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The Last Days Duncan Heaster  
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These happenings provide the background to many later prophecies, which speak of events around the second coming in language which alludes to God's mighty deliverance of Israel at this time (e.g. Hab. 3).   Many passages, in Isaiah particularly, speak of Israel's latter day deliverance from persecution in terms of their salvation from persecution in Egypt at Passover and the Red Sea;  clear examples are found in Is. 43:2, 16-19;  51:9-11. However, it is also true that because the Red Sea typifies the destruction of sin, it is therefore alluded to in some descriptions of the judgments to come upon Israel in the last days. In the same way as Pharaoh hardened his heart, so natural Israel have done (Rom.9:17,18 cp. 11:7 They will therefore receive the punishment that will come upon their enemies. Other clear indications that these events are typical of the last days are now considered:-


-  The saints will sing " The Song of Moses" , which Ex. 15 records was sung after the triumph at the Red Sea.   This indicates that Israel in Egypt prior to that represents the saints, just before the Lord's coming.  Rev. 15:2-4 is all in the context of the Exodus:  " I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire (cp. the calm Red Sea after it had returned over the Egyptians):  and them that had gotten the victory (God was victorious at the Red Sea, Ex. 15:1) over the beast (Egypt is the prototype beast, Isa. 51:9;  Eze. 29:3)...having the harps of God (cp. Miriam's timbrels)...they sing the song of Moses...Who shall not fear Thee (cp. Ex. 15:14-16)...all nations shall come and worship before Thee;  for Thy judgments are made manifest" , referring to how the Arab nations of Canaan were subdued as a result of the Red Sea victory (see Ex. 15:15).   There must therefore be a latter day equivalent of the Red Sea.


- The promises to Abraham received their major primary fulfilment at the Exodus (Acts 7:17). Seeing that their ultimate fulfilment will be at the second coming, it follows that the deliverance of Israel from Egypt was typical of this.


-   The experiencing of the events of the Exodus would make Israel " know how that I am the Lord" (Ex. 10:2), a phrase frequently used in the prophecies of Israel's latter day experience, notably in Ezekiel.


-   The prophecy of Isa. 19 concerning the judgments on Egypt clearly has a latter day reference - and it contains several references to the events of the Exodus.  " The Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt" (v. 1) sounds like the second coming of the Lord, perhaps upon the cherubim chariot.   The prophecy continues in language almost identical with that of Zech. 14:13 concerning the confusion of the Arabs in the last days, thus equating them with the latter day 'Egypt':  " I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother" (v. 2).   Then, " the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt" (v. 17), as the Israelites were at the Passover.   " The Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day" (v. 21), as they did through the events of the Exodus (Ex. 7:5).


-   The Hebrew text says that " a great mixture" of people " went up also" with Israel out of Egypt (Ex. 12:38).   There can be no doubt that this refers to the many references in the promises that the seed would come to include such a " mixed  multitude" (Gen. 17:6; 22:17;  26:4; 28:3,14;  35:11), thereby showing that by reason of leaving Egypt and passing through the Red Sea these Gentiles became part of the seed (cp. 1 Cor. 10:1;  Gal. 3:27-29).   But the supreme fulfilment of these promises will be after the 'Red Sea' of the last days.


-  Joseph's bones  were 'carried up' with them when Israel left Egypt.   The Hebrew word here is elsewhere translated 'to rise up', 'lift up', 'spring up', clearly hinting of the resurrection which will come at the Lord's return, which the Passover typifies.


-  There are a number of hints in the record at  a new creation.   Whilst this has primary reference to the creation of Israel as a nation through the exodus experience, it is fitting that it points forward to the fuller 'new creation' that will be brought about by the Lord's return (1).   Ex. 14:20,21 speak of the Red Sea in terms of " darkness...(giving) light...sea...dry land...the waters were divided" , all reminiscent of Gen. 1:2,3,10,9,7, respectively.   " This month shall be unto you the beginning (Heb. 'rosh') of months: it shall be the first month of the year" (Ex. 12:2) indicates how Passover was to be a new beginning.   It is possible to see in the ten plagues brought about by God's word to Moses an echo of the ten times it is recorded that " God said" in Gen. 1.   Ps. 105:28-36 describes the plagues on Egypt as a reversal of creation - starting with darkness (cp. " let there be light" ) and ending with the slaying of the firstborn to match the creation of man last of all.


-   Israel both kept Passover and went through the Red Sea at night.  Indeed, it is stressed six times in Ex. 12 that it was " night" , and hence Deut. 16:1 reminds them to carefully keep the Passover (i.e. at night), " for...thy God brought thee forth  out of Egypt by night" .   Other latter day prophecies speak of the events of the second coming being at " night" :  Lot left Sodom in the very early hours of the morning;  and it was " at midnight (that) there was a cry made" informing the virgins of their Lord's return (Matt. 25:6).


-  The record of Lot's leaving of Sodom (a remarkable type of our 'exodus' at the second coming) has the repeated hallmark of 'haste'.   This is found repeated in the record of both the Passover and the crossing of the Red Sea.   They were told, " Ye shall eat it in haste" (Ex. 12:11);  " they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry" because " the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste" (Ex. 12:39,33).   Lot was " sent out" of Sodom (Gen. 19:29) by the hastening of the angels.   It may be that in some cases our angels will hasten us to leave through their influencing of the surrounding nations (Egypt), rather than through their physical presence.


- The exceeding great plague of hail was one of the plagues which lead to Israel’s passover deliverance (Ex. 9:22), and yet this is the language of the last days (Rev. 16:21)- as if there will again be a Passover deliverance for God’s people, heralded by the pouring out of plagues upon those who persecute them.


-   The Song of Moses in Ex. 15 describes the deliverance from the Red Sea in language which could easily refer to our final salvation from sin and death at the second coming:  " Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: Thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation...and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance...the Lord shall reign for ever and ever" (Ex. 15:13,17,18).   Ps. 97-99 (all parallel in terms of ideas) describe the coming Kingdom in the language of Yahweh being enthroned as He was at Sinai, after the Passover and Red Sea incidents.   This further associates those events with the second coming.


New Testament Allusions

In addition to the evidence offered above, there are at least three New Testament allusions to these events which show that they typify the Lord's coming, thereby making Israel's position in Egypt a source of exhortation for us now, seeing that they represent us now, living just prior to the Lord's intervention to save us.  As they were to spend 7 days purging the home of leaven before the Passover deliverance, so it could be that the true ecclesia and Israel of God is forced to examine itself and purge itself in the very last [literal seven?] days before the final deliverance.  It could be that there is some literal sign, “the sign of the son of man in heaven”, which enables us to know for sure that the Lord’s coming is so near.


Luke 12:35-39 speaks of the Master coming at night and then sharing the Passover meal with those who are " watching" .  Israel were told to 'watch' throughout that first Passover night (Ex. 12:42 RV mg.), eating the meal with loins girded.   Our Lord matches this with " let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning" (v. 35), referring to the virgins parable.   Israel eating that meal together, huddled around the slain lamb, the oil burning lamps revealing their tense faces, is therefore a picture of what the new Israel should be like just prior to their deliverance.


1 Peter 1 is packed with Passover and exodus allusions;  v. 13 interprets the girding of loins: " Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you" .   The sober minds of those families on that night, their thoughts like their garments pulled together and tightly bound, should resemble the type of mind control which we exercise in the face of our Lord's return.


The third New Testament reference which confirms that these events are typical of the second coming, is in Rev. 18, describing the latter day Babylon as being destroyed by being cast into the sea as a stone.  This is definitely based on the description of Egypt as suffering the same fate in the Red Sea (Ex. 15:5,10), thus associating 'Egypt' in this parable of the last days with Babylon. All this would suggest that the Lord could return at Passover, or the final tribulation begin then [see the Appendix ‘A Possibe Chronology Of The Holocaust’ for more on this]. “The day of the Lord” is the same phrase used about a Jewish feast. “Let the feasts come round: then will I distress Ariel” (Is. 29:1,2 RV).


Returning to the earlier New Testament allusions, our identification with Israel in Egypt suggests that we, too, will be under persecution at the time of the second coming.   Pharaoh and his people being plagued is based on the pattern of Gen. 12:17, where this very thing occurred due to his holding Sarah in captivity.   The Egyptian beast being so furiously determined to destroy Israel at the Red Sea (Ex. 14:5; 15:9) is the basis for the dragon being " wroth with the woman, and went to make war (as Pharaoh 'went') with the remnant of her seed" , chasing her into the wilderness and trying to destroy her with water (cp. the Red Sea); but " the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood" (Rev. 12:13-17), as at the Red Sea (Ex. 15:12).  This passage in Revelation has reference to the latter day persecution (see Section 3).


