Life-Study of Exodus

Life-Study of Exodusby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0397-9
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 29 of 185 Section 1 of 3

LIFE-STUDY OF EXODUS

MESSAGE TWENTY-NINE

ISRAEL’S CROSSING OF THE RED SEA

Scripture Reading: Exo. 14:10-12, 16, 29-31; 15:1-21; Heb. 11:29; 1 Cor. 10:1-2; 1 Pet. 3:20-21

God’s full salvation includes the Passover, the exodus, and the crossing of the Red Sea. Through the Passover the children of Israel were saved from God’s judgment. When they were in Egypt, they were like the Egyptians; they were sinful and even worshipped idols (Ezek. 20:7-8). Along with the Egyptians, they were under the righteous judgment of God. According to God’s righteous judgment, they were under the sentence of death. Therefore, the children of Israel needed the Passover lamb to be their substitute. Because the blood of the lamb had been applied to the doorposts of their houses, God in His righteous judgment could pass over them.

However, not only were the children of Israel under God’s judgment; they were also under the tyranny of Pharaoh. They had been usurped by Pharaoh to serve as slaves to carry out the purpose of the Egyptians. Hence, the children of Israel had two serious problems: God’s judgment and Pharaoh’s tyranny. Although the Passover was adequate to save them from God’s judgment, it was not effective to rescue them from the usurpation of the Egyptians. In order to be saved from Egyptian tyranny, the children of Israel needed the exodus and the crossing of the Red Sea.

If the children of Israel had had only the exodus but not the crossing of the Red Sea, their salvation would not have been secure. It would have been possible for them to return to Egypt. God was greatly concerned that the people might attempt to do this. Without the crossing of the Red Sea, there would have been no separating line. In 13:17 the Lord expressed a concern lest the “people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt.” Later, at the time of Numbers 14:4, some of the rebellious ones said, “Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.” Therefore, in order to have a thorough and absolute deliverance from Egypt, the children of Israel had to make their exodus and also cross over the separating line by passing through the Red Sea.

In His creation God prepared the Red Sea to serve as a baptistry for His chosen people. Then during the exodus He led the people to this baptistry. This was no accident; it was according to the plan of God. God wanted to bring His people into a situation where it was impossible for them to go back to Egypt. In this message we need to consider the significance of Israel’s crossing of the Red Sea.

I. A TYPE OF BAPTISM

In 1 Corinthians 10:1 and 2 Paul says that “our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” This indicates that the crossing of the Red Sea was a type of baptism. The cloud here refers to the pillar, which was the Lord Himself as the One leading the people.

First Peter 3:20 and 21 indicate that the passing of Noah’s ark through the flood was also a type of baptism. By the ark and through the water Noah and the members of his family were saved from God’s judgment and from the evil, corrupt, and condemned world. The same flood which judged the world also separated those in the ark from the world. After the flood waters had abated, Noah and his family found themselves in a new realm, in a new world, where they could serve God. The flood had separated them from the old realm and had brought them into a new realm. Immediately after coming out of the ark, Noah built an altar and offered sacrifice to the Lord (Gen. 8:20).

The principle is the same with the crossing of the Red Sea. In Egypt the children of Israel were involved with the evil, corrupt, and condemned world and were under God’s judgment. The Passover, which typified Christ, saved them from God’s judgment, just as the ark, also a type of Christ, saved Noah and his family from God’s judgment. Furthermore, just as Noah’s family needed to be saved from the world through water, so the children of Israel also needed to be saved from Egypt through water. With the children of Israel we see both the blood and the water. The blood of the Passover lamb saved them from God’s judgment, and the water saved them from the tyranny of the Egyptians.

In contrast to the children of Israel, the vast majority of today’s Christians have been saved only by the blood and not also through the water. Many have been baptized in a ritualistic way, but such a baptism is not an experience of the saving, separating water. In the case of Noah’s family and that of the children of Israel, the water was a means both of salvation and of separation. If we had only the teaching of the New Testament without the pictures in Genesis and Exodus, we would not have a thorough understanding of baptism. It was through baptism that God’s people were saved from the slavery of Egypt and the tyranny of Pharaoh. In the same principle, it is through baptism that believers today are saved from the world and from the satanic power of darkness. (Later on we shall see that the baptism typified by the crossing of the river Jordan signifies the deliverance from the old man. In this message we are concerned only with the aspect of baptism typified by the crossing of the Red Sea.)

Baptism makes our salvation secure. If we have only the Passover and the exodus without the crossing of the Red Sea, our salvation will not be secure. The crossing of the Red Sea of baptism seals our salvation. When we baptize new believers, we should help them understand the significance of baptism. We should tell them that after they have been saved through Christ as the Passover, they need to pass through the water which separates them from the world and from the power of darkness.


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