THE FEAST of TABERNACLES #20
BY: DANIEL YORDY
From the sin of Adam to the Great White Throne, there is no more awful story than the story recorded in Numbers 13, 14, and 16, in the months of September through December, 1461 BC. The writer of Hebrews places these chapters as the driving urgency of the New Covenant in Jesus’ blood. These are the great jeopardy chapters of the New Testament, out from which I draw one of the ten most important verses in the Bible – confidence.
Now, regardless of the urgency in His voice, we do not see God as One who thunders against people. No matter how timid and fearful we might be, or how conniving and manipulative, Christ Jesus carries us as we are. Yes, He will take us through difficulties, but always He will turn our own failures in life back to Himself. The end result is always God arising on high and we inside of Him.
But God does not leave us out of our picture. Rather, in all things, He holds us in the highest regard and treats with each one of us as persons of honor. God cannot treat us with respect as persons revealing His Person without jeopardy. In other words, carried entirely inside of Christ living as us, we have a choice. The only thing that pleases God is faith, because faith is the choice of the human will to open the door to God.
What pleases God is God in us; faith is our part of allowing God to make Himself known through us.
In the last letter, I listed the statements of urgent warning found through Hebrews. Here I want to list their counterparts. You see, God’s answer to human failure is always the opposite of man’s answer to human failure. Man’s answer is “Get with it. Do what you know is right. Try harder.” God’s answer is so very different.
Part of God’s answer is to be quiet and to cease trying to “do what you know is right.” But that portion, by itself, is hardly different than man’s answer. If we can’t succeed in perfecting what we “know is right,” how can we perfect ceasing from our own works? Such a task is impossible for man. And remember, God requires perfection. Both Christ and the law require 100%. If we trust in any little thing other than Christ, Paul says we have fallen from grace. And both Paul and James say that if we break one tiny little law, we have broken the entire thing and stand only under all the curse of death.
Neither trying to do what we know is right nor attempting to cease from doing both “right and wrong” will ever bring life to anyone. Life is Christ Jesus in Person in us and the Father inside of Him.
Thus, the simple way out of our dilemma is neither to try nor to cease trying, but to know ever more clearly, ever more deeply, this glorious One who already fills us full and who wants nothing more than to commune with us in joy that He might reveal Himself through us in tender love to others.
Thus the God-side of jeopardy are these words.
Keep the joy of your confidence high – There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. – Be diligent to enter HIS rest. – Come boldly to the throne of grace. – Lay hold of the HOPE set before you. – He saves to the uttermost those who come to God through Him. – Having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, let us draw near in full assurance of faith. – Let us have grace.
You see, I was once taught that because of jeopardy we might not make it. Therefore, no one can say, “I am the revelation of Christ” because we might be or we might not be, but we cannot know. This way of thinking is the response of evil to the jeopardy of God. Yet these teachers read to us as their texts the two huge IF verses of Hebrews 3 and in doing so emphasized with great force of persuasion, the giant IF at the center of both.
But Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.
For we have become partakers of Christ IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.
This is the great horror of all who teach jeopardy and holiness, both very Biblical subjects, apart from our full and present union with Christ. They cannot see the words that follow the IF! Yes, they read those words, but they cannot hear or see them. Rather, they turn immediately and place doubt upon their hearers. That doubt, then, becomes the whip of religious control and the opposite of confidence.
The only way you and I fulfill the IF of the gospel is by speaking Christ our only life with all joyous confidence in an invisible God. “I AM the revelation of Jesus Christ regardless of any outward appearance.”
We cannot shut up before God except by speaking Christ our only life. When we do that, “we” are silent, for it is God who as the word is in our mouth. We cannot cease from our own works except by abandoning any thought that they exist BECAUSE Christ Himself in Person is the One doing all things through us. When we acknowledge Christ alone, we have ceased, for it is God who works all in all.
