The Next (Greater) Exodus,
Not the Pre-Trib Rapture!
by Christine Egbert
For two decades, while sitting in various congregations, I often heard it preached that Christ would return at any moment to snatch away His born-again believers, saving us from the the great tribulation. I found this “pre-tribulation doctrine” comforting. After all, who wants tribulation? Right? But I had one problem, one very big problem with this comforting doctrine. In Matthew 24:29, Yeshua declared that He would return immediately AFTER the TRIBULATION.
Matthew 24: 29-31
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
According to Yeshua, His return would occur immediately after the tribulation. And if the Messiah’s return was immediately after the tribulation, then His return could NOT be imminent. Nor would it be stealthy (a secret snatching away) as some teach, for Matthew wrote that all the tribes of the earth would see this global event.
When I pointed these things out to various pre-trib rapture proponents, I was told that Matthew 24 concerned Israel only, not the Church! Had I known then, what I know today, that CHURCH is a mistranslation of Ekklesia, which means a called-out-congregation, and that through faith Gentiles become part of Israel’s Commonwealth (Eph 2:12), I would’ve refuted their claim with, “But the Church is Israel!” Scripture declares there is only one God and only ONE PEOPLE of GOD! The Saints are the ELECT! And Matthew 24:22 say that for the elect’s sake the days of the tribulation would be shortened! But enough about the dispensationalists’ unbiblical pre-tribulation rapture doctrine. Instead, let’s talk about what the Bible teaches will happen to God’s elect, at the end of days.
Isaiah 46:9-9 instructs us to: “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is none else. I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done…”
Principle Number One
To Know The Future, You Must Study The Past!
Those things which befell the Patriarchs and the children of Israel, like the exodus from Egypt, are not just history but prophecy. They are shadows of things to come, events that will unfold again in the future.
Principle Number Two
Scripture is about God and His people, Israel.
There is One God, One Spirit, One baptism, and One Faith! (Ephesians 4:4-6) There is but one ‘covenant people’ spoken of in the Scriptures: Israel. In 1Kings 11:35-43, we learn that Israel got split in two and became known as the “House of Judah” and the “House if Israel”, and it is with these two houses that the new covenant is made. (Jeremiah 31:31-33)
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL?
Hosea 1:6-7 “…And she conceived again and bore a daughter. And God said, ‘Call her name Loruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel but will utterly take them away. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah…”
Hosea 1:8-9 “Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived, and bore a son. Then said God, “Call his name Loammi: for you are not my people, and I will not be your God.” Then the prophet, still talking about the House of Israel, adds this incredible promise: Hosea 1:10 “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered, and it shall come to pass that in the place where it was said unto them (the House of Israel), You are not my people, there it shall be said unto them (the House of Israel), You are the sons of the living God.”
The children of Israel would no longer be called YHVH’s people! They would become part of the nations—Gentiles, those not in covenant—but one day this same people group, whom God had declared not His people, would become known as sons of the living God! WOW! In Romans 9: 24-27 Paul connects the dots. “…whom He also called, not only us, of the Jews, (Paul is from the tribe of Benjamin which is part of the House of Judah), but also out of the nations (those scattered tribes). As also He says in Hosea, “I will call those Not My people, My people! And those not beloved, Beloved! And it shall be, in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, there they shall be called, ‘Sons of the Living God.’” This explains WHY in Matthew 15:24 Yeshua said He was sent ONLY to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
WHAT IS THE PATTERN?
Now that we’ve established that the Scriptures concerns God and His people, the (whole) House of Israel, let’s see how what befell ancient Israel will form the pattern for what will befall future Israel (we natural and grafted in branches) during the end of days.
I Corinthians 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.”
