Passover To Immortality
A Christian or even a non-Christian may read the writings of the Prophets only as valuable contributions to Old Testament history and be enriched by becoming aware of forecasts of events which have startlingly fulfilled. If he is thoughtful, his faith may be increased in the fact that God is and He is in control of all developments. But to stop with that is by no means to grasp the full and outstanding purpose of those writings for today's generation. It is in the 1990s that God will consummate His work during the ages beginning with Adam. 1 Cor. 10:11, Acts 3:20-21. Through the Prophets, God speaks specifically to each individual and nation on earth, right now demanding that we see ourselves as He sees us, a world of nations and individuals rapidly tumbling toward disaster. Repeatedly He has declared there is no alternative, unless we repent and make peace with Him on His terms. Rev. 19:17-18.
Moses was one of those Prophets and he administered the first Passover. It was then that the Passover time was established by the Lord as a new beginning in a new first month. Ex. 12:1. It was a change from the annual cycle based on the agricultural harvest, when people looked at the material fruits of their physical labors with the Lord. The change brought in consideration of a spiritual harvest. This was the emphasis of the Exodus drama, providing complete deliverance from the land of Egypt (meaning hemmed in) and also placing beyond the reach of the oppressor, Pharaoh (meaning Great House - of Satan).
In this drama, it was the blood of the slain lamb which was given to purchase and initiate release of the called-out ones from the rule of the Great House of the land which hinders both spiritual growth and full possession of the Promised Land. It opened the door for those released to go out to worship the new Master for three days in the wilderness. Ex. 8:27. But we see from Scripture that the Lord counts one day for a year (Ezek. 4:6) and that in our time the world will become a wilderness of difficulties beyond compare - during three and one-half years. Also we should stop to think about what worship is, and the definition of worship given by our Lord and example. The worship He had in mind included taking up the Father's will and doing it. Jhn. 17:4, 4:23, Matt. 4:19.
The Chosen People had been made ready and almost eager to accept (almost) all that followed, by being surrounded with nearly impossible circumstances. If we can find out why they were in so much trouble then, we may have the clue to explain why the world, even the Christian world, is in so many irresolvable crises leading rapidly to catastrophic conclusions. Was this and is this the loving heavenly Father in action? Why does He permit extreme oppression to develop in the first place?
But before trying to handle those questions, there really should be another question or two. Were the circumstances in the ancient days dumped upon an unsuspecting people by an angry and vengeful God? Or were the circumstances brought upon the Israelites by what they had actually ordered for themselves through opposing the plan laid before them by a truly loving and protecting Father? If we are to find out, we will need to back up in time to the period before the Israelites developed into the two or so million-membered nation which later emerged from Egypt. In addition, let's also see if we can learn from that drama, for our benefit today.
It was Jacob and all his sons (except Joseph) who went down to Egypt to assuage their hunger for wheat in a time of widespread drought. It was desire which prompted Jacob to order his family away from the Land of Promise, giving up his God's assurance that He would unquestionably provide for His own, as long as they would maintain themselves in the plan He designed for their greatest good. Genesis 27:28-29 and 28:13-15 detail the promise of abundance, position and preservation - in the Land. That plan He had laid before Jacob clearly and understandably. (Was it not an almost identical promise in principle which the Lord later gave the early Church?)
We know, or should know, that Jacob did not actually need to take his family down to Egypt to escape starvation. Brother Esau and all his multitudinous family were also in the drought-stricken area. They stayed in their own land and flourished during the same period when Jacob's family proliferated down in Egypt. (Did not the early Church quickly run to the political government for guarantees of financial support and protection from persecution? And did not the Protestants immediately follow the earlier lead of the Catholic mother?)
In effect, Jacob and his had questioned God's intentions and ability by running down to Egypt in a time of temporary deprivation. Previously, as long as things went quite well with them at home, there was no occasion to question. But when their willingness to stick with the Father was tested under a little pressure, they failed their "midterm examinations." (So did the early and the later Church.)
Of course the wise Father knew they probably would falter at the next crucial point and so He had sent Joseph on ahead. You recall that Joseph was bound and sold by his selfish brothers into slavery. Therefore, must we not conclude that the whole history in Egypt under the Pharaoh who did not know Joseph was a sequence which Jacob and his other sons brought upon themselves? They knew the promise for them in their Land, but they elected to place themselves far from it as they gave in to fear and distrust.
What then does this drama mean to us today, since the Lord always teaches by drama-parable? (Hos. 12:10) You too are placed in a land with promise. You are spirit and your "land" is your physical body. But, as with Jacob then, the Promised Land is not fully developed; it must yet be brought under the control of and developed by the inhabitant. Your inhabiting spirit must learn how to gain and keep proper control over all thoughts, emotions ("fruits") and actions in the "land."
We get tested on what we have supposedly learned and then find ourselves, from time to time, asking if the Father's plan is really working in our "land" as advertised. In the time of crisis, we see a lack of blessing and provision from the Lord and look around for a place to run for more tangible and immediate help. And on occasion we wonder: Where is our God; where is His protection; and where is His provision? We forget that any weakness in trusting, and even an unwillingness to trust implicitly, progressively separates from the Father and isolates from His full provision. Isa. 59:2-4.
That separation then, of itself, draws on more and more severe testing. It is so you come to know how far you will trust Him when you next are forced to reach for support. You soon see that the "Jacob journey" leads into ever more extensive testing to reinforce the lesson, all because of failure in the "mid-term examination."
It was in Egypt that the whole scope of what they had actually learned came under the light of contrast so that the facts of truth would be impressed deeply into their spirits. That is the number symbolism of the 4 in the 430 years from Jacob's entering Egypt to his children leaving there. Ex. 12:41. Hopefully and with this drama before us, you and I will not need such a drastic attention-getter; but the world-at-large is very soon to be so engaged, through its own efforts, in another 4 of intense soul-testing - the 40 some months of Great Tribulation, unmatched in human history.
In measure, we all participate in the need for redirected attention toward the Father's plan of training on earth. In moments of forgetfulness or just outright rebellion, we wander off to "Egypt" for a while. We seek out that which man possibly might be able to do for us or provide to offset the emergency. We, like Jacob, immerse ourselves in vast oppression. But cheer up and shout for joy, you who know something of your Father's love. The journey to the south in soul-drive does not lead to a completely dead end.
There is no place at all, anywhere you or I or anyone can go, where the Father's love is not active in our individual behalf. The Psalmist declares, "Where could I go from your Spirit? Not in heaven, nor in Sheol, nor out at the ends of the sea. Even there, your hand leads and your right hand upholds." Ps. 139:7-10. And when the ordeal we bring upon ourselves has made sufficient impact, and we desperately want to change, the loving Father brings out His pre-planned complete deliverance. Remember this, him whom the Son sets free is indeed free, all free! Jhn. 8:36.
The Passover celebration is set before us so we can know something of the factual drama of the past, but that is not the Father's larger objective. He is the God or Keeper of the present moment always. "Today, if you will hear His voice, harden not your heart. Today is the day of His preservation." Ps. 95:7-8, 2 Cor. 6:2. He has intended our seeing the drama in history and then understanding that the pattern is for alerting into the now moment application.
If we look just a little further along into the development of His exquisite plan, we can see the drama will again continue its unfolding on the then contemporary scene as the Firstfruits group is delivered from the limitations of the earth planet and its atmosphere, and from the hindering oppression of the great house of Satan.
Still the message is given for its effect on our "right now." Seeing each deliverance close at hand should encourage the preparation of your own house, through sacrifice and giving up of self-centered living, through learning to take up the Father's will revealed to mind and heart, and doing it. Such a pattern of life is important at any time, but will be particularly so during the 3-1/2 years ("days") of Great Tribulation "wilderness" now almost upon us - truly a matter of physical life or death, as in the original drama. Rev. 12:6.
Many Christians still see the Passover only in its historical setting, perhaps with not so much emphasis on the Jewish Exodus, but on Easter and the crucifixion of the Lamb of God for the deliverance of all peoples. Whether or not more is seen, both of these Passovers are celebrated as times to recall full deliverance, completely worked out, for preservation from the death-angel for all men who understand, or yet will understand and move in response. Jhn. 5:24.
Those Passovers were in the past. Now a few are beginning to see the Passover in its future application, which will be featured by a preview separation of a righteous Firstfruits from the body of Christendom. They will be set free from Great Tribulation. The Lord's protective shield over them among all the "called-out" will go with them and set off the period of excessive distress for all men of all nations, such as the world has never experienced. The plan is to make the balance of the Church-body eager to go all-out in worshipping God during the subsequent 3 years.
Also there should be people in increasing numbers who now have a growing awareness of the Passover's application for each today. How then is that awareness to take form so the one God can be worshipped in Spirit and in Truth? (Ask for the booklet "How To Worship In Spirit And In Truth.") How then is there to be the release so the Promised Land can be possessed? Who among us can look in the mirror and see a consistently faithful sentinel who is always alert at the door of his God-designed Tabernacle, casting out all demons as they present themselves in thoughts and emotions. Who among us has learned how to constantly remain in "Jerusalem," the dwelling place of peace - God's peace with that place of habitation? Isa. 27:1-5.
Perhaps you see this in your mirror; perhaps that reflection for you is still in the future. Perhaps you, with many, still look at the Word of God (which pictures man for what he is), see what is there presented, gain a mental comprehension of what the words say and then put down the mirror and, in walking away, forget what has been seen. Jas. 1:23-25. Perhaps you search out much teaching and more teaching, but do not actually hear. Mt. 13:13-15, 2 Tim. 3:6-7. Perhaps you know the need of teaching being repeated innumerable times, until it somehow finally becomes sharp enough to penetrate and sink in. Deut. 6:6-9. This is part of the growing-up process, a process well known to our loving Father.
Though many today earnestly commit much time and effort toward the search for truth, even so, much truth material is still passed over too lightly. However, the day must come when intense repetition, accompanied by specially God-chosen and arranged circumstances, will have made their impact. Hab. 2:2-3. Therefore, we know earnest seeking must continue, because no matter where we are, neither our learning nor our practice is yet enough. Our loving Father plainly predicts that most of His own people (Christians) will be physically destroyed for lack of knowledge; that the lack of knowledge is a rejection of Him; and rejection of Him leads to His temporary rejection of them. Hos. 4:4-5, Isa. 13:9-13
Christians still learn and rejoice, but then forget basic and foundational truths; truths which should be constantly in remembrance. Do you do this, particularly with the Passover truth? Do you permit yourself, like Jacob, to become discouraged and frustrated over lack of overt blessing? Do you ever make a "home" for self-condemning thoughts framed in, "What's the use?" "It seems I'll never make it" (whatever "making it" means). "I'm just too rebellious." "I can't change that much." When a test repeats, do you fail it again? Do you ask, "Where is the strength God promised?" "Where is His complete deliverance for just my situation?"
Why do you permit such thoughts and emotions to live within, if you believe in the Passover? Why do you, as a sentinel posted by your loving Father at the door of your Tabernacle house, allow demon-induced deceits to even enter? Did you not once understand that the Good News of Great Things for this age is complete freedom and is totally encouraging? What happened? Do you need yet another earth-shaking Passover crucifixion and all its excitement of the moment, or is your actual need that of reinstating the foundational truth you somehow dropped from sight and lost from immediate recall? Come, let us reason together, says the Lord. Isa. 1:18. And then He says, why do you not subsequently make your own righteous decisions, seeing you have been made aware of foundational verities of God? Lk. 12:57.
Jesus stated, without exception of person or time, that anyone whose ears remain open to His Words and who believes the God who sent Him (clearly inferring belief in Jesus as the One sent to redeem and preserve) has at that moment permanent possession of His age-lasting Life-seed, possession which will not ever terminate. Jhn. 5:24. Unless church blinders are retained so you see only what man has invented about God's Word, you should see that the age-lasting life promise is that of continuous preservation for as long as the earth planet conditions prevail.
That then is deliverance from the death angel now and continually, which must lead toward and even into immortality in human flesh on earth. This immortality is for earth-bound men of this age, or the Lord's work is incomplete, making Him a deceiver. That is freedom from the limitations of all the works of the devil, which freedom our Lord Jesus Christ came to bring for all of mankind, and did complete on the Cross over 1900 years ago - at Passover. Heb. 2:14-15.
At times of disappointment or discouragement, do you remember the Son came not to condemn, but to give Life and to bring abundance? Jhn. 3:17, 10:10. At that moment, do you remember His promise delivering you from all judgment on the matter of life and death? Jhn. 5:24. For those who do, there has already been an initial but permanent passing over from death to life. From this starting point, it then becomes only a matter of time to learn the further lessons and pass all tests! Will you not accept the true word of our Lord to the effect that, as long as there is continuation in coming toward Him, He can in no way refuse to continue His blessings? Jhn. 6:37. Do you remember there is no power on earth, or under it, or in heaven which can separate you from Him, once you have become a consistent Jhn. 5:24-er? Jhn.10:28-30. Absolutely the worst thing any man can do (Christian or not) is to disbelieve the Truth. Forgetting or ignoring is but a subtle form of disbelief. Therefore, our Lord warned that whoever does not and will not believe Him who is the Word of God and the Truth, he will die in his sins (of unbelief). The sins are the retained unbeliefs of the Truth. Jhn. 1:2, 8:24, 28.
This is the Passover message for each today, especially so as the world's multiple crises now rapidly impact on the individual and his home and his environment. Every word and thought invited into the dwelling place should increase love (cooperation) and admiration of Jesus Christ. All thought and desire content should square with the wholeness of the Word of God - Old Testament and New. Isa. 8:20. All must coordinate with His love in counseling, warning, exhorting, encouraging, disciplining, testing, and strengthening. All is to lead to right thinking and living.
The loving Father's plan is certainly one of perfection, because His Kingdom is perfection; and so His plan for each child is for eventually reaching His perfection. Matt. 5:48. But His perfection will not be seen outside of His compassion. However, that compassion will never include compromise or half-good or second best. His compassion will always include willingness to work with the child to constantly bring him toward that perfection. In fact, there is no way to see His perfection without perceiving His compassion and the measured leeway He gives, whenever the child is even interested in learning and progressing. If His compassion and carefully measured allowances are implicit in working out His training and bringing to maturity on earth, any objective man has to invent and manufacture his own excuses for any frustration, discouragement or giving up.
This Passover message is for whoever has decided to follow Christ wherever He leads, step by step, level after level. Every day then, for His followers, carries the sense of The Passover. This is so even for one already passed over from death to life by willingness and decision to follow Him. That being so, every day is to be celebrated in His deliverance. Every day in itself is then founded upon the truth of Jhn. 5:24, or there is potential death in some measure during that day. This foundational truth continually protects all who continually know and use it.
But there is also a little broader application to encourage those not quite ready with open ears for all of His Word and final acceptance of all of His work. No one continuing toward full hearing and acceptance of Jesus Christ will, under any circumstance whatever, be cast out from His household. Jhn. 6:37. It is just as clearly stated of Jesus Christ that all judgment has been given into His hand and that He is ready and eager to forgive any sin or sins that any man or demon can invent for man, when a request is accompanied by acknowledgement of the error and by repentance in forthrightly turning away from it. Jhn. 5:22, Mk. 3:28, Ps. 103:3.
In addition, it is clearly stated that any other uncleanness outside of sin against the Father is washed away by the use of His Word. Jhn. 13:8, 145:3, Ps. 119:9. The repeated emphasis on His Word points us right back again to foundational Truth which affects anyone willing to continually keep his ears open to the truths stated in His complete Word. Jhn. 5:24. How basic is His Word!
