“Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, ‘The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt.”
Do you see an apparent contradiction in the text above? God knew the newly released slaves were not prepared for the combat that would inevitably take place when they began to invade the Land promised to their fathers. That territory was fully occupied by Serpent-deceived ‘sons of disobedience’! So, instead of leading them directly toward the Land, He took them into the wilderness and away from certain trouble. But even as He led them into the barren solitude of those desert wastelands, He required the twelve tribes to organize themselves into military-like units that had to learn to travel, camp and live, ‘in martial array’!
So what does that tell us about what God’s plans were for His people? Doesn’t it tell us that, although Israel was not combat-ready at that time, God did intend to get them ready for future combat! We become combat-ready warriors, in this sense, when God’s Word and the Fullness of God that He contains within Himself, abides and is able to obey His Father…from within our hearts and flesh and daily life. Without that, no Israelite can truly fulfill his or her God-given identity, purpose and destiny. So, in order to fulfill their purpose, God’s chosen ones must be taught and trained to learn to be warriors! This is why we say continually, that the purpose of our FMM material is to assist in the ‘boot camp’ training our Master intends to give to His New Covenant Last Days disciples. And we’ve pointed out that the climax of the combat-filled human history, as revealed in the Book of Revelation, will also be the beginning of the eternal Fulfillment God began to reveal and promise from the beginning…in Genesis and Exodus. At that time, we’ll ‘graduate’ from boot camp…and from earthly combat…and enjoy the Word’s total Triumph with Him, for all of eternity.
So, thanks to the hindsight provided by many centuries, we see clearly that the Lord was leading His people into the wilderness to begin their ‘Boot Camp Training’! And we can see that every generation of Israelites must receive the very same training. Even today, although Israel physically inhabits some of the Land that God promised to give to her, still, in many ways, she remains in the wilderness and must continually be ‘combat-ready’. Each Israelite generation is in the same position that the first generation occupied! When we finally understand what God is saying and believe and obey His Word, we can see that we are all newly released slaves, and that the Word is leading us out of Egypt! We were all born into slavery to: the world…and to our own fallen flesh…and to the devil that dominates the world and is so adept at manipulating our fallen flesh.
God takes us out of that slavery, and then He begins to strip away from us whatever identity and perspectives and lifestyles we learned and embraced in the past and that we still keep hidden somewhere within our ‘baggage’. Boot camp kills the residue of Egypt we try to ‘smuggle out’ with us. We die to our past ‘exempt civilian’ identity. Boot camp forces us to transform into the Spirit-led warriors our Lord intends to make of us. He does this because each succeeding generation of disciples, will have to face and contend with the demonic powers of Darkness, as well as with each succeeding generation of decapitated humans the Serpent continues to deceive and dominate. God expects each disciple generation to learn its boot camp lessons very, very well…so they can be prepared to go back and invade the Darkness and contend with the Serpent and his forces, for the hearts, souls and eternal freedom of the captives they still hold in their clutches. Therefore, Israel must be prepared for continuous warfare!
Israel’s purpose and commission never changes. God has set her at odds with the rest of the demon-possessed world. Look at what has happened to her since the time of Moses. Consider the many ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ in her relationship with God throughout history, and the endless persecutions and perpetual exclusion each of her generations has suffered from the other peoples of the world! So, it is obvious that the Lord didn’t free Israel so she could run off to chart a course of her own and determine her destiny as she saw fit. He didn’t release her and say: “Off you go… have a nice life… and don’t forget Me. Stay in touch from time to time!” No, instead He took His people into the wilderness to teach them how to fulfill this command:
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God; the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart!” (Emphasis added.)
God is a wholehearted God! That is, everything He does in our regard, He does with all the infinite Love, Kindness, Compassion, Integrity and Faithfulness that are in Him! He never holds anything back from us. He gives all of Himself. And we are made to be His image and likeness! So we are to respond to Him wholeheartedly…mirroring to Him, and to the world around us, that same wholehearted Covenant love and devotion that He first showers upon us!
“…We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the Love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
But it is only in wilderness conditions that our fallen, Sin-corrupted and Death-infected flesh can be taught and trained to be just as wholehearted with God, as He is with us! As long as our flesh is allowed to remain comfortable, complacent and self-satisfied, we will never be wholeheartedly devoted to the one and only God! We will easily slip into all sorts of idolatry because our flesh is self-pampering. It always seeks the path of least resistance, always looks for, and chooses, the easiest, most convenient and comfortable options available. It seeks whatever will cost the least and will inflict the least amount of pain, discomfort and inconvenience possible. In other words, our flesh will always avoid the Cross that God must use to kill our slavery to self-adoring, Serpent-serving urges, passions and tendencies. And when left to its own devices, flesh is driven to choose whatever exalts, enhances and satiates its natural fallen urges, passions and desires. So, naturally speaking, we are not geared to focus entirely on God and His all-sufficient Perfection. We are geared to obsess over our personal ability to control our own situations and destinies.
The truth is that we will not consider the true, living God to be our sole source of wellbeing UNLESS…we are forced into circumstances that leave us no other choice! When we have no other choice, we have a chance to learn, finally, what it is to be wholeheartedly devoted to and dependent upon, the one, true, real God! When He is the only choice on our menu of options, He becomes our ‘Path of Least Resistance’. And our worldly idolatrous ways are stripped away and our false gods are exposed for the fraudulent delusions they truly are.
