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 a change 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.
Am 9:2-9 『Though they dig down to the depths of the grave, from there my hand will take them. Though they climb up to the heaven . . .
Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel . . . Though they hide from me at the bottom of the sea . . .』
The prophecy mentioned above shows that people will desperately try to hide themselves anywhere, because a great disaster beyond human control will come upon this earth. This prophecy does not talk about what happened in the days of Amos the prophet about 2,800 years ago, but it is a warning of what will occur in the great and dreadful day of the LORD, at the Last Judgment.
The last disaster which human beings cannot escape by their own methods
People today, who live in an age of high technology, feel fear about the coming disasters and the end of the human race 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. Various methods are being discussed nowadays, such as an atomic submarine for hiding at the bottom of the sea, a spaceship for climbing up to the heavens and much more.
According to a press report, America has constructed a large bunker beneath the White House at Mount Weather; and it is said that there are ninety-nine underground cities in various places, as a provision in case of an emergency.
However, the Bible clearly says that even by using 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 some parts of it.
Lk 21:35 『“For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth.”』
Isa 24:3-13 『The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered . . . So will it be on the earth and among the nations . . .』
Now, let’s see how the disaster will come upon the whole earth, all nations of the world.
2 Pe 3:7-10 『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.』
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 burn 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 that dreadful day comes. He has made the way―the good news of salvation―known to us. We can receive it only through the Bible, not through any high-tech equipment developed by scientists.
The Passover contains God’s promise to save us from disasters
Let us take a careful look at God’s word of promise to allow us to escape all disasters, with our eyes, ears and mind wide open.
Ex 12:11-14 『“. . . 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 . . .”』
At the time of the Exodus, when the plague of destroying every firstborn was brought upon Egypt, no plague came upon the houses of the Israelites that kept the Passover. In other words, the plague passed over them. Thus, Passover (Pascha in Greek, Pesach in Hebrew) implies “disasters pass over.”
Such a history was written as a warning for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. Faithless Israel did not believe in the power of the Passover. However, Judah regarded the Passover as important and celebrated it. Through the history of Israel and Judah, we come to realize how important and precious 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 in the north scorned and ridiculed them, and several years later it was invaded and destroyed by Assyria (2 Ki 18:9-12). However, Judah celebrated the Passover holy and was able to repel the attack of Assyria, which was a strong nation, with God’s mighty power (2 Ch 30:1-27; 2 Ki 18:13-19:37).
The Bible tells us that there are two groups of people in these last days, too: those who are doomed to suffer terrible plagues, and those who will escape them with God’s help.
Rev 7:1-4 『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.”』
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.
1 Co 5:7-8 『. . . For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival . . .』
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 the land and the sea in the last days, let go of the four winds [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. Ultimately, the “seal of God” is the seal of salvation through which God’s people can escape the disasters.
Eze 9:4-6 『. . . 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.』
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 awakens us, His children, to the fact that the only way to escape the plagues is to receive the “seal of God.” God also shows us that His sealing work is prophesied to begin from the east and spread to the west.
Rev 7:2 『Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God.』
When Apostle John received the revelation on the island of Patmos, he saw an angel coming up from the east, the rising of the sun. So, according to the prophecy of the Bible, God’s sealing work is to begin in the east.
God seals us as His very own
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.
2 Co 1:21-22 『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.』
God has set His seal on us to be marked as “His own.” Let’s see what blessings God gives us, His own.
Isa 43:1-3 『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 . . .”』
God has made us His own by putting His seal on us through the Passover, and has firmly promised to protect us from any destructive disasters. God is now calling us His children, who are living in these last days—the age of disasters, to celebrate the Passover so that we can escape the last plagues.
Before the angels, who are holding back the four winds [war], 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 us all take part in God’s work of salvation in this age, giving thanks to God for making us His very own people, His treasured possession.