Greetings dear brethren, happy Sabbath and Sabbath blessings to you all dear family. I am going to share with you a very important lesson that we have recently been investigating through a conviction that we have been talking about that needs to now be shared. We have a great historical event that took place during the time of the Israelites’ journey to the promise land which is a lesson for us in these last days to understand what it is going to take for any of us to make it there. And... oh, we are going to need to make some serious changes even more in our very lives, dear family. This sermon relates to us today in a MAJOR way, and it is VERY important that we understand it because we are at the tail end of this journey and the promise land is around the corner. We need to reform…reform…reform and prepare the way even more for the bridegroom cometh in that hour that we know not. It is time to clean up our garments and double time our efforts. We need to come out of any lukewarm, half-hearted attempts to reform our life and just do it. The end stands at the door.
Now, all of us know that the Israelites were a favored people of God. They were the chosen people of God to be the depositories of His law and letting it shine forth to the world just as we are called to do today. They were given much light, they were given much privileges, and they were called to walk in all the light given, just as we are called to do today. We are no different. We are not ignorant of what it takes now to reform and what we have to even do more of after listening to this two-part sermon series. And so, the Lord has promised wonderful things to Jacob who was given the name Israel.
Genesis 35:10-12, And God said unto him, Thy name [is] Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I [am] God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.
The Lord promised that Jacob and his family would become a great nation. And so….
For what purpose is the history of Israel recorded?
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
What happened to the Israelites is a very important lesson for us who are living in these closing days of earth’s history. It is a perfect lesson book for us and so we must learn it and be warned by it. Elohim wants us to learn from this because it is a path for us to follow and learn from the mistakes of the ancient, so we don’t make the same ones as they did. Hebrews 11:16
Let us go through a short review as to how Israel ended up being slaves in Egypt.
1. Joseph became the ruler in Egypt, and when there was a great famine, his family went to Egypt and eventually ended up living there.
Genesis 47:11-12 "And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families."
2. Next, Joseph died, and they grew in number and a new Pharaoh came which did not know Joseph.
Exodus 1:6-8, And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. The children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.
3. The children of Israel started to grow in number and the Pharaoh feared that they would outnumber the Egyptians and become enemies and so they made them slaves to make their lives very difficult.
Exodus 1:9-14, And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel [are] more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and [so] get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, [was] with rigour.
So that was the short summary of why the Israelites became slaves in Egypt. Their life in Egypt became so difficult to bear that they cried out loud to the Lord and their cries did reach unto God.
Exodus 2:23-25, And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto [them].
And so, God had raised up Moses to lead the children of Israel out of bondage to a land flowing with milk and honey. This is the promised land of Canaan.
Exodus 3:17, And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.
To make the story short, they started their journey to the promised land of Canaan. Their journey to the wilderness would only take 3 days but because of their own choosing, they spent 40 years in the desert and still all were not able to enter in. And believe me, you’re going to be shocked to find out who did not make it and why. Truly, there will only be a remnant saved in the last days and many professed present truth who don’t want to changed will also be left outside of the gates of heaven, out of the promise land and their names will not be written in the Lamb’s book of life because they chose. It is not GOD's will that any should perish. So now, at this time, let us find the reasons why so many of these Israelites did not make it. Here we go.
The Israelites had many problems:
Exodus 14:9-12, But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses [and] chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon. And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. And they said unto Moses, Because [there were] no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? [Is] not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For [it had been] better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
O’boy dear family. Did you catch that? The children of Israel were overtaken by their fear over the army of Pharaoh. They have failed to realize that the Lord had wrought several miracles in Egypt before they were able to finally leave. God had repeatedly manifested His power in Egypt, yet the Israelites had so little faith that they sunk in fear over the Egyptians. They had manifested their unbelief towards the Lord. And they even said that they would have rather served the Egyptians than to think about dying in the wilderness. They were already picturing a great destruction on their part, defeated by the Egyptians. But the Lord did not forsake them. He brought them out of the land of bondage to be triumphant before their enemies as long as they stay in the right track. It was not the Lord’s purpose to have them taken captive again or die in the wilderness unprotected. The Lord wanted them to do something.
He will fight for Israel. Exodus 14:14-15 He said “go forward.”
