Arlen L. Chitwood
On the Mountain
And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD.
Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace. (Genesis 19:27, 28)
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13)
(This is the last of the three chapters in this book covering the experiences of Abraham [Genesis 11b-19] as they relate directly to a segment of that which God had previously revealed, beginning with Noah at the end of the Flood [Genesis 8-11a].
Within that which is foreshadowed in both accounts — centrally, God’s future dealings with Israel and the nations — the account beginning with Noah at the end of the Flood provides a preliminary framework of events, and the subsequent account of Abraham provides additional details [commentary] for this preliminary, foundational framework of events. The former provides the skeletal framework, and the latter begins Scripture’s provision of the sinews, flesh, and skin to cover the initially provided framework [cf. Ezekiel 37:1-11].
However, as the Church is foreshadowed by events preceding the Flood [e.g., salvation by grace in parts of chapters 1, 3, 4, the bride removed from the body in chapter 2, and Christians removed from the earth at the end of the dispensation in chapter 5, preceding the Tribulation in chapters 6, 7], the Church is also foreshadowed by events surrounding both Abraham and Lot by and through the course of that which is revealed in chapters 11b-19. But, though this is the case, as previously stated and as seen particularly in the preceding four chapters in this book [Chapters 7-10, dealing with events following the Flood, then with corresponding events surrounding Abraham], the primary emphasis is on things pertaining to Israel and the nations, not the Church
With the preceding in mind, this third and last chapter covering the experiences of Abraham will, nonetheless, show the dual aspect of the overall type. Beginning with Abraham’s call in Genesis chapter eleven to that which is seen years later in chapter nineteen, things foreshadowing both the Church and Israel will be developed. The first part of the chapter will be given over to teachings pertaining to the Church, with the latter part given over to teachings pertaining to Israel and the nations.
Types providing dual word pictures of this nature are seen quite often in Scripture. As was demonstrated in previous chapters in this book, teachings surrounding the offerings of Cain and Abel reflect upon God’s subsequent dealings with both Jews and Christians. And this type of structure of Scripture is continued in the account of Abraham and Lot.
One of the best types to show a dual word picture in this respect is seen in Jonah’s experiences. Jonah forms a type of both Christ and Israel, God’s two firstborn Sons. It is evident that the overall account has to do with Israel, but the time Jonah spent in the place of death has to do with both Christ and Israel [Matthew 12:38-41].)
The world is rapidly moving toward that time when events are going to come to pass exactly as is foreshadowed by those things seen throughout Genesis chapters five through nineteen, having to do with God’s end-time dealings with the Church, then with Israel and the nations. And all of these things will bring about an end to Man’s Day and the beginning of the Lord’s Day on the earth, the beginning of the long-awaited Sabbath rest, the Messianic Era.
There is a wealth of information in these chapters, which material in this book can do no more than just begin to uncover. And this would be equally true in the next section of this book (beginning with Chapter 12), continuing with Abraham but covering Scriptures which foreshadow a panorama of events beginning with Christ’s birth (chapter 21), and then Calvary (chapter 22) — events which were introduced in earlier chapters of Genesis as well, ending at the only place where events in these chapters can end, the seventh day, the Messianic Era (chapter 25), for this was set in an unchangeable fashion in the opening thirty-four verses of Genesis.
Christians and the Inheritance
Abraham, once in the land to which he had been called, at first lived mainly on a mountain near Bethel, both before and after a journey into Egypt, which had resulted from a famine in the land (Genesis 12:8-10; 13:1-4). Afterward, he moved to and settled in “the plains [‘the oaks’] of Mamre,” near Hebron, located in the mountainous terrain of the high country (Genesis 13:18 [KJV]; 14:13; 18:1; 23:17-19; 35:27).
Lot, on the other hand, who had no calling with Abraham, dwelled with Abraham for a time. But, toward the end of this time, prior to Abraham’s move to “the plains [‘the oaks’] of Mamre,” strife arose between their herdsmen. As a result, Abraham and Lot separated themselves, one from the other, with Lot looking toward and moving down into the Jordan plain, in the low-lying country, afterwards settling in Sodom (Genesis 13:5-12; 14:12; 19:1).
The difference in these two places would be similar to the difference between Jerusalem and Jericho. Jerusalem was located in the mountainous terrain of the high country, but Jericho was located near the lowest point in the land (actually, near the lowest point on earth), near the Dead Sea at the southern end of the Jordan plain (where Sodom and the other cities of the plain are believed to have once existed).
Jerusalem and Jericho are set in sharp contrast to one another in Scripture. One is “the city of the great King,” from which blessings for the nations of the earth will flow during the coming age (Psalm 48:2; Zechariah 14:1-21); but “a curse” rests upon the other (Joshua 6:18, 26). And the two places where Abraham and Lot lived, once they had separated, are set in a similar, sharp contrast.
1) Lot’s Downward Path
Lot’s downward path can be seen in different places from Genesis 13:10 to Genesis 19:1, and the results of his downward path can be seen in Genesis 14:12-24; 19:1-38.
Lot “lifted his and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere . . . .” He then “chose for himself all the plain of Jordan . . . dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom.” And in the process of doing this, Lot is seen as the one acting in the separation (13:10-12). That is, the carnal believer separated himself from the spiritual believer.
The day came when Lot got into trouble and had to be rescued by Abraham (14:12-16). And though Scripture is silent on the matter, Lot may very well have still been with Abraham following the battle of the kings when Melchizedek appeared (Genesis 14:18-24).
If so, Lot’s previous association with the cities of the plain could only have prevented him from seeing beyond the “letter” into the “spiritual” nature of the matter (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:6-18). Then, Lot’s previous association with the cities of the plain could, as well, only have led to that which eventually resulted — Lot not only once again living in Sodom but also becoming actively involved within the affairs of the city (19:1 [affairs of a city were carried on by men seated at the gate, as was Lot when the two angels appeared]).
The things surrounding Melchizedek are of no moment to the man of flesh, only to the man of Spirit. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:9-14).
2) Abraham, in the High Country
Abraham, during this same time though, had dwelled in the high country, removed from the cities of the plain. And, apart from instances such as his rescue of Lot and his intercession on behalf of the righteous in Sodom (14:14-16; 18:23-33), the affairs of the people in the Jordan plain were of no moment to him.
Thus, when the day arrived for the destruction of the cities of the plain — as the day will arrive for the destruction of the present world system — two completely contrasting saved individuals can be seen.
Some Christians have been allowed to go on and see that which is taught concerning Melchizedek. Consequently, their interest doesn’t lie in the things of the Jordan plain but in the things of the high country. And they dwell where their interest lies.
Other Christians though, as Lot, have not been allowed to go on and see that which is taught concerning Melchizedek (and, invariably, for the same reason set forth in Lot’s life). Consequently, their interest doesn’t lie in the things of the high country but in those things of the valley instead. And they too dwell where their interest lies (cf. Hebrews 6:1-3).
Realized by Christians on the Mountain
The Jordan plain with its cities was destroyed during Abraham and Lot’s day by “brimstone and fire” from heaven (Genesis 19:24, 25; cf. Deuteronomy 29:23). And though Lot was delivered from Sodom prior to this destruction, his deliverance was, as in the words of 1 Corinthians 3:15, “so as by [‘through’] fire.”
Prior to this destruction, Lot was placed outside Sodom and commanded, along with being warned:
. . . Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountain, lest you be destroyed. (Genesis 19:17b)
Note what’s involved in this four-part command with its subsequent warning concerning that which would occur should the full four parts of the command not be followed:
1) “Escape for your life”
“Life” is the translation of the Hebrew word for “soul,” the word nephesh, the same word translated “soul” in Genesis 2:7. At the time of man’s creation in Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7, God, through His breath, imparted life to the man whom He had created. When God breathed into the lifeless form that He had created, “man became a living soul.”
The reference to “soul” had to do with man’s natural life. But, because God’s breath produced this life, spiritual life would evidently have been imparted to man at this time as well (note how spiritual life is seen in this same respect in Ezekiel 37:1-14 relative to the future conversion of Israel).
Then, to show a distinction in this respect between man and the animal kingdom, animals have “souls” (natural life), and they possess “breath” to bring about and sustain that natural life (Genesis 1:20; 7:21, 22; Ecclesiastes 3:19-21). But there is no record of God initially breathing this life into animals. Such “life,” which would evidently impart a spiritual nature, is reserved for man alone. Animals have a body, a soul, and breath (apart from a spiritual nature). Man has a body, a soul, and breath (in connection with a spiritual nature).
(Both the Hebrew and Greek words for “soul” [nephesh and psuche respectively] can be translated and understood as either “soul” or “life.” These words have been translated both ways in Scripture, with the soul being understood as the natural life of man [e.g., in Leviticus 17:11, “the life (nephesh, ‘soul’) of the flesh is in the blood”; or note Matthew 16:25, 26, where some English versions translate the Greek word psuche “life” twice in v. 25 and “soul” twice in v. 26 (KJV, NASB, NIV)].
As well, both the Hebrew and Greek words for “Spirit” [Ruach and Pneuma respectively (both used referring to the Holy Spirit or to man’s spirit, also spirit beings)] can be translated and understood as either “Spirit” or “breath.” These words are used both ways in Scripture [e.g., Genesis 1:2; 6:17; 7:22; Matthew 1:18; James 1:26 (pneuma in the latter reference should be translated “breath,” not “spirit”)].
Also note the compound Greek word, Theopneustos in 2 Timothy 3:16 — “All Scripture is Theopneustos,” i.e., “All Scripture is God-Breathed” [ref. NIV]. This word is a combination of Theos, “God” and pneo [derived from pneuma, meaning “to breathe,” “to blow”].
God gave His Word to man by means of His Spirit, by means of His Breath.
for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy [set apart] men of God spoke as they were moved [‘borne along’] by the Holy Spirit. [2 Peter 1:21]
The thought of Spirit and Breath in relation to God giving His Word to man can only be looked upon as involving the same unity seen in the inseparable triune Godhead, for the Word has to do with God providing a revelation of His Son through His Spirit, as God breathed this revelation out. This is simply the way in which Scripture explains its own origin, its own subject matter, and its inseparable connection with the triune Godhead.)
That which is seen in Genesis 19:17 has to do with the saving of the soul/life. Physical life in the historic account? Yes! But, moving from type to antitype, far more than just the physical is involved when viewing that which is foreshadowed by events in chapters eighteen and nineteen.
Note how this is set forth and developed in the next three parts of the command given to Lot in Genesis 19:17, with the warning then following pertaining to that which would occur should the full four parts of the command not be followed:
2) “Do not look behind you”
Individuals conduct affairs in their lives where their interest lies.
The man of flesh is drawn to and conducts affairs in his life after the manner and ways of the world. He can be seen involved in those things that the world has to offer.
The man of spirit, on the other hand, is drawn to and conducts affairs in his life after the manner and ways in which God has revealed in His Word. He can be seen involved in that which has been recorded in this Word, in the promises of God:
But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. . . .
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:9, 10, 13, 14)
Following Lot and his family’s removal from Sodom and their entrance into Zoar, Lot’s wife, contrary to the Lord’s command, “looked back” toward the land which she had left. And Lot’s wife “became a pillar of salt.”
The Lord, instructing his disciples concerning things having to do with the time when He would return and the kingdom that would be established at that time, said,
Remember Lot’s wife.
Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. (Luke 17:32, 33)
Then, immediately following that which is stated in these two verses, Christ dealt with the same separation of individuals (saved individuals, not unsaved) seen in the first of the four parables in the Christian section of Matthew’s account of the Olivet Discourse (cf. Matthew 24:40-44; Luke 17:34-36).
(For additional information on these verses, refer to the author’s books, Salvation of the Soul and Prophecy on Mount Olivet [Chapter 10, “One Taken, Another Left”])
Earlier in Luke’s gospel, Christ, instructing individuals who had come to him with matters more pressing in their personal lives than to deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow Him (cf. Matthew 16:24ff), said to them:
. . . No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62)
Looking back is exactly what the Israelites under Moses had done following their hearing the report of the twelve spies sent into the land ahead of the nation. They believed the false report of ten of the twelve rather than the true report of Caleb and Joshua, they refused to believe that the Lord would deliver the nations inhabiting the land into their hands, and they sought to appoint a new leader, replacing Moses, and return to Egypt (Numbers 13:31-14:4).
Rather than looking ahead toward the land of Canaan, they began to look back toward the land of Egypt. And the end result was the overthrow of an entire generation (those twenty years old and above) in the wilderness. They were overthrown on the right side of the blood (overthrown following the death of the firstborn in Egypt) but on the wrong side of the goal of their calling (overthrown preceding entrance into the land and exercising the rights of the firstborn therein).
Christ, at Calvary, exhibited the attitude that any Christian who is serious about having a part with Christ in His coming kingdom is to exhibit (1 Peter 2:21-24):
. . . who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2b)
The” joy” set before Christ had to do with the coming day of His power, the day when He would rule and reign (Matthew 25:20-23). And “despising the shame” (all the ignominy and shame surrounding the events of Calvary) had to do with Christ considering all of this of little consequence compared to the things that lay out ahead. And, in line with that seen in the whole of Hebrews 12:1, 2, this is exactly the attitude Christians are to take today relative to the things of the world on the one hand and the things of the coming kingdom of Christ on the other.
The Father has told His Son to sit on His right hand until He makes His enemies His footstool. Then the Father will deliver the kingdom into the hands of His Son, at which time Christ will realize “the joy that was set before Him” at Calvary (cf. Psalm 110:1, 2; Daniel 7:13, 14; Revelation 10:1-7; 11:15-19).
Note the place that Christians — as it pertains to their position “in Christ” and the Son’s coming reign — are presently seen occupying in this same respect as well, as they, with the Son, await the coming day of His power:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ [lit., ‘Having predestinated us with respect to sonship through Jesus Christ’] to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. (Ephesians 1:3-5)
even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved [translates the same way in v. 8]),
and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:5, 6)
(For additional information on “adoption” [Ephesians 1:5], refer to the appendix in the author’s book, God’s Firstborn Sons.)
Christians, positionally seated with the Son, at the Father’s right hand, are being invited to have a part in the Son’s coming reign as co-heirs with Him, though a price is to be paid (Matthew 16:24, 25). And any Christian who is serious about the matter can only consider the price of little consequence compared to that which will one day be revealed.
The Father has given all that He has to His Son (cf. Genesis 24:36; 25:5; John 16:15), and Christians are being invited to have a part in the Son’s coming 1,000-year reign over the earth, as co-heirs with the One in possession of all the Father’s goods.
