Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Zechariah, and more specifically, begins with the first verse of the second chapter and continues through to the tenth verse of the third chapter. If you read these two chapters, you will quickly discover that each chapter has a different focal point, for while the second chapter focuses solely upon the city of Jerusalem, the third chapter focuses on Joshua the high priest. JERUSALEM & JOSHUA! When the second chapter begins, it does so with something that was a regular occurrence within the prophetic ministry of Zechariah. In fact, if you begin reading from the seventh verse of the first chapter you will notice how the Lord transitions to an incredible way to speak to the prophet. If you read the prophetic book of Zechariah, you will begin to uncover a series of visions the Lord revealed and showed unto Zechariah—visions that would have direct implications and significance for the city of Jerusalem, the remnant of the exiles which returned from captivity, and even Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel Governor of the returned exiles and captives. “Upon the fourth and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among them Rylee trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white” (Zechariah 1:7-8). When you come to the eighteenth verse of the same chapter you will discover a second vision which the Lord showed unto the prophet Zechariah—a vision that was different than the first. “Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns”( Zechariah 1:18). Zechariah would go on to ask the angel which talked to him concerning the four horns, to which the angel responded by declaring how the four horns represented the horns which scattered Judah, israel and Jerusalem. Immediately after the angel responds to Zechariah’s question regarding the four horns and what they represented, Zechariah is shown another vision—a vision of four carpenters, which Zechariah immediately inquired of the angel concerning them. The angel which talked with him revealed how the four horns were those who had scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head, but the four carpenters were those which were come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it. Essentially, Zechariah was not only shown those who scattered Israel, Judah and Jerusalem among the Gentiles, but Zechariah also saw those who would fray and execute judgment against those who scattered God’s people among the nations.
It’s actually quite interesting when you consider the concept of the four horns and the four carpenters, for through these two prophetic visions given unto Zechariah, the Lord of hosts began speaking to Zechariah concerning those who had scattered the people of God among the nations, thus removing them from their inheritance and forcing them to live as exiles and captives among the nations. Before the first chapter ends, however, we find Joshua being shown a very specific vision—one that would reveal those whom the Lord would send, and those whom the Lord would raise up to bring judgment upon those who had scattered Judah, Jerusalem and Israel. WHEN THE LORD BRINGS JUDGMENT AGAINST THOSE WHO LIFTED UP THEIR HAND AGAINST HIS PEOPLE! Within Scripture we find the enemies and adversaries of Israel seeking to carry them away captive from their land, and to scatter them among the nations. We not only find the Assyrians carrying away as captives those from the northern kingdom, but we also find the Babylonians carrying away as captives those from the southern kingdom. We don’t find any occurrence in Scripture of the enemy and adversary seeking to divide the land, however, what we do find are examples of the enemy and adversary seeking to thrust the people of God from the land, and even seizing control of the land themselves. In fact, this was one of the greatest realities concerning this period after the return of the exiles, and the return of the captives, for there were adversaries round about them who would not only seek to thwart the work of the Lord which needed to be done, but also to utterly and completely annihilate them. If you study this particular period of time, you will discover that while the people of God had returned from their captivity and exile, that didn’t mean that they would no longer experience or face opposition. I would dare say there is a common misconception and false perception that when the Lord returns us from our captivity and exile, we are and will somehow be immune and exempt from conflict and opposition. The Old Testament books of Nehemiah, Ezra and even Esther show us a vastly different picture. Within the Old Testament book of alone we find direct opposition to the work of rebuilding the wall and repairing the gates, as Sanballat and Tobiah sought to vehemently resist the work of rebuilding and repairing. Eventually, Nehemiah had instructed that every man who was committed to carrying out the work would have a tool and instrument in his hand for the work, while having at his side a sword ready for conflict and opposition that might arise all around them. As if this weren’t enough, we also find Haman the Agagite inciting the king of Persia to issue a decree calling for the complete and utter extermination and annihilation of the Jewish people from within and upon the earth. RESISTANCE OF THE WORK & AN ATTEMPT TO ANNIHILATE THE PEOPLE OF GOD!