There is a lesson in this for us. We all have trials, we all have test, we are all are going to be tempted with doubt just as Satan has been doing from the beginning. He is the master of doubt and will shake our faith if we let Him. But the question is, where do we stand today in our profession? Are we going to question God in where He has been leading us out from because things get difficult in the purification process where the dross needs to get removed? Are we going to look back into the darkness that God pulled us out from and into His marvelous light so to serve SIN? I pray we do not and that we all move forward and do it now without delaying because for the elect’s sake, those days shall be shortened and from what I can see, the days are flying by and the time is being fast forwarded by the power of God.
And so…After the Lord saved them from the hands of Pharaoh’s armies, they then realized how powerful the Lord is again.
Exodus 14:31, And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.
Another manifestation of their unbelief was regarding the Promise Land that the Lord promised to give to His oppressed people in Egypt.
This was the promise:
Exodus 3:8, And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
The Lord promised to bring them to a good land flowing with milk and honey. And so, when the children of Israel were close to the Promised Land, Moses sent 12 spies to check the land. He sent 12 rulers of each tribe for the purpose of checking the land of Canaan which the Lord promised to give them.
Numbers 13:17-20, And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this [way] southward, and go up into the mountain: And see the land, what it [is]; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they [be] strong or weak, few or many; And what the land [is] that they dwell in, whether it [be] good or bad; and what cities [they be] that they dwell in, whether in tents, or in strong holds; And what the land [is], whether it [be] fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time [was] the time of the firstripe grapes.
The Lord promised and He will fulfill it if you follow the conditions required. But regardless of this promise, among the 12 spies sent, 2 manifested belief towards the Lord's promised. The 10 of them, which composed the majority of the spies showed unbelief towards the Lord's promise of the good land. So out of the 12, only 10% believed. Truly a remnant.
When the 12 spies returned from their mission, the voice of unbelief was heard from the majority of them except for 2 faithful witnesses.
Numbers 13:31, “We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.”
But the faithful witnesses said,
Numbers 13:30, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
After the statement of unbelief from the 10 spies, they added evil reports regarding the land,
Numbers 13:32-33, And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, [is] a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it [are] men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, [which come] of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
So, we can see that One word of unbelief prepares the way for more. One wrong step leads to another. And here is another effect of their statement of unbelief.
Numbers 14:2, “And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!”
The children of Israel enlarged their difficulties and dangers as if God is not able to make them go through all these trials and difficulties. Again, they failed to realize that they have mighty powers on their side and chose to cling to the lack of faith. Oh, this makes me fearful to be in their shoes and anyone who would act like this today, just before the time closes. We must get up and put on FAITH. Many claim they believe, but when tested they fail, proving who they really are. Many want to blame others for situations they are in, which they fail to realize it is the Lord's doing and purpose so the ones in the situation can grow in faith and trust in the Lord. Let them alone I say brethren who act in such ways with murmuring and complaining and backbiting with their finger pointing and let God deal with them. We know who we are, and our fruits speak far and wide while others are doing the works of ancient Israel.
Furthermore, this is also to teach us what we need to work on before the armies of tomorrow come. And so, after the statement of unbelief, followed evil reports then followed murmuring which is complain, complain, complain. You know why? Because Satan does not easily leave a person alone whom he can tempt to dishonor God by expressing unbelief and murmuring, which those who murmur will not enter into the promise land. Unbelief is a dishonor to God. You know there is a God in heaven, but then you turn your back and complain and show unbelief. It is as if trying to tell the world that God is not able to fulfill His word, thereby making Him a liar.
2. Murmuring and complaining
While the children of Israel journeyed through the wilderness, there was a time when they found no water to drink for a couple of days but finally, they found water and they were so happy but when they tasted it, it was bitter.
Exodus 15:24, And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?
The Lord can do anything for His people if they remain faithful. Instead of murmuring why the water was bitter, they should have simply asked the Lord to remove the bitterness of the water that they may enjoy drinking it. But this they did not do. Instead of asking the Lord's hand to move, they murmured and complained once again. Does not the Scriptures say...
Matthew 7:7, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Again, this is another reason why they stayed on the same old path going round and round in the desert, just like many of us here today, when you don’t get to eat what you want or drink, what you want or have the best food you can get or did not eat your third meal of the day when eating only twice is the best but yet you complain that you don’t have this or that or so and so did not do this for you or that for you…complain, complain, complain will not help anyone make it to the promise land. Bridle the tongue, have faith and pray and learn to deal with self-denial and be happy with what you have before it is all taken away from you.
