Weekly Sabbath Survey
Stiff Necked — 5-30-2015
My “career” was 12 years of Legal Secretary/Paralegal work. Many hours spent looking down at client files, documents, law books, keyboards. The peril is an aching stiff neck. It seems odd for the Lord to use this physical condition to describe people who are “mentally dense, obstinate, stubborn, hard-hearted, impudent and/or arrogant.” (Strong’s definition of the Hebrew word for stiff-necked.) It seems God is angry with disobedience, but stiff-necked (deliberately stupid?) takes His anger to another level. It infuriates the Living God. Exodus 32:9 is the first reference to ‘stiff necked’. By chapter 33, there is a full-blown major crisis between God and these Hebrews (later called Israelites in the ‘promise land’.)
The problem was The Golden Calf, made in the image of the bull god Shedu, which means devil or demon. The people knew exactly WHO this god was. They knowingly worshipped him in most vile and pornographic ways. God was furious!. He thought (yet again) to kill them all and start over with Moses and the ones who didn’t participate in the grand orgy. Moses interceded. God spared the nation of Israel, but He ordered that some of the miscreants be killed by the sword and others would get a disease.
After Moses and the Levites killed 3000, and others got the plague, the Lord said He would keep His covenant with them, giving them the territory of Israel, as promised. But His fury toward them was so hot, if He came among them as in the past, His presence would burn them alive. So the tabernacle that stood in the middle of the camp was removed and set up far away outside of the camp. Then, the ones who were loyal to God during the Golden Calf fiasco would worship outside the camp. The others left of the calf worshippers stayed in the camp and worshipped YHVH from afar, away from His presence.
The Lord began to reveal to me years ago that we are already in the time of “outside the camp.” Out of the synagogue, out of the city where the Passover goat (Jesus) was the sin offering for the people, outside the gate where The Passover Lamb (Jesus) was taken to be sacrificed for the sins of the world. I have been working on getting out for a long time, a step at a time. Along the way I met others already out, but being quiet about it—righteous people who worshipped the Lord in privacy, lived a Godly life, but did not publicize it, didn’t hang out with other Christians. The Lord told me my ministry was like a Trumpeter Swan. I was to set that ram’s horn shofar to my mouth and blast out the truth. I cannot be silent.
Here is how I see this story apply to us. The camp is the world, a mix of good and bad. We cannot have God in this world. He is found away from it, away from all the sinful pleasures and distractions that keep us from knowing Him. What does it mean to be out of the camp? It means to remove oneself mentally and spiritually from the world’s systems. Not like the Branch Davidians or other drop-out groups. We will remain in our same life, maybe the same job we work, living the best we can. BUT SPIRITUALLY we will be disconnected from the affairs of this world. I realize now, this is the reason why I could never get excited about the Tea Party. It seemed good, but I had a check in my spirit, I knew it wasn’t for me.
Unlike in our Bible story, God loves and works with Believers who are not yet out of the camp. But His call to “come out” is going out over the Earth. He wants to commune on another level with those who seek His divine Shekinah presence outside the camp. We must understand the organized “legitimate” church is, by compromised doctrine and practice, already a part of the WORLD SYSTEM. Many really good people sit in their pews and lament the changes being made in their beloved denomination, when they just need to GET OUT. At some point, the One World Order takes over, our freedoms quickly disappear and ALL systems will be ONE system. The Religious System will be Christianity and all other religions lumped together, possibly under the watchful eye of the Pope and controlled by government. It is crucial that we are NOT a part of this. I have friends whose little local church seceded from the parent organization and is now, outside the camp! I feel sure there are many others who are doing the same thing.
This issue is so heavy on my heart, I cannot keep silent. My friends, DO NOT be stiff-necked! Do not let ANYTHING keep you somewhere when you know you should leave. Each one of us must hear this message for himself in his own heart. There may be circumstances in which you just cannot leave physically. But we are all free to “leave” spiritually. Our body may be bound but our spirit is FREE.
What we call “The Lord’s Prayer” is OUR prayer. His prayer is John 17. Please read the whole chapter, paying close attention to verses 14-16. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
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