March 2014 Yavoh Article

There came a moment in the exodus story when the children of Israel were on the threshold of entering the Promised Land, and they rejected the very goal of the exodus. The whole purpose of leaving Egypt was to go to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yet, the people who experienced the Passover and the crossing of the Red Sea, and who heard God’s voice from Mount Sinai, balked at entering the land. What happened to them?

It happened when the children of Israel dispatched spies to the check out the land. Ten of the twelve spies returned and gave a bad report, which melted the people’s hearts. Sure, the land was flowing with “milk and honey,” but there were giants there and the spies said, “we are like grasshoppers” to them, adding “they will kill us, and our wives and our children will be captured.”

Despite the best efforts of Joshua and Caleb, who were two of the twelve spies, to argue against the bad report, the people complained against the Lord saying, “God hates us,” and “were there not enough graves in Egypt so God brought us here to die in the wilderness?” They pronounced judgment upon themselves saying, “It would be better to die here in the wilderness than go into the ‘Promised Land.’”

God heard their proclamation, and He was not happy with them. God then offered His own commentary for that moment.

Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it. Numbers 14:22-23

The Lord said the children of Israel who had come out of Egypt had tested Him ten times. God then pronounced judgment upon that generation. Whereas the people feared for their children entering the land, the Lord judged the parents and used their children (19 years of age and younger of those born in the wilderness) to take the land.

If balking at the idea of entering the land was the tenth time Israel tested the Lord, what happened the other nine times? This question is more than simple curiosity about the exodus story. The exodus story is a prophetic scenario for the “Greater Exodus” at the end of the ages. The lessons of the ancient exodus are the very issues (tests) that end-time believers will face in the Great Tribulation. This is what the Apostle Paul teaches in a summary of the ancient exodus and its application for us, particularly at the end of the ages.

For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Messiah. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play." Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 
1 Corinthians 10:1-11

Therefore, it is very important that we understand the exodus story and the tests that occurred in the wilderness. As end-time believers, we will face these same tests. Looking back, I can understand why our ancestors failed at these tests. To some degree, they didn’t know what was coming or the proper answer for each test. I am not making excuses for them; they should have continued to the trust the Lord, based on His miraculous provision for them as He moved them out of Egypt. But let’s talk about us. They had no knowledge of the tests that would come, but we do. We have the full teaching of the exodus (start to finish); we have the benefit of the Messiah’s leading and the gift of the Holy Spirit; we know what the tests will be about and can prepare our hearts accordingly. We see the prophecy of the Greater Exodus based on the ancient exodus and these very tests. Therefore, we should pass these tests with flying colors in an excellent manner, that is, if we learn from the past and don’t make the same mistakes they made.

Let us understand that Scripture is telling us God’s plan from beginning to end, and how people have responded to His authority. God has declared His commitment to raise up a people who love His ways and lordship, a people who understand His sovereignty and look forward to His coming. He even foretells that many will ignore His admonitions and examples. It is time to lay aside distractions that cause us to miss His message and cast doubt on His intentions. We have been asleep for too long.

Let’s examine the ten tests the Lord referred to. We know the tenth test was rejecting the land because of a “bad report” and discouragement of others. Let us quickly list the tests and then examine them in detail.

1. Believing in the Lord’s salvation and deliverance

2. Believing that the Lord will provide water to live

3. Believing that the Lord will provide food to live

4. Believing that the Lord will be present with us

5. Believing that the Lord is the only True God

6. Rejecting the food that the Lord gives to us

7. Rejecting the Lord’s presence among us

8. Rejecting the Lord’s salvation and deliverance

9. Rejecting the Lord’s Anointed

10. Rejecting the Lord’s Promised Land

Before we go any further, we need to understand that testing the Lord is not what Israel should have done, nor something we should ever do. Testing the Lord can be compared to telling the Lord to His Face that you don’t believe what He just said or, worse yet, telling Him “No” to His Face after He has just instructed you to do something. Can you imagine how a parent would react to an insolent and rebellious child? Can you understand how our heavenly Father must perceive this?

You shall not put the Lord your God to the test... Deuteronomy 6:16a

Let’s move to the first test and examine what happened.