All sins against the Father, every one, were erased from His sight by His blood at the instant of regeneration, at the first conformance to Jhn. 5:24. Even then, if sins against the Father are knowingly, arbitrarily and willfully repeated beyond that time, the blood will yet again wipe those sins off the record - as soon as there is a resolute turning from what is known to be wrong, with a return to His plan. It is also the understanding and agreement with and the application of His Word which cleanses and keeps clean. You are washed clean by the use of the instrument of His Word as you continue to seek, agree with and apply His rules for good health of spirit, soul and body. Eph. 5:26. Mistakes due to ignorance, misunderstanding, weakness, or inadvertent oversight are not a child's sins against his Father in heaven, no more than they would be against a human father on earth.
Actually, many of the mistakes are necessarily involved in the learning and growing up process. Any parent sees that to be true in human families, and it is accepted as right and proper. Of course, there may be willfull rebellions, with full knowledge of the error in them, making those sins against the Father. But otherwise, the mistakes are not such sin, although they do bring about uncleanness from their contact, and the uncleaness should be washed away.
Recognize and wash away smudges and stains on your garments through adequate use of the Word - so they won't remain in His sight. Apply the cleansing Truth, and apply it as often as needed, evening after evening, consistently at this stage of learning. It is the application in living which is true repentance and then the Father's forgiveness may be requested and obtained. He is always ready to forgive anything which His beloved, His regenerated, has done, as soon as that one recognizes and changes his stand on the matter (repents).
He promised preservation, not erosion, to whosoever would be open to His Word in its wholeness and accept His work. Each of us tends to forget His promise to forgive any mistake or sin any son of man could possibly pull off. The Holy Spirit, who is also named the Angel of His Presence (Isa. 63:9-10), will not forgive any sin, not even a tiny one. All judgment is given into the hand of our Lord Jesus, not to the Messenger of His Presence. Jhn. 5:22, 16:13. Since Jesus Christ alone is our Keeper, He only can bring about the forgiveness we seek. Therefore, any "age," whether measured in minutes or years, that features unforgiveness must and does completely end and is done away with at the instant of true repentance before the loving Father. Mk. 3:29.
If we see our mind as the "heaven," the lifted up portion in the microcosm "world" of our composite human being, then we see that God's will should be established there as a first step. "Your will be done in the earth or land as it already is in heaven." Matt. 6:10. Then all will be taken care of; all will be well! Then all arrangements your Keeper has made for you can go ahead. In that situation, you have no other need to be satisfied.
Seek, as first things, His Kingly rule in your life (His will established in your mind), and His righteousness (that Truth put into action), and all the other things you could righteously wish for will be supplied. Matt. 6:33. Therefore, you have no other than a need for Him (His Plan) to be operative in every facet of your life process. He knows the precise training and strengthening you need. You don't. "Your will be done, Father, in this earth." Your own will is but a confusion of His. Therefore, it is to be His will, as expressed throughout His Word - or it is a confusion of Truth (Babylon).
Your accomplishment and overflowing joy from attainment are not from exercise of might, nor by power, but by your exercise of His will, says the Lord of hosts. Zech. 4:6. The Holy Spirit carries only the message he has been given, and so the Spirit's work with you is the establishment of the Father's will in your mind and in your "land." Jhn. 16:13. The Father's will cannot go further in expression, until it is established in your personal "heaven." That is first. That is primary. In that is the renewing of your mind as a work of the Lord. But you can prevent it, or slow it down - or you can allow Him to do the work on His schedule.
Again, forgetting or ignoring foundational truths, as we move on into the sequential lessons our Father has designed and arranged for us, is but a signal of an early and highly important lesson not learned. Logically, there should be review and re-study and much effort to make the needed truth an integrated part of every succeeding lesson. But where confusion is already introduced, there is little logic. It sometimes takes much painful suffering to bring about willingness to restore order. Therefore, recognize the Passover for what it is today. See it in history as a confirmation of its truth for today. And see it in the future as the hope of the sure outcome of practice of its truths today.