3) “nor stay anywhere in the plain”
In that light of the Christians’ present position “in Christ” and that which is involved — seated with Christ in the heavens, awaiting that coming day when the Son will ascend the throne, with many co-heirs ascending the throne with Him — why would any Christian want to, or even consider, remaining in the low-lying country (i.e., remain in Egypt, remain in this world). The God of the universe, the One who created and sustains all that exists, is offering something to Christians that is so much greater than anything that the world has to offer that there is really no possible comparison (ref. “so great a salvation” in Hebrews 2:3-5)?
And since this is the case, why would any Christian want to do anything other than heed the Lord’s command concerning this world and “escape to the mountain”?
There is an answer, and it is seen in the account of Abraham and Lot.
Most Christians in the world today are very much like Lot, along with his family. They are wrapped up in the things of the plain, the things of the world. Their spiritual senses relative to the mountain are such that they know or understand little to nothing about the Lord’s command and warning in Genesis 19:17, with the reason for all of this seen in that which has been brought to pass through the working of the leaven in Matthew 13:33 over centuries of time (almost twenty centuries to date), producing an almost completely leavened state of Laodicean Christendom as it exists in the world today (Revelation 3:14-21).
And such a state within Christendom does not exist just in liberal circles. It exists throughout Christendom, not just in one branch of Christendom. It permeates churches throughout fundamental Christendom as well, in exactly the same manner.
(The terms “fundamental” and “liberal” are being used in the sense of the way they are generally viewed by Christians today, not necessarily in a true biblical sense [particularly in relation to the way those in both groups look upon the Word of the Kingdom].)
How has the working of the leaven brought about a state of this nature in the churches, liberal and fundamental alike? This is seemingly easy to see in liberal circles. But how can a leavening process of this nature be seen throughout the fundamental churches as well?
To understand the preceding, one must understand where Satan has centered his attack by and through the working of the leaven over centuries of time, moving from that point to how matters exist in Christendom in this respect today.
Note the contextual reference to the working of the leaven in Matthew 13:33. The context of this verse has to do with “the mysteries of the kingdom of the heavens,” “the word of the kingdom” (vv. 11, 19-23, 51, 52). And, this message, in a larger context, is seen as the central message of Scripture.
(The Word of the Kingdom, upon which the leaven has centered its attack, is seen as the central message of Scripture for the simple reason that it has to do with the purpose for God’s restoration of ruined man. It had to do with the purpose for man’s creation in the beginning [Genesis 1:26-28], and it has to do with the purpose for man’s salvation following the fall [Ephesians 2:8-10].
The Word of the Kingdom has to do with that which is foreshadowed by events on days two through six, following that which is foreshadowed by events on the first day, in the foundational type in Genesis chapter one. And that which is seen by and through events during these five subsequent days is with a view to man, through redemption [foreshadowed by events on the first day], one day realizing the purpose for his creation in the beginning, seen in that which is foreshadowed by events on the seventh day, the Sabbath rest that awaits the people of God, in chapter two [cf. Hebrews 4:1-9].
And the whole of remaining Scripture simply provides the sinews, flesh, and skin to clothe the skeletal framework set forth in the opening thirty-four verses of Genesis [Genesis 1:1-2:3].
For a discussion of the parables of Matthew chapter thirteen, dealing with the Word of the Kingdom, refer to the author’s book, Mysteries of the Kingdom.)
Satan has centered his attack upon a destruction of this message, which, for all practical purposes, is absent to the same extent in fundamental circles as in liberal circles. This message is simply not being taught in the churches of the land.
Certainly the fundamental churches, and some of the liberal churches, emphasize and teach the message of salvation by grace. And this message must be taught, for this is the beginning point. A person must “pass from death to life” (John 5:24; Ephesians 2:1, 5) before he can be dealt with relative to the Word of the Kingdom.
That is to say, a person must pass through the experience which is foreshadowed by events on the first day in Genesis chapter one before he can pass through the experiences which are foreshadowed by events on days two through six of this chapter, with a view to entering into that which is foreshadowed by events of the seventh day in chapter two.
The problem is that the churches of the land, week after week, center their message on salvation by grace, seen by events occurring on day one in Genesis chapter one. A person’s eternal salvation, based on Christ’s finished work at Calvary, has been made to be the goal, with the saved person ultimately seen spending eternity in heaven (which, of course, is not at all where saved man will spend either the 1,000-year reign of Christ or the eternal ages beyond).
Complete messages, time after time, particularly in fundamental churches, is invariably built around this type of understanding and proclamation of Scripture, which begins and ends with salvation by grace (foreshadowed by events on the first day in Genesis chapter one). And a major problem resulting from this type of handling of salvation by grace is the fact that numerous Scriptures (which deal with issues beyond salvation by grace, foreshadowed by events on days two through six in Genesis chapter one) are made to relate to salvation by grace. They are brought over into a realm where they do not belong at all.
A person simply cannot remain with this type of message week after week and not treat Scripture in this manner (unless, of course, he ignores and does not deal with the whole of Scripture). And treating Scripture in this manner often results in a perverted message regarding the very message being dealt with, eternal salvation itself, leaving people not even understanding salvation by grace in a correct, biblical manner.
In reality, the Bible says what it means and means what it says, regardless of what man may have to say about the matter. And salvation by grace through faith is the beginning, not the goal. The beginning is foreshadowed by God’s activity on the first day in the restoration account in the opening verses of Genesis (1:2b-5). The goal is seen in the opening three verses of chapter two only after moving through God’s restorative and creative activity during the next five days (1:6-31).
Salvation by grace (foreshadowed by events on the first day) places one in a position where he can then realize the goal (foreshadowed by events beginning with the second day), which is not to spend eternity in heaven. Rather, the goal of one's salvation is to occupy a position as co-heir with Christ in His kingdom during His 1,000-year reign over this earth (foreshadowed by the rest which is seen after six days of work, on the seventh day in Genesis 2:1-3).
(In the preceding respect, note where and why the mistake has been made. It has been made because the types have been ignored, particularly the initial type in the opening verses of Genesis, which all subsequent types or any other mode of teaching in Scripture MUST follow.
By doing this, note what an individual dealing with salvation by grace as the goal, or continuing to deal only with salvation by grace, is doing in the light of the original type set forth in the opening thirty-four verses of Genesis.
That person is never moving beyond the first day in the type [1:2b-5], often, as previously seen, taking things foreshadowed by events in days two through six and erroneously relating them to events foreshadowed by those of the first day. Then “heaven” as saved man’s destination where he will spend eternity has replaced the Sabbath rest seen beyond the sixth day, along with that which Scripture reveals about man’s destiny beyond the Sabbath rest, beyond the 1,000-year reign of Christ.
Following the original type, or anywhere else in Scripture dealing with the subject [which MUST be in complete accord with the original type], the destination of Christians at the end of Man’s Day, at the end of the six days seen in chapter one of Genesis, is not heaven. Rather, Christians, in that day, will find themselves exercising power with God’s Son, from His throne, over this present earth [Revelation 2:26, 27; 3:21].
[Note: Positionally, Christians are presently seated with God’s Son at His Father’s right hand, waiting, with the Son, the coming day of His power. The Son is going to one day exercise this power (cf. Psalm 2, 110). How could that which the future holds for Christians possibly be thought of in a way which would be separate from exercising regality with the Son? That would be impossible!].
Then beyond the Millennium, Christians will find themselves exercising power with God’s Son from “the throne of God and of the Lamb” on the new earth, a rule which, of necessity, will be universal in nature [Revelation 22:1ff].
For additional information on conditions beyond the Millennium, refer to Chapters 34-36 in the author’s book, “The Time of the End.”)
The Word of the Kingdom is the one place where those in liberal and fundamental Christianity find common ground. Neither seems to know anything about the Word of the Kingdom nor will have anything to do with it when it is presented to them.
In fact, the latter group (fundamental Christianity) is usually more antagonistic than the former when the message is presented, which places them in a rather strange light. Those viewed as fundamental Christians often find themselves seeking to do away with the central message of Scripture more so than the liberals.
So, there’s the answer to the question concerning why numerous Christians today would react in a manner other than heeding the Lord’s command and warning as it is seen in Genesis 19:17.
The vast majority of Christians filling the pews of churches throughout the land today don’t know anything about this command or this warning. All they seem to understand, if they understand anything at all in the way of spiritual values, is salvation by grace, with eternity in heaven rather than the lake of fire in view. And when presented with the truth of the matter, because of that which they have heard over and over, they are led to believe that the true message of Scripture now being heard — the Word of the Kingdom — is heresy.
This is the decadent state into which the working of the leaven over almost two millennia of time has brought Christianity. And conditions are not going to improve in days ahead. Rather, according to the clear teaching of Scripture, conditions will only continue to deteriorate. The leaven is going to continue its work “until the whole” has been leavened, leaving conditions in the churches of the land at the time of Christ’s return in such a manner that “the faith [an expression used in the New Testament peculiar to the Word of the Kingdom]” will not be found at all (Luke 18:8 [“faith” is articular in the Greek text, and the question is worded in a manner in the Greek text that implies a negative answer]).
So, with that in mind, let’s look at how Scripture sums up the matter, which is exactly how Scripture handles the matter in the first thirty-four verses of Genesis.
4) “Escape to the Mountain”
A “mountain” is used in Scripture, in a metaphorical respect, to symbolize a kingdom, particularly Christ’s coming Kingdom (cf. Isaiah 2:1-5; Daniel 2:35, 44, 45; Matthew 17:1-5).
(Note: Contrary to some English translations, the word “mountain” in the Hebrew text of Genesis 19:17 is singular, as in the KJV. The reference is to a “mountain” symbolizing a kingdom, not to “mountains” symbolizing kingdoms. A distinction between “mountain” and “mountains” in this respect can be seen in Isaiah 2:2, 3:
. . . the mountain of the Lord’s house [the kingdom of Christ] shall be established at the top of the mountains [all the individual earthly kingdoms] . . . .)