When I read the vision which Zechariah saw concerning the four horns, I can’t help but think of kings such as Sennacherib who brought his entire army against Jerusalem in an attempt to seize control of Jerusalem for himself. I can’t help but think of how Sennacherib sent his ambassador and emissary unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto the people of Jerusalem in order to disrupt their confidence, and to strike fear within their hearts. Ultimately, Hezekiah would spread out the words which Sennacherib brought against Jerusalem and its inhabitants, and the Lord responded through the prophet Isaiah declaring that He would deliver both city and inhabitants from the threats of Sennacherib king of Assyria, as well as the army he brought up against the city. In fact, in a single night, the angel of the Lord slaughtered one hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrians, thus not only leading to the retreat of Sennacherib and what was left of the Assyrian army, but also brought about the assassination of Sennacherib by his sons within the land of Assyria. I can’t help but also be reminded of Nebuchadnezzar who launched three successive waves against the city of Jerusalem, and on three separate occasions carried away captive certain inhabitants from Jerusalem and Judah. I can’t help but think of how Nebuzaradan facilitated the utter destruction of the Temple of the Lord, as under his command the Temple of the Lord would be burned with fire, and all the prominent houses within the city would be utterly destroyed and consumed by fire. Under and during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon the land of Judah would be invaded, the fortified cities would be captured, a breach would be made in the wall of Jerusalem, and eventually and ultimately the people would be carried away captive or put to the sword, and the Temple of the Lord would be destroyed with fire. There were essentially two major kings and two major empires within and under the Old Covenant who were responsible for the scattering of the people of God among the nations of the earth, while during the days of return and restoration, there was another who would rise up who would seek to bring about the utter annihilation and extermination of the Jewish people. During the days of Esther and Mordecai, Haman would hatch a plot to bring about the complete and utter annihilation of the Jewish people from within and throughout the Persian empire, thus completely removing them from the earth. If you read the book of Esther, however, you will eventually discover how Esther’s intercession in the throne room before the king would help facilitate the deliverance of the people of God from the murderous threat of Haman against them. Ultimately, Haman and his sons would be hung upon the same gallows he had set up for Mordecai and the Jews.
Through the Old Testament book of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther, one is quickly confronted with the reality that despite the fact the Jewish people had returned to the land of their inheritance, that did not and would not mean they would no longer face and/or experience direct opposition against them. There would be a direct opposition to the work which was set before the remnant which returned from the captivity and exile, as the enemies and adversaries round about Jerusalem would seek to thwart the work of rebuilding the wall and repairing the gates. One of the single greatest truths we must learn about the return of the exiles to the land of their inheritance is that returning to the land of inheritance and returning to the place of rest didn’t exempt them from the task and responsibility that was before them. There is a tendency to think that returning to rest and inheritance cannot and will not carry with it a tremendous responsibility and call to action before the Lord. The Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah confront us with the reality that even a return to inheritance and rest carries with it tremendous responsibility, as there is still a work that needs to be done. THERE IS STILL A WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE! In fact, I would dare say that this was the significance behind the prophetic books of Haggai and Zechariah, as the Lord sought to remind His people that there was still a work that needed to be done. It is and it was true those who returned to the land would need to rebuild houses, and perhaps even build new houses, yet that wasn’t the primary responsibility or work that needed to be done. Through the Old Testament book of Ezra we read of the task and responsibility of rebuilding the Temple of the Lord, as well as repairing the altar of the Lord. Moreover, the Old Testament book of Ezra also brings us face to face with a return to the law of the Lord, as directly connected to the rebuilding of the Temple would be a return unto the law of the Lord. We must recognize and understand that there is a direct and fundamental connection between the Temple of the Lord and the law of the Lord, and how law and sacrifice are intrinsically connected and dare not be separated. Within the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, we encounter an additional work that needed to be done within the land, as not only did the wall of Jerusalem need to be rebuilt, but the gates of the city needed to be repaired as well. Returning to inheritance requires the responsibility of and a commitment to rebuilding the house of the Lord, returning to the law of the Lord, rebuilding the walls of the city, and repairing the gates. This, however, did not and would not mean that the work set before us cannot and will not come without direct opposition from the enemies and adversaries round about us.
