“Then they said to Moses, ‘Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!”
“A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley; then the Glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together; for the mouth (Word) of the Lord has spoken.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
In these two texts we see two completely different, mutually opposed viewpoints concerning the deadly aspects of the wilderness. Both texts agree that God is leading His chosen ones into the desert barrenness. And both texts deal with an inescapable fact: The Wilderness is a killing place. When God leads people into it, something is surely going to die! But after they agree on that, the texts split and move in opposite directions. The viewpoint entertained by the terrified Israelites who railed against Moses shows that they actually mistrusted God and were rebelling against His Word. The Word of God was leading Moses. And therefore, most of the Israelites were accusing God of wanting to kill them!
But that perspective was entirely false. And this is the reason why: thanks to Adam’s fall into Sin, the human race, including those newly released Israelite slaves, had already died in Adam, long, long before! So if God planned to kill them, it was too late! They were dead already, because of Sin. Each of us is conceived with Death already abiding and operating within us. Spiritually and physically, we are born into this world, like flowers that were cut from their stems. The flowers may be beautifully arranged in vases, and they may seem to have life; but actually, they’re dead! And so are we. After a few decades, at most, the death that is always in our flesh, reaches its final stage of progression, and then, finally, we breathe our last and decompose and turn back into the dust from which Adam was first formed.
So, God didn’t intend to kill the Israelites in the wilderness. He was after their Killer, the Sin that actually did murder them! He was after the rebellious spirit of the Serpent that had made its home within them. The Serpent robbed the human race of its true image and likeness of God identity, purpose and destiny and thus killed it! And God was intent on making it possible for His people to be free of his coils so that they could share in His Eternal Life, at last!
And, as for the second text, the one from Isaiah, I urge you to read and ponder all of chapter 40, with these considerations in mind. It is a Messianic text that foretells the awesome Last Days climax to all of human history…and the return to Earth of the risen Lord Yeshua, which will manifest His Eternal Triumph over Darkness and the Full Glory of His Everlasting Light. Notice what the text says: ‘all flesh will see it together.’ In other words, when these Last Days Messianic promises are finally fulfilled, every human being that will have ever lived will finally know who Yeshua really is! No longer will any doubt remain. There will be no room for error or disagreement or false gods, or false religions and deluded belief systems. All of that Darkness will disappear. From that point onward, only the Light of the eternal Reality and Truth of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, will remain:
“He (God’s living Word) is the Image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all Creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also Head of the Body, the Church; and He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the Fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the Blood of His Cross; through Him, I say, whether things on Earth or things in Heaven.” (Emphasis added.)
Created to be God’s Ambassadors…and Overcomers
We recently saw that, for Israel to become God’s ‘Ambassador Nation,’ in Spirit and in Truth, each of her generations must be trained to serve God’s living Word, and learn to attend to Him, serving as His ‘Personal disciples’ and ‘Emissaries’ to the world. They must die to their original radical independence and worldliness and open their hearts to God’s living and written Word, so that His Resurrection Life can come into them, and take over. Disciples are commissioned to embody God’s Word, so that He can live and act and obey His Father from within their yielded, continually crucified flesh. So this is not about God’s people; it’s about God, living in and working through, His people:
“Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them, ‘If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.’” (Emphasis added.)
Can you see how utterly serious and wholehearted our Master is about fulfilling His Father’s plans and purposes in each of our lives? Many talk about persevering and overcoming in sermons and conversations. And they sing about it in songs of ‘praise and worship.’ But beloved… during the Last Days conflict, one truth will matter:
Are you actually trained, equipped and crucified enough to be filled and directed and led by the Spirit of God? If you are, you can embody your risen Messiah…and then…He will manifest His total Triumph over the Serpent and his demonic and human allies! If you’re not trained and prepared, the powers of Darkness will destroy you!
The true answer to this question will determine whether or not you can withstand what is coming, and overcome it, to the very end! So the level of training and preparation we actually receive will determine whether or not we will be able to experience the actual Reality of the Resurrection. God has commissioned His resurrected Son to fulfill His New Covenant promises in, and through, His true, authentic, crucified and Spirit-empowered personal disciples! So obviously, His dealings with each disciple will be anything but casual and sloppy. He is dealing with each of us in the Name of His Eternal Father! And He must train us to overcome whatever the Serpent will try to do to us to destroy God’s Testimony regarding His Covenant Family and their testimony regarding their God! The Serpent and his powers are not playing games. They are dead serious in their aim to dismantle and devour us. Therefore, our Master must train us to pay attention to every detail of our preparation, according to His Father’s specifications! It is absolutely necessary for the Word of God to be free to abide in us and live through us, so that He can be what only He can be and do what only He can do, in our name. He alone can satisfy His Father’s Perfect Standards in our name; and He is the only Human endowed with Resurrection Life. So only He has overcome the enemy. And He is here to manifest His Triumph as He abides and works from within us. This is how He will to cover our personal nakedness and vulnerability!
