In this series, I have addressed God’s ancient people’s path to the homeland and have related it to the ‘Jacob’-Judah “small flock” remnant’s own final journey here in the last days prior to the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom.
In prior passages, I have also described important prophetic indicators and lessons from Moses’ day as these apply to today’s end times ‘Jacob’-Judah remnant.
In this current passage (Part 4), I will continue addressing these prophetic indicators. Herein, I will address:
- Obedience and faith
I will relate this topic from the days of Moses as it applies prophetically to today’s ‘Jacob’-Judah remnant.
Obedience, righteousness and faith
An important theme and instructional lesson for God’s remnant in the last days that is pervasive in God’s words through Moses is that of maintaining faith and obeying his commands. This is also an important lesson from the apostle Paul who describes the strong interrelationship between righteousness and faith in his writings. In this section, I will address the relationship between obedience and faith as it applies prophetically and is relevant for these last days.
Obedience to Jesus Christ will be a baseline requirement in the midst of last days faithlessness, lawlessness and evil. Obeying God’s commands alone will enable his people to differentiate and to qualify as a “peculiar people.” It will be Jesus Christ’s simple commands that they will look to, which we know encompass, “all of the law and the prophets.”
Speaking of, the following scriptures of Moses’ day show God’s desire for an obedient, faithful people unto himself:
- “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine.” (Ex 19:5)
- “The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways. And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee.” (Deut 28:9-10)
- “And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken.” (Deut 26:19)
For the last days ‘Jacob’-Judah small flock remnant who will receive God’s tremendous grace in delivering them out of ‘Babylon’-U.S. and bringing them to a pre-staging ground prior to the holy kingdom, it only stands to reason that they should keep in mind lessons from Moses’ day and maintain righteousness through obedience prior to inheriting rewards of the kingdom.
Once they are delivered out of ‘Babylon’-U.S. into the wilderness, it should be apparent to them that God has reserved them to “establish as a holy people unto himself.” God’s ancient promises about this deliverance will eventually become a reality. Just a couple of examples in scripture are as follows:
- “Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people.” (Lev 20:24)
- “How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.” (Num 24:5-6)
God will separate his people again in the last days. Being righteous, obedient and faithful will be natural attributes of his people who he calls holy. Their cleansing and sanctification will also be likely required qualities and will be a means for creating spiritual separation and distinction. I will address these in Part 5.
Built into the law in Moses’ day
Scriptures from the ancient time of Moses with prophetic implications show the positive outcomes and rewards in God’s soon coming kingdom in return for their maintaining obedience and righteousness while in the wilderness. We are told, “Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob” (Deut 33:4). Some selected prophetic promises in return for God’s people’s obedience include: preserved life; release from bondage; “being gathered by the Lord”; inheriting the land; prolonged life; “that it may be well”; made holy; “peculiar”; and “high above all nations.”
Scripture in the books of Moses tells us that when God’s people keep his commands and do them, “with all of their heart and all their soul,” then they may inherit the holy land and expect certain benefits such as those that are described as follows:
- “For it is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life: and through this thing ye shall prolong your days in the land, whither ye go over Jordan to possess it.” (Deut 32:47)
- “That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.” (Deut 30:3)
- “…to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us.” (Deut 6:24-25)
In bringing his people into the wilderness in Moses’ day, the Lord was both testing and humbling them. God was determining whether they would obey his voice and his commands, as well as whether they would remember what he had already done for them to that point. In scripture, it is clear that their very livelihoods depended on their obedience. If they obeyed, then they would be rewarded with those benefits that I just described.
At the end of their journey through the wilderness, at the doorstep of the land of inheritance, God reminded ‘Israel’ how he had tested them as follows:
- “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.” (Deut 8:2)
- “Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end.” (Deut 8:16)
God desired to know his early house of Israel’s people’s hearts. Part of this process was his punishment and chastening along the way (i.e. “as a man chastens his son”- Deut 8:5) so that they might be tested and then humbled, thereby leading to their fear and trust in him.
The humbling process was particularly important for his people since they were destined for the land of inheritance. This will be the same in these last days for God’s ‘Jacob’-Judah and larger house of Israel remnants who will be destined for his holy land. God reminded Moses’ people several times as follows; remember, “thou wast a bondman in Egypt,” so that they would not forget the concept of justice and would not become prideful. In God’s laws (slaves, feasts, harmony, etc.), he showed that to obey his statutes was so that there is also benefit for the oppressed, poor, fatherless, strangers, etc.
Strong faith means not fearing
So, a significant part of God’s people’s obedience is maintaining strong faith. On the other hand, a telltale sign of a lack of faith is fear. Recall Jesus telling his disciples, “fear not,” several times. Moses’ people were told the same thing by God several times. God looks for courage in his people during difficult times.
An excellent example of the kind of faith that God desires in these last days is that which was shown by Caleb and Joshua in Moses’ day who went with the group of tribe leaders to spy out the land of inheritance. Caleb and Joshua were obviously “men of understanding” and courage who were aware of God being among them and fighting for them. They were not afraid of the strong people they saw in the land. Because of their faith, they believed that their people could enter the land of these giants and conquer as God desired. Caleb and Joshua possessed the spirit that God was looking for in the following scripture:
- “When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” (Deut 20:1,3-4)
Caleb and Joshua were then the only ones of their generation who God allowed to enter the land when it came time. Perhaps this is because, upon God’s people entering the land, God had warned them they would have to come up against seven nations “greater and mightier than thou” (Deut 7:1).
It is unclear what challenges the ‘Jacob’-Judah “small flock” remnant might encounter during their upcoming time in the wilderness in the Tribulation period. Regardless, it is reasonable to assume that maintaining very strong faith will be a necessary component for their existence given the worldwide spiritual kingdom war of which they are a part.
Lack of faith- disobedience
Unfortunately, as a whole, God’s people lacked faith and were disobedient while in the wilderness in Moses’ day. Though God’s house of Israel had seen firsthand his deliverance when they came out of their persecution in Egypt, followed by his successive wonders and works, they then became faithless, fearful, and rebellious. They complained, saying, “let us return to Egypt” (Num 14:4).
Practically any reader of scripture about God’s people being delivered from Egypt and supported by God in the wilderness must be shocked and amazed at their lack of faith and their rebellion. God was in their very midst, performing signs and wonders around them. God later reminded Moses and the children of Israel several times, “you have seen,” to make his point about the miracles that he had done in their sight. A few of his words along these lines were as follows:
- “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.” (Ex 19:4)
- “And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles.” (Deut 29:2-3)
- “And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the Lord thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place.” (Deut 1:31)
As mentioned above, an entire generation of ‘Israel’ was precluded from entering the land of inheritance because of lack of faith. God also informed them prophetically of the consequences of disobedience for their people going forward. There are numerous unfortunate consequences listed in the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus, which include many things God’s disobedient people still suffer from even now, in these last days.
In the meantime, as God’s people sat near the Jordan, prepared to enter their land of inheritance, God (through Moses) told them that their successive generations would still not obey. They were destined to “corrupt” themselves with false gods again.
This would cause their destruction and their scattering back out of the land. So the early generations of God’s people were not able to retain possession of the promised land as a result of their disobedience.
Importance of strong faith in our current last days/end times ‘Jacob’s day
To this point in this passage, I have addressed those lessons from Moses’ day about the importance of God’s people’s (Israel’s) obedience, righteousness and faith in the midst of their journeying out of Egypt and through the wilderness.
I have also stated in this and previous passages in this current series how God’s people’s journey toward their homeland in ancient days provides somewhat of a prophetic picture along with lessons for the end times remnant’s journey in these last days.
So, here we might ask the following: ‘how do these lessons of obedience, righteousness and faith relate to God’s last days remnant people, specifically the ‘Jacob’-Judah “small flock” remnant?’
In the midst of this current last days time period about which Jesus asked, “Will the Son of Man find faith on earth,” this small flock remnant is obedient and faithful. We are told ‘Jacob’ walks in righteousness. In fact, we are told that God himself “calls (Jacob) in righteousness” (Is 42:6). His Judah remnant is described in the book of Hosea as “walking with God” and as being “faithful with the saints.”
Even Balaam in his prophetic vision about end times ‘Jacob’ and the people, ‘Israel,’ who he recognized as blessed by God, and refused to curse, foresaw end times ‘Jacob’s obedience and righteousness as follows:
- “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.” (Num 23:21)
- “Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!” (Num 23:23)
Note that we learn here that end times ‘Jacob’ does not have a problem associated with false gods and idols such as that which I described for the people of Israel above. Righteous ‘Jacob’ and his small flock remnant, however, become tested, just like God’s people in the wilderness in Moses’ day. God brings the anti-Christ Chaldean enemy upon his remnant in the last days for their testing and to humble them while they are strangers in the land of ‘Babylon’-U.S. Recall that I mentioned earlier in this passage how God “chastens” his faithful people so that they remember him, return to him and then reflect on and recognize how he has been with them all along in their journey. This opportunity to return to God remains in these “latter days” as is shown in the following scripture:
- “When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice.” (Deut 4:30)
Also, for ‘Jacob’s small flock remnant who will be the holy, royal and righteous part of God’s inheritance and who will represent him in the Millennial Kingdom, God brings tribulation and persecution onto them so that they will understand lawlessness and justice, and thereby, understand how God’s laws are to be followed for the sake of (preventing) an oppressed class. God refers to their righteous battle as follows:
- “Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.” (Is 28:17)
So, God tests the end times ‘Jacob’-Judah remnant by placing them at the epicenter of the last days kingdom war versus the anti-Christ Chaldean “mob” enemy. The prophet Amos foresaw this war in his “troubling” vision of end times ‘Jacob’s David-versus-Goliath-type battle as one representing the widespread destruction and decimation of God’s vineyard at the hands of the anti-Christ Chaldeans. Amos was concerned about whether God would use the anti-Christ Chaldeans to destroy the entire house of Israel, and was specifically concerned about ‘Jacob’ himself being “small” when compared with his enemy.
The following prophetic Psalm of King David that applies for last days ‘Jacob’ represents end times ‘Jacob’s prayer:
- “Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.” (Ps 25:21-22)
In last days ‘Jacob’s and his small flock’s battle versus the anti-Christ Chaldean (Goliath) criminal persecuting machine, God will find out if they have faith. The Chaldean onslaught against them is prior to their deliverance into the wilderness so it is a time that they have likely not yet seen God’s works firsthand, at least not collectively and visually in the sense the children of Israel did in Moses’ day. Thus, the following statement by Jesus about faith to “doubting Thomas” will apply at this time:
- “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (Jn 20:29)
Although the small flock remnant may have not yet seen God’s workings at this time, they will be able to consider and will have no doubt that he is and has been among them. I mentioned fear earlier in this passage as an indicator of an absence of faith, but recall that God tells end times ‘Jacob’ several times that he is with him and tells him to “fear not.” Here is God’s message to end times ‘Jacob’ and his remnant in these days:
- “But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid.” (Jer 46:27)
‘Jacob’ and his remnant will be spared by God and will represent the few grapes left on the vine or the few olives left on the top of the tree. These will be the ones who are delivered “out of” ‘Babylon’-U.S. into the wilderness.
The result of ‘Jacob’s and his small flock’s remnant’s obedience
The outcome of the ‘Jacob’-Judah remnant’s deliverance will be an undeniable act of God himself; it will be one that will bring glory to his name and a deliverance for his people that he will provide for the world to see for his own name’s sake.
Although not perfect, in large part, this remnant will be shown to have maintained obedience, righteousness and faith in the midst of severe tribulation and persecution. As a result, scripture says that this remnant will be rewarded by living in “tents of righteousness.” These will be among God’s elect who earn the designation spoken of by the apostle Paul as being, “more than Conquerors.”
As I have shown in prior passages, due to ‘Jacob’s and his remnant’s righteous battle in the last days, the results become: captives are freed; God’s tribes are restored; eyes of the blind are opened (to the secret of lawlessness); and there will be a “light for the Gentiles.”
To conclude this section with the principle of obedience and God’s law, the topic that I began this passage with, God says in scripture that he will “give” end times ‘Jacob’ for a covenant for the people (Is 42:6, Is 49:8). He says furthermore:
- “The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.” (Is 42:21)
There will ultimately be a new standard that is set for what is lawless versus that which is righteous.
In Part 5, I will address the next logical topic in sequence, which is the sanctification and cleansing of God’s people in the last days. God is going to give his people a sanctified, new spirit in addition to his law under Jesus Christ. Again, I will provide a comparison and contrast for this principle as it applied in Moses’ day to what it might look like in the last days and going into the Millennial Kingdom.
Grace & Peace,
Lion’s Lair (LL)