Church In The Wilderness
by Christine Egbert
Way back, three decades ago, when I first came to the Lord, before I learned that His real name was Yeshua and that Sunday was not the Sabbath, I knew Yeshua was God’s Passover Lamb. Beyond that, I knew little to nothing about Passover, which I was told was only for the Jews. (Now I know better.) Then, ten years ago, I came out of Constantine-Christianity and returned to the old paths where the good way is (Jer 6:16). Once I had returned to the Hebraic roots of my faith in Israel’s Messiah, I began learning the significance of YHVH’s Feasts Days (Lev 23:2/ Eze 44:24).
YHVH’s appointed times–His moadim–paint a picture of God’s plan for salvation, sanctification, and restoration, one far more detailed than the allegory pinned by John Bunyan in “Pilgrim’s Progress.” These biblically APPOINTED TIMES of YHVH (His Sabbaths; Feast Days; and New Moons) cast a heavenly shadow of things (events) to come (Col 2:16-17). That is why Paul urged his readers to let no man rob them, through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, rather than according to our Messiah, for these Appointed Times are the shadow of the Body of our Messiah. (Col 2:8)
Passover depicts God’s provision for Israel’s salvation through the shed blood of the sacrificed Lamb. Israel’s part was to believe God. But their belief, their faith had to be demonstrated by action, by obedience to His instructions. They had to apply the blood of the lamb to their doorposts, in order to spare the first born son of each household, then they had to leave Egypt.
Not long after Israel’s exodus from Egypt, when Moses was up in the Mountain meeting with YHVH, Israel began to doubt. So they returned to their former ways. They petitioned Aaron to make them gods–elohim–who would go before them. And this, I sadly believe is a picture of where many Christians find themselves today, trapped in Constantine’s system of mixed worship. These Christians have applied the blood of the Lamb, and they have left Egypt, only to find themselves wondering around in the wilderness. They’re worshiping YHVH through pagan traditions (Christmas/ Easter), like Israel did in Exodus 32:4-5, when Aaron formed 2 golden calfs and declared: “This is your elohim, Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” Why? Because Moses wasn’t around to lead them, to teach them Yah’s instructions for worshiping Him and for treating their fellow man. And sadly, since believer’s in Israel’s Messiah were divorced (under the penalty of Roman LAW) from the Hebrew roots of their faith in the 4th century, Moses (a symbol of Yah’s instructions) has been missing.
They Thought They Were Worshiping YHVH!
The children of Israel thought they were worshiping YHVH. That was their intention. The problem was they were worshiping YHVH the way they had worshiped pagan gods back in Egypt. And guess what: YHVH didn’t say, “It’s okay. I know their heart.” No! YHVH got angry. He said they were corrupted. (Exodus 32:7-8) In 32:10, YHVH said to Moses, “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 Today?
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 in whatever way they please, because God knows their heart. (Scripture warns us that the heart is deceitfully wicked, and in Hebrews 3 it 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 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, never make it 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.” And that is why today there is very little difference in lifestyles between Christians and the lost.
“All That YHVH Has Spoken, We Will DO!”
Yeshua, the Lamb of God, finished His part when He shed His blood, the blood of the New (renewed) covenant. In Exodus 19:8, Israel stood at the base of the mountain and took a marriage vow: “All that YHVH has spoken (His Torah instructions) we will do.” Today God writes His instructions–His 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 no longer attempting to worship HIM with a 4th Century golden calf, through manmade doctrines enacted by that religious-mutation (which I call Constantine-Christianity). They are returning to the old paths where the good way is (Jer 16:6). They are returning to the instructions for worship that HE gives us in HIS WORD, His Torah.
“…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 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, according to 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…For hearing, some (not all), 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 to the doorpost of their hearts and have left Egypt are still wandering around in the wilderness, where they are worshiping YHVH, but not according to HIS instructions. They are worshiping HIM according to manmade Church traditions and doctrines, waiting for an unscriptural “pre-tribulation” (instead of post-tribulation) rapture, to transport them to the Promised Land, which they think will be Heaven, rather than Israel.
After forty years of this wandering, Joshua and Caleb, along with a brand new generation of Israelites (not those who hardened their hearts and perished in the wilderness) 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 disobey 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) good works the Most High has ordained us to walk in, good works He laid out in 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 later perish in the wilderness, and 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.