SALVATION: THREE

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SALVATION: THREECopyright Š 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

("Salvation: Three" is taken from Three Deaths and Three Resurrections: Volume One, copyright Š 2011 Trumpet Ministries, found in the Kindle Library)

The Exodus from Egypt

Passover Night; Then and Now

Crossing the Red Sea

Pharaoh's Army Destroyed

Moses' Ministry: Part One

The Exodus From Egypt

Another of the major types of redemption is the journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaan.

The first area of redemption, that of salvation, is portrayed in the events that occurred from the time that God slew the firstborn of man and animal in Egypt to the hour when the people of Israel stood on the eastern bank of the Red Sea, having crossed through the midst of the water by a miracle. The exodus corresponds to our own deliverance from the authority of the kingdom of darkness.

The second area of redemption, that of sanctification, is revealed in what took place from the eastern bank of the Red Sea, at the beginning of the wilderness wandering, until the Israelites arrived at the eastern bank of the Jordan River, ready to follow the Ark of the Covenant across the Jordan into the land of promise.

The second aspect of redemption is our learning to walk in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit guides us into putting to death the deeds of our body, into the transformation of our character, into ministry as a member of the Body of Christ, into all truth.

The third area of redemption, that of conquest, is typified by the various episodes and battles that occurred from the time Israel was ready to cross the Jordan River, a disciplined army prepared for battle, until Canaan had been brought under the control of Israel.

Conquest, the third aspect of redemption, has to do with total victory over sin, over self-love and self-will, over the world, over the devil. Included in conquest is unreserved obedience and service to God.

We understand from Joshua 1:4 that the land of promise of the children of Israel included more than the area of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The eastern boundary actually extended as far as the Euphrates River.

During the reigns of David and Solomon, Israel may for a short season have occupied all the land of promise. But the sluggishness and unbelief of the people of God prevented a permanent fulfillment of the promise. The Israelites compromised with the inhabitants of Canaan and never were free from the wickedness that God had directed them to destroy utterly. Their conquest of the land fell short of God's will.

Conquest begins in our life when for the first time we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord. We then can be in victory each day of our discipleship, one day at a time. In any given situation we can serve and obey God, as He helps us. Then the morrow brings a new challenge in which we must come to the place of obedience and service, by the Lord's assistance. Fullness of conquest requires a period of time for its achievement.

Justification and the new birth occur instantly on our acceptance of the atonement made by Christ. Our acceptance must include repentance from worldly behavior. There can be no saving faith in Christ that does not include sincere repentance. Faith apart from the works of repentance is a dead faith.

Sanctification, the program of learning to walk in the Holy Spirit, is developed in us as we gain experience. Each day brings with it testings and problems that reveal the bondages of sin remaining in our life. The time will come when Satan has no more part in us and we will have nothing more to do with unclean behavior.

Of course, such freedom from sin and rebellion will be much easier to maintain after Satan is locked in the bottomless pit. The environment in which we will be living throughout the thousand-year Kingdom Age will be conducive to righteous, holy, and obedient conduct.

When we, through Christ, have gained victory over every area of our conduct and environment, as the Holy Spirit leads, the process of redemption will be approaching completion as far as we are concerned.

After that, our personal transformation into the image of the Substance and Nature of the Lord Jesus Christ will proceed into an eternity so tremendous in scope that our minds cannot conceive of it. We will be gazing on the Face of the Father for an infinite period of time—time so long in duration that a trillion years is a moment so brief as to be not worth considering. Eternal life is life without end.

The Face of the Father has this characteristic: any creature who beholds His Face, even for the briefest period of time, either perishes or is transformed eternally (Exodus 33:20; II Corinthians 3:18).

Beholding God's Countenance throughout eternity will result in a transformation of our substance, nature, and form that is inconceivable at this time. God is so great that an eternity of eternities will not suffice for our transformation—we shall keep on being changed into His image and likeness.

The first area of redemption is revealed in the events that transpired from the destruction of the firstborn of Egypt to the crossing of the Red Sea. The first area of redemption is a coming out. The second area of redemption is a school—the school of the wilderness wandering. The third area of redemption is an entering into our inheritance.

