Coming out of Darkness & the ninth plague
This Bible study is designed for those who are sincere in wanting to come completely out of darkness and into the light of truth, thru true and honest conversion, which only happens for the dedicated and over time. When we look at the plagues that the God of the Old Testament brought on Egypt to free the Israelites, what can we learn from some of them? Do some of these events parallel, typify or point to events that are later to play out? This is something that takes some time and study into, plus the willingness and desire to learn from. What about the ninth plague, which was a plague of darkness and is the focus of this Bible Study? Is there something revealed by this 9th plague of darkness; 3 days of total darkness and restraint to the Egyptians that we should come to grasp?
Are all true Christians also called upon to move out and away from spiritual darkness through conversion, and into the light of truth? Are there actually steps that we have to take before we can actually begin to come out of the evil of Spiritual darkness and deception that drives this world? Must we all take those same steps to have salvation; the debt of our death penalty (Rom.6:23—first part) to be paid through our “Passover”, Jesus Christ, who is our Lord and Savior?
Remember, without Christ’s sacrifice, His shed blood and broken body given for the forgiveness of our sins, we have no chance at reconciliation with the Father! (Rom.5:9-10 & 2Cor.5:18-19) Without our full acceptance of the true Christ as our God and Savior, along with humble acceptance & obedience to all Gods Commands, we have no hope! (Eph.2:12-13) Without Christ coming to live in us, (Rom.5:10 & Gal.2:20) we will never be a part of the KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, (Exo.19:6) in God’s Family, who will enforce and encourage adherence to the Government of God on earth, under Christ for a thousand years! (Rev.20:4)
(I will be using the NKJ translation when others are not noted, for this Bible study. Please verify Scriptural content for accuracy and prove these things from your own Bible. For you to come out of your spiritual darkness,—you must BELIEVE your BIBLE and what IT reveals, then act on it in order to have salvation! Please use your own Bible and look at all these passages given herein and confirm the truth of them, without self-willed opinions and leaning to your own understanding. Prov.3:5)
Let us begin;
Christ is our Redeemer, (Isa.44:6-8 & 1Cor.10:4) but what do we have to do, before we can even start to receive that reconciliation and redemption? Do we have to do anything first, other than just believe on Christ? Is just “accepting Christ”, as most of the protestant world seems to believe, all there is to do or is there some symbolism between conversion and the plague of darkness? All of the plagues that came on Egypt did so while the Israelites were still there in Egypt. Are the steps the Israelites took pointing to something in the future that Christians must be willing to do in order for them to have protection from Satan and his wrath of the great tribulation? (Rev.12:14-17) After all, won’t that be one of the darkest periods of evil, death and destruction to come, in human history, for those unprotected?
Notice how these verses seem to parallel one another. In Exo.11:6, where Moses is speaking to Pharaoh, he says this: “And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has never been, nor ever shall be again”. (RSV)
Matt 24:21 (Christ speaking of the coming great tribulation) says this: “For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now-- and never to be equaled again”. (NIV)
The questions above and the Scriptures given should be important enough to us to want answers for them, if we care about our lives and the future lives of our children. Remember that Satan is ruler of darkness and 1/3 of the angels are now also invisible demons of darkness and evil, who work in unsuspecting humans by the power of influence and even possession, when possible! Satan and his demons are typified in the Bible by Pharaoh and his servants and their false gods! It took God’s intervention for Israel to be able to gain freedom from that captivity, just as it does for us to come out of darkness!
Satan had taken the whole world and humanity captive at the tree of knowledge of good and evil, just as Egypt and its Pharaoh had taken Israel into captivity. 2 Tim 2:26 (RSV) “and they (repentant people) may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will”. (Again, it is recommended that you look up these scriptures and read them in their context from your own Bible.)2Cor.4:4 & Rev.12:9 show that Satan the devil is the god of this age and that he has deceived the whole world. The Apostle Paul also reveals that Satan has a religious system of his own with its “ministers”. 2Cor. 11:13-15 “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”
Satan and his demons, as well as their human instruments like to counterfeit themselves for presenters of light or truth and they catch the gullible by clever deception. We will hopefully come to see they have deceived humanity into remaining in blindness and darkness, just as Pharaoh and his servants in Egypt wanted to keep the Israelite slaves captive in Egypt! Some of those who came out and were free actually wanted to go back! They were not committed to trust in and follow God however He chose to lead them. They allowed their own doubts to remain as some darkness in their character. This is what we must avoid doing today. Note these parallels in Scripture of some three day time periods of darkness, because of sin or a direct result of sin.
(#1) The Apostle Paul was struck down by blinding light, because he had persecuted God’s people and was zealously going after more. Christ struck him down, corrected him, and then healed him after three days of the darkness of blindness and then after his conversion, sent him to give light to the gentiles. This is what he was told, as we read in Acts 26:17-18 (KJV) “Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
There are three very important steps that we have to take before Christ actually becomes our “Passover”, or Lord, Master and Savior. We can then come under the protection of His shed blood and be “passed over” by the “death angel” or in our case the death penalty! (Rom.6:23) Just professing Christ does not do it all for us. We are going to see those steps, or actions that we must take—made clear in how they parallel to the commands given to ancient Israel after the 9th plague— as we go through this Bible study subject of “Coming out of darkness”. (Keep in mind that there is symbolism and parallel in what we are about to bring out in this study—to help us grasp what true Christians must be willing to do and the order in which they do it.)
Now the Apostle Paul, once he was converted or enlightened, truly began his journey from darkness into light. He had been deceived into thinking he already had the truth and was persecuting those who did not yield to it, not knowing he had it backwards, as many do today who are sincere in their beliefs but do not have the Holy Spirit as their guide. Paul, once converted, went about exposing these deceitful workers of darkness every chance that he got. He reveals that, as mentioned above, Satan tries to counterfeit himself for an angel of light, and uses human instruments as HIS ministers! We saw that above, but notice this from 2 Cor.11:12 “But what I am doing, I will continue to do, that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting”.
What claims were they making, or “boasting” about? The first thing we can recognize is that they wanted to be known as true Christians and ones being led by the Holy Spirit; “regarded just as we are” can apply to those posing as apostles or any true Christian in the body of Christ, as Paul himself was also a true Christian at this time. So these people wanted to be accepted as Christians; converts—some even wanted to be accepted as apostles and ministers in authority—as being servants of Christ, Christian ministers and apostles! They wanted this without fully submitting themselves the laws and commands of God! Paul shows in verse 13-15 that they are counterfeits and not bringers of “LIGHT” and complete truth at all! They used some truth, mixed with error in order to deceive! Satan has a good knowledge of what the Scriptures say—but contradicts the Spiritual implication of them. These agents of Satan were claiming Christ as Savior, but doing away with the very Law of God and the preaching of the true Gospel message about the kingdom of God. Does that smack of familiarity to THIS time frame and all the differing teachings that some claim are coming from God and the Bible? We need to have our eyes open and be watching for subtle deceptions and discern the fruits or pattern of deceivers, even among some in these various COG groups today!
Satan is subtle and very clever! We are instructed in Scripture that those that are members of the true Church of God (a Spiritual organism) should also be willing to “expose,” just as Paul did, the unfruitful workings of darkness that some deceitful men want to lead us back into. We have to keep ourselves separate from their mentality of compromise, doubt and rejection of truth, while also helping others see the difference between pure truth and truth tainted with error designed to deceive even the elect, if possible! (Matt.24:24-25) These Scriptures are not JUST for the ministry to understand! We all need to be paying attention to them! (Luke 21:36) Paul is speaking to the Church of God brethren through the Scriptures that are given directly below.
Eph. 5:8-13 V.8 for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. (This is to the whole Church body today!) 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; 13 but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. (RSV)
Jesus Christ came for the very purpose of exposing the evils of this world and revealing Satan the devil as the god of this world! (2 Cor.4:4) He also is showing us the True Father, instead of this false father of lies and deceit, which is Satan the devil! (John 8:44) Jesus also brought the very Gospel (“Good News” or “glad tidings”) of the soon coming Kingdom of God and that we can be redeemed now, becoming first fruits, through belief in the truth and His shed blood for our reconciliation. We can then receive the Holy Spirit and eventually become members of the divine God family, joining Christ the first born, by our resurrection or change into that Kingdom Family of Priests! God is giving His “called out ones” the opportunity to come out of darkness into His marvelous light of truth and righteousness. (1Pet.2:9, John 6:44-45 & 14:6) This truth will begin to make us free from the darkness of evil, through Jesus, the Son of God, (John 8:32&36) who is the “LIGHT” of the world, (John 8:12) and will free us from the snare and captivity of Satan!
True servants and ministers of Christ are here to help open the eyes of others to the truth and right understanding of the Bible, if we will only listen to learn, all the while studying the Bible to prove the truth and show ourselves approved. (2Tim.2:15) But we must also be willing to prove all things, being diligent in studying the Scriptures, holding fast what is proven true, because anyone can make a mistake. (1Thess.5:20-21 & Acts 17:11) The ministry of the COG also has the responsibility in helping any others seeking to come out of the darkness of this world, and the captivity of Satan and sin! But we must guard against teachers of heresy and compromise, especially in this end time era of Laodicea. We saw this Scripture above but let us read it again from the KJV and grasp the meaning.
2 Tim 2:25-26 “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves;- (The meaning of this, found in Strong’s CC, #475: “to set oneself opposite, i.e. be disputatious”)- “if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves -(This is #366 in Strong’s CC which also means; “to become sober again, i.e. (figuratively) regain (one's) senses”)- “out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (KJV)
The true servants of Christ— true ministry of the COG today, even though very scattered—also have been called to the task of “feeding the flock”—John 21:15-17—the true sheep of Christ, which is the Church and makes up the body of the Bride of Christ! They are given the responsibility to feed SPIRITUAL food, solid truth and sometimes corrective words, but not smooth things tainted or watered down to little or no value, just meant to please the listeners and gain a following! Doing the latter is also a means of subtle deception and is being an agent of Satan, whether it is realized or not. It is still darkness!
Christ, who now is head of the Church (Col.1:18) and has conquered Satan, defeated him and released those who become true converts from the captivity that Satan held over us all—the death penalty for sin and darkness—and the Father, through Christ, has now been “spoiling” Satan’s world, by gathering His precious Jewels out of Satan’s world, (See Mal. 3:16-18) though Satan is still ruling this world, just as Pharaoh was, after the 9th plague when Israel began spoiling the Egyptians! (See article- Spoiling the Egyptians for more information on this particular subject and the time line.)
What we should be beginning to see here is the possibility that this all ties into something that was typified; played out by Israel—things they were told they had to do before they would be “passed over”! Steps they had to take for their firstborn to be spared from death, while still in Egypt! (There are at least, some visible similarities) Given here is a Scripture that reveals how God views those who want to be His children and who put forth whole hearted effort—ZEAL— to begin doing His work after being called and chosen, grow to love one another and are enduring until the end. (Matt.24:13-14 & John13:34-35)
Mal 3:16-18 “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. 17 "They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. 18 Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.” (They will be able to see and distinguish the fruits of light and darkness.)
(#2) There is the example that came as Christ’s death approached, three hours of darkness across the land; (Mark 15:33) possibly paralleling or at least reminding us of the 9th plague of three days of darkness before the death of the firstborn in Egypt. This can remind us that by typifying being without Christ and God, there is no true light! God revealed to Israel that those apart from Him (that is, sinful Egypt) were in deep darkness, (supernatural) but God’s chosen people Israel did have some light. (Exo.10:23) The Apostles had Christ as the light of the world, and after His death, had some light of truth and understanding before Pentecost, but were not totally illuminated by the Holy Spirit at that point because it was only working with them and was not yet in them! The same applies to all of us at that stage of coming to conversion.(John 14:17) Christ was also in the grave—the blackness & darkness of nothingness—for three days and nights, because of the sins of humanity; another parallel of the ninth plague. This leads us to the point of recorded Scripture for everyone—there are no exceptions; this has to happen before anyone can come out of darkness or even recognize much truth—to eventually become those jewels seen earlier—the children of the Living God! That brings us to the first step in working toward conversion and coming out of darkness.
(Step #1) Be drawn out or called, then granted REPENTANCE by the Father!
No one can just decide on his or her own to be a Christian, then just acknowledge Christ as Savior and expect to be saved! Without fulfilling the conditions given in Scripture, taking the proper steps, wed remain in darkness and are kidding ourself if we think we are now Christian. We have to be called and granted repentance by the Father, (2Tim.2:25 seen twice above-also Rom.2:4 & 2Pet.3:9) in order to see truth and come to Christ! He has to open our minds, otherwise we remain in darkness and under the death penalty! So the Father first must draw us to His truth and open our minds to grasp it, before we can begin to come to Christ. Then we must begin to believe and be willing to be taught! John 6:44-45 "No one can come to Me (Christ said) unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.”
