UPDATE FOR THE SECOND EDITION
On Tuesday, February 16, 1993, I wrote this in my journal: "My new
baby, EGYPT OR ZION, has arrived, and he is little and dear, but I see he
really needs some copy editing." Anyone who read that book will agree.
Indeed he did need some work; and he never got it. Until now, finally,
after six years, he's getting it. As we prepare this second edition, we
will straighten his margins, correct his typos and clean up his pages.
And I will take this opportunity to make a couple of observations.
If it escaped me at the time, I now see clearly that we don't go
directly from Egypt into Zion. There is a wilderness in between them. The
passage of the nation of Israel from Egypt, through the 40 years of desert
wanderings, then the passage through the Jordan River into Canaan, is a
pattern; it shows the natural journey of God's natural children to a
natural land. Their natural Promised Land from God.
And we conclude from what the Bible says about their wanderings to
gain insights into ours p i r i t u a l trek. As Christians, we also can migrate
from a land of slavery toward a Land of Promises from God. We are God's
spiritual children and we journey from a spiritual slavery within the world
system (typified by Egypt) through a spiritual wilderness till some few
arrive on the "other side Jordan" - where we receive the spiritual
blessings promised by God.
The goal in writing this book is not to try to get folks to come out
of any of the various systems. I want to make the point that the world
system and the kingdom of God are different realms. They areo p p o s i t e s .
The way we relate to these seven world systems has a profound impact
on how we relate to God and to His commandments that we come out of them.
This book was written about the natures of the counterfeits; a whole lot
about the "Egypt" part but almost nothing about the "Zion" part. Originally
I wrote a few things about how to "come out" of the world, and in this
edition I've added just a bit about how we "come in" to the Kingdom. (Of
course, I don't know it all; I only know just a bit.)
This separation from the world must begin with our recognizing that
God's command isn o t to try to make the world holy, nor even comfortable
and safe. We have not been put here to improve it. God's command is to
leavei t .
I want to quote from a character in my first book, THE SEVEN LAST
YEARS. "This world is a sinking ship. Our role is not to try to patch up
the leaks. We need to get the crew off safely."
As I write this, I am beginning another book; its topic is the
Christian's migration from the world to the kingdom. It will probably be
titled CROSSING THE JORDAN, and it will contrast the experiences of the
Israelites during their natural exodus - how God dealt with them, what they
learned, how they sinned, why so few of them succeeded in completing the
journey - with our spiritual odyssey.
I now see that the concept of coming out of the various world systems,
while still valid and still commanded by God, is only one of many
components in the development of people who will boldly jump into that
raging, flood-tide river Jordan, full of love for God, faith in God and a
willingness to die.