The escape from the plain to the mountain is an escape from Ur to Canaan or from Egypt to Canaan — from the land associated with this present world to that land associated with the coming kingdom. This is where one’s attention is to be centered. This is the goal of the race set before Christians.
With respect to the saving of his soul, the Christian is not to remain in Egypt; nor is he to remain in the wilderness. He is to fix his sights on entrance into the land set before him, which, in the Christian’s case, is heavenly rather than earthly (not heaven where God resides today but the heavens in relation to this earth, the present abode of Satan and his angels). His warfare has to do with the inhabitants of the land, not with those inhabiting Egypt or the wilderness, i.e., his warfare is not against the inhabitants of this present world, whether they be other Christians or the unsaved.
No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. (2 Timothy 2:4, 5)
As the Israelites under Moses were to take the land by conquest, Christians under Christ are to take the land by and through the same means. The twelve spies entering the land of Canaan during Moses’ day found Gentile nations infiltrated by the “giants” (Hebrews, nephilim, ‘fallen ones’ [same word as in Genesis 6:4]) inhabiting the land (Numbers 13:33).
That is to say, they found that the land was inhabited by Gentile nations infiltrated by the offspring resulting from a co-habitation of the sons of God (angels in Satan’s kingdom) with the daughters of men (female offspring from the lineage of Adam). And Satan, not only ruling through these Gentile nations (Daniel 10:12-20) but having become more directly associated with these nations through this union of the sons of God with the daughters of men, was in the land (by means of these nations) opposing the right of the Israelites under Moses to enter into the land and exercise the rights of the firstborn.
And a corresponding picture is presented in Scripture concerning the land set before Christians and the opposition that Christians experience concerning entrance into this land. Satan and his angels are, themselves, inhabiting this land. And they are opposing, at every turn and at all costs, the right of Christians to one day, under Christ, take this land and exercise the rights of the firstborn in the land.
This is what the book of Ephesians is about, and the matter is brought into full view at the end of the book by way of summation. The Christians’ present warfare is “not against flesh and blood.” It is not against those in Egypt or in the wilderness. Rather, it is against those occupying the land set before Christians, wherein they are to one day realize an inheritance and exercise the rights of the firstborn.
It is “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly place. It is against Satan and his angels (Ephesians 6:12).
And, at the same place in the book of Ephesians, the Christian is told how to prepare for this warfare.
Christians, at the outset, as they look toward the mountain, are to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). Christians, within their own strength, are powerless to overcome the enemy (exactly as were the Israelites under Moses).
However, relying on the promised power of the Lord in the battle is an entirely different matter (which the Israelites under Moses could have done, but didn’t). With the power of the Lord at hand, the enemy in the land — past under Moses in the type, or present under Christ in the antitype — could have had/can have no possible chance to succeed in the battle.
Then, in Ephesians 6:11-17, Christians are told how to array themselves for the battle at hand.
(For information on this section of Ephesians, refer to the author’s book, The Spiritual Warfare, Chapter 3, “Preparation for the Conflict.”)
And if Christians fail to properly prepare themselves for the battle at hand, the outcome will be no different than that which is seen in the warning given to Lot at the conclusion of the Lord’s instructions in Genesis 19:17.
5) “lest you be destroyed”
The four-part command in Genesis 19:17 is followed by that which would happen to a person should he not follow that which the Lord has to say in this respect: “lest you be destroyed.” That is, if a person does not follow that which has been commanded, he will be consumed by that which will itself be consumed; and, as a consequence, he will lose his soul/life.
Lot though had no concept of that which was being stated; and, in reality, even though the Lord had given him this four-part command, he couldn’t follow it. His spiritual senses had not been sufficiently developed or exercised. He could do no more than act after a carnal fashion, which he did. Lot, through the two angels, stated and then requested of the Lord,
. . . I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil overtake me and I die.
See now, this city [Zoar] s near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. (Genesis 19:19b, 20)
Lot’s dulled, spiritual senses is the apparent reason why the Lord, apart from remonstrance, honored his request to be allowed to go to Zoar instead of the mountain (19:21-23).
However, Zoar — a city in the plain, spared for Lot — wasn’t the last stop. After the destruction of the other cities of the plain, Lot became afraid to dwell in Zoar and moved out into the mountain to which he had previously been commanded to escape.
But, unlike Abraham, Lot dwelled on the mountain in “a cave” (19:30) rather than standing in a place “before the Lord” (19:27; cf. 18:22). He, in effect, dwelled in a place of shame rather than in a place of honor.
And therein is the account of two pilgrims who governed their lives after two entirely different fashions, one day arriving at the same destination and finding themselves occupying diametrically opposed positions, completely commensurate with the fashion in which they had governed their lives during their previous pilgrim journey.
Thus will it be with Christians on the mountain in that coming day.
Israel and the Inheritance
Now, for the other facet of the type, as it pertains to Israel and the nations . . .
As has been demonstrated, the opening chapters of Genesis, having to do with God’s creative and redemptive activity surrounding man, are rich beyond degree. And material comprising these chapters (the nineteen chapters being dealt with, though subsequent chapters are no different) has been placed at the very opening part of that which an omniscient and omnipotent God breathed out to begin revealing to man His plans and purposes regarding man.
These opening chapters provide that which God wants man to know and understand about His plans and purposes, and this revelation has been provided in the manner and after the fashion in which God desires to communicate these things to man.
1) Genesis Chapters One through Four
Genesis opens by providing the complete panorama of that which is about to be dealt with by and through the course of all which follows, throughout the whole of the remainder of Scripture. The first thirty-four verses (1:1-2:3) provide the complete picture, though in skeletal form; the remainder of Scripture is simply commentary, providing all of the details, providing the sinews, flesh, and skin to clothe the initially revealed skeletal framework. And the end of the matter — after God had used some forty different men over a period of about 1,500 years — would be a complete, intricately detailed word picture, exactly as God wanted man to view His plans and purposes.
The opening commentary from Genesis 2:4 through chapter four has to do with basics pertaining to God’s three firstborn Sons (Christ, Israel, and the Church [following the adoption]). These are the Sons through whom all of the things dealt with in the previous section (the opening thirty-four verses) would be brought to pass.
God’s firstborn Son, Jesus the Christ, is introduced first. The first man, the first Adam forms a type of the second Man, the last Adam (Romans 5:14 [“figure,” KJV, is a translation of the Greek word tupos, from which the English word “type” is derived]).
The manner and ways in which God dealt with the first man, the first Adam, typify, foreshadow, the manner and ways in which God dealt/will deal with the second Man, the last Adam.
In the latter part of chapter two, the bride of the first man, the first Adam, is seen removed from his body, foreshadowing that coming day when the bride of the second Man, the last Adam, will be removed from His body. And the revelation of the bride in this manner can only be part and parcel with that which is seen in Romans 8:14-23. It can only be part and parcel with the redemption of the body, synonymous with the adoption (vv. 15, 23), at which time “the sons of God” will be manifested for all to see (vv. 14, 19).
The whole of the matter is inseparably and intricately tied together and first begins to be opened up in Genesis chapter two, with subsequent revelation (e.g., Romans chapter eight) simply providing more information, commentary.
Thus, two of God’s firstborn Sons are introduced immediately, and regality regarding both stands at the forefront.
The first man, the first Adam, was created to rule and to reign, and his bride was removed from his body, formed from a part of his body, to occupy the throne as consort queen with him (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:21-24).
The second Man, the last Adam, was born “King”; “He came to His own [neuter in the Greek text, referring to His own things, which centered on regality — the Davidic throne, His kingship, etc.]” (John 1:11a; cf. Acts 13:33, 34). And His bride, exactly as in the type, will be removed from and formed from a part of His body, to occupy the throne with Him (Revelation 2:26, 27; 3:21).
Then chapter three continues with information concerning ruin and restoration, continued from and providing commentary on things introduced in chapter one. This chapter has to do with the entrance of sin into the human race (the ruin of the creation, man’s ruin). It has to do with the first man, the first Adam, finding his bride in a ruined state (she had already eaten of the forbidden fruit, though the fall did not occur until Adam, as the federal head of the human race, partook of the fruit as well). And it has to do with Adam partaking of the fruit himself, with restoration (redemption) in view.
Once Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit, Adam could no longer realize the purpose for his creation and the subsequent removal of Eve from His body apart from Eve’s restoration, Eve’s redemption. That is, under existing conditions, Adam could no longer ascend the throne as a complete being. And he took the only course of action possible to rectify the existing situation (cf. 1 Timothy 2:13, 14). He, as the federal head of the human race had to act, which he did — actions with a view to his one day being able to realize the reason for his creation, to ascend the throne as a complete being.
And exactly the same thing is seen in the actions of the second Man, the last Adam. He found His bride, a part of his very being, in a fallen state; and He took the only course of action possible. He was “made . . . sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). And this was done for exactly the same reason seen in the type — God’s Son one day ascending His own throne, with His redeemed bride providing completeness for the Son in this respect, making this possible (cf. Hebrews 2:10 [translate the word “perfect,” KJV, as “complete”; Greek: teleioo, “complete,” “bring to an end,” “to finish”]).
Then God’s third firstborn son (third in the order seen in the opening chapters of Genesis) is presented and dealt with in chapter four. This chapter has to do with providing more information on the things seen in chapter three, along with introducing Israel and providing a complete history of the nation, particularly extending from the events surrounding Calvary to the Messianic kingdom.
Thus, up to this point in Genesis, the stage has been set, with the complete panorama of the matter seen in the first thirty four verses, followed by the introduction of all three of God’s firstborn Sons in chapters two through four. The framework for a developing word picture has been introduced. Then, beginning with Genesis chapter five, detail for the picture can begin.