So understand what is at stake and what has to happen between God and us. His Word is here to be our Infinite Perfection, since in ourselves, we’re bankrupt and dead. Therefore, we must remain in position to allow Him to fill our constant bankrupt emptiness with His Perfect Eternal Fullness – at all times! This is God’s purpose for His True Israel! So, despite the human flaws and failings with which we Jewish and non-Jewish believers struggle, the principle stands. God’s Word is to fill in what is lacking in Israel. Then He can send Israel forth, to speak and live ‘in the Name’ of His Word (His beloved Son). And so, because of their Blood Covenant Bond, despite what does or does not happen between God and Israel, the fact remains that whatever anyone does to God’s Ambassador, Israel, he is doing it to God’s Word. And whatever they do to God’s Word, they do to Almighty God Himself who speaks His Word to them! So, in the end, God will deal with what is in everyone’s heart of hearts – in relation to their response to His Word:
“Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed (living Word), saying, ‘Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!’
“He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, ‘But as for Me, I have installed My King (living Word made flesh) upon Zion, My holy mountain.’
“I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me (His living Word), ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’
“Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”
The interactions between God and Israel, and between Israel and Egypt (which represents the rest of the non-believing, idolatrous world) that we see in the book of Exodus, reveal what continually happens between Israel, and God’s living and written Word, and the non-believing world, to this day! Israel’s status and condition before the rest of the world will reflect back to Israel, the kind of response that Israel gives to God’s Word (See Deuteronomy 28, 29)! In this sense, Israel is the ‘mirror’, in which the rest of the world can see itself, as it really is. Deuteronomy 28 gives us the clear principle: If you become one with God’s Word, He is free to be your Eternal God-given Life and Inheritance. But if you sever yourself from God’s Word, who is your sole Life Source, you die! And that is why all the children of Adam are born dead! They are conceived in the state of Sin because when Adam died, the whole human race died!
So in those early days, Israel needed to pass through a rigorous, ‘boot camp’ type of training. She had to be the first to make the transition from Sin and Death to Righteousness and Life, and from the Darkness of Deception to the Light of God’s Truth. But look at Israel’s entire history and examine it closely! Has it ever been any different between Israel and the rest of the world than it was with the pharaoh and the generation that Moses was sent to deliver? The same things keep happening in every era! And Scripture warns us that that it will be this way until the Last Days… only worse! So Israel has always had a problem with God’s living Word. And, correspondingly, the world at large has always hated Israel and held what she is supposed to stand for, in contempt! This is how Israel serves as the ‘looking glass’ that exposes the rest of the human race. And this is why God’s chosen are always regarded by the majority of people as ‘thorns in their flesh.’ And so they insist that for the sake of ‘human progress’ and ‘the common good,’ Israel must be eliminated!
When this was happening in the book of Exodus, none of God’s people were close to being ready to fulfill the purpose toward which His living Word was leading them. And, forty years after the Exodus began, when it was actually time for them to invade the Land of Promise, only two of those original families were prepared to go in with the second generation – the families of Joshua and Caleb! The rest of the originals perished in the wilderness. So there is much we can learn from them – about ourselves, and what we all have waiting for us in the future. The Exodus is still taking place! Every person alive today is in one way or another, part of it. We can all be found somewhere within that story. There will be some person or group of people, and some set of incidents, to which you and I will be able to relate. Look for yourself and your perspectives and your attitude toward God’s Word in that story. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you are and what part you are currently playing in this enormous panoramic drama.
Do you see authentic, blessed, Biblical-level, Deuteronomy 28 disciples operating in the world today? If you do, one thing is certain: they’ve spent a lot of time in wilderness training conditions that were similar to what we read about in the Bible. And they know, from personal experience, what God requires all men to learn. Their precious wilderness time forced them to get to know God… as He REALLY is, and to know themselves, as they REALLY are. Their flesh was subjected to excruciating, agonizing tests of exposure and endurance because it is only amid stress, fear, anxiety, confusion and disastrous failure, that the Reality of God’s dynamic Presence truly emerges in a person’s experience. Only at that dire level of desperation can fallen human flesh break through all the normal barriers that prevent us from being able to discern and recognize God and learn to trust Him… and nothing else. Only at such depths of desperation do we get in touch with our living death and its universal state of bankrupt helplessness, and only then can we begin to sense God’s overwhelming Reality, Authority, Power and Majesty. We sense His Presence emerging from within our impossibly hopeless situations! And in the midst of that, we see Almighty God quietly, progressively, relentlessly…prevailing!
There is no other way by which fallen minds and brains can grasp the utter falsehood and emptiness of the Serpent’s lies. Only wilderness conditions are sharp enough to scrape off the scales that blind our eyes to the Serpent’s devious slander against God’s nature and character in which we’ve become entangled. Only that level of last gasp desperation can cut through the suffocating coils of his demonic lies and blow away the fog caused by our errors and mistaken views. And, only the wilderness shows us levels of Truth and Reality that we never before knew existed.
The Depths of God’s Eternal Love
The infinite depths of God’s Love for us are revealed and communicated by the commandment that Scripture calls ‘the greatest commandment’. It is our God-given nature, purpose and commission to mirror and reflect our Creator – clearly, purely and accurately. And that is why He gives us this commandment:
“…When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law (Torah)?’
“And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law (Torah) and the Prophets.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
This is a revelation of God’s nature, character and disposition toward His Creation! So it helps us begin to see that in His perfect nature, God is pure, holy, eternally Self-less Love:
1 John 4:7-8
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for GOD IS LOVE!” (Emphasis added.)
The Hebrew word used to express God’s selfless ever faithful and true Love is, Chesed [pronounced as with a ‘K’ ] . And the Greek word that expresses it is Agape. This is a unique, totally self-less level of love that reveals that God, by nature, IS Love! So, it follows that we who are His intended human image and likeness must be the living embodiment of His loving Presence that abides and works within us. The Perfect, Selfless Love that God expresses and unleashes upon His Creation, and each of His intended image and likeness humans, purely for their sakes, must be seen and experienced as it radiates out of His Word’s trained, mature disciples. So, not only are disciples commissioned to reflect God’s beautiful Love back to Him, but we are also required to radiate His Love to all of Creation, especially to the other human beings around us whom He loves with an eternal passion. He loves them… even though they may be our deadly enemies! God loves His enemies, and ours, just as much as He loves His friends! He is a wholehearted, Perfect God! That’s why He sent His living Word to live and die on behalf of us all! And so, if God’s living Word is going to abide in us and reveal Himself through our yielded flesh… His supernatural, Spirit-imparted Love must be seen operating within us and radiating out from within our midst, in all of its Perfection, without any distorting, blurring lapses or discriminations or reservations. No false god or false prophet or false religion can duplicate such supernatural, Heavenly Love. This is the domain of the one and only true and living God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Only He is like this. So we can’t even imagine the depths of selfishness into which Sin has dragged us. Nor can we conceive of how profoundly it has marred and disfigured us.
So, when this unattainable level of supernatural love begins to come out of the poor fallen flesh of the Word’s disciples, it gives unmistakable, supernatural living proof that God is actually present and actively at work within those people! This is what God’s true Israel is sent into the world to demonstrate, proclaim and teach! And this is why the utterly selfish, competitive, destructive Serpent, and those who serve him, detest and abhor those who dare to embody and reveal the indwelling Presence of God. Nevertheless, in order to be saved, this dying, Serpent-blinded world must come to know God as He truly is. And through His beloved servants, the Word can minister God’s Life-giving Love to the people of this dying, suffering world. False gods and the false religions they spawn are very good at harming, controlling, manipulating, destroying and murdering those who displease them. But only the true, living God is willing to pour Himself out to the Death on behalf of those who hate and abhor Him!
“‘Then I will set over them one Shepherd, My Servant David, and He will feed them; He will feed them Himself and be their Shepherd. And I, the Lord, will be their God, and My servant David will be Prince among them; I the Lord have spoken. I will make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing. And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing.”
God never discriminates! Humans may choose to reject Him, and many do, but He is here to redeem and restore everyone who willingly repents and comes to Him on His terms. So of course He won’t allow His Word’s disciples to discriminate or abuse or harm their human brothers and sisters in any way, either:
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you; and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.”
“…Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure!” (Emphasis added.)
Embodying our Master is our true identity, status, purpose and destiny. But it takes God’s own Life and Power operating within us to empower us to do it. No fallen flesh can mimic or copy or reproduce what only comes from God’s Perfection. Any weakling and self-indulgent coward can live a life of vindictive rage and self-exalting vengeance and violent, murderous destructive intent. But only a true regenerated, Spirit-filled son of God can love those that are totally wicked and undeserving, with God’s supernatural Chesed or Agape Love. So don’t allow the Serpent or any other decapitated, spiritually blind creature to deceive you. The one true God, and those that truly serve and abide with Him, are able to love supernaturally, even in impossible situations! That is how you can tell what is Truly of God from what is demonic. Do not allow unbelieving predators to steal the identity, commission and Holy Spirit Power that God has given to you. Stand and protect and hold your Ground! God is with us to fulfill His own Word. He will supply everything needed. So when the living Word of God Himself lives and works from within you, nothing else matters! And thus we can focus on allowing Him to be seen and experienced in everything we think, say and do – regardless of what the false, demon-possessed destroyers around us are trying to do! In the midst of head to head combat…the living Word of God always devastates the Serpent…and His Light always overwhelms the Darkness created by those who lie and bluff.
