Another Shavuot (Pentecost) has come and gone, and I wanted to get back to our study on the Crossing Over People, since Shavuot celebrates the giving of the Torah at Sinai, as well as the giving of the precious Holy Spirit to all believers to illuminate and reveal the great Mystery the Torah holds.
Praise our good and loving God, for His mercy endures forever!
This series study is intended to reveal God’s plan of Salvation as laid out in the Exodus of the first Crossing Over People out of bondage in Egypt and into the Promised Land. You can read the first installment of this study in my article, The Crossing Over People and the Called-Out Ones.
If you recall, my last post on the subject, Take the Narrow Road, shared a vision I’d had about the choice we must make when we are called out of Egypt. Not only to leave Egypt, but to leave the crowd behind and forge an intimate relationship with the Lord.
Egypt represents a lifestyle outside of God’s plan for us which keeps us in bondage to sin.
Today I want to talk about how the Exodus began. First, let’s establish that it was God Himself who initiated this great event, setting all things in order for it to occur, beginning with His words to Abraham in Genesis 15:13. Through Adam our birthright was lost to Satan, but it was never God’s intention that we remain strangers in a strange land. The earth was created for us, and we are to possess it. His plan to remedy the situation was laid out in the great Exodus, to show us the way.
With the first nine plagues, the Lord struck down all the gods of the Egyptians, laying waste everything they believed sustained them. The final plague left no doubt of Jehovah’s sovereignty. He alone is the giver and taker of life.
“For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike 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.” Exodus 12:12.
The first born represented the head of the family, authority, the very bloodline. God himself would cut off all who rejected Him. Not some fluffy, green, unidentifiable smoke like the movies portray, but God.
Those who believed on God, trusting His work through His prophet, would live to begin a future they had never even thought to imagine for themselves. But even these would be offering their firstborn (authority and headship) to God as payment for His Salvation (Exodus 13).
Just stop for a moment and look at this story, not as an interaction between God and a nation, but as your creator reaching out to you, restoring the relationship with you that was lost in the Garden Eden. Inviting you to come out of bondage and cross over into a destiny you never dreamed possible, your true destiny as a child of God.
In Exodus, Chapter 12, we read of the instituting of Pesach, or the Passover that enabled us to become the Crossing Over People. I hope that as we go deeper, you will see that God didn’t create this to be a “Jewish Feast,” but a time of remembrance for all partakers of the Passover Lamb—for all time.
A New Beginning
In Exodus 12:2, we read that for God’s chosen, the calendar year begins in spring, as God declares “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” This is the month of Abib, later called Nisan, falling on the Gregorian calendar in April. In this declaration, God connects the rebirth of earth in spring, to the rebirth of mankind. A new beginning made possible only by the sacrifice of the Lamb.
Every month thereafter would represent the stages in our journey back to God, played out by the first Ivrim (Hebrews), the Crossing Over People, as they journeyed to the Promised Land.
The Number Ten
On the tenth day of Abib, God commanded His people to take a perfect lamb into each home. Note that the tenth day coincides with the tenth plague. The number ten signifies the perfection of Divine order, as it begins a whole new set of numbers. Our God is the God of New Beginnings.
“Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert” Isaiah 43:19.
The symbol of innocence, meekness, and humility, the lamb was to be tied to their bedpost for fourteen days. Why? If you know anything about farm life, you know it’s never a good idea to allow kids to name animals that are bound for the table. Once the animal has a name it becomes a pet, a family member. It’s very hard to end the life of an animal you are close to because of sickness or age but slaughtering a family member to eat seems barbaric to most of us. And this is exactly why God had them do it. He wanted His people to feel the weight of sacrificing something they love to save their own lives.
This lesson would be made even harder when the day came (the 14th day of Abib) for all families to slaughter their lambs. No one in the Hebrew community would be spared the heart wrenching sound of thousands of crying lambs, followed by the deafening silence of death.
For this reason, God told Moses in Exodus 11:6 that, while there would be an outcry in Egypt like never before when He took their firstborn, not even a dog would utter a sound among the Israelites. This would leave no doubt that God differentiates between those who follow Him and those who make their own gods (Exodus 11:7). There has never been a question of payment for sin:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 6:23.
Either we accept the death of the Lamb of God for the wages of our sin, along with the pain of sanctification now, and receive everlasting life, or we reject God’s offering, living life on our terms, and pay with our own lives in the end. The choice is ours.
The Number Fourteen
At twilight on the fourteenth day of the month, the yearling lambs would be slaughtered, and their blood would be spread on the doorposts and lintels of their homes. The number fourteen is a multiple of seven (Spiritual perfection). Seven doubled, in fact, signifying a double portion of Spiritual perfection. And the number two speaks of incarnation, and since Jesus (God incarnate) is the second individual named in the Holy Trinity, and also referred to by Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:45, as the second Adam, the sacrificial lamb points undoubtedly to Yeshuah.
As the animals the Lord directed Abraham to divide in Genesis 15 was a covenant made between God and Abraham, the shedding of the blood of the Passover lamb was to be a covenant between God and His people. By entering into covenant with God, They agreed to trust and obey God, and, in turn, God would deliver them from the judgment He was about to unleash on Egypt.
They were to dip a branch of hyssop, a healing herb, into the blood of the lamb, and not just paint, but strike their doorposts and lintels with it. Why? Because the blood of the Lamb of God would come through the striking of His head and His hands by His accusers, through violence.
Notice the symbolic placement of the blood here, a triangle pointing from man to God.
Then each family member was to enter in, through the blood of the lamb, and remain throughout the night. What does this foreshadow?
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me” John 15:4.
“I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture” John 10:9.
When we accept the sacrifice of Christ in exchange for salvation, we are entering into a covenant relationship with God. We enter into Christ himself, through His blood.
“Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt” Exodus 12:13.
Compare this this promise with the following,
“Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads” Revelation 7:3.
The blood of the Lamb and the Holy Spirit are like brands marking us as belonging to the King.
Sanctification Through Sacrifice
Though we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, we are sanctified by God’s Holy Fire. And, to further emphasize purification, the bread they were to eat was to be without leaven, which symbolizes sin.
The lamb was to be roasted on fire. Not boiled or eaten raw. Why? Because it was a sacrifice unto the Lord. The legs and entrails were to be burned on the fire as well, legs symbolizing power and mobility and entrails representing the heart and will of the individual. Even the leftovers were to be burned with fire. To partake of the Passover Lamb of God is to give up our own will and desires and take on the will and desires of our Father.
“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work’” John 4:3.
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire” Hebrews 12:28, 29.
“Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward” 1 Corinthians 3:12-14.
“Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us” 1 Corinthians 5:6, 7.
Not only were they not to eat leavened bread, but moving forward, they were not to have any leaven in their houses for a period of seven days. As mentioned before, the number seven signifies Spiritual perfection, and bears the seal of the Holy Spirit. Further symbolizing the importance of living a life free of sin, the term house or tent is often used in scripture to represent the human body, being a temporary dwelling. This command given by God in Exodus 12:15 was to signify a life of complete submission and obedience to God, enabled by the indwelling of His Holy Spirit.
The people were to eat this meal fully dressed and prepared to move. Remaining where they had been for generations was not an option. As new creations, we too must move out of our old behaviors, beliefs, and habits.
“Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved” Matthew 9:17.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
At first glance, the entering in and remaining seems to contradict the eating of the meal in haste, prepared to move out, as well as the “go in and out” of John 10:9. But, in the context of beginning a new life, it makes perfect sense.
The Army of God
Many new Christians assume that they are immediately commissioned to run out and save the world upon saying the sinner’s prayer. This assumption is the reason so many fall away from the faith. And this is precisely why Jesus cautioned the multitudes in Luke 14 to count the cost.
The Apostles spent three years under the instruction of Jesus Christ Himself, only going out, when Jesus sent them out (Luke 10). Likewise, Paul, even after meeting Jesus, went into the dessert to seek the Lord before beginning his ministry. Jesus himself didn’t begin His ministry until He had fasted in the wilderness, overcoming the flesh and being trained up in the Spirit.
We have a graphic example of what can happen when people assume their authority and move under their own will in Acts 19, when the seven sons of the High Priest tried to exorcise a demon. Remember the legs of the lamb that were laid on the fire?
“‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the Lord of hosts” Zechariah 4:6.
The Kingdom of God is like an army, which is why we are commanded to “Put on the whole armor of God” in Ephesians 6:11. Praying the prayer of Salvation is like taking the oath of service. Recruits are not taken from the recruiting office and drop on the front lines. They are taken to basic training.
Basic training is all about stripping the recruit of their individuality (will) and training them on the chain of command, following orders, being self-disciplined, and working as part of a company. This is comparable to sanctification. It’s also about familiarizing recruits with the weapons of their warfare and training them in their effective use. Only when a soldier is fully trained and equipped is he sent out on an assignment.
Though church leaders and pastors are given to us to help in this process, ultimately, it is up to every individual to discipline themselves to pursue and know God. Only the creator of our spirits and flesh holds the blueprint and purpose for our lives. Only He has equipped us with what we need to accomplish our purpose, and only He can reveal that purpose and direct our path. Fasting and prayer should be a part of every believer’s basic training, just as it was for Jesus.
Choosing your own ministry or calling (assignment) and acting on your own authority and ability when God has already established a strategy is not only foolish, but dangerous for the individual, and can ultimately hinder the success of an entire campaign. A campaign which relies on every member of the Body of Christ acting as one unit under the direction of one Commander-in-Chief, who is the sovereign God. It is in effect willful disobedience. In the army, this kind of behavior can bring a Court Martial. In the Army of God, the stakes are much higher.
“For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries” Hebrews 10:26-27.
The good news is, as I stated earlier, our God is the God of new beginnings. As long as we live, there is the opportunity to repent, lay our will on the sacrificial fire of sanctification and submit wholly to God. To be used by Him according to the purpose for which He created us.
Before we can march boldly into the Promised Land, we must first enter in—to God and His perfect will—and remain, through the blood of the Lamb.
In my next installment, we will see just why this step is vital to successfully accomplishing God’s will in and for our lives and the Body of Christ, when we receive the command to move out.
God’s grace and peace be yours,