The Exodus: Type of Modern Israel, Part 4 (Israel’s Time of Trouble)
By Pastor Hal Mayer
Welcome to Keep the Faith. Thank you for joining me today as we look at another chapter of the Exodus and draw out its principles. Today’s story starts with Moses’ complaints to God about the lack of faith on the part of the children of Israel and the problems he encounters in his first effort to get pharaoh to let Israel go. God sorts out his discouragement patiently. It is similar to our experience today with the intractable and stubborn resistance and rebellion of God’s people, actually.
Let us pray. Our heavenly Father, as we study the scriptures today, please give us Your Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds. We humbly ask for your forgiveness of our sins and for power from heaven to overcome them. We want to be delivered from them, with an outstretched arm, similar to the way the Israelites were delivered so long ago. So we pray that You will do that for us today. And as we study, show us things that we have never seen or understood before. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Turn with me in your Bibles to Exodus 6:10-13.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land. And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips? And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.”
Moses has complained to God about the difficulties of the position he was in and the burdens of the Israelites.
Now listen to Exodus 6:1-9.
“Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD. And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.”
God gives Moses the assurance of success in this negotiation with Pharaoh. He repeats the promise that He made to him in Exodus 3:20. Think about this. When Moses is at his wits end, wishing he had stayed in Midian, rather than come to Egypt to make bad worse; when he is at quite a loss to know what to do, then the Lord said to Moses to quiet his mind and calm him down and give him courage, “Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh.“
Pharaoh is proud and arrogant. God waited until the situation was unbearable because the children of Israel weren’t ready for deliverance. Listen to Patriarchs and Prophets, page 260.
“The Hebrews had expected to obtain their freedom without any special trial of their faith or any real suffering or hardship. But they were not yet prepared for deliverance. They had little faith in God, and were unwilling patiently to endure their afflictions until He should see fit to work for them. Many were content to remain in bondage rather than meet the difficulties attending removal to a strange land; and the habits of some had become so much like those of the Egyptians that they preferred to dwell in Egypt. Therefore the Lord did not deliver them by the first manifestation of His power before Pharaoh. He overruled events more fully to develop the tyrannical spirit of the Egyptian king and also to reveal Himself to His people. Beholding His justice, His power, and His love, they would choose to leave Egypt and give themselves to His service. The task of Moses would have been much less difficult had not many of the Israelites become so corrupted that they were unwilling to leave Egypt.”
God takes things at His own pace to perfect His work in us. We sometimes chafe because our expectations are not met. But God, who sees the end from the beginning, is working to benefit us. Sometimes we expect things to be a certain way, but God works them out to be another way, a better way. We complain, but God is working. He knows that if things really get bad, then we will truly value what He has done for us when He delivers us. So, sometimes he allows them to get pretty bad from a human point of view so we can see the futility of dependence on human wisdom.
God allows the wicked to triumph for a while, so that they will manifest their true spirit. You may wonder why God doesn’t intervene in the increasing wickedness of the nation, for instance. You know, the LGBTQ agenda is waxing stronger and stronger. And the religious liberty we’ve come to take for granted is gradually being suppressed. The advocates of abortion are reducing restrictions far beyond what we could have imagined just a few short years ago. And even some of God’s people, even ministers, condone such things. And many more do so by their silence. Friends, we have to realize that things will get a lot worse before they get better. We have to realize that even some leader’s in God’s remnant church will go along with the government in its repression of truth.
It is because God’s people aren’t ready for deliverance yet. We’re too content with this world that we don’t long for heaven. If things were easy, we would not appreciate heaven when we got there. We will have to pay a price for deliverance that we aren’t yet ready and willing to pay.
“Now thou shalt see what I will do to Pharaoh.” Pharaoh is at the height of pride and arrogance. Israel is in the depths of misery and despair. “Now is my time to appear,” God says.
Listen to Psalm 12:5, “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.”
When the wicked “puff” at God’s people and become more threatening and oppressive than ever; when it seems that all voices standing for truth are about to be silenced, that’s when God works. We shall see God work at length. To God, all that puffing is a lot if hot air. He sees when man has reached his extremity. And He waits for man’s extremity, so that we are so tired of oppression, so tired of the constant glorification of the increasing wickedness, that we cry out to God for deliverance and relief. That is God’s best and most mature opportunity. It is when His people will appreciate what He has done for them and will be totally alienated from this world of sin, that they give up any hope for reform. They focus on themselves instead of criticizing others. Then God can work.
