Now Moses used to take the tent and to pitch it without the camp, afar off from the camp; and he called it, The tent of meeting. And it came to pass, that every one that sought Jehovah went out unto the tent of meeting, which was without the camp.
(Exo 33:7 ASV)
Have you ever gone out on a weekend camping trip to experience God’s undefiled creation only to end up at a camp sight that is soon crowded with other campers, their screaming kids, barking dogs, blaring boom boxes, roaring dirt bikes and ATV’s, etc., and you end up wondering what it means to “get away from it all”? Well, for may of us our first attempts at following Jesus Christ was not much different. In our pursuit of God’s created church there was soon so much noise and confusion among other Christians that we could no longer hear the voice of the One who had drawn us away from the world unto Himself.
The following is from T. Austin-Sparks and I couldn’t have said it better about what it means to go on without the camp…
Let us go out to Him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace He bore. (Hebrews 13:13 NLT)
We can organize our movements, lay our plans, and draft our schemes. We can lay it all out according to the New Testament and it can be dead, ineffective…. You see the difference between a traditional system, whether it be Judaism or Christianity, and a living thing coming all the time in a living way out from the Christ Himself by the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit Himself doing it. Well, this is going to cost something. See what it meant for these people. At the end of this letter you come on this: “Wherefore, Christ also… suffered without the camp. Let us therefore go to Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” The camp was Judaism, and He suffered without the camp because He repudiated Judaism and stood for the realization of all God’s thoughts as in Himself personally. He gathered up everything into His own person, “I am.” It is the Christ who is the full sum and embodiment of all God’s thoughts and ways, and that take s the place of Judaism, and He, therefore, repudiated Judaism and suffered without the camp. “Let us go to Him without the camp.”
What is the issue? If you are going to take this line you are going to repudiate organized Christianity, going to repudiate Christendom as a traditional system, going to repudiate that order of things which is made, and going, therefore, to suffer reproach and be outside of the camp suffering His reproach. In other words, we are immediately going to come up against that force of antagonism to stop what has come in through the death and resurrection and exaltation of the Lord Jesus, the heavenly thing. Is it not sad that these people met it through God’s historic people, the people who claimed to have the oracles, to be the elect, to be the favored of the Lord? It is always like that. “A man’s foes shall be those of his own household.” Do not narrow that down to the limits of a family where one is a Christian and all the rest are not. That is not the point at all. It is his own household, the Christian household. You will meet the antagonism to what has come in from heaven as a heavenly thing; you will meet the antagonism amongst those who are the traditional people of God in this dispensation. That is how it will be. That is going to be the cost of a walk in Life with the Lord and not with man, knowing the Lord for yourself.
By T. Austin-Sparks from: The Kingdom That Cannot be Shaken – Chapter 2