Church In The Wilderness
by Christine Egbert
Way back, three decades ago, when I first came to the Lord, before I learned that Sunday was not the Sabbath, I knew Yeshua (although I called him Jesus back then) was God’s Passover Lamb. Beyond that, I knew little to nothing about Passover, except that it was only for the Jews. (I know better now.) Then, ten years ago, when I came out of Constantine-Christianity to return to the old paths where the good way is (Jer 6:16), to the Hebraic roots of my faith in Israel’s Messiah, I began to learn the significance of the biblical Feasts, which YHVH calls “His Feasts” (Lev 23:2/ Eze 44:24).
When you take all of YHVH’s appointed times, for that is literally what mo’ed (the Hebrew word translated as Feasts) means, these Feasts paint a picture of The Most High’s plan for salvation, sanctification, and restoration, one more detailed than that pinned in John Bunyan’s allegory, “Pilgrim’s Progress.” These biblically APPOINTED TIMES of YHVH (Feast Days, New Moons, and Sabbaths) cast a heavenly shadow of things (events) to come (Col 2:16-17). We are to watch that no one robs us through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, rather than according to our Messiah (Col 2:8). For these Appointed Times are the shadow of the Body of Messiah.
Passover depicts God’s provision for Israel’s salvation through the shed blood of the sacrificed Lamb. Israel’s part was to believe God, and that faith had to be demonstrated by action, obedience to His instructions. They had to apply the blood of the lamb to their doorposts, then to leave, to exodus from Egypt into the wilderness. But not long after that, while Moses was up the Mountain meeting with YHVH, Israel began to doubt, and returned to their former ways, petitioning Aaron to make them gods, Elohim, to go before them, because Moses wasn’t around. And this, I sadly believe is a picture of where so many in Constantine Christianity are today. They have applied the blood of the Lamb and left Egypt, but they are still wondering around in the wilderness, where they worship YHVH through a mixed form of religion, just like Israel did in Exodus 32:4-5, when Aaron formed golden calfs and declared: “This is your Elohim (gods), Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.”
The children of Israel thought they were worshiping YHVH. That was their good intention, what was in their heart! The problem was they were worshiping YHVH the way they’d worshiped other gods back in Egypt. And guess what: YHVH didn’t say, “It’s okay. I know their heart. I know you mean well.” No! YHVH got angry. He told Moses they were corrupted. (Exodus 32:7-8) And in 32:10, YHVH ordered Moses to, “Leave Me alone that My anger may glow against them, that I may consume them.” Then Moses intervened on Israel’s behalf, and God showed Israel mercy.
How Does This Apply To Constantine Christianity?
Sadly, too many Christians have been taught that after applying the Blood of the Lamb to their lives, they’re free to worship the Most High whatever way they please, because God knows their heart. (Scripture warns us the heart is deceitfully wicked, and in Hebrews 3 says, “They always go astray (WHERE?) in their heart, and they do not know My ways…”’) YHVH warns His people in Deuteronomy 12:30 (and various other places throughout the Bible) not to be snared into worshiping Him the way the nations not in covenant with Him worship their gods. Sadly, due to centuries of false indoctrination that the LAW has been done away with, most Christians who put their faith in Yeshua (Jesus) and leave Egypt, do not go to the mountain to begin their sanctification process. Too many Christians have never said, “I do!” They have not taken their wedding vows: “All that Jehovah has spoken (our wedding contract, the Ketuba, HIs Torah), we will do.”
Yeshua, the Lamb of God, finished His part. Our Passover Lamb shed His blood, the blood of the New (renewed) covenant. In Exodus 19:8, Israel stood at the base of the mountain. There they took vows. “All which Yehovah has spoken (His Torah instructions) we will do.” They entered into Covenant, a marriage covenant. Today, God writes His instructions, Torah, in our minds and on our hearts—Heb 8:8—and He gives us His Holy Spirit so that we can fulfill the Torah’s righteous requirements (Rom 8:4).
Isaiah 46:9-9 says: “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is none else. I am God and there is none like me, declaring the end out of the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done…” Through studying Torah (Genesis through Deuteronomy) we begin to see The Most High’s pattern. If you want to know the future, study the past. That which befell the Patriarchs is NOT mere history. It’s prophecy. YHVH’s Sabbaths, new moons, and Appointed Times are shadows of what will come, of events that will unfold in the end of days (Col 2:16-17).
Thankfully, more and more Christians today (during this time of restoration of all things, spoken of in Acts 3:19-21) are hearing God’s voice. They are not hardening their hearts as Israel did in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness (Heb 3:8-9). They are refusing to attempt worshiping HIM through that 4th Century golden calf, through those manmade doctrines enacted by that religious-mutation, which I call Constantine-Christianity, and are returning to the old paths (Jer 16:6), where the good way is, back to worshiping Israel’s Messiah as He has directed us in his WORD, to walk in His WAYS, and to obey His instructions, His Torah.
“…where your fathers tempted Me, testing Me, and saw My works forty years. Because of this, I was angry with that generation and said, They always go astray in their heart, and they did not know My ways,’ so I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter into My rest.‘ Watch, brothers, lest perhaps there shall be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, withdrawing from the living God. But exhort yourselves each day, as long as it is called today, that not any of you be hardened by the deceit of sin (transgression of the Torah,1st John 3:4). For we have become partakers of Messiah, If truly we HOLD THE BEGINNING OF THE ASSURANCE FIRM TO THE END, as in the saying, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the provocation. For hearing, some, not all coming out of Egypt through Moses, provoked Him. But with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with the ones sinning (violating His instructions), whose corpses fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear they would not enter into His rest, except to those not obeying? And we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.” (LITV)
The writer of Hebrews makes an important correlation between belief and obedience. True belief always leads to obedience, which is why James wrote, “Faith without works is dead.” Today, due mostly to false denominational doctrine and hardened hearts, many Christians who have indeed applied the precious blood of the Lamb of God to the doorpost of their hearts and left Egypt, are wandering around in the wilderness, where they are worshiping YHVH, but not according to HIS instructions, His Torah. They are worshiping according to manmade Church traditions and doctrines, waiting for a pre-tribulation rapture to transport them to the Promised Land they think will be in Heaven.
After forty years of this wandering, Joshua and Caleb, along with a brand new generation of Israelites (not those who hardened their hearts, who perished in the wilderness after applying the blood of the Lamb to their doorposts and exiting Egypt) did enter the Promised Land (the land of Israel) which YHVH has promised to all His people forever.
“Surely the land whereon your feet have trodden shall be your inheritance, and your children’s forever, because you wholly followed (through faith obeyed) the LORD my God. (Joshua 14:9)
Ephesians 2:8 assures us that we are indeed saved by grace through faith, and not by our own works. But this passage should not be misused as a “soundbite” to encourage God’s people to disobeyed His instructions, His Torah. Remember that Ephesians 2:10 tells us the “purpose” for our salvation: It is so that we will walk (do, live by) those good works the Most High has ordained us to walk in, and that is His Torah. So today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts. Do not become like that first generation who after applying the blood of the lamb to their door post (hearts) exited Egypt, only to perish while wandering in the wilderness, to never enter the Promised Land. I encourage you, “Hold firm the beginning of your assurance, firm to the end..” (Heb 3:14). Enter into Yah’s rest…and always remember that obedience is far better than sacrifice.