Passover feast

The commands to Israel concerning how they were to keep the Passover in order to avoid sharing the destruction of the surrounding world, had to be carefully followed.   We have the same need of detailed attention to the Word if we wish to escape a similar fate.   Gathered around the slain lamb, the memorial of their salvation, in their various homes, the command was clear:  " None of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning" (Ex. 12:22).   This is surely an eloquent picture of the ecclesia of the last days, highlighting the urgent need to remain within the ecclesia, and to centre our fellowship around our Passover Lamb.   The importance of physically meeting together in the last days, particularly to share the emblems of our Lord's death, is stressed in Heb. 10:25.   For this reason every effort should be made to travel whatever distance necessary to break bread with those in isolation as frequently as possible.   Instead of this, there appears to be a growing neglect of such vital work amongst us.


It is not difficult to imagine the close sense of community and family bond in those homes that night.   Grandparents would have nervously eyed their firstborn, who would likewise have watched or cuddled their firstborn, summoning all their faith to believe in the power of that blood which they had publicly associated themselves with.   Such should be the pattern of our ecclesial life - instead of the political battleground which it so frequently becomes in these, the very last days.   Their having previously lived through, and suffered from, some of the plagues would doubtless have helped them towards developing this attitude.   Whilst we may be spared some of the world's final plagues, it is reasonable to think that we will suffer their initial plagues too, for our spiritual benefit.   Ez. 20:7,8, plainly states that whilst in Egypt Israel became grossly corrupted with the surrounding idolatry.   This must therefore be a similarity with the new Israel just before the second coming.


Eating the Passover with " shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand" (Ex. 12:11) captures the spirit of expectancy and readiness to leave at any moment which we should have, as we, too, await the coming of the angel.   It was to be eaten " in haste" ;  the Hebrew word is from the root for a weasel, with the idea of quick, smooth, gliding motion.   This may convey a sense of control and lack of panic which should be seen in the new Israel;  we saw earlier how Lot's panic at the coming of the angel almost cost him his salvation, and that this flustering will be characteristic of the unworthy.


The feast of the Passover also teaches concerning the position we should be in before the angel comes.   In the lead up to the feast (cp. our Lord's return), " no manner of work shall be done, save that which ever man must (do to) eat" , or " that which every man must necessarily do" (LXX; Ex. 12:16).   Thus in our lives now, having food and raiment we should be content, not working any more than necessary, so that " the loins of our mind" will be girded, looking forward to the Passover feast.   The occupations of many of the new Israel are hard to square with this teaching.  


The focus of the Passover feast was the lamb, and this should be the centre of our thinking in these last days (2).   Some very intense Hebrew words are used to describe their association of themselves with it:   " Draw out (to seize) and take you a lamb...strike('lay the hand on', a word used about rape) the lintel...with the blood" (Ex. 12:21,22).   And the run-up to Passover was to feature a business-like searching of the house for leaven (Ex. 12:19), reflecting the close self-examination which we should undertake individually and ecclesially (" your houses" ) in this prelude to the Passover-coming of our Lord.   Not surprisingly, in the light of this, Passover night was to be " a night of watching" (Ex. 12:42 RV mg.), strongly suggesting " watching in prayer" (Eph. 6:18;  1 Pet. 4:7;  2 Cor. 11:27?).   Similarly those who are found " watching" at the Lord's midnight coming (cp. that of the Passover angel) will be found acceptable (Lk. 12:37).


Apart from the jewellery taken from the Egyptians for the construction of the tabernacle, the total unmaterialism of Israel that night is something to be marvelled at.   They only had the clothes they wore, and just the one pair of shoes.   This is confirmed by the reminder that these things were miraculously preserved throughout the wilderness journey (Deut. 8:4).   There is no mention of their taking any possessions with them;  even though it appears from the later history that they did, the record here appears to be framed to show their lack of regard for such things on Passover night.   The spirit of that night should be seen in our lives now.   It is also highlighted that they had no food when they left - they just grabbed some dough which later they baked into " unleavened cakes" (Ex. 12:34,39).  


Our Lord's perceptive mind picked out the picture of Israel as they were then, as an illustration of how his disciples should be on their preaching mission.   " He called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth...and commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only;  no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:  but be shod with sandals;  and not put on two coats" .   All this is couched in the language of Israel on Passover night.   His next words for them appear to be stating the obvious, unless they allude to Israel remaining at whatever place they reached until the fire and cloud moved them on:  " In what place soever ye enter...there abide till ye depart from that place" (Mk. 6:8-10).   It must be remembered that God intended Israel to be a missionary nation, teaching the surrounding world of His ways by their example of obedience to His law.   As Israel left Egypt with the gold and jewels of Egypt, so, Jesus implied, the disciples were to carry the precious things of the Gospel.


The meaning of this in the typology of the Passover is twofold:  firstly, it teaches that one way of being properly prepared for the second coming after the pattern of Israel that night, is to live a life committed to preaching;  this will keep the loins of our minds girded, ever looking for the Lord's return which we preach, and often depriving us of the temptations of materialism.   And, secondly, those of the new Israel who are found ready at the angel's coming will be prepared and eager to start on the greatest missionary campaign of all, in the establishment of the Kingdom.


Leaving the world

At this point it can be noted that Israel leaving Egypt must represent the faithful leaving the world at the second coming.   Ps. 78:52 and Is. 63:9,11 describe God as leading Israel out of Egypt as an obedient flock of sheep, suggesting that they were all accounted worthy then.   Similarly, Balaam said that at the Exodus God did " not behold iniquity in Jacob" (Num. 23:21,22).  


The extreme truth of this is shown by Ez. 20:8 and Acts 7:43, which imply that they carried the Egyptian idols with them through the Red Sea. Indeed, Ez. 20:16,18 state that God gave Israel in the wilderness His statutes and judgments, but they actually lived according to their own statutes and judgments; and therefore He appealed to the younger generation not to walk in the statutes and judgments of their parents, but in those which He had given them. But “the children rebelled against me; they walked not in my statutes, neither kept mine ordinances to do them, which if a man do, he shall live in them; they profaned my sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my wrath upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness” (Ez. 20:21). Even in the wilderness, Israel didn’t keep the Sabbaths, and the younger generation refused God’s laws. Although unrecorded in the Pentatuech, Ez. 20:23,24 describes a threat from God to Israel, whilst they were still in the wilderness, that He would scatter them among the nations. Yet this drastic appeal went unheeded, because “their eyes were after their father’s idols”. They were so obsessed with the idols worshipped by their parents’ generation- the generation who left Egypt. Yet for all this, God did " not behold iniquity in Jacob" , such was the righteousness imputed to them. And yet that generation were indeed types of us.


Consistently the impression is given that those alive at the second coming will not be as strong as they could be - Lot, Israel in Egypt, the slumbering virgins, all convey this feeling.   To some degree this will be overlooked, as were Israel's weaknesses, but as Lot's wife successfully left Sodom but failed to reach salvation, so Israel left Egypt but perished on the journey to the salvation of the promised land.   Likewise the foolish virgins started off to meet their returning bridegroom, but ran out of oil on the way.   The typology of all this indicates that some will respond to the Angel's call to leave the world, but will look back to Sodom as did Lot's wife, or back to Egypt, as did Israel, through a lack of the oil of the spirit-word.   


If we feel that we will certainly not look back in any way when we follow the angel, we need to urgently remember that all these examples are warnings to us of the last generation.


The allusions in later Scripture to the deliverance from Egypt are often in reference to the deliverance of natural Israel from her latter day persecutor.   This power must therefore be symbolized by Egypt.   The latter day Assyrian is specifically associated with 'Egypt' in Isa. 52:4, and hard-hearted Pharaoh is connected with the Philistines (Palestinians) in 1 Sam. 6:6, and Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 5:20).   The command to Babylon to " give up" the Jews in the last days (Is. 43:6) is based on God's ordering of Pharaoh to 'give up' His people.   Thus Is. 48:20,21 describes Israel's exodus from Babylon in language which refers to their leaving of Egypt:  " Go ye forth of Babylon, flee (as Israel did from Egypt, Ex. 14:5) ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth (cp. Ex. 15:14,15);  say ye, The Lord hath redeemed (cp. Ex. 19:4-6) his servant Jacob.   And they thirsted not when he led them through the deserts:  He caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them:  He clave the rock also, and the waters gushed out."


Babylon, Assyria and the Philistines are geographically located where the modern Arab powers are based.   It is therefore fair to assume that natural Israel (and spiritual, too?) will be under persecution by these people just prior to the Lord's return, as Israel were in Egypt.   The persecution will take the form of crass economic exploitation, as the Nazis similarly worked the Jews in slave labour camps until they dropped.


