The Rock and the Outstretched Arm
By Monte Dearth
Weekly Study Archives

We will start in Exodus 14:19,20 where it says "And the angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night." So notice that the angel of God, which was in the cloud, moved to provide a protective barrier. He was providing protection from behind and the strength to go forward. Then in verses 24-25, it says "And it came about at the morning watch, that the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. And He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from Israel, for the LORD is fighting for them against the Egyptians.’" The thing we want to take into account here is that the LORD is the angel of God. And we are now going to dig a little deeper into who the angel of God is.

Lets go to Deuteronomy 32, where Moses is near death, and he gets all the people of Israel together (Deuteronomy 31:30) to teach them a song. And starting in verse 1, it says "Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, as the droplets on the fresh grass and as the showers on the herb. For I proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He." (Deuteronomy 32:1-4). This song and the rest of the Bible like to talk about the rock. Then later in the song, God is going to speak of his judgement against Israel. Verses 28-33 say "For they are a nation lacking in counsel, and there is no understanding in them. Would that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would discern their future! How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had given them up? Indeed their rock is not like our Rock, even our enemies themselves judge this. For their vine is from the vine of Sodom, and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison, their clusters, bitter. Their wine is the venom of serpents, and the deadly poison of cobras." God was always telling Israel "It is not because you are so good that I am giving you the land of Canaan." Eventually the people of Israel would become so corrupt that they would lose the land of Canaan. They obviously did not remember the words of the song. Also notice these prophetic verses talking of the Rock.

Well I Corinthians 10:1-4 will give us the answer as to who the Rock was. "For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock, which followed them; and the rock was Christ." The one who led them to salvation, delivered them from their enemies, protected them in the wilderness was Christ. He was there spiritual food and drink as well. For it says in Deuteronomy 8:3 that "And He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.". Does that sound familiar? Later Jesus would attack Satan with this same verse when he was tempted in wilderness: "It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’" (Matthew 4:4).

Now let’s take this a little bit deeper. In Acts 13, Paul is telling of the history of Israel in Pisidia. In verse 17 he says "The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it." What is the uplifted arm(or outstretched arm) that is mentioned? Let’s find out.

Let’s begin in the book of Isaiah. Isaiah 6:1-10 says "In the year of King Uzziah's death, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings; with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’ Then one of the seraphim flew to me, with a burning coal in his hand which he had taken from the altar with tongs. And he touched my mouth {with it} and said, ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away, and your sin is forgiven.’ Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’ And He said, ‘Go, and tell this people: "Keep on listening, but do not perceive; keep on looking, but do not understand." Render the hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, lest they see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return and be healed.’" The word LORD means "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" and the word Lord means "Adonai" or "Master." Notice here that what Isaiah here was of course Jehovah or the LORD of Hosts sitting on His throne.

But John 12:36-41 helps us to shed some more light on this topic. It says "While you have the light, believe in the light, in order that you may become sons of light.’ These things Jesus spoke, and He departed and hid Himself from them. But though He had performed so many signs before them, {yet} they were not believing in Him; that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, ‘Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ For this cause they could not believe, for Isaiah said again, ‘He has blinded their eyes, and He hardened their heart; lest they see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and be converted, and I heal them.’ These things Isaiah said, because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him." Notice that John is telling us that Isaiah saw Jesus sitting on His throne, which establishes Him as Jehovah. Jesus being Jehovah can also be shown by comparing Acts 2:29-35 and Psalm 16:7-10 saying that Jesus and Jehovah are at the right hand respectively. Now what do you suppose is meant by the statement in Isaiah that says "with the train of His robe filling the temple?" What is the equivalent of the temple today? – The Church. And what is that fills that church? – The Holy Spirit. Notice the other scripture that is quoted here: "Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" from Isaiah 53:1. And notice that it points back to the same answer as before that Isaiah saw Jesus’ glory and spoke of Him. So the arm of the Lord is Jesus Himself.

Next let’s read chapter 26 of Matthew while Jesus is giving His testimony to Caiaphas the high Priest. Jesus, in answer to the question if you are the Christ, the Son of God let us know, "Jesus said to him, ‘You have said it {yourself}nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.’" (Matthew 26:64). So we see here that the right hand is a position of power and not a physical position. There is probably no such things as right and left hands in heaven for the Bible says that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (Heaven)" (I Corinthians 15:50).

Now let’s go to Matthew 23 where Jesus is cranking it up on the Pharisees with a lot of "Woe to You’s." But in verses 37-39, it says "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you shall not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’" Notice that it says you will not see Him until you say these words. What does he mean by this? Let’s go back to Psalms 118. Psalm 118:19-22 says "Open to me the gates of righteousness; I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous will enter through it. I shall give thanks to Thee, for Thou hast answered me; and Thou hast become my salvation. The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner {stone.}" When did Jesus become the Chief corner stone of the church? During his earthly life, his death on the cross, his bodily resurrection? – No – But on his ascension to the right hand of power 40 days after the bodily resurrection.

Then continuing on in Psalms 118 it is stated "This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O LORD, do save, we beseech Thee; O LORD, we beseech Thee, do send prosperity! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD; we have blessed you from the house of the LORD." (Psalm 118:23-26). Notice here that the scriptures are telling us that "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" has to do with day that the Lord had made when Jesus took his sit at the right hand of God as the chief corner stone. And notice that we need to see him in this, in what the bible calls the "glorified" state, or glory. John mentioned it up in chapter 12 that we read a little earlier. This is not something we are going to see with the natural eye but it needs to seen with the spiritual eye.

II Corinthians 4:3-6 says "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." Notice that Satan has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they cannot see the light of the glory of Christ. That is why the teaching of the ascension of Jesus to the right hand is very important. This is where all the power is for the Christian. And Satan wants to keep us from knowing that awesome power that we have. Jesus had to glorified or taken away from earth in order for the Holy Spirit to be sent to the Church(the train of the robe filling the temple).

Jesus is the mighty, outstretched arm and the Rock that was talked about earlier.

Ezekiel 20:33-35 says "As I live,’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘surely with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I shall be king over you. And I shall bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out; and I shall bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I shall enter into judgment with you face to face.’" (referring to the face of Christ like we saw above) What might the gathering of scattered peoples actually be referring to? Well let’s go to the book of John. In chapter 11, John has just talked about Lazarus being raised from the dead and some of the Pharisees were getting very concerned over their job security. So we pick it up in verse 48 where it says "If we let Him {go on} like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation. But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.’ Now this he did not say on his own initiative; but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad." (John 11:48-52). So that mighty and outstretched arm that lead the people out of Egypt and gathered them together is the same mighty and outstretched arm that gathers the scattered Christians into one Church. That is our Rock, the great deliverer.