Handbook of the Israelite - Part three
The prophecy of the "Holy Covenant" was given primarily to the people living prior to the coming desolation of planet earth and unfortunately, its message has not been understood. Therefore the effects of its heart changing teachings lays dormant. The reason why the church remains ignorant of this prophecy is because the foundations of the "Holy Covenant" message is deeply imbedded within in the book of Genesis. Many of us were introduced to portions of Genesis when we were children and that was a good thing. But as we grew, we rushed off to learn what many believers considered to be "more important" issues. As a consequence, the essential truths contained within this book have been ignored. And sad to say, the understanding of many church members today is incomplete and shaky.
Paul understood well the message of the Holy Covenant. From it, he realized that prior to the return of Christ, there would "come a falling away" within the church before the anti-Christ's rise to dominance. (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3) Paul learned that the "falling away" was a description of church members who reject knowledge, which makes them susceptible to corruption, "Then shall that Wicked (one) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth." (2 Thessalonians 2:8) We see many today who make great claims about their religious zeal. But if we truly believe that anti-Christ is ready to make his appearance, the outward beauty we see within the church is not strength, it is merely a facade. And after this beautiful facade is shaken, it will crumble to bits. Then the world will see only immovable pillars.
Do you wish to be one of these pillars? Would you like your name to be listed among the champions of the last days? Then you must re-examine the book of Genesis. Not in the context of a storybook for children, you must examine it as if your life desperately depends upon it! Examine Genesis as a book of unfulfilled prophecies written just for you. Then you will find what Paul discovered nearly two thousand years ago; The lost knowledge about Abraham and the Holy Covenant.
- The land of Abraham's wanderings -
"To your offspring, I will give this land." (Genesis 12:6) "All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever." (Genesis 13:15) You might be surprised to know that the "Promised land" was not a sparsely populated land when Abraham arrived. It had been occupied by the descendants of Canaan for over three hundred and fifty years. These men were notably immense in size. At the time of Abraham's arrival, the population of the Canaanites had grown well into the millions. They were advanced in their methods of construction and their cities were secured by impregnable walls that seemed to reach to the sky. The military ferocity of the men who protected these great cities was well known throughout the region! With this in mind, the first task that the Almighty gave to Abraham was simply to wander among these hostile people and observe their behavior. Abraham's occupation as a shepherd and tradesman allowed him to do this freely without the Canaanites considering him a spy.
What Abraham saw when he first entered Canaan appalled him! The scripture tells us that there was a severe famine at the time (Genesis 12:10) and he abruptly left! But withering trees and lack of food were not necessarily the only circumstances that drove him away. He was horribly grieved by the behavior of his future neighbors, the Canaanites! You see, when drought and famine would descend upon their land, the Canaanites would offer their own little children as human sacrifices as a solution to the problem. They believed that their god's demanded it! Everywhere Abraham went, there was heard heartfelt songs and prayers to the Canaanite god Baal and his mother Ashtoreth. Abraham listened as the cries of Canaanite children were heard above the crackling of the sacred fires. And as the bodies of these little children perished among the flames, the drum beats and wild cries of the Canaanite congregations rose above the hills. This is a perspective on the life of Abraham that few have contemplated. Having a better understanding of Abraham's circumstances and his thought processes will help us better understand the far reaching influence of the Holy Covenant.
- The Holy Covenant -
Abraham certainly realized that the promised land was no place to raise his family! Yet the promise (prophecy) given to Abraham was, "All the land that you see, I will give to you and your offspring forever." (Genesis 13:15) "Nice gift!" Abraham must have thought, "And how would these mighty Canaanites react if they, by chance, heard me teach my future offspring that my family intends to dominate their land!" For this reason, he thought it better to keep silence on these matters while dwelling among the Canaanites.
