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The previous series opened up many related avenues of study to explore. It also raised many good questions, simply because the scope of the series covered such a wide swath of Scripture and history. Many of those questions have already been answered in blogs from past months and years, of course, but I realize that not every reader started reading from the beginning. So a certain amount of repetition is necessary to accommodate new readers.
Today I want to show how the lessons learned by the "church in the wilderness" under Moses (Acts 7:38) are the same ones that God had to teach the modern church. The church largely lost those original lessons during the Dark Ages when most people were illiterate and the priests knew rituals but did almost no biblical teaching.
Passover: It all begins with Passover, when Israel left Egypt. In 1517 God raised up Martin Luther with the message of Justification by Faith Alone. This was primary lesson of Passover being re-introduced to the church.
The Red Sea: This pictures baptism (1 Cor. 10:1-4), which in turn speaks of cleansing from sin and death (Rom. 6). There were many in Martin Luther's day who focused upon Justification by Faith to such an extent that they would "prove their faith" by deliberately sinning. "See," they said, "I can sin and still be justified." Such unbalance required a further revelation of "holy living." So God raised up others like the Wesleys, Whitefield, and Finney to show that justification ought to be followed by sanctification, or it is not genuine.
Marah: This wilderness stop (Ex. 15:23-26) provided the revelation of Yahweh-Rapha, "our Healer." And so it was not long before the people learned that God still heals even today.
Elim: This was an oasis having 70 palms and 12 wells (Ex. 15:27). The number 70 speaks of the 70 nations, because if you count the descendants of Noah in Genesis 10 who form "the beginning of nations," there are 70 in all. These represent "all nations." The 12 wells signify the "wells of salvation" (Isaiah 12:3). The combination reveals the gospel of salvation going out into all nations. It prophesies of the great missionary movements that really began in the 1800's.
Sinai: This was the site of that first Pentecost, when God's presence came down upon the mount to reveal the law and to establish what we now know as the Old Covenant. Modern Pentecost began on New Year's Eve of the new century, January 1, 1900 in Topeka, Kansas.
The Twelve Spies: Recall that the 12 spies gave their report after spying out the land (Num. 13 and 14). They returned to the camp of Israel bearing huge clusters of grapes, pomegranates, and figs (Num. 13:23). They got a TASTE of the Kingdom. That is, they received the revelation of the Kingdom and would have entered at the feast of Tabernacles, if their faith had been sufficient. But they were not able to enter the land at that time. They had to wait another 38 years (Deut. 2:14) and finally entered the land 40 years after leaving Egypt.
So also in our time, the Latter Rain movement in 1948 was the time parallel to the 12 spies giving their report. They received the revelation of the feast of Tabernacles, but they gave away the Birthright to Esau, and with it went the right to fulfill the Fruitfulness Mandate and enter the Kingdom. This served to delay the fall of Babylon and to delay the entry into the Kingdom.
I find it interesting that 38 years later brings us to the year 1986, which was the 120th Jubilee from Adam. (See chapter 2 of Secrets of Time.) This year 1986 was the first major turning point marking the end of the age. One cannot really appreciate the significance of 1986 without reading the full story in my book, The Wars of the Lord. Nor can I take the time to explain it in this short blog.
But take note that Moses died at the age of 120 just before Israel crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land (Deut. 34:7). The year 1986 correlates to this period of time, in that it is 38 years after 1948 and is also the 120th Jubilee from Adam. The number 120 is always associated with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Unlawful Entry into Canaan: When the 12 spies gave their report, 10 of them gave an evil report, which the people believed. Only Caleb and Joshua had the faith to enter the Promised Land. Yet since this was a corporate work, Caleb and Joshua were not allowed to enter the Promised Land by themselves. They had to await the time when the promise was fulfilled AS A BODY.
So also is it with the overcomers of all past ages. Though they obtained the promise that they would be alive to cross over into the Promised Land, they have had to wait for the appointed time in history when it was to be fulfilled corporately. This is why the resurrection must occur FIRST. The overcomers must be raised to stand upon the earth and thereby fulfill the promise to the overcomers (Caleb and Joshua).
In Moses' day, however, the Israelites at first refused to enter, and so God postponed their entry for 38 years. When the people realized their mistake, they changed their minds and tried to enter the land immediately. Num. 14:39-42 says,
(39) And when Moses spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, the people mourned greatly. (40) In the morning, however, they rose up early and went up to the edge of the hill country, saying, "Here we are; we have indeed sinned, but we will go up to the place which the Lord has promised." (41) But Moses said, "Why then are you transgressing the commandment of the Lord, when it will not succeed? (42) Do not go up, lest you be struck down before your enemies, for the Lord is not among you."
You see, it was not enough to enter the land "by faith." Timing was important. Once judgment had been pronounced, the people were not allowed to enter the Promised Land until the time of judgment had been fulfilled. Their faith was misapplied and brought disaster.
The same occurred after the Latter Rain movement. In 1948 they gave the Birthright to Esau and then started the Manifested Sons of God movement. They were trying to enter the Promise "by faith," without taking into consideration the TIMING was unlawful. Many proclaimed themselves to be manifested sons of God NOW, and they declared it "by faith." Their fatal flaw was that their faith lacked any understanding of timing. They thought they could enter the Promised Land as individuals, not having to wait for the rest of the Body.
The opposing denominations were quick to point out their flaws and their bodily needs as proof that they were not yet manifested sons of God. Hence, they were easily "struck down" before their adversaries.
This is why timing is so important. It shows us the bigger picture, where we can see the divine plan for the corporate Body, rather than limiting our view to the personal and internal work of God in us as individuals. BOTH are important in their own ways, of course, but one must know both sides in order to have a complete and balanced understanding of the divine plan.
My book, The Wars of the Lord, shows my perspective on the progression of revelation, intercession, and spiritual warfare in recent years, designed to prepare the hearts of the people to enter the Kingdom and to fulfill the feast of Tabernacles. Many others unknown to me have done their part as well, but I leave it to each of them to tell their own stories.