It is the Father that opens our minds and leads us to Christ for forgiveness, begins to bring us out of darkness, grants us repentance and a level of understanding of His Word. (See the article titled Repentance for more on that subject.) Just as He also granted Israel some light in the 9th plague, while Egypt was totally restrained in darkness, God grants us to be able to see some truth by allowing the Holy Spirit to first work with us, as already noted! Another tool that the Father uses for giving us this ray of spiritual light, our calling, is in the Gospel of Christ, the very same good news message that He brought. (Mark 1:14-15) God uses the truth of this Gospel message about the coming kingdom of God to call us by. (2Thess.2:13-14 & Eph.1:13) Early in the beginning years of the NT COG, this very Gospel began to be counterfeited with a message being more focused on the messenger, Christ, instead of the message itself. This same true Gospel in the 20th century, restored and preached by HWA throughout the Philadelphian era, is now being subtly watered down again and compromised by many. The same emphasis has been put on the person of Christ & His crucifixion by some, being emphasized in priority over the kingdom message for centuries. (See the Booklet on The Truth of the Gospel for further details about the truth of the Gospel.) Many other COG groups do not even attempt to preach the Gospel anymore, even though they claim that is their mission. Others only half-heartedly make an attempt to look like they are, but are not really committed to it as their # one priority.
After this first step, we must then act in belief and in faith, as the Israelites did after that 3 days of supernatural darkness, (Ps.105:28) before Christ becomes “sin” for us, actually taking our sins on Himself and becomes our “Passover”! So the first step leading us to Christ is the Father drawing or calling us out of the darkness of this world with the light of truth and granting us repentance. We then have to believe the truth we hear and find in the word of God, then repent and begin to obey God. (Actually God provides even the first step—that of supplying the true servants to preach the truth, as He did with Moses and Aaron. This study deals with what comes first for all who seek God and freedom from sin, as Israel sought freedom from bondage.)
That begins to set things in motion for us, at coming on out of darkness. This also begins to set the wheels in motion that will help us to later be reconciled to God through the shed blood of Christ. Along with repentance, and after taking action in some other areas as we will see, God also grants the Holy Spirit to work with us, (John 14:17-last part, as already seen) to bring us to reconciliation and then conversion, opening our eyes to begin to more fully see God, perhaps for the very first time, and then more clearly as time goes by, with us earnestly seeking God! Jer 29:13 tells us; “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” This also begins the conversion process in us, the reconciliation with God. 2 Cor. 5:20-21 -----“We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him (Christ) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. (RSV)
Back now to the Israelites, and at this point after the 9th plague, they now firmly believed in God by seeing this continuing supernatural intervention! Many of the Egyptians did as well, when they learned that Israel had light and they did not! So Israel was now acting on belief in God’s great power, seeing that with God there was light, while in all Egypt nothing but this supernatural darkness! (This is another lesson we must learn from this world!) So when Moses gave them the command to spoil the Egyptians, (Exo.11:2) they believed him and went out and began to spoil the Egyptians, which symbolizes the 2nd step we have to take before we can come under the shed blood of Christ.
THE 2nd Step is to show BELIEF and obedient ACTION:
We must begin to believe God, but not only that, we must then begin to act with confidence in obedience, knowing God is with us, just as the Israelites began to do when they went about asking for this gold and silver and clothing. God was with them, as the Holy Spirit works with us, when we begin to repent and believe by responding to put that into action. (Exo.11:3& 12:35-36—John 14:16-17)
Christ spiritually began to accomplish the “spoiling” of Satan’s realm, (this world) after a period of extreme trial and testing, (Matt.4:1-11 & Matt.12:29) then by choosing His first disciples to be His tools or agents. He symbolically began “spoiling” Satan’s world even more so after the three days of being in the blackness of death in the grave. (also a sign of Jonah the prophet. Matt.12:39-41) The Holy Spirit was not yet given (John 7:39) and would not be until after Christ had gone to the Father. When the Father resurrected Him, He shattered the power of death and the grave, conquering death completely! He then began building His Church, sending the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. (Matt.16:18-19—Acts 2:1-47) Col 2:15-16 “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 Let no man therefore judge you—(The Church, or true Christians.) (KJV)—in a sense this pertains to letting no one bring us back into darkness over any point of Command given by God.
All that was done back in Egypt was done as a shadow or type of something to come, as Col.2:17 reveals, which also pertain to the Holy Days that reveal the plan of God, in its seven steps. They have to be kept by true Christians. Christ displayed obedience, even unto death, belief and action based on faith in the Father and His plan. God, through Christ conquered Satan completely, first by the 40 days of fasting and the ordeal of being tempted by Satan and then by the resurrection from the dead. God began “spoiling” Satan’s realm by drawing people to Christ during His ministry. What an awesome God we serve! How great is HIS power and plan!