When we come to the second chapter of the prophetic book fo Zechariah, we find the prophet again looking and beholding something very specific before him which was shown him by the Lord. “I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand” (Zechariah 2:1). When inquiring about the man and his purpose within the earth, the angel that spoke unto Zechariah revealed that this man was sent to measure to Jerusalem, to see what was the breadth thereof, and what was the length thereof. When the second chapter begins and opens, the prophet Zechariah is shown a vision of a man who would be sent to measure the city of Jerusalem in order to understand the length and breadth of the entire city. Immediately following Zechariah’s understanding of the assignment of this man, another angel came out to meet to the one who spoke unto Zechariah in order to reveal something very specific concerning the city of Jerusalem. I mentioned earlier how the second chapter of the prophetic book of Zechariah describes the city of Jerusalem, and is specifically centered upon the ancient city which belonged to the Jewish people as a portion and part of their inheritance. Consider if you will that which was spoken unto the prophet Zechariah concerning the city of Jerusalem: “Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her” (Zechariah 2:4-5). This prophetic word which was spoken and revealed unto Zechariah is actually quite astounding and remarkable, for it reveals something very specific concerning Jerusalem. The angel which spoke unto Zechariah revealed unto him that Jerusalem was to be inhabited as towns without walls for those who dwelt therein, and that the Lord of hosts Himself would be a wall of fire round about, and the glory in the midst of her. Pause for a moment and consider the magnitude and significance of that which the. Lord declared unto the prophet, for the Lord was not only going to be a wall of fire of defense round about Jerusalem, but the Lord was also going to be the glory in the midst of her. In all reality, that which the angel spoke unto Zechariah not only revealed and spoke to the reality of divine protection, but also of divine presence. The Lord of hosts would not only be a wall of fire round about Jerusalem to protect her, but the Lord would also be the glory in the midst of her as the divine presence. If I am being truly and completely honest right now, this should be the reality of each and every saint of God within and upon the earth, for the Lord of hosts not only desires to be a wall of fire round about you, but He also desires to be the glory in the midst of your life. In fact, the second verse of the one-hundred and twenty-fifth chapter of the book of Psalms we read these words spoken by the psalmist—“As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth even for ever” (Psalm 125:2).
With the promise of divine protection and divine presence also comes a powerful word of instruction, word of caution and word of warning unto the people of God. As you come to and approach the sixth verse of the same chapter, you will find—not only an invitation, but what might very well be perceived as a divine command—from the Lord. “Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord; for I have spread you aboard as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord. Delivery thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. For thus saith the Lord of hosts; after the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that touch you toucheth the apple of his eye. For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me” (Zechariah 2:6-9). One thing that is so incredibly crucial concerning this word of instruction and command is that it wasn’t the first time the Lord had spoken this word unto His people. In fact, even before His people would be carried away as captives and exiles, the Lord was already speaking to them concerning the time that would come when they would need to rise from their place and flee from the midst of Babylon, and from the land of the north. In fact, in the forty-eighth chapter of the prophetic book of Isaiah we find these words: “Go ye forth of. Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth: say ye, The Lord hath redeemed His servant Jacob” (Isaiah 48:20). Only a few chapters later in the same prophetic book of Isaiah we find another word concerning the very same reality: “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord. For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward” (Isaiah 52:11-12). When you come to the prophetic book of Jeremiah, you will find even further instruction and confirmation concerning and regarding this same reality. “Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he goats before the flocks. For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain. And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 508-10).
It’s important to recognize that these aren’t the only instances and occurrences of this warning and instruction spoken unto the people of God. In fact, you will find it at least two more times within the same prophetic book of Jeremiah. In the fifty-first chapter of the book you will find these words—“Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliberate every man his soul: be not cut off in her iniquity; for this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance; He will render unto her a recompence. Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord’s hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are made. Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: howl for her; take balm for her pain, if so she may be healed. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country: for her judgment reaches unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies” (Jeremiah 51:6-9). Later in the very same chapter we find the Lord further confirming this same reality, for through the prophet Jeremiah the Lord would go on to speak these words: “My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and deliver ye every man his soul from the fierce anger of the Lord. And lest your heart faint, and ye fear for the rumour that shall be heard in the land; a rumour shall both come one year, and after that in another year shall come a rumour, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler. Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will do judgment upon the graven images of Babylon: and her whole land shall be confounded, and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her. Then the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for Babylon: for the spoilers shall come unto her from the north, saith the Lord. As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth. Ye that have escaped the sword, go away, stand not still: remember the Lord afar off, and let Jerusalem come to your mind. We are confounded, because we have heard reproach: shame hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the Lord’s house” (Jeremiah 51: 45-51).. Lest you think that this is purely an Old Testament concept reserved for the Jewish people who were carried away as captives into the land of the Chaldeans, I would present you with the same language that is found and contained within the New Testament. IN the sixth chapter of the apostle Paul’s second epistle to the Corinthian congregation we read these words: “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:16-18). Finally, in the eighteenth chapter of the New Testament book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we find these words: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord who judgeth her” (Revelation 18:4-8).