The fallen world enslaves humans with the vast array of idolatrous choices it displays. It presents a false menu that has many apparent options that are much more preferable to our flesh than trying to stay on the narrow path with Almighty God, our true Creator and Sustainer. So as long as fallen flesh thinks it can remain comfortable and in control…it will not repent of its radical independence. It will continue to be stiff-necked, arrogant, proud, self-seeking and insatiably controlling. But of course that is not the image and likeness of God; it’s the image and likeness of the Serpent! So that must be crucified, broken and executed within us. And, until that happens, we will not get serious about ‘following’ God’s Word out of Egypt. So God uses the wilderness to execute whatever may prevents us from being truly and fully, His. It becomes a giant ‘weaning pen’ that detoxifies our systems of all slavery to the vast array of Egyptian ‘addictions’.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with ALL your heart! (and then…I promise you that) I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
So the Lord subjects Israel to supernatural levels of combat training, to prepare them to do battle with, and overcome…the Serpent! The Serpent is on an insane quest to try to create his own alternate reality. He strives to be supreme ruler…over a realm he created in his imagination and tries to duplicate on Earth. So obviously, he despises and fears those that love, serve, obey and embody the Living God. And he tries to destroy them by getting them to fall for his lies and delusions. If he succeeds, he will drive wedges of suspicion, doubt and resentment against God into our minds. That alienates us from God, and the living Word He sent to redeem and rescue us. And so, disciples of the Word must be taught and trained to develop tremendous spiritual skills and supernatural levels of disciplined, focused, unbreakable, faithful endurance and perseverance. We must be able to cling to the Word’s Truth and Reality and stand on the Covenant Ground He has given us and be strong enough to hold it against any and all fiery attacks and deadly delusional traps that our mortal enemies will try to use against us.
Spiritual conflict has been the lot of God’s chosen people throughout all of history! And wilderness conditions serve as each generation’s ‘training ground’. And, since we are one of the Last Days generations, a lot more difficulty lies in store for us.
So let us learn all we can from what happened to those original Exodus Israelites. It was no longer just Egypt with which Israel had to contend! She had to be made ready for endless strife and deadly opposition from the entire demon-possessed human world! The Serpent hates ‘the Seed of the Woman’ that God first revealed in Genesis. He is terrified at what God’s Word has promised to do to Him through her Seed. So, he tried to destroy Israel before the Seed arrived. And after failing at that, he resorted to being rabidly intent on driving wedges between the ‘Woman’ and her own ‘Seed’. The Word of God became one of us, so that He could serve as the Messiah that would issue from the ‘Woman’s womb! He is the Serpent’s Conqueror! But, Israel, for the most part, is still not able to recognize, claim and embrace Him to her bosom, as her very own. She must still endure more wilderness training before the job of preparing her is finally done:
“The Lord God said to the Serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and (fallen, Sin-corrupted human) dust you will eat all the days of your life; and I will put enmity between you and the Woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
God continually separates the Light that flows out of His living Word, from the Darkness created by the Serpent’s lies and illusions. Thus God is the one that causes this conflict! The Light of His Word is always at odds with the Serpent’s Dark Untruth! Thus constant combat also rages between the two human races that serve one or the other. God intends to show His Truth and Reality to all of humanity. All men must come to realize that they are in the same bankrupt, helpless enslaved position that Israel once occupied in Egypt! All sons of Adam are born into slavery to the Serpent! And God is here to lead anyone, Jew and non-Jew alike, that will hear, understand, believe and follow His Word out of slavery and into His Freedom. So, as soon as they follow Him, He will lead them into the desert…to train them to know the difference between Eternal Death and Devastation, and Eternal Life and total Freedom.
It doesn’t matter what location or station we may occupy in this world…we are just as weak, helpless and dependent as those Israelites were! So, the wilderness is everywhere. Apart from our true Creator, we can’t be or have or do, anything! So, in actuality, all of the children of fallen Adam…ARE…a dead, barren, desolate Wilderness! But if we repent and begin to follow God’s Word, He will begin to train us to become sons of God. He will show us how to cooperate with Him in creating God revealing, Fruit-bearing and Life giving, Oases, in whatever region of the Wilderness of Sin we may occupy.
“Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me Gold (My true Resurrected image and likeness of God Humanity) refined by Fire so that you may become rich, and White Garments (My Perfect Righteousness) so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve (Holy Spirit Wisdom) to anoint your eyes so that you may see.” (Amplification added.)
In the days of Moses, to enable Israel (the Woman of Gen. 3:15) to grow in strength, maturity and spiritual stature, God’s Word (The Seed of the Woman) led them into a blast furnace that (with their obedient cooperation,) would serve as a forge hot and powerful enough to transform them into something brand new. No longer were they to think of themselves as whipped, beaten slaves. They needed to know and absorb a new identity, and play a vastly different role on this planet. They had to face the future, no matter how much demonic opposition it would bring, with the invincible confidence that they are God’s own beloved eternal sons, heirs and eternal Blood Covenant family members! They had to learn to embody and represent Almighty God Himself, at all times, and give the truly human, image and likeness of God testimony, to expose and disprove the lies of the powers of Darkness. The dark powers maintain that God cannot, and should not, be trusted. So, just as Moses had to become ‘as God’ to the pharaoh of Egypt, so does Israel have to be trained to be ‘as God’, to the rest of the world!
Disciples of God’s Word must get to know God so intimately and thoroughly, that they can trust and obey Him without any reservations. So they must willingly strip off their former slave mindset and self-image, and begin to identify with God and abide with Him, perpetually. God requires them to adopt and own a whole new regal, warrior perspective that enables them to see themselves in a brand new light. And the only way that could happen, is if God’s own Perfect living Word is free to live and work within them, so that He can do the task that, to the fallen flesh of His disciples, will forever be impossible.