Step # 3. FAITH in God & Christ’s power and those promises is the 3rd step to breaking free from Satan and coming out of darkness!
Israel had to start to have some faith in Christ (God of the OT at that time) and that was beginning to be built in them as they saw what God was doing and began to trust and obey Him. If this had not begun in them, and they had failed to do what He said, they would not have been “passed over” and then set free of their captivity.
Heb 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”.
We must believe the truth of the Gospel and have faith that God has our best interest in mind, seeing that we are being brought out of the darkness of sinful living and are now potential sons of light. These faithful will become heirs with Christ as His Bride and of the promise of eternal life, believing that God cannot lie! (Titus 1:2) 1Thes 5:4-6 V.4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We (true Christians is the intent behind these words of the apostle) are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.” (this should be the goal we are now aiming for, with the rest of our lives) We are to begin being lights in a still darkened world and God is the Father of those lights, as we see revealed in the verses given here; James 1:17-18 “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, (out of darkness and the way of Satan.) so that we might be, as it were, the first fruits among His creatures.” (NAS)
Christ came for this very purpose, sent here by the Father with the message of the truth (word of truth) about a coming kingdom or Family of God to be established here on earth! After that was preached by Him and taught to the disciples, Christ then became our sacrifice to redeem us out of darkness and back from the death penalty, Satan the devil and sin! (Rom.6:23) Moses was sent back to Egypt by God, after 40 years of tending sheep, as a type of this, to bring God’s people Israel out from under the Egyptian bondage of slavery. He did that after the plagues and death of the firstborn, protecting Israel by the blood of the lamb. John the Baptist was also sent preparing the way before Christ’s first coming! Notice these two verses in that context. Luke 1:78-79 (RSV) “through the tender mercy of our God, when the day shall dawn upon us from on high 79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." Many of God’s true servants today are doing the same thing, for those whom God is now calling.
So now, what are those symbolic or paralleling steps again, that Israel typified, actually played out for us between the 9th and 10th plagues? Let’s review them, in relation to the ninth plague.
First, Israel was given some light while Egypt was utterly and completely restrained by 3 days of thick or supernatural darkness, because of Pharaoh’s resistance. (Exo10:22-23.) The children of God today have been called out of darkness and given a little light of truth, while still sinners and in Satan’s world. In this light, we must grow, just as the Disciples of Christ began to grow in spiritual knowledge under Christ’s servant leadership before His crucifixion, then far more after the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. We must also continue to grow both spiritually and in the knowledge of the Word of God. (2 Pet.3:18) Just as Israel began to believe and obey what God told them to do after the darkness of the 9th plague, (Ps.105:28), we also have to begin to act on what truth we have been given, repent and begin to go the opposite direction in belief, putting our faith and trust in God. Israel changed from being slaves and being ruled over, to obeying God and having freedom to gathering riches, some of the wealth of Egypt. They overcame their captivity, dependency on Egypt and now looked to God. (However short lived that was in reality, as they did not have a solid heart of belief. This we must also avoid, to come fully out of darkness. (Heb.3:12-19) We must recognize the value of our calling and diligently seek the riches of it. It is the pearl of great price. We must overcome our dependency on ourselves and this world of physical things and look to God, being yielded and submissive, letting Him begin to build in us holy and righteous character. Once we start down this road and have received the Holy Spirit, there is no turning back, or we go back into darkness and possibly the lake of fire. (Heb.6:4-6)
IN SUMMARY, the first step was (hearing truth) being called and coming to Repentance.
Just as the Israelites had to obey God by going out and doing what He said, before the Passover and death of the firstborn, gather these articles of gold and silver and clothing, as well as getting the lamb on the 10th day of the month and doing with it as they were instructed! They were told to eat it, in haste, being ready to travel, having done all, which they did. (Exo.12:28) We, today, also must believe and obey God, repent, be baptized and start coming out of sin. By showing belief and acting on that and putting our faith and trust in Christ, we move forward. By our acts of repentance, baptism, belief and acceptance of the truth, we will begin to develop the faith that God is involved in our lives. By going through the steps of repentance and baptism, then we come to receive the precious gift of the Holy Spirit, which is actually BEFORE we can actually partake of our Passover, (be passed over) which is Christ. His shed blood and broken body was meant to reconcile us to God and redeem us from the death penalty as well as for our physical healing of sicknesses! (1 Pet.2:24) Christ did not and DOES NOT do it all for us, however, as the majority in today’s religious world are deceived into believing. We have our part to do as well, as we have seen! Remember, it is the Holy Spirit that seals us and sets us apart. (Eph1:13-14) We cannot receive that first, by just “believing on Christ”, as the Holy Spirit is only given to those who obey Him! (Acts 5:32) So Israel, as a type of this, had to show their belief and act on it by going out and spoiling the Egyptians, gathering gold and silver and clothing, getting the lamb on the 10th day of the first month and keeping it to the 14th, then following those instructions of the killing it and putting blood on the doorposts, staying in the houses, BEFORE they could receive their protection and later freedom.
The second step was belief and obeying by action.
We see some of this already explained above. When they began to act in belief and obeyed God by spoiling the Egyptians and following all of those instructions, they were rewarded. We are rewarded for our repentance and then belief and action, with the Holy Spirit working first with us, then have our sin washed away in baptism and the death penalty removed. After Israel did these things showing repentance & belief and action; they, in this new found faith was already starting to be made free—preparing to be “passed over” by the death angel— making their preparations to come out of Egypt, while still in Egypt! It took a level of faith on their part to go out and do these things, not yet being physically freed! The same thing applies to New Testament Christians, but in a spiritual sense.
The third step was building Faith and trust in God.
We have to believe and trust in the Gospel as being truth, the “good news” of the coming kingdom of God and that we will be resurrected as Christ was and born into that Family!
There are so many other things that come into play here—other Scriptures and analogies that can be drawn on and related to these events. But there is one thing for certain that we need to grasp from all this. We must continue to remember how important these steps are, even after baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit. For the rest of our lives we must be repentant, teachable and must struggle to stay free of sin, not breaking our own vows as Christians, keeping and building more of the faith of Christ within us. That is why we keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread and eat the unleavened bread for 7 days after the Passover. This shows God our willingness to be diligent at working to come completely out of sin to be like Christ. (1Cor.5:7-8) we cannot hang onto a little leaven, as it will re-leaven the whole new lump and we will be back in darkness!
It is the True Church, the first-fruits having the zeal to obey and continue the work of spreading the Gospel that will be protected from the tribulation. (Rev.3:10-11, V.19-21 & ch.12:14) In order for that to happen they must have put on enough righteous character, (which takes time!) maintain a level of humility, zeal and love for the truth and work of God before the tribulation comes, in order to be protected from Satan’s wrath. (Zeph.2:3 & Rev.12:14) Then they will be those faithful first-fruits, HARVESTED AT CHRIST’S RETURN! (Rev.17:14)
That is why those in this era of Laodicea who continue in a smug and self-righteous “need of nothing” lukewarm and compromising attitude, consumed by a watered down approach to God’s Word, will remain being or yet be spewed out of the Body of Christ! They are not granted to be a part of the “woman” taken to safety. In the lukewarm state that at least half of the last generation of the Church is found, Christ cannot/will not make those with that mindset into eternal beings! They must repent and get back to a righteous or Philadelphian type mind set, a zealous Christian spirit and attitude of love for the truth and all the brethren or be forever separated from the Body that is to be the Bride of Christ! (See Rev.3:15-18 & Matt. 25:1-13) The last era must return to being zealous and repent of this lukewarm state and lack of love, as seen in verse 19 of Rev. 3. Those of the Philadelphia time frame that have now become lukewarm, hard hearted and unloving must also repent, if still alive. We must at all times focus on moving forward in obedience, putting darkness of evil far behind, not looking back or holding back or trying to turn back to a previous time! (Remember Lot’s wife! We cannot have a mindset to turn back from where we are, going back into darkness.) We must be honest and acknowledge where we are in time frame, as well as our own spiritual growth and determine to move on forward while still overcoming!
As time draws to a close, we must be diligent and not let up on seeing our calling to repentance and then making our election sure. We must then have belief put into action by obedience and start building lasting faith in God to fulfill His promises, in order to conquer the forces of darkness and be brought into the kingdom. Satan is subtle and will use anything to get us to buy into His mindset once again. If we are caught up and pulled aside by the kind of subtle deceptions that we are now beginning to see in many of the COG groups and some of their members as they water down points of truth and twist Scripture for their own agenda, we might not make it at all! We have to be more Philadelphian in spirit and attitude, zealous for truth and holding fast the truth of God and our crown, in this liberal era of Laodicea! This is what it means to be diligently working at coming out of darkness, a parallel to the ninth plague!
I hope this Bible study has been beneficial to you in your quest for a greater depth of Biblical understanding. (Editor for TCOGMSO)