Within the second chapter of the prophetic book of Zechariah we not only find a powerful declaration of divine protection and divine presence, but we also find a powerful command to the people of God in the earth. Immediately after the angel speaks of the Lord being a wall of fire round about, and the glory in the midst of Jerusalem, a prophetic word comes forth calling the people of God to come forth, to flee from the land of the north. Now, while this might seem to be purely an Old Testament reality, I am convinced that it carries with it New Testament realities and truths—especially when you consider the words of the apostle Paul within the epistles he wrote to the Corinthian congregation. If you read the sixth chapter of the book of First Corinthians, as well as the sixth chapter of the book of Second Corinthians, you will find specific instruction spoken unto that congregation. In the sixth chapter of his first epistle to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul instructs them to “flee fornication,” and then goes on to declare that every sin which a man does is without the body, but that man who commits fornication sins against his own body. In the sixth chapter of his second epistle to this congregation, the apostle Paul uses the words of the prophet to instruct his readers to not only come out, to not only be separate, but to “touch not the unclean thing.” COME OUT, BE SEPARATE, TOUCH NOT! This is actually quite investing and is quite astounding, for within the eighteenth chapter of the New Testament prophetic book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ we find Babylon directly connected to fornication, for the angel called out to the people of God within the earth, and declared unto them that the kings of the earth have committed fornication with Babylon, and how the merchants of the earth waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. There would come another voice from heaven calling the people of God to come out from her, and to do so that they might not be partakers of her sins, nor receive of her plagues. What’s more, is this voice from heaven would go on to declare how her sins had reached unto heaven, and how God hath remembered her iniquities. Again in the ninth verse of the same chapter we are confronted with the reality that the kings of the earth, which committed fornication with her, and lived deliciously with her, would now bewail her, and lament for her, and would do so when they see the smoke of her burning. It is quite obvious when reading the sacred texts of Scripture that Babylon is directly connected and associated with fornication, with sin, with the unclean thing, and that the people of God needed to not only come out, not only flee, but also to touch not the unclean thing.
If I am being honest right now concerning this reality and concept, I must emphatically state that these three realities aren’t mutually exclusive and/or independent of each other. In other words, we cannot separate coming out from fleeing, nor can we separate fleeing from being clean. What’s more, is that we cannot separate being clean from touching not the unclean thing. I wholeheartedly believe that each of these realities are directly linked and connected to each other, and must all be adhered to and followed. What begins with coming out and fleeing must translate into being clean, and being clean must also translate into refusing to touch not the unclean thing. Perhaps one of the greatest examples of this reality is found in the account of Lot, his wife, and their two daughters when the Lord was preparing to send judgment upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis we read of the two men who came unto Lot to instruct both he and his family to arise and flee from the midst of those cities, for the Lord was going to unleash judgment upon and against them. “And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? Son in law, the thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, the he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed…The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhbitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord: and he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cites in the which Lot dwelt” (Genesis 19: 12-29).
WHO ARE YOU BRINGING WITH YOU? While the account of Lot and his family provides us with an actual account of rising from the midst of a place in order to escape the judgment and wrath of the Lord, I am convinced it presents us with a completely different reality—one that is rarely considered. Return to the original instruction given unto Lot from the men which came unto him—“And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? Son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, BRING THEM OUT OF THIS PLACE: for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the Lord; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it” (Genesis 19:12-13). Only a couple verses later we find the men which came unto Lot further emphasizing this reality when they declared these word: “And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, ARISE, TAKE THY WIFE, AND THY TWO DAUGHTERS, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city” (Genesis 19:15). BRING THEM OUT! TAKE THY WIFE, AND THY TWO DAUGHTERS! We must pay careful attention to what we read within these verses, for within these verses we find that it wasn’t Lot alone who was to escape from the midst of Sodom and Gomorrah, but Lot was to bring others with him. Those who had come unto Lot were very specific when they urged him to bring those with him out of that place, and when his sons in law disregarded Lot’s warning, the same men urged Lot to take his wife and two daughters, and to escape from that place. The question I am finding myself asking when reading this passage is when you escape the judgment and wrath that is to come, who are you bringing with you? I have previously written concerning those who will be caught up together with the Messiah in the air during the rapture, and yet how many friends, family members, coworkers and the like were left behind. I wrote how there are a number of men and women who spend their days and time focusing on delivering themselves from the judgment and wrath that is to come, yet they care absolutely nothing about those around them they should be bringing with them. There are those among us who sit next to us week in and week out who view the rapture as an “escape from hell” free card, yet they don’t even consider those around them who desperately need to experience the very same salvation and deliverance. There are those who make it their sole ambition and aim to ensure they will be taken and caught up in the rapture, yet they aren’t in the least bit concerned with those who will be left behind to face and endure the judgment and wrath to come. It is true that there will be those who will experience salvation during the days of the tribulation, but I can’t help but wonder how many men and women who will be taken up in the rapture will leave friends and loved ones behind. While it is true that we cannot force anyone to be caught up in the rapture, it is true that we must speak to and encourage those around us in order that they might experience the same salvation and deliverance we ourselves experience.