Fallen, Sin-corrupted, radically independent flesh cannot love at the supernatural level that God loves, even on its most religious, self-righteous, sanctimonious day! Fallen men fear and compete against each other because they are, by nature, shame-based, arrogantly proud, insatiably needy and totally self-serving. They may try to agree and try to work together in the names of their false gods…but in time, even husbands and wives and parents and children, and allies sworn to be loyal to each other, begin to wear and grate against each other. And soon, instead of selfless love, we see conflict and strife and disintegration taking place among them. Thus, God’s holy commandments expose and identify those who are driven by their demon-possessed, fallen, soulish arrogant flesh. God exposes that by putting us to the wilderness testing and by His commandments that require us to do what He already knows is impossible for fallen, Sin-corrupted flesh to do.
God is reminding us that after the Flood took place and the Sin-corrupted, demon-oppressed human race multiplied and spread across the globe, then…He saw to it that human beings would display that toxic gene that Sin had injected into their fallen DNA. That ‘ME first’ Sin gene is what drives people to disagree and compete against each other and despise and split apart. We are not able to understand each other, nor can we agree on anything or work together successfully for any significant length of time. Fallen flesh cannot control its soul power enough to stop doing the damage that Sin forces us to do to ourselves, and to each other. Our drive to be selfish and independent causes the human race to be ever divided. In time, our flesh overpowers our self-discipline and erudition. And it exposes our weakness and causes us to be easily conquered and enslaved. Thus self-centered people are rendered less harmful and less destructive than they would otherwise be, if they could understand, trust, respect and work with each other.
“Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words. It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.’ And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. They said, ‘Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.’ The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the sons of men had built. The Lord said, ‘Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing, which they purpose to do, will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.’ So the Lord scattered them abroad from there, over the face of the whole earth; and they stopped building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:1-9)
The region where this took place came to be known as ‘Babylon,’ the region we in modern times call ‘Iraq.’ In that place, God first exposed our incurable selfishness. And to weaken the force of our wickedness, He allowed us to develop chronic human confusion, discord and strife leading to continuous bloodshed. So there is truly nothing new under the sun. Human nature never changes. It can’t learn from past mistakes. Instead of becoming wiser as a result of its past, it is condemned to repeat it, over and over. That is because Death is final. It can never save or redeem or change itself. Death cannot be educated or improved. So, apart from our one and only Redeemer, we are left with no future, only more Death. The fallen race of humans is terminally ‘stuck’ and continues to fulfill the words God uttered when He described the fallen condition of our original parents in the Garden of Eden:
“Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return!”
The truth is that the entire fallen human race has become an enormous wilderness. No matter how desperately it tries to cover its nakedness and fool itself into believing that it is fully alive, and has a future that it can change and direct and control, the utter bankrupt helplessness of humanity remains. No matter how elegantly you clothe and deodorize and educate and house it; regardless of how much you try to exalt and protect it… the airs our flesh tries to assume in this world are pathetic and futile. For a season, it may succeed in fooling and impressing a few. But the charade and the façades it hides behind, do not last. And this is why God summons His own to come out of that world and its deceptive system.
When the Last Days finally arrive, human history will begin to assume the shape of a huge, time and space ‘funnel.’ In the beginning, in the period of time described by Genesis, the mouth of the funnel, was wide and very accepting. Every kind of Sin and error and misunderstanding was able to enter the funnel and flourish. And because of all that diversity, and the competition it always aroused, peace, rest, harmony and contentment were always elusive and unattainable. This is because fallen flesh worships and adores the false god of ‘Self.’ It contains the genetic defect of ‘Me First’ or ‘I’m Number One’ or ‘I Shall Be As God.’ Every human is infected with this from conception. So, non-regenerated people remain selfish and therefore, always in competition with each other. As long as they refuse to repent of their self-adoration they remain trapped within their original state of living death. And God, in His mercy and patience, has given the human race time to learn the Truth and to repent of its state of Sin and living Death. But the time for that, is coming to an end.
This is why God requires disciples to identify with their Messiah, just as much as He has already identified with them! Our innate radically independent passions and urges must all share in His crucifixion and execution. We must become one with the Perfect Atonement He made before God’s Justice and Truth, when He gave Himself for us and took our Death Penalty onto Himself. So, when our rebellious individualism dies on the Cross, the false god of Self disintegrates and falls away from us. Then we’re free to serve and worship the one true God, and He is free to forgive, purify and fully restore us:
“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 would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have Redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His Grace which He lavished on us…”
But in the eyes of those who continue to worship and serve the false gods that ooze out of the deceptive perspectives of fallen Self… the one true God and all of their fellow human beings remain natural enemies. These people see the true God and other humans as competitors, opponents and constant threats. Thus they wallow in continual disagreement, isolation, competition, strife and murderous violence.
But there can only be one real, true ‘Number One.’ No fallen, Sin-corrupted being can even come close to rightfully claiming that title. So humanity’s mutual destruction will continue until the funnel of human history narrows. And when the human race reaches the narrowest point of that funnel…only one Truth and one Way, will be able to fit and pass through it…into Eternity.
“‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool. If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.’ Truly, the Mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
It is for this spiritual, mental, emotional and physical metamorphosis, that the disciples of the Last Days must be trained, prepared and equipped. It is for the coming of the True King of kings and Lord of lords that the ‘Highway’ Isaiah speaks about in chapter 40 must be constructed. And disciples are the ones that God commissions to build that Highway. We are to construct it in the midst of the wild, barren, uncultivated ‘Wilderness… the Wilderness of our own rebellious, arrogant Self.
“Wait for the Lord and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it. I have seen a wicked, violent man spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil. Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more; I sought for him, but he could not be found.”
We are to prepare and keep the Lord’s Way by becoming His Way! We must become His personal ‘Highway’ over and through which He will be able to pass from eternity, back into this time and space world. God’s living Word is here to teach and train us to become His ‘points of entry’ – the means by which His Resurrection Presence can enter into this world, unopposed. Then, the ‘Ladder’ Jacob saw in the wilderness will be in place. And the Glory of God that abides in the highest places of Heaven will be able to descend and appear in this dimension of earthly time and space… to enter and do God’s Life-giving work. Through the true Biblical faith of His disciples, which enables them to follow our Lord and abide in Him… God’s Word is always present and actively involved in everything that pertains to us and to our lives here on Earth.
“When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.’ Then He touched their eyes, saying, ‘It shall be done to you according to your faith.’ And their eyes were opened.” (Emphasis added.)
So, after we learn to abide in our Master’s Presence, on His terms, we can serve as His bases of operation…all across the globe. Through our obedient faith, He can continue to reach out to reveal Himself and become involved in the minds and hearts and lives of countless living dead people around us. But the time for this reconciliation and repentance and regeneration process to take place, is quickly drawing to a close. In other words, the ‘Funnel’ is narrowing dramatically. The narrowest point of the Funnel that leads us to the end of time and our entry into Eternity is exceedingly small and restrictive. It is like a tight birth canal that very soon…will allow only one option to pass through it. Then, the time for repentance and reconciliation will be over. And our Judgment and eternal Disposition will finally be at hand:
1 Corinthians 4:4-5
“For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the Darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.”
1 Peter 1:13-25
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope COMPLETELY on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am Holy.’
“If you address as Father, the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious Blood, as of a Lamb unblemished and spotless, the Blood of Christ.
“For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him Glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of Seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring WORD of God. For, ‘All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the WORD of the Lord endures forever.’ And this is the WORD which was preached to you.” (Emphasis added.)
By the time the human race reaches the very end of the ‘Funnel of Human History,’ there will be no room for any other false god to fit into anyone’s mind and heart. Only the living Word of the true, Living God, will be left standing. All delusionary competitors from the past will be devastated, destroyed, and removed from the scene. Just as the pharaoh that enslaved the people of Israel perished, so did Sennacherib, that mighty warlord that threatened Israel in the days of King Hezekiah, and Nebuchadnezzar who destroyed Jerusalem and took most of Israel to Babylon as captives, and Antiochus, and the Caesars of Rome who tried to stamp out Judaism and its Torah observance by imposing the worship of false gods and insanely perverted religions.
And in more recent times, we’ve seen the same thing happen to Attila, Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and scores of false religious prophets and political, artistic and entertainment luminaries and industrialists and academic superstars, and tyrannical crime bosses and predators of all sorts. We are all here today; but tomorrow, none of us will be seen!
Just think of the countless numbers of historical, religious, political, athletic, economic and military tyrants and luminaries that have emerged and flourished…only to then wane, deteriorate, disintegrate and disappear. At the highest stage of their ascents they appear to be god-like, overwhelming, invincible and utterly compelling. And each in his own way, wittingly or unwittingly competes with and tries to outshine and blot out the Word of God. Many of them ignore Him. Others deliberately contradict Him. And others do everything they can to abuse, reject and even eliminate His chosen people completely! Each of these, in their own time, arise and run their allotted courses and then deteriorate, die and disappear from the world scene.
This is also what the current ‘newsmakers’ ‘big names’ and ‘superstars’ of today have in store for them. The same thing will happen to anyone living today who dares to stand against the Word of the living God and mistreat His chosen people in any way. Like the ocean waves and tides, they are here today…and gone tomorrow. The ‘grass’ that Scripture speaks of repeatedly, is sown. Then it grows and sinks roots and becomes strong, productive and dominant…for a season. Then all empty tyrants and false prophets are cut down by the living death that we have all inherited from Adam. Sooner or later, the Truth comes out. Fallen humans, every one of them (except for One), are ‘dead men walking.’
“Have you not heard? Long ago I did it, from ancient times I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass, that you should turn fortified cities into ruinous heaps. Therefore their inhabitants were short of strength, they were dismayed and put to shame; they were as the vegetation of the field and as the green herb, as grass on the housetops is scorched before it is grown up. But I know your sitting down and your going out and your coming in and your raging against Me. Because of your raging against Me and because your arrogance has come up to My ears, therefore I will put My hook in your nose and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way which you came.”
As the Funnel of History grows narrower, the words uttered by John the Immerser continue to be fulfilled:
“He who has the bride is the Bridegroom; but the friend of the Bridegroom, who stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly because of the Bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease!” (Emphasis added.)
At the end, the ultimate Return of the risen Lord of Glory will be at hand. And the worldwide tide of Self-adoration will try one last time to prevail and overcome, by means of unprecedented levels of strife, confusion and deadly combat. Then, when that ‘Armageddon Point’ is finally here, the human race will have finally reached the Funnel’s narrowest point. And this will be what the Last Days disciples must be trained and prepared to endure and overcome:
“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christ’s and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
“But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the (demonic) powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with Power and great Glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great Trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other!” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
Beloved, when the fulfillment of these promises arrives, the Serpent and his dark forces will be stripped bare, exposed, routed and eternally devastated. All lies, delusions and illusions will forever be dispelled. So do not allow them to deceive and mislead you! Only Truth and Reality Himself, God’s Living Word, the risen Yeshua, to whom all Authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given, will remain standing. And all Creation will worship in silence, at His feet. Then what God has been telling us all along will be crystal clear and its Truth will overwhelm all flesh and expose its utter bankruptcy.
So, let’s look closer at that ‘Highway in the Wilderness’ that the prophet Isaiah was telling us to prepare, in anticipation of the coming of the Lord. What was he saying? What did it mean? What highway…and what wilderness, did he have in mind? I believe that Isaiah was speaking of each fallen, corrupt, Sin-loving human heart. That is what he meant by ‘wilderness’. It’s our own Sin-warped mind and will and imagination and physical circumstances that need to transform from a wild, barren, rocky, uneven, unpredictable wilderness… into a flat, smooth ‘Highway’ over which the Lord of Glory can pass into the situations, circumstances and endless neediness of this fallen world, with absolutely no resistance or interruption from us.
‘Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and let the rough ground become a plain, and the rugged terrain a broad valley…”
Rough, boulder-strewn land that is full of dips, depressions and arroyos is extremely difficult territory through which to pass. The resistance it presents to the traveller is enormous. And the lethal Sin-corruption that we have all inherited from conception is the very epitome of that wilderness that is spoken of in Scripture. The Lord tells us repeatedly that in our fallen flesh, there is nothing that is good. Regardless of how hard we try to cover it with religious trappings or trendy fads. No matter how great we think we are, we cannot be good, nor can we do anything that is righteous and pure and acceptable to God, because we cannot Love the way the God who is Love, Loves!
“God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there is anyone who understands, who seeks after God. Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
“All have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
That wilderness that we call ‘the human heart’ is terminal
In other words, we’re really in bad shape! Our flesh is mortally wounded and wildly out of control and totally hopeless. So…to transform such wild terrain into a flat, smooth, easily travelled and acceptable highway by God’s standards, all of our self-absorbed valleys of rebellious unbelief, doubt, and self-centered shame, fear and apathy must be plowed over and our erosions filled in and tamped down and rolled over and leveled until what remains, is completely smooth and flat. And every mountain and hill of pride, arrogance, vainglory and self-adoring, false superiority and control addiction and competitive striving must be blasted apart, pulled down and crushed into powder so that the terrain is no longer too high, too low and no longer rough and bumpy. Everything that enhances our natural radically independent self-life urges and tendencies must be eliminated, that is , executed and completely removed! Then the Lord of Glory is free to move in and take over…in Spirit and in Truth.
That, in my opinion, is what the Holy Spirit is telling us through the prophet Isaiah’s fortieth chapter. God, and His true image and likeness, is all that will remain in the end. The New Covenant Israelite apostle Paul described the difference between our original wilderness condition, as contrasted with the new ‘super highway’ transformation that takes place, after the Cross does its work and Self-life is replaced by the Spirit-transmitted indwelling Life of our Messiah. This is how he expresses it:
“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But, if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under (the exposure and condemnation of) the Law.
