The Story of the Second Exodus

As the story of the coronavirus plague infects various media outlets, our concerned minds, and loved ones’ bodies, while also preparing for Passover, I found myself exploring how the story of Exodus foreshadows an even more significant story of the Second Exodus, which the Bible tells us will one day overshadow the story of the first Exodus causing people of the future to not even talk any longer about the story of Moses and the Israelites fleeing Egypt. Have you heard yet of the Second Exodus? Keep reading to learn more.

History of the Exodus

Bible students know that the twelve tribes of Israel relocated to Egypt to escape famine per the invitation of Joseph, Jacob/Israel’s youngest son. After hundreds of years though, long after the days of Joseph, the Israelites lost favor with the Egyptian leadership and became slaves under Pharaoh forced to build many structures, pyramids, etc. The Israelites were treated poorly and repeatedly cried out to God for deliverance from this oppression. Consequently, God sent His prophet, Moses, an Israelite adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter as an infant, to set the Israelites free from the captivity of Egypt. After many plagues and by following God’s instructions to survive such plagues, the grace of God miraculously set free His people from Egypt upon crossing the Red Sea. They then also became known as “Hebrews” for it means “to cross over” or “to pass over” or “to traverse”. Consequently, because of God’s grace, the Israelites or Hebrews were commanded to remember such an event known as Passover and to honor God by keeping His commands (Numbers 15:37-41). To read the story of the Exodus, read Exodus 3-15.

Enlarged Israel

Woven within the Exodus story is an interesting fact that many Egyptians also left Egypt alongside the Israelites upon recognizing the One True Living God during the plagues and evidently wanted to align themselves with Israel and their God instead of the Egyptian gods (Exodus 12:37-38,49). Imagine if numerous plagues transpired in our land and it made the news that authentic, obedient believers in Jesus were spared from the coronavirus and other plagues (being they like the Israelites stayed indoors/at home after marking their doors with the blood of the lamb as their leader, Moses, instructed). Surely that would get the attention of non-believers causing some to want to come into relationship with God through Jesus. Hence why we see many also fled alongside of the Israelites in the Exodus story.

Throughout the remaining passages of Torah, many references instruct the Israelites as well as the mixed-multitude in the ways or laws of God and moreover, how God’s law applies both to the natural Israelite as well as the foreigner who aligns themselves with Israel (Exodus 22:21-24; 23:9; Leviticus 18:26; Numbers 9:14; 11:4; 15:13-16,30; Deuteronomy 10:12-22; 12:12;16:11-14; 26:10-14; 29:9-15).

Similarly, we see in the story of Ruth, Naomi was of Jewish descent, specifically of the tribe of Judah of Israel while Ruth was the dreaded Moabite. However, Ruth aligned herself with Naomi and the Jewish people stating, “Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God..” (Ruth 1:16). No where does Ruth say, “Your people will be my people, your God, my God, but I will keep doing my Moabite thing (rejecting the ways of God).” Instead, the Book of Ruth praises Ruth for abandoning her former lifestyle held captive to sin and crossing over to believe in the One True Living God while becoming an ancestor of King David and eventually Jesus (Ruth 4:13-22; Matthew 1:5-6).

In yet another interesting example, Scripture reveals Caleb was technically a “Kenizzite”, therefore, not a natural Israelite, and yet because he “wholly followed the LORD” was considered of the tribe of Judah and given his inheritance as a son of God (Numbers 13:6,32:11-12; Joshua 14:6-15).

Upon such spiritual concepts of an “enlarged Israel” consisting of natural born children of God as well as adopted children of God already been hinted at in the Law and Prophets, the Apostle Paul builds on such concepts in his writings as well. In Romans 2:28-29, Paul explains to the Gentile Romans that what God has been after from the beginning is people’s hearts and if one has received the Spirit of Holiness, also referred to as the Holy Spirit or “Spirit of Adoption” in Romans 8 as well as in Galatians 4:6, that they are likened to a spiritual Jew. In Romans 11, the Apostle explains Gentiles who believe Jesus is Messiah and have received His Spirit are grafted into God’s olive tree further symbolizing they have been embraced or made one in God’s family tree. Likewise, in Galatians, another letter written to Gentiles, Paul clarifies believing Gentiles are adopted into Abraham’s lineage and considered heirs to the covenants God made with His natural children (Galatians 3:26-29). In prior verses found in Galatians 3:15-18, Paul explains God’s covenant with Abraham, a covenant that came prior to the Mosaic Covenant at Mt Sinai where God’s instructions were formally given and documented, that no one can alter God’s covenants or do away with them, rather each new covenant is built upon the previous ones providing a clearer story of God’s love. He further clarifies as newly adopted children of God, heirs to God’s covenants of promise, we don’t strive to earn our salvation or adoption by obeying God’s laws, but just the reverse, we strive to obey our Abba Father BECAUSE we are His kids and heirs with an inheritance. Moreover, when we love God and love others as the law teaches us to do, we are fulfilling God’s laws of love. In a different letter to Gentiles, but with the same message, the Apostle Paul explains in Ephesians 2:11 and onward, that these newly adopted sons and daughters of God must stop self-identifying and behaving as Gentiles, but rather recognized they are now apart of the enlarged Israel having become citizens of Israel and members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:11-19;3:6; 4:17-24). Paul strives to teach that while there is a genetic difference as well as gender differences physically, spiritually we are one in the same viewed as God’s children.

Meanwhile, many years later, we see the Apostle John advocating for believers in Jesus, not specifying only Jewish believers or Gentile believers, but rather ALL believers, to obey God’s laws as an expression of their love for God and as means to distinguish who is truly apart of God’s family, enlarged Israel, seeming to reiterate Jesus’ teaching of you will know them by what they do, their fruit (1 John; Revelation 12:17; 14:12; Matthew 7).

The Soon Coming Second Exodus

Now that we understand the overall story of the First Exodus, the concepts of being aligned with or adopted into an enlarged Israel, having been given God’s Spirit of Adoption, the Spirit of Holiness, which seals us as legit sons and daughters of God and consequently, causes us to want to obey our Abba Father, we can explore other Biblical passages indicating an even greater story will unfold often referred to as the Greater Exodus or the Second Exodus.

Select verses inspired by the Holy Spirit, penned through the prophet Jeremiah, indicate that the LORD will cause ALL of the remaining members of Israel to miraculously return to the land of Israel once again. In fact, the prophet explains it will be such a huge ordeal that the original exodus story won’t even be discussed any more, but instead, this miraculous moment will be remembered (Jeremiah 16:14-17; 23:3-8). Today, Jews and Christians alike celebrate Passover still referencing the first Exodus so obviously this event of the Second Exodus has not transpired yet.

Furthermore, Jeremiah pens in Chapter 3 verses 14 through 18, that the LORD will gather His people, Israel, individually stating “one from a city, two from a family” which Jesus also expressed in His interpretation of two will be in a field, one will be taken, or two in a bed, one will be taken in Matthew 24:31-41.

Likewise, the prophet Isaiah speaks to the same event in Isaiah 11 as well as Chapter 43 and others. Additionally, the prophet Ezekiel seems to describe the same event in Ezekiel chapters 36 through 37 as does the Apostle Paul in his writings found in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4-5.

In other words, numerous passages throughout the Bible indicate that God’s people in covenant, whether of Jewish descent or Gentile descent, are gathered to Mount Zion/ Jerusalem, if they are not already there, on the day the Lord returns. To read specific passages, check out my article “Where Are We Raptured To?” .Therefore, it would appear, based off a plethora of Biblical clues, that at some point in the relatively near future, there will be a Second Exodus of people being miraculously gathered from proverbial Egypts or Babylons to the land of Israel, specifically gathered to Mount Zion/Jerusalem.

As we celebrate Passover this 2020, may our vision of the future become made clear looking forward to the greater, Second Exodus!

To download a complete Passover/Pesach Guide created by Ira Malone of Torah for Christians Ministries, click here.

Seabbatical | Mishpatim

As always, the first few words in the first sentence of this week’s assigned Torah portion dictates the title of the Torah portion. ‘Mishpatim’ is a Hebrew word found within the first sentence of Exodus 21:1 meaning ‘judgments’. To understand a basic overview of the history of the Torah as well as Haftarah Bible portions, click here.

In this particular Torah portion in Exodus 21:1-24:18 , we find a set of laws, judgments, rulings, or instructions, however you want to phrase it, with a central theme of being responsible in how you handle many areas of your life such as:

*how you handle your servants/employees/subcontractors (if you will) (see Exodus 21:1-11)

* how you handle your emotions or actions (see Exodus 21:12-27)

* how you handle your animals (see Exodus 21:28-36)

*how you handle what’s in your possession (see Exodus 22:1-15)

*as well as miscellaneous instructions on your lifestyle including heeding God’s voice found in these commandments as well as honoring the Sabbath and certain holy holidays (see Exodus 22:16-23:19)

All of these judgments or rulings of the LORD coincide with what Jesus/Yeshua expanded upon in Matthew 5:38-42 as well as Luke 6:31. In fact, Jesus even quoted from Exodus 21:24 in Matthew 5:38.

Back to the Torah portion…After the LORD thoroughly explains such concepts to Moses so he can in turn teach the people these said instructions, Abba Father (the LORD) informs Moses He will send an angel to protect the Israelites as they slowly sojourn to the promised land. God strongly advises to Moses and subsequently, His chosen people, that it is mission critical they obey these instructions in order for them to conquer precarious pagans along their path and to safely reach their destination (Exodus 23:20-23). God carefully reminds them to not adopt the practices and lifestyles of worship of the pagan peoples, but rather, His people should utterly uproot and destroy any hint of worship God has not prescribed (Exodus 23:24-25). In doing so, they will be healed of various sickness among them, including no woman will miscarry her child nor be unable to have children (Exodus 23:25-26). Similar expressions of faith are declared by God when He defines the health and safety benefits as well as curses to heeding or rejecting His documented voice in Deuteronomy 28.

Interestingly enough, starting in Exodus 23:29, God explains He will drive out the pagans “little by little” rather than all at once so that the land, and therefore, the fruits of the land (their food), could still be properly worked, and the wild animals not take over the land and consume the crops. Smart God! He further reminds them to not make any covenant or commitment…no deals with the enemy, no mingling of faiths, no believers with unbelievers, lest they entice His people to sin against God’s instructions or commands (Exodus 23:32-33). Where can we find similar sentiments in Scripture? Read my article ‘Walk Like An Egyptian?’ to discover numerous similar passages.

In the last chapter of this week’s Torah parashah, we see the people of God once again renew their commitment to serving Him and His way when they reply like wedding vows, “All the words which the LORD has said we will do.” (Exodus 24:3). Then like in a marriage, they consummated the covenant a few verses later in Exodus 24:5-8, all of which is similar to what the Israelites vowed a few chapters back in last week’s Torah portion when they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do” (Exodus 19:5-8).

In the final verses of this ‘Mishpatim’ Torah portion, I noticed when Moses, Aaron, his brother, and Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, along with seventy of the elders, saw God in person, they documented under His feet was a foundation of sapphires like they had never seen before. I recalled similar statements can be found in Isaiah 54:11 as well as Revelation 21:19. According to the world, sapphire is the birthstone of September, which tends to align with the busy Hebrew month of Tishri, the seventh month. During Tishri, several of the LORD’s holy holidays manifest such as the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah), Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), some of which were mentioned earlier in this Torah portion (Exodus 23:16). Notice the correlation of the seventh day, the seventh month, and seventh year ordaining various days or years of rest. To learn how the number 7 is hugely crucial in understanding prophecy and the upcoming Messianic Era, please read this article I recently penned, ‘There’s Your Sign’ as it is all related and important to any believer’s faith journey.

Overall, the general theme of this week’s Torah portion seems to be defining and outlining how God wants His people to demonstrate self-control, love, and commitment as they lead set-apart, peculiar lifestyles of worship different than those around them.

I pray this teaching enriched, encouraged, and exhorted you as you sojourn a faith journey of your own.

There’s Your Sign

Have you ever asked God for a sign to know if you should do something or as a means to communicate a distinct direction in your life? I sure have! If you are familiar with my story, then you know in 2016, my husband and I believe the Lord called us to sell our home in Pennsylvania to follow Him wherever He says to go, to do whatever it is He says to do, and evidently, to learn and be transformed in the process. If you are like me, often times if I suspect God is calling me to do something, I will ask for a sign or Scripture to confirm I am hearing Him or interpreting what I think He may be saying correctly. Sure enough we got our sign, if not multiple signs, leading us on this peculiar, set-apart path.

It’s been nearly 4 years now since we’ve said our goodbyes to our historic, charming home. Since then we have lived in South Carolina in a tiny studio on the beach and now a tiny sailboat in Texas (Galveston Bay/ Houston area). Similar to how God’s Spirit led the Israelites to various places along their wilderness, He seems to be doing the same for us. While reading their story recently, I reflected on the similarities between their experiences with ours for we too had to learn to depend completely on God to provide and we had to listen closely while trusting and obeying Him as He told us what to do for income, where to go, and what to do, much like He did for the Israelites. Thankfully, it all has worked out marvelously, but it certainly has tested our faith in Him numerous times.

While reading about the Israelites journey through the wilderness, I couldn’t help but notice early on in their faith journey, God provided them His Spirit to guide them. Upon doing so, the first tangible lesson He revealed to them was the importance of resting on the 7th day of the week, the Sabbath, as He called it, for that is the day HE rests and He would not be working that day (Exodus 16). How funny to think perhaps God needs some PTO too (Personal Time Off)! According to that fascinating account in Exodus 16, God informed the Israelites to collect double the manna the day before Sabbath so they would have enough to get by on Sabbath (our Saturday) because He was not providing that day as He had all the other days. Likewise, since we moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the Lord opened my eyes to His Sabbath. For some reason in 2017, I decided to look up in my Bible every time it mentioned Sabbath to see what it was really about, when it was, and if it was important. I can only assume this was the Holy Spirit prompting me to do so because I do not recall any other factors to spark my curiosity.

It was when I read Isaiah 65-66 though that it hit me, like a “There’s Your Sign…Can You Hear Me Now?” kind of moment for it occurred to me if the Sabbath matters to Jesus AFTER He returns as those passages clearly state, then that must mean it matters to Him now, before He returns as well (see Isaiah 66:22-24). Consequently, I continued to discover verses even in the New Testament revealing Jesus honored the Sabbath (Mark 1:21, 6:2; Luke 4:16-39, 13:10), it is a gift from God to mankind (Mark 2:27), and the Apostles as well as early believers all honored the 7th day Sabbath (Acts 13:14-15, 42-44; 15:21; 17:2-3; 18:4; Hebrews 4:9). Many will say the Sabbath is just for the Jews, but I discovered in the Book of Acts, believing Gentiles or foreigners also kept the 7th day Sabbath upon aligning themselves with Messiah and the One True God, not to mention Isaiah 56 praises the foreigner who honors God by keeping Sabbath even more so than God’s natural kids being the Jews (see Isaiah 56:5).

Isaiah 56

Still, I researched why the modern church thinks the Sabbath is on a Sunday and discovered the horrifying reasons why some changed it to Sunday. All of which convicted me to start honoring God’s Sabbath on the 7th day as He instructed versus what man deemed the Sabbath and their anti-semitic motives in doing so.

It’s also interesting there are 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets, 7 Bowls all seem to conclude with His Sabbath Rest (His Return).

Even prior to selling our Pennsylvanian home, the Lord led me to study the Book of Revelation and to compare it to the Book of Exodus. I studied these books and the similar patterns for months gleaning so much more than I anticipated. I could not help but notice how the Israelites were spared from all the plagues of Exodus and how the sealed saints in Revelation, presumably those who both believe in Jesus AND keep God’s commands (Rev.12:17, 14:12, 20:4), are spared from the plagues to come (Rev 7:3-4, 9:4). I realized during those months of intense studying that just as there is the “mark of the beast” (Rev.13; Daniel 8:23-26; 11:28,30-32), there is a mark of God, or a seal of God as it is said in Revelation 7:2-4. I also somehow came across an identical sentiment in Ezekiel 9 where God had the angel seal the forehead of those who kept His commands and were grieved over those who did not. Notice the saints who keep God’s commands are grieving for those who claim to believe and yet refuse to obey God and the judgment begins in the sanctuary of God, which corresponds with what the Apostle Peter warned (Ezekiel 9:4-10; 1 Peter 4:17). Similarly, the sign the LORD was looking for in the ultimate Exodus plague just prior to the Israelites’ redemption was the sign of the blood of the lamb being on the doorpost of the homes (Exodus 11:7, 12:12-13,23,28). Consequently, the angel (presumably, it was an angel acting out this judgment per God’s command like in Ezekiel and Revelation) knew not to inflict death on that home. Clearly, there are some interesting patterns and similarities transpiring amongst various passages in Scripture. Still, at that time, I had not been taught by the Lord the importance of Sabbath, but He certainly was setting the stage for His big reveal.

As mentioned earlier, after trusting and obeying Him, after being set free from a Pharaoh or culture of bondage or debt, being a mortgage and all the typical bills that come along with homeownership and needing to work around the clock to pay for such things, God’s Spirit revealed to us His provision and His rest, being Sabbath. Even so, after grasping this truth and wanting to cheerfully comply, actually practicing such things required me to take some seemingly scary risks like let go a few clients of mine (because at the time I cleaned beach condos in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina every Saturday in between vacationing guests). Talk about having faith..those Saturday clients were my biggest money-making days! True to who He is though, God provided other cleaning clients that made a way for where we are and what we clean today (mostly yacht clients and move-out turnover clients here in Texas). First, He exposed me to other realms of cleaning and then had us move all together to really embrace that set-apart, “clean” lifestyle of honoring Sabbath. The cleaning I do now for my cleaning business is intentionally on Monday through Friday to ensure I honor the Sabbath. The number 1 reason He had us move to Texas was to position us to still clean, still have plenty of free time to be in His Word and to serve others, but most importantly to ensure we could honor His Sabbath. After keeping Sabbath now for a few years, I still am learning more and more about such a critical day, but oh so blessed and glad I keep Sabbath for indeed it is a delightful gift from God!

During this most recent Sabbath, while randomly reading Isaiah 56, verses 7 to 8 jumped off the page to me with a deeper revelation that I never noticed before upon reading the same words. In a previous article, I penned about how contrary to what most of us Christians were taught, we aren’t actually “raptured” to heaven when Jesus returns, but rather Scripture reveals over and over again we are gathered more like a Second Exodus to Jerusalem also known as Mount Zion. You can read in great detail all the verses supporting that discovery here. So upon reading Isaiah 56:7-8, which says,

I realized the Sabbath is the sign or seal God looks for when He directs His angels to uproot the tares (the weeds) and simultaneously transplants the proverbial wheat to Jerusalem/Mount Zion to inherit the earth (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43; Psalm 37:7-31; Matthew 5:5; Revelation 5:10, 14:14-20). Notice, when Jesus goes on to decode the parable of the wheat and tares, He reveals both the tares and wheat are gathered, but what determines if they are a tare versus a wheat is if they fail to obey God’s law, His instructions, His Torah.

“The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire..” (Matthew 13:41).

We also know, per 1 John 3:4, sin is defined as breaking God’s laws or being law-less or without God’s laws. Suddenly, all my studies came together. Oh, I get it, this is why Scripture reveals the Holy Spirit is a seal guaranteeing our redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14), and why it also says, the Spirit of Holiness aka Holy Spirit’s entire job is to cause us to obey God’s commands (Ezekiel 11:19-21, 36:27), and to do that which is holy (Romans 3:31, 7:12) such as the Sabbath (Genesis 2:3; Exodus 20:8, 31:14; Colossians 2:16; Hebrews 4:9; Revelation 1:10), why Revelation defines “saints” as those who both believe in Jesus AND keep God’s commands (Rev 12:17, 14:12, 20:4), why Revelation 12:17 and 14:12 seem to indicate saints are being washed by ALL of God’s word being the “testimony of Jesus Christ”, which modern church labels the “New Testament” and “God commands”, which could be considered the “Old Testament”, and moreover, why the Apostle Peter warns to not be deceived by people who twist the Apostle Paul’s words picking and choosing what they are willing to obey while leading them to break Torah/God’s laws (2 Peter 3:14-18) and why the prophet Isaiah says the law will be sealed among God’s disciples (Isaiah 8:16), why Jesus said anyone who teaches God’s laws are considered great in His kingdom versus anyone who teaches God’s laws are done away with are least (Matthew 5:14-21), and why Jesus also says many will believe in Him, but few will keep His Father’s laws, His will for us, such as Sabbath (Matthew 7). Lastly, it is why various Scriptures says the Sabbath is the eternal sign of those who keep covenant which matches what Isaiah says in 56:7-8! There’s your sign!!

Moreover, it occured to me, if a day is a thousand years, according to 2 Peter 3:8, and there are 7 days of the week per God’s design (Genesis 1-2), and if the Jews understand we are presently in the 6th day on God’s prophetic timeline, then it is logical to believe the 7th day is the 1,000 Millennial Reign of Messiah, of Christ – it is His Day of Rest. In other words, if you fail to enter His rest now, by keeping Sabbath as a rehearsal to His ultimate Sabbath day rest, you can forget about entering in His Rest to come in the Millennium upon His return to rule and reign (Messianic Era)!

May His Spirit of Holiness guide you into such epic truth as He did for the prophets, myself, and so many others! God’s Spirit is opening eyes and circumcising hearts like never before causing a pandemic of infectious transforming truth to globally spread all over for His glory!

May we not be like the rebellious, who stiffen our necks and harden our hearts to the ways of God for our heart’s response to His documented voice reveals if we indeed are circumcised of the heart and led by His Spirit of Holiness causing us to want to obey and consequently, enter His rest.

For further reflection, please meditate on Ezekiel 20, Exodus 16, Psalm 95, and Hebrews 3-4. I also invite you to read this post connecting these passages. Have a great week and a delightful Sabbath as you rest in His truth!

Teaches and Does,

Carrie R. Turner, Feb 8-9, 2020

Torah Portion: Behar

This week’s Torah portion is/was Behar, which means “On The Mountain”. While on Mount Sinai, Abba (Father) shared with Moses the need to let the land rest every 7 years and the consequences for the failure to do so manifested many years later. The concept of resting every 7 days and every 7 years is prophetic of the future Messianic era when Yeshua reigns…It also reveals to us that we can rest knowing Abba will provide for us on the 7th day and in the 7th year. #torahportion #shemitah #sabbath

Torah.Behar.FFF