1 Cor 10:1-6
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 Christ. 5 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. NASU
1 Cor 10:11-12
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. NASU
This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness KJV
The “church in the wilderness” is a prophetic picture of the Body called out of bondage and into promise. Although it literally refers to Moses and Israel in the wilderness, it also speaks to the Body “called out” today–Jesus’ Church. Everything that has happened and all that has been written has been provided as a pattern as well as a warning for the end-time people of God. This type of history is anointed! This type of history is to be carefully studied and revealed through the Spirit.
I especially like the word example in the Greek. It is the word tuposand is a much stronger word than example. In the technical sense, viz. the pattern in conformity to which a thing must be made. Think of a mold or die used in manufacturing, or a model or blueprint as an architect building a temple. If the experiences and learnings of the church in the wilderness was important for Moses’ day, and more important when Paul was admonishing the Corinthian church, imagine how important it should weigh on the last day or third day church.
This pattern is for both imitation of the lessons learned, or a warning for us when they did not obey. Moses’ led the Old Testament nation through a wilderness into promise. 1 Peter calls the church God’s holy nation. It is the job of every Christian to learn what that former nation and church experienced, learned, and did not learn, and to allow the Spirit to admonish our walk. We are the people whom God’s final conclusion has the weight of bearing. Are we so naive to think that there is not a cost associated with that? Do we think that we require no preparation, and we can eat and be merry until that day? I am telling you my brethren, I write this in 2014 and I hear a prophetic clock tick that resounds throughout the chambers of God! A prophetic change is occurring now, not in the distant future. The OT church is a present truth pattern. I am speaking not of natural events but of spiritual ones.
As a close and beloved brother Kelley Varner wrote about 5 crucial lessons for us,” The Church in the wilderness was…
1.Kept during the hour of trial (Ex. 7-12).
2.Delivered by blood, water, and Spirit (Ex. 12-15).
3.Supernaturally supplied (Ex. 16-17).
4.Instructed (Ex. 18-40; Lev. 1-27; Num. 1-10; Deut. 4-33).
5.Sifted (Num. 11-17).
What we see in the wilderness journey was God’s provision and display of glory, instruction in God’s ways, yet sifting through hardship and judgement. In addition, we see their appetite and idolatry being dealt with at every turn. The church in the wilderness in 2014 must experience the same–with some major differences. Where law could not produce a righteous nation, Jesus’ sacrifice produces a righteous nation by birthright. Through that finished work we have grace sufficient–God’s provision–to enable us to walk as He intended that old church to walk. The law could not produce a people unto God. Jesus did!
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May God’s grace be abundant to you as you journey as a third day church in the wilderness.