THE HIGH PROCESSION (by permission; chp 1 from Ray Prinzings Book - Whispers of His Call)
"The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive: Thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them. Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death. --They have seen Thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary." [Psalm 68:17-20,24].
Historically, David sang his psalm when the Ark was brought
to Zion. In this fact he sees the principle of the history of the kingdom of
God, appearing in ever widening circles. The ascending ON HIGH refers to Zion,
and then to the CELESTIAL realms. It is both typical and prophetical, and in
due time St. Paul picks it up and applies it to greater spiritual dimensions,
as in Ephesians 4:8-9.
In the "NEW AND LIVING WAY which He hath consecrated for us," [Hebrews 10:20], Jesus Christ is leading a people, called out of the world, called into His kingdom, to ascend into realms of glory, spiritual reality which He hath prepared for them that love Him.
"Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation." [Psalm 24:3-5].
"THE LORD IS AMONG THEM..." Precious indeed is the knowledge that HE is personally involved with His people, guiding each step, working out His purpose unto victory. "In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them." [Isaiah 63:9]. "For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my Helper." [Hebrews 13:5-6].
"Unto God the Lord belong the issues from death." Certainly He is our resurrection and life, and HE has "the keys of hell and of death." [Revelation 1:18]. To Him belongs all its issues-- i.e. OUTGOINGS, as the Hebrew text reads. This is true in every sense and part of physical death, so that we see in Him that promise of total resurrection, that "In Christ shall all be made alive." [1 Corinthians 15:22]. And "He shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself" [Philippians 3:21].
But death is more than just that which pertains to the physical realm, for "To be carnally minded is death." [Romans 8:6], and unto Him belong the issues from this realm also. HE is the God of REVELATION, illumination, to bring us out of the darkness of the minding of the flesh, into the glorious light and life of the Spirit. "O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles." [Psalm 43:3].
In our Lord Jesus Christ "are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." [Colossians 3:2], therefore unto HIM belong its outgoings. Only HE can impart that divine revelation which leads us out of the death of the carnal mind, and into the life of the mind of Christ. Man cannot produce his own revelation. As Jesus said to Peter, "For flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 16:17]. Therefore it has been well stated, "No man can see until the Father gives him vision, nor can he walk a path where he has not been led." It is only when HE comes to us, by His Spirit, and imparts that ray of light, that we are able to rise up and follow Him, ascending as "the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith." [Romans 1:17].
And then the Psalmist declared [68:24] "They have seen Thy goings, O God, even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary." Note this word "sanctuary" coming from the Hebrew word "qodesh" meaning: separation, or the separated, set apart place, and also translated as "holiness."
One does not see with clarity the "GOINGS OF GOD" as long as they are milling around in the crowds of religious Babylon. It is when He begins to draw us aside unto Himself, into the separated walk, the path of holiness-- called out of the world, called unto Himself-- and then He begins to reveal to us of His ways, that we find there is away, a path quite unknown to the carnal mind. "A path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen." [Job 28:7].
Moses had prayed, "If I have found grace in Thy sight, shew me now Thy way, that I may know Thee..." [Exodus 33:13]. And God drew him aside from all the congregation, up into the mount, separated-- until he had eyes only for God Himself, and then came a revelation which had never been given man before. So that it was written, "He made known His ways unto Moses," while it was only "His acts unto the children of Israel." [Psalm 103:7]. God is merciful and gracious, and betimes He does manifest His power before all men, so that they see HIS ACTS, but to come to intimately know Him, and HIS WAYS, "They have seen Thy goings, O God... in the sanctuary."
Paraphrased: "The procession of God my King moves onward to the sanctuary."
Moffatt: "Behold God entering the sanctuary, my God, my King, IN HIGH PROCESSION."
We pray that a vividness of these words will be granted to those who now read them, to see that as God's purpose moves forward through the ages, there is a continual ascension, expanding, until it is IN HIGH PROCESSION that He comes to its glorious consummation and victory. Magnificently triumphant!
Rotherham's footnote adds the explanation: "The Lord hath come from Sinai into the Sanctuary."
The Sanctuary was located in Zion, and thus we have that long, progressive journey from Sinai to Zion. Or, shall we say, from the order of the First Covenant, into the glorious reality of the New Covenant. God's purpose has never stagnated along the way, it has always been progressively unfolding, as He leads His people onward, upward, to receive them into Himself.
"AS IN SINAI..." There was a lot of outward manifestation of God's presence when He was among them in Sinai. "Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly." [Exodus 19:18]. It was an awesome time! Moses was called up into the mount with God, and given the dispensation and order of the law, with all of its ceremonies, which was "a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of those things." [Hebrews 10:1].
But Sinai was never meant to be the permanent dwelling place for God's people, nor was the dispensation of the law to be the final order. We are not called to live in a land of shadows, types, symbols, but ultimately to possess THE VERY IMAGE of those things, i.e. to come into its life-- reality. The first covenant had a specific purpose, being "added because of transgression," to restrain the people, and keep them "unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed." [Galatians 3:19, 23].
From Sinai the view was TOWARD ZION, referred to as "the holy place." It would be from this new location that the NEW COVENANT would be fulfilled. Jesus Christ came forth to be The WAY into that realm of glory. He has already ascended on high, and now He draws us onward, to ascend "that where I am, there ye may be also." [John 14:3]. By revelation, looking through the long telescope of time, John saw this victory. "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father's name written in their foreheads. --These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." [Revelation 14:1,4-5].
"Thou hast led captivity captive..." We who have long been captives to self, sin, vanity, bondage of corruption, He is now CALLING OUT, unto Himself, "delivering us from the power of darkness, and translating us into the kingdom of His dear Son." [Colossians 1:13).
Furthermore, He "gave gifts unto men," [Ephesians 4:8], to enable us to make the journey, progressively ascending, until we are brought into His fullness. When we consider the tremendous span-- from this low estate of all our weaknesses and infirmities, to that high and lofty place where He "in habiteth eternity," we are sure to cry out, "How, Lord?" Yet He declares, "whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy, WITH HIM ALSO THAT IS OF A CONTRITE AND HUMBLE SPIRIT..." [Isaiah 57:15]. And He will impart all of the gifts and graces which are necessary to bring us to this dwelling place with Him.
He is both the "Author and the Finisher of our faith," [Hebrews 12:1], for He is the Alpha and the Omega, and certainly all the way in between! He is the Source of all the enablements so that we shall return home.
Not only, however, has He given gifts unto men, but the Psalmist goes on, under divine inspiration, to declare a scope of the LOVE OF GOD which is yet seldom understood even by present-day believers. For, saith he, it is "for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them." Truly, "God commended His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." [Romans 5:8].
"HE is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil." [Luke 6:35]. Surely the tremendous outreach of His love is even "FOR THE REBELLIOUS ALSO," that in due time He might purge out all of their rebellious nature, draw them to Himself, and impart unto them a right spirit, that they might receive His salvation.
After this brief insertion of God's grace even for the rebellious, the Psalmist returns to our own personal enrichment. "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits." It will be a long journey of ascending. The processings will be extensive, until we are thoroughly purged and purified. But there will also be that DAILY supply from His bountiful hand. So the Amplified reads: "Who bears our burdens and carries us day by day." In Him there is total sufficiency for every day, as we seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness. He is the God of salvation, for us, and for all men, and to HIM belongs all glory and praise.
Truly it has been GOD ALL THE WAY, let us never forget that! It is his "purpose of the ages which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord," [Ephesians 3:11] that is being worked out. And every phase, every step is under His control. There have been no mishaps! He has never had to abandon "Plan A" and substitute "Plan B" because things went awry. "He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." [Ephesians 1:11]. For "Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world." [Acts 15:18].
Every age, every dispensation unfolded another step of His journey, the outworking of His plan. Progressive handiwork that reveals His power and glory in increasing splendor. "He hath made everything beautiful in his time." [Ecclesiastes 3:11]. But the challenge is that we do not stop and settle down at anyone level, when GOD IS MOVING ON .
For its time and purpose, there was tremendous manifestation at Sinai. "And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die." [Exodus 20:18-19]. And that brought about the beginnings of a "ministerial system" which later corrupted into a popery. Uniquely enough, that order continues to this day-- by the will and demand of the people! Let some man talk to God, and then come and tell us what God says. Rather than going directly to God, "IN THE SANCTUARY" in the separated place, to be ALONE WITH GOD and hear what He has to say to us, man would rather have some other man give him a "word of personal prophecy," and tell him what to do. Let another man touch God, and then touch me. AND THIS WAS GOD'S ORDER FOR A TIME! How He blessed it, what glory there was upon Moses, so that he even had to place a veil over his face, because the people could not look upon its shining.
God has wondrously blessed certain men, and they in turn have poured out their lives to serve and bless others. But this also has taken on some very negative aspects-- when the ministry became corrupt and very self-centered. Even Jeremiah saw this, and declared, "A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?" [Jeremiah 5:30-31].
Thank God, He has purposed an end to such horrible things, and He is doing so by bringing people into a DIRECT RELATIONSHIP with Himself. He has "sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." [Galatians 4:6]. Jesus also spoke of these things, saying, "And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you." [John 16:23].
What did He mean, "Ye shall ask Me nothing?" Do we not still pray to Jesus? Certainly! But not with the old covenant mentality-- that we need the MAN Christ Jesus as a "go-between" so that we speak to Him, and He then speaks to the Father for us, and returns to give us the blessing. In fact, He went on to state plainly, "At that day ye shall ask in My name: and I say unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: FOR THE FATHER HIMSELF loveth you." [John 16:26-27].
As a Son, the MAN CHRIST JESUS, came to bring us back into right relationship with the Father. "No man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." [John 14:6]. Furthermore, "If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, AND WE WILL COME UNTO HIM, AND MAKE OUR ABODE WITH HIM." [John 14:23]. The more we realize what He meant, when He said, "I and My Father are ONE." [John 10:30], the more we progress from this form of duality-- God, and a Go-between, into a realization that we have direct access to the Father, our own heavenly Father. There is a tremendous truth of ONENESS that yet remains to be illuminated deep within us. For it was "GOD in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself" [2 Corinthians 5:19], and it is this Christ of God who is now bringing us into oneness with Him. For the "Spirit of His Son" has come to dwell within us to "guide us into all truth." [John 16:13]. This very word "GUIDE" bespeaks that we will have to be MOVING FORWARD. One needs no guide if they are settled in one place!
There is a glorious, HIGH procession, that is ascending into realms of glory, by a new and living way -- through Jesus Christ. And in this going from faith to faith, the lesser is always swallowed up into the greater. We are not doing away with the Son, when we come to the Father, for we find that the SON IS IN THE FATHER. Thus as a deep prayer of the heart we sing the little chorus:
"Lift us up into Thy greatness, O Lord,
Lift us up into the heavenlies above .
Out of the narrowness of self,"
Into Thy heights, and Thy depths, E
Lift us up into Thy greatness, O Lord."
There is a revelation that is unfolding in the hearts of those
whom He has apprehended-- and truly, "They have seen THY GOINGS, O God..."
The Hebrew word used here for "goings" is "halikah" and
means: a walking; and by implication, a PROCESSION, or march, A CARAVAN.
Habakkuk 3:6, "His WAYS (halikah, GOINGS) are everlasting (age-abiding)." His goings are not just little, quick happenings. This is a GOING that will require the ages for its fulfillment. Thus, Micah 5:2, adds thereto, "Whose GOINGS FORTH have been from of old, from everlasting ." "From of old," the Hebrew word is "qedem" meaning: before time. God's glorious purpose issued out of His eternal counsels to be fulfilled during the ages. Time has been fitted for its accomplishment, and when "the mystery of God is finished," time shall be no more.
It is a tremendous, awesome outworking, and our own finite minds cannot comprehend its way. But our spirits rejoice to know even a portion of His working, and to experience some of its reality within.