The first prophesy concerning what will happen to Israel in the end of days was delivered through Moses. (Deuteronomy 29:27-29, and 30:1-8) “And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against this land to bring on it all the curses that are written in this book. And Jehovah rooted them out of their land in anger and wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day… And it shall be when all these things have come on you, the blessings and the curses, which I have set before you among all the nations where Jehovah your God shall banish you, you shall bring back to your heart, and you shall turn back to Jehovah your God and listen to His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your sons, with all your heart and with all your soul. Then Jehovah your God will turn your captivity, and He will have pity on you, and will return and gather you from all the nations where Jehovah your God has scattered you…And Jehovah your God shall bring you into the land which your fathers have possessed, and you shall inherit it. And He shall do you good and multiply you above your fathers. And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart…”
THIS IS KNOWN AS THE GREATER EXODUS
Jeremiah also prophesied of that day when the first Exodus out of Egypt would be virtually forgotten due to a more miraculous one in which YHVH will re-gather the children of Israel from all the lands to which He’d scattered them.
Jeremiah 16:14-15 So, behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that it shall no more be said, As Jehovah lives who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt. But rather, As Jehovah lives who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands where He had driven them. And I will bring them again into their land that I gave to their fathers.
Ezekiel also prophesied about the greater exodus in which God will re-gather his covenant people from among the nations. He will bring them into the wilderness, as He did with those who left Egypt, and judge them. He will make them pass under His rod to bring them into the bond of the covenant and purge the rebels. (Eze 20:32-38)
Now the King James says “plead” rather than “judge”. Eze 20:35 And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face.
But the Hebrew word translates as plead is “shaphat” According to Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Dictionary it means: to judge, govern, vindicate, punish, act as law-giver or governor, to rule, decide controversy, execute judgment, and to enter into controversy.
Let’s read the entire passage for the context.
(Eze 20:32-38) What you have in your mind shall never be, when you say, ‘We will be like the Gentiles, like the families in other countries, serving wood and stone.’ “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,” says the Lord GOD. “I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
At that time, Christians who claim God’s TORAH (law, instructions) have been done way with will either repent and “come into the bond of the covenant” or they will not enter the Promised Land during the Millennial Kingdom.
That brings to mind Jeremiah 16:19, which says: “O LORD, my strength and my fortress, My refuge in the day of affliction, The Gentiles shall come to You From the ends of the earth and say, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies…” (i.e. the TORAH has been nailed to the cross.)
The word in the scripture above that is translated ‘affliction’ is the Hebrew word tsarah. It’s pronounced tsar-raw’, and it means tightness (figuratively trouble); transitively a female rival: – adversary, adversity, affliction, anguish, distress and tribulation!
Compare to Matthew 7:13:14: Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. The Greek word translated narrow in this verse is thlibo, pronounced thlee’-bo. Here is the Strong’s definition:to crowd (literally or figuratively), afflict, narrow, throng, suffer tribulation!
Act 14:22 …strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ”We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
John 17:15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.
Daniel 11:31-35 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.
And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.
In Matthew 24:9-31 Yeshua says, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
WHAT ELSE DID YESHUA SAY?
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Therefore when you see the ‘ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand) “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ’Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 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. 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.
Some will be martyred…
Revelation 2:10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Remember this was written in a letter to one of the Churches!)
Most will be miraculously protected…
Rev 12:5-6 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days (3 ½ years).
Isaiah 26:20-21 Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, Until the indignation is past. For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity…
Zep 2:3 Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger.
Psalms 91:1-8 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.
Zechariah 14:1-5 Behold, the day of the LORD is coming…For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, for the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will come and all the saints with you (His warrior Bride!).
(Rev 18:1-4) After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.
Rev 18:20-24 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you holy apostles and prophets, for God has avenged you on her!” Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown down, and shall not be found anymore. …for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets and saints, and of all who were slain on the earth.”
Rev 19:6-8 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thundering, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Rev 20:1-2 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones – and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them – and the lives of those who had been beheaded because of the witness they bore to YHVH and because of the Word of Elohim, and who did not worship the beast, nor his image, and did not receive his mark upon their foreheads or upon their hands. And they lived and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years.
WHEN ARE WE LEAVING?
I don’t know. But that first Exodus happened as Israel was eating the first Passover, the greater EXODUS will likely begin at some future Passover as well. I will close with passages taken from various parts of the Bible, which I have written as first-person declarations of the LORD.