The church predominantly has sought to bring men to receive Jesus as their Savior, to save souls from going to hell. Yet, this falls far short of her full purpose. Instead, she must unite and laydown differences that divide, come together physically and function as one people. This requires far more than what the church has so far accomplished in bringing souls to Jesus. As the church pursues this greater vision, God’s people will again become Israel.
Consider what it means to become Israel, to be fully God’s people. Just as the Jews had to give up many false traditions that formed over the centuries to receive Jesus’ new vision for His church, we must today give up many false traditions that have formed over the centuries among the church. For example, when Jesus took Moses and Elijah to the Mount of Transfiguration, He wanted Peter, James and John to have witness of His divinity. And He wanted them to know that He was the God who brought Israel out of Egypt and the God who brought fire from heaven to burn up the sacrifice. This concept was most likely shocking to them, that Jesus was YHWH. This is why both Moses and Elijah were present in bodily form on the mount with Jesus. He wanted them to know that He was their God. I say bodily because Satan challenged for Moses body, because Christ had not died yet (Jude 1:9). But was it really a resurrection of Moses back into his body?
Recall that after Elijah had the confrontation with Jezebel’s priests of Baal, he went to the wilderness and sat under a Juniper tree and desired to die. An angel came and fed him, such, that he was able to go forty days without food or water traveling on foot to Mount Sinai (1 Kings 19:4-8). The implication was that he needed to get to Mount Sinai quickly, by a certain time. Most likely Elijah stood in the same rock cleft that Moses stood in when He asked to see the Lord’s glory (Exodus 33:18-23). With the Lord God in His glory, there is no time. Due to Adam’s sin, time only exists for men, because of our fallen state. Thus, at this instance Moses and Elijah were both in the Lord’s glory with Him when Jesus revealed Himself on the Mount of Transfiguration to Peter, James and John. Perhaps this was more of a spanning of time rather than a resurrection. But this is not the main point. Instead, Jesus wants His people to get on a new path, to receive Him as their Savior and live together as one in righteousness.
The Lord had manifested Himself, using each one–Moses at the Red Sea and Elijah at the burning of the sacrifice–in an undeniably, powerful way. By this, both Moses and Elijah showed themselves to be worthy of God’s presence to a larger degree than most servants. Thus, each one, was taken to heaven to be immediately with God in fullness, given great honor, because of the service they offered while in the flesh. The bible describes Elijah’s translation experience, when the chariot of Israel came to get him, because Elisha witnessed it (2 Kings 2:1-12). Moses, on the other hand, the bible says that God buried him (Deuteronomy 34:5-7). Most likely this was recorded because they could not find his body. I think it is more likely that God simply took Moses to heaven. Thus, Satan had no claim over Moses’ body, because he never died.
The other parallel between these two servants is that YHWH used each of them to set Israel on a new path. Moses’ new path is obvious, as this is when Israel first entered the promised land that God told Abraham that He would give to his descendants (Genesis 12:1-7). While Elijah’s new path with Israel is not so obvious. According to history, Elijah’s battle with the priests of Baal happened in the year 852 BC, and it corresponds to the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat in Judah (2 Kgs 3:1) and the second year of his son’s co-reign with him (2 Kgs 1:17). Israel continued as the Northern Kingdom for another one hundred and thirty years after this, until they fell and were scattered by the Assyrians. Yet, as their wickedness increased, I believe the more righteous separated themselves, and Elijah’s victory over the priests of Baal is what inspired them to act. I believe this remnant of Israel became the people of the North Country, referenced by Isaiah and Jeremiah, see Isaiah 43:6, 49:12 and Jeremiah 3:14, 18, 19.
When judgment befalls His people, the Lord always continues His work with a righteous remnant, starting a new path. Recall that only some of Israel left Egypt, only some of the Jews returned from Babylon, and only a few received Yeshua as the Messiah and became His church. Therefore, before the Northern Kingdom of Israel fell, the Lord led a righteous group from among them to this land known as the North Country, where they still remain largely hidden today. He did this so that He might preserve certain knowledge that Israel had about Him, that He wants to bring again to them, once they are ready to corporately receive Him to the degree that they can receive it again as Israel. Also, He did this so that those who had not bowed the knee to Baal might not suffer utter destruction, as the more wicked of Israel would one day suffer. The Lord hints at this preservation in 1 Kings 19:18, which says, “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.” Wouldn’t YHWH want to retain these righteous ones and set them on a new path?
The point of this digression is that the Lord today wants His people, His church, to also get on a new path. We must change our thinking about why and what Jesus meant when He prayed, “…thy Kingdom come.” Jesus knew and understood what He was praying, yet His people, the Jews, did not. At the beginning when Israel first entered into a corporate covenant with Him at Mt Sinai, He gave them Priesthood, Ordinances, Statutes and Laws. He understood the need to organize, function as one people, by strictly upholding holy practices, in order to maintain a walk with their God. But it was more than this, it was growing to know and understand Him that He might, in their daily lives, always be manifested among them. We have yet to comprehend and accomplish this degree of corporate walk with Jesus and the Father. Historically, the church has simply stopped at bringing souls to Jesus. She has not established a community of corporate believers living together as God’s people. She incorrectly thinks that Jesus is going to do this when He returns to setup His Millennial Reign. This is abdicating our responsibility as His church. Why would Jesus pray for this, if He was going to do it when He returned? The truth is that Jesus cannot return until a people are able to receive Him in power and glory. Thus, the church must embrace bringing God’s Kingdom to earth, and, by so enacting, they become Israel.