You know, we say that we have no hope for reform in this world, but we really don’t know what that means. You may have hoped for Mr. Trump to stop the hand of Marxism or preserve our freedoms a little longer. But that hope was dashed by the globalists, in the end. It was all on display. You may hope for Mr. Biden to bring about equality and prosperity to the nation. But his policies will dash those hopes too. You may hope for the reform of the church. But we keep on electing leaders who are not loyal to the truth. And we keep sinking further into apostasy.
Conservative voices in the church and state are the targets of marginalization and repression. If you are one of them you will be silenced and “canceled.” The reason is that the postmodern agenda, with Roman Catholicism at the helm, has taken over. And postmodernism is really a resurrection of the papal principles of the middle ages. We will come to the same place where the Israelites did, of despairing of an easy deliverance and giving up hope in the arm of flesh.
You see, Moses was trying to do what he could do, but he couldn’t affect anything. In fact, matters got worse, and the people blamed him. “Well,” God says, “now thou shalt see what I will do. Let me alone that I may deal with this proud man.”
“Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue; Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth: Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him. He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly. He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper’s tongue shall slay him.” That’s Job 20:12-16.
When God takes the work into His own hands, that’s when He will deliver His people. With a strong hand, He will free them. In other words, when the wicked have shown that they are fully against God’s will, and “the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil,” (Ecclesiastes 8:11) then God is justified in bringing punishment and disaster upon them, and he delivers the sons of God from their oppression.
Please note, some people are bent by God’s mighty arm of His grace and turn from their wicked ways and seek forgiveness. But others are bent only by the mighty arm of His justice that breaks them. But by then it is too late. Their hearts are hardened against His love.
Exodus 6:10-13, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land. And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips? And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.”
God send’s Moses a second time to Pharaoh with the same request, this time to command him, at his own peril, in the name of Jehovah to let the children of Israel go. Note that God repeats His precepts and commands. Those that have often been called in vain to leave their sins, must yet be called again and again, “whether they will hear or whether they will forebear.” Ezekiel 3:11.
God is said to hew sinners. Hosea 6:5 says “Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets.” It is by the prophets that God’s people are hewn. To hew rock, one must hit it with many blows. Sometimes our stubborn hearts need many blows to learn to trust in God and to hate sin. And if they will hear them, they will be delivered from sin and at last come to their eternal home, they must; “Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” 2 Chronicles 20:20.
But alas, the prophets aren’t believed today any more than in ancient days. We don’t like to follow their counsel in our lives because it is too difficult. And our institutions and individuals have wandered far from the counsel of the Lord. And we are more tightly bound in the chains of the enemy.
Moses makes objections as if he is discouraged and is willing to give up the cause. He pleads the unlikelihood of Pharaoh agreeing to his request because the children of Israel have not given heed nor credit to what he said; how can he expect Pharaoh to heed his request. In other words, if God’s professing people hear not His messengers, His prophets, how can it be thought that his professed enemy should?
The intractableness of God’s people greatly discourages faithful ministers and makes them ready to despair of success of dealing with the secular, worldly and profane. If we cannot get God’s people to unite, purify and refine them, how shall we prevail with those in whom we don’t have a similar vested interest. But with God all things are possible.
Moses pleads his weakness and his unreadiness and slowness of speech. “I am of uncircumcised lips,” he says again. He was aware that he did not have the gift of eloquence. He had no command of the language and his talent didn’t lie that way. But to this objection God had given a sufficient answer previously, and therefore he ought not to have raised it. God’s all-sufficiency through His grace can supply and make up for any and all human deficiencies. Our infirmities should humble us, but they ought not to discourage us from doing our best in any service we have to do for God, for His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
But God has infinite patience so long as we are not fully rebellious and determined in our own course. He joins Aaron in the commission with Moses and puts an end to Moses’ complaints by interposing His own authority and giving them both a solemn charge, to execute it with all possible expedition and fidelity. When Moses repeats his baffled arguments, God won’t argue with him any longer. He just tells him to move ahead with His instructions and demand the release of the children of Israel. God’s authority is not something to be played with or questioned. We are simply to obey without murmuring or disputing. His authority binds us to obedience, and we can do nothing but comply. It’s better if we comply with cheerfulness.
Today, God’s people have as much of a problem with God’s authority as the Israelites in Moses’ day. Listen to this from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, page 162.
“Many who, like ancient Israel, profess to keep God’s commandments have hearts of unbelief while outwardly observing the statutes of God. Although favored with great light and precious privileges, they will nevertheless lose the heavenly Canaan, even as the rebellious Israelites failed to enter the earthly Canaan that God had promised them as the reward of their obedience.”
While this statement was referring to events in a later chapter in their experience, the seeds of their rebellion started with their unbelief and lack of faith in God at this early stage of their deliverance.
God has to test the faith of His people. If they will not have faith, He cannot deliver them. He sets up circumstances that require that faith. If we are only walking by sight, we will not have sufficient faith. Unless we follow by faith now, we will not have faith when we get to the real test.
God encourages Moses to go to Pharaoh. He sets up a similar relationship between Moses and Pharaoh as between God and his people, only one is as a tender shepherd and the other as a stern judge. Exodus 7:1.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.”
Moses and Aaron are a team designed to impress Pharaoh with the power of God. They are to represent Him in a way that Pharaoh understands, as magistrates are called gods. They are God’s vicegerents. He clothes Moses with great power and authority. This is quite different from the pope, who claims to be Christ’s vicegerent. When God appoints a vicegerent, the corresponding authority is powerful without the force of arms or human laws that bind the conscience. But in contrast, when man claims to be God’s vicegerent, he must needs have force to require compliance. The pope looks as though he just has spiritual authority. But history’s record is unequivocal. He uses this so-called spiritual authority to gain power over the nation states of the world. When he gets the nation states under his control, then he uses force, the force of law, the force of fear, to pressure people to comply with his demands.
Exodus 7: 2-5, “Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”
Do you think the rulers of this world will be the same way at the end of time? Do you think they will be arrogant and defy the God of heaven and earth? They already are, in certain ways. Do you think they will harden their hearts as Pharaoh did, when God’s servants plead with them? Probably some of them will enjoy taunting God’s few remnant people. God is allowing Satan to set up the same type of circumstance for His people today as the Israelites faced in Egypt. Only this time it will be on a global scale. That’s what globalism is all about. They tell you how much better things will be when globalism is fully implemented. But that’s a lie.
Let me remind you who is guiding globalism. The Roman Church is positioned to set the global agenda. Notice Rome’s leadership on the global climate change agenda, for instance. Notice Rome’s meeting with global business leaders a while back. And especially its consultations with the giant social media companies a couple of years ago. They may have ongoing communications with them concerning restricting access to some people, for example, as a test of the system so that God’s people and His message can be eventually severely restricted.
Let me remind you that it is all about giving Rome the power to impose its own principles on the world. It is all about removing religious liberty and imposing a national and universal or global Sunday law. That will enslave all people to at least token recognition of Rome’s supremacy.
Let’s look at Great Controversy, pages 564-565. “The Constitution of the United States guarantees liberty of conscience. Nothing is dearer or more fundamental. Pope Pius IX, in his Encyclical Letter of August 15, 1854, said: `The absurd and erroneous doctrines or ravings in defense of liberty of conscience are a most pestilential error—a pest, of all others, most to be dreaded in a state.’ The same pope, in his Encyclical Letter of December 8, 1864, anathematized `those who assert the liberty of conscience and of religious worship,’ also ‘all such as maintain that the church may not employ force.’
“The pacific tone of Rome in the United States does not imply a change of heart. She is tolerant where she is helpless. Says Bishop O’Connor: ‘Religious liberty is merely endured until the opposite can be carried into effect without peril to the Catholic world.’… The archbishop of St. Louis once said: ‘Heresy and unbelief are crimes; and in Christian countries, as in Italy and Spain, for instance, where all the people are Catholics, and where the Catholic religion is an essential part of the law of the land, they are punished as other crimes.’…”
This is modern Egypt. Pharaoh is rising to power again. And people don’t see or appreciate it. The leaders in the climate change movement probably don’t see it. The business leaders don’t see it. The leaders of the social media companies don’t see it. Jeff Bezos the leader of Amazon doesn’t see it.
Donald Trump is hated today by many people. And the primary reason he is hated is that he stood for the things that Rome and the globalists are against. Especially, from the perspective of God’s people, his stand for religious liberty. But he was taken down by the globalists and was not given a second term. Now they are triumphantly pushing their globalist agenda— bringing oppression and misery to the people of the world. The United States is being brought to heel and all other nations will follow.
Listen to this statement from Great Controversy, page 564. “There are many who are disposed to attribute any fear of Roman Catholicism in the United States to bigotry or childishness. Such see nothing in the character and attitude of Romanism that is hostile to our free institutions, or find nothing portentous in its growth.” That’s a quote from Josiah Strong, Our Country, Ch. 5, pars. 2-4.
The policies now being implemented are globalist policies and are not designed to increase the wealth of poor people. They are designed to bring the nation to its knees so that Rome can have more power. Of course, it is spun as if it is going to bring poor people out of poverty. But Jesus said, “For ye have the poor always with you…” Matthew 26:11. If you take away economic freedom, you can much more easily take away other freedoms. America has been a bulwark of freedom, both economic and personal, that has led the world. Therefore, Americans must be stripped of their freedoms, especially religious freedom, if Rome is going to gain control. This is happening now rapidly. And this will be a prelude to people losing freedom all over the world. Religious freedom is the unspoken ultimate target.
Mr. Trump exposed much of this. He may not have realized what he was up against. He certainly was unaware of the true agenda, the hidden agenda. He was right about a conspiracy to take away freedom, especially political and electoral freedom. And he talked about it so much that the media had to accuse him of lying and paint a narrative that would make him look odious to the people of the world. Because of prophecy, we can see what really was going on.
And now we have the second Roman Catholic president in history. We have a Supreme Court that is by far the most Roman Catholic in history. And we have a largely compliant congress that has many Roman Catholics and ecumenical evangelicals and that is certainly cooperating with Rome.
You can expect much worse to come upon the remnant than they have ever imagined. They will need a lot of faith in that soon-coming day. Most of God’s people are not building their relationship with Christ now, while there is still a little bit of time left. But I’m afraid that most of them, including many the ministers and leaders, will refuse the invitation of Jesus to prepare for the end times. Most of them will collapse and fight the true remnant. What a tragedy! Listen to this from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, page 463.
“The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in a terrible crisis under most discouraging, forbidding circumstances. The warnings that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld must be given under the fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith. And at that time the superficial, conservative class, whose influence has steadily retarded the progress of the work, will renounce the faith and take their stand with its avowed enemies, toward whom their sympathies have long been tending. These apostates will then manifest the most bitter enmity, doing all in their power to oppress and malign their former brethren and to excite indignation against them. This day is just before us. The members of the church will individually be tested and proved. They will be placed in circumstances where they will be forced to bear witness for the truth. Many will be called to speak before councils and in courts of justice, perhaps separately and alone. The experience which would have helped them in this emergency they have neglected to obtain, and their souls are burdened with remorse for wasted opportunities and neglected privileges.”
Do you think you are in the small remnant, or are you preparing to be among their former brethren? Which group am I preparing to be in? Here is another statement from Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, page 463. See if you can tell which group you are in.
“My brother, my sister, ponder these things, I beseech you. You have each a work to do. Your unfaithfulness and neglect are registered against you in the Ledger of Heaven. You have diminished your powers and lessened your capabilities. You lack the experience and efficiency which you might have had.”
Now which group do you think you are in? You know, it’s easy to think of ourselves as ready, when we are terribly short of faith and faithfulness. God knows all about it. He is faithfully calling you and me to repent and come into an uncompromised walk with Him. I’ll read on…
“But before it is forever too late, I urge you to arouse. Delay no longer. The day is almost spent. The westering sun is about sinking forever from your sight. Yet while the blood of Christ is pleading, you may find pardon. Summon every energy of the soul, employ the few remaining hours in earnest labor for God and for your fellow men.”
Exodus 7:6, “And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they.”
Moses was submissive now. God had silenced all his arguments and excuses. He also re-nominated an assistant in his brother Aaron. And He gives him a command. And Moses obeyed and faithfully fulfilled his duty in spite of the opposition of the children of Israel and Pharaoh. The Psalmist says specifically of Moses and Aaron: “and they rebelled not against his word.” Psalm 105:28.
