Come out of her my people

The story of Joseph is a wonderful allegory of the suffering and exaltation of the Messiah. Joseph’s suffering was all part of God’s purpose for the salvation and deliverance of his people. Joseph was rejected and sold into slavery by his own brothers just as Jesus was rejected by his own people. When Joseph was exalted to the second highest position in Egypt and arrayed in the splendour of Egypt, his own brothers failed to recognise him. Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of his Father in heaven, the King of kings and the Saviour and Redeemer of Israel and the entire human race, but sadly many of his own brethren still fail to recognise him.

The similarities do not end there. The Egyptians soon forgot what Joseph had done for them. Another Pharaoh arose who did not know Joseph and who cruelly oppressed the descendants of Jacob. This same pattern emerged in the development of “Christendom.” The early church was the faithful assembly of Israel – those who recognised Jesus as the Messiah and Redeemer spoken of by Moses and all the prophets. The first believers were all Jewish, or proselytes to Judaism. Soon many Gentiles received the good news and were grafted into this body representing the faithful remnant of Israel. Having come to share in the spiritual blessings of the Jews they realised their indebtedness to the Jewish people through whom this great salvation had come and that even those who had stumbled in unbelief were still loved on account of the Patriarchs. They understood that they were not to boast over the branches that had been cut off because of unbelief because they too would be cut off if they fell into the trap of pride and unbelief.

As time moved on, wicked men infiltrated the assembly of the faithful. They seemed to forget that Jesus was a Jew born to the tribe of Judah and they began to treat his brethren after the flesh with contempt. The new “Pharaohs”, masquerading as the representatives of Christ, corrupted the true faith, and just like the second Pharaoh who enslaved the Hebrew people, they forgot who the true Jesus was and became worse enemies of the Jews than the gentile kings who preceded them! The Jewish origins of the religion that emerged under the Roman Pontiffs were barely discernible. It is little wonder then that Jesus is not recognised by his own people as their anointed King.

When the Romans saw how fast Christianity was spreading despite their vicious attempt to stamp it out they realised that it was a powerful force that could be harnessed to their own ends in manipulating and controlling the masses. Once Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire, with the bishops under the authority of Rome, they enslaved the people all over again to a false religious system, manipulating the people through their superstitions and ignorance of the word of God. Tragically, instead of the “slaves” being converted and set free by the Redeemer, true Christianity was corrupted by paganism until it was barely recognizable as the true faith of Israel. Although the Lord always preserves a faithful remnant, just as he did when Israel became apostate, for many centuries the visible face of Christianity was this apostate harlot which persecuted the true believers as well as the natural descendants of Jacob.

After the people of Israel had settled in the Promised Land they again became unfaithful and were taken captive all over again – this time to Babylon. Babylon figuratively represents the seduction of God’s people through compromise and friendship with the world. The Babylonian captivity was of a relatively short duration, but after the decree was given allowing the people to return to the land only a remnant returned. The majority had settled down, built houses and established businesses and were reluctant to leave it all behind. Thus, they chose to remain in captivity! The God of Israel who said, “Let my people go!” calls all true worshippers, those who worship Him in spirit and in truth, to flee from Babylon, so that they will not share in her plagues.

Flee from Babylon! Run for your lives! Do not be destroyed because of her sins. It is time for the LORD’S vengeance; he will pay her what she deserves.” (Jer. 51:6)

Compare this with the word of God in Revelation: Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes . . . Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.” Revelation 18:4-8