Down to Egypt (or “Hell”) or Up to the Jerusalem (or “Heaven”)?

Genesis 39:1, Down to Egypt…down there. 

There are more than twenty references in the Bible to “going down to Egypt,” coming “up from Egypt” or words to this gist. Egypt can be taken as a biblical metaphor for the secular world and all that is in it that is in opposition to YHVH’s paths of righteousness. Egypt represents the low spiritual way of following the world, flesh and the devil that is evil that leads to death and separation from Elohim, while the Promised land, and specifically Jerusalem, is a metaphor for the spiritual high place of truth, righteousness and godliness that leads to eternal life. This is why the Bible speaks of “going down to Egypt” and “going up to Jerusalem.” 

Each person has only two choices in life on how they will conduct their lives. They must make a choice—they will make a choice purposely or inadvertently. They can choose the proverbial downward path or the highway to hell or the upward path or the highway to heaven. Everyone Continue reading

 

The Promised Land Inheritance Is Still an Unfulfilled Promise

Numbers 34:2, This is the land. The land of Canaan as described in this passage is but a small portion of Israel’s total land inheritance from the Creator. In the Abrahamic Covenant YHVH made to Abraham and to his descendants, this promise has yet to be fulfilled to its fullest extent (review Gen 17:8 cp. 15:18). Never in Israel’s long history as a nation has it possessed and inhabited the land from Egypt to Iraq.

If YHVH’s promise hasn’t been fulfilled yet, unless he lied to Abraham and the Word of Elohim can’t be trusted, this promise is yet to be fulfilled.

In Ephesians 2:12, Paul mentions “covenants of promise” (plural). Most redeemed believers have heard of the New Covenant and know that it somehow relates to them, but Paul speaks of covenants (plural) with regard to the one-new man believer in Yeshua (read the next few verses for context).

Other than the New Covenant (singular), what other covenants (plural) that YHVH made with the nation Israel might Paul be referring to? The Abrahamic Covenant, of course.

Do you see yourself as a son of Abraham and an inheritor of these promises? (See Rom 4:16; 9:8–11; Gal 3:7, 9; 14, 28–29.) Paul did. What was Paul thinking, how does this affect you and your future, and how does this square with what the church typically teaches is the future inheritance of the saints?

 

Down to Egypt (Hell) or Up to the Promised Land (Heaven)?

Genesis 39:1, Down to Egypt…down there. There are more than twenty references in the Bible to “going down to Egypt,” coming “up from Egypt” or words to this gist. Egypt can be taken as a biblical metaphor for the secular world and all that is in it that is in opposition to YHVH’s paths of righteousness. Egypt represents the low spiritual way of following the world, flesh and the devil that is evil that leads to death and separation from Elohim, while the Promised land, and specifically Jerusalem, is a metaphor for the spiritual high place of truth, righteousness and godliness that leads to eternal life. This is why the Bible speaks of “going down to Egypt” and “going up to Jerusalem.”

Each person has only two choices in life on how they will conduct their lives. They must make a choice—they will make a choice purposely or inadvertently. They can choose the proverbial downward path or the highway to hell or the upward path or the highway to heaven. Everyone chooses one path or another, even if they are not aware of the conscious decision to do so. To not make a choice is, by default, to choose the downward path.

Most people are somewhere in the middle, which is a vast grey area. They neither choose one path or the other. They choose just enough of the upward path to alleviate their guilt, but not enough of it to radically change their lifestyles. They still want enough of the downward path to satiate the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and pride of life.

So what did Yeshua have to say about those who choose this wide, well-traveled middle road?

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Rev 3:15–16)

To those who find themselves on this path, Yeshua is standing outside of the door of their spiritual house and saying,

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev 3:20)

To those who respond positively to his invitation, he promises them a place in the Promised Land of his everlasting kingdom.

To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Rev 3:21)

 

Are you going up to Beth-El (the House of El)?

The Temple Mount or the House of El (Hebrew: Beth-El), and the likely spot where the Temple of Solomon stood, and the possible site of the actual holy of holies.

Genesis 35:1–15, Go up to Bethel. Jacob, twenty years earlier, had left Canaan in disgrace fleeing eastward into exile (as his descendants would do generations later), where in captivity to Laban he pays the price for being a deceiver.

In captivity, Jacob prospers and finally is able to return to the Promised Land.

