Hebrew by birth, Egyptian by nature
It will do us good if we appreciate and apply our hearts to the fact that the Old Testament concealed the New Testament, and the New Testament revealed the Old Testament. The Church, which we call the ‘called - out’, was totally concealed in the word ‘Hebrew’. The Church and the Hebrews have many things in common: called by the same God for the same purpose but at different times. They share the same tests and testimonies; they look alike in weakness and in strength, have a common destination, what the Hebrews started long ago, was later assigned to the Church to finish. Their business on earth is to make God known, any other thing is secondary.
Who are the Hebrews?
The name is derived, according to some, from Eber (Genesis 10:21, 24) the ancestor of Abraham. The Hebrews are "sons of Eber"
A name applied to the Israelites in Scripture only by one who is a foreigner (Genesis 39:14,), or by the Israelites when they speak of themselves to foreigners (Genesis 40:15, Exodus 1:19), or when spoken of and contrasted with other people (Deuteronomy 15:12). In the New Testament there is the same contrast between Hebrews and foreigners (Acts 6:1).
Others trace the name of a Hebrew root-word signifying "to pass over," and hence regard it as meaning "the man who passed over," viz., the Euphrates; or to the Hebrew word meaning "the region" or "country beyond," viz., the land of Chaldea. This latter view is preferred. It is the more probable origin of the designation given to Abraham coming among the Canaanites as a man from beyond the Euphrates (Genesis 14:13).
A third derivation of the word has been suggested, viz., that it is from the Hebrew word ‘abhar, "to pass over," whence ‘ebher, in the sense of a "sojourner" or "passer through" as distinct from a "settler" in the land, and thus applies to the condition of Abraham.
Not by genealogy, but by faith in God, Abraham became the father of the Hebrews. This faith in God continued with Isaac, and later Jacob showed his faith in God. These three Patriarchs had to do with Egypt: Abraham entered briefly, Isaac planned to go to Egypt, and Jacob later lived and died in Egypt. All these sojourns were as a result of famine.
The children of Jacob entered Egypt on the invitation of Joseph, at their arrival they were about seventy in number; a number large enough to proclaim God to all Egypt. The Hebrews who supposed to be Nomads remained in Egypt, Goshen to be précised for 430 years, all because of food. Those Hebrew Nomads and the Church Evangelists, have the same challenge then and now – what to eat.
Only Isaac contested with the Philistines, a kind of flesh, and won. He proclaimed God to the Philistines via his success. Abraham came up from Egypt after Pharaoh knew that he was a servant of God. He returned Sarah and blessed Abraham. Although Jacob blessed Pharaoh when he went down to Egypt, unlike Abraham, he did not come out, he died inside Egypt. The Children of Jacob continued to live at Egypt for about 430 years. They came because of famine, they stayed because of bargain.
The world has a strong wall to contain and constrain the children of God from showing forth their glory and making their God known. The Children of Israel were structured into Egypt, they became like them after so long a time. The children of Israel received a nature through the culture and tradition of Egypt. A parallel picture was given in the Bible thus:
‘And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes;Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. – Daniel 1:3-4
From the above scripture, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon was to change the nature of certain children of Israel through teaching and learning the tongue of the Chaldeans. When a man is about to lose his nature, the first thing he will lose is his tongue. A lot of Africans love to talk like the Americans; many Church people speak happily the language of the world. For many saints, the tongues like as of fire is the doorway into divine nature. Whatever can change your tongue can change your nature. ‘In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.’ - Nehemiah 13:23 – 24
For about 430 years, these Hebrews ate Egypt, drank Egypt and spoke Egypt. Soon they became Egyptian by nature. Although God took Israel out from Egypt, but Israel did not let go of Egypt; they crossed the Red Sea with Egyptian nature and they all died with the nature in the wilderness except for Caleb and Joshua among those generations.
The drama is being repeated again by the Church people when they smuggled their worldly nature into Christ Jesus at conversion. These natures were not exposed at the beginning of their journey as ‘Christians’, but are later exposed as they relate with other children of God after conversion. If there is any scandal today in the Church, it was brought by those who smuggled their cultures and traditions into Christ at conversion.
The mixed multitudes that caused havoc for Israel in the wilderness are at it again in the Church. They left Egypt together with Israel but later became a stumbling block for the people of God in the wilderness. Like catalyst at the beginning of a chemical reaction, the mixed multitudes were not identified at the crossing of the Red Sea, until they got to the wilderness where they provoked Israel by their nature to lust for food. Brethren who bear Christian names, attend Church regularly but possess worldly nature are the reason why sin abounds among the people of God.
Those that claimed to be born again but possess the worldly nature are not true Christians. As a matter of fact, we might ask ourselves if it is possible to be born again and yet possess worldly nature. The mixed multitudes in the church today are the worldly religious crowd, and the carnally minded congregation. Of this mixed multitude, the bible says:
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.– II Timothy 3:5
As the saints in the Church are set out to make Heaven, the mixed multitudes in the Church do not have a revelation of where they are going. With a misplaced priority, they engage their worldly nature to suppress things of the spirit. Right in the middle of nowhere they are placing God – given liberty above God – given salvation.
Preparing the Bride,