And so, like so many of us do today, the Israelites of old forgot that the Lord can do anything according to His purpose, they felt the horror and despair for not being able to drink water for couple of days.
The people murmured against Moses for their lack of water. And so, Moses had to pray to the Lord for water, and the Lord showed Moses a way that they can drink water and after this, the Lord provided more wells for them to drink. Just ask and it shall be given. Have faith.
Exodus 15:27, And they came to Elim, where [were] twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.
So from no water to drink to 12 wells of water to supply them. God is so good that even though the children of Israel murmured against Moses, they were still provided for.
This is not the only instance where they murmured about water. There were still several times where they murmured, never learned their lessons. Just kept murmuring but still God provided and let this be a lesson to us. Even though we murmur and such today, God’s tender love and mercy is there for us, BUT that ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT give us A SIGN that we are heaven bound. Blessings will always come from the provider in heaven, but if we are still acting up and doing evil, one day we shall surely die separated from heaven in our sins and unrepentant characters. When we see that we are being blessed and that we are getting so much better in our walk, then we know that we are marching forward in victory. When we see we are very blessed in Israel and have all we need, but yet show the works of ancient Israel, we are down the wrong road. And if we show that we are being cursed by God, that is evidence that we need to wake up and change our path. There will come a time where Israel, even today will get spanked for disobeying so that we would wake up. God allows it to rain, and He allows His sun to shine on the righteous and the wicked. Obedience to God and departing from evil is the right path. So, one day, the murmuring will need to stop or that will be it for those that don’t. We may think that we are on the right track and safe because God continues to provide and bless, but when it is all said and done, God is once again glorified in His love for those who still chose to complain but yet they will not make it to the promise land. So don’t think that we are safe because we keep doing this or that and yet still are provided for. God is giving us all time to repent in this grace period. So let us wake up. Next….
From their murmuring against Moses for lack of water, now their next issue is the temporal food. They have been few days since they left Egypt and their supply of food is running out. Now, their faith is being tested again and it is in the area of their appetite.
Exodus 16:3, And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, [and] when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.
The Lord heard their murmurings and so He caused bread from heaven to rain on them for free. Imagine for free, just like in the Garden of Eden. What a loving Father that is. No need to till the soil, no need to plow, just follow the direction given and you will have free food. But what did they do to God’s abundant supply of manna? They failed to appreciate it and instead, they crave for the flesh food in Egypt or the like the people today in the drive through of McDonalds or other fast food places and such. We have instructions on what foods we are to be eating and getting back to the simple foods of fruits and veggies, but others would go off to the store and fast food restaurants and get the unhealthiest stuff. We have to MOVE away from this and put on the garments by putting away all things that are not calculated to get us on the right tract. Those who are waiting for the appearing of the Lord are getting back to the garden of Eden diet and are journeying to the promise land for us in these last days called heaven. We are in a transition period and what we are doing today is either proving we will like it in heaven, or we will not like it in heaven and again; our actions is proof of what we like. And so again, Israel murmured because many lusted after the flesh food. So, what did the Lord do? The Lord sent them quails (flesh food) but look what happened to them.
Numbers 11:33, And while the flesh [was] yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.
That day is coming for so many dear family. This is not a joke. You want to remain in the foods of the world which are full of things that are unhealthy and such and don’t want to reform to the liking of the Lord? Okay. Go ahead. The day of the Lord is coming to all who do not want to reform, and many are going to be left outside of the city because they chose to cling to their idols of wrong character and doings. And so, the children of Israel rather chose to be slaves in Egypt than to be deprived of the flesh of dead animals that they have accustomed to eating in that land of bondage and then DIED FOR IT. Many could not give up their appetite and for this reason, many failed to enter the promised land. I am not saying this, the BIBLE said they received the plagues for craving the flesh pots of Egypt. What are we doing today? What are we craving for? Choose because time is running out. I am in prayer for all. Next...
The children of Israel murmured and complain also against those who stood in the most sacred responsible position in their whole journeying.
Numbers 16:1-3, Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took [men. And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown. And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, [Ye take] too much upon you, seeing all the congregation [are] holy, every one of them, and the LORD [is] among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?
Korah, Dathan and Abiram arouse the desire for self-exaltation, envy, and distrust and rebellion. They murmured against Moses and Aaron and thought themselves righteous and regarded those who faithfully rebuked them as actuated by Satan when in fact they are the ones who manifested the spirit of Satan.