The only thing that pleases God is our confidence in God filling us full here, now, and Personal in our person. One who walks in such confidence sees only God and not self at all and thus is filled with everlasting joy, which IS the other side of the IF.
You see, the IF is the door. God likes doors; He places them everywhere. We put doors everywhere as well because we are just like God. Those who boldly swing the door wide open enter in with joy. Those who stand there outside looking at the door muttering and trying very hard to do “whatever” remain barred out.
Before exploring the story of Israel, let’s first define sin. The New Testament gives us three definitions.
1. Sin is the transgression of the law.
This is a judicial definition only, because Paul makes it clear that trying to keep the law is a greater sin than transgressing the law (that is, sin definition #2). Thus by this definition, the law serves to make us guilty before God. Those who try very hard to “do what they know is right,” are rejecting the purpose of the law and are continuing to clamor before God while refusing the benefit of the law, that is, their unfixable guilt.
2. Sin is whatever is not of faith.
3. Sin is falling short of God’s glory, that is, the knowledge of all of God in Person filling us full now.
These last two definitions are two ways of saying the same thing.
It is God who has swung the door wide open. It is God who stands there with beaming face telling us to enter in with all confident boldness. Everything we have ever desired, everything we were created to be and to do is on the other side of that door. More than that, God stands there swearing by oath that He bears all difficulties and defeats all enemies. All we have to do is step in, our eyes ever upon Him, and we will see the wonder of all victory, with all the credit for that victory heaped upon us (Well done My good and faithful son – God always leads us in triumph). There is ALL reason to enter in; there is NO reason not to enter in.
It would be a sin to turn away and run back to emptiness and futility. A real sin.
It is a sin against God second because it is a sin against ourselves first.
God never forces anyone. – IF.
Let’s paint this picture clear. The essence of union with Christ, of Christ living as us, in practical experience is simply this. Be what you are in simplicity of heart without pretence or sham, for you are Christ living as you as you find yourself to be in this world. Whatever is not right is His to worry about (He can’t remember it), and whatever is right, He shares freely with you in a togetherness of continual friendship and joy. Inside of that simple and joy-filled rest (union), get to know this wondrous Person who fills you full (communion), for that intimate knowledge of Him IS the life of the age to come flowing out as rivers (expression).
What’s not to love? Why is it that almost all Christians reject such a life? Why is it that all non-Christians reject such a life? (Some non-Christians accept the first, but not the second, the knowledge of God’s Person.)
There is a simple reason why most reject God’s open door. We must reduce that reason down to one word.
– And that one word expresses itself first in this thought: “I would rather be right myself, for my rightness is right because Yours is wrong.” Self-righteousness is evil; evil is self-righteousness.
But, you see, envy is not greed or even covetousness. Covetousness wants what someone else has; greed wants more than the portion belonging to it. Both of those things are God-qualities turned in the wrong direction. Envy, rather, sits there in its own stink and wants nothing more than to see all who are filled with joy and goodness brought into ruin. Envy is not human (that is, like God, but turned in the wrong direction); it is demonic. Yet envy defines religious man. Envy wants its own misery to be “right,” that is, “god,” and all joy, that is, God, brought into misery.
This envy is the root of all self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is never content with being right, but it must always seek to prove its neighbor wrong. Go into any of the little bubbles of Hades, whether in the heavens or upon the earth, and you will hear one story going over and over without ceasing. “I am right; they are wrong. I am right; they are wrong. I am right; they are wrong.” Self-righteousness, which is envy, creates its own righteousness upon the wrongness of others, upon accusation, that is, Satan in their mouths.
Envy is not “sin”; it is Satan. Sin is preferring such misery over all the overwhelming abundance and joy, adventure and pleasure that is God. But more than sin is real blasphemy, the serpent-mind, envy, that is, desiring to pull God down into the same misery.
Satan says, “Leave all misery to sit in its misery forever (eternal punishment).”
