A Land Flowing With Milk And Honey - Part IV
I Corinthians 2:2 - “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.”
GOD’S PRESCRIBED ORDER OF VICTORY
Let me give you an abbreviated diagram of what this Message of the Cross is all about. Read the following lines closely and, as well, even each word:
WEALTH AND HEALTH
- Jesus Christ is the source of all things we receive from God (Jn. 1:14; Rom. 6:1-14).
- The Cross of Christ is the means by which all of these things are made available to us (I Cor. 1:17, 18, 23; 2:2).
- Christ and Him crucified must without fail be the object of our faith, and the only object of our faith (Col. 2:10-15; Gal. 6:14).
- With Christ as our source, the Cross as our means, and our faith properly placed and maintained in Christ and the Cross, the Holy Spirit who works exclusively within the parameters, so to speak, of the finished work of Christ, i.e., the Cross, will grandly help us to live this life, and to do so victoriously.
Wealth and health certainly were not the purpose of the children of Israel being delivered out of Egyptian bondage, but it was rather their being brought out from under the iron yoke of Pharaoh, who was a type of the Devil, and to whom they actually belonged as slaves. Still, health and wealth were given to the children of Israel even though it was not the prime purpose of their deliverance.
It is the same presently: Our salvation is being brought from unrighteousness to righteousness, from darkness to light, and from Satan to Christ. Of course, this is the central purpose and theme of redemption, and we must never forget that. As well, we must ever place the preeminence in Christ and the Cross, even as Israel was to do as it regarded the yearly keeping of the Passover.
IT IS PERFECTLY PROPER
By making certain that we keep our priorities right, it is perfectly proper, and even scriptural, that we believe God for finances as well as health, etc. We have a “whole” salvation. This means that we are saved spiritually, physically, financially, and mentally, but it doesn’t mean that the believer will never sin again, that we will never be sick, or that we won’t have financial difficulties at times. Sometimes we erroneously attempt to push the coming kingdom age into the present, which, of course, is unscriptural.
However, having said that, the Lord will do great and mighty things for anyone who will dare to believe Him.
When it comes to finances, we had best check our motives. Why do we want to be blessed? I realize that all of us instantly retort by saying that we want blessings for the work of God.
That is an excellent reason; however, the truth is, when many are blessed financially, they find it very difficult to bless the Lord’s work. Money does strange things to people. Some few will walk before the Lord in all righteousness and holiness and will, therefore, do exactly what God wants them to do, but sadly, many do not fall into that category. They find it easy to give to the Lord when their tithes constitute $30 to $40 a week, but they find it very difficult when God blesses them, and their tithes should be $2,000 or $3,000 a week. That’s the reason that the Lord finds it difficult to bless a lot of Christians. The truth is, He cannot trust them to do right.
There were reasons why the Lord led the children of Israel by the way of the wilderness:
WHAT WE LEARN FROM THE WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE
- The Egyptians would be drowned in their attempt to cross the Red Sea, which the Israelites had just crossed on dry ground. So, the Lord would rid Israel of her primary enemy, and do so in one fell swoop.
- The Lord would teach Israel faith and trust in the wilderness. In fact, the wilderness was such that whatever it was that was supplied to Israel, as it regarded their sustenance and maintenance, would have to be provided by the Lord. It was a most inhospitable place, but the Lord would show them that He was able to set a table, so to speak, even in the wilderness, and for some 3 million souls at that!
All of us want blessings, and rightly so; however, while we learn great things about God from blessings, the truth is, we learn next to nothing about ourselves. It is through adversity, and I continue to speak of the wilderness experience, that we learn about ourselves. How do we react? What does it take to reduce us to grumbling and complaining?
While the Lord is the great blesser, the truth is, He tempers His blessings with adversity. He is training the whole man, and I speak of how we should act toward God during times of blessings, and how we should react as it regards adversity.
So, the Lord would teach Israel much in the wilderness; however, the sadness is, they didn’t come out too well.
“And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and you shall carry up my bones away hence with you” (Ex. 13:19).
Joseph was 110 years old when he died. He had been the vice-regent of Egypt for a number of years, actually saving that nation from starvation, plus saving surrounding nations as well. In effect, he had possibly been the second most powerful man in the world. However, even though he had the glory of Egypt given to him by God, his heart was never in Egypt but in Canaanland. That was the land promised to Abraham by God, where a mighty nation would rise up—a nation totally different than any other nation in the world, a people who belonged exclusively to Jehovah.
Joseph knew by revelation that a day was coming that God would deliver the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. In fact, they were few when Joseph died, possibly several thousands at the most. As well, up until the time of his death, and even sometime afterward, they were treated royally by Pharaoh.
GOD WILL SURELY VISIT YOU
However, another Pharaoh ultimately arose who did not recognize Joseph, which was probably after Joseph died. Consequently, he made slaves of the children of Israel. Irrespective of all of this, Joseph knew by revelation from the Lord that God was going to deliver the children of Israel out of this land and take them to Canaan. Consequently, he gave explicit instructions that when this time would come—as most surely it would—his embalmed body, which, no doubt, was deposited in a mummy case, would be taken to Canaan as well.
All of this was evidently known among the Israelites because Moses was very careful to carry out this request. So, when they did quit Egypt, somewhere in that possession was the embalmed body of a man of faith, a man who had been the most beautiful type of Christ found in the entirety of the Old Testament. His body had probably been deposited at Tanis, which was the capital of the shepherd kings, from which it was now retrieved.
As well, there is some small evidence in the text that not only was the body of Joseph brought out but also the bodies of all the sons of Jacob. There is no reason they would not have given the same instructions. If, in fact, that did happen, to be sure, they would have been brought out as well.
Joseph had said, “God will surely visit you; and you shall carry up my bones away hence with you,” which they did!
Not so very long from now, there’s going to be another exodus. Jesus referred to it as “the resurrection of the just” (Lk. 14:14). Paul called it “a better resurrection” (Heb. 11:35). John called it “the first resurrection” (Rev. 20:5).
At that coming time, which could happen at any hour, the sacred dust of every saint of God who has ever lived and died will be raised. God knows where every molecule is, which will be made into a glorified body that will join with the soul and the spirit that is now with Christ. Paul said, “But God gives it a body as it has pleased Him, and to every seed his own body” (I Cor. 15:38).
THE FIRST RESURRECTION
In this first resurrection, which Jesus guaranteed by His resurrection from the dead, every saint of God who has ever lived will take part. As well, all on earth who are alive at that moment, and who are in Christ, shall experience this glorious resurrection.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord (the resurrection) shall not prevent them which are asleep (the saints of God who have died in the past, which includes all). For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (I Thess. 4:15-17).
Paul also said: “Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep (some saints will be alive at that time), but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (I Cor. 15:51-52).
As well, the words rapture and resurrection both speak of the same event. In other words, at this time, the rapture of the church, the Lord will not come all the way to the earth as He will at the second coming. In fact, at the first coming, He will come for the saints, and at the second coming, He will come with the saints.
GLORY OF THE SAINTS
Also, the glory of the saints will be different. In other words, as should be obvious, some saints live godlier lives than others.
In fact, many have given their lives for the cause of Christ. Concerning this glory, which will be forever and forever, Paul also said: “There is one glory of the sun, and anther glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differs from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead,” and we might add, “the sainted dead” (I Cor. 15:41-42).
Here he plainly tells us that some will have more glory than others, with the measurement, no doubt, being faithfulness (Mat. 25:21).
THE EDGE OF THE WILDERNESS
“And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness”
Succoth means “booths” or “tents.” This spoke plainly of the pilgrim character of the journey that lay before them. This was one of the great lessons learned by the first pilgrims: “Here have we no continuing city” (Heb. 13:14), for “by faith he sojourned in the Land of Promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles (tents) with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise” (Heb. 11:9).
In fact, booths are all that we have down here, for “our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20).
However, as just stated, the day is now near at hand when we shall exchange our temporary tents for the eternal mansions of the Father’s house, for “as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (I Cor. 15:49).
A MIXED MULTITUDE
Back in Exodus 12:38, it says that “a mixed multitude went up also with them.”
Concerning this, Pink said:
“It has been well said that when a movement of God takes place, men are wrought upon by other motives than those by which the Holy Spirit stirs the renewed heart, and a mass of such attach themselves to those who are led forth. Witness the fact that when God called Abraham alone (Isa. 51:2), Terah (his father) and Lot (his nephew) accompanied him (Gen. 11:31). Witness the Gibeonites making a league with Joshua (Josh., Chpt. 9). So, too, we find that after the Jewish remnant returned from the captivity ‘a mixed multitude’ joined themselves to Israel (Neh. 5:17), though later ‘they separated from Israel all the mixed multitudes’ (Neh. 13:3). So, too, we read of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to John the Baptist” (Mat. 3:7).
Pink went on to say, “The ungodly among the congregation of the Lord has been the great bane of God’s saints in every age, the source of our weakness, and the occasion of much of our failure. It is because of this the Spirit of God says, ‘Wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate’” (II Cor. 6:17).
The children of Israel were about to go into the wilderness; however, something would now happen that would be grand and glorious. The Lord never asks us to do anything but that He always goes with us for the express purpose of teaching and leading us and, as well, to guarantee our success.
This article is an excerpt from the book, When I See The Blood, by Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart.