Perhaps the Christian Journey should be called The Amazing Journey because there is nothing that can compare to it. It is truely an amazing one. It starts off with a decision to turn away from the "old life" and to start a new life with Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and then it begins. But where does it go?


THE MAP

God supplied us with a map. The map shows the journey the Israelites took in the Exodus from Egypt. This also shows church history and the journey our lives must take. It obviously doesn't take into account our personal details, but is an overview. I think it's awesome that God put this map together in such a way that it has real significance for us today, as I will attempt to explain.

I should point out that while doing my research I found that there are many versions of the route taken in the Exodus and even the borders are a bit hazy, so this is my interpretation which is not accurate, but will serve our purposes.


Map used with permission, courtesy of Google Earth


THE JOURNEY


The journey has many challenges, ups and downs. It is amazing how many events are depicted in the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised land. I have sectioned the map by colour and number to show the various ages of the church and the Christian life.

1.
I think it is common knowledge that Egypt is seen as the era or period of sin for the Israelites because it was the time of their captivity, which was brought about by their disobedience. This red area of the map depicts the following:

Israel’s sin, ie separation from God because of sin. During this time Israel had a knowledge of God, but He was as a memory, or a religion. They had a hope that one day God would free them from their captors.

This is like the early church, such as the Anglican (I can use this curch as an example because I was brought up in the Anglican Church) :). They had a knowledge of God, but they only had a religion. There was no relationship as such. The early church set a platform for what was to come.

This is also like a person who has not yet found salvation. They have a knowledge of God to one degree or another, but don’t know Him. It’s like He is out of reach, far off in the Heavens. Built into the depths of man is the knowledge that there is more to life. It’s this inner knowledge that may one day lead to their salvation.

2. The Passover
The green area shows Israel leaving Egypt. God led Israel out of captivity, thereby leading them into a new life. God had a direct influence in their lives in that He led them out of Israel and set them on their journey towards the Promised Land.
Deu 16:1 Observe the month Abib, and keep the Passover to Jehovah your God. For in the month of Abib, Jehovah your God brought you forth out of Egypt by night.
Deu 16:2 And you shall therefore sacrifice the Passover to Jehovah your God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which Jehovah shall choose to place His name there.
Deu 16:3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread with it, the bread of affliction, for you came forth out of the land of Egypt in haste, so that you may remember the day that you came forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of your life.

Salvation came to the churches such as the Salvation army and the Lutheran church sprang up. The new churches acknowledged salvation and embraced the ‘born again’ experience and fellowship with God. Repentance was preached in the church and people were ‘born again’ and entered into a relationship with God. At last they could know God instead of just knowing about Him.

3.
The Israelites had to cross the Red Sea to escape their enemy. As the Israelites went through the Red Sea on dry land they escaped their enemy. God parted the sea so that the Israelites could cross on dry land. As their enemies tried to follow them God caused the water to return, thereby drowning Israel’s enemy.

New churches were founded, such as the Baptist, that taught repentance and baptism (as symbolised by the Red Sea crossing) for the remission of sin. The believer’s baptism by immersion was practiced as taught in the Scriptures.

Separation from sin was embraced by the church. People who were born again were now baptized into Christ. Another giant step forward as people not only got to know God, but were also baptized into Christ in obedience to Him. Baptism was and is both a public declaration of faith and a separation from sin.


4. Pentecost
The Feast of Pentecost (Weeks) was held on the 6th day of the 3rd month to commemorate the giving of the Law. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the Pentecostal experience of today and separates us from the need of the Law because the law is written on our hearts, thus fulfilling the Law.

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit saw huge revival and the onset of the Pentecostal churches such as the Assembly of God, Apostolic, Elim and many others. People started speaking in tongues and doing miracles, prophecying and other wonderful things as led by the Holy Spirit.
1Co 12:8 For through the Spirit is given to one a word of wisdom; and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9 and to another faith by the same Spirit; and to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10 and to another workings of powers, to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; and to another kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues.

At this stage the Israelites were still wandering in the Wilderness. In fact the Wilderness journey continued right through to the Jordan River (all of the area in blue). I believe that on the map, 4 represents the birth of the Pentecostal Church. Pentecost is a wilderness experience!

5.
This shows where the spies entered the Promised Land. They were chased out by the residents of the land at that time. God was sending a very clear message to the church. The only way to the Promised Land is by crossing the Jordan River. This is for a very good reason.

6.
This part of the map takes us to the edge of the Jordan River. Here the Israelites are faced with the challenge of not only crossing the Jordan, but also the giants and great armies living in the land that was promised to them.

The Jordan, translated The Desender is, according to the New Bible Dictionary, the deepest depression on the face of the earth. This is very significant because crossing the Jordan is the deepest experience that mankind has to face. When God asked me what the deepest experience we had to face was I answered Him death. Crossing the Jordan is a death experience. Not a physical death, but a death of the identity or soul. It is only through enduring death that you can be raised by the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead into the glorious ressurection. It is this death and ressurection experience that takes us from the wilderness of Pentecost to the wonderful Promised Land.

7. Tabernacles
The Feast of Tabernacles remembered the time that the Israelites dwelt in tents in theWilderness. It also marked a whole new era. A new relationship with God in the Promised Land. A land where Jesus - Saviour, Lord, King of Kings, Prince of peace, Son of God, once again takes up His former identity as the Word of God. God Himself is Father, and we dwell in His very Presence.

If you haven't seen the PowerPoint presentation called Beyond Pentecost, which is found on the page Beyond Pentecost, can I suggest you take 10 minutes to have a look at it. In the presentation I share personal testimony of how God took me through the Jordan and what He taught me about the experience. It also shows the amazing truth about the 23rd Psalm and how it ties in with this teaching.

If you have any questions about this or want further information, please don't hesitate to ask. Email me at Les@all4god.net


The Future
God will have His way. The next great move of the Holy Spirit will be to take His people through the Jordan. I wonder when this movement will take off. I wonder too what it will be called. Perhaps the Tabernacle movement?

I believe the churches are like monuments that show what God has done in the past. They show the different moves of God. This is why it is my personal opinion that the Pentecostal churches will not receive this teaching, but God will raise up a new church. I also believe that the message needs to go first to the existing church before God raises the new one.

 

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Sin - Period of captivity Passover - Born again experience Baptism in water symbolised by the crossing of the Red Sea Baptism in the Holy Pentecost - Baptism in the Holy Spirit Unsuccessful shortcut into the Promised Land