Love says, “Let’s go into Hell, for its gates cannot keep us out, and let’s together win the heart of each one for My Father’s sake, for He honors and highly regards each one.”
When all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:28
Now, this simple layout I have given of the great issue behind the IF is exactly what we see in Numbers 13 and 14. Let’s follow the story.
Remember that the Ark set out from Mt. Sinai on May 20, 1461 BC and went three days journey before it rested again at a place called Taberah. By the end of three days of walking, the people were pitched into a complaining spirit, “You are wrong, they are wrong, You are wrong, they are wrong.” Man is a judge, and his hostility is always expressed as legal indignation.
Notice the root of all complaining. “God, I hate the way You made me, and I hate the way in which You lead me.” Of course, people pretend that their complaining is against “them,” those “others” who should know better than to inflict this awful circumstance upon “me.” But it never is; all complaining is against God.
Now, this will become a big deal as we explore the way of living that flows out of the mind of Christ. God made us to reveal Himself and He leads us as the unfolding of Himself into visibility, God-revealed. All complaining is a visceral hatred of the revelation of God.
There is a huge difference between feeling distressed or even giving voice to one’s distress versus the accusation that underlies the hostile words of complaining. Yes, Christ carries both as He lives us into life. Next time you speak those words of hostility notice them and the spirit behind them. You will find, I think, as I have found, that the more you speak Christ and His love and blessing, the more you are repelled by such words of accusation. Christ is all first before anything not Christ vanishes away.
And the accusation against God after three days journey drew fire, wailing, and death – and Moses again interceding before God until it all stopped, at least for a few days.
The brief journey to the southern borders of the Promised Land took several weeks alternating between journey and rest. It included both an outpouring of the prophetic Spirit of Christ and a number of hostile stand-offs of rebellion and complaining and dire consequences. It was likely in July or early August that Moses sent the spies into the land, thus their return after forty days would place the scene sometime in September, or near the beginning of the time of Tabernacles.
The spies saw two things; they saw the rich abundance of the earth and they saw giants in walled cities. They brought back evidence of the first and the report of the second. At this point all the spies are in 100% agreement.
Now, I talked about this story and the truth God has for us in it in my series, Transformed into His Image, in these two articles among others: “I See God; My Whole Being Is Filled with His Light,” and “More Precious than Gold.” As I look back through them, I see the same thing I would write at present. In fact, I could very easily do a repeat, saying the same thing in a different way, though with clearer sight.
More than that, I suggest that you read through Numbers 13, 14, and 16. Then read Hebrews 3 and 4. May I suggest that this word in these chapters ought to live in your heart.
However, I find the burden of the Lord upon me in a very specific direction. That direction is the whole purpose of the Feast of Tabernacles inside the present ruin of man upon the earth in this year of 2014.
God is invisible. Oh, how we do not comprehend this inherent reality of God. God is invisible, all-pervasive Spirit. Yet this thing says, “NO, God is a heavenly form that is seen and known in the heavens.”
God is NOT a heavenly form. God does not reveal His Person through angels or through any form of heavenly glory. When God reveals Himself to His creation, He does so only through MAN, His express image. The belief that God reveals Himself as a heavenly form is the victory of the serpent.
Everyone believes that God is absent from the earth. This is impossible. God fills every particle that is earth and every particle that is earth is found only inside of God. What is absent is the knowledge of God and the knowledge of God comes through man alone by a specific mechanism.
That specific mechanism is FAITH, the most bold and daring force in the universe, a force that rushes in where even angels fear to tread, sits itself upon the throne of God, and says “All that I am is God in Person revealing Himself through me, here and now.”
Is this not what Jesus said and thought? And did God not command that same mind into ours?
We enter BOLDLY. We sit down BOLDLY. We go forth BOLDLY. The faith of the Son of God.