We come out of the present evil age. We wander in the wilderness of the world learning the lessons of the Holy Spirit—lessons that teach us of the Person, purpose, will, and way of God. After that, we enter the fullness of God in Christ, becoming like Him, becoming one with Him, abiding in Him and He in us, and serving and ruling in Him and with Him.

"Let my people go!" God commanded Pharaoh. "Let my people go into the wilderness and serve me!"

"Never!" responded Pharaoh of Egypt. "They are my servants and they are idle—talking about leaving their tasks and serving Yahweh. Who is this Yahweh that I should turn over my servants to him? Am I not Pharaoh of Egypt? Let the Hebrews serve me!"

Calamity after calamity fell on Egypt as God prepared the way for the release of His servants. Then came a shaft from the hand of God that ended the ability of the Egyptians to resist. The firstborn of humans and animals died at midnight, the fifteenth of Abib.

The grief of the Egyptian people undermined their will to attempt to hold their slaves any longer. They had kept God's "firstborn son," Israel, in cruel bondage. They paid for it with the lives of their firstborn.

The exodus of the Jews from Egyptian captivity on the night of the fifteenth of Abib is one of the most vivid pictures of salvation to be found in the Scriptures.

The exodus portrays how a person is saved. The believer sprinkles the blood of Christ on his life by faith and then he comes out from the present wicked age. He repents, that is, he turns away from the wicked practices of the world and begins to seek after the righteous ways of the Lord.

The convert does not leave the earth, he leaves the wicked practices of the world. Meanwhile, God judges the unclean spirits that had kept him in bondage to sin and death.

Salvation often is presented as an exodus from the earth and a journey to the promised land of Heaven. This is an incorrect concept, although we Christians do pass into spirit realms of light when we die physically. The Christian pilgrim is not making his way from the earth to Heaven. Rather, he is moving from the rule of Satan to the rule of God in Christ.

To be redeemed is to be brought under the rule of God in Christ. Entrance into Christ is entrance into our land of promise. Heaven is a glorious realm that all the redeemed of the Lord will enjoy. But Heaven is the realm of spirits. God has not established the plan of redemption in order to bring us out of the material realm and into the realm of spirits. If God wanted mankind to abide forever in the realm of spirits He would have created mankind in the realm of spirits.

God's intention is to bring us into union with Himself through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is our eternal destiny, our land of promise. When our union with God through Christ has been established we bring the rule and blessing of Heaven with us wherever we go, just as Jesus did and yet does. Wherever the Lord Jesus is, that place is the Throne of God. Christ Himself is the fullness of the light and glory of Heaven.

And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. (Exodus 4:21-23)

Passover Night; Then and Now

For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:12,13)

The spirit of the age in which we live is wicked. The deeds, words, and thoughts of people increasingly are an expression of the evil lords of the darkness of the world—rebellious spirits who have their thrones in the heavenlies.

God never allows sin in the earth to remain unjudged for a long period of time, for the "earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof, the world, and they that dwell therein." We of today, if we are living in the Spirit, understand that judgment and destruction are at hand. We must make sure that the blood of God's Lamb has been sprinkled on us and on our household. When the Lord's executioner sees the blood of Christ he will pass over our household and continue on his way, carrying out the judgments of the Lord God.

And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. (Exodus 12:29)

The judgment described above took place exactly as the Lord had stated. When God announces that He will do something, He does it. The oldest son of Pharaoh died. The oldest son of each prisoner in Pharaoh's dungeons died. The firstborn of each cow died.

The created universe suffers when God executes His judgments. "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men," Paul declared. The only protection from the wrath of God is the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. There is no other covering.

And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. (Exodus 12:30-32)

When God's call comes to a person his environment suffers until he performs God's will for his life. You may recall that the disobedient Jonah brought a boatload of sailors into the peril of their lives because he was fleeing from the will of God. The Lord causes the circumstances of our lives to push us into His will.

And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians. (Exodus 12:35,36)

The true disciples of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Gentiles, are the salt of the earth and will inherit the earth. When they ascend to meet the Lord in the air, sudden destruction will fall on the whole world. The Body of Christ is the source of all the blessings in the earth. Apart from the Church of Christ the world would be a place of torment and insanity.

When Israel was led out of Egypt by the Lord the country was left a shambles—a ruined nation. When the Christian Church is led out from the earth by the Lord the world will be left in ruins. Then the Church will reappear with Christ and restore all things of value (Isaiah, Chapter 61).

Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:40,41)

It is helpful to ponder the foreknowledge of God and the manner in which he controls all things so that His will is done. Every person appears to be exercising his free will in terms of circumstances that arise, but God knows the end from the beginning and plans accordingly. Notice the words of God to Abraham:

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. (Genesis 15:13,14)

So it is with us. God knows the choices we will make throughout our lifetime. He knows the period of time we will be in bondage and when we will be delivered. He understood that the Christian Church would fall into apostasy after the first century and that revival would come under the Protestant Reformers. God knew when you and I would be born. His mind is clear concerning when He will bring righteousness and sin to maturity and deliver His Church from the bondage of the world.

Let us not accept, from our assurance of God's foreknowledge, a spirit of inevitability. Every phase of our redemption is a window of opportunity. If we seize the opportunity we will proceed to the fullness of God's plan for us. If we do not seize the opportunity we will lose that which had been designed for us. Let us make no mistake about the conditional aspect of redemption—salvation is always based on our response!

When the people of Israel left Egypt they were referred to as the "hosts of the Lord." They were not a weak group, barely escaping with their lives from a mighty Pharaoh. They were a nation of importance, two or three million strong, vigorous, being led by God Almighty. Egypt was left in ruins and the hosts of the Lord were singing the anthem of victory.

And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand [proudly and defiantly]. (Exodus 14:8)

The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it. (Acts 13:17)

When the Church of Christ ascends from the earth to meet the Lord in the air, it will not be a weak group of believers barely escaping with their lives from a victorious adversary. The Body of Christ in that day will be the greatest power in the universe, being filled with Christ and God in Him.

The army of the Lord will be resurrected, will ascend in clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and then will return with Christ for the purpose of overturning all the governments of the earth. The evil forces in the heavenlies and on the earth will be destroyed utterly. The wicked will be uprooted and cast out, leaving them neither root nor branch in the earth or in the air above the earth. The Israel of God will sing the anthems of victory forever, world without end.

And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month. (Exodus 13:5)

The Israelites were not brought out of Egypt just for the sake of bringing them out, nor were they brought out from Egypt in order to wander in the wilderness. The people of Israel were brought out of Egypt with the understanding that they would be brought into a specific land of promise.

We Christians were not called out of the world by the Spirit of the Lord so we would wander for the remainder of our life in a wilderness of fear, doubt, confusion, and the bondage of sin and self-will. Rather, we were called out of the world that we may enter a relationship with Christ that is free of unrighteousness and uncleanness and filled with the Person, Substance, and Nature of Christ.

Christ Himself is the Resurrection and the Life, and the Goal of redemption. We were led out from the kingdom of Satan so we may enter the fullness of God in Christ.

Notice that the Lord directed Israel to observe the Passover every year after the original Passover had taken place. This is God's way—to have an idea repeated, repeated, repeated until it becomes part of the substance and nature of people.

In our day, God is giving understanding of the Scriptures that some of us have never had before. Yet we never are to abandon the first principles of redemption. We never are to "remove the old landmarks." The beginning teachings of the Gospel of Christ are to be repeated throughout the year, every year, all the while that we are moving on with the Lord. In that way, new believers are established on firm ground and the older saints become mature in the faith.

There are numerous and varied aspects of the Divine redemption and we must hear and learn of these aspects many, many times before they become an eternal part of our personality. The repetition of the first principles of redemption is especially important when the Lord introduces a new level of Christ to the Body, because the believers become confused and need a fresh relationship with their foundation. (As soon as Israel marched through the Jordan River the new generation had to be circumcised.)

