…as at the first… Jeremiah 33:11 (NKJV)
The three-month Paint-the-States challenge recently concluded with prayers and prophetic acts across our nation. Participants and prayer warriors are trusting Jesus to station His seraphim and see us through the coming storm.
As I prayed each day for our nation, often walking over the nearby interstate bridge, I joined the thousands in “commanding the forward” for the United States, decreeing that we would return to the “forward” of our history, the vision of the founding fathers, the one nation under God. Yet I also prayed for something more… I “commanded the forward” of God’s Book, the Holy Bible. I prayed for a return to the Old Testament Laws, the Ten Commandments, the Sabbaths and Feast Days. I know we are not saved by following theses Laws, for we are saved by the blood of our Savior Jesus, Yeshua Messiah. Yet, as an act of repentance and to shine as lights in this world, we celebrate the Sabbath as a sign to others that we are God’s children.
There is a little phrase I’ve read again and again this year as I’ve followed the M”Cheyne Bible reading plan. The words are… “as at the first.”
We read this phrase when Moses returned to the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments a second time, after the Israelites’ golden calf failure…
And I fell down before the Lord, as at the first, forty days and forty nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all your sin which you committed in doing wickedly in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. Deuteronomy 9:18 (NKJV)
As at the first time, I stayed in the mountain forty days and forty nights; the Lord also heard me at that time, and the Lord chose not to destroy you. Deuteronomy 10:10 (NKJV)
We read this phrase when Joshua attacked the City of Ai, after their first attempt without the Lord failed..
Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city; and it will come about, when they come out against us as at the first, that we shall flee before them. For they will come out after us till we have drawn them from the city, for they will say, ‘They are fleeing before us as at the first.’ Therefore we will flee before them. Joshua 8:5-6 (NKJV)
We read this phrase when the Israelites fought their own brothers of the tribe of Benjamin because of their horrific Sodom and Gomorrah sins…
And the children of Benjamin said, “They are defeated before us, as at first.” But the children of Israel said, “Let us flee and draw them away from the city to the highways.” Judges 20:32 (NKJV)
We read this phrase when the Prophet Isaiah gave us hope of a time to come…
I will restore your judges as at the first,
And your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city. Isaiah 1:26 (NKJV)
We read this phrase again in Isaiah when he told of the lands of the coming Messiah…
Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed,
As when at first He lightly esteemed
The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
And afterward more heavily oppressed her,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
In Galilee of the Gentiles. Isaiah 9:1 (NKJV)
And we read this phrase when the Prophet Jeremiah told of the remnants’ return to Israel…
And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first. Jeremiah 33:7 (NKJV)
This is not a new doctrine (Romans 16:17), it’s the old path found right in our Bibles (Jeremiah 6:16, Romans 15:4). Father God allowed His children Sunday worship for a time as they separated themselves from the unbelieving Pharisees, but now He calls all people to repent, starting at the household of God. My pastor used to say, “Today you can’t tell Christians from the rest of the world, we watch the same movies, go to the same stores, participate in the same activities… Perhaps God can’t tell the difference either, even as He looks at our hearts, Let’s be a sign to our Father in heaven and to the world by celebrating Sabbaths and walking in His Law (Exodus 31:13, Ezekiel 20:12 & 20). Be lights to the world and show our good works of obedience that He prepared for us beforehand (Ephesians 2:10). And someday soon, the Great Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, our Savior Jesus, will come on the clouds in glory and make all things like the Garden of Eden, as at the first.
…who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:17 (NKJV)
Today’s TEA CUPP: Prayerfully consider how you can honor all God’s Commandments and shine your light into the darkness. Read Exodus 20 and 23. Let’s “Command the Forward” of our Bibles and return our nation to even better than it was at the first!
Stand in the ways and see,
And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
And walk in it;
Then you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6:16 (NKJV)
Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored;
Renew our days as of old. Lamentations 5:21 (NKJV)
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2 (NKJV)
For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:17 (NKJV)
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4 (NKJV)
Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. Exodus 31:13 (NKJV)
Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. Ezekiel 20:12 (NKJV)
Hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the Lord your God.’ Ezekiel 20:20 (NKJV)
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.” Revelation 1:17 (NKJV)