So, of course it will take a long time for all of Israel to become one with God’s living Word. And, to this day, that process continues. The ‘old Israel’ is still struggling. She is like a self-life caterpillar struggling to kick out of its cocoon (death shroud) in order to be free to emerge as God’s ‘New Covenant God-revealing Butterfly’. Thus we see that even many centuries after Moses, in the days of the Ezekiel, the fulfillment of God’s awesome vision for them was still far beyond their reach:
“The hand of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He caused me to pass among them round about, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and lo, they were very dry. He said to me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’ And I answered, ‘O Lord God, You (alone) know!’ (Amplification and emphasis added.)
That transformation is still a long way from attaining the ultimate perfection that God intends. Israel and those that have joined her in the Exodus are all still ‘en route’. Their awesome eternal identity, purpose and destiny are still in an ongoing state of transformation. So we must all travel further before we become what God will make of us in the end. In the end, God’s living Word, and Israel, will be utterly one, like the consummated union of a ‘Husband and Wife’! So it’s going to take more time before the current gap that separates them is fully eliminated:
“Who has believed our (the prophets’) message? And to whom has the Arm of the Lord been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we (Israelites) should look upon Him, nor appearance that we (sons of Jacob) should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom (Jewish) men hide their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Nevertheless, the prophets were inspired to prophesy and announce to the world, the way it would be, between Israel and Yeshua…when her Exodus is finally completed:
“For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the Government will rest on His shoulders; and His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His Government or of Peace, on the Throne of David and over his Kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with Justice and Righteousness from then on and forevermore. The Zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this!”
“Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, BUT BY MY SPIRIT,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Emphasis added.)
“Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to Life, and I will place you on your own Land. THEN you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord.’”
All of this is taking place according to God’s Eternal Plan and Perfect Timing. So, for now, As long as Israel does not yet occupy her true place in God’s Plan, she too has to live among the living dead, and suffer with the same bankruptcy and helplessness with which the rest of the world must contend. The universal Sin-corruption that abides in all fallen human flesh keeps hobbling and holding her back. Thus she progresses slowly. And because she is still undergoing ‘boot camp’, her blunders and misunderstandings continue. Nevertheless, Israel continues to serve as the template from which the rest of the world can learn about itself. We’re all in the same boat! And meanwhile, God’s Word continues to teach each new generation of His Israelite Remnant how to deal with the powers of Darkness and overcome their intense opposition, by the foundational revelation He provides in the Torah. And He will also teach them the New Covenant way to deal with the worldly, God-less people of our generation and stand and act and live before them…‘in the Name of Almighty God!’
Becoming God’s Personal Covenant Friends and Ambassadors
Israel is called to be God’s personal, eternal Blood Covenant Friend! But no human flesh has the authority, power or righteousness necessary to accomplish this by its own efforts. Only God, the Creator of all things, can do this; and even now, He is doing it! He has placed eternity in every human heart! We are all made for a purpose and destiny infinitely higher than anything this fallen temporary, demon-oppressed world could ever imagine, or offer. So God separates us from that world. God’s people owe no allegiance to anything that the powers of Darkness inhabit, control and dominate.
2 Corinthians 4:3-5
“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 so 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.” (Emphasis added.)
So by God’s command, Israel must not identify with, or belong to, this fallen world. And, correspondingly, in response, the demon-possessed world always hates and wants nothing to do with, Israel. For better or for worse, this is part of God’s ongoing Salvation process. It’s like the surgical removal of cancerous growths from human tissue. It must be done, or else Death prevails. That is why wilderness training is ongoing. Each person in each generation will be forced to choose between…clinging to Egypt…or embracing Israel and joining her in her Exodus. If we choose Egypt, we stay in our original decapitated, enemy of God’s Word, state. But if we choose to follow Israel out of this world’s system, we must learn what it means to be wholehearted sons of God and citizens and administrators of His eternal Heavenly Kingdom. And God will have to train us to become warriors that live and act as perpetual enemies of the Serpent and the powers of Darkness that serve him. And only God’s wilderness training can teach train us for such a unique, supernatural, all-important destiny:
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete (and totally ready for combat, and), lacking in nothing.” (Amplification added.)
It is hard for people that still have Sin-corrupted flesh in their makeup, to learn to be true disciples of God’s living Word. Only God fully knows what that requires! And only God, through His Word and Spirit, has the authority and creative power to regenerate and transform us according to His Perfect specifications! So we must truly abide with and entrust ourselves to God’s Word and follow His lead, relying only upon Him to empower and equip us to learn, accept and absorb the true meaning of our God-given identity and status. And we have to know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that Almighty God, in all of His eternal Perfection, is continually backing, endowing and empowering us! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is transforming us into God’s sons and Blood Covenant friends and Family members. And He’s training us to prove that everything we are and do in this temporary world is being done in His Name! We must believe and accept and wear this awesome status authentically and convincingly, and maintain the proper attitude and the appropriate stance, in the world’s Arena of Testimony. Only that will keep us going as we face the Serpent. Remember what God said to Moses:
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You shall speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land…” (Emphasis added.)
