[ 85 ] Les Feldick [ Book 8 - Lesson 1 - Part 1 ] Red Sea Experience: Picture of Salvation: Ex 10-15
[ 86 ] Les Feldick [ Book 8 - Lesson 1 - Part 2 ] Red Sea Experience: Picture of Salvation: Ex 10-15
[ 87 ] Les Feldick [ Book 8 - Lesson 1 - Part 3 ] Red Sea Experience: Picture of Salvation: Ex 10-15
[ 88 ] Les Feldick [ Book 8 - Lesson 1 - Part 4 ] Red Sea Experience: Picture of Salvation: Ex 10-15
[ 89 ] Les Feldick [ Book 8 - Lesson 2 - Part 1 ] Manna: God's Grace Saves Us and Keeps Us: Ex 16-19
[ 90 ] Les Feldick [ Book 8 - Lesson 2 - Part 2 ] Manna: God's Grace Saves Us and Keeps Us: Ex 16-19
[ 91 ] Les Feldick [ Book 8 - Lesson 2 - Part 3 ] Manna: God's Grace Saves Us and Keeps Us: Ex 16-19
[ 92 ] Les Feldick [ Book 8 - Lesson 2 - Part 4 ] Manna: God's Grace Saves Us and Keeps Us: Ex 16-19
[ 93 ] Les Feldick [ Book 8 - Lesson 3 - Part 1 ] The Ten Commandments and the Tabernacle: Ex 20-36
[ 94 ] Les Feldick [ Book 8 - Lesson 3 - Part 2 ] The Ten Commandments and the Tabernacle: Ex 20-36
[ 95 ] Les Feldick [ Book 8 - Lesson 3 - Part 3 ] The Ten Commandments and the Tabernacle: Ex 20-36
[ 96 ] Les Feldick [ Book 8 - Lesson 3 - Part 4 ] The Ten Commandments and the Tabernacle: Ex 20-36
RED SEA EXPERIENCE: A PICTURE OF OUR SALVATION
A lady called from Colorado the other day, and said how much she was enjoying the programs. She explained that what she really likes about our teaching is that we don’t go by what men say, but rather what The Book says. I have always tried to take that approach, even if people don’t agree with me. I just want to get them into The Book, and let them see what the Book really says. Many times we say things they don’t agree with, but at least it makes them get into The Book and see why they don’t agree; and many times it brings them around to our point of view. We don’t hue to any denominational line, we just teach the Word as the Spirit has led us to teach it. We trust you will be blessed by it.
Let’s go back to Chapter 10 of Exodus for a few moments, because the last time we taught, we had gotten to the place where Pharaoh was obstinately refusing to let the children of Israel go, and so, consequently, God was bringing in plagues. I would like to make one comment about the plagues. Always remember, if you don’t have any problems with the plagues in Egypt, then you shouldn’t have any problems with the Book of Revelation. Many of the things that took place back in Egypt under the plagues will repeat themselves in the Tribulation, only it will be on a worldwide scale.
I also want to remind you that so many writers (secular and theological people alike) will try to associate these plagues and other events in the Book of Exodus with natural phenomena saying these things just happened to happened. For example, I was reading one explanation the other night. This writer said it was not unusual for waves of locust to come into that part of the world. And that’s true, but when God sent a plague on Pharaoh, it wasn’t just a chance happening or phenomena; it was a miraculous act of God. Another example is the parting of the Red Sea. The skeptics will say they crossed at the shallow end of the Red Sea, and it was only 18 inches deep. Along with this, a tidal wave could have come in from the Mediterranean, and that could explain how the Egyptians drowned. Well you see, that’s all just hogwash. All of these events were the miraculous, powerful working of an Almighty God. And this is the only way we can explain it.
As Pharaoh is now coming under the pressure of all these plagues, he’s trying to do some compromising with Moses (and I don’t think we covered them in our last lesson, so I’ll just touch on them.) He offers several compromises. First, he said if you want to leave, go ahead but don’t go very far. What did he imply there? Well, don’t go so far that I lose control of you. Go for a day or two, worship and come right back. Now, that’s exactly how Satan deals with the lost person. The lost person may start getting an appetite, and the Holy Spirit may be wooing him, and bringing him under conviction. But what’s the first thing the old devil says? “Well, you can get a little religious, but don’t get carried away with it. Go ahead and go to church Sunday morning but forget about it the rest of the week.” See, that’s Satan’s ploy, even today.
