Come Out of Her, My People
Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities”
Revelation 18:4-5 ESV
In Revelation 18, during the description of the destruction of Mystery Babylon, we are introduced to a voice from heaven which calls forth – “Come out of her, my people!”. Since these people belong to the voice, this voice can belong to none other than Jesus Himself. Jesus is offering a final escape, before the imminent destruction of Mystery Babylon commences. But how are the people supposed to come out? Where are they supposed to go? The option to flee to the wilderness and be protected for 1260 days after the abomination of desolation (as per Revelation 12 and Matthew 24) has long since passed. The answer comes to us through the prophet Zechariah:
Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one. (Zechariah 14:1-9 ESV)
Now, it’s a little confusing, so let’s go over the passage a little bit at a time. “The Day” that is coming is the End of the Day of the Lord – the Second Coming of Christ. This is the time when all the nations will gather against Jerusalem for the Battle of Armageddon. Note that Zechariah 14 ties together our previous discussions that Mystery Babylon is identified as the end-times city of Jerusalem. When the nations amass for the Battle of Armageddon, they also destroy Mystery Babylon – much to her surprise and dismay. She will “sit as a queen” no longer. Let’s review Bowl 6 and the gathering of these armies at Armageddon (near or even within Jerusalem herself):
The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. (Revelation 16:12-16 ESV)
Did you note that Jesus inserts that He is coming like a thief here? And Blessed is the one who stays awake? Those who are awake and watching will hear His call to “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues; for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4-5 ESV). It seems that possibly half the city will go into exile (come out of the city – Zechariah 14:2) in obedience. On that day, the day that the city goes into exile, the Mount of Olives may be split to create a path for the exiles to flee “as before a great earthquake”.
Whether Jesus literally touches down on the Mount of Olives at this time, I am not sure. What is clear is that this Mount of Olives splitting in two to allow fleeing, is not at the same time as Jerusalem splitting in three at the 7th Bowl Judgment. The fleeing is a true escape option. This escape route is also detailed in Joel 2:
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls. (Joel 2:30-32 ESV)
Everyone Who Calls Upon the Name of the Lord
Remember how when Peter quoted Joel 2 in Acts 2 he stopped after “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”? That statement is transitional. It links the two different escape options that the Lord provides:
- First Fulfillment – BEFORE the Day of the Lord, there is an option to escape what is coming upon the earth. (Luke 21:36) That salvation is for the church age, and is known as the (pretribulation) rapture. Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved in the rapture. Then, a new set of believers will begin to accumulate.
- Second (Dual) Fulfillment – Before the final outpouring of God’s wrath, again, “it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”. This time it will be those who literally, physically flee from Mount Zion and Jerusalem – “there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.”. This is the remainder of the elect remnant of Israel – “and so all Israel shall be saved.” (Romans 11:26).
When Does the Calling Out Occur?
Can we put this calling out and fleeing on a timeline? I believe that the 9th plague from the First Exodus may give us a hint:
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was pitch darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days, but all the people of Israel had light where they lived. (Exodus 10:21-23 ESV)
Compare this with Bowl 5:
The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds. (Revelation 16:10-11 ESV)
Is it possible that the earthquake that divides Mount Olives to provide deliverance for the remnant of Israel will occur 3 days after the darkness of Bowl 5? This would parallel God’s deliverance of Israel after 3 days of darkness at the first exodus.
Wrath Poured Out on Those Left Behind
Of the people who do not go into exile, those that remain in the city, the Lord will then go out and fight against the nations that have amassed there. This is when He comes, with all His holy ones with Him. This will happen on a special day where “there shall be no light, cold, or frost. And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.” The light that is seen is the Sign of the Son of Man:
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16 ESV)
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and the outpouring of Bowl 7, culminates in the final destruction of Jerusalem (Mystery Babylon) and the armies gathered against Jesus (in and around Jerusalem) in the Battle of Armageddon. It is finished.
The earthquake of Bowl 7 finishes preparing the earth for the Messianic Kingdom.
On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one. (Zechariah 14:8-9 ESV)
What a welcome day this will be for those believers who have been suffering through the greatest tribulation of all time! They are about to be ushered into the Millennial Kingdom, where the curse will be reversed and long lives will be granted.
Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt? Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape? If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.
The Bible is infallible. I am not. Be a Berean – examine the scriptures for yourself to see if these things are so!