“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such (commandment violating) things will not inherit the Kingdom of God!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is (Chesed or Agape) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)
The Torah commands humans to love God wholeheartedly. That means, with absolutely no resistance, no opposition and no doubts. We are not to withhold anything from the Word and Spirit of God! If we are to be God’s perfect image and likeness, this is what is required. God is utterly wholehearted in relation to His Creation. He gives Himself entirely to us, without any reservation. And so the belief, trust and receptivity we correspondingly mirror back and reveal and embody, must match His wholehearted initiatives. But that’s a problem for us. God is Perfect in His nature. He is Perfectly Self-less in His Love for us! But we by nature are selfish and paranoid and self-adoring. We tend to be double-minded, so our hearts are usually divided. So, before we can be God’s true, authentic image and likeness, His own Perfect Living Word and Holy Spirit must become our New Life! God must be and do, from within us, what is eternally impossible for us to be and do. God, living and working in us, is the only Way. We must reflect and embody Him! His wholehearted Love for each and every one of His creations must be free to operate from within us. And that is why the inner ‘wilderness’ of our self-life Sin residue that remains in us, must die.
“‘Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.’ When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, ‘Then who can be saved?’ And looking at them Jesus said to them, ‘With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” (Emphasis added.)
God must do everything to meet His own New Covenant standards from within us! If we do not release and share with our neighbors the Love that God’s Spirit is here to pour into us, we fall far short of being God’s image and likeness. Instead we prove that we are still totally empty, radically independent, Serpent-dominated lovers of self, and that we do not really love God with all of our heart and soul and strength. So the commandments to love God, and our neighbor as our self must always flow together and blend into one limitless River. Both streams must be seen operating within us. That proves that God’s Word has entered us through the Highway that we prepared for Him within our heart of hearts.
“…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 love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
“And He also spoke a parable to them: ‘A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit? A pupil (disciple) is not above his Teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his Teacher.
“Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?’”
“When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing!’” (Emphasis added.)
“They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!’ Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’ Having said this, he fell asleep.” (Emphasis added.)
We cannot do what the Lord requires of us UNLESS we become the Highway that makes way for the Lord Himself to enter in and be our Life. Yeshua’s Humanity could not have forgiven as He did, if the Spirit of His Father had not been free to fill and empower His human weakness, to a limitless degree! He was not acting as God when He lived on Earth; He was limited to having to live as one of us, by faith in God. And so too Stephen; he could not have forgiven his murderers, if the Holy Spirit were not rendering present the Spirit-empowered Life of his risen Messiah, thus proving that He was real and alive and present within Stephen’s dying flesh! If any of us is able to do what God says, it will only be because God’s living Word is free to do it from within us, by the Power of His Spirit! God must obey His own commandments from within us, or else it will never be done in a way that can satisfy His Perfect Standards!
The prophet Isaiah and the apostolic disciples, like Paul and Luke, were all inspired by the Holy Spirit to describe that ‘Word of God Highway’. Our obedient faith ushers in the Lord of Glory, and then He can abide with His Father in Heaven, while at the same time, abiding with us amid the situations and circumstances we encounter in the temporal dimension of time and space here on Earth. The Cross, which we take up, and upon which we follow our Master into His death, sets us (as well as the people around us) free from the tyranny of our fallen flesh! That is how human radical independence is executed. And that creates the ‘Highway’ or ‘Riverbed’ – the underlying Structure through which the Life-giving Love of God can invade our living death existence, bringing us to Life and bonding us to God, in His Eternal Blood Covenant Union!
Most of the people in the world abide in a desert wilderness of their own making! And they will not admit that their own radical independence from God is what creates that wilderness. Instead of admitting their Sin and repenting of it, they cry, complain and point fingers and blame others… especially God, for what is wrong. And by association, they also blame the disciples who believe and obey and serve God. That is the way of ‘Egypt’ and its idol-worshipping peoples:
“So the taskmasters of the people and their foremen went out and spoke to the people, saying, “Thus says Pharaoh, ‘I am not going to give you any straw. You go and get straw for yourselves wherever you can find it, but none of your labor will be reduced.’” So the people scattered through all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. The taskmasters pressed them, saying, ‘Complete your work quota, your daily amount, just as when you had straw.’ Moreover, the foremen of the sons of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, ‘Why have you not completed your required amount either yesterday or today in making brick as previously?’”
The demon-possessed world does its utmost to embody the Serpent and spew his venom at the True Remnant of God’s chosen people. So how can we disciples of God’s living Word that are treated viciously and unjustly, resist the natural feelings of outrage and vengeful anger that automatically well up within our Sin-corrupted hearts? Who is able to serve as God’s image and likeness under such humanly impossible conditions? Who has what it takes to be the Love-imparting image and likeness of God, before such despicable, undeserving wretches? Can it not be justly said that to our poor fallen human flesh, such a supernatural, Heavenly, loving forbearance is utterly impossible?
The answer is: ‘Absolutely Yes!’ It is impossible for us to respond at such a level of Perfection! But that’s never the real issue with God. He knows we can’t do this! That’s why He has to do it from within us. So… when the impossible actually begins to happen, when we respond to deadly enemies that are despicable and unlovable, with supernatural forbearance and Love that can only come from the Perfect nature of Almighty God, this exposes the lie that the Serpent used to deceive Eve, and her husband Adam!
“The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and YOU WILL BE LIKE GOD, knowing good and evil!’” (Emphasis added.)
None of us can duplicate God by what we can know or ‘figure out’, or try to manufacture for ourselves. If that’s all we have, we will always deal with enemies that deserve nothing but hatred, contempt and retribution…with the very same hatred, contempt and retribution that is in them! It will automatically spew out of both of us! Even hyper-religious fanatics that dare to try to force other people to, ‘be like God’, find it impossible to love as the one, true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob loves. Sooner or later, we all reach a point where we can no longer control what is truly raging and boiling within our fallen flesh. As happened with Cain, who gave a religious offering to God, and immediately afterward murdered his own brother, the Serpent’s hatred and vengeful venom that is deep within our fallen flesh, spews to the surface when anyone crosses us…and then we reveal our true self-adoring, murderous, predatory, image of the Serpent nature.
Nevertheless, God created us to be His image and likeness! And He sent His Word and Holy Spirit to restore us to our true identity, status, purpose and destiny. So how can we adequately mirror and reflect back what only God Himself can be and do? What heights must we scale and what disciplines must we endure before we can operate at the level that only our Perfect God can occupy? Which man-invented religion and arcane set of soul power developing practices could possibly enable our fallen flesh to imitate or duplicate the infinitely Perfect utterly Righteous and Selfless Love of the One True living God?
The truth is, there’s nothing any of us can do to meet or equal God’s standards. Only He can satisfy Himself and meet His own requirements. We were never intended or created to try to take His place! We were designed and made to ‘follow’ His beloved living Word, His Son! We were made to be the Word’s true, perfect image and likeness, to mirror Him, just as He Himself mirrors His Father and serves as His True Perfect Image and Likeness!
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” (Emphasis added.)
Beloved, not only will God’s living Word made flesh disclose Himself to us… but He has promised that He will disclose Himself IN us and THROUGH us and AS us! He will be our new, eternal indwelling Life. He will be what we could never be, and do what we could never do… when He is free to abide and work from within us. This is what the Gift of the Holy Spirit is meant to make possible in those of us who follow God’s Word into the New Covenant Era!
“I will put My Spirit within you and CAUSE you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” (Emphasis added.)
“The Glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me!
“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My Glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your Name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them!” (Emphasis added.)
So the Highway in the Wilderness and its effective construction is another way of saying what God revealed so clearly to Cain in Genesis 4, after refusing to accept his apparently very religious ‘offering.’ Cain offered a self-life offering, an attempt at self-improvement and self-redemption and self-promotion. A man who was already dead, dared to offer one of his dead products… TO THE LIVING GOD! This was, and is, the essence of false human religion. And in God’s sight, it is a travesty and an abomination! What Cain tried to do was an act that is metaphysically impossible to accomplish. The Spirit of Life will never be compatible with demonically corrupted dead flesh, or anything that oozes out of it! And this is the Reality that the fallen, Word-rejecting self-life world, religious or otherwise, adamantly refuses to see, or to admit, much less, obey. Nevertheless, at this time, we are getting very close to the narrowest part of the Funnel of Human History.
The fact remains: all men are like ‘grass.’ They emerge, thrive for a season, and then are cut down when the living death that was always at work in them finally finishes the job. And another fact remains: the Word of God abides and stands forever:
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.’
“Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (Emphasis added.)
Only people who live from and by God’s indwelling Presence can have the ‘Living Water’ of God’s Word. Only they bear and manifest the Fruit that only God’s Word can produce. Their lives are utterly different and blessed and productive. But the desolate existences of the decapitated people to whom God’s Presence is absent, differ greatly from what God is able to do in and for His beloved disciples. Spirit-empowered New Covenant disciples know what it is to abide in the Fruit-filled, Life-giving Oases that appear in the wake of the risen Messiah, the living, creative Word of God. When He appears in our midst to give Life to the Dead, liberate captives, heal the sick and cure the blind, deaf and lame, it is obvious that the risen Messiah is in our midst! And this is why God intends to deploy such disciples…all across the Earth! They will reveal the fact that the Lord of Glory has arrived and is already working among us… through the Remnant of His True New Covenant Jewish and non-Jewish, Israel!
“Thus says the Lord, ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord. For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust IS the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.” (Emphasis added.)
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the Law (Torah) of the Lord, and in His Law (Torah) he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.
“The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the Judgment, nor sinners, in the assembly of the Righteous. For the Lord knows the Way of the Righteous; but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)