Then secondly, Pharaoh comes back and says, now how many of you are going to go? I’ll let your men go, but I want to keep your children. And isn’t that again exactly how Satan works today? Oh you know every parent loves to see their kids get the best of everything. We want to see them successful, and in our day and time in the materialistic world we live in, all we are doing is getting into a compromise with Satan, “Well I guess you can have my kids, for after all they’ve got to make it in this world. They need to do what everyone else is doing.” But that’s not the Lord’s idea, nor His approach whatsoever. And then finally, Pharaoh comes to the place that he is so put out with Moses and Aaron. So now, look at the Scripture with me. He says in Exodus 10:28:
“And Pharaoh said unto him, `Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.'”
And Moses’s response is almost enough to bring a smile to your face. Moses knew because God had told him at the very beginning, that the last plague was going to be super special. And this, of course, would be the plague of taking the life of all the first born. When Pharaoh makes this statement now, Moses just comes right back in verse 29 and says:
“And Moses said, `Thou hast spoken well,…'” (Pharaoh, you have just said a mouthful. I will see your face again no more.) When we get into Chapter 1, God encourages Moses by telling him:
“And the LORD said unto Moses, `Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go…'”
And we know that’s exactly what happened. Then in verse 5, Moses said:
“And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.
(even the livestock – imagine what that would do to a society or an economy.) And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a (what’s the word?) difference…”
You know, it is interesting that throughout Scripture we get tidbits of information of how God is in control of wildlife, or the animal kingdom. Here he is going to make sure that even an Egyptian dog won’t bark, when Israel gets to move out. Then in the New Testament, when Peter was concerned about tax money, what did Jesus tell him to do? “Go down to the sea shore and there will be a fish with enough money in it’s mouth for your taxes and mine both.” What does that tell you? He is totally in control.
Many times I repeat myself, but I do it for a purpose. Some of these things don’t sink in until they are just hammered into us. Now, all through Israel’s history, beginning with Abraham, God is constantly reminding them they are not like everyone else on earth, but they are different. They are his Covenant people and they were never to intermarry with anyone but those of the nation of Israel. They were to have no real social contact with the pagan people around them. But socially they were to remain a separated people. I always like to emphasize, and this shocks people, never did God instruct the Jew to go out and proselyte the Gentiles. Did you know that? They were never instructed to go out and win the Gentiles even to their religion. And I know this is kind of hard to accept, because we are of the opinion that God wanted those people. Of course he did. He didn’t want them by the Jews proselytizing per se, or evangelizing, because he was dealing strictly with this Covenant nation of people, whom he is going to set aside, and make them different.
I’m saying all of this to get you ready for the day we get to the New Testament. And when the apostle Paul begins going to the Gentiles, how did the Jews feel about it? Well it upset them. Who in the world has the right to go to those pagan Gentiles? We don’t want to be too hard on these Jews because of that. After all, for almost 2000 years, God has been telling them, and proving to them that they were different, and it took them a long time to get that out of their system. And that’s why, of course, Paul and Peter in the Book of Galatians, Chapter 2, have the confrontation that they had. See, Peter just couldn’t get that out of his system, that he could go in and sit down and maybe have a ham sandwich with those Gentiles believers in Antioch. So when his fellow Jews came up from Jerusalem, Paul says what about Peter? “Hey, you withdrew.” Peter went right back to that old mentality that after all Jews could not fellowship with Gentiles. But that’s the beauty of the Church. Now, in the Church Age, Paul especially emphasizes that there is now no difference. See? And it all has to be brought back to the Old Testament, where now God says here in Exodus there is a difference. And let’s not forget that as we study Israel. Now, Moses continues:
“And all these thy servants shall come down unto me and bow down themselves unto me, saying, `Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee:’ and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. And the LORD said unto Moses, `Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.’ And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.”
We are going to let go of Pharaoh for a little while, and we are going to come into Chapter 12, which again is a benchmark chapter, I think. Much like Genesis 12, because here we have the introduction of Passover. Now, we have just come through the Passover season, and if you have been reading your daily paper, and in other news media, then you know that the Jews, at least the Orthodox Jews have been making a big to-do over Passover. They are still practicing it, they still cleanse their house of leaven from top to bottom. And it all goes back to this institution of Exodus Chapter 12. Now, let’s look at it:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, `This month (it’s the month we call April) shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.'”
In other words the Jewish calendar is now set up in such a way that April is the first month of their religious year. I don’t like to use the word religious, but this time it fits. Now, verse 3 and 4, and the LORD is still speaking:
“Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying `In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.'”
In other words, there is never to be a shortfall. There is always supposed to be enough. He doesn’t say so much about the amount left over, because he tells how to deal with that. But they had to make sure that there was not a shortage, and of course the lesson is coming in just a moment. Now, continuing on with verse 5, The Lord is still speaking:
“Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats. And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month:…”
What you have here is the beautiful illustration of Whom? The Lord Jesus. He too was, according to our Bible, without spot, without blemish, without sin. But in order to prove that he was spotless and sinless, how long did he minister? – three years. And so, as this lamb was kept for three days to be completely observed, the household would look for any blemish or sign of poor health, or anything that might be wrong with it. If at the end of those three days the lamb was whole, then they could kill it for the Passover sacrifice. And it was the same way with Christ. He spent that three years up and down the land of Israel. He was under complete scrutiny of the religious authorities, more or less, and by the ordinary man in the street, He wasn’t hidden from anyone. And yet no one could ever point a finger at Him, and accuse Him of a wrong doing. He was without spot, without blemish; He was blameless. Now, after they had proved the lamb:
“And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire,…. (here again comes that beautiful illustration of what his death on the Cross really amounted too.) Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire;….”
Now, the fire here, as I see it, was indicative of judgment. That just as sure as Christ went through the fires of judgment as He hung there on that Cross in order to bring about our salvation, this Passover lamb was also roasted with fire. It was not to be prepared any other way. You remember that even as we go on into Israel’s religious experience, what happened to all of their sacrifices that were offered upon that brazen altar? They were burned with fire. It was the place where sin was being judged. We are living in a day and time, where we hardly ever hear about sin anymore. We don’t even know what sin is. It’s to the place where every man does whatever he thinks is right in his own eyes. I was telling someone the other day that I’m always reminded of that last verse in the Book of Judges. Let’s look at it, because it’s so appropriate for the day we are living in. The Book of Judges is the account of Israel’s rise and fall. Over and over again, she would go down in rebellion and sin, and God would raise up a judge, and bring them out, and they would be spiritual for a while and then the process would start all over again. But as the Book ends:
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
Do you know what it was? It was almost anarchy. It was a spiritual famine and Israel was destitute. There was nothing to guide them. We are quickly getting there within our own society fabric. I have to feel that this is the problem of so much of our inner cities. These kids are being raised with no direction or restraint. And consequently their attitude is, “I can do what ever I want to do. And no one is going to make me account for it.” This is going to lead us to more and more trouble as I see the whole picture. Let’s come back to Exodus once again. The children of Israel were to roast the lamb with fire, and stand at the table as they were eating, and they were to have all their clothes on. And the LORD said:
“And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S Passover.”
Again, let’s get a brief picture of the Jews now. They are in Egypt, in their little huts of one sort or another, because they had a door. They were to apply the blood to the two side posts and the upper door post. I’m convinced that no Jew in Egypt understood what was going on here. But I am just as convinced that God already had the final picture in mind, and that was he was drawing an outline of the Cross. He doesn’t say just put the blood on the door. But the instruction was on each side post and at the door top.
“For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.”
Every one of the plagues were directed at the gods of Egypt. In other words, God just proved that their pagan worship had nothing to do with Him whatsoever. He destroyed them at will. I’ve stressed it ever since we started our study back in Genesis, that ever since the Tower of Babel the whole human race until Abraham was saturated in paganism, in polytheism (that’s the worship of many gods) and so when Israel comes on the scene as His separated, different, Covenant people they are the only people on earth who did not worship many gods. I know that is hard to swallow, but its the truth of history, all of these people of the world are steeped in paganism.
And so Israel is that little group alone that has the knowledge of the one true God. And I know we say, `Why didn’t God send the Jews out into those pagans and enlighten them?’ Well He wanted to in time. But again He’s going to instruct them first. He’s going to prepare them, and until they are ready, He won’t give them that permission. There were exceptions of course, He sent Jonah up to Nineveh, that Gentile city. And He responded to Naaman the Syrian General, but other than that, He has nothing to do with these pagan non-Jewish people. Because he’s dealing only with the House of Israel. On the night of the Passover, the death angel is passing throughout Egypt and is killing the firstborn of man and beast, but verse 13 God says to the Nation of Israel:
“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you,….”
