While I dislike arguments over eschatology (pre-post-a-whatever trib-mil-return), there is an interesting command in Revelation and I have begun to think what that command encompasses, may demand, and whether or not it applies to me.
Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Rev. 18.4-5
The straight forward, overriding questions are who are the “my people” God is talking to and who is the “her”? This is important because those who do not heed the call to “come out” will “share in her plagues”. Your membership in the people of God will not protect you from what is coming; only coming out of her will protect you from God’s judgment as it descends upon her.
The more you think about it, the more challenging it becomes. Is it a city, a country, or some other designation? Does it apply to all Christians, even those who normally want to minister to people in need? Is God saying to turn your back, like Lot did on Sodom, not even looking back since nothing is salvageable? How far do you have to go?
Difficult demands. Do they apply to me?
Honestly, I think He is telling us to abandon her ways, her lifestyle, and so forth. I believe God places us where He wants us, whether it’s Kenya or Kansas. There are of course times when He taps us on the shoulder and says, “I want you to go here”, but again, we are where He wants us.
The Bible talks a lot about coming out of the world in general (there’s a verse I’m trying to remember but…my brain is fried and there’s horse racing on right now…). How we are not to love the things of the world – in fact, we aren’t even supposed to fear the world or the things of it but fear God (something explicitly said in Revelation, I believe).
I am not sure how we’ll come out of where we are because ultimately, every nation is seen as sinful before God and all will suffer his righteous wrath. I suppose Israel might be the safest place to go in the very end days! I honestly believe He wants – commands – us to reject the things, mindsets, and beliefs of the world and begin our pilgramage to His Kingdom now, not upon His return. We must accept the Blood and its protection, its defense, so that we are passed over by His wrath and judgement the same as were the Israelites in Exodus.
There are some terrific lessons in Exodus about His protection and the power of the Blood of Jesus. Besides, didn’t He command them to “come out of Egypt” – if not in Exodus, but elsewhere in the Word? I seem to remember reading it several times! So what does Egypt represent? (And really, they were in Goshen, but I suppose some Hebrews had adopted the practices and lifestyles of the Egyptians.)
Enough bloviating, back to the horses… 😉
Goshen was just northern Egypt, in the delta, not another country.
Revelation seems pretty specific. If the end time ever approaches, I guess I will try and figure out what needs coming out of.
I know it was in Egypt, but it was not in Egypt proper. Sorry if I was unclear there…
As far as “coming out of”, it’s said in the Bible in more places than Revelation. As there will certainly be NOWHERE left to go, other than possibly Israel, I do think that it is a matter of following Christ body, soul, and mind. Already it is starting to become a rather clear demarcation line.
I am sure He will give us direction as necessary, though. 😉 That’s why we must stay close!
The “her” that many of God’s people are called to come out of is referred to specifically as “Babylon”, which is clearly a symbolic reference. Depending on where in history you put this call to come out also influences the interpretation. Without declaring my own interpretation, I will say that I come to it by letting Scripture interpret itself, by comparing all of the Old Testament and New Testament passages, in their context.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel are among the prophets with the most explicit things to say about Babylon. Paul’s comments on the anti-Christ power in 2 Thess. 2 are alos drawn from Daniel (7-8) and applies to spiritual Bablyon.
What has struck me as most applicable to the Apocalypse is what Babylon represents as false worship and her connection with the Beast power, which demands the worship only God deserves. Given that worship is the dominant theme of Revelation, I think this is the right direction.
I’m blogging now and then on the Apocalypse myself.
Hope all is well with you. I haven’t been by for some time. Apologies.
Since Babylon ceased to exist, it is obviously a symbolic name, but apparently applied in some literal fashion to a real “coming out”. The question is who/what/where, since obedience is expected of those to whom it applies…
The scripture is clearly saying that God is calling His people out of a place. The place is identified by clues, so put your detective hat on and throw your worthless seminary training out the window.
1. Revelation 18:3, “For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”
2. Revelation 18:11, “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more 12cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; 13cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and bodies and souls of men.”
Who buys these things from the countries of the world? At present, I can think of only the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom who meet the description.
Now we must look further, so we go back to Revelation 17. Here you’ll see that chapter 18 is explained by 17. And chapter 17 is describing a World Government that has existed in the past, is no longer at the time of the prophesy (330-700 AD), and will again rise to power (Roman Empire/Revived Roman Empire).
Even though, John received the vision in 30-70 AD, the time the vision takes place is after the fall of the Roman Empire.
1. Revelation 17:6, “I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus.” (PAST)
2. Revelation 17:7, “Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. ”
3. Revelation 17:8, “The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction.”
Finally, we return to the question of the identity of the woman, which we are called to come out from.
The same women who is riding the beast; that belongs to the beast; and finally, who will be consumed by fire.
1. Revelation 17:7, Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.
2. Revelation 17:11, “The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.”
It is very important that we note the previous verse, the women who rides the beast, belongs to the beast. This is the key to understanding Johns vision.
To recap, the clues that we have are as follows:
A) The women is representative of a place
B) The place in question has a male leader (king)
C) The place in question has made the merchants of the earth rich from her excessive luxuries.
D) The place (she) belongs to the beast with ten horns and ten kings (Europe).
E) The place is destroyed by the punishment of fire.
In the end, you are left with only an educated guess. But it is fairly easy to say the woman is America-the nation who came out of the beast (Europe).
Mexico from Spain
United States from England and France
Canada from France and England
Revelation 17:7, Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.
I hope this helps, if you would like a more detailed explanation, please let me know.