First Test:
Believing in the Lord’s
salvation and deliverance

The setting is at the crossing of the Red Sea. Moses and the Israelites had journeyed for a week, eating the bread of haste (unleavened bread). Their journey was one like they had never known. They were being led by the cloud-by-day and fire-by-night, but their path seemed to hem them in from the wilderness and not lead them straight out. They found themselves blocked by a mountain on one side and by the Red Sea on another. Pharaoh changed his mind about letting the people go and was convinced they didn’t know what they were doing or where they were going. He pursued the Israelites with his chariots. As Pharaoh’s army approached, the people became fearful and responded in a mixture of anger, fear, panic, and disbelief.

As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord. Then they said to Moses, "Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness." But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent." Exodus 14:10-14

There were actually four distinct responses from the people in this situation. 1. Some wanted to immediately kill themselves (drown themselves in the Red Sea). 2. Some wanted to go back to Egypt and return to slavery. 3. Some wanted to act like none of this was happening (ignore the obvious). 4. Some wanted to fight.

Instead, Moses commanded them all to stand still (take no action) and watch God save and deliver them. The presence of the Lord was right there with them in the form of the cloud-by-day and fire-by-night.

The people had seen the various judgments fall upon the Egyptians, they had eaten the Passover, and had seen the death of the firstborn in Egypt. Now, they were on a journey, but they still didn’t believe that God would really save them. So they tested the Lord when danger approached.

Our bodies have been designed to react in the strongest ways possible when we perceive a threat to our safety. We get a boost of adrenalin, our emotions become extreme, and we react in very strong ways. This is natural, but a mature person also uses his mind in that situation. He assesses the threat and determines the best action for him to take. Those who have courage will sometimes do the impossible and act even against their own survivability to protect or preserve others. We call those people heroes.

As end-time believers, we have to ask ourselves, “Is our faith sufficiently strong that we will trust what the Lord has said concerning the Great Tribulation, and us personally?” The Lord has said that He will not leave us nor forsake us and that He will deliver us out of the time when the whole world will be tested. He has said that He will deliver (the same Hebrew word for “save”) us when He gathers us at the end of the ages for our journey to the promised land.

Are we confident that God will save us AND OUR FAMILIES during the Great Tribulation?

In my opinion, I believe the majority of believers today are not prepared for this test. I know of too many Christians who are afraid of the future, who cower from the subject of the end times, and who refuse to hear any prophetic teaching. I also see a lot of brethren woefully misled, believing that their escape will be “the rapture” before any troubles beset them. I cover this in more detail in the April 2010 YAVOH article entitled “Pre-Trib Rapture: Out of Order”. [Link to Article]

The Scriptures warn of mockers in the last days and of a great falling away from the faith. I believe those prophecies are referring to this first test. Many will not make it.

Yet, I also know of some other believers, those who follow the Torah and remember the teaching of Moses. Hopefully, they will see themselves as part of God’s greater exodus and learn the lessons of the past. They will do what the Apostle Paul said after his summary of the exodus.

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation [test] has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted [tested] beyond what you are able, but with the temptation [test] will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13

The Scriptures are full of words like “escaping, surviving, and enduring” when describing how God will deliver His people at the end of the ages. The children of Israel had to get up and cross that Red Sea to escape the danger, but God made a way for them. The same will happen to us in the days of the Great Tribulation. He has made a way for us to escape if we believe and trust Him for salvation and deliverance.

Second Test:
Believing that the Lord
will provide water to live

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, "What shall we drink?" Exodus 15:22-24

Medical professionals teach that the human body is mostly made up of water (liquids). Water is essential to health on a daily basis. Becoming dehydrated is a life-threatening event in a survival scenario. God knows this—He created us.

Being thirsty is a natural response to the need for water, but it does not justify throwing our faith away and acting unreasonably. Survival experts teach us that finding water is an important task, but that you are to keep your wits about you and work the problem correctly. If you mentally lose it, your panic and frustration will harm you worse and quicker than your lack of water.

For us as end-time believers escaping in the Greater Exodus, we are going to leave our homes and cities where there is tap water and a Big Gulp® at the neighborhood 7-Eleven. We will be going into the “wilderness of the peoples” (Ezekiel 20:35) where there will be none of the modern conveniences, such as plumbing with running water and bathrooms. At times, we will find ourselves lacking a source of water that we need daily. What will we do?

We will have a choice. We can panic, get upset, complain, yell at one another, and scream that we are dying; or, we can trust the Lord and believe these words.

They will not hunger or thirst, nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; for He who has compassion on them will lead them and will guide them to springs of water. Isaiah 49:10

The context of the passage in Isaiah is about the Greater Exodus and how God will deliver the tribulation saints during the Great Tribulation. The Lord has promised us water for our needs.

At Marah, during the ancient exodus, there was water, but it was bitter and could not be used. But God proved His ability to provide what they needed, even in the face of seeming impossibility. He made the water sweet to drink.

Then he [Moses] cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. Exodus 15:25

Maybe it’s time to face some facts. We do not have the right to test God but God has the right to test us. Why would God want to test us?

The fact is, when we are tested we make significant changes in our lives. God wants to transform us for our good, to live. Sometimes we view tests as harmful and a struggle, but basic wisdom teaches us that trials and tribulations actually train us and perfect us. Training and practice are not fun or easy, but they are essential to success. The purpose of the tests in our lives is for a better future. Why would we question God, who wants the best life for us, and His training program, that is guaranteed to be successful? Here is how the Lord explained His rationale for these tests.

And He said, "If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer." Exodus 15:26

Another passage that further explains God’s motive for putting us through tests and trials.

You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:2-3

So, what is God’s goal for us as tribulation saints and the tests we will face? Is it not to see this day and to reach this goal:

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Revelation 19:7-8

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." Revelation 21:3-4

Third Test:
Believing that the Lord
will provide food to live

The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The sons of Israel said to them, "Would that we had died by the Lord's hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger." Exodus 16:2-3

Food—like water—is essential to life. Survivalists teach that the three critical needs for wilderness survival are first shelter, second water, and third food. God knows this also; He created us.

Can you imagine the conversations that we will hear during the Great Tribulation reminiscing about “Big Macs” from McDonalds or the steaks, pasta, Chinese food, and fajitas we used to eat back in the cities? Food is a very powerful appetite in our lives, right along with ego and sex. Food can drive a person to do very bizarre and/or violent things.

This will be a huge test for many saints in the Great Tribulation. Most of us have lived our lives in abundance. While I grew up without much in the cupboard of our home, I have endeavored to have a full pantry most of my adult life. Others are like me -- many have never missed a meal for lack.

But the Great Tribulation will be different. We may well miss a few meals. It won’t kill us, but it will surely test us.

You have already seen the promises from God. We will not hunger or thirst, but that does not mean He can’t test us a little to see what is in our hearts concerning Him. This is actually what He did with our ancestors. And, if you will remember, God fed His people with manna and quail. They also had their own flocks and could fish while near the Red Sea. They didn’t starve, nor will we; but, to guarantee that, God has promised to provide us manna in the Great Tribulation as well.

To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna,... Revelation 2:17

I want to encourage you that the Messiah, who will be leading us in the Greater Exodus, knows how to bless and break a few loaves and a couple of fishes to feed thousands (with baskets left over).

Faith is defined as ‘believing in the promises of the Lord,’ but to believe in them you must first hear them. I know we have heard the promises of food and water for the Great Tribulation. The question is whether we will remember them and believe Him who gave those promises. That is the test; not the food and water.

Fourth Test:
Believing that the Lord
will be present with us

Fundamental to believing in God’s provision and protection is believing that the Lord is with you; i.e., that He knows what is happening to you and is present to do something about it. The need for water and food certainly bring that question out. Such was the case of the children of Israel.

Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water that we may drink." And Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?" But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, "Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?" So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, "What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me." Then the Lord said to Moses, "Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. He named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the Lord, saying, "Is the Lord among us, or not?" Exodus 17:1-7

If the children of Israel had ventured into the wilderness without the Lord, their chances for survival on the journey they took would have been slim to none, but the Lord was with them.

When people are dissatisfied by the results of their life, they have a tendency to withdraw from the Lord and His provision. Sometimes, they think they have to fix the situation themselves, that they cannot trust the Lord. Sometimes, it is pure self-destruction. They don’t understand that separating from the Lord is spiritual suicide. In the case of the children of Israel, the reoccurring need for water in every location brought this dissatisfaction out into the open.

There is a saying about playing football successfully that goes something like this... “You are only as good as the last game you played.” Every game is a new test. As the children of Israel journeyed, every location brought the same question, what about food and water here? I’m sure they carried as much water as they could along the way, and I’m sure they used it conservatively, but the need never stopped. The same happens to us in life, and it will be a driving element in the Great Tribulation. Each location, each day will brings its own needs.

Why did God allow this to happen? Why didn’t He just solve the food and water problem and never have it come up again. The answer is obvious. He was trying to transform the people; He wanted to change their hearts and thinking.

You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:2-3

Fifth Test:
Believing that the Lord
is the only True God

Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron, and said to him, "Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." Aaron said to them, "Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me." Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it into a molten calf; and they said, "This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt." Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord." So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. Then the Lord spoke to Moses, "Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. "They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!'" Exodus 32:1-8

You could argue that this was a test of patience. The children of Israel could not wait 40 days while Moses was on the mountain getting the two tablets. We also know that it was a very small faction (3,000) that led the majority (3,000,000) to fall away from the Lord. You could also say that this was a test of “out of sight, out of mind.” Moses is not around so let’s do something else. Whatever the reason, the children of Israel failed to remember what had just happened at that mountain and what the pillar-by-day and fire-by-night meant to them. I suppose that those things had become common occurrences, and they became complacent.

I knew a boss once who fended off the remembrance of past good deeds by his employees by asking, “Yeah, but what have you done for me today?” He was ungrateful and resisted the requests of his subordinates for consideration based on their past performance. I think the children of Israel may have been a little ungrateful as well. They may have asked themselves, “What has the Lord done for us today?” I believe that attitude sets the stage for being seduced by the idea of another god with a new program. Bored with waiting for Moses, the people rose up to play.

One of the tests that we will face in the Great Tribulation will be the test of idolatry (a new god, a new way, a new salvation, a better way to go). Imagine being in the camp and everything is going well. There are no issues pressing us, we are just waiting. Then suddenly, an idea springs up in the camp to go somewhere else that is nearby with assurances that there will be better things there. Will we stick with the God we know and patiently wait on the Lord or will we be seduced by another message (another way)? The lives of the entire camp will be at stake.

When the Israelites made the golden calf, they did so to find a way to be acceptable to the Egyptians when they returned. They could have made any idol they wanted but they chose the calf, believing they would be well received by the Egyptians having an Egyptian god. Our test in the wilderness will be similar in fashion. The alternate way, or the way separating us from the Lord, will require us to conform to something other than the Lord. Maybe it will be a different proclamation, or an endorsement for another cause. Maybe it will require us to abandon something the Lord has asked of us. Regardless of what it is, the temptation will be to seek acceptance other than from the Lord, to find another savior or helper.

Sixth Test:
Rejecting the provision
that the Lord gives to us

The rabble who were among them had greedy desires; and also the sons of Israel wept again and said, "Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna. " Numbers 11:4-6

One of the most offensive things you can do is to devalue, or treat with disdain, food that is given to you by your host. This is especially true when someone has gone out of their way to prepare a special dish and then it is met with rejection by the guest.

The foods cited by the children of Israel, such as “free fish” and the cucumbers and melons, weren’t “free” back in Egypt. Those were the foods they ate when they were enslaved. The so-called “free fish” were the rejects of the Egyptians. It was equivalent to “fertilizer.” The produce they ate was grown by the Israelites as they could. Comparing those foods with “manna” is almost beyond the pale of understanding. Manna isn’t even available on the Earth. It is considered to be the food of angels. It comes from the Lord’s table. Yet, the Israelites criticized it and spoke of the food eaten in slavery as better. Without question, their behavior was offensive.

The Scriptures say that manna tasted a little like coriander and was similar to bread cooked in oil. In effect, it was a little like hush puppies, or Indian fry bread, both of which are “deep fried.” No matter what the taste or manner of presentation, manna was a gift food from the Lord. Rejecting the daily food was rejecting the Lord Himself and His daily presence.

Seventh Test:
Rejecting the Lord’s
presence among us

…because you have rejected the Lord who is among you … Numbers 11:20b

Having your contribution or gift rejected by a group is very unsettling. In effect, it is like being ignored or worse yet, being ostracized. It is extremely offensive. Now, imagine doing that to the Lord—the King of the Universe—after He has just delivered you from the Egyptians.

But the Israelites went further than rejecting the daily manna, they rejected the One who gave the manna. This is very apparent in the rejection of the Messiah later. Yeshua was the true bread from heaven (like the manna), and He personally was rejected. How do you think the Lord will deal with those at the Judgment who have rejected Yeshua, the true bread, born in Bethlehem (the house of bread)?

Eighth Test:
Rejecting the Lord’s
Salvation and Deliverance

…and have wept before Him, saying, "Why did we ever leave Egypt?"' Numbers 11:20c

Therefore the Lord heard and was full of wrath; and a fire was kindled against Jacob and anger also mounted against Israel, because they did not believe in God and did not trust in His salvation. Psalm 78:21-22

I have always been puzzled by this test and others who do things like this. If you decide to do something, commit yourself to it, and get underway with the task. Why would you ask the question, “Why did I ever start doing this?” after you have already done the thing. When the children of Israel started questioning why they left Egypt, after keeping the Passover, crossing the Red Sea, hearing the voice of God at Mount Sinai, building the Tabernacle, observing the cloud-by-day and fire-by-night, etc., what were they thinking? They could not go back and erase everything that had happened at that point. So, what was the point of posing the question?  What would have been better was to ask God how to complete this next hurdle, since God had helped them so many times before.

As a young man, I enlisted in the Navy. I remember speaking with another recruit three weeks into boot camp, and he was asking himself why he joined the Navy. He should have asked and answered that question before he took the oath and got the military haircut. Asking that question later in boot camp was counter-productive.  We were beyond the point of the beginning. He had no choice but to work toward completion and what he was committed himself to.

Questioning the decision to leave Egypt served no reasonable purpose for the children of Israel either. They were already out of Egypt and had received God’s salvation and deliverance, but questioning it at that point only put their own salvation and deliverance at risk and caused more disruption.

Sadly, I have seen people walk away from God’s salvation. I have seen people give up the faith and turn back to the world. It has never worked out for them. The world didn’t receive them back with celebration, and they lost the only salvation they had.

Ninth Test:
Rejecting the Lord’s Anointed (the Messiah’s leadership)

Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman); and they said, "Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?" And the Lord heard it. Numbers 12:1-2

Moses was anointed by the Lord to take the children of Israel out of Egypt, bring them to the mountain, and lead them to the promised land. Anytime that someone is designated to lead, he receives a measure of authority and responsibility with that position. For the most part, people accept this person in that leadership position, but when rebellion enters the group, the first thing challenged is the leader him or herself.

There were several instances when differing factions rose up against Moses and Aaron. We know of Korah, Dathan and Abiram in particular, They were buried alive in their judgment. Rejecting leadership can also come from within one’s own family. Such is the case of Miriam and Aaron, the sister and brother of Moses.

Even within the Messianic movement today, I see people turning to the Torah but then turning against the Messiah, just as they did against Moses in the exodus. Israel has a history of rejecting those sent by God—from the prophets to the Messiah Himself. You can be assured that this test will be with us in the Great Tribulation. It will be directed at the elders and leaders in the camps, the 144,000 and the Messiah’s leadership in the camp.

Tenth Test:
Rejecting the Lord’s Kingdom (the Promised Land)

Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" So they said to one another, "Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt." Numbers 14:1-4

At the beginning of this article, we addressed this test. At the very brink of receiving the promise given to Abraham and his descendants, the children of Israel said, “No, we don’t want it.” It is mind-boggling to me how this could be, but it did happen. I pray that at the end of the Great Tribulation, when we are on the brink of the Messiah’s return, that the assembly will not say, “It would be better for us to die here in the darkness than to live in the kingdom with the Lord.”

These tests will confront us in the days of the Great Tribulation. They will be the same questions and challenges that were faced by our forefathers. But now that we know the questions and the right answers for these questions, I hope the tribulation saints will prevail and that their faith will sustain them.

For right now, before the tests come, I believe we should prepare our hearts for these tests. Let us make sure that we know who we believe in and what we believe in. Let us not trust our own strength or that of any man. Let our trust rest in Him who promised to save us and deliver us, in Him who said we will eat and drink, in Him who said that He will not leave us nor forsake us. Let us follow Him wherever He leads as we journey to the promised land.

Unlike our ancestors who failed these tests, I believe we should pass these tests. After all, we have all of the questions and all the right answers. If we fail this time, we won’t have any excuses. We won’t even be a lesson for others to learn from. We are it! Let’s address all of these tests correctly and get to the kingdom with confidence.