It is the object of satan to infuse his spirit of envy and discontent, ambition for position and honor into the minds of men. It is his object to gather as many people into his camp. And this was the case with Korah, Dathan and Abiram and those 250 men who sympathized with them. We can see this spirit going on in the camp of Israel today with many who have left or have even died in time pass doing these types of works. There is nothing new under the sun with these that point, lie, murmur and complain against the Lord's ordained. I have even seen such a disrespect from the mouths of those in the church that work against the ministers of the Lord today, not realizing that these chosen men of God are the Lord's modern-day Levites who are just as ordained as the kings of old and prophets of God. Just as they disrespected the Lord's chosen in time past, I see many doing it today where their hearts are clearly manifesting the same spirit of the devil as in the past. It is a shame to see. The Bible says...
Psalms 105:15, [Saying], Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
And what was the result of their rebellion against the Lord's anointed and sympathy towards those who were working against the Lord's appointed agent?
Numbers 16:32-33, 35, And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that [appertained] unto Korah, and all [their] goods. They, and all that [appertained] to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
The day of fire is coming in our days and it is fast approaching to all who want to do such things. And notice this too, the rebellion of Korah, Dathan and Abiram resulted also to the death of their sympathizers. The sinners and sympathizers were ALL destroyed altogether. Let’s mark all these points in our mind and remember them and not do this.
One of the issues that the children of Israel had problems with is idolatry. This seemed to have overcome them many times during their wanderings. Even if the Mighty One was always with them, they still fell a prey to Satan in luring them into something else above God. Let us remember that the Lord said we should not put anything above God but that He should be the first, last and everything that we have.
Deuteronomy 6:5, And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Anything we put above God will lead us to forget God and this thing will become our idol.
After the children of Israel listened to the giving of the Ten Commandments at Sinai, they fell into idolatry. They worshiped a golden calf, treating it like it was a god and worshiped it, “And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” Exodus 32:6.
God's wrath was kindled against them and according to Apostle Paul
1 Corinthians 10:8, “...fell in one day three and twenty thousand.”
We cannot take idolatry as a very light matter. This is a great offense to God. He is a jealous God, and nothing should be put above Him. Our devotion, service and love must be placed for God first. We cannot place anything above God. We cannot trust in the things of the world that provide for us. God gives ALL increase and we are to look to Him for it and not others. He will provide everything for us. Just like our jobs in the world. Christ gave us the jobs that we have. Tomorrow, He can send an angel from heaven that will remove the job or provide a job. He is God almighty. And if we are going to trust in the things that provide for us on this earth, over and above the Creator, do NOT wonder why the idols in our lives are touched by the hand of the Lord or removed. All things come secondary in our lives. God is first place in our lives. Anything but God who will occupy the highest priority is and Idol. When we think that what we have belongs to us, not seeing that everything belongs to the Lord, we are manifesting selfishness and lifting up SELF. We must not cherish the devil’s temptations and cleave to sin or it will be our idol which will be destroyed if not repented of.
The history of the journeying of the children of Israel in the desert was a life of rebuke and discipline, self-denial and self-control to prepare them to enter the Promised Land.
Deuteronomy 8:5-7, Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, [so] the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills;
The Lord was purifying Israel before they could fully enter the promised Land. God tried to have the fast from the flesh foods of Egypt so they would eat simple food. There was no more flood so no more reason to cling to meat…etc. Characters were tested and tried to see what they were made of and many were destroyed for their inability to stop. They cherished their wrong characters and made it an idol over the ways of the Lord. Leaders like Moses and Aaron were tested as well to see what they were made of. Not all endured the purification process and many, very many of them died in the wilderness as a result to their choosing to not want to reform and follow God. Let us put away the things from our very lives that are separating us from the promise land and just DIE TO SELF because being given all these good things today while we are journeying to the promise land does not give us assurance that we are going to make it to heaven. This is why I say to all, examine your very lives every day, grow in the grace of God and change, put on the new man, put on the new woman in Christ and get rid of the old self. Die daily and contend for the faith by REFORMING.
Oh, how I pray that we reform and press forward...let this wake us all up. Peace be with us this day and may the God of heaven and earth give us the power to overcome and know when we are being visited by Satan. Thank you Lord for thy truth, you are truth.