If you don’t mind marking in your Bible, underline “When I see the blood” because that’s the crucial point. He doesn’t say, “If you behave yourselves.” He doesn’t say, “Now if you have been living relatively sinless.” He doesn’t say, “If you will worship me in a particular way.” He says only one thing, and what is it? “…when I see the blood….” Now, if you can picture in your mind for just a little bit, the gross darkness that has come upon the land of Egypt. And yet up there in Goshen every Jewish family has put the blood on the door posts as instructed.
And as the Scripture said they would, they could hear the weeping, and wailing, and the mourning, throughout the communities of Egypt. And yet, every Jew who was behind that door with the blood applied was safe. They had nothing to worry about; they were absolutely secure. Not because of anything but the blood on the door. If they had scoffed and said, “What difference would three spots of blood on my house door make?” Well, they too would have lost their firstborn. But evidently no Jews were lost, at least the Scriptures doesn’t say they were. So every family must have had the blood on the door.
In the next lesson we will be going into the New Testament, and see that you and I as well, if we are under the blood, are safe and secure. But always remember, that doesn’t give us license to sin willfully. But if we are under the blood we are just as safe as those Jews were behind their door. Like I said, we will be going to the New Testament, and we are going to see how this whole Exodus from Egypt was God’s redemption of the nation. And it was based first upon a person, which was Moses. It was upon the blood, the Passover lamb. and thirdly, the power of his word. So the power of God is going to be exercised when the children of Israel stand before the Red Sea. Then what happens is the power of God moves in and the Red Sea opens up and Israel goes across on dry ground.
LESSON ONE * PART II
RED SEA EXPERIENCE: A PICTURE OF OUR SALVATION
Let’s turn to Exodus 12 for a moment. Remember in the last lesson we taught how the blood was applied to the door posts of the children of Israel’s homes, and as they were preparing to leave; they were to ask the Egyptians for whatever they would give them for their journey. And, of course, God had this all set up Sovereignly. You want to remember they had been slaves now for many, many years. So God is seeing to it they get their back wages. He’s going to cause the Egyptians to literally give everything they have to these parting Israelites. In Exodus 12:22 we have the specific instructions on how to apply the blood. As it had to be done in a particular way.
“And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.”
Now, hyssop was a little bush or weed that grew everywhere in Goshen. I always liken it to the ragweed here in our part of the world. They were to take this little weed, dip it into the basin of lamb’s blood, and apply the blood to those three places on the door and lintel. I liken the hyssop here to the work of the Holy Spirit. Now, I could be wrong, but I think we have a good application, that as hyssop was everywhere, not a single Israelite could say, “I didn’t have a chance to find a little bush of hyssop, so I couldn’t do it that way.” Neither can anyone say, “Well, the Holy Spirit never worked in my life.” The Holy Spirit is Omnipresent and works on every human being. I am firmly convinced that every person who has ever lived has been given the opportunity by the Holy Spirit. I’m sure some folks will say, “Well, where do you get that?” Turn with me to the Book of Titus. Hopefully, when I make a statement I can back it up with Scripture. If I can’t, then it’s just so much hot air, and means nothing. Here Paul writes to Titus:
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath (past tense – it’s already been done) appeared to (how many?) all men,”
The Scripture doesn’t lie. The grace of God, through the working of the Holy Spirit, has appeared to, I think, every human being in one way or another. Now, Romans Chapter 1 tells us, one way God does speak even to pagans and those who have never heard the literal Word of God is through the effect of nature. They should be able to look into the very stars of heaven and realize that there is a Creator God to deal with. And that’s what the Scripture says. All of Scripture is constantly referring to the fact that even though all have sinned, the way back to God has been made available to every human being. Go back with me to John’s Gospel. Let’s look at the 10th Chapter of John’s Gospel – the great Good Shepherd Chapter. Jesus is speaking here of course during his earthly ministry, and He makes a perfect application of what I’m just speaking about – that no one has been shut out of God’s plan of salvation. And He uses it here in the area of a sheep fold and the sheep.
John 10: 1-3
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber (in other words he’s saying you can’t just pick and choose. There is only one way.). But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter (or the door keeper) openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” Then to verse 5:
“And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” Now, verse 9 – this is Jesus speaking:
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,…”
He is the door! Over the past 20 years plus that I have been teaching, I ask my classes this question over and over. Where is the door to the sheepfold? Now, even though you have never been to the Middle East or not in an area where you have any knowledge of sheep, I think anyone can pretty well picture a place of safety for the sheep at night, which they call the fold. So, where was the door to the sