Speaker: Vasko Belovski
Good morning, everyone. It’s a blessing to be back in the area back home and to be with all of you. Really happy to be together again and to spend time and open the Word of God and, and study it for ourselves. And the title of this morning subject is order in the wilderness. So the main focus that we’re going to elaborate on today is, what is it that God set up as far as order and organization among the Israelites once he took them out of the land of Egypt? In fact, was order something that was part of that journey that they had in the wilderness? And why. These are some of the crucial questions that we are going to attempt to answer this morning. But before we do so, I would kindly ask you to kneel where possible and ask the Lord to be present here with us this morning.
Dear Lord, and Heavenly Father, we’re so thankful for your tremendous love and care for all of us. We pray enough that you come in abiding our hearts right now we pray and ask that you keep all the evil angels away from us, and that you open our minds and our hearts and you help us to concentrate upon that which you have revealed in your word. I pray and ask that the things I share be not my words, I pray and ask that you speak through me this morning through the words that I use the body language that I have the tone of voice, Lord, and I pray and ask that you bless all of us as we continue to search for thy will in these last days. We thank you for all that you have done for us. And we pray in us all of this in the name of your beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
You know, history testifies that no military commander has ever won a battle by himself. And it is so because a military commander needs his army in order to finish the work that he has set up before himself. I’m not sure if any of you’re familiar with the Mongol people. They became very predominant around the 13th century, and they were recognized as one of the best armies of that time. One of the tactics that the Mongols used was what they call tactical withdrawals. And in the middle of a fight when the armies in the midst of a fight with another army, what some of the soldiers would do is pretend that they’re losing the battle and run off. And the goal behind this kind of tactic was so that some of the soldiers from the army that they’re fighting would begin chasing them and lo and behold, they would be trapped by another army that is waiting for them. What they try to do with this kind of tactic is to simply disorganize the army that they’re fighting, because they knew that once they disorganize, the opponents, they would be able to get them and come around and surround them and overtake them. This was one of the main tactics that the Mongols used in order to capture the opposite army. And it’s fascinating to see this because I think all of us can testify and agree that we are in a battlefield.
How many of you think that we live in a battlefield today, it might not be a physical battlefield but the Bible clearly talks about a spiritual war that is going on right now upon this earth. In fact, in the book of Ephesians, the sixth chapter, we are told, to do something very particular to gird up, to put on everything that a soldier needs to put on, so we can join in and continue the fight this battle of faith. When we go back in time and when we examine heaven, when we examine creation, when we examine everything that took place with the Israelites with the church of God, we see something very crucial and important, and something that the armies of today have very well understood, and that is organization.
In Testimonies Volume One on page 652, we’re given the following statement. It says there: Has God change from a God of order? No, He’s the same in the present dispensation as in the former. Paul says God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. He’s as particular now as then and he designs that we should learn lessons of order and organization from the perfect order instituted, when? in the days of Moses, for the benefit of the children of Israel. And this is our goal this morning. What is it that God did in the time of Israel, once they were taken out of the land of Egypt? And what kind of order and organization did God Institute? And why is it so important for us today, to learn these lessons and apply these lessons? You see, if we go back into the book of Genesis, even prior to the time of Israel coming on the scenes of this earth, were given with a very interesting example that I, I believe it would be very beneficial for us to understand today, because we’re living in a time where the book of Revelation talks about two groups of people that are going to be formed. In the 17th chapter of Revelation we learn of a woman called Babylon. And we learn of the whole world wondering after that same Babylon, because people have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. And we know very precisely that wine is representative of doctrine, of the teachings of that institution.
But you know, there’s another aspect of Babylon. In fact, when we look at the example now, in Genesis chapter 11, we’re going to see that this is the main reason why Babylon was called Babylon. So turn with me to Genesis chapter 11 and there we’re going to begin in verses one to four. So that’s Genesis 11:1-4. And it says there, and the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass as they journey from the east that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and they dwelt there. And they said, one to another, go to let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slimehead they for mortar, and they said, go let us build us a city and a tower, who top may reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
You see, we come here back to a period in time, when the Bible says that the whole earth was a one language, but not just of one language, also of one speech. You see, people were united together, they understood each other, they were able to go on and set on a journey to complete what the Bible here presents to us that they were going to complete. They wanted to build a place so that they can be recognized. And ultimately, we know that this place, the desire for building that place was so that in the case of another emergency, in the case of another flood, people would be able to escape. And we know how the story continues, they go on, they come together, and in an orderly and organized fashion, they begin to build this tower up and up and up. And I can just picture it, you had people mixing the mortar together, then you had another group of people who would take that, and bring it up to the next person who would be laying the brick and so on, and so on. Every person within this so called group there that was of one language, and one speech, knew their position, and they were working towards the same goal. They were of the same speech of the same language, which ultimately means that they were of the same mind. They had the same plan to continue on the journey that they had set forth.
But now notice what takes place just in the next few verses between verse five to nine, we’re reading again, Genesis 11, verses five through nine, and it says there And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one. They are one because they are united. They’re working together as one, and they have all one language, and this they begin to do. And now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. You see, that’s what happens when people come together as one. There’s nothing that can take place to stop them from achieving the goal that they have set out to do. It continues go, go to let us go down, and there confound their language that they may not understand one another speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth, and they left off to build the city, therefore is the name of it called Babel. Why was it called Babel? Because the Lord did their confound the language of all the earth. And from thence did the Lord scatter them upon the face of all the earth.
You see, this is what God wanted to do. God wanted to come down and break this unity. break this state of organization, an order that the people had put together and bring in confusion. Because when you are not organized when you’re not working together when you’re not in unity and confusion, reigns, then you’re not able to complete the goal that you have set up for yourself. And this is the primary reason why Babylon is called Babylon. Babylon simply symbolizes confusion and this organization. So whenever something is in a state of disorganization or disorder, first of all, you cannot complete the task that it is set out to complete. But secondly, the Lord clearly will not continue to bless the work of that group of people that have come together.
We have a statement in Selected Messages, Volume One on page 288, paragraph one, and it says there she’s not commenting on the condition of churches. But what we want to focus on is what she brings out with respect to Babylon and what Babylon stands for. And it says here, I have seen that in the assembly of the saints, a holy stillness should reign. But the house where God’s people assemble is often make a perfect Babylon. And now she tells us what a perfect Babylon is. A place of confusion, and disorder.
So brothers and sisters, Babylon does not only symbolizes confusion with respect to doctrine, because we know that that’s what the book of Revelation is focused on. But a state of confusion and disorder is a perfect example of what Babylon stands for. And this is what the 11th chapter of the book of Genesis here presented to us. In fact, the Lord came down to create that disorder and confusion, because what this group of people has set to do was against God. But you see, were given a very good example here of the fact that the Lord wants order, he wants organization, but he wants it for the right cause. You see order and organization in and of itself are a good thing. But just like anything else in life, a good thing can be taken and can be used for the wrong purposes. For example, I can go in and grab a knife and take it and cut a piece of bread and have breakfast this morning. But I can take that same very knife and walk outside and take the life of another person. Now, is the knife the problem? No, the knife is not the problem. The problem is I. It is how I’m utilizing that which can be used for good. And this is a primary example with respect to order and organization. It can be used for good, but as we see in Genesis chapter 11, it can also be used to achieve a bad cause.
So with these thoughts in mind, let us go now to the book of Exodus, and examine what it is that God set out for his people once he took them out of the land of Egypt. We’ll be reading from Exodus chapter 18. And there verses 13 to 19. And it says there and it came to pass on the morrow that Moses said to judge the people, and the people stood by Moses from morning unto evening, and we’re here presented with the responsibilities that were upon Moses. This is what he did from morning till evening, every single day by himself. You can imagine we have 1000s upon 1000s of individuals that he was responsible for. And immediately we can say, Well, how can one person take care of so many people. It is an impossibility. And notice the advice that he or he is given by his father in law Jethro, and it says it continues. And when Moses his father in law, so all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people, why sit is thou thy self alone, and all the people stand by the from morning unto even? And Moses said unto his father in law, because the people come unto me to inquire of God, when they have a matter, they come unto me and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the status of God and His laws. And Moses, his father in law said unto him, the thing that thou do is is not good. Though will surely wear away, both thou and this people, that is with thee for this thing is too heavy for thee. Thou are not able to perform it thyself alone. Hearken now unto my voice and I will give thee council and God shall be with thee.
You see, go back to the example that we read earlier with respect to the power of Babel. Can you imagine one person laying brick by brick, going back having to mix the mortar than taking the mortar transporting it to the top of the tower to where he has gotten to with respect to the building, and then continue to do that work alone and alone. No, it is an impossibility for one person to achieve this kind of work. Even with spiritual things, one person would never be enough. See, when Jesus was upon the earth, He did not walk alone did he? He had 12 other apostles with him that were assisting him with the doing of the work, it is an impossibility for one individual to complete a job by themselves and this is why Jethro here comes in and actually gives an advice that was in accordance with God’s will.
And notice what the testimonies shares with respect to this point. It says there, I was pointed back to the children of Israel. Very soon after leaving Egypt, they were organized and most thoroughly disciplined. God had in his special providence qualified Moses to stand at the head of the armies of Israel. He had been a mighty warrior to lead the armies of the Egyptians and in generalship he could not be surpassed by any man. You see Moses was put into place for a reason. It took him 40 years of preparation to come in and to take the people out of Israel. But just as we read from the previous record, in the book of Exodus, Moses could not finish the work on its own. So in order for the work that God had set out for the people of Israel, he had to bring in others to assist Moses, to assist God in the cause that he had for them.
So what was this advice that was given to Moses? And what is this kind of organization an order that God put into place back in those days? We find the answer in the book of Numbers, the 11th chapter in there, verses 16 to 17. And he says, And the LORD said unto Moses gather unto me 70 men of the elders of Israel, come down known as to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them on to the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with me, and I will come down and talk with me, and I will take up the spirit which is upon thee, and we’ll put it upon them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear not thyself alone.
You see, God immediately brought another 70 individuals, who are to be recognized by the people as elders, so they could assist the work. And the work can be thoroughly organized and discipline. But this is not everything that the Lord set out in place. Also, in Deuteronomy 1:15, we read the following statement, it says there, so I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds and captain’s over fifties, and captain’s over tens, and officers among your tribes,
You see, so very often when we hear the word structure, or hierarchy, we immediately put a negative connotation to this. and rightfully so, because we live in a world where all these things have so much been abused, that automatically when man sees something being structured, the mind would automatically lead to no, this is wrong, this is incorrect. But we see here that God is using structure and order and organization so that the multitude of people at that time can continue moving together in unity, one with another, so they can be of one mind in one language upon this point.
We have a commentary found in Patriarchs and Prophets on page 700, or sorry, 374, paragraph two, and it says there, notice what it is spoken of here with respect to the government of Israel, it says, the government of Israel was characterized, by what? By most thorough organization, wonderful alike for its completeness, and its simplicity. You see, I want to bring back the point that organization in and of itself is not a bad thing. Because many of us here I am sure have a business background I I know that several of you do. And when you come into a company, for example, and when when there’s different deadlines in different departments to be completed, you need different people completing different tasks. One person cannot get all the work down in accounting, you need one person taking care of one aspect of the work, another person doing payroll, and so on and so on. Organization and following the things that need to be done are necessary in order for any job or any work to be completed. And the more simple it is, the better as we can see here from this statement, she continues, the order so strikingly displayed in the perfection and arrangement of all God’s created works was manifest in the Hebrew economy. And I know that we talked about the order of heaven and so on, we talked about the order of creation. And we are here told that the order that we find in the Hebrew economy at that particular time, actually represents the best order that God could have set out for these people. She continued, Moses stood as their visible leader, by God’s appointment to administer the laws in his name. From the elders of the tribes, a council of 70 was afterward chosen to assist Moses in the general affairs of the nation. Next game, the priests who consulted the Lord in the sanctuary. Chiefs of princes ruled over the tribes. Under these were captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captain’s over tens. And lastly, officers who might be employed for special duties. You know, every individual knew their position, and every individual was ready to work for the greater cause, because it was the only way to keep the people together, moving further to ultimately the promised land that the Lord had promised them.
And we see the exact same thing reflected in the sanctuary itself. When we just examine how the people weren’t set out around the sanctuary. That in and of itself, testifies to order and organization. And this is a picture that demonstrates where each tribe was located. And there was a reason why all of these tribes were located in these particular locations. As you can see, Moses, Aaron and his sons were were right in front of the sanctuary. And then we have the rest of the Levites with the Kohathites, Gershons and Merari, around the sanctuary. And wouldn’t that make sense? I mean, weren’t the Levites chosen to complete all the service in the sanctuary? They were. So why would we not put them at the outskirts of the camp? It wouldn’t make sense, would it? Everything, and the way God organize things, and put things together was for the benefit of the people.
Turn with me to Exodus 25 and there will read verses eight to nine. And it says there, and let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them. And notice where the sanctuary was coming from, and what it was based on. According to all that I show the after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof even so shall ye make. So when the sanctuary was brought in, among God’s people, it will simply to reflect something that came from heaven. And I believe it was two weeks ago, that we talked about heaven and what reigns in heaven. And as a reminder or not, I would like us to read this quote from Second Testimony 697, paragraph three, and it says, there, there is order in heaven and is to be imitated by those upon the earth, core heirs of salvation, is order a bad thing in and of itself? Absolutely not. It is required, it is necessary. In fact, we’ve been counseled to imitate the order that we find in heaven, so that things can get organized, things can get done. The nearer mortals attain to the order and arrangement of heaven, the nearer are they brought to that acceptable state before God, which will make them subjects of the heavenly kingdom and give them that fitness for translation from earth to heaven, which Enoch possessed preparatory to his translation.
How many of us want to possess that which Enoch possessed before he was able to go with him. I’m sure that all of us would lift up our hand and say, I do. But in order for us to possess that which Enoch had, we need to do what? We need to imitate the order that we see in heaven. Everything that God has revealed to us with respect to order and organization, and that deals with every aspect of our life. It deals with our family, it deals with the church, it deals with how we do our work. I mean, I can be late to work every day, right? I can do whatever I want to do at work, but am I following and am I building upon order and organization in my life? Or am I putting these things aside and casting them as unimportant in these last days? Notice how the camp or the settlement of the Jews were set up. The Hebrew camp was arranged in exact order. It was separated into three great divisions, each having its appointed position in the encampment. In the center was the tabernacle, the abiding place of the invisible King, around it were stationed the priests and the Levites, beyond these were encamped all other tribes, to the Levites was committed the charge of the tabernacle and all that pertain there to. Both in the camp and on the journey. When the camp set forward, they were to strike the sacred tent. When a halting place was reached, they were to set it up. No person of another tribe was allowed to come near on pain of death.
When we examine every aspect of the sanctuary service, all that we could see is order and organization. The Lord was so particular, I mean, down to the minutest detail. The size of the tabernacle, the colors that it used. The dress that the priests had to wear. And furthermore, we were even told here that certain of the things that he required were even unto death unless they were followed. Who remembers which one was the tribe out of the Levites which was required for transferring the sanctuary when they were on the journey? Exactly, the Kohathites. And we’ve been given an example in the Bible, of a case when this thorough order and organization was not followed. I’m not sure how many of you remember the story of Uzzah. But Uzzah was not a Kohathite. And when the Ark of the Covenant was coming back to Israel, Uzzah reached to save the ark from falling onto the ground. And what happened to him at that instance? He immediately perished. And you know, he perished because God had already ordained how things are to be done. So when things are not done in accordance with his will, ultimately, all of that, in one way or another would lead to destruction. And this is the example that he was with, who’s over such a, we could say simple or trivial thing. Uzzah wanted to do a good thing at a first glance. He wanted to prevent the ark from falling onto the ground. But what were the consequences? The consequences were death.
There’s one point that I want us to bring out and focus on so that we determine something that unfortunately, the Israelites changed, as they continued forward, later, after the time of Moses, and that is related to the term, kingly power. So I want us to read this quote from Patriarchs and Prophets and examine a few things so that we can understand what is the difference between leading and ruling a people? Because I think most of us are familiar with the fact that it was not God’s intention for Israel to have a king. Yet, even before Israel had a king, Israel had leaders, Israel had Moses who was a leader of the people. After Moses passed away, Joshua came in and became a leader of the people. Then we have Samuel, and so on and so forth. So why is it that we see certain people being allowed to lead in the position of leadership and others such as kings not being recognized as God’s ideal for organization and order? Notice what the statement in Patriarchs and Prophets says, the government of Israel was administered in the name and by the authority of God. The work of Moses of the 70 elders of the rulers and judges was simply to enforce the laws that God had given. They had no authority to legislate for the nation. This was and continued to be the condition of Israel’s existence as a nation. The Lord foresaw that Israel would desire a king, but he did not consent to a change in the principles upon which the state was founded. The king was to be the vice general of the Most High. God was to be recognized as the head of the nation and his laws was to be enforced as the supreme law of the land.
So why did the people want a king? What was so different in having the king over having Moses or Joshua as their leader? Let us turn to Samuel, the eighth chapter and there will read verses six to seven and when you have time, in your spare time, contemplate upon the entire chapter because it has everything that we need to understand with respect to why it was that God was not fond of Israel. Establishing and putting a king in place and it says there, but the thing displeased Samuel. So what this please Samuel, here just to give the background is the fact that the people came to him and they said, make us a king, give us a king, give us a king, to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the LORD said unto Samuel, hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee. For they have not rejected thee but they have rejected me that I should not reign over them. And here in 1 Samuel, we’re giving the short answer as to why God did not want the people to have a king. Because by this kingly power, a person was now being put into a position that belong to God alone. By uplifting an individual, by putting him on the throne, by mimicking everything that the nations around them did, the people of Israel took their eyes off of the one who was to be their invisible leader as we saw, and placed those eyes upon a man. And in verses 19 to 20, the Lord fulfills and explains everything. Nevertheless, excuse me, Samuel now goes on, and tries to tell the people that what they want is not in accordance with God’s will, and that what they want will ultimately lead them to their destruction. But they refuse that and it says, nevertheless, the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, nay, but we will have a king over us that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.
You see, they were taking their eyes off of God, and now putting their entire trust into a man. Now, does that mean that God does not set out leaders in his church, in the family, in the nations and so on and so forth? Of course he does. Because just prior to this request, we see the example of Moses, being the leader of the people. Joshua, being the leader of the people. And in this case, Samuel being rejected as the leader of the people, even though he was just an invisible, excuse me, he was just the visible leader, while God was the invisible leader behind all of these individuals that were put into place.
Patriarchs and Prophets, page 606, paragraph one, we find the following statement. God desired his people to look to Him alone, as the law giver, and their source of strength. Feeling their dependence upon God, they would be constantly drawn nearer to him. They would become elevated and enobled, fitted for the high destiny to which he had called him as his chosen people. And notice what she says next, but when a man was placed upon the throne, it would tend to turn the minds of the people from God. Was Moses sitting on a throne? No. Was Joshua sitting on a throne? No. You see, the throne in of itself symbolizes authority and power above everybody else. Authority and power that has been given to me because I am the one. I am the king, I am going to rule over the people. When in fact, this throne is to be reserved for God alone.
It is when people become monarchs and usurp kingly power and authority, which should belong to God alone, that we separate from his ideal for order and organization. No such thing can exist because it does not exist in heaven. We know who sits on the throne in heaven. And we know what Satan was after. Satan wanted a seat upon the throne. See, God is not against leadership, because he has always appointed leaders. But God is against kingly power, because He alone is to be recognized as king over his people.
It is important for us to put these things together and contemplate upon them because as we were told earlier, those of us who want to have the character that Enoch possessed, those of us who want to be part of finishing the work, those of us who want to continue mimicking what God has set into place, which is order and organization would have to study and understand the things that he has set out in heaven, that he has set out in the time of Moses, and that he has set out in the time of the apostles because they clearly point to one and the same thing. In 1 Corinthians 10:11 were specifically told that all these things have been given to us as examples, especially for those of us who are living in the last days. And you know, so very often we throw the baby with the bathwater. We see that organization abuses its power and authority, we see Israel going into a state that was not recognized by God as the perfect way of dealing with things and having ordered an organization. And we automatically just toss everything outside with that. But this is not what God wants us to do. What God wants us to do is to study that which is right and implement that which is right, and learn from the lessons that have been given for our admission in these last days, not to repeat the mistakes of the Israelites. Not to repeat the mistakes that we have seen later in history through various implementations that were not fully in line with God.
So my appeal to all of us is just to continue and to meditate upon these things, study order, study organization, study how God deals with things. And never forget that for a group of people to achieve a common goal, order and organization is in dispensable. Everyone is to play a part in the body of Christ. This is why the church is likened to a body, because a body has different parts. And in like manner, the church has different members. We cannot get forward unless there are legs. The blood cannot circulate unless the heart is pumping it through the body. You see, this is why the church is likened to a body because everybody has a role to play. And that role is a common goal. And the common goal in these last is to finish the work, the preach the three angels messages, and herald the second coming of Christ.