OUTSIDE THE CAMP
Hebrews 13:13.“Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp bearing His reproach.” There can be no doubt that many to air their grievances and start their own breakaway movement have used this particular passage. If we were able to obtain a complete record of how many divisive groups had employed this verse over the years we would be amazed. It has been and still is the great favourite of “come out” movements, when usually it’s some Diotrephes who wants to head up a new party. Their “going forth” in most cases has not been “unto Him” but rather to win the people over to their cause. Our greatest problem has always been, stubbornly doing it, and “going our own way.” He gave them the desires of their hearts and sent leanness to their souls. All we like sheep have gone astray, and even after coming to the Lord we still seem to think that our ways are smarter than His. It saves us having to spend time and energy asking Him what to do. It’s much easier to just do it and ask Him to bless it.
In this next section we shall see a graphic incident in the life of the church in the wilderness. It’s found in Exodus
32:1. “And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves unto Aaron and said unto him, up make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we don’t know what has become of him.”
The people were in a bitter and rebellious mood, determined to have Aaron make gods for them, and return to Egypt. Unfortunately they had a leader in Aaron, who in the absence of Moses had no backbone. He was swayed by the people and went along with them in their plan to return to Egypt. When Israel wanted a king other than Jehovah; Samuel only consented to their demands at the express order of God.
It was for this reason that Moses took the Tabernacle and pitched it outside the camp.
Exodus 33:7. “And Moses took the Tabernacle and pitched it without the camp…and it came to pass that every one that
sought the Lord went out to the Tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.”
There seems little doubt that the Apostle Paul had this occasion in mind when he was writing to the Hebrew Christians. Careful attention is necessary to understand why Moses took this drastic action. They had built a golden calf and thrown off their allegiance to God and His mediator Moses. That the righteous wrath of God did not there and then cut them off is a cause of great wonderment until we see Moses the great intercessor pleading on their behalf; as it was 3000 perished on that day. Time and again Moses stepped into the breach between them and the wrath of God. In so doing he foreshadowed the intercessory ministry of our great high priest and intercessor Jesus Christ.
An afflicted people are an object of His grace. Exodus
But a stiff-necked people must be humbled. Exodus 32:35.
But now something new comes into view. Through intercession Moses averts the consuming wrath of God, but it did not preclude drastic action by God in a governmental way.
The nation was not consumed Exodus 32:10. But it was plagued. Ex
How many lost their lives in the plague we are not told, but it was in addition to the 3000 that were slain by the Levites when Moses descended from the mount Exodus
This was in no way due to the failure of Moses prayers, but rather due to the lack of repentance on the part of the people. This is a timely warning! It’s a neglected truth today! Repentance is not just for the unsaved, but for the saved as well.
The first admonition to the seven churches is to remember; do, and repent. Is it because there is so little repentance amongst God’s people that His chastening hand is laid so heavily upon us?
Vs 4a. “And when the people heard these evil tidings they mourned.”
When the Lord is no longer in the midst of His people its high time to mourn. To mourn means, to sorrow, and to lament. The threat that God would no longer be with them moved them to deep repentance. This a more hopeful sign than what we see in Revelation 3: where the Laodicean church is indifferent, content without Him and quite proud of their accomplishments.
There is little doubt that we are living in the Laodicean age where Christ is portrayed standing outside the Church trying to gain access, but this church answers Him saying:
I am rich
I am increased with goods
I have need of nothing
And the Lord’s reply is
You are wretched
You are miserable
You are poor
You are blind
You are naked
Increased with goods, believing they have need of nothing Christ rebukes them, and then He counsels them to repent and buy gold, robes, and eye salve. The tragedy of deception is that when you are truly deceived you don’t know it.
Vs 4b. “And no man put on his ornaments.”
Outward adornment is out of keeping with true repentance and humility before the Lord. Adornment draws attention to self. The more that true spirituality declines the more ornamentation comes to the fore. All around us Christian churches are putting on all the adornment that they can find, copy, or emulate. Holiness has been substituted for entertainment until we have life without intelligence, salvation without repentance, and our blindness is infinitely worse than physical, it’s the spiritual darkness of mind and ears.
God hates the spirit of competition. Going forth unto him is not a single act that’s done once for all time at conversion, but it is a constant and habitual thing, it’s an attitude of life. It’s continually taking up your cross daily and following Him regardless of the cost.
Vs 6. “And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by mount Horeb”.
Here we see Israel obeying the command of the Lord in Vs 5 Then stripping off all ornamentation. And while they were doing this Moses took the Tabernacle and pitched it “without the camp,” afar
off from the camp so that those who truly sought the Lord had to make that
The going forth of Moses outside the camp was a remarkable one. He was bowing to God’s righteous decision that as long as Israel was stiff-necked He could not dwell among them. Yet this going forth was an act of faith, for without any direct or express command from God Moses took the tabernacle without the camp. He was a man of faith. He knew that God could no longer dwell in a place that was in rebellion and rejected Him by installing a golden calf in His place. Yet he trusted in God to show mercy to those who would truly repent and go out and seek after Him with all their hearts. All the while God is weighing up the people to see how genuine they were. This is a picture of a call to separation and holy living. The people that stripped themselves and sort after the Lord were not only spared, but also allowed to go out to the “meeting place.”
The Altar of stone; the Tent; the Tabernacle of Moses; The Tabernacle of David; the Temple of Solomon were all meeting places.
The last four all maintained Altars for sacrifice. No Altar; No Sacrifice; No God.
Romans 5:20. “For where sin abounds grace doth much more abound.”
It’s obvious that the Holy Spirit had this scripture in Exodus
33:7 in mind as we consider the typical significance of this incident in Hebrews
13: 13. Here we have a call to separation because of apostasy. It is a call to separation from the Worldly Church and all its adornments. This scripture was addressed to a church that was going into apostasy. The warning is not against sectarianism, as was the case in (Corinthians), or to the bondage of the Law (Galatians). But the believing Jews were enjoined to forsake the unbelieving in the nation who despised, rejected, and murdered God’s Son. These scriptures are not advocating that we forsake companies of God’s professing people where Christ is owned, worshipped and honoured. In addition to go without the camp is a vastly different thing than separating from God’s own people for personal reasons. All who are dear to Christ should be dear to us. Rather it was corporate idolatry that made Jehovah refuse to continue in their midst. It was when the Lord Himself had been rejected, and not until then, that Moses pitched the tent outside the camp.
In Exodus 16: and 17: when the people murmured He never departed, but when the people rejected Him as sole Lord and Saviour, then He forsook them; Ichabod. He gives us time to strengthen the things that remain; and times to depart and follow HIM. Rev 3:2
NEPOTISM IS ALIVE AND WELL IN THE CHURCH
According to Oxford dictionary.
Nepotism is undue favour from holder of patronage to relatives.
The late Kim Il-sung leader of North Korea passed on the presidency of this Communist state to his son Kim Jong-il. He has become a thorn in side of the West because they have nuclear capability.
Royalty after they have passed on leave their thrones to their offspring. Prince Charles is an example.
Amie Semple McPherson gave her church to her son Ralph, and although he headed up the Four Square Pentecostal movement for many years, (I was told on very good authority by an “insider” none other than Ralph’s secretary) that Ralph never did receive the Pentecostal experience; he was more interested in real estate. Oral Roberts handed over his organization to his son Richard (who was stood down in April 2008 and is under investigation for fraud, and tax evasion by the US Govt.). Pat Robertson is setting up his son Gordon to inherit his empire. John Osteen passed his dynasty on to Joel.
This happens ad-Infinit’um. Now these young men are very happy guys. Who wouldn’t be chuffed behind the wheel of a multimillion-dollar enterprise? G Force is something to be experienced; I found this out when I rode in a new V10 Lamborgenni my son used in his business. It was an incredible experience, beyond the imagination of most mere TOYOTA MAZDA mortals believe you me.
A little closer to home Kevin Conner in Melbourne gave his kingdom to his son Mark. Several pastors with large churches have done the same for their offspring in other cities around Australia and New Zealand. Many more with churches of lesser significance have done likewise for their offspring. Some churches may not have been large, but if they are financially viable, it is an offer most young men cannot resist. A word of caution here, it can prove to be fatal. I know some ministers who derailed their sons in the process and all but destroyed them. I could go on but the point is made. The modus operandi of the owners of these religious enterprises is akin to that of a constitutional monarchy, where the King’s offspring succeed him. Fathers will do everything possible to ensure that their issue inherit their empire doing whatever it takes to ensure it remains in the family. They will stoutly resist any democratic process, and to make sure of this they set about to enshrine their church in a constitution that guarantees that they alone have the last say in appointing their successor.
These novices encouraged by their adoring parents believe emphatically in their undeniable right to succeed their fathers in the family business. In no time they are swallowed up in a fog of their own importance as God’s agent for the benefit of His people. The fact that we are all slaves, that we have been bought with a price, and that we do not belong to pastors, their spiritual siblings, or their religious institutions, for the purpose of being sent hither and yon at their bidding seems to have completely slipped their minds. Instead congregational zombies toil away in religious factories fulfilling the dreams of their overlords (and paying for that privilege I might add). Ask any honest Christian who has ever worked for one of these large religious organizations and they will tell you that the leaders consider themselves a cut above everyone else. They want 10% + of your income to use however they feel inclined; to travel first class; drive a new car; be addressed by their title; live in an expensive home, be complimented over their sermons and be obeyed without question. If you can ever get close to them you will find that many are irritable, carnal and unappreciative, and in many cases immoral to boot. Look at how many have fallen morally. There are more problems in the pulpit than in the pew. Clergy are in damage control everywhere so why follow these fallible sons of Adam?
Most of these individuals have a firm hold legally on their organizations; living on astronomical salaries drawn from the proceeds of money fleeced from their adoring ignorant followers. Why bring family members in? Why not? Besides it’s dangerous to open it up to the rank and file.
Many of these institutions have multimillion-dollar turnovers at their disposal. They are wealthy beyond calculation compared with the people they claim to serve. Yet despite all that money, they cannot say as did Peter and John to the lame man at gate beautiful “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth arise and walk”. Neither can they say “silver and gold have I none”.
Who are to blame for this state of affairs? Lazy saints are, and there’s plenty more where they came from. Truly fools and their money are soon parted.
1 Samuel 8:7-22. And the LORD said to Samuel, Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you. For they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me that I should not reign over them. Only, you shall surely protest solemnly to them, and show them the kind of king who shall reign over them. And Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who asked a king of him. And he said, this would be the privilege of the king who shall reign over you. He shall take your sons and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and his horsemen. And they shall run before his chariots. And he will appoint commanders over thousands, and commanders over fifties, and some to plough his ground and reap his harvest, and make his weapons of war and weapons for his chariots. And he will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. And he will take your fields and your vineyards and your olive-yards, the best, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed and of your vineyards, and give it to his eunuchs and to his servants. And he will take your male slaves and your slave girls, and your finest young men, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep, and you shall be his servants. And you shall cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the LORD will not answer you in that day. But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, No, but we will have a king over us. And we shall also be like all the nations, so that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles. And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the ears of the LORD. And the LORD said to Samuel, Listen to their voice, and make them a king.
GIVING SHOULD BE DONE THOUGHTFULLY AND PRAYERFULLY
BE AVAILABLE BUT DON’T BE GULLIBLE
2 Co 8:12 For if there is first a willing mind, it
is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not
2 Co 8:14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: (KJV)
2 Co 8:15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack. (KJV)
2 Cor 8: But to have equality, share and share alike, your surplus over necessity at the present time to meet their want…. so that at some other time their surplus may be given to supply your want. (Amp)
2 Kings 4:6 and it happened when the vessels were full; she said to her son, Bring me another vessel. And he said to her, there is not a vessel left. And the oil stopped. And she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons shall live from the rest. (MKJV)
You shouldn’t give money when you have pressing debts. The money you do have should be used to meet your obligations and debts first. (An amount for any emergency should be put aside, but not a large amount). You must trust God.
Don’t be a soft touch for begging pastors and their carnal programs; but give in obedience to the prompting of the Lord. Remember we are instructed to give out of our surplus to those in need as He directs. I believe we should live by this principle.
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