In Genesis 14:13 we read about “Abram (Abraham) the Hebrew.” In the language of the Old Testament the word “Hebrew” is defined as “geographical regions beyond.” In modern terms the word when applied to Abraham means “one who crossed over” his nation’s geographical boundary. When God told Abraham to leave his country He was telling him to do something unique.
Until the advent of modern day travel, it was uncommon for a person to go beyond his place of birth. Most people were born, lived and died in the same place without ever having left. God prophesied of a time when men would “run to and fro” throughout the earth. That time is now. In Abraham’s day, and for thousands of years thereafter, such was not the case. Therefore, when the Almighty gave Abraham the command to leave everything he had ever known, including his family and friends, such an undertaking was unheard-of. For this reason the patriarch of the Israelites was referred to as “Abraham the Hebrew”–“he who passed over”–the boundary of his native land. It is important that we understand Abraham’s attitude toward the Lord’s command. The heart of this giant of the faith is recorded in three words: “And Abraham departed.”
Two important aspects to Abraham’s response need to be noted. First, he departed without comment. There was no “Let’s talk about this.” There was no “Can’t I serve you where I am?” Abraham simply departed. Second, he obeyed completely, meaning he left everything behind. With one exception: He allowed Lot to go with him and later paid for this mistake several times. See the series on Exactness.
So what, some might ask, does Abraham’s “crossing over” a border have to do with me? The answer is EVERYTHING. Abraham is called “the father of the faithful” for a reason. His sole goal, his only agenda after meeting God was to obey Him. Northing else mattered. As people who claim to be the children of God, WE MUST ALSO CROSS OVER WITH THE SAME ATTITUDE AS ABRAHAM. To follow the Almighty as did Abraham we must spiritually leave our family, friends, associates, etc. behind. THEY WILL NOT GO WHERE GOD TAKES HIS PEOPLE. And not only that, they will believe that we have “fallen from grace” for having left the comfort and acceptance experienced in our previous religious surroundings and “crossing over” into the Lord’s harsh holy land where hatred and rejection awaits on every side. See Persecution. A good early example of people’s reaction to those who obey God is found in Genesis where Abel was killed by his brother for doing so. Noah experienced hatred and ridicule by the masses while building the ark and preaching righteousness. Crossing over means being peculiar. See the article on Peculiarity which was posted a few days ago. (I noticed that my latest postings are not being included on the Introduction page. We are trying to fix the problem. Click on ALL Posts to see what is not listed on the Intro. page).
In the vast majority of cases, modern man’s “crossing over” involves coming out of the Institutional (Counterfeit) Church and going into God’s true church known Biblically as the Church of God–not to be confused with the false church that has assumed that title. All other cults (denominations and so-called non-denominations) that call themselves a “church” are counterfeits/knock-offs of the Body of Christ.
The true seeker of God must come out of the world and the worldly church (Catholicism/Protestantism) totally. He must, as God commanded Abraham, leave everything concerning his old spiritual life behind. That life/walk is referred to as the “old man” that must die completely. No matter how religious one was in the past, there is nothing back there worth bring into the world of the new man that is created in the spiritual image of God. The new man, having crossed over, must grow spiritually until he becomes the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). Anything less than a total spiritual transformation will disqualify the salvation seeker from entering God’s presence at the return of His Son. God, speaking through the Apostle John, said it as plainly as can be stated. If we claim to be Christ’s brethren we must “walk even as He walked” (1 Jn. 2:6). One must “purify himself even as He is pure” (1 Jn. 3:3). Such purity can come only by “the washing of the water by the WORD” (Eph. 5:26). So much for the billions of “sinners saved by grace” who refuse to believe God’s Holy Scriptures and have no desire to cross over to where He awaits. Their “only believe” mantra will get them nowhere with the One in Whom they claim to believe.
Crossing over means to pass from sin to righteousness, from darkness to light, from serving Satan to serving God. There is no caveat, no measure applied to one’s departure from Satan’s world and entrance into God’s world. It is all or nothing. As the angels told Lot as they were leaving Sodom, “DO NOT LOOK BACK.” Once putting our hand to the plow (crossing over) we must not look back. There is nothing in our past worth applying to our future. The transition must be total and permanent. Otherwise we will “not be fit for the kingdom.” The Lord referred to this as “counting the cost.”
In closing I will bring to mind three giants of the faith whose crossing over was both total and instant: Peter, Paul and David. As the rooster crowed, Peter, his heart broken, was instantly converted (not saved). When Paul, lying on the road to Damascus, asked Christ “What would You have me do, Lord?” he was never the same after his conversion. King David, when confronted by the Nathan the prophet, was crushed by the weight of his sins. Like Peter and Paul, he was never the same after the experience. Those three men knew how to “cross over.” Let us follow their example. L.J.