And we will have to do the same thing amid the opposition of the world and of our former, but apostate brethren. Moses and Aaron stood alone when facing Pharaoh. So will we have to stand alone in counsels and courts of justice.
Listen to Patriarchs and Prophets, page 263,
“He (Moses) was informed that the monarch would not yield until God should visit judgments upon Egypt and bring out Israel by the signal manifestation of His power. Before the infliction of each plague, Moses was to describe its nature and effects, that the king might save himself from it if he chose. Every punishment rejected would be followed by one more severe, until his proud heart would be humbled, and he would acknowledge the Maker of heaven and earth as the true and living God. The Lord would give the Egyptians an opportunity to see how vain was the wisdom of their mighty men, how feeble the power of their gods, when opposed to the commands of Jehovah. He would punish the people of Egypt for their idolatry and silence their boasting of the blessings received from their senseless deities. God would glorify His own name, that other nations might hear of His power and tremble at His mighty acts, and that His people might be led to turn from their idolatry and render Him pure worship.”
In the last days, this will come into play again. Appeal after appeal will come to the people of the world. By various means and methods God will offer mercy to a rebellious and determined world. Some will heed the calls to stand with the true Israel of God. Most will not, and will taunt the remnant with jests and jeers, and heap calumny upon them.
Exodus 7:8-9, “And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.”
God had told Moses the worst of it and warned him that Pharaoh wouldn’t let Israel go. And now He prophesied to Moses that Pharaoh would demand a miracle. And He gave Moses directions about what to do. But we need to understand what this means when God says I will harden Pharaoh’s heart. From Patriarchs and Prophets, page 268, we read…
“God had declared concerning Pharaoh, “I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go.” There was no exercise of supernatural power to harden the heart of the king. God gave to Pharaoh the most striking evidence of divine power, but the monarch stubbornly refused to heed the light. Every display of infinite power rejected by him, rendered him the more determined in his rebellion. The seeds of rebellion that he sowed when he rejected the first miracle, produced their harvest. As he continued to venture on in his own course, going from one degree of stubbornness to another, his heart became more and more hardened, until he was called to look upon the cold, dead faces of the first-born.”
So, God doesn’t especially work to harden a man’s heart, but he arranges circumstances that display what is in the heart. That’s what He means. He says I will harden his heart, because from a human perspective that is what we see. Will God do the same in our day, in the time of trouble, to the rulers of the nations? Yes, He will. And they will harden their hearts, especially under the seven last plagues. Now let us read from Patriarchs and Prophets, page 263.
“Again Moses and Aaron entered the lordly halls of the king of Egypt. There, surrounded by lofty columns and glittering adornments, by the rich paintings and sculptured images of heathen gods, before the monarch of the most powerful kingdom then in existence, stood the two representatives of the enslaved race, to repeat the command from God for Israel’s release. The king demanded a miracle, in evidence of their divine commission. Moses and Aaron had been directed how to act in case such a demand should be made, and Aaron now took the rod and cast it down before Pharaoh. It became a serpent. The monarch sent for his “wise men and the sorcerers,” who “cast down every man his rod and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.” Then the king, more determined than before, declared his magicians equal in power with Moses and Aaron; he denounced the servants of the Lord as impostors, and felt himself secure in resisting their demands. Yet while he despised their message, he was restrained by divine power from doing them harm.”
God’s true people will be protected in the same way, especially after the close of probation. But circumstances will appear as though their faith is matched and exceeded by worldly or superficial professors of faith in God.
Pharaoh did not ask for a miracle because he wanted to be convinced that God was superior to the Egyptian’s gods. He was hoping there would be none so he could excuse himself from obedience and have some color to his infidelity. Moses was directed by God to use Aaron’s rod to give it a reputation as the symbol of divine power. It was even the subject of the first miracle. And he was to use that rod to do all the following miracles. God was setting him up that when Pharaoh saw the rod, he would tremble in terror as the punishment got worse. It’s the same way God will deal with the wicked at the end of time. God comes to them gradually.
Patriarchs and Prophets, page 264,
“It was the hand of God, and no human influence or power possessed by Moses and Aaron, that wrought the miracles which they showed before Pharaoh. Those signs and wonders were designed to convince Pharaoh that the great “I AM” had sent Moses, and that it was the duty of the king to let Israel go, that they might serve the living God. The magicians also showed signs and wonders; for they wrought not by their own skill alone, but by the power of their god, Satan, who assisted them in counterfeiting the work of Jehovah.