Many prophecies concering the judgment of Egypt quite evidently have a latter day application. Isaiah 19 lists various judgments on Egypt, packed with allusions to the situation at the time of the Exodus (e.g. their turning to workers of false miracles, v.3), and then says that at this time " the land of Judah shall be a terror to the land of that day shall five citites in the land of Egypt speake the language of that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt...and the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord" (v. 18-21), exactly as they were made to at the time of the Exodus (Ex. 7:5; 14:4,18). Clearly enough, the events of the Exodus are typical of the latter day deliverance of Israel. The " cruel lord and...fierce king (which) shall rule over them" in the last days (v. 4) is to be connected with the king of fierce countenance of Dan. 8:23; tbis latter day meglomaniac will have power over Egypt, as also mentioned in Dan. 11:43.


Labour camps

The taskmasters 'afflicted' Israel in their forced labour (Ex. 1:7), the Hebrew meaning to browbeat/depress.   These were exactly the tactics of Hitler's bully boys in the death camps.   The Hebrew word translated " taskmasters" in the record of their persecutions is also used concerning Nebuchadnezzar (Isa. 14:4) and Arab peoples like Damascus, Tyre, Gaza etc.   Concerning Israel's latter day deliverance from them, Zech. 9:8 reads, " I will encamp about mine house... because of him that passeth by (Passover language)...and no oppressor (same word " taskmaster" ) shall pass through them...for now have I seen" (cp. Ex. 3:7).   Like the Nazis, the Egyptians seem to have excused their abuse of Israel with a concocted ideology.   Stephen says that  they " dealt subtly" with Israel, using the Greek word from which " sophistry" comes.   The Arabs have already developed an equivalent to this.


Pharaoh's pursuit of Israel with a hand-picked group of 600 chariots, in addition to a host of other troops (Ex. 14:7), has connections with other Arab persecutors of Israel.   Shamgar, who, like all the judges, typified the Lord Jesus at his second coming (see later), " slew of the Philistines six hundred men...and he also delivered Israel" (Jud. 3:31).   In Saul's time the Philistines attacked Israel with " six thousand (lit. 'families of') horsemen" (1 Sam. 13:5), and Goliath, the prototype Philistine " man of sin" , had a spear's head which weighed " six hundred talents" (1 Sam. 17:7).   He himself was six cubits tall (1 Sam. 17:4).   The Philistines are certainly symbolic of the latter day Arab enemies of Israel.


Although the events of the plagues/Passover and the Red Sea are often spoken of as one event, it is possible to see in them two stages in both the judgment of the world and our leaving of it in the last days.   Israel, natural and spiritual, being under persecution by latter day 'Egypt', the plagues will start to come upon 'Egypt', some of which judgments will affect 'Israel'.   Then there is the 'Passover', where natural Israel and the faithful among the new Israel declare their faith in the blood of Christ.   The angel is then with us, in whatever form.   In relation to natural Israel, Moses' role may well be filled by Elijah.


We then leave the world on our journey to the judgment seat (cp. God enthroned at Sinai pronouncing blessings and curses) and salvation in the promised land.   The 'Egypt' power then tries to furiously destroy us (cp. the dragon in Rev. 12), but is destroyed by the final stage of God's judgments on the world, typified by the Red Sea.   As Israel had no fear while crossing it (Ps. 78:53), so we will be confident of our salvation.    Obviously there are many things which do not slot into place exactly, but this general concept of the world (at Passover and the Red Sea) is matched in the parable of the virgins.   As Israel were fearful of being pursued by a people who were doomed to be destroyed at the Red Sea, so Lot feared pursuit by the Sodomites.   His leaving Sodom may possibly be related, therefore, to the leaving of Egypt at Passover rather than at the Red Sea.


The result of our having the correct attitude to leaving the world when the angel comes is beyond our present appreciation - it will determine whether we are in the Kingdom.   Because of this, it is vital to give our careful attention to the record of the Passover, seeing the call to leave Egypt represents our call to forsake this life and go to meet Jesus, which the angel will soon give us.  It is fitting, therefore, to find that we will regularly keep the Passover in the Kingdom (Luke 22:16);  we will thereby remember the sacrifice of our Lord, and also those moments of 'Passover' when we left the world and entered the Kingdom at the angel's bidding.    Perhaps we will use our observance of that feast to teach the mortals during the Millennium: " This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me, when I came forth out of Egypt" , i.e. at the second coming (Ex. 13:8).


(1) This is all demonstrated at some length in Andrew Perry, The Doctrine Of Salvation (Sunderland: Willow, 1992).

(2) Whether we are a Christ-centred community rather than a Bible or Israel-centred community is a question which needs considering by us.