Message Notes1). Mt 2:13 ? Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him." 14 When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son."
a). ?Out of Egypt I called My Son? ? We will remember that sonship implies rulership as only a firstborn son may rule over his father?s house.
b). In respect of the Lord we remember - 2Sa 7:12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.
2). Now Jesus is not the only ?son? to be called out of Egypt with a view to rulership - Ex 4:22 "Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son, My firstborn.
a). Israel was adopted as God?s firstborn son with the purpose of entering into the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Establishing the theocratic kingdom and being the head of the nations.
b). But we can note something interesting, that is extremely instructive for us - 1Co 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
c). Note - Ex 5:2 And Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go." 3 ? So they said, "The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go three days' journey into the desert and sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword." 4 Then the king of Egypt said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people from their work? Get back to your labor." 5 And Pharaoh said, "Look, the people of the land are many now, and you make them rest from their labor!"
d). Now we would see Pharaoh as a type of the god of this world. And please notice this. He does not want them to make a three days? journey to sacrifice to the Lord nor does he want them to experience rest. Rather he wants to keep them in bondage, labouring in his field.
3). The Church is also called to adoption as a firstborn son
a). Ro 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."
b). Ga 4:5b?.. .that we might receive the adoption as sons.
c). We have also been called out of Egypt ? Egypt being a type of the world, under the sway of the god of this world, with its values and systems and mind-sets ? to the heavenly land that was promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to rule and reign with Christ as co-heirs - 1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
d). In fact the same instructions given to Abraham can apply to us
Ge 12:1 ? Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, From your family And from your father's house, To a land that I will show you.
e). In essence we are to set aside all connection with this world, this age and focus on the world/age to which we have been called.
4). And just as we saw with Israel, we need to make a three days? journey with a rest in view at the end of it if we are to sacrifice and serve God in a way that is acceptable to Him.
a). And in the same way the god of this world does not want us to make the journey or enter into the rest.
b). 1Pe 5:8 ? Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
5). The three days? journey we are to make is not a literal one, nor is it a one-time event. It is rather a lifestyle of self sacrifice implemented day by day.
a). And this is clearly understood in the symbolism God gives us surrounding the three days, with His especial focus on the third of the three.
b). Ge 1:9 ? Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.
(Teach this in relation to death, resurrection and fruit bearing)
c). Jon 1:17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
(Teach this in relation to Israel being in the place of death and then going into the world on the third day)
d). And we would of course note the Lord?s resurrection on the third day - Ac 10:40 "Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly,
Joh 2:1 ? On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.
6). It is in the Lord?s death, burial and resurrection that we can see the clearest picture of the nature of our three-day journey as we view His.
a). Notice this - Lu 23:46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, "Father, 'into Your hands I commit My spirit.'" Having said this, He breathed His last.
b). His Spirit is committed into God?s hands
c). In this Messianic Psalm we read - Ps 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
d). His spirit is Godward and His soul is in Sheol, the place of death
e). We witness then a separation of the soul and the spirit. A division that takes place over two days followed by resurrection on the third. Bringing victory over the powers of darkness, thereby making rulership possible - Col 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
f). Just as Pharaoh sought to stop Israel so would the one who Pharaoh represents had he known - 1Co 2:8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
7). Now what we can learn from this works on many levels. But, this morning, we are going to deal with what we could call the big picture, and the individual picture.
a). First, the big picture ? As we know God has set aside two days for this dispensation, two thousand years, to call out a people for His name from among the Gentiles ? this being the Church, the Body of Christ. During this time all those called are to die to self and walk according to the spirit. Their spirits are connected Godward and their souls are to remain in the place of death. This is the same picture that we would see in the ordinance of Baptism and the removal of the leaven. At the conclusion of the two days, on the third day, those who have faithfully done this will find themselves resurrected, both literally and metaphorically, to a position of power with Christ in His kingdom
i/ Re 3:21 "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
ii/ Re 21:7 "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
b). Now with regards to the individual picture we all have a period of time, which none of us knows the length of, in which we are to make our three days? journey. That represented by the first two days speaks of our choosing to crucify our flesh, which would enable us to function in that symbolized by the third day, the resurrection power of the spirit.
Ga 5:24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
i/ Should we choose to do this, and it is a choice, then we would find ourselves being one of the overcomers, walking in fulfillment of the big picture.
ii/ Joh 12:25 "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
iii/ Life = Gk. ?Psuche? = Soul
iv/ Therefore we can understand - Joh 12:25 "He who loves his soul will lose it, and he who hates his soul in this world will keep it for eternal (age lasting) life.
1Pe 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,
v/ In other words, those who during this present age keep their soul (Self-life / flesh) in the place of death will receive the salvation of their soul for the age to come. Those who do not do this will not realize the salvation of their soul, although eternally saved, will find themselves in the furnace of fire of Matthew 13, for the full length of the Millennial kingdom - 1Co 3:15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
8). So then, the three days journey speaks of a complete separation from the god of this world and all that which is in his control
a). Heb 12:2 looking (From this world) unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,
b). There has to be the death of our old nature as there is nothing good in it - Ro 7:18a For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells;
i/ Joh 6:63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing .The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
ii/ Heb 4:12a For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit
c). This is the division of soul and spirit, just as we saw with the Lord after His crucifixion. Our spirit, through the Word, is open to God. Our soul is to remain in the place of death as we look to and long for the third day.
9). God has done everything possible and covered every eventuality so that we may live a sanctified and holy life now so as to realize life in the age to come. However this is not automatic ? we have to choose to believe what God has said in respect of this and then act accordingly
a). Jude 1:3 ? Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for (Literally ? ?in respect of?) the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
b). Our choice will require determination, resolve and effort
c). Lu 9:23 Then He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
d). Lu 13:24 "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
10). As we begin this new year our focused pursuit should be to make the three days? journey, looking for the rest out ahead of us.
a). This kind of commitment never comes out of casual Christianity but in wholehearted dedication in seeking God - Ps 25:14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.
b). We must determinedly continue to progress from the knowledge of Christ as the Sacrificial Lamb, to the knowledge of the Melchezidek Priesthood- from the fact of our salvation to the realization of its purpose.
c). Unless we make this three days? journey we will never fulfill God?s purpose for us, we will never worship Him in spirit and truth. We will be working in another?s field, and will produce no fruit.
d). Joh 12:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
11). My beloved brethren let us not be deceived into thinking that anything we do that comes out of ?church?, or we define as ?God?s work?, is exactly that. This is not necessarily true.
a). Let us go back to Exodus - Ex 8:25 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God in the land."
26 And Moses said, "It is not right to do so, for we would be sacrificing the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God. If we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, then will they not stone us?
27 "We will go three days' journey into the wilderness and sacrifice to the LORD our God as He will command us." 28 And Pharaoh said, "I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away.
i/ Notice ? Pharaoh will let them sacrifice to God ?in the land?
ii/ Pharaoh will let them sacrifice to God so long as they ?do not go very far away?
b). The enemy of our soul can be very religious - Joh 8:44a "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do.
c). And he is quite content for us to be religious keeping us in ?the land?, within his field, locked into this present age ? he does not want us to go very far away.
d). The Pentecostal experience, baptism, foot washing, the Sabbath, dress and jewelry ? services like this one ? these can become ends in themselves that take on the form of a self-righteous religious ritual instead of being stepping stones to maturity.
e). Subliminally these actions may be a way that we use to try and bribe our way into God?s favour - Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
12). The style of what we do here, of itself, is of no consequence at all. It is whether those involved in it, all of us, have made the three days? journey or not that determines its value in the eyes of God.
a). Joh 4:23 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
b). This we can never do without the three days? journey. We have to take our eyes off of ourselves ? ?I can?t sing?, ?it?s not my nature?, ?What will others think of me??- and focus instead on the One who deserves our worship.
i/ What do you think God would think if we put our appearance in the sight of others before our appearance in His sight? Who would we be worshipping?
13). Much of what goes on within His church throughout Christendom is little more than religious performance within the borders of Egypt.
a). Church, we have been called to something greater than this.
b). There is a land and there is an inheritance ? Christ bought us with His own blood, the blood of God, and broke the chains of our bondage ? He sits at the right hand of the Father and beckons to us to follow
c). Let us choose to make this three days? journey
e). Ro 6:5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
f). This speaks of a sanctified life now and a glorified life then.
g). What will we choose on the first day of this New Year?