ESCAPE TO THE MOUNTAIN
Genesis 19:17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. 18 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: 19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: 30 ¶ And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar: and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
The gospel message contains a warning to flee from the wrath to come. (Matthew 3:7). And this event in history, as has been noted in one of our previous articles, was used by our Lord Jesus Christ to preach to those of all ages, warning all to Remember Lot’s wife. (Luke 17:32). And both Peter and Jude tell us it was essential for them to call us to remembrance of such things as these. (See 2 Peter 1:10-15; Jude 3-5). 1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
And rightly so. For we of this age of grace are under a far worse punishment than were those of the Old Testament! Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Their fire was only brimstone from heaven, destroying physical life. Genesis 19:24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
But our fire is the holy jealousy of the very Lord God of heaven! Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: And that fire of his wrath against those who deny his Son casts both soul and body into hell! Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire. Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
And as Sodom’s physical fire speaks to us of our spiritual fire, so Lot’s physical mountain refers us to mount Sion – the spiritual church and Bride of Christ! Hebrews 12:18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
The only ark of safety in our day, and the only mountain to which we may safely flee is to be born again by the Holy Spirit and brought into the holy organism of the church of the living God! For the true, spiritual church is not an organization, but an organism! That huge religious organization in our world today is the Harlot church! There may be some of the true believers within it, but Christ shall eventually send forth the effectual call to bring them out! Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
But how does the present day believer Escape to the Mountain? Let us see what we can find within the pages of Holy Writ.
First we must be aware that everyone will eventually seek for a mountain! Revelation 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
And we see there is a mountain where Christ’s voice is heard. Song 2:8 The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. The first introduction to Christ by the sinner is by the sound of his voice – the gospel, effectually made known to him within the inner recesses of his heart! Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. And it is made effectual to the elect sinner!
For many who heard the gospel preached into their outer ear were without faith being mixed with it to the saving of their soul! Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
But the good news is that in this verse, although Christ is at a distance from the sinner, he is overcoming the mountains of trespasses and sins. For we read not only of his voice, but of his coming to us ‘leaping.’ And our salvation is in no other will than his! Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, Romans 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
And listen at the very time that our Lord taught from a mountain: Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed …
And our heavenly Zerubbabel make the mountain of our sin to be a smooth, flat plain! Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. 4:7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
Next we come to the mountain of myrrh. Song 4:6 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense. And what is this but the benefitting from those ministering gifts imparted to the true church? Isaiah 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
It is by these and their effect upon the souls of the believers that the light of the gospel day breaks, and the shadows of the remainder of the effect of sin flee away! Only Christ can call a sinner, dead in trespasses and sin, into life. But the church is then responsible to ‘loose him, and let him go!” See John 11:43,44.
The holy anointing oil of the sanctuary was made partly of pure myrrh. (Exodus 30:23-25) And the believers prayers today are still as incense to the Lord by the Spirit! Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. For it is Christ himself that ministers our prayers, mingled with the fire of his sacrificial work, to the Father! Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Then we come from all other mountains in a progressive spiritual growth. Song 4:8 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards. Did you notice the six ‘from’s?’ The development of the true believer is a progressive turning To God from idols! (1 Thessalonians1:9).
We turn ‘from Lebanon.’ And Song 5:15 informs us that this speaks of Christ’s own countenance! So the believer even goes from lesser revelations of his Lord to greater and deeper understandings of him! Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. In John 13:4 the Lord disrobes his physical self in order to wash the disciples feet. But in Matthew 17:1,2 he disrobes his physical man in order to transform into the glory of his inner spiritual man! Therefore the believer goes from a lesser degree of glory to a higher degree of glorious revelation!
Then he comes from Amana. This was the place of washing that Naaman desired to wash in to be cleansed of his leprosy. See 2 Kings 5:12. And the believer learns to be cleansed with the washing of water by the word… (Ephesians 5:26). And the Lord’s glorification brought the Spirit, as living rivers of water, to the church! John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
And now he comes from Shenir and Hermon, which are mountains conquered from the heathen. See Deuteronomy 3:9-12. These lands with these mountains were conquered from the Canaanites and put in the possession of the tribes of Israel. So the true believer can witness the conquering grace upon the souls of others, strengthening their own faith! 1 Thessalonians 1:5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: 7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
Then we see in this verse of Song 4:8 that there were two more, ‘from’s.’ Both are pertaining to beasts. First they see that even though wild nature has its natural beauty, yet the Lord God is more lovely than all nature! Psalm 76:4 Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey.
Secondly the true believer learns in his submission to the Lordship of Christ that those who will have no authority over themselves, and justify the satisfaction of their base lusts are but natural brute beasts. 2 Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; Therefore the believers flee from these lusts! (2 Timothy 2:22).
The last two mountains are in these verses: Song 2:16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies. 17 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.
Song 8:14 Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a roe or to a young hart upon the mountains of spices.
The word, Bether means “the parts thereof,” as found in Jeremiah 34:18. There is a fleeing away if the shadows of doubts as the believer comes to understand that there is neither condemnation in, nor separation from (Romans 8:1,39) his relationship with Christ! Nothing will cause them to part! 1 Thessalonians 4:17b and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
With that ‘blessed assurance’ the believer goes finally with the beloved Savior into the youthfulness of eternity, like a young deer! Now both are leaping together as He did at the first, coming over the mountains and hills, in order to get to her! 1 Corinthians 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Pastor Gene Breed
January 10, 2016