Moses had to learn and assume this new identity and status first. God’s enemy is the Serpent. The pharaoh was just another human that God desired to redeem and restore. But, since he was serving as the embodiment of the Serpent, Moses had to be trained and equipped, not only to approach and convince the unbelieving, cynical Israelites, with unflinching authority and foolproof credibility, but also to face the pharaoh, the mightiest man in that entire region…and not back down! The pharaoh was considered to be a god by his people! He had supreme authority and the power of life and death over anyone around him. And the usurpation of the Supremacy that only belongs to the true God is the work of the Serpent! So it wasn’t easy for Moses to stand and face such imposing demon-backed, earthly power, while at the same time, having to put up with the Israelites at his back that kept whining, complaining and refusing to believe. It took great courage and nerve (‘chutzpah’) for Moses to stand his Ground and continue to demonstrate and maintain his God-given status, credibility and authority before such a formidable challenge.
Fortunately, Moses had undergone previous boot camp training. Thus he was able to persevere and do as he was told. He allowed God’s Word to speak through him. And God backed His Word’s claims, promises and threats with awesome, infinite, invincible Authority and Power! The world has not been the same ever since that happened! But now our generation of disciples must be trained. We must deal with a new generation of the same kind of humanity that opposed Moses! And it is only when God’s living Word is able to live in and work and speak through us, in Spirit and in Truth, that will we are able to fulfill our God-given redemptive commissions. Only when we know, beyond the shadow of any doubt that we are filled with God’s Presence, can we be filled with and radiate…God’s ‘Light to the Gentiles.’
But note this well: it isn’t mere men, or nations that are our true enemies. They are the hapless victims of our true enemy. The Serpent and his powers are our enemies. So it isn’t mere men that we must strive to impress or overcome! Like Moses, we too are required to remain humble before God and before our fellow humans. On the contrary, we must continually let all people know that none of this is about us! God’s emissaries never lay claim to special personal powers or special divine status. We are not to assume postures of superiority over any other human. Our job is to allow God to equip us to stand up to the Serpent and his powers of Darkness until we can stare them down and overcome everything they may try to do against us! They are the ones with whom we must always contend. We must give our testimony to them, by demonstrating and maintaining our God-given standing, status, and authority before their eyes, while we come to the defense of all of our fellow human beings!
So God’s Israel is to be a servant, operating as the role model and teacher for all the other peoples of the fallen, Sin-corrupted world! But when they face the powers of Darkness, they must be ‘as God!’ You will remember that in order to prepare and train and equip Moses to do his job of leading Israel, God spent forty years preparing him to be a faithful, selfless, effective but anonymous shepherd. Remember where Moses had grown up! He had a regal, first class, high visibility upbringing, in the very court and household of Egypt’s pharaoh! When you realize this, you can see how profoundly and thoroughly God humbled (‘crucified’) him to prepare him to do his task. He was wrenched from the lap of luxury and top level human status…and forced to learn to guide and care for sheep under the harshest, loneliest, most adverse wilderness conditions. And notice that, centuries before Moses, God had given this same abasement, humiliation and solitude training to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. And centuries after Moses, He gave the same training to His own beloved Son, His living Word…Yeshua! Yes, even God’s living Word, from the moment He was born and lived among us as an Israelite infant, had to undergo the most profound abasement and humiliation of all. Almighty God Himself had to became one of His own creatures as the image of God, which is the exact opposite of the arrogant, self-adoring ego mania of the Serpent. Yeshua lived among us without any arrogance or human pride whatsoever. He served fallen humans, and put up with their abysmal bankrupt neediness with tender compassion. He washed their feet and endured their contempt and rejection…in order to project the Truth and Reality of Almighty God to the Serpent, and expose and disprove His lies, destroy His works, and win Eternal Life for the human race!
Joseph, Moses and Yeshua the Messiah, had to live in utter humility before men. Joseph came from a shepherd background; and so did Moses. And Egyptians abhorred the life and station of anyone that herded animals! But Yeshua, God’s living Word, was sent to be the Shepherd of all mankind! (See Ezek. 34 and Jn. 10). And to this day, even most of Yeshua’s fellow Israelites, hold Him who is the Good Shepherd, foretold in the Scriptures, in utter contempt! And even now, the risen Lord of Glory must wait until the appointed time when His Father will fully vindicate Him and exalt His Name over every speck of His Fully Restored Creation. Until that time comes, even Yeshua must wait.
“The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.’” (Emphasis added.)
So learn from this. This is how God trains and deploys His true servants! Only after they endure and pass this test in the crucible of helpless abasement, does God fully exalt them and impart the Fullness of their true eternal identity, stature and destiny. So without wilderness training, we will not be able to understand, much less do, what God intends to do to us, in us, and through us. Before we can enjoy the glory of resurrection; we must first die to radically independent Sin and Death, and allow God to take us out of the doomed world system that Sin has spawned:
“Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel (living Word) of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, ‘I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said also, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.”
When we compare what happened when God dealt with Joseph, Moses and Yeshua…we see great similarity between that and what happened between God and the entire nation of Israel: Moses led the people to the very same place where God had encountered him…to Sinai or, Horeb. And just as God had commissioned Moses to deal with Israel, and with Egypt, from amid a totally supernatural, humanly incomprehensible fire that abided within that bush, but yet did not need anything from it and did not consume it… so did He commission Israel to deal with the nations of the world, from within an awesome display of fire, thunder and lightning. He demonstrated to them that He did not need to rely on them, nor did He need any help from them. He supplied everything! Israel was always needy and helpless! She was overwhelmed and reduced to pulp by the awesome display of God’s mind-blowing Majesty and Grandeur amid the thunder, lightning and fire, and all of His other stupendous miraculous feats. That let Israel know that God was Almighty and Transcendent and eternally Self Sufficient! And the wilderness was meant to keep her humble and fully aware that she was always desperately needy, weak and perpetually bankrupt in herself. This is the crucified earthly life…the birth canal…through which we must all pass on our way to our share in our Messiah’s Eternal Heavenly Resurrection Life!