When I read the account of Lot as he and his family dwelt in the midst of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, I find it to be absolutely incredible that Lot wasn’t instructed to flee from the midst of Sodom and Gomorrah, and to escape for his life only. Lot was warned of the judgment that was to come, and was instructed to bring and take with him his wife, as well as his two daughters. In other words, he wasn’t intended on escaping the judgment alone, but needed to bring his family with him. A similar reality is found during the days of Noah when the Lord was preparing to destroy the whole earth with the flood. It is true the Lord warned Noah of the judgment that was to come upon the earth, and it was true the Lord instructed Noah to build an ark that would be ready for when the flood waters came, but Noah wasn’t to enter the ark alone. Consider the instruction that was given unto Noah as the Lord spoke to him concerning the flood that was to come upon the earth: “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; AND THOU SHALT COME INTO THE ARK, THOU, AND THY SONS, AND THY WIFE, AND THY SONS’ WIVES WITH THEE. AND OF EVERY LIVING THING OF ALL FLESH, TWO OF EVERY SORT SHALT THOU BRING INTO THE ARK, TO KEEP THEM ALIVE WITH THEE; THEY SHALL BE MALE AND FEMALE” (Genesis 6:17-19). During the days of Lot, Lot was to bring and take with him his wife, his two daughters, and at one his two sons in law. Ultimately his sons in law would align themselves with Sodom and Gomorrah, and would in turn be swept away and consumed in its judgment. During the days of Noah, Noah was to enter into the ark, but he was to be accompanied by seven other individuals—his wife, his three sons, and their three wives. Thus, in both accounts we find four escaping the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah—despite Lots’ wife turning back and becoming a pillar of salt—and we find eight escaping the flood which was to cover the entire face of the earth. FOUR ESCAPED THE FIRE FROM HEAVEN DURING LOT’S DAY! EIGHT ESCAPED THE FLOOD WATERS DURING NOAH’S DAY!
Jesus spoke of the days of His return as being likened unto the days of Lot and the days of Sodom, yet while we consider that from a negative standpoint and perspective, we must also consider it from a place of warning and caution. It is true that the days prior to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ will be like the days of Noah and Lot, yet Noah and Lot didn’t escape the judgment of the Lord alone—they were each accompanied by others. I find this to be a tremendous invitation to us who are presently dwelling upon the earth—an invitation to bring those around us with us when we are caught up together with the saints to meet the Lord in the air. It isn’t enough for us to escape from Sodom and Gomorrah alone and by ourselves. It isn’t enough for us to escape from Babylon alone and by ourselves. It isn’t enough for us to escape the flood alone and by ourselves. I can’t help but hear the voice of the Spirit speaking to us in these Last Days asking us who we are bringing with us when that moment arrives. We might very well escape the tribulation that is to come upon the earth, and we might experience the rapture ourselves, but who are we taking with us? Are we focused solely and completely on escaping wrath and judgment ourselves that we leave others behind to face and endure it themselves? How many sons, how many daughters, how many brothers, how many sisters, how many parents, how many grandparents will be left behind to face and experience the wrath and judgment that is to come upon the earth because we were too focused on ourselves alone? Are you willing to take others with you when you arise and escape for your life, or are you going to focus on yourself alone, and leave others behind? I can’t help but be reminded of the words of Jude which are recorded for us beginning with the seventeenth verse: “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your midst holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen” (Jude 17-25). HAVE COMPASSION, MAKING A DIFFERENCE! SAVE WITH FEAR, PULLING THEM OUT OF THE FIRE! I leave you with these two questions—(1) Are you making a difference, and (2) are you pulling those around you out of the fire(s)?