What does it mean to you when you wanna go back to Egypt? I know what it means to me. It means going back to the familiar – going back to what I know well and am comfortable with. My Egypt mentality and lifestyle may not be good for me. It may violate what Father has revealed to me as His Truth. It may be harmful to me or cause me to act harmfully to others. It may be full of man’s traditions and the world’s systems and perspectives – but it is my Egypt. I am comfortable there. Even though I am a delivered Child of YHVH (Yahweh), I am the one who still clings so easily to its bondages. They have become “my way of life” and to change is so very hard to do.
For Almighty Father, taking the Israelites out of their Egypt was a piece of cake. However, taking Egypt out of them was a whole different story. He undertakes the same challenging work in us. The New Testament is full of statements such as “being transformed into His image” and “the renewing of our minds” and “taking captive every thought and conforming our minds to the mind of Christ”. But what is “His image”? What are we to renew our minds to? What is “the mind of Christ” to which we should endeavor to conform?
Father removed Israel from Egypt for a very specific purpose – to re-establish His Kingdom on the Earth through them. He promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that this nation would have its own land. Through Moses He worked to call His people out of such great bondage and fulfill His promise to their fathers. He gave them a new calendar to live by – a reflection of how time on earth is to be marked so that it would mirror His heavenly Kingdom and outline His redemptive plan for all of the Earth. He gave them His Land upon this earth and chose to build His Earthly “capital city” there. He gave them a moral and ethical code to live by – instructing them on what He considers holy and unholy, clean and unclean, just and unjust. He gave them principles to live by that would allow Him, as King of the Universe, to pour out His favor and blessings upon them, the citizens of His Kingdom. His great desire was to be with them – to dwell among them so that they would be His people and He would be their God, forever and ever. He gave them a mission to be His light unto all the nations, drawing all mankind to Him.
It may be hard for most traditional Christians to wrap their minds around this, but the mind of Christ is exactly the mind of the Father found above. “His mind” is found in the pages of the Torah. His unity with the Father is true and complete unity. To be conformed to the mind of Yeshua is to understand what is holy, clean, and just to the Father’s mind. That is revealed to us in His Word. To be formed to Christ’s image is to be formed to His character, which is the very character of the Father – His compassion, grace, mercy, kindness, justice. All of who Yeshua and the Father are as One is first revealed to us on the pages of the Torah. Yeshua then lived out this marvelous Kingdom character and mind right before us in human form. In these Last Days, it is imperative that our minds be renewed to conform to His so that by His Spirit we can live out the character of our Father as His ambassadors on the earth. It is so very important that we understand that Yeshua did not bring something new to the earth. He took what was very old but made death- like by man and breathed His Spirit back into it so that it became new (renewed) and extremely powerful.
As we read the pages of Exodus we see a people that are no different than us, the New Testament church. We are no different than our Hebrew predecessors. The Israelites had to renew their minds from how they had been taught to believe and live in Egypt and conform to a new way of living and believing as established for them by YHVH (Yawheh – the Hand that Secures Existence). They had to discover that deliverance from “Egpyt” is much more than immediate salvation. Under duress, they quickly returned to worshipping the gods of Egypt. They whined and complained at every hardship, allowing their trust in God to falter. They wanted the comfort, safety and predictability of the old ways. It took forty years for Father to develop a generation that was ready for the responsibility that freedom in a new land would bring to them. This pattern continued throughout history. Whether they were being oppressed by the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks or the Romans…they still had to make the same choices they faced when leaving Egypt. Would they assimilate to the ways of these earthly cultures that took them far away for the ways of the Kingdom that YHVH had given to them? Would they hold on to what was comfortable rather than be refined by the Father in Spirit and Truth? Would they live to please man’s kings or the King of Kings?
Do we understand that we in today’s Christian culture face the exact same challenges? History unfortunately reveals that we have succumbed to much the same temptations over the last 2000 years. Yeshua told us that He did not come to abolish the Torah, but to bring us greater and proper understanding – by His Spirit – of the ways of the Kingdom that the Torah contains. Yes – the Torah condemns those who turn their backs on it, willfully disobeying Father’s instructions. (This is called wickedness or lawlessness in our English translations.) However, when seen as a gift of immeasurable grace from the Father, by His Spirit, it becomes life and living bread and living water. The Torah begins to be our instruction, not our condemnation. It seeks to fulfill in us what Paul claimed it should: “All Scripture (remember – there was no New Testament at that time)…All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work. “ (2 Tim 3:16-17) It is the Law of Sin and Death – the result of abandoning the King and the ways of His Kingdom – that curses and takes our lives. The Law of Grace and Life brings us blessings and life to its fullest. Father’s Word – the Torah and all of the Prophets and Writings -trains us in right living (Kingdom lifestyle) and equips us for every good work! His Word became flesh and dwelt with us. (His name is Yeshua!) No wonder Satan is actively seeking to get churches and believers to abandon the Torah and the Old Testament in these Last Days. In doing so, we abandon the mind and character of our Savior. We abandon why He came – to save us from our failures and dishonor and set us back on His Kingdom paths. In essence, we abandon Him. We should find such a trend completely alarming!
Are we clinging to Egypt, dear ones? Are we so familiar with the Egypt in and around us that we do not even recognize it is there? Have we, perhaps unknowingly, clung to the gods of the cultures that rule over us? Have we honored the world’s calendar and abandoned Father’s? Do we honor the Sabbath per His instruction, not man’s traditions? Do we celebrate His Feast Days, rooted in who He is and what His desires are for us? Or do we celebrate the “Christian holidays” rooted in pagan dates, times, gods, and practices? Have we allowed the very breath of God, His Holy Spirit, to use the Scriptures that Paul wrote about – the Tanakh (Old Testament) – to teach us truth, cause us to abandon our wrong ways, correct our faults, and train us in right living? Or we have thoughtlessly claimed we are free from what we call the Old and live in a grace that is becoming a life of lawlessness and injustice in our culture? Are we holy (unique, different, set apart) and thus light to this world – or are we becoming just like the world? Remember, Rome was our oppressor too. Did we capitulate to the demands of an emperor so our ruthless persecution would come to an end? Did we assimilate to pagan practices so that all could be more comfortable? Are we still assimilating?
I realize that these are hard, even potentially offensive, questions. I understand, because I too have had to struggle with them. Yet, I hear the voice of the Father and His heart’s desire for His people in these questions. He so loves us! He so longs to pour out all of His goodness and blessings upon us – blessings that would literally overtake us. But He has to see His heart, mind, and ways in us and being lived out day by day. I fear that is not what He sees anymore. Yes, He hears our cries of love and our verbal declarations of His Kingship in our lives…but does He see the joyful obedience that comes from truly submitting to His Kingship? Faith and belief in our heads is not enough! In His Kingdom, faith and belief must be lived out in the fullness of His very Spirit dwelling in us and helping us. Without such, all is merely lip service.
Father has told us that He never changes…yet we have. He and His Kingdom are the same yesterday, today, and forever. His grace does not allow us to change His ways to suit our personal opinions and preferences. His grace does not free us from His ways. Rather, His grace delivers us from the penalties that should come on us from failing to follow His ways. His Principles, Instructions, and Directives are eternal – no beginning and no end. He was gracious enough to give them to us through the Hebrew people when neither they nor we deserved it. Unlike other cultures, we do not have to grope in darkness while pleading for a mysterious God to reveal His will for us. He truly is a compassionate, merciful, and kind God and Father.
So – do we wanna go back to Egypt? Perhaps the question should be, have we ever truly left Egypt in the first place? Remember, “Egypt” signifies the world systems found in all of everyday life, the assimilation of paganism, and observing religious, man-made traditions contrary to the purpose and heart of Yahweh. Yes – it challenging to leave Egypt behind. In fact, it is an ongoing, every day journey. The Hebrew believe that Yahweh is not expecting us to do this perfectly. He knows we are not able. However, His instructions do continue to test our hearts to see if we are devoted to Him in and with our whole being – to love Him and serve Him with everything we have and are. His desire to is to complete His good work in us. The issue is how well I am cooperating with Him! When we fail, we are to be quick to confess and repent. He promises to faithfully forgive us. We are to get up, brush ourselves off, and gratefully continue on in His Ways as His unique treasure, His children and ambassadors on the earth. This is the Hebrew walk of faith.
The essence of living life as a walk in His Spirit is thus: seeking to fulfill His will as revealed first in Scripture so that we can clearly hear and obey His quiet voice in all everyday matters. The two – all of His written Word and the voice of His Spirit – walk hand in hand. To live by the Spirit but claim the instructions of His Word as “optional” or “done away with” is to be tossed to and fro on winds of doctrines, building on sand instead of rock. To try to live by the Word without the Spirit brings legalism and death, not life. Yeshua himself said, “But if you don’t believe what he [Moses] wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5:47) If we refuse to believe and walk in what Moses heard from the mouth of YHVH and recorded for us, then how do we expect to believe and walk in what Yeshua speaks to us though His Spirit? That is a question each of must answer for ourselves. The key to fully leaving Egypt behind will depend on how one answers and acts upon that question.
© Deborah Munson, 2021