Notice also that the week of Unleavened Bread, as was true of some of the other observances as well, was to be observed in the land of promise (Exodus 13:5 above).

The week of Unleavened Bread was instituted in the wilderness. An important part of the week, the feast of Firstfruits, could not be celebrated in the wilderness because the people owned no farms and reaped no crops. They could not wave the barley sheaf in the wilderness in observance of the feast of Firstfruits because they possessed no fields of barley. They were eating manna at the time.

So it is with the Gospel of Christ. We are in the wilderness, so to speak. Yet, Christ makes spiritual demands on us in the written Word to the degree that people often give up in despair. We need to take heart. Christ gives us many commandments and concepts that will find their most complete fulfillment in future ages. However, we must be diligent with what He has given us now if we hope for a greater portion of redemption in the future.

There is coming a day, and it is not far off, when the whole earth will break forth into singing before the Presence of the Lord. In that hour the Church will be the center of the government of the earth, will be one in the Lord, and indeed will be the light of the world.

Even though we see the vision of the future glory and righteousness we do not minimize the importance of what is taking place in our lives now. There are incredibly great rewards for the disciples who will make the effort necessary to become a conquering saint, for those who will go over into the land of promise, as did Joshua and Caleb, and bring back the fruit of the land for Israel to see.

Ours is the day of the "two witnesses." Those who will exercise faith, courage, and diligence may go across Jordan, to speak figuratively, and bring back the blessings and power of the Kingdom Age so that the members of the Body of Christ may observe the blessings, experience the power, and be inspired to press forward toward the prize held out in the heavenly calling that is abiding on us.

It is possible, by the grace of God in Christ, to overcome sin and self-seeking now—in this world. Victory is available to "whoever will." The deciding factor is our faith, our willingness to believe and obey God.

The vision of the future serves as a source of hope and strength for the saints who are struggling against sin. We take heart because the Lord shall deliver us from our sinful body. As soon as the Kingdom Age begins it will be easier to serve God than it will be to sin—just the reverse of the present wicked age in which we now are living.

Christ and His brothers will be ruling the earth from the positions of authority in the air presently occupied by the evil lords of darkness. Then the Spirit of righteousness will fill the world, just as a godly person of today influences his surroundings.

People will be able to relax and enjoy the blessings of the Lord in a world filled with righteousness, peace, joy, and—best of all—the Presence of God in Christ. The enemy will be bound, unable to bring pressure on people. Serving God in righteousness will be as effortless as breathing.

We should not regard the age in which we now are living as being anything more than what it is—a hideous distortion of God's creation. The world in which we are attempting to survive is the valley of the shadow of death. Only as we touch Christ do we obtain any relief from the poisonous spiritual atmosphere that surrounds us and crushes us with its foul sin and death.

The age to come will be free of the atmosphere of sin and death because the Church, through the Lord Jesus Christ, will root out and destroy the evil personages who are entrenched in the heavenlies—the gods of this age. Then the fullness of the promises of the Scripture, of the prophecies of Isaiah for example, will be brought to pass in the earth.

Do not give up no matter what happens. If you will choose to become a warrior in Christ and stand in your place, your reward will be great in the Kingdom of God. You will have the satisfaction throughout eternity of realizing that you pressed through to the righteousness of God in the days when it nearly was impossible to do so. With the help of the Holy Spirit you wrestled successfully against the spirits that are in rebellion against the will of the Father.

And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: (Exodus 13:14)

Let us repeat the concept that redemption is an act of strength. When a person comes to Christ for salvation, all the strength of God is at his disposal in order to break every hold that the enemy has on him. We enter the fullness of Christ from a position of enormous spiritual strength, the strength that God gives us. "By strength of hand the Lord brought us out."

When Christ comes for His Church, in the Day of the Lord, He will do so from a position of spiritual strength and victory. The resurrection and ascension that will take place are not a flight of a persecuted group of believers whom God is shielding from trouble. The resurrection of the saints will be the "spoiling of the Egyptians." The rising of the Christians to meet the Lord in the air will leave the world in ruins.

The Church, the "daughter of Zion," will mock the evildoers and despise their ability to do anything at all. She will crush under foot the powers of darkness, openly triumphing over them through the Lord Jesus. God will exercise His almighty strength in bringing the Church out from the chains of this age. Those who resist God's redemption of His Church will succeed only in heaping wrath on themselves.

The conquering saints will bring the Lord's vengeance on all disobedience as soon as their own obedience has been brought to the full. Satan will be crushed under the feet of the Church of Christ.

The latter (harvest) rain of the Spirit will be poured out, according to the Scriptures, and we are in the early stages of it now. After the latter rain will come the burning sun of persecution and trouble to bring God's wheat (Christ in the Church) to maturity.

The fiery trials of the saints are not the wrath of God. They are the "sun" that is needed to bring the wheat to maturity. As soon as trouble and persecution have worked their perfect work of patience in the saints, the Lord Jesus Christ will arise in and upon the Church and the saints will inherit the earth.

And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: but God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. (Exodus 13:17,18)

As soon as we believe in Christ, God could take us straight into the fullness of God in Christ and into our inheritance as God's kings and priests. However, the evil lords of darkness, the fallen angels, who rule the present age and for whose thrones we are contending, are so much superior to us in spiritual warfare that we soon would turn back in dismay and discouragement.

Therefore the Lord brings us into seasons of instruction and testing until we learn enough about God and His ways to enable us to attain and maintain a place of victory in Christ.

It is the Lord who leads us into the wilderness just as the Holy Spirit led Christ into the wilderness of temptation. Christ is so perfect that He needed only forty days in the wilderness. Israel required forty years. Some of us need more than forty years because we learn slowly.

The children of Israel went up by their ranks out of the land of Egypt. They were God's army on the march, the host of the Lord. But the Israelite soldiers were neither disciplined nor experienced in combat when they evacuated Egypt on that fateful night. By the time they crossed over Jordan, under the direction of a warrior rather than a shepherd, they then were the sword of the Lord.

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. (Exodus 13:21,22)

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."

The guiding Presence of the Holy Spirit is all-important to the Church. What a different record church history would be if the churches of Christ always had followed the leading of the Holy Spirit of God!

The Presence of God in Christ has come to His Church in the days in which we live. The time has arrived for the outpouring of God's Spirit to an extent never before experienced in the history of the earth. In these days of the harvest-rain revival the true Church of Christ—every blood-washed saint—will come to know the leading of the Holy Spirit as never before. The world spirit will grow increasingly rebellious and foul.

The false church—"believers" who never truly have become disciples of the Lamb of God—will cooperate with the world government in an attempt to solve the social and economic problems with which our world is plagued in the present hour.

God is directing the true Church into the proper relationship with Himself so that He may finish His work in the earth. The leading of the Holy Spirit is of importance to the Church.

We are to "follow the cloud and the fire." No longer are we to sit down and figure out how to do God's business. Instead we must learn how to follow the Holy Spirit, individually and corporately, in the major decisions of life as well as in the smallest details of daily living.

The people of Israel were led by the cloud and by the fire the moment they left Egypt. The Holy Spirit is ready to lead each Christian believer from the moment he accepts Christ. It is easy for us to lose sight of the Holy Spirit.

We follow the "cloud" by day. A cloud speaks to us of refreshing rain and coolness in the heat of the desert. There are many times in our Christian experience when we walk in the light and blessing of the Lord's Presence.

We follow the "fire" by night. In the Scripture, fire portrays testing, judgment, the Word of God. When it is night and we cannot see our way we must follow the written Word of God—the Lord's judgments in written form. The testings and afflictions of the night lead to joy in the morning provided we adhere faithfully to the Word. The Scripture is the "light that shineth in a dark place" (II Peter 1:19).

We must learn to hold steady by day and by night. We are not to become excited or careless when God is blessing and the outlook is pleasant. There is a temptation to lose our watchfulness in prayer when problems are being solved on the right hand and on the left. We need to keep ourselves in readiness for the night that is coming.

We must also learn not to become discouraged when we are facing problem upon problem with no apparent solutions, and the Lord Jesus Christ seems to be far away (actually He never leaves us). This is the time to follow the written Word of God.

We know from the Word that God is a present help in the time of trouble, and so we lay hold on His written Word and do what it says, faithfully and consistently. Nighttime does not last forever, it is followed by the daylight. We are to follow the "fire" all through the darkness until the day comes with its clouds of refreshing rain.

When we are in a season of darkness we have the Scriptures to read and trust in so we do not become lost.

God never removes from us the cloud by day nor the fire by night. In many instances we choose to look toward other leadership rather than toward the cloud and the fire. We turn our eyes toward men, doctrines, systems, impulses, enthusiasms, plans to save ourselves, our church, the world, and so forth.

It is not always easy to keep our gaze steadfastly on the Lord and to follow Him without wavering. There are many distractions that draw us away from the guiding of the Holy Spirit. Also, there are voices that counsel us to "step out on faith" just as Jesus was counseled to leap from the roof of the Temple.

The Spirit never wavers. He always is there, ready to rescue us from our own devices and to move us on toward the land of milk and honey.

Crossing the Red Sea

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. (Exodus 14:9)

When we first become saved our experience may be glorious for a season. Then, while we are marveling at the goodness of God, Pharaoh comes after us. Questions arise in our mind about the desirability of being one of God's saints.

We were delivered from slavery to the king of darkness by the Passover blood, and he is not willing to lose a valuable slave. We received Christ by faith and now are ready to be baptized in water (the Red Sea). Here comes Satan bringing fear and doubt with him. We are caught between Pharaoh and the Red Sea. If we hesitate we will be captured by the enemy. Going forward into the sea (death to the world) appears to be the end of us—a dreadful alternative.

We cannot merely stand still. Pharaoh pushes us toward the decision. How often it is true that the forces of evil push us toward the good things of the Lord! Sometimes we do not realize that if we will go forward with God He will make a way through the most impossible situations.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: but lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. (Exodus 14:15,16)

There is a time to cry to God. Then there is a time to go forward. If we will wait on the Lord, seeking His will carefully and patiently, He tells us, as He did Moses, when it is time to go forward.

This was a time of going forward. God already had made provision for Israel and was about to perform one of the most astounding miracles ever recorded.

When a person who does not know Christ attempts to flee from the bondage of Satan, Satan is able to run after him and catch him. But when an individual follows Christ into the water of baptism, the person goes through safely but Satan is caught in the middle of the water and is destroyed. Such is the power of water baptism when performed in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Water baptism is a representation in the material world of a judgment that occurs in the spiritual world.

And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: and it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. (Exodus 14:19,20)

There is an important spiritual principle illustrated in the preceding passage. Notice that the angel who was leading Israel moved around to the rear of the Israelites. The angel was a cloud and darkness to the Egyptians but gave light to the Israelites. The angel stood between Egypt and Israel. The same angel was trouble to Egypt but blessing to Israel.

So it is that the one Spirit of God brings destruction to the kingdom of darkness but eternal life to the Kingdom of Christ. The same Spirit that brings death to one is life and blessing to the other.

The same waters that destroyed the people and animals of the whole earth lifted Noah and his family to safety. The same fire that burned away the bonds of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego killed the warriors whom Nebuchadnezzar had appointed to throw the Hebrews into the furnace.

The same trouble that comes to the world and to religious hypocrites in the last days will bring the true Church into unity and maturity in Christ. God's elect are to fear nothing. Everything that happens to them when they are serving the Lord is working toward their transformation into the image of Christ—a highly desirable outcome.

Calvary brought an end to the authority of the evil lords of darkness, but Calvary brought salvation to the believers. The waters of baptism are the route to eternal life for the believer but certain destruction on every spirit that would attempt to keep the believer in bondage.

Crossing the Read Sea.

And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. (Exodus 14:21)

Notice the expression, "and the waters were divided." Before we were saved, the "waters" of our life were one whole. After we receive Christ, however, a division enters us. The Word of God divides the soul and spirit. The spiritual side of our nature begins to be separated from the fleshly side of our nature.