So when this awesome God, who spoke to Moses from within a burning bush, told him what his real identity and task were to be, the broken, thoroughly humbled shepherd was utterly terrified! How could such an awesome God require anything of him, much less require him to face the pharaoh of Egypt? Moses was right to gasp and tremble and back away! The very thought of what God was commanding him to do virtually scrambled his brains and mashed his thoroughly humbled and crucified self-image into a pile of helpless pulp!
“‘Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?’ And He said, “Certainly I WILL BE WITH YOU…” (Emphasis added.)
So you see, Moses had to be trained to realize that none of this would be about him, nor could any of the results be up to him. This was all about God, and what He would do to the pharaoh, through Moses’ yielded, resting flesh. God has to be Everything at all times, to fallen, living dead flesh. And this is how it had to be with those first Israelites too. They had spent the last four hundred years in an alien land, enslaved and being forced to do all of the work. Israel was held in contempt, disenfranchised, robbed of her identity and without any hope or future prospects. And suddenly God invaded her space and set her free, and said:
“Now then, if you will indeed obey My Voice and keep My Covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a Kingdom of Priests and a Holy (set apart) Nation!’ ” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
The Israelites said they understood and were willing to comply. But in truth, that was far too much for most of them to handle. Fallen flesh truly is bankrupt; but nevertheless, the Self-life that Sin spawns in us, dies very, very hard. So, for the forty years that followed, most of the Israelites struggled mightily between their extreme weakness, and the pull to radical independence that the Sin residue in the flesh continued to exert in their makeup. They remained stuck in that same original shock and awe that overwhelmed Moses at the burning bush. “Who am I?” They knew they were helpless, but they couldn’t stop being self-absorbed. So they couldn’t trust that God would handle everything. Somehow, at least part of this had to depend upon them. Aren’t slaves always the ones that have to do ALL of the work? They just couldn’t believe and trust that this awesome God could be so Perfect and All Sufficient. They couldn’t believe that He had actually done and provided everything in the past, that they would need in the future! And they couldn’t believe that God would live and act and speak in them, through them and for them, while they simply looked to Him, rejoicing and resting in His Perfection! To fallen, self-absorbed flesh, this was out of the question.
Nevertheless, God continued to abide among them, marvelously transmitting the fruits of His eternal Finished Work into their time and space circumstances. But most of that first generation failed to understand what was happening. Somehow they still had to remain the center of attention. Somehow it had to depend on them and what they would do and how they would do it. And because they thought it was about them, they panicked and shrank back. But just as God’s Word had once abided within that burning bush without needing to consume it as fuel, so did He abide among the Israelites…without needing anything from them, without relying or drawing from any human effort or device that they might have supplied. Most of them never caught on to what He was trying to show them. But today’s disciples must learn from their mistakes.
“Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His Rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had Good News preached to us, just as they also; but the Word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.”
God never relies upon the fallen world or any of its devices and resources, because everything it the world has first comes to it from Him! In His Perfect Faithfulness and Kindness as the one and only Source for everything, God supplies everything that all of His creatures need. He provides for all creatures…out of the endless Abundance and Sufficiency of His Perfect Eternal Finished Work. This is revealed in Genesis. And from this All Sufficient Treasury in eternity, He even supplies all of His virulent enemies in space and time! And so, even in the wilderness, God kept transmitting everything Israel needed, in the same way that He transmitted the manna they ate… every morning! They didn’t have to lift a finger to help God support them and supply their needs. Nor will any other Israelites have to exert themselves, when God reveals His awesome eternally self-sustaining Majesty and Holiness to the world, through Israel’s subsequent generations. Israel, and the rest of the world, remains totally and continually helpless and dependent upon the one and only God! He provides 100% of whatever is needed for every generation. And, since all men are created beings that abide in the living death state, none of them can provide a thing!
On this basis, God continued to lead His people all around the wilderness, in a way that to the rest of the world, was totally supernatural and unworldly. The pagans around Israel insisted on looking to created earthly things and turning them into one false god after another. But the real, living God kept showing His chosen ones, that He indeed is Lord of lords, King of kings… and Master and Owner of the entire universe! And He commissioned His pathetically weak, utterly helpless, needy people to allow His own living Word to strip all residue from Egypt away from them so that He could abide within them to be their Treasure. And from within them…HIS WORD would face the Serpent and deal with the fallen Sin-loving world… in the Name of His Father…as well as in the name of Israel!
God intends to do Himself, whatever He sends His Word to require of Israel! But He plans to do it through Israel’s obedient, believing crucified flesh! That is what those original self-centered Israelites could not grasp. And just as most Israelites of today cannot grasp this, neither can most of the non-Israelite world grasp it! Nevertheless, it is true: God works through the weak and foolish things of this world to confound the living dead people that are convinced they are strong and wise…or at least should strive harder…until they can make themselves to be strong and wise! (See 1 Corinthians 1 & 2)
So we have much to learn from Israel, through whom we have the opportunity to know God as He really is – in all of His Perfection and Omnipotence and Infinite Wisdom and boundless creative Ability. He always backs His own Word’s revelations, commands, and promises to Perfection! That’s why He has to train Israel first, to rest in Him! Before He sends His own back into the world to face the demon-oppressed peoples and fulfill their task, they first have to know God as He really is! And the only place to learn it effectively…is the wilderness. That is where our fallen flesh is instantly exposed for the weak, dead thing it really is. In the wilderness, God has no interruptions, distractions, interference or competition for our attention. In the wilderness, we are obviously at a rock bottom, utterly helpless level. We can’t control or initiate or supply or manage anything! There is only our bare, naked self… and our endless helpless neediness…surrounded by perpetual dangers, threats and perils. And the death-dealing forces of the Serpent, Sin and Death continually surround and threaten to kill us. But amid that ghastly scenario…there’s one more element: the living Word and Holy Spirit of the one true Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Our God is always there with us!
So under these conditions, the true God is the only one we can turn to…and then…either He will prove Himself to be real and true, or else, we who are foolish enough to believe and trust Him…will quickly perish! This is the very high stakes level of training True Israelites must receive! That is how we learn just how supernaturally Perfect all of God’s Perfect Finished Work and the secret ways of His Eternal Kingdom really are. And that is how we are trained and equipped to pass from the carnal and natural, independent, self-reliant level of fallen flesh…into the Spirit-empowered, totally supernatural level of the sons of Almighty God!
Can you not see that beleaguered little Israel is an absolute miracle that screams to the world that her God is the one true and only God, and that all of His revelations and claims and promises are true? To this day…Israel, despite all of her weakness, unbelief and disobedience, does not perish. Despite endless opposition from the world and her own infidelities, she cannot be stamped out. She endures, overcomes, and keeps coming back from the ashes of what always appears to be disaster, desolation and Death! Scripture says that Moses and Israel were commissioned to be ‘as God’ to pharaoh and to the rest of the fallen world. But what does that mean? How can fallen flesh learn to be ‘as God’ to anyone? What does that look like? What kind of training do we need to get ready for such an exalted commission? Well…if we’re going to be ‘as God’ to the rest of the world, we must first learn to become one with His living Word. The Word is the one we must learn to follow. And the Word leads. He goes first. As our Representative, He had to atone for and reverse whatever Sin had done to God’s Creation. So, as one of us, He lived the Perfectly Righteous Israelite Life…and He died to our corporate Death to atone for all Sin and set us free from its curses and Death penalty. He allowed the Holy Spirit to take Him to the Zero Point on the Cross…and THEN…back to the right hand of His Father…for all of Eternity! And it is into all of that, that we must follow Him:
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the Name which is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in Heaven and on Earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father.” (Emphasis added.)
The Perfect, Sinless Humanity of our Covenant Representative showed us the way to know God at the deepest levels possible. If we follow Him, He will lead us into a Perfect knowledge of God and share His faultless, wholehearted love for His Father and His Perfect Righteousness, Purity and Inheritance with us. We must follow our Master into His death…into the same zero point. Then…the Reality of Almighty God’s overpowering, overwhelming Majesty, Righteousness, Purity and Infinite, Eternal Perfection can lead us into a share in His Resurrection Life! And that will enable us to know God Almighty, amid the Glory of His Perfect Finished Work, as He really is! Our utterly humble wilderness circumstances will expose our personal bankrupt emptiness and helplessness like nothing else can. Only then can He show us the depths of our Sin and living death and how horribly that state has us all in its grip and has maimed and disfigured the human race.
“When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying, ‘Blessed are the poor (bankrupt) in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Our knowledge of God must be as intimate, ongoing and personal as is possible! To represent such an awesome God, and think, speak, act and react, ‘in His Name’ properly, we must first learn to identify and bond and interact intimately with His crucified, abased living Word who came to be our Atonement and Wisdom and Righteousness and Eternal Life and Complete Redemption! We must live with this awesome One, day and night, fully under His Authority and on His terms. And we must be on such intimate terms with Him, that we will know His heart and He will be able to teach, train, discipline and correct us as needed, every step along the way. Beloved, this is not a casual ‘religious hobby’ or pastime. This is Life or Death!
1 John 5:20
“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and Eternal Life!” (Emphasis added.)
So let’s consider at a deeper level what the Bible means, when it talks about someone that is delegated to speak and act ‘in the name of’ another, such as when an exalted Middle Eastern lord and ruler commissions and sends a personal ambassador to deal with a third party. When this is done, the ambassador goes ‘in the name’ of his lord and master. This is to be understood when we consider God sending Moses to confront the Serpent that was manipulating the pharaoh. Moses was to be ‘as God’ to pharaoh’. In other words, he was going to speak and act ‘in God’s Name.’ This term flows out of God’s Blood Covenant mentality and the Middle Eastern culture that serves as the matrix for the revelation God gives to us concerning His living and written Word. The Word of God comes to us in His Father’s Name:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from Heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My (utterly humbled, crucified Spirit-empowered) Word be which goes forth from My mouth; It (He) will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it (Him).” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
“…But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s Name; and you do not receive Me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the Glory that is from the one and only God?”
In our discussion of the third commandment that forbids humans from desecrating or misusing God’s Holy Name, we saw that it goes much deeper than just prohibiting the use of bad language or making unholy mention of God’s Name in our conversations. The Semitic cultural matrix and mentality God chose for His Self-Revelation is suffused with His Blood Covenant Reality and the relationship structure and dynamic it makes possible for us. So this phrase might best be understood if we consider some emperor, like the pharaoh of Egypt, or Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. When such an exalted lord sent a personal ambassador on a diplomatic mission to do business with another king, it was understood that the ambassador was thinking, living, acting, reacting and interacting ‘in his master’s name.’ It was as if the lord was actually living, speaking and acting from within his emissary. It was as if the lord was there, ‘wearing this ambassador’s skin’ and the ambassador standing before the other king was the actual embodiment of whatever lord he represented. If the emissary did his job faithfully, he could be said to be the ‘image and likeness’ of his lord, speaking and acting ‘in his name’.
God uses this ancient Middle Eastern political imagery to teach and train us in the Blood Covenant way in which we are to regard Him and how we are to interact with and represent and embody…His living Word who has been sent to abide in us and operate through us. The Perfect Humanity of God’s living Word was crucified from His Holy Spirit conception! Yeshua was dead to any and all radical independence. So, as the Last Adam, He always did what the first Adam refused to do. He thought, acted and spoke as one with the Father that sent Him! And we must follow Him into that same kind of death to radically independent self, so that we too can live only to God and from God. Then we’ll be able to embrace and contain and draw continually from the Perfect indwelling Presence of the Resurrection Glory of our Messiah! That transformation empowers and commissions us to embody Him, as we make our way through this time and space temporal world.
The living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is our one and only awesome God, our one and only Source for everything, on every level. His Word’s Majesty and Greatness and Absolute Authority go infinitely beyond those of mortal, worldly kings, rulers or emperors! But the dynamics contained in the analogy are the same. We honor the Name of our awesome Creator and Lord by receiving absolutely everything from Him – whatever we are, or do, or have. We wholeheartedly receive and lovingly embrace God’s living Word, as He really is, and acknowledge Him to be our very Life – our Head and sole Source and Master and Owner!
God’s Word is Perfect and His Perfect Finished Work is all sufficient for us, in every way and in all circumstances, and on all levels. So if we interact with the Word God reveals to us on that basis, and apply ourselves to embodying Messiah Yeshua in whatever we think, say and do, then we are free of the fallen world’s idolatry. And the Word’s Resurrection Presence can suffuse our actions, reactions and interactions with His Heavenly Life, Authority and Fruitfulness. Then, whatever we do or say, is done in the Name of God. This is the ‘testimony’ that disciples must be trained and bred to give back to God, and to the demonic powers of Darkness that are always watching. Then something unique and Life-giving is automatically released and demonstrated into the world we inhabit. And this is what we mean when we use the term ‘The Arena of Testimony’ in our FMM teachings.
We Must Know – Really Know – Our God!
So when we look at our task from this perspective, it becomes obvious that Israel, the nation, and each individual Jewish and non-Jewish emissary disciple of God’s Word, must…in order to be truly qualified to live and operate at this unique level…come to know God’s living Word as intimately as possible…as He really is! So God requires us to abide in the living Presence of His Word and Holy Spirit so that we can actually become one with Him. We must abide with God at the deepest, most personally interactive level possible. Then, armed and equipped with that unifying personal oneness, God can communicate to us what is truly in His heart, mind and will. And we can be authentic emissaries, serving as His living embodiment…with integrity, precision and faithful accuracy. Beloved, this is not a mere hobby or a religious game; it is our ETERNAL LIFE!
It is also obvious that when we represent the living God, the Creator of the entire universe, and say what He commissions us to say, we must ‘get it right’ and fulfill our mission in a way that pleases our Lord and satisfies His heart. And the only way that is possible, is when we truly embody His living, eternal Word, so that the Word Himself is free to live and act and speak for Himself and fulfill to Perfection, the promises His Father sent Him to make to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, through our lives and through our crucified flesh:
“Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless. I will establish My Covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.” (Emphasis added.)
“But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a Testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you!” (Emphasis added.)
All of this, and much more, is packed into the revelation God gives to us through what is written in Genesis and Exodus. God sent His Word to cover the spiritually dead, naked human race… to redeem, regenerate and restore them all. He undoes and reverses the horrendous damage the Serpent did to our human nature. So, He must reveal Himself to us so that we can see through the Serpent’s lies and deceptions and recognize the damage they do. He must show us what true Humanity is and deliver us from being enslaved by the Serpent’s slander against God that his powers of Darkness use to captivate gullible human beings and blind them to God’s real Truth and Reality. So He trains His emissaries and equips them…by executing their radical independence. At the same time, He reveals Himself to them and commissions them to abide with and become one with His living Word, so that they can then embody His Word’s Perfect Presence as true sons of God and representatives of God’s Eternal Kingdom.
It was on this crucified, Word-bearing and embodying basis, that God sent Joseph, Moses and Aaron and commissioned the nation of Israel, to live, speak and interact with the rest of the world… in His Name. So let’s consider further that scenario where an ancient Middle Eastern lord sends an ambassador to have dealings with the king of another country. In the Biblical cultural milieu, it is expected that the country to which the ambassador is sent, will regard and treat the ambassador exactly as it would treat the lord that sent him! To a covenant mentality, the ambassador IS the king or emperor that sent him! There is no difference between the one sending and the one being sent, in terms of how the ambassador is to be regarded and treated by these people! And this is what I believe the phrases, ‘you shall be as God to Pharaoh’ or ‘in His Name’ or ‘in My Name’, are intended to mean in Scripture. And this dynamic is being revealed throughout all of Scripture concerning Almighty God and His living creative Word, and those that follow Him in Spirit and in Truth:
“In the beginning (Genesis 1:1) was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
Thus it is revealed to us that Yeshua the Messiah of Israel is actually Almighty God Himself, appearing in many ways and forms…including…in human flesh. And as our resurrected, Spirit-imparted Messiah, it is through the crucified, Spirit-empowered flesh of His disciples that He can reveal Himself and act and speak…in His Father’s Name! Our Blood Covenant union with God’s Word, and through Him, with God Almighty Himself, is the awesome level of relationship God has brought us into with Himself, through our Master Yeshua. So we must regard ourselves to be ‘echad’ (in Hebrew, or in English), ONE… with our crucified and risen Lord and Master through the Gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit!
When people regard us, our job is to make sure that they are not forced to experience what we used to be. It must be our risen Lord, interacting with them…through us, that they experience! And when the Word of God truly can reveal His Father through our flesh…we are truly acting and speaking…in the Name of Almighty God:
“…Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die (to my former radical independent existence) is gain.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Emphasis added.)
2 Corinthians 4:7-11
“But we have this Treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing Greatness of the Power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the Life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the Life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (Emphasis added.)
1 Peter 2:9-10a
“But you are a chosen race, a Royal Priesthood, a holy (separated and reserved) nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim (embody) the excellencies of Him who has called you out of Darkness into His marvelous Light; for you once were not a people, but now you are The People of God…” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died; and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our Life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in Glory.” (Emphasis added.)
The Foundation of God’s Self Revelation is Found in the Torah
So please understand that there is profound significance in the revelation of God and His eternal nature that is embedded within the books of Genesis and Exodus, and rest of the Torah (Pentateuch). The Torah is the bedrock foundational revelation, upon which all the outcomes of human history will rest. None of what God is here to do could possibly originate from us Sin-murdered, living dead people. Our will and fallen fleshly devices cannot accomplish God’s Perfect Will or fulfill His awesome Plan. It must all originate in God, and be done to us, in us, and for us, by His living Word and Holy Spirit. This interactive union and cooperation between God’s Spirit-imparted Word and the Word’s disciples, is of utmost importance to this fallen world. It will determine what the eternal spiritual condition of every human being in existence will turn out to be when the human race reaches the end of this momentary ‘blip’ that appears in eternity, that we call, ‘the dimension of time and space’.
This is why the Serpent is so determined to destroy Israel and eradicate the God-given revelation entrusted to her charge. The world’s liberation from the Serpent’s coils will depend on how men respond to Israel and the living God she represents. Their response will spell the difference between Light and Darkness and Eternal Life or Eternal Perdition for all concerned. Just as the Lord saw and had compassion upon the affliction of His chosen people who were languishing in slavery under the lashes of their task masters, so does He have compassion upon the affliction of the human race that labors in slavery under the killing curse of Sin and the lethal constrictions of the Serpent’s coils:
“The (Word of the) Lord said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey…” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Please note this: When a disciple of God’s Word really and truly speaks and acts ‘in the Name of God,’ it is because Almighty God Himself, through the Power of the Holy Spirit, is certainly operating with, in and through, that disciple. God must be free to speak and act from within his or her innermost being. True, crucified, Spirit-filled disciples bring the indwelling Presence of Almighty God with them! The Spirit empowers and trains them to express and radiate God’s active, dynamic Presence! They do not act in their own strength! They rest…and keep their fallen flesh out of God’s way, so that He can do what only He can do through their yielded spirits, souls and bodies.
So whatever the pharaoh, and all others like him, actually thinks of Israel, is what he thinks of the Word of the Lord that Israel is commissioned to proclaim and embody. And, the way he reacts to the Word is how he responds to the living God who spoke Him forth. And the world has been warned, by Israel’s Messiah, that at the end of human history, when the time for God’s Ultimate Judgment finally arrives and the time for men to receive the grace, mercy and reconciliation He offers is at an end, the whole Truth will emerge and God’s Justice will be fully vindicated and satisfied, to Perfection:
“But when the Son of Man comes in His Glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious Throne. All the nations (Gentiles) will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these (Covenant) brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me!’
“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them; ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me!’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Even if the ambassadors are not doing justice to God and the task God assigned them to do, they nevertheless still hold the ‘office’ and ‘commission’ God bestowed upon them.
“From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all!” (Emphasis added.)
For God’s Sake
It is for God’s sake that we are to honor His emissaries. Whatever you do to them, you do to the One who sent them. This is not because of the individual worth or value of the ambassadors, but it is by virtue of the unbreakable Blood Covenant bond God made with them. That gives them ongoing authority and status that flow from the fact that God chose and sent them to come to the world in His Name! So, when you deal with a ‘Blood Brother’ of the living Word of God, you are dealing with God himself! This is Biblical Blood Covenant Reality…God’s Reality! And woe to those that hold it in contempt and treat it lightly!
Of course, because disciples of God’s Word deal with, living dead, decapitated sinners, they will face trial, trouble and tribulation. Just like the pharaoh that despised Moses, worldly, decapitated people know and care nothing about this revelation. They do not care about God and His ways, in the least! At one time, we too were just like them! They resent our bothersome presence and become angry when our message stirs up a sense of deep guilt and conviction of Sin in their jaded hearts. And so, many will hold disciples in contempt and treat them with disrespect and even murderous violence. Thus they reveal who they really are and whom they really serve. But those that believe and accept the Word and repent of their rebellion against Him…are ready to be covered and saved by God’s living Word.
Thus you can see the perpetual situation and plight of God’s chosen people, Israel. Almighty God has given them a most exalted stature and position. It is a position that was the opposite of the actual slave position they occupied in Egypt for four hundred years! God wanted to elevate them to the rank of ‘sons and heirs of God’ but all they knew was slavery and the lash! Obviously they were going to need considerable training and intense mind renewal. They were also going to need time…to get to know God at a depth of closeness and intimacy that they, and their fathers and grandfathers and great grandfathers, never imagined possible! And in God’s timing, that is exactly what is going to happen!
“For I will take you from the nations (pagan Gentiles), gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)