2) Genesis Chapters Five through Nineteen
Genesis chapter five, in that which is foreshadowed, begins with end-time events having to do with God’s previously introduced three firstborn Sons. These events begin with the rapture at the end of the dispensation for one firstborn son (for the Church, in chapter 5), events continue with the Tribulation for another firstborn son (for Israel, beginning in chapter 6), and Christ, God’s firstborn Son, is seen throughout, for all Scripture is about Him.
And the whole of that which is foreshadowed by events beginning in chapter five and continuing through chapter nineteen has to do with future events regarding Christ, the Church, Israel, and the nations.
The Church is removed at the end of the dispensation in chapter five; Israel is seen going through the Tribulation in a place of safety in chapters 6, 7, fulfilling the last seven years of the last dispensation, the last seven years of Daniel’s Seventy-Week prophecy. And, at the end of the Tribulation, Israel is seen resting in God’s provided place of safety above all the kingdoms of the world (Noah and his family in the ark above the Ararat mountain range), ready to realize the rights belonging to the firstborn (chapters 8, 9).
The destruction of Gentile world power then follows (chapters 10, 11a), shown by and through the destruction of the kingdom of the first king of Babylon, to be realized in that coming day through the destruction of the kingdom of the last king of Babylon.
Then new and more detailed commentary begins to be developed by and through the introduction of Abraham, in the latter part of chapter eleven. The call of Abraham, viewing that which is foreshadowed in the historic account, has to do with the restoration of Israel at the end of the Tribulation.
Thus, that which is seen in these chapters is simply commentary pertaining to that which was previously revealed, beginning with Noah and his family at the end of the Flood in chapter eight (picturing Israel at the end of the Tribulation). And this commentary extends to that which is revealed surrounding the destruction of the kingdom of the first king of Babylon in chapter eleven (picturing the destruction of the kingdom of the last king of Babylon, the destruction of Gentile world power after Israel has been restored to the land).
Israel will be removed from the nations of the world and brought back into the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to realize the rights of the firstborn. And once the nation has been restored to the land, Gentile world power will be destroyed (chapters 14a, 19), and Christ will then appear to the nation as the great King-Priest after the order of Melchizedek (chapter 14b).
The preceding forms many of the basics surrounding that which God has revealed in these first nineteen chapters of Genesis regarding how He has brought certain matters to pass in time past, but more particularly how He will continue this restorative and redemptive work and bring the whole of the matter to pass yet future.
(Note that the preceding brief summation of Genesis 1-19 is simply a capsulated form of that which is dealt with throughout numerous preceding chapters in this book. Thus, for more detailed information, refer to these previous chapters.)
Realized by Israel on the Mountain
Abraham on the mountain in Genesis chapters eighteen and nineteen forms commentary for Noah and his family in the ark at the end of the Flood in chapter eight, along with events in chapter nine following the time when Noah and His family had come out of the ark. Then events in chapters eighteen and nineteen, immediately preceding and at the time of the destruction of the cities of the plain, form commentary for events in chapter ten and the first part of chapter eleven, along with the battle of the kings in the first part of chapter fourteen.
But events having to do with Abraham toward the end of chapter nineteen, following the destruction of the cities of the plain, take one beyond anything seen in Genesis 8-11a. These events take one to the place where, in that being foreshadowed, Israel is seen in the land following the destruction of Gentile world power. This takes one to the place that Israel will occupy in relation to the nations, seen in prophet after prophet, after being introduced at this point in Genesis (e.g., cf. Isaiah 2:1-4; 53:1ff; 54:1ff; 62:1ff; 63:1ff; Ezekiel 38-48; Joel 3:1-21).
In that day, Israel, as Abraham, will be seen restored to the land, standing before the Lord, with Gentile world power destroyed.
When Abraham arose “early in the morning” and went “to the place where he stood before the Lord” (foreshadowing Israel being raised up and standing before the Lord at the beginning of the millennial day), he looked out toward the terrain where the cities of the plain had previously stood, “toward all the land of the plain,” and “the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace” (Genesis 19:27, 28). Thus will it be with Israel and Gentile world power in that coming day.
Gentile world power will be destroyed; the kingdom, with its Glory, will be restored to Israel; and Christ, in the antitype of Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18, 19, will come forth with bread and wine to bless the descendants of Abraham (cf. Joel 2:22; 3:18; Matthew 26:29).
In that day, God’s three firstborn Sons, introduced in the opening four chapters of Genesis, will exercise the rights of the firstborn.
Christ and His bride will rule the nations from a heavenly sphere (from the present abode of Satan and his angels); Israel will rule the nations from an earthly sphere (from the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), carrying the message of the one true and living God to the nations, which will occupy respective positions throughout the earth in exact accord with Deuteronomy 32:8 and Acts 17:26, 27. And this type of rule and these conditions will continue for 1,000 years, until all things have been subjected to the Son (1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
This is what the future holds for mankind, as seen in the revealed outworking of God’s plans and purposes, introduced in the first nineteen chapters of Genesis.