Hindering "Egypt" should now be a thing of the past. The Great House of the oppressing "Pharaoh" has no more lawful jurisdiction. You are released from the rule of "Egypt." You are free, not to do as you please, but to serve the new and benevolent Master who loves you as His only child, and yet does not play favorites. Therefore, live a life set apart exclusively for working out His plan; be holy in His sight. Get ready to worship Him during the coming 3-1/2 years in the wilderness by practice now of the worship in endeavoring to do His will, to complete it in your life. Wash yourself in the water of His Word often and consistently. Practice speaking out some of the basic promises, such as Jhn. 5:24, 15:7, etc., and expand the scope of your familiarity with the cleansing Word.
It is that practice which builds perfection, in each step along the way toward absolute perfection. You will need help, but as you devote time and thought and effort, during work and rest and recreation, to learning about and practice of His teachings, you can then plead your case with your Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ. Each day, having been washed in the water of His Word, you can make an acceptable offering of your whole being to Him, with no blemish to be seen. Then you can ask and receive whatsoever is legitimately requested. Jhn. 15:7. Otherwise, you have ignored or neglected basic truths of the daily Passover, and your prayer is likely to be unanswered. Isa. 1:15-17.
Be encouraged. Rejoice over what you have accomplished in allowing His work of re-shaping your will and desires. It is His work within. Rejoice in each small advance. Together, the small advances lead toward perfection. Morning after morning, root out the wicked in your "land" so that you may be the dwelling place or city for the Lord. Be an alert sentinel at the door of your and His tabernacle, recognizing and sounding the alarm whenever an intruding alien emotion or thought approaches. Read and perceive the eight "I will's" of Ps. 101:1-8; they lead along the path toward completion of this cycle of dealing with self-indulgence or self-will. With them you embark on the new cycle of advanced education toward becoming like the heavenly Father in wisdom and capability.
And in that meantime, He knows your frame; He has pity on His children. He promises to forgive every one of your iniquities. He heals every one of your diseases. Ps. 103:1-22. The only condition is this: that you continue to be open to His Word as it is revealed to you during careful listening (not open to man's word about God's word). Know that actual hearing involves effort to conform; continue to believe He was sent as your Redeemer, your Deliverer, and your Preserver. Jhn. 5:24. Please remember these, your Passover truths. They apply to each and every day of your life, until graduation into immortality.
You have a loving Father, not a grouchy one. He is eager, more eager than you, to train you out of accident-proneness and self-defeat. But time is advancing and He is getting tired of waiting for His children to begin to respond to His loving kindness and learn to handle the glory He has readied for them. So most will soon experience the accelerating prod of Great Tribulation on self-willed, self-hindering children the world over. Joel 3:9-16. He yearns for your total alignment with Him for experiencing the highest and greatest good for you.
Remember therefore the very close association of the cleansing of the Word with the drama of communion. "Do this (often) in remembrance of Me," He said. Surely this remembrance can only be in the refreshing of His Words and deeds for you to your mind. How else could there be close communion with a holy and wholly righteous Father? And remember the importance of keeping in mind the foundational truths upon which the other things are built. This will become of particular importance during the intensity of the crises just ahead when all men - you too, unless you are among the Firstfruits 144,000 - will be tested and proven in strength or failure as never before.
Know that your Father is fully and consistently disposed to bring each one of all His children through - as long as there is no advertent or continued inadvertent opposition to working out the intent of His plan. Remember therefore the truths you have already touched, giving meaning to the description of the constantly ready potential of the Passover for you today - on each today!
C. Gordon Wolcott
The Lord rewards no one for his learning - apart from living it - nor for intentions, nor for holding back progress in the Lord's work with him. Isa. 59:18, Rev. 22:12, Heb. 3:7-13. We re-affirm that all things are possible by the Faith. Faith is strong, strong belief. The Faith in view is the Word of God in its wholeness, but it is also application of the Truth revealed. Integrating His Truth into daily living is part and parcel of that Faith. Jas. 2:20. Therefore, it is written that those who will not progressively and consistently take on the Faith will not enter God's rest (Heb. 3:12-19). But through dedicated study of the Truth and practice in application, you can!