Many of these New Testament warnings have two common elements. First, they remind us that all that happened to the Israelites is for our example.
Second, these warnings state that we, too, could fail to enter in, for the same reasons the Israelites failed to enter in. Since these warnings are so serious, we will look closely at the Israelites' example, and then try to learn from their experience, so that we might avoid making the same mistake they did. Here is a summary of the Israelites' experience in the wilderness:
The Israelites' Experience in the Wilderness (Hebrews 3:7 - 4:11)
- They were redeemed from Bondage in Egypt, and they came out by the Blood of the Lamb.
— This event corresponds to our being redeemed by the Blood of Yahushua, the Lamb of Yahuweh, and of our being Born-again.
- They were baptized in the Cloud & in the Sea (1Corinthians 10:1-2).
— This event corresponds to our baptism in water and in the Holy Spirit.
- They were refused entry into the Promised Land, even after being brought out by the Blood
of the Lamb, and after being Baptised in the Cloud and in the Sea.
— This fact is a New Testament warning to us today, to take notice, and heed, so that we do not repeat their example!
Warning! Warning!This is a New Testament warning for us today! Notice carefully:
The Israelites as Prophetic Figures of Believers Today
- Despite being Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb, and
- Despite being Baptised in water, and Baptised in the Holy Spirit,
- The Israelites were not allowed to enter in to the Promised Land!
- All Believers today are warned in Scripture to take notice, and to heed these
New Testament warnings, so that some would choose not to repeat their example — but would
be allowed to enter in as a part of the Bride Company!
This warning for us can be easily understood when we list the reasons given in Scripture, why the Israelites [as prophetic figures of Believers today] were refused entry into the Promised Land.
The reasons given for the Israelites will thus become the same reasons many who say they believe in Yahushua will fail to enter the Promised Land today, under the New Covenant!
Now notice the reasons why the Israelites failed to enter in, as given in Ezekiel 20:
The Reasons the Israelites Failed to Enter In (Ezekiel 20):
- They continued to disobey Yahuweh's Law [His eternal Torah] (Ezekiel 20:13, 16, 19, 21, 24);
- They despised Yahuweh's Sabbaths (Ezekiel 20:13, 16, 20, 21, 24). This corresponds to the warning given in the New Testament Book of Hebrews, telling us the Israelites refused to enter Yahuweh's rest, by refusing to rest from their work, just as Yahuweh rested from His work.
Much of the New Testament centers around points of Torah that Believers in Messiah are called to keep today, as part of the New Covenant. Whoever 'Believes in' Messiah, becomes grafted in to Israel, and becomes a partaker of the Covenant promises given to Israel. Thus we see that the promises applying to Israel, now apply also to those grafted in to Israel. We [and they] are now 'one new Man' in Messiah.
This is one of the major points described by the apostle Paul — that the conditions for achieving the promises still apply to all New Covenant Believers today, both Jew and Gentile, who become grafted in by faith in Messiah! It is for this reason that the warnings in the Book of Hebrews are so important to New Covenant Believers today!
Who Can Enter In?As we study the Israelites' example, it does not take a rocket scientist, to realize one thing: The Israelites, as well as we today, are not able to keep all the Law — the Torah — in our own strength.
But this realization presents a problem. If we are not able to keep the Torah in our own strength, why is there nothing at all in the New Testament, that would nullify the keeping of Torah for New Testament Believers?
From the logic of the Israelites' example, it appears that we, too, can not keep the Law, and therefore we, too, can not enter in to the promised Land. What is the problem here? If keeping the Law is the only way to enter in, we must ask, "Did Yahuweh change something in the Law that might allow us to enter in?"
Scriptures reveal that Yahuweh did not change anything of the Law (Torah). He simply reminds us, over and over again in the new Testament writings, of the most important mystery of the New Covenant: that is, He has given us 'Messiah-in-you' (See Colossians 1:27), who provides the Grace from within, enabling us to keep His eternal Torah!
Joshua and Caleb Enter InDoes the Israelites' example in the wilderness show us this 'Messiah-in-you' example of entering in? Yes! Although that generation of Israelites fell in the wilderness, and were not allowed to enter in, there were two exceptions — Joshua and Caleb. These two are there for our example, of those who will be allowed to enter in to the Promised Land!
Joshua (Hebrew Yahoshua or Yahushua) speaks of our Saviour, Yahushua. Yahushua is seen by name prophetically in the Scriptures as the High Priest carrying our uncleanness and sins; as the one who will bring Israel into the Promised Land of their inheritance; and as the One who is our Salvation.
