It was John the Baptist who said of himself “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Make straight the paths of the Lord”. With these words the proverbial baton pass was made from the last old Covenant prophet, to the bearer and institutor of The New Covenant, to expire the old way and to blaze “a New and Living Way to The Father”
It was this same Jesus who said “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And where I go you know, and The Way you know.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know The Way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am The Way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”. Who also said “follow Me that where I am you may be also” for us to recognize our journey.
Jesus came to expire the old, so that we would recognize something new. The journey of the ages is now more clear, and the Jerusalem we seek is a Heavenly one. With the first one dismantled we should not be confused. As long as the counterfeit with all lying signs and wonders doesn’t blind you.
Jesus came to fulfill all the law and the prophets as well as that whole culture and give us a more clear direction. Meaning His followers had to depart from that Jerusalem because God was done with it. He said “if they persecute Me, they will persecute you also, and so they did. They killed Him. They were not welcome there. They would soon be on The Way.
After Christs resurrection and right before He was taken up, He told the disciples not to depart from that Jerusalem “until you have heard from Me”. Then they were to depart because that Jerusalem had expired in purpose for God because it became idolitrous. The disciples were on The Way. Jesus Christ then said “go ye therefore unto all the earth teaching and preaching all I told you.
Right before Paul’s conversion scripture says, Then Saul/Paul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of The Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound (back) to Jerusalem.” Of whom Christ immediately came to their defense and said “Saul why are you persecuted Me? Meaning, if you come against one of Mine you come against Me. Christ was defending the people of The Way. It was here followers of Christ were first called the people of The Way.
Then there was a demon possessed girl who saw Paul after his conversion “and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us The Way of salvation”. It was seen here first that Paul was converted and now known as one of those among the people of The Way.
A spiritual polarity shift had taken place in Saul/Paul, and now the persecutor became the persecuted, as seen by Paul being let down through a window in a basket on a rope to escape the Jews who took a vow to kill him because of his departure to The Way.
It was Aquila and Priscilla who explained to Paul “The Way of God more accurately”.
At Paul’s first visit to Ephesis he prayed for them “to receive the Holy Spirit, then he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of The Kingdom of God. 9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of The Way”, showing us that the indwelling of The Holy Spirit and The Kingdom of God at Hand were part and parcel of the Gospel, and harmonious with the believers of The Way.
In Paul’s self defense to Felix the Gentile Governor he said “this I confess to you, that according to The Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.” Meaning that the conclusion of The Old Covenant and it’s culture was their starting point, because it had all been fulfilled.
Peter in his writings acknowledged the people of “The Way“, by calling them “The pilgrims of the Dispersion” of those who departed from Jerusalem having heard from Jesus.
The message of The Way was to be preached to all the Nation’s as being something different from the old one that brought people to the Jerusalem they departed from. And it was the apostle James who called the people of The Way, The 12 Tribes scattered abroad.
The New Covenant started with the Judgment of that Jerusalem so their time frame was short. For the many on The Way out, it was their persecution from the Jews that dispersed them like Paul participated in. But God chose Paul first from the Satanic Pharisees, as a prototype so that the other Jews could understand that it wasn’t too late to repent and they could leave the coming persecution as well. If Paul could be saved anyone could be. Which is important for us today too because Today we still preach The Way of salvation that Aquila and Priscilla taught to Paul for his conversion to another Jerusalem.
Even the writer of Hebrews attested to old testament people on the way calling them “strangers and pilgrims on the earth, which is a quote from David who after finishing the temple preparations for his son Soloman said in prayer “we are aliens and pilgrims before You, (meaning God)
As were all our fathers;
Our days on earth are as a shadow”
This shows us that David knew that his journey and the temple we’re of a Heavenly sort, for they looked for a City whose builder and maker was God, and not one made by David, Solomon or the Jews. Didn’t Jesus fulfill the promise that David’s Son would build God a Temple? He said, destroy this Temple and I will build it in three days and Jesus wasn’t talking about Solomon’s Temple or Herod’s as having any relevance or importance. He was talking about His body called “The Body of Christ, of which we become joint heirs of with the completion of our journey of as being “living stones, built up a habitation of God in the Spirit”, as our new domain, as being fellow citizens, saints and members of the household of God”.
So you see, when it comes to Jerusalem, He wasn’t talking about the Old Covenant one. He was talking about “The Kingdom of God at Hand” as being the objective of our journey of following Christ where He is that we may be also. It was David’s Son Solomon who at the dedication of his temple, acknowledging that “God does not dwell in temples made with human hands”, asking God to hear the voice of those who look at his temple as a memorial, finished his prayer saying “that You may teach them The good Way in which they should walk; by which we may know and understand that they were on The Way even back then.
And even beggars in Jerusalem in the time of Christ said “son of David have mercy on me” for us to know that Christ fulfilled the prophecy, and that Jesus was the son of David that would build God a temple, and not Solomon. For even David looked for the City whose builder and maker is God”, whose composition and design was of a Heavenly sort.
It was the old Covenant wilderness wanderers, and those before the 10 commands, back to Abraham knew they also they were on a journey, and that it was a Heavenly quest. Flesh and blood doesn’t inherit the kingdom of God, so feet can’t take you there.
So knowing that the believers were called “The Way“. They were also called aliens, strangers, pilgrims and sojourners. The fact is none of Gods people took stock in this age. Like Jesus, we are in the world but not of the world.
To understand the meaning of the word church correctly, it comes from the Greek word Eklisia, which means “the called out ones” indicating that they were to leave and go. They were instructed to be on The Way because they were called to somewhere else. Like Jesus said, follow me. They knew they were going somewhere Heavenly. As their vision became clearer along The Way, they could see Heavenly Jerusalem coming down of God from Heaven. Heavenly Jerusalem, the Mother of “the all” as Paul put it in Galatians 4.26.
The writer of Hebrews had this to offer. After explaining all the law and the prophets purpose, he got to the main point by saying “8 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the [a]sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.” Who then says “therefore, or, because of this, let us go boldly to the throne room of grace”.
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness[f] to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us.” Do not despise the gift or the gift giver.
Isn’t this the “follow Me that where I am ye may be” Jesus Christ was speaking about?
As always, The Kingdom of God is at Hand awaiting your arrival. Some of us “go in and out and find pasture”, some look on from a distance, some wait for another. How about you?