Romans 11:36, Amplified, "For from Him and through Him "and to Him are all things.-- For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him." This is often referred to as the "law of circularity," for all that has come out from Him will eventually return into Him again. Thus as a figure of speech, we can say that HE is on this great journey through time, and as He progresses, He is steadily calling a people to Himself, so that it is becoming a HIGH PROCESSION moving forward to its glorious climax, when all things are fully restored and reconciled to Him again.
Psalm 19:5-6, gives this as an allegory, speaking of the SUN (Son), ("As a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. HIS GOING FORTH is from the end of the heaven, and His circuit unto the ends of it."
While God has the route fully known in Himself, He is prepared at specific points along the way to reveal more of the secret to man, whom He is calling unto Himself. "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever: " [Deuteronomy 29:29].
"The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will shew them His covenant." [Psalm 25:14]. For this last sentence, the margin gives: "His covenant TO MAKE THEM KNOW IT."
Proverbs 3:32, "His secret is with the righteous."
Down through the ages God has always had those to whom He would reveal portions of His plan. "And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; seeing that...all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?" [Genesis 18:17-18].
"Shew them His covenant." This He surely did unto Abraham, and not just a glimpse of the first covenant, with all its law and order, but beyond all that dispensation, to shew him the NEW COVENANT (Editor's note: we reference the Prinzing's writing. End of note).-- which would follow. "And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, (which is the operation of the new covenant), preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." [Galatians 3:8].
It would be a long time before the GOSPEL, the good news of the New Covenant would be declared, but God shewed it to Abraham way back then. And so great was this revelation in the bosom of Abraham, that "By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles... for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." [Hebrews 11:9-10].
Part of the purpose and vision set forth was the promise of a natural land, for a natural people, and Abraham would dwell in that land, but only as a stranger, he would not accept that this natural land was the ultimate fulfillment of his call. He would walk out his natural days, raise his family, and have his cattle and possessions, but he was URGED ON BY FAITH to look for that better and greater realm, invisible then to the natural eye, but more real within than anything this world could produce.
When God passed by Abram's corner, He extended to him a CALL, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I WILL SHEW THEE." [Genesis 12:1]. Abram obeyed that CALL, "and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go." [Hebrews 11:8, Amplified]. He willingly joined GOD'S HIGH PROCESSION, and as the vision unfolded to him, he would not settle for anything less than the perfections which God had showed to him.
Peter writes, "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure...and be established in the present truth." [2 Peter 1:10, 12]. The word "present" is a Greek word that literally means: to be alongside. There is a glorious truth being revealed for TODAY, it is alongside of us now, and if we receive it, yield to its in workings, and are established in it, we shall be ready for that next degree awaiting us on the morrow, "His truth is marching on." Some try to remain in yesterday's revelation, and are not even ready for today, let alone for what God has reserved for tomorrow. But there are those who would KEEP PACE with the "alongside of truth," receive it, yield to it, and steadily ascend.
Since this is God's GOINGS FORTH, then it is also His DIVINE SELECTION all the way, as He calls to Himself those who are to follow in His train. "Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you," [John 15:16] is so clear.
"That the PURPOSE OF GOD according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth." [Rom 9:11].
Read it also from the Amplified, and add verse 16, "In order further to carry out God's purpose of selection (election, choice), which depends not on works or what man can do, but on Him who calls them. -- So then God's gift is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God's mercy. It depends not on one's own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God's having mercy on him."
What a tremendous revelation, and this through a man that once was totally rebellious. But God does give gifts "for the rebellious also," and He passed by Saul of Tarsus, while he was yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter "against the disciples of the Lord," [Acts 9:1], who were in God's glorious procession, and God apprehended him --called him. Certainly there was no merit on his part, being fully bent on destroying those who were a part of this ascending procession. But the selection depended solely on the part of GOD'S HAVING MERCY and calling whom HE wills. So tremendous was this in working of grace into Saul, that his response was "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" [Acts 9:6]. Where do I fit in with Your plan? How can I be a part of this glorious procession? Lord, you reveal, and I will follow!
Truly, "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them WHO ARE THE CALLED according to His purpose." [Romans 8:28]. How often we quote this, and comfort ourselves with its message, usually with the emphasis on all things working together for good. But there are two other important words here, CALLED, and PURPOSE. Praise God He is whispering into our spirit more and more concerning being CALLED, and how this all fits into HIS purpose. It is not a happenstance calling, it is BY PURPOSE, HIS! Precisely and specifically fitted into, and a part of His purpose, He calls us, and then works all things together, both for our good, and for His praise.
"In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated (or, marked out beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: that we should be to the praise of His glory." [Ephesians 1:11-12].
Returning again to Micah 5:2, 'Whose goings forth have been of old..." The Hebrew verb that is used here, for "going forth," is applied elsewhere to the rising of the sun, to the flowing of a fountain, to the springing up of plants-- all of this bespeaking of an UPSURGE OF LIFE AND LIGHT. God's going forth is a continuous expansion and expression of His life and light."
No wonder John writes, "If we walk (GO ON) in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another:" [1 John 1:7]. Note this phrase "one with another" for it is not speaking of just fellowship between Christian and Christian, but between GOD AND THE BELIEVER. And what are we sharing in common with Him? LIGHT! This is a reciprocal pronoun, it speaks of the returning to each other mutual love, etc.
Jesus clearly taught, "God is a SPIRIT: and they that worship Him must worship IN SPIRIT and in truth." [John 4:24]. There is no mutual sharing between flesh and spirit, it is SPIRIT TO SPIRIT. Yea, 'What communion hath light with darkness?" [2 Corinthians 6:14]. That which we share WITH HIM is of that nature and substance of which He can partake -spirit, life, light, love. These are expressions FROM HIM to us, received by us, and returned to Him again. God's glorious, ascending procession are those who walk in the light as He is in the light, and they fellowship with Him in this LIGHT!
"His going forth is prepared as the morning." [Hosea 6:3].
So also it is written, "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." [Proverbs 4:18].
Young's Literal: "Going and brightening till the day is established."
From the first rays of dawn there is a steady increase of light until we have the fullness of the noon day sun. So also in our individual lives, He would impart His illuminations, steadily increasing their depth and intensity as He leads us onward step by step, until we are fully prepared, matured. And on its greatest and grandest scope, God's purpose of the ages, HIS GOINGS FORTH have been in a continuous unfoldment and movement. Nor is He repetitious in His dealings with man! His mercies are new every morning!
"And God said unto Noah... make thee an ark." [Genesis 6:13-14]. This was His purpose and plan for that day, but not to be repeated now. Indeed, God gave promise, and set His bow in the clouds for a token of that covenant, that "the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh," in the same manner as He did in that instance. [Genesis 9:15]. Peter understood this, and stated how that "the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto fire..." [2 Peter 3:6-7].
An ark built of wood would safely float and ride out a flood, but it would certainly be fuel for a fire. Methinks it would not be present truth to be busy building a wooden ark. His goings forth are now far beyond the building of arks of gopher wood.
Much later God spoke to Abram, but it was NOT to build an ark, it was to "GET THEE OUT OF THY COUNTRY..." for in the unfolding purpose of God there were new things to be fulfilled. And as the plan unfolded, the vision was enlarged, even his name was changed, to Abraham.
The new covenant was told to him, and Jesus declared, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: AND HE SAW IT, AND WAS GLAD." [John 8:56]. In ways and depths far beyond that which is recorded in the scriptures, somehow Abraham came to see THE CHRIST, THE LAMB OF GOD which would take away the sins of the world, and how, through THIS SEED all nations of the earth would be blessed. Indeed, with a word that was prophetic both for the immediate time, and the future, Abraham said to Isaac, "My son, GOD WILL PROVIDE HIMSELF a lamb." [Genesis 22:8]. He knew that in that far off distant time, God's GOINGS FORTH would include the giving of "HIMSELF" as the Lamb, and that the sacrifice would reconcile all nations, that they might all be blessed.
The procession continued, and in due time God chose out His "David. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I TOOK THEE from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over My people, over Israel." [2 Samuel 7:8]. This was God's calling to him, not David's self-exaltation. And even in the matter of being king over Israel, to direct the affairs of the nation, it was to be by God's direction all the way. As on the occasion when God said to David, "When thou hearest the SOUND OF A GOING (My stepping) in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall THE LORD GO OUT BEFORE THEE... and David did so." [2 Samuel 5:24-25].
Here was a man who listened for GOD'S GOINGS FORTH, and when he heard that Divine Stepping, he bestirred himself and fell right in step with God.
At Bethlehem God comes on the scene in the form of man, Jesus, but HE has already been on the go for many ages -- this was the next step in His progressive march. God did not repeat Himself with the building of another "Noah's Ark" in that day. Nor did He repeat Himself with the multitude of sacrifices and offerings of goats and sheep, as for so long in the outworking of the first covenant. This was a whole new expression, the changing of the outward order, and "He took on Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." [Philippians 2:7].
As a MAN He walked out more of the purpose. "He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And HE MUST NEEDS GO THROUGH Samaria." [John 4:3-4]. Why? Because there was a Samaritan woman in need of Him. Others would have passed her by, and even His disciples "marvelled that He talked with the woman." [John 4:27]. Why call this one? She certainly did not have a good reputation. Been married five times, and now living with a man she was not even married to. Ah, but God is so rich in mercy, HE GIVES GIFTS TO THE REBELLIOUS ALSO. And here was one whom He would call, and she would respond, and His grace would find expression, to the glory of God.
Now Paul writes, "God is faithful, by Whom YE WERE CALLED unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord." [1 Corinthians 1:9]. Suddenly God's grace reaches out to you. But remember this, our call reaches right back into eternity past, it did not begin with us, but IN HIS GOINGS FORTH. He purposed to pass our way, to call us, as He gathers to Himself a remnant, the first fruits of His new creation order.
There is a HIGH PROCESSION ascending, and He calls YOU into the fellowship of HIS SON, to share His sufferings, and ultimately to share His throne.
He has not called us to build an ark, that day has passed. He has not called us to continue on with the signs and symbols of the first covenant, for that era also has passed. He has not called us to camp at mount Sinai, and pray for thunder and lightnings and earthquakes. HE LEFT SINAI LONG AGO, and He is steadily progressing in HIGH PROCESSION to the glorious reality and fulfillment of ZION, in all of the blessedness of His New Covenant.
He has called us into the fellowship of His Son, and His Son is no longer walking the shores of Galilee, as the MAN Christ Jesus. His Son poured out His life's blood, saying, "This is My blood of the NEW TESTAMENT." [Matthew 26:28]. Furthermore, "Where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead." [Hebrews 9:16-17]. He died, He sealed that testament with His own blood, an put it IN FORCE-- made it effective as of that day. And then He arose again to carry out that new covenant, and make it an experiential reality in us. So when HE calls us into the fellowship of His Son, it is that we might SHARE WITH HIM THE LIFE AND LIGHT OF THE NEW COVENANT. That we might be apart of this high procession which is truly coming to mount Zion.
"For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation. This is My rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it." [Psalm 132:13-14].
I cannot tell the measure of this the call I hear,
The many shades of meaning, the scope it shall entail,
The heights to which it leadeth, beyond my gaze to rise,
Though for the present turning, the path more downward goes.
But this one thing is certain, to me becoming clear,
That whether it be sunshine, or storms of fiercest gale,
To follow Him is vital, I can't do otherwise,
He sealed me to His purpose, when my poor heart He chose.
Called out of worldly pleasure, with all its pride of life,
Called out of kingdom building which centerized in man,
Called out of all co-joining the spirit of the world,
To leave behind the passions which fleshly thoughts enflame.
That He might lead up higher, above all present strife,
And work in me His purpose, which ages past began,
The building of His kingdom, and truth to be unfurled,
Conformed unto His image, to bear His glorious name.
It is a high procession, it's glory leaves me numb,
New covenant unfolding, fulfillment of the call,
Such grace and love and mercy are given by His hand,
According to the pattern of wisdom's pure design.
And when He has completed and rounded out the sum,
There shall be no part lacking, remembrance of the fall,
As in His holy presence I clearly understand
The glory of His calling unto this heart of mine.