Caleb, the Hebrew word meaning whole-hearted, is also the word that describes the dog. Caleb was called the son of Jephunneh, Strong's Number <03312>, which name comes from the Hebrew root 'panah,' Strong's number <06437>, meaning "turned back, and prepared."
Together these names tell us the story of who they speak of today. All have gone astray, and considered nothing but dogs. As whole-heartedly following Messiah, it is through turning back [repentance], that we become prepared. Together, Joshua and Caleb speak of those whole-hearted ones today who, having been Born-Again, have had Yahushua 'birthed' within them. By Yahushua's Grace, His enablement, they repent of any sin when it is revealed to them. Just as Joshua and Caleb entered in, it is the these whole-hearted ones who, together with Yahushua living within (Colossians 1:27), will enter in to the Promised Land.
Yes, Yahuweh knows that on our own, we can not keep all the Law, but He still expects us to choose to keep it all, so that we may choose to enter in with Him. Therefore, He expects us to allow Messiah-in-us to keep it for us, by His grace, on our behalf, as He lives in us daily.
Those Who Are Willing Will Know HimIt is 'Messiah-in-You' that will bring us in, by giving us the Grace — the Holy-Spirit power to keep the Torah. It is by His Holy Spirit, that He will first find willing hearts that would follow the Lamb wherever He goes, even if into unfamiliar spiritual territory.
And, for those that are willing, He will then turn our feet away from our iniquities, and then will cause us to walk in His Torah, His statutes, and His Precepts. Those who walk in His Torah will be allowed into the Promised Land as Firstfruits (See Revelation 14:4).
For those that are NOT willing to follow the Lamb wherever He goes, we are told in (Luke 14:27) that they can NOT be Yahushua's disciples.
It is from those who love Him, that He will choose His Bride. It is those who Love Him, that He will resurrect as Firstfruits. It is those who Love Him, that will keep His Commandments.
Yahushua did not say, "If you love me, keep the 'Old Testament' Commandments. Nor did He say, "If you love me, keep the 'New Testament' Commandments. He said, "If you love me, keep 'MY' Commandments (John 14:15). But what ARE Yahushua's commandments? Let's look:
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. (John 14:23-24)
For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? (John 5:46-47)Those who truly know Him, realise that it was Yahushua Himself — as the Word of the Father — who gave the Commandments to Moses. Thus Yahushua calls them "My Commandments," and also calls them "Not my Word, but the Father's who sent me." He then reveals to us in John 5:46-47 that Moses' Words ARE Messiah's Words. We might then examine ourselves. Am I keeping His Commandments? Am I keeping Messiah's Words?
Choosing wiselyIsrael came out by the Blood of the Lamb. However, they made many choices while in the Wilderness, which prevented that generation from entering in to the Promised Land. We are warned in 1Corinthians 10:11, and also in Hebrews 4:11, to heed their example.
The nature of the New Covenant is such, that everyone is given a choice of whom they will serve. Here are two examples that apply to us today, regarding our New Covenant choice:
In Joshua 24:15, Yahuweh said, "Choose this day whom ye will serve." Joshua's answer is our example for us today: "as for me and my house, we will serve Yahuweh."
In Isaiah 56:4-7, Yahuweh makes some New Covenant promises:
Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. (Isaiah 56:7)But then we are reminded that these promises are only for those who 'choose' in a certain way. Notice the conditions, a few verses prior:
For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; (Isaiah 56:4)
Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; (Isaiah 56:6)Notice the above promises refer to Yahuweh's Everlasting Covenant, for they refer to features unique to Father's Everlasting Covenant. These features are 1) choosing the things that please Yahuweh, and 2) the grafting in of the Sons of the Stranger, which are known as the Gentiles.
These two passages also show us exactly how we may choose to be a part of Father's New Covenant. Let us remember, however, that The Blood of Yahushua Messiah does not guarantee that we will choose correctly, or wisely. His Blood simply redeems us, and sets us free us from bondage. His Grace then enables us to choose.
Notice also that Yahuweh tells us that the promises of Isaiah 56 are for those who choose the things that please ['delight'] Him. He then tells us exactly those things that delight Him, so that we might choose wisely! Father then equates choosing the things that please Him with taking hold of His Covenant.
In summary, those who choose to enter in to the Promised Land, are those who choose to take hold of His Covenant.
Those who will enter in, are those who have chosen wisely.
Beloved, how will you choose?
For further information for the Bride's preparation, see the following Related Articles: