Joshua 1:7-9 (KJV)
7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
We are currently experiencing the loss of many of our pastors that were instrumental in this last generation of transforming the Hippie movement and drug culture into the Jesus movement, through which many of us were saved. They are sorely missed. One man in particular was described as a "Moses model". However, if we recall, Moses took the children of Israel to the Promised Land, but not into it. It was in fact Joshua who took them in and faced the giants.
Prior to entering in, Joshua re-introduced the Law of Moses. The question now is where is our Joshua today? Who will lead us into the most turbulent times in the history of the planet? Who will lead us into the days in which Jesus described as "unless these days were shortened, no one will survive"?
The answer may be unexpected, it is the 144,000 Jews that will soon be supernaturally sealed by God.
These pure, virgin, Jews will be fearless as they "love not their lives unto death, and are not afraid of dying." They are about to turn our world upside down, just as the Apostles did in the book of Acts! They will fulfill Joel 2:27-28, also as the Apostles did. They are definitely Jewish, and yet preaching Christianity. Being virgins, not defiled with sexual immorality, without guile, and without fault. They bring the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. These 144,000 are also described as the remnant of the seed of the woman (Israel), that the Dragon goes after and the Beast makes war against them and overcomes. One of the applications for the word seal is for "security: from Satan". Because of this "seal"; Satan can't harm them. Satan has to give His power and authority to the Beast (Rev.13:3) in order for him to make war against them. These "elite" keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus. They appear to be a people of two covenants as they are definitely Jewish, inherently follow the Law, and yet walk in the faith/testimony of Christianity. This will take us back to the acts of the Apostles. But instead of 12 men, there will be 144,000. 12,000 from each tribe, bringing the greatest witness the world has ever seen. The gospel will finally be preached throughout the whole world, and then the end will come.
We often say that the church was born in the book of Acts, chapter 2, as the Holy Spirit fell on the disciples, transforming them into Apostles and they spoke in other tongues the wonderful works of God.
This is simply not quite accurate.
This event occurred on a Jewish holiday (Pentecost), and their audience was indeed Jewish.
The Gentile church was actually born in Acts chapter 10, where Peter saw a vision (3 times) where a sheet was let down from heaven and contained all manner of animals that were considered unclean. Peter was told to rise and eat. "That which God has cleaned, call not unclean." This was representing the Gentiles, and that the "time of the Gentiles had begun". This sheet that held the animals was knit at the 4 corners. We can see here in the book of Acts an overlap of Jew and Church as both were in play then, just as both are in play during these chapters in Revelation. Like the previous image of 4 corners of the sheet, the 144,000 thousand are sealed by Angels standing at the 4 corners of the earth, holding back the winds (Rev. 7). The thought of the wind not blowing for a time is very unsettling. Imagine no clouds moving, leaves rustling or even rain. Quite a sign. Notice also that they are sealed from the 4 quarters of the earth not the 4 quarters of Jerusalem or Israel. Do they even know who they are? They will soon, and so will we.
And what of the law?
The book of Romans has much to say about this. It makes the distinction between the justification and righteousness of keeping the law (Jews), and the justification and righteousness that comes through faith (Gentiles). The Law was too much to bear for the Gentiles. For if you live by the Law, then you are also judged by the Law. The Christian is not under the Law but under grace. The Jews had a problem with this which became a stumbling block, as they insisted that the Gentiles (Christians) perform circumcision and keep the Law. And yet the Holy Spirit was filling non Jewish believers just as it had filled the disciples. The Apostles had a conference and determined that-
Acts 15:19-20 (KJV)
19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
But what of Paul? Even though he was a witness to the Gentiles, he also had a heart for the Jew. He repeatedly said "to the Jew first and also to the Greek". When entering a new city, he frequently visited and preached in Synagogues. In the 10th chapter of the book of Romans, Paul says "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved". In Romans 3, Paul refers to the Jew - "what advantage then has the Jew... Much in every way. Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God". It is clear that Paul never gave up on the Jews.
Paul in several scriptures in the book of Romans equates "works" with keeping the "law". The general message in the book of James is of faith versus works. James ch. 2 - "What does it prophet, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?...thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead".
Imagine what happens when the two come together! Who was the Epistle of James written to? To the 12 tribes which are scattered abroad. I can tell you this - God is not yet finished with the Jews.
Is God the God of the Gentiles only? Is He not also the God of the Jews? Was He not God to the Jew first? Paul describes the Church (Rom. 11) - as branches that are grafted into a wild olive tree (Jew), and a partaker of the root (Jesus), and that we don't support the root, but the root supports us. It is because of unbelief that their branches were broken off and we were grafted in. But also indicates if they do not continue in unbelief, God is able to graft them in again. He tells us that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. That time is now. "And so all Israel will be saved".
So what of us, the church?
Being grafted into the same olive tree as the Jews, how is it we are so far apart? Why do we not follow the Jewish holidays which were of so much prophetical significance. Jesus was crucified, placed in a tomb, and resurrected on these holidays / feasts - (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits). The Holy Spirit fell on the apostles on another (Pentecost). The rapture and Lord's return may be expected to occur during the fall feasts (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur) and the Feast of Tabernacles is to be honored throughout the Millennium. These feasts will soon be upon us. Why are we, the church, not celebrating them as well?
When I tried to honor these feasts previously, I was asked, "why are you doing this? You're not Jewish".
Why is there such a separation? We find in two of the messages to the churches in Revelation "who say they are Jews and are not"; giving the appearance that Christians and Jews were together within these churches.
Everything is about to change as the two will become one. Will we accept it, or deny it? Will we say that we don't have to listen because they are Jewish and we are Christian, or will we reject the message and direction of the 144,000 and deny they exist because we haven't been raptured out of here yet?
Our world is about to change, and we can't afford to fall into the same stumbling block of denial and unbelief as the Jews faced with accepting the Gentile Church. Watch the leaves on the trees and the clouds in the sky, for when they stop - God goes. Please Get Ready!