The logistical challenges involving the takeover of Canaan would have overwhelmed the minds of greatest of military generals. He had no children and if he did, he would always lag behind in the population department. If Abraham's descendents were granted even a foothold upon the land, how could they possibly gain and maintain dominance over the mighty Canaanites? How would they quell the continuous Canaanite uprisings which were quite likely to occur? These matters were not going to be resolved by Abraham in his lifetime. Little did he know that the fulfillment of this prophecy would not occur for centuries. So why trouble Abraham at all about such matters? But for some reason, the Almighty saw that it was absolutely essential to Abraham's spiritual development to dwell upon matters humanly impossible for him and his future family to accomplish.
Abraham thought about these difficult problems for years and after thirty years of silence from the Almighty had past, God saw that Abraham's faith had matured to the point that he could receive additional knowledge. In the same way, you must learn that your path to enlightenment takes time to complete. Sometimes we must endure years of silence before we are ready to receive a difficult message. What you are about to read is the enlightenment that was absolutely essential to Abraham's understanding in his day, and also for the church to understand for the last days: "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age.In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure." (Genesis 15:13-16)
In order to help you understand its significance, I am going to connect the promise given to Abraham with another prophecy revealed around the birth of John the Baptist. It was at this time that the prophecy given to Abraham would be forever known as "The Holy Covenant". Notice the relationship: "Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us— to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his Holy Covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. (Luke 1:71-75) This was not the first time that the term "Holy Covenant" had been used in prophecy. Yet it is the only instance in scripture that connects "Holy Covenant" to the oath sworn to Abraham. This is a very important link to what has been a very difficult prophecy of Daniel to understand. In this prophecy it revealed the term "Holy Covenant" and if you examine the details, you can clearly see that this was the source of Paul's observation in Thessalonians 2:2:3.
- The Prophetic Connection -
"The king of the North (anti-Christ)...will be set against the Holy Covenant...He will return and show favor to those who forsake the Holy Covenant...he will corrupt those who have violated the Covenant...for a time they (the saints) will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered...He (anti-Christ) will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place." (Daniel 11:28,30,32,33,&36)
Daniel's prophecy reveals much detail. I have condensed the essential points in order to help the reader better grasp what the last days issues are primarily about. Do not look at these events through the popular teachings that the "fallen" church is now teaching, but rather, look at the last days through parallels that the Almighty has drawn. And if you place the "The Holy Covenant" at the centerpiece of the issues, you will find that the identity of the rebels in this drama dramatically changes. Note as you read it again (and I suggest you read it several times) that the chosen people, those who should know better, will forsake the Holy covenant, and then God allows anti-Christ to destroy them! "When rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy the mighty men and the holy people. (Daniel 8:23-24)
Let's look at the rebellion in a different way. In the Adam and Eve story, the greatest enemy in the garden was not the serpent. It was Eve's lack of understanding about the truth of God's word. The serpent (the devil) had observed the pair for quite some time before he exercised his one chance to gain dominance over the human race. Satan heard remarks from Eve's lips that exposed weakness in her understanding about God's specific commandment. Note the question he posed to Eve. "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden?" (Genesis 3:1) Here Satan was leading the conversation in order to draw out the vulnerability in her understanding. Note Eve's response, "The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die." (Genesis 3:2)
Wait a minute! Did God really say that death would occur by touching the forbidden fruit? Note the commandment that came from the creator's mouth, "You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." Eve simply added some of her own words of wisdom to God's words! All Satan had to do was touch a piece of fruit to show that living beings do not die by touching forbidden fruit. This proved to Eve that God's commandment was untrue. However, in all actuality, it was Eve's unauthorized revision of the commandment that was untrue.
Did you know that Satan and his angels study your words very closely? He has pinpointed all of the vulnerabilities in your understanding of truth. Yes! and he has also calculated the weaknesses of all religious institutions throughout the entire earth. And if any would add to God's word or subtract from God's word, they will be overcome by the smooth words of the anti-Christ, for "He will corrupt those who have violated the Covenant". (Daniel 11:32) Friend! Commit yourself immediately to gain a complete understanding of the Holy Covenant. Why? Because the prophets have warned you that anti-Christ knows how to turn multitudes against it. And surprisingly, God has allowed it.
As I have mentioned throughout the previous two chapters, the saints are about to be dealt a terrible blow from their own Creator. This is not based upon my opinion; this is based upon the alignment of prophetic facts. Anti-Christ is merely the sword that God chooses to deal the deadly blow. Therefore we should not think of the last days conflict in terms of "God's church vs. the anti-Christ". But rather "the Laodicean church vs. the Almighty God. (See revelation 3:15-16) So what part does the anti-Christ and his followers play? Compare anti-Christ and his followers to the serpents who destroyed the rebellious Israelites in the wilderness. "The people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!" Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died (Numbers 21:5-6).
Why must the church endure such a terrible holocaust? In short, those who perish do so because they (like their ancient Israelite counterparts) have failed to comprehend the deep teachings of the Holy Covenant. Not knowing that the knowledge contained within its teachings are designed to help endure trials, they turn against the very God whose intent is to preserve them through the tribulation alive. As rebellion over these teachings spread throughout the world church, a mandate from the Almighty shall be pronounced,"You will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.' I, the LORD, have spoken, and I will surely do these things to this whole wicked community, which has banded together against me. They will meet their end in this wilderness; here they will die." (Numbers 14:34-35)
Oh yes, many of these rebellious saints might realize their error and repent. And in His great mercy they will be forgiven. The Creator will give many saints credit who will forsake all and venture out of spiritual Babylon in this second Exodus. Yet in His estimation, the majority of the saints will not possess the faith to endure the ever strengthening trials and they must be left to perish. And once the command has been spoken from the lips of the Almighty, it will be too late. They will then be easy prey for anti-Christ to destroy once the protection of the Almighty has been removed. You can be certain that every word of this prophecy will be fulfilled. "He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints." (Revelation 13:9-10)
- The root of the problem -
For the unlearned, the events that are just before us will occur so abruptly that it will be too late for them to correct the popular misconceptions taught within the church. To them, the objectives contained within the Holy Covenant will sound like foolishness in their ears. Remember, it took Abraham decades to mature to the point that his mind could accept an advanced understanding of the Almighty's purposes. And because God does not move in accordance to the erroneous viewpoints of the church, many saints will naturally rebel. These well meaning and sincere people will work wonderfully to counteract the objectives of the Almighty. They will rise up to destroy those who they think are leading them and their loved ones on a pathway to certain death! Sadly, this rebellion could have been obverted had they taken the time to develop a mature understanding of the prophetic framework contained within the Holy Covenant.
Herein lies the dilemma of our Creator for the conclusion of the second Exodus. He is extremely merciful and patient on one hand. Yet on the other hand, he must fulfill His prophetic oaths. The Creator will reward those who exercise their faith and venture out of spiritual Babylon in this second Exodus. And though their problems are not beyond repair, they cannot be corrected in time to to meet the objectives specified. God has a Holy covenant to keep and this He cannot ignore. Remember He clearly stated to Abraham, "In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here." (Genesis 15:16)
It must be noted that moments before the Covenant was proclaimed by God to Abraham, he was made to witness a vision of some deeply disturbing scenes, "A deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him." (Genesis 15:12) In this great horror, Abraham witnessed the destruction of the Israelites who would reject the Holy Covenant in the wilderness prior to their entrance of the promised land and also those who will forsake the Holy Covenant in these last days. The scenes Abraham witnessed were described by both the prophets Daniel and John the revelator.
Will you, dear reader, take the time to ponder what it would be like to have your Creator rise up against you should you rebel against the enlightenment? These are unpleasant thoughts to contemplate I know, yet the scripture plainly states, "He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness." (Romans 9:28) Will you take the time that is necessary to enlighten yourself regarding the events that are certain to come?"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together...exhorting one another...as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25) Will you use the precious time that remains and shelter yourself from the fiery arrows of His destruction?
Friend, the season of enlightenment has begun. Please understand that time is not on your side. The oaths He has sworn to His prophets must be fulfilled. The time that you might be tempted to spend contending against His Holy Covenant and against those who proclaim it will surely be counted against you. "If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be! How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up?" (Deuteronomy 32:29-30)
"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!" (Hebrews 10:31)
The Holy Covenant
"Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you and I will surely bring you back again." (Genesis 46:3)