En route westward back to Canaan, he goes through a wilderness experience, as the children of his namesake would do several generations later.

What type of individuals does YHVH not permit and permit to enter into the Land of Promise? The answers are in Hebrews 4:1–11 where the writer speaks of doubt and unbelief, faith, hardness of heart versus resting in YHVH and not in the works of our flesh. (Read it.)

To come home, like the prodigal son, to the home of his earthly parents and to that of his Heavenly Father (Beth-el or House of El) what was required of Jacob? He had to manifest brokenness, humility, a new identity, repentance, and make restitution for past sins committed against others (Gen 34).

Will YHVH similarly break our stiff necks, refine and purify us to become suitable for the Master’s use in his spiritual house? Are you fighting the process that YHVH is working in your life to prepare you for your spiritual Bethel?

Jacob got hit again and again until his carnal will was finally broken, his heart was circumcised and he died to the willfulness of his flesh and scheming to bring YHVH’s will to pass in his life. (Have other notable personages of Scripture tried the same things and had their will broken before they were useful to YHVH? Remember Moses when he murdered the Egyptian? What did YHVH do with him for 40 years?)

Remember, neither the uncircumcised in heart nor flesh will enter into the spiritual house of Elohim (Ezek 44:9), which is the ultimate Promised Land.

Where are you in this spiritual process?

The Promised Land belongs to those (i.e. the seed of Jacob) who pass the wilderness tests of YHVH (Gen 35:12).

Who is that seed? (Read Rom 4:16; 9:8, 11; Gal 3:7, 9, 14, 28, 29.)

Are we not following exactly in our father Jacob’s footsteps leaving our exile and captivity in Babylon (false religious systems, which contains a mixture of both good and evil, see Rev 18:4), returning westward across the Jordan into the land of Promise, to our spiritual inheritance, to the ancient and good paths of the Torah faith (Jer 6:16, 19), which is defined in terms of YHVH’s covenants with Israel (Eph 2:12–14)? Is not YHVH calling out a growing remnant of believers in Yeshua to do just that in our time? Do you see that Jacob’s life is a prophetic road map of what each individual believer must go through to obtain his spiritual inheritance? His life is a prophetic picture of what all Israel, collectively, must go through, as well.

 

Isaac was well-off with wells. How is you well-being?

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Genesis 26:1–29, There was a famine in the land. At the well of Lachai-roi (or “the well of the Living One seeing me,” Gen 24:62), Isaac was fruitful. There he met his wife while in communion with YHVH (Gen 24:62–64). Isaac also dwelt there for 20 years, and there he entreated YHVH because of Rebekah’s barrenness (Gen 25:21), and YHVH answered Isaac’s prayer and Rebekah gave birth to twins (Gen 25:22).

But because of famine in the land, Isaac felt compelled to leave Canaan to seek relief in Egypt following the earlier footsteps of his father, Abraham. Is it wise to rely on “Egypt” (a metaphor for the world) for our sustenance instead of trusting YHVH and believing that where he has planted us and blessed us is where we should stay? While en route to Egypt, YHVH gracefully redirected Isaac away from Egypt instructing him rather to sojourn in Gerar (temporarily) where he would continue to bless him and his posterity (Gen 26:2–4). Isaac obeyed YHVH—more or less. Isaac ended up in Gerar located on the border between Canaan and Egypt and dwelt there a long time (not temporarily as YHVH had instructed him, Gen 26:6, 8).

Instead of fully obeying YHVH, it was as if Isaac was hedging his bet between faith and fear, between Canaan, the land of promise, and Egypt, the land of comfort for the flesh man. How often do we halt between two opinions and compromise between YHVH’s will and our own in matters where he has given us clear direction? This place of spiritual indecision and weakness put Isaac in a compromising situation (Gen 26:7). He felt compelled to lie about his wife, thus repeating the sin of his father (Gen 20:1–2).

Compromised obedience puts us in compromising situations where in order to “save our skin” we often have to compromise our values. Though Isaac was out of YHVH’s will, YHVH was still faithful to keep his promises he had made to Isaac earlier (Gen 26:3–4). Isaac was blessed one hundred fold in his wealth (Gen 26:12–14).

Despite YHVH’s blessings, Isaac’s labors were not without difficulty and opposition from an enemy who was intent upon stealing his water wells, which were rightfully his (Gen 26:12–15).

In the arid regions of the Holy Land, wells are essential for survival and prosperity. Wells are a spiritual metaphor for salvation, life, abundance and truth—things the enemy is intent on taking from us (in this light, consider Isa 12:3; 55:1–3; Ps 36:9; John 4:7–14; 7:37–39; 10:10).

Genesis 26:18–22, And Isaac dug again. Isaac redug the wells that belonged to his father in the land YHVH promised to him, yet the world opposed him and stole from him what was rightfully his.

The wells’ names were Contention and Strife. How easy it is to allow fleshly or demonically motivated people to oppose and deter us from our divine destiny. What was Isaac’s response? He took the high road of peace refusing to be embroiled in carnal battles. His faith in YHVH was undaunted and at the third well he found, which he named spaciousness (Heb. Rehoboth) and contained a vast supply of water.

Are you striving and contending with the spiritual Philistines in your life? Are they keeping you from moving onward spiritually into a place of fruitfulness where the river of life from YHVH’s throne flows?

Following the example of Isaac, choose your battles carefully. It is not necessary to engage the enemy at every point of conflict. Sometimes we need to walk away. There is a time to walk away and a time to fight. Be led by the Spirit of Elohim. When you choose to fight, let YHVH fight your battles and you will progress onward and upward in your faith-walk.

Genesis 26:23–25, He went up…to Beersheba. Upon retracing the steps of his father, Abraham, back into the land of promise in redigging the ancient wells ending up in Beer-sheba (well of the covenant or seven-fold oath) did YHVH bless Isaac?

The moment Isaac returned back to the heart of Canaan, the heart and center of YHVH’s will for his life, what happened? (See verse 4.)

Is YHVH calling you back to the ancient wells of salvation? Is he calling you to retrace the steps of your father Abraham, the father of faith, to return to the ancient paths where a special blessing awaits you? (Read Mal 4:4–6 and Jer 6:16, 19; 18:15.)

 

Lessons from Deuteronomy on Faith, Fighting and Overcoming

Deuteronomy 1:26–28, Moving forward in the face of obstacles. Many times in our spiritual walk we are just at the point of spiritual breakthrough, but we receive an evil report about some spiritual giants that is blocking our forward movement and our resolve to advance melts. It seems sometimes that if we could just see what the future holds for us that it would be much easier for us to go forward! Yet Yeshua said, Blessed are those who haven’t seen, yet still believe in YHVH’s promises (John 20:29). Do you have what it takes to go on without being deterred by the world, the flesh and the devil? How can one go forward in faith if one cannot see where one is going? It gets down to personal and intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father, through Yeshua. He directs us through his Spirit. Can you hear his voice with your spirit when he tells you, “This is the way, walk you in it,” (Isa 30:21)?

Deuteronomy 1:29, He will fight for you. How does Elohim fight for us? Let’s look at the example of the children of Israel. We can learn a lot from them (1 Cor 10:11). How many examples are there of the Israelites sitting down and doing nothing while YHVH fought for them? Few if any. What then does YHVH require? We must do our part, and he Continue reading

 

Your Inheritance in the Abrahamic Covenant

Numbers 34:2, This is the land. The land of Canaan as described in this passage is but a small portion of Israel’s total land inheritance from the Creator.

In the Abrahamic Covenant YHVH made to Abraham and to his descendants, this promise has yet to be fulfilled to its fullest extent (review Gen 17:8 cp. 15:18). Never in Israel’s long history as a nation has it possessed and inhabited the land from Egypt to Iraq.

If YHVH’s promise hasn’t been fulfilled yet, unless he lied to Abraham and the Word of Elohim can’t be trusted, this promise is yet to be fulfilled.

In Ephesians 2:12, Paul mentions “covenants of promise” (plural). Most redeemed believers have heard of the New Covenant and know that it somehow relates to them, but Paul speaks of covenants (plural) with regard to the one-new man believer in Yeshua (read the next few verses for context). Other than the New Covenant (singular), what other covenants (plural) that YHVH made with the nation Israel might Paul be referring to? The Abrahamic Covenant, of course.

Do you see yourself as a son of Abraham and an inheritor of these promises? (See Rom 4:16; 9:8–11; Gal 3:7, 9; 14, 28–29.) Paul did. What was Paul thinking, how does this affect you and your future, and how does this square with what the church typically teaches is the future inheritance of the saints?