Before ending this series by comparing ancient Israel–the “church in the (physical) wilderness” of Sinai (Acts 7:38)–to modern Israel–the church in the spiritual wilderness created by the white horse rider (Rev. 6:2)–let us briefly summarize the previous six postings. After 40 years of desert wanderings the children of Israel have been led by Moses to the Jordan River where they are preparing to enter the land God promised to Abraham, their progenitor. In the first chapter of Deuteronomy we find Moses reminding them of their parents’ and grandparents’ failure to obey God and the punishment they received as a result (death). In verses 7,8 Moses speaks the words God (who became Jesus of Nazareth) had said to them: “Behold, I have set the land before you. Go in (now) and possess the land I swore to your fathers–Abraham, Isaac and Jacob–to give to them and to their seed after them.” Then Moses reminded his audience of their ancestors’ response to the Words of God Himself. They doubted God’s promise to protect them and to assure their victory over the heathen. Now let us compare the two “generations” in order to see if there is any connection between the church (ekklesia–congregation) of Moses’ day and the modern day church.
Let us begin with ancient Israel’s first sin–doubting God’s Word. When modern church people inadvertently hear or read God’s Truth as written in the Holy Bible their first response is to ask their leaders about it–they go “scouting” to determine if what they had read or heard is true, which is a deadly mistake. This (scouting) has been the reaction of some people who have heard or read what I have said or written about God’s Word. In each case that I am aware of their leaders have told them to ignore what is written in the Scriptures. Three people I have taught the Lord’s Truth have died within a few weeks of rejecting what I told them. Two of those pillars of the church died because they rejected God’s Sabbath. The other person died because he would not give up alcohol. In all three cases the Lord told me that He would kill the people involved if they did not believe and obey what I told them. They rejected His Word and He killed them years before they should have died. These people, having believed their false prophets, felt no need to believe God’s Word, or even to study it. “Only believe” was then and continues to be the mantra of Institutional Christendom. As both the Scriptures and my experience proves, “only believe” can be a deadly bit of theology.
Now let us study the second mistake our ancient ancestors made relative to God’s Word–they had a change of heart and acted on their own. Having incurred His wrath for doubting Him, ancient Israel “saw the light” and decided to invade the Holy Land. Though they were warned not to go in, they ignored the warning and invaded Canaan. They were soundly defeated. They prayed mightily to the Lord, but to no avail because “God was not with them.” As a result they spent the next 40 years wandering in the Desert of Sin (Sinai). Is there a parallel with today’s ekklesia/church/congregation? Indeed there is.
Today God is sending out His messengers to preach and teach the gospel of the Kingdom of God and what one must do in order to enter it. The time is imminent for the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Father’s kingdom in what is now called “the Promised Land.” However, as did her ancestors, the church ignores the warnings and rejects God’s kingdom in favor of “heaven”–Satan’s promised reward for obeying him. A few believe God and, upon realizing that they are living in sin, “get religion” which amounts to being rebaptized, renewed, rededicated, etc. Then, per their ancestors, they fail to perform a 180 degree turn which would enable them to enter into God’s spiritual family–His church. Rather than turning away from the Catholic and Protestant religion that has trapped them, they stay the course. Instead of coming out of those death traps as the Lord commands them to do in 2 Corinthians 6:17,18 (learn why by reading verses 14-16), they dig in deeper, thereby condemning themselves because, like their ancestors, GOD IS NOT WITH THEM. In Revelation 3:14-22 the Lord issues a life and death warning to those in the churches of this Laodicean era. Notice that He will not enter that church system, but rather “stands at the door” (of those churches) and “knocks.” He promises to “sup (dine)” with those who answer His call and allow Him to COME IN TO THEM, NOT THE CHURCH. Only those who “come out of her” (2 Cor. 6:17,18) will be His throne mates (Rev. 3:21) in the Kingdom of God. BUT ONE MUST “COME OUT OF HER AND BE SEPARATE,” and to “TOUCH NOT THAT UNCLEAN THING.” Those who remain in Catholicism/Protestantism tie themselves to a false church, a false god, a false salvation and a false eternity. Due to ignorance of or unbelief in the Word of God these hapless souls are following the rider on the white horse–false religion (Rev. 6:2). The only solution to this problem is knowledge of, belief in and obedience to the Holy Bible. L.J.