Instead of being one whole person we now are an "old man" and a "new man." The old man is passing away and the new man, Christ in us, is being fashioned in the image of God.

In the beginning of the first creation God formed the heaven and the earth. The earth we understand, for it is the material domain in which we live in our body.

The heaven is not nearly as clear to us. When reviewing all that is said about heaven in the Scriptures, it appears that there is a close relationship between space and the spirit realm. The Scriptures do not portray the "heaven" of our traditions—a place located beyond the galaxies of stars. Rather, the "heaven" of the Word of God is the realm of spirits, and the Throne of God seems to be located not much higher than the clouds.

The purpose of the "heaven" of the first chapter of Genesis is to serve as a division between the waters. The waters below the heaven typify the animal nature of mankind; the waters above the heaven typify the spiritual nature of mankind.

God termed the waters under the heaven, "Seas."

When we come to the second creation, as set forth in Revelation 21:1, we find that there is a new heaven and a new earth. God will create a new canopy of space and a new material environment for His transformed children.

There no longer will be a sea.

The purpose of the thousands of years between the creation of the first heaven and earth and the second heaven and earth is that the "sea" may be removed. The "sea" represents what is wicked and animal in our personalities.

Throughout the existence of the first heaven and earth, the heaven serves as a division between what is of the Spirit of God (the waters of spiritual life that are above the firmament of heaven) and what is of Satan and our animal nature (the waters of evil that are below the firmament of heaven). When we die physically, the heaven (the spirit realm) continues to keep our spiritual personality separate from our body.

The Christian discipleship consists of many graces and acts of God that keep on converting our life from what is earthy to what is heavenly. God is making all things new. We are being transformed from soulish, animal creatures into life-giving spirits (I Corinthians 15:45).

After the Kingdom Age the first heaven and earth will be folded up and tossed aside. Only the spirit realm will remain. Then, out from the spirit realm will appear a new material world. God, the Lamb, and the Church (the new Jerusalem) will become visible on the new earth, descending from the new heaven. There also will be nations of saved people ruled by kings living on the new earth.

No longer will there be the "sea." What is saved for the new heaven and earth reign of Christ will be the material expression of the righteous Spirit of Christ. The wicked spirits that corrupted the life "below the firmament of heaven" will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

This is why it is supremely important to live as a conquering saint; for all of our personality that is not filled with Christ will be lost for eternity. Only the part of us that we have surrendered to eternal life will survive the fire of God.

Christ (Heaven) in the saint creates a division between the spiritual nature of his personality and the wicked, animal nature of his personality. The division of the personality of the believer, plus his conversion to the heart of a child, accounts for the fact that "the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light" (Luke 16:8).

Sometimes unsaved people appear to have more poise and less personal trouble than do Christians. The unsaved individual is bound in sin and death. The "waters" of his life are a mixture of good and evil, even the good being adamic and not fit for the Kingdom of God. No division of the personality has occurred.

The saint, on the other hand, is being transformed by the Holy Spirit from what is earthy to what is heavenly. Flesh and blood (our animal personality) cannot enter the Kingdom of God. It is our new spiritual man who enters the Kingdom of God.

Our fleshly nature loves sin and death. Our human mind is the enemy of God. We must be filled with the Spirit of God at all times in order to keep our first personality under strict control. We see, therefore, that the personality of the saint is divided because of the entrance of Christ (the "firmament of heaven") into him.

Pharaoh's Army Destroyed

And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. (Exodus 14:28,29)

The destruction of the Egyptian army is a prophetic picture of what happened to Satan's power on Calvary, what happens to Satan's power when we are baptized in water, and what will happen to Satan's power when Christ returns.

When Christ was crucified He entered the waters of death. God the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit, parted the waters of death before Christ. Christ was able to shed the sins of the world that He was bearing and come up victorious on the other side of death. The forces of Satan were destroyed at this point because the waters of death closed in on them.

When we entered the water of baptism we entered participation in the death and resurrection of Christ. The waters of death parted before us and then closed in on the evil power of sin which had kept us in bondage all our life. We emerged in the resurrection of Christ. The water of God's judgment closed on the "old man" of our life, rendering him powerless to overcome our new life of righteousness in Christ.

When Jesus returns, the waters of physical death will roll back and God's people on the earth will pass through from mortality to immortality. The forces of darkness and wickedness will attempt to follow (in the Battle of Armageddon) but the waters of Divine judgment will flow back on them and they will be prevented from harming the saints in any manner whatever.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is physical death.

Moses' Ministry: Part One

The three stages of the journey of Israel from Egypt to Canaan are as follows: (1) the exodus from Egypt; (2) the wilderness wandering; and (3) the crossing of Jordan and conquest of Canaan. The first two of these three stages are connected with the ministry of Moses.

Moses represents the ministry of Christ during the Church Age (the period of time during which the Church is called out from the world, and the Body of Christ is brought to maturity).

Joshua represents the ministry of Christ during the Kingdom Age (Millennium). We can, during the Church Age, reach forward toward Kingdom blessings if we will set ourselves to follow on to know the Lord. In this case we become as Joshua and Caleb—two witnesses—bringing back part of Canaan into the wilderness while the remainder of Israel is wandering about in the school of the Holy Spirit.

There are at least four principal ways in which the ascended Christ ministers to His Body through believers whom He has chosen: (1) as an apostle; (2) as a prophet; (3) as an evangelist; and (4) as a pastor-teacher. He is one Lord Jesus Christ but He expresses Himself through people in these four types of ministry.

During the first stage of the journey of Israel, that of the exodus, we may say that Moses ministered as an apostle, a prophet, and an evangelist. During the second stage of the journey of Israel, that of the wilderness wandering, Moses ministered as an apostle, a prophet, and a pastor-teacher.

During the exodus stage, Moses came to Egypt as God's apostle and prophet. He came forth from the Presence of the Lord with a mission to perform pertaining to a specific group of people. This is the ministry of an apostle.

Moses stood before Pharaoh telling Pharaoh of the immediate burden of the Word of the Lord and warning Pharaoh of the consequences of resistance to God's will. This is the ministry of a prophet.

Then Moses and Aaron stood before the people of Israel and commanded them to get ready to come out from all that was familiar to them, and to enter the wilderness. God's spokesmen brought to Israel the good news that God knew of their hard bondage in Egypt and had prepared for them a land of milk and honey. This is the ministry of the evangelist.

Moses is one of the clearest examples in Scripture of an important principle of God's way of working. God chooses a person. When men set out to do something they create committees and institutions and then give their allegiance to them. But the Lord works in terms of an individual with whom He deals until he or she comes to know the Lord.

In one way of viewing the circumstances, Moses actually was the destruction of Egypt and the exodus. He stood as the Presence of God Almighty before the Egyptians and before Israel. God assigned enormous status and glory to Moses, becoming familiar with Moses as He has with few people. Moses was a man set apart by the Lord to represent Himself in the earth. Although Moses on one occasion was tempted into presumption because of his extraordinary responsibility, he carried through successfully his mission in the earth.

The moves of God in history have been associated with outstanding men and women whom God has chosen for a specific mission. This is true today. Sometimes these gifted people are able to serve God faithfully throughout their lifetimes. On other occasions they fail because of the weakness of the flesh.

Perhaps we are close to the time when both righteousness and sin will come to such maturity that the personalities of men will be swept aside and God and Satan, Christ and Antichrist, will confront one another. In that day the Lord Jesus will be seen in His majesty and fierceness as He works through His Body in the fullness of the anointing and power of God Almighty. No man will be able to work in the period of darkness that is close at hand. God always is able to work and will work.

The Lord is seeking believers who will surrender their lives to Him to the point where He can use them with irresistible power against the enemy but who never will appropriate the glory to themselves. They will remain as humble, obedient vessels—fit for the Master's use.

God is ready to empower the "Moses" ministry of evangelism as never before: "Look to the Lamb of God. Come out of the ways of the world and be baptized into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News."

It is the will of God that powerful signs and wonders follow the preaching of the Gospel in the days in which we live, just as in Moses' day.