“The magicians did not really cause their rods to become serpents; but by magic, aided by the great deceiver, they were able to produce this appearance. It was beyond the power of Satan to change the rods to living serpents. The prince of evil, though possessing all the wisdom and might of an angel fallen, has not power to create, or to give life; this is the prerogative of God alone. But all that was in Satan’s power to do, he did; he produced a counterfeit. To human sight the rods were changed to serpents. Such they were believed to be by Pharaoh and his court. There was nothing in their appearance to distinguish them from the serpent produced by Moses. Though the Lord caused the real serpent to swallow up the spurious ones, yet even this was regarded by Pharaoh, not as a work of God’s power, but as the result of a kind of magic superior to that of his servants.”
The magician’s imitation of the miracle only gave Pharaoh an excuse to harden his heart. Moses was trained in the learning of the Egyptians. He knew about their sorcery. They, no doubt suspected he had improved himself in sorcery while away from Egypt. And they probably had some special spite and professional jealousy against the Hebrews ever since Joseph had put them all to shame 400 years earlier by interpreting the dream they could make nothing of. So, in remembrance of the event, they withstood Moses.
Imagine Pharaoh on his throne being surrounded by crawling poisonous snakes, so he thought. And the magicians trying to contain them without getting bitten. God permitted the deception for wise and holy purposes, that they might believe a lie who received not the truth. Listen to Great Controversy, page 593,
“The last great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested.”
God allows the lying spirit to do strange things to expose the superficial faith of some, to test the faith of others and confirm the infidelity of many, so that He can sort out the wheat from the tares and finally declare: “he that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Revelation 22:11.
Paul warns us in 2 Corinthians 4:4 of Satan’s snares by saying, “in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
Satan and his earthly agents, especially the mystery of iniquity, or Rome, works “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” He wants to keep as many as he can from salvation.” 2 Thessalonians 2:10.
So, we are in for some deceptions so potent that Satan will try to imitate the faith of true believers and will produce amazing miracles. Listen to it from Matthew 24:24.
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
These will be overmastering deceptions. And most of the superficial class will fall for them or will use them to justify them in their sins and lifestyle. Patriarchs and Prophets, page 265,
“But the prince of evil had a still deeper object in manifesting his wonders through the magicians. He well knew that Moses, in breaking the yoke of bondage from off the children of Israel, pre-figured Christ, who was to break the reign of sin over the human family. He knew that when Christ should appear, mighty miracles would be wrought as an evidence to the world that God had sent Him. Satan trembled for his power. By counterfeiting the work of God through Moses, he hoped not only to prevent the deliverance of Israel, but to exert an influence through future ages to destroy faith in the miracles of Christ. Satan is constantly seeking to counterfeit the work of Christ and to establish his own power and claims. He leads men to account for the miracles of Christ by making them appear to be the result of human skill and power. In many minds he thus destroys faith in Christ as the Son of God and leads them to reject the gracious offers of mercy through the plan of redemption.”
So, all through history Satan has used deception to gain his object. Why do we live in a post-truth world where you can’t believe what you see and hear? You can’t believe the news anymore because much of what is out there is fake. You can’t believe social media because of de-platforming. You can’t believe the government anymore because they have a hidden agenda. There are deep fakes, false flags, and censorship of every kind. Satan is getting the world conditioned to think that the truths we are commissioned to give to call God’s people out of Babylon are treated as lies, and not to be believed. Then he will provide the world with one last deep fake. He will personate Christ and will support his Sunday laws and the rest of his apostate system, all in the name of Christ.
The only thing you can rely on for unchangeable truth is the Holy Scriptures. But most people don’t even study their Bibles. How will they be ready to survive when they can’t even trust their senses?
Great is the truth. And great is the God of truth. It will stand when falsehood and lies fall away. Those that stand with the truth will survive, too. The cause of God will triumph at last over all competition and contradiction and will reign alone.
I want to be with the truth at the end of time, don’t you?
Let us pray.
Our Father, we need Your truth. We want Your truth. We see all around us falsehood and lies, but we want to cut through all that and penetrate the darkness with the light. Help us to be faithful to you. Help us Lord to hear Your voice amid the clamor of a post-truth world, and be ready for your soon coming I pray, in Jesus name, amen.
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