Yet only in truth with no pretence. Do you see the critical importance of glorying in our weakness as both Paul and Moses did? No lie sits upon God’s throne. No pretender gets anywhere close. Yet many, many, many will pretend.
This statement: “All that I am is God in Person revealing Himself through me, here and now,” is absolutely true in all ways at all times in those who speak out from their fully acknowledged and most precious weakness, those who speak out from the intimacy of communion with the glorious One who fills their hearts full.
What prevents us from being the revelation of God? What prevents us from being normal human beings?
The earth is screaming in travail right now. The lust to control other people is louder and more ferocious than ever before in history. Karl Marx, the prophet of no-God, is screaming through his disciples in the church, the Christian left and the Christian right, two sides of the exact same thing. “Control people. Control people. Control people.”
Control always bring chaos. And in the overwhelming chaos, control screams ever louder for more control.
It is the voice of self-righteousness. “I am right; they are wrong. I am right; they are wrong. I am right; they are wrong.” It is the voice of hostile accusation against God. “God, You are absent and derelict. God, I hate the way You made me. God, I hate the path by which You reveal Yourself through me.”
There is one answer only for mankind on this earth.
God. – The knowledge of God covering the earth as the waters cover the sea.
God IS. He is not known only because no one believes. You and I do not believe that God is, not until we settle forever the issue of the Atonement.
God reveals Himself ONLY through man and that a corporate body. God will never be known any other way. Those who reject the body of Christ reject God.
“I have sent you forth as sheep among wolves. Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
I want to get right at this dichotomy, this press, this hammer and anvil, with the giants dwelling in fortified cities on the one hand and running back to Egypt on the other. In an upcoming letter we will explore the glory of Christ in His church, but here we must shine as bright a light as we can upon Satanic behavior in the church of Christ: envy, accusation, and control, this desperate need to pull other people down by any means possible.
The writer of Hebrews quotes David in Psalm 95.
Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years. Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’ So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’
Understand that the Promised Land is not Christ as me, but Christ as a corporate body. God reveals Christ as me by deliverance from Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea, by Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. But Christ continues to unfold and His final revelation, always springing forth, is Christ as a corporate body.
The giants in their fortified cities are inside the Promised Land, bobbing around inside the experience of Christ in His body, church life.
Let me explain to you out from a life of experience among God’s people what is the hardest thing I have ever faced. There is nothing more difficult in the human experience.
That greatest of all giants, that hardest of all fortified cities, is to accept with thankfulness first, and to embrace with joy second, the knowledge that my brother or sister, my wife or children, my friend or enemy, those who do me right or those who do me wrong ARE the manifest revelation of God as He unfolds Himself into space and time through the only means by which a forever invisible God will ever be known, MAN.
OTHER PEOPLE!!! – Especially those who do things that offend me and cause me pain.
The brother who has done more harm in my life, both to me and to others, God with me receives, on a regular basis, in just the same way that Jesus receives me, as the revelation of God. The only possible way I could do such a thing is my full knowledge that Jesus, my Beloved Friend, is my only life.
Listen, what if scientists cloned you or me and put us with five of ourselves into a locked room. What if we had to deal with four other people who were ourselves? It would not surprise me in the least, dear precious lover of Jesus, if when the door was opened again, four would be dead and the fifth would be dying, murdered by the horrific cry of “I am right; you are wrong. I am right; you are wrong” having reached its highest possible pitch.
It is a relatively easy thing to accept Christ living as me, yet few Christians do. It is far harder to receive Christ as my brother, especially when he is wrong.
The alternative appears to be fleeing back to Egypt, only there is no Egypt. Egypt is gone forever in the cross of Christ. Thus the only other option is to live as the church in the wilderness, ever at war with God.
You see, if my brother is WRONG, then I must convince him that he is wrong in order to make him stop doing what I don’t like. Thus the Christian horror, “There are two lives in you; you are at war with God; your will and God’s will stand in opposition,” is essential to make my brother or sister stop bothering me.
The “Christian” rejection of the rest of Christ, the refusal to enter into Christ living as us, is the fundamental belief that sin is my problem. And that fundamental belief is the exaltation of self-righteousness. “I am right; they are wrong.” It is unbelief. It is Hades. It is disobedience.
And the primary reason Christians refuse to enter Christ living as us is the obvious fact that if Christ lives as me, then He must also live as my brother – the giant in the land.
I lived for eighteen years in Christian community, in anointed, Spirit-filled, presence-of-God-among-us Church life. For fifteen years I complained in my heart and often with my mouth. I complained against what “they” were doing to me or requiring of me. I am not speaking of anything ungodly in our midst (other than our words), but just of normal human interaction and the direction that must exist in any gathering of people. I know what complaining is; I know what scorn is.
After fifteen years of living in “there are two lives in me” and “I am right; they are wrong,” God took me aside for two years. In those two years, God planted the seeds inside of me that would become this word I now share.
BUT!!!! Before He ever did such a thing, God placed His bony finger upon my forehead and said to me, in so many words, “Son, there is no Korah in My house.”
Korah’s real intent was to take the life of complaining and rebellion into his own invasion of the Promised Land, to turn the very life of Christ into self-righteousness, to drag Jesus down into the sorry whine of Hades.
Envy! And the voice of envy is scorn.
God walked with me back into Christian community, then, for three more years. For the first six months, I continued as before, as a member of the community and not as an elder. In those six months, I found no whisper of complaining or rebellion inside of me. God, by His tender kindness, had removed it. I received in all ways the authority of the elders in the community as God revealed towards me. There was no more scorn in me. I cannot convey to you how wonderful that is.
Then God placed me into that same circle of elders as one of them. That was the year of 1996, the most difficult year God and I shared together. I was sitting among some of the wisest, most anointed, most loving people in all of Christianity. People who have never lived in such a life attempt to convince me that they have an “in” with the “things of God,” that they know what Christ life is all about. I am so sorry; no.
Ten months later I packed my family into our little car, and we drove away. Yet, it would be almost two more years before God led me away from the move fellowship; He had much more to teach me in that context first.
Why did I leave? There was no scorn in me; I justified God in all things. That means, I saw all things as His hand in my life. I did not see what I see now, that all things are God flowing out from me, but I knew its beginning. And I gave thanks for all things.
Why did I leave? In just four more months, I would be set in as an elder in the church of Christ, a dream I had held in my heart as my goal for twenty years.
I will not speak against anyone; these were dear, godly, anointed, and loving people among whom I sat, the wisest and the best. There was no scorn in me, no voice speaking against anyone. If I could but cause you to know how wonderful, with all joy, the ability to say and to know such a thing really is. There is no scorn in me.
I left because there was no scorn in me.
By the end of the summer I knew that I could be an elder only if I adopted the mind and practice of this precious group of dear saints of God, caught inside the power of group-think. I would have to believe that we elders were God’s anointed, that the “body members,” those individuals in the community who were not elders, were always “of the flesh” if no elders were present, and that my ministry was to control these brothers and sisters to keep them from doing the fleshy things they inherently did so that God would not be angry with us as a people and remove His hand. I would have to believe that the majority of my brothers and sisters, these with whom I had walked for many years, were NOT Christ revealed.
I spent two to three months in the agony of knowing what it really meant to be an “elder,” and the growing realization that I could not see my brother or my sister as anything but Christ Himself, revealed through them, walking together with me.
I could not become an elder. I could not control my brother. I had failed.
Taking all blame upon myself and no one else, I drove away with my wife and two little children, driving 5000 miles in empty confusion, not knowing why or how or where.
You see, I am getting right at this hellish balance between, “Your sin belongs to you,” that is, “I am right and you are wrong,” the giants in the land, and “My sin belongs to me,” that is, “There are two lives in me,” the horror of disobedience in the wilderness, holding onto the memory of an Egypt that is not.
These two cries of Hades are the practice and experience of Nicene Christianity.
– “Get out of your country.” (God to Abraham)
I truly believe that I have expressed in these pages exactly what God means by this entire picture of rebellion in the journey of Israel and in the church of Christ.
Unbelief and the lie masquerading as the gospel of Christ.
The life of Christ is something entirely different. Inside that life, the hardest of walls come a tumbling down without lifting a finger and the fiercest of giants fall flat on their face before a boy.
But there is no Korah inside of Christ. And this truth is the most difficult of giants, harder than Jericho and bigger than Goliath.
The more I speak Christ as my only life in the midst of all my inability, the more I am horrified by the practice and expression of self-righteousness. I mean by that my illustration in “Sacrifice: Redemption” of the clerk, you and me, having received the life of Jesus as His purchase of our sin and sinfulness, yet we keep sin in our hand and refuse to give it to him. Christians do that because they prefer their own rightness to His.
That self-righteousness is the internal side of envy. But envy’s expression, scorn, the words that tear down other believers in Jesus, those words are a thousand times worse to me than all the strutting of self-righteousness. You see, we cannot be right unless we make Jesus wrong.
Christ is all first, before anything not Christ could ever vanish away. Yet the more we speak Christ alone, the more awful this not Christ stuff vanishing away becomes to us when we hear it speak.
There is always a spirit behind the words of scorn; they are not human words.
Consider Jesus’ words in Matthew 13:24-30.
The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. . .
There are plenty of scorners occupying places of anointing, leadership, and vision in the church of Christ. They look exactly like the true seed of Christ. The problem is God does not allow us ever to determine who is a tare and who is a wheat. Such judgment is not given to us in this present season. More than that, God does not speak correction to scorners. The simple reason is that the real scorners never hear Him anyway, and those who do hear, those who are not scorners, will take that “correction” as defining themselves instead of Christ. This is what Jesus meant when He said not to pull out the tares, for doing so will destroy the wheat.
God speaks only Christ into us.
Jesus received all the mess of His disciples, including a scorpion who stung Him without repentance. Judas and Peter were almost identical in their nature and in their offence, yet one was broken-hearted and the other never.
This is the Promised Land; this is the present church of Christ. We receive all who name the name of Jesus, including the scorners and the betrayers, as our brethren, precious to us in all ways, whether they truly are or not. The only thing that will ever show which is which is a life laid down and love poured out.
The Church of Christ, the Promised Land, contains bullies who will torment and abuse you without thought, all the while moving in anointed-of-God self-righteousness (there is such a thing) until the moment they turn without warning and stand by your side as a most precious member to you of the revelation of Jesus Christ.
And this same Church of Christ contains others who are just as dear, just as good, just as representative of all that is true and right in Christianity who will turn in that final moment and deliver you up to mockery and death without repentance.
The High Priest. The Heart of the High Priest, after the Order of Melchizedek.
Most Christians reject Christ revealed in His body because they reject “those others” who are so “wrong.” And they turn away from union with Christ because they prefer to bear their own responsibility for sin already bought and paid for by Jesus. They want to be right, and thus they want Jesus to be wrong.
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God from His. – Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. Hebrews 4
Here is another “just as” verse I have never before noticed! – Be just like God.
The last thing all fallen humans and all fallen angels and almost all Christians ever want to be is just like God. – Except for those whose hearts are won by Jesus.
Anything else is sin.
A life laid down, a love poured out, even for those betrayers who most deserve the worst.
This is God; this is love – and we also.
Caleb and Joshua said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
All the others said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we. …There we saw the giants; and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
– The word is in your mouth, this word of faith which we speak.
Christ is always all first before anything not Christ could ever vanish away.
THE FEAST of TABERNACLES, Pt. 20, TURNING AWAY [Daniel Yordy] 2014 ~ BOOK 1