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The Process Of Transformation Of The People Of God

07.05.2018, Daniel Glimm


The Little Worm And The Threshing Sledge

In Isaiah 41:14-16 the LORD speaks to the prophet Isaiah about the people of Israel and lets him know that He is transforming them from a small worm into a sharp new threshing sledge.
 
Isaiah 41:14-16:
“…14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob, little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff.
16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale will blow them away. But you will rejoice in the Lord and glory in the Holy One of Israel.
 
The people of God cooperate with the power of the Holy Spirit to diminish and remove what is high (note: proud, arrogant).

The result of this transformation and movement of God's prophetic spirit (note: wind) is that even the smallest particles of pride are swept away from the path of God's people and then great joy is released in His people (see Matthew 3:1-3).

Matthew 3:1-3:
1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ”

Submitting To God's Guidance

In order to enter into this process of God's transformation, which is related to great results, it is necessary to submit to God's guidance and instruction. Otherwise, there is no such progress and therein no gain of any of its benefits (see 1 Peter 5:6).

1 Peter 5:6:
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

The Transformation Process Of the People Of Israel

As an example of the transformation process, let's look closely at the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, who previously had to serve as strangers and slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt for more than four hundred years.

At the end of the time of slavery, the LORD decided to transfer the leadership of Israel from Pharaoh to Moses, the Shaliach (note: Hebrew word for an apostle or messenger). This change had led to a confrontation in Egypt as the result was an even stronger burden for the people of Israel by Pharaoh (see Exodus 5:1-9).

Exodus 5:1-9:
1 Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’ ”
2 Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey him and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”
3 Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Now let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord our God, or he may strike us with plagues or with the sword.”
4 But the king of Egypt said, “Moses and Aaron, why are you taking the people away from their labor? Get back to your work!”
5 Then Pharaoh said, “Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working.”
6 That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people:
7 “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw.
8 But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’
9 Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”

Competent Apostolic Leadership And Confrontation

Herein we can see clearly, before the LORD would lead His people into a process of transformation, it is important to Him that competent apostolic leadership is established and confirmed in its position. This is also the reason why there had to be a confrontation of Moses with the Pharaoh.
 
The competent apostolic leadership is established to act according to the will of God, even when it is not easy.

Once change has occurred, challenges arise in the midst of the people of God. These challenging times must be seen from a spiritual point of view, similar to what the spies Joshua and Caleb did after they had returned to Moses from the land of Canaan to give their report to him as to the people of Israel (see Numbers 14:9).

Numbers 14:9:
9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

From Slavery To Freedom

After God had completed the phase of judgment on Egypt by Moses and Aaron, the people of Israel left the region of slavery through the blood of the Lamb. They entered as a great multitude into the freedom brought about by God (see Genesis 15:14; Exodus 3:20 i.c.w. Exodus 12:36-38; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Genesis 15:14:
14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.

Exodus 3:20:
20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

Exodus 12:36-38:
36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.
37 The Israelites journeyed from Rameses to Sukkoth. There were about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children.
38 Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.

2 Corinthians 5:17:
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

The Free Multitude And The Right Understanding About Positioning

In the midst of the region of transition (note: desert) of the people of Israel, it was not enough for God that His people were merely a large crowd of people in freedom. It was God's concern to guide and instruct them in their freedom and in His plans through the new leadership as their guidance given by Him, namely Moses (note: no longer Pharaoh).

That instruction in freedom was connected with the dwelling place of God (note: tabernacle), which led to a divine order and positioning in the midst of the people of Israel (see Numbers 2:1-2).

Numbers 2:1-2:
1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 2 “The Israelites are to camp around the tent of meeting some distance from it, each of them under their standard and holding the banners of their family.”

The purpose of the presence of the tabernacle was for the people of Israel to camp as an army in their particular identity (note: tribe) in the midst of the rest of God. This means that Israel had the LORD with His dwelling place in the center.

The result of having God in the center is that the peace of God extends among His people because of the presence of His order therein. The people of God allowed and approved to be led by their leadership, which requires submission to God's established order and goes along with His structure (see 1 Corinthians 14:33a).

1 Corinthians 14:33a:
33a For God is not a God of disorder but of peace – …
 
At this point it is very important to be mentioned that also many foreign people had left Egypt because of the shed blood of the Lamb and likewise submitted themselves to the order of the God of Israel, which has already become a reference to the one new man in Jesus Christ (see Exodus 12:38 i.c.w. Ephesians 2:15-16).
 
Exodus 12:38:
38 Many other people went up with them, and also large droves of livestock, both flocks and herds.
 
Ephesians 2:15-16:
… 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His (note Jesus Christ) purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two (note: Jews and Gentiles), thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
 
God's Presence And The Advancement In God's Order

Furthermore, through Moses, God taught the people of Israel how to be sensitive towards His presence and moving forward along with it. As a consequence, the people of Israel could march in a divine order together as one army (see Numbers 10:11-14a).

Numbers 10:11-14a:
11 On the twentieth day of the second month of the second year, the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle of the covenant law.
12 Then the Israelites set out from the Desert of Sinai and traveled from place to place until the cloud came to rest in the Desert of Paran.
13 They set out, this first time, at the Lord’s command through Moses.
14a The divisions of the camp of Judah went first, under their standard. …
 
The structure and new identity of an army was based on the willingness of His people to see themselves getting advanced in the order of God as the Lord of Hosts, who is King of glory and would always be with His people (see Psalm 24:10 i.c.w. Psalm 46:7).
 
Psalm 24:10:
10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
 
Psalm 46:7:
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Conclusion

In accordance with these principles concerning God's transformation of His chosen people, it is clear that it is simply not enough for the LORD that Christians (note: His people) would only be conscious about the freedom in Christ. Rather, followers of Christ should continually recognize the apostolic leadership assigned by God in order to reach a new realm of His presence and their destiny in Him.

This recognition leads to a deeper knowledge of the order of God in the midst of His people, which had changed from people in slavery to people in freedom as a multitude and then to people being an army in the midst of the royal priesthood (see Exodus 19:6 i.c.w.1 Peter 2:9).

Exodus 19:6:
… 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

1 Peter 2:9:
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

It is extremely unlikely that the people of God would have ordered themselves if they had not followed the guidance by Moses as the directions of God. The principle of guidance and leadership through appointed leadership operating with a humble heart under God's assignment, is therefore of great importance. Especially for anyone who understands the interaction of the power of God and the recognition of authority.

When God leads us as His people into the process of transformation, it is usually associated with challenges. These challenges are not intended to block us in our change process but to lead us into a new realm associated with a new identity and the governmental authority which is assigned to us.
 
Amen and Amen.
 
In His Wisdom,
 
Daniel Glimm




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