 Seals, Trumpets and Bowls –
They all end with the same event – the massive earthquake that occurs at the return of Christ.
In Bible symbology an earthquake means the shaking or overthrowing of kingdoms (See: Newton’s Bible Symbols to help interpret Revelation). The greatest earthquake ever is when the Kingdoms of the world are taken over by one righteous King – Jesus
The 7th angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came from the throne in the temple, saying, “It is done!” And there were flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and peals of thunder (tempest of war in the political heavens), and a great earthquake the likes of which had not occurred since men were upon the earth—so mighty was the great quake (kingdoms overthrown). The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. And God remembered Babylon the great (symbol of false worshop/materialism) and gave her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath. Then every island fled, and no mountain could be found (cities of the earth and sea politic). And great hailstones weighing a talent/100lbs/45kg each rained down on them from above (tempest of war). And men cursed God for the plague of hail, because it was so horrendous. Rev. 16:17-21 (Interpretations in red using Newton’s symbols)
Because the seals, trumpets & bowls have the same end point (time of the Great Earthquake) its obvious they run in parallel and also have the same starting point – They describe the same time period from 3 perspectives –
The great earthquake (political overthrow) of the 7th Seal, Trumpet & Bowl, ushers in the 2nd coming of Christ.
The timing of these plagues is important. Just as the plagues in Egypt could all appear to be normal events, they were miraculous because they were predicted ahead of time. So too the signs in the Middle East and wider world are happening when God said they would.
The first 4 plagues describe the escalating curses on Israel until the time they were scattered. The Jews are witnesses that God carries out His judgments as He said. There is a ‘Gap’ in the prophecy until the time they are back in the land . The final 3 plagues concern disasters for ‘Babylon’ – it will be destroyed forever at the 7th trumpet. (click chart below to enlarge)
The 5th Seal, Trumpet and Bowl began at the time of Hitler. They show the rise of antisemitism that morphed from Hitler to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem then to Islamic Extremists. The Dragon of Revelation 12 waits on the shore of the Promised Land for the Beast of Revelation 13 that rises from the Sea/nations. The Beast has a mortally wounded head (Hitler) that was healed (same spirit in Islamic Extremists). It is complete with 10 crowned horns – The time the Jews and Arabs are allocated land – the Days of the 10 toes kings of Daniel 2. Revelation 13 describes the Beast that will take Israel into captivity one last time. See: Revelation the Time is at Hand)
We are in the time of the 6th Seal, Trumpet & Bowl which begins in Rev. 6:12 with an earthquake (shaking of nations).
Ch. 6:12-15 And when I saw the Lamb (Jesus referred to as Lamb – reminder that He was the Passover Lamb) open the 6th Seal, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black like sackcloth of goat hair, and the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth like unripe figs dropping from a tree shaken by a great wind. The sky receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island (Cities of the earth and sea politic) was moved from its place. (Description of the instability among rulers of the Middle East – see below)
The 6th Trumpet & Bowl are parallel events and provide extra information – their setting is the area of the Euphrates where the leaders are in disarray. Jesus said in Luke:21:26 –
“People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies (sun, moon, stars) will be shaken”.
Those living in the area of the Euphrates have witnessed the regime of Saddam Hussein fall like a star from heaven, their hearts have failed as ISIS took control of the Euphrates valley. ISIS have gone to make way for the way for the ‘Kings of the East’ (Iran) to gain power among their proxies on the other side of the river. Syria (called Damascus in Bible prophecy) is in chaos. Lebanon also is besieged by internal strife, as is Iraq – the ruling powers in darkness.
In addition to this a plague strikes that causes people to hide in their cities. It effects all people whether kings or slaves.
And the kings of the earth, the nobles, the commanders, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and free man, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains. Rev. 6:15
This time of hiding in caves and rocks is referred to by Isaiah, the context is prior to the resurrection. ‘Rocks & caves’ refers to towns & cities – this plague effects everyone from King to slave and causes them to hide inside, or as Newton interprets it – to seek refuge among the place of their idols. Yet speaking of this same time Isaiah says that idols will be worthless –
Men will flee to caves in the rocks and holes in the ground, away from the terror of the Lord and from the splendour of His majesty, when He rises to shake the earth. In that day men will cast away their idols of silver and gold—the idols they made to worship— away to the moles and bats. They will flee to caverns in the rocks and crevices in the cliffs, away from the terror of the LORD. Isaiah 2:19-21
Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise (resurrection)
You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! …Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you;
hide yourselves for a little while
until the fury has passed by.
For behold, the LORD is coming out from his place
to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. Isaiah 26:19-21
The parallel Trumpet plague concerns the fighting along the Euphrates valley that has been festering for some years – the gathering of many armies and much killing. The 6th bowl also focuses on this area and says that foul spirits go out from there. The river dries up and the Kings of the East will cross. Not a literal drying of the river but the power in the area. Its around this time that Jesus says ‘I come as a thief’.
The chart below shows how the prophecies of Revelation align with those of Daniel and the prophecy Jesus gave on the Mt of Olives – Click picture until right size for viewing
God has set a time to judge the world. His signs are a plea to all people to get ready and be part of a greater world that is coming. Just like the plagues on Egypt, the plagues in Revelation are signs from God to align ourselves with Him. And just like the plagues in Egypt people in general resume their previous behaviour as each plague or sign passes.
The Passover in Revelation points to the death of God’s beloved Son. Now is the time of Passover – have the ‘Mark of the Lamb’ and not the ‘Mark of the Beast’.
The Beast of Revelation is caught up in ‘Babylon’ a symbol of the ‘Kingdoms of Men’ and destined for destruction. Revelation 18 describes her demise in very symbolic language – the kind of language that describes a world financial collapse –
All nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her immorality. The kings of the earth were immoral with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown wealthy from the extravagance of her luxury.” Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins or contract any of her plagues. For her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Give back to her as she has done to others; pay her back double for what she has done; mix her a double portion in her own cup. As much as she has glorified herself and lived in luxury, give her the same measure of torment and grief. In her heart she says, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow and will never see grief.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day— death and grief and famine— and she will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.” Then the kings of the earth who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her will weep and wail at the sight of the smoke rising from the fire that consumes her. In fear of her torment, they will stand at a distance and cry out: “Woe, woe to the great city, the mighty city of Babylon! For in a single hour your judgment has come.” And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, because there is no one left to buy their cargo— cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; of fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet; of all kinds of citron wood and every article of ivory, precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; of cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; of wine, olive oil, fine flour, and wheat; of cattle, sheep, horses, and chariots; of slaves and souls of men: “The fruit of your soul’s desire has departed from you; all your luxury and splendour have vanished, never to be seen again.” Rev. 18: 3-19
Many have dismissed God’s signs as natural occurrences. But they have happened just as He said they would, when He said they would.
The witness of the fighting in Syria and Iraq has been one of God’s ‘signs’ yet people have not repented – This was prophesied in Revelation 9:14-21
Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates…
Now the horses and riders in my vision looked like this: The riders had breastplates the colors of fire, sapphire, and sulfur. The heads of the horses were like the heads of lions, and out of their mouths proceeded fire, smoke, and sulfur. A third of men were killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke, and sulfur that proceeded from their mouths….
Now the rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the works of their hands. They did not stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk. Furthermore, they did not repent of their murder, sorcery, sexual immorality, and theft.
Because ‘Babylon’ doesn’t repent, God allows her plagues to increase. Israel – one of God’s greatest signs, is caught up in Spiritual Babylon. Her future demise is prophesied – The way of escape is to get the ‘Mark of the Lamb’ – to look to Jesus and repent.
In these uncertain times it’s good to know that God has a greater plan for the earth and we can be part of if we follow Jesus. Even if we die of coronavirus tomorrow or get struck by a car, ‘not a hair of our head’ will perish eternally because we will be raised back to life from the dead –
You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you will be put to death. And you will be hated by everyone because of My name. Yet not even a hair of your head will perish. By your patient endurance you will gain your souls. Luke 21:16-19
We may be on the eve of Christ’s return. Now is the time to have the ‘Mark of the Lamb’ – get baptised and follow Jesus… be part of the greatest Passover ever that leads to the Promised Land.
SEE ALSO –
Signs of Jesus’ 2nd Coming – Olivet Prophecy – Timeline of Events (Article)
70 Weeks Prophecy – the Final Days Unfolding (Article)
Revelation a Message to Israel (youtube)