Now, there are so many disasters everywhere in the world: wars between nations, ethnic conflicts, terrors, famines, earthquakes, and deadly cold or heat or flood caused by changes in weather patterns. Whenever such things occur, people tremble with fear, not knowing who or what they should set their hearts on.
The Bible already prophesied about the coming disasters and what people would do in the day of such disasters.
“Though they dig down to the depths of the grave, from there my hand will take them. Though they climb up to the heavens, … Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, … Though they hide from me at the bottom of the sea, …”Am 9:2-9
As described in the above prophecy, people desperately try to hide themselves anywhere, because they come to face terrible disasters which men cannot endure. The above prophecy is not about what happened in the days of Amos the prophet about 2,800 years ago, but what will occur in the great and dreadful day of the LORD, at the Last Judgment.
Modern people, who live in the age of the high-tech science, feel fear about the coming disasters and the end of mankind, and they try to find various ways to escape from the disasters. They make every effort to find refuge underground or at the bottom of the sea or on a planet outside the earth so that they may escape the threat of nuclear weapons capable of annihilating all life on earth many times over. An atomic submarine for hiding themselves at the bottom of the sea, a spaceship for climbing up to the heavens, … , such various methods are being discussed. According to a press report, America has constructed a large bunker beneath the White House at Mount Weather; and there is said to be ninety-nine underground cities in various places, as a provision for emergency.
However, the Bible clearly says that even by using the modern scientific methods, no one can escape God’s fierce anger. It also says that the last disaster will come upon all the earth, not just upon parts of it.
“For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.”Lk 21:35
“The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. … So will it be on the earth and among the nations, …”Isa 24:3-13
Now, let’s see how the disaster comes upon every nation all over the world.
“By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. … But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”2 Pe 3:7-10
The Bible says that God will use fire for His judgment. So the disaster, which will come upon the whole world, is fire. When the day comes, the heavens will be destroyed by fire and all things will be burnt up and melt in the heat. The day will be a day of distress; even the warriors will tremble with fear and cry out bitterly.
However, God has prepared a way to escape the disaster when such dreadful day comes. He has made the way-the good news of salvation-known to us. We can get it only through the Bible, not through any high-tech equipment developed by scientists.
Let’s take a careful look at God’s word of promise to let us escape any disaster.
“… it is the LORD’s Passover. On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn-both men and animals … The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. …”Ex 12:11-14
At the time of the Exodus, when the plague of destroying every firstborn was brought upon Egypt, no plague befell to the Israeli houses which kept the Passover. In other words, the plague passed over them. Thus, Passover (pascha in Greek, pesach in Hebrew) implies “Plagues pass over.”
Such a history was written as a warning for us. Faithless Israel didn’t believe in the power of the Passover. However, Judah regarded the Passover as important and celebrated it. Through the history of Israel and of Judah, we come to realize how truly important the Passover is.
Hezekiah king of Judah read all the words of the covenant, which had been found in the temple of the LORD when it was being repaired and restored. He realized the covenant of God and sent couriers to all Judah and Israel so that they might celebrate the Passover which had not been kept for a long time. When the couriers delivered the king’s command to “come up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover,” Israel scorned and ridiculed them, and several years later it fell to Assyria (2 Ki 18:9-12).
However, Judah celebrated the Passover holy and could repulse the attack of powerful Assyria with God’s mighty power (2 Ch 30:1-27; 2 Ki 18:13-19:37).
In these last days, there are two groups of people: one group who will receive terrible plagues, and the other who will escape them with God’s help.
“After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth … another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. … “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”Rev 7:1-4
The only way to escape the last plagues is to receive the seal of God. Then, what is the seal of God? The Bible prophesies that the blood of the Passover lamb will be a sign for God’s people so that they may escape the last plagues. In other words, the blood of the Passover lamb is ‘the seal of God’ through which God’s people can be saved.
At the time of the Exodus, the Israelites could be saved from the terrible plague of destroying every firstborn, by putting the blood of a year-old Passover lamb on their door posts and eating the meat. The Passover lamb of the Old Testament represents Jesus.
“… For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival,…”1 Co 5:7-8
No one can escape the last plagues without ‘the blood of Jesus Christ’ who is the Passover Lamb. When the angels, who are given power to harm, let go of their hold on the wind [war], the terrible disasters [the last plagues] will come upon this earth (Rev 7:1-3). To make the last plagues pass over His people, God places His ‘seal’ on His children’s foreheads. The ‘seal of God’ is the seal of salvation through which God’s people can escape the disasters.
“and said to him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it. … Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple.”Eze 9:4-6
Whom did God order the destroying angels to begin with? He told them to begin with the elders [leaders] of the false churches, who do not have the mark-the seal of God, the blood of the Passover Lamb-on their foreheads.
Considering the prophecies of the Bible, we are now living in the days of the last plagues. God is awakening us, His children, to the fact that we can escape the plagues only through the ‘seal of God.’ He shows us that His sealing work will arise from the east and spread to the west.
“Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God.”Rev 7:2
When Apostle John received the revelation on the island of Patmos, he saw an angel ascending from the rising of the sun. This implies that God’s sealing work is to begin in the east.
When we celebrate the Passover, God abides in us, and we in Him (Jn 6:56; 15:4-8). As we dwell in God, we belong to Him.
“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He … set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”2 Co 1:21-22
God has set His seal on us to be marked as ‘His own.’ Let’s see what blessings God gives us, His own.
“O Jacob, … : Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. … When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.…”Isa 43:1-3
God has made us His own by putting His seal on us through the Passover. He has firmly promised to protect us from any destructive disasters. God is now calling His children, living in the days of disasters, to celebrate the Passover and escape the last plagues.
Before the angels, who are holding back the four winds, let go of their hold, we should preach the Passover of the new covenant-the seal of God-to the whole world, as the couriers of the good news of salvation.
Brothers and sisters in Zion! Let’s give thanks to God for making us His very own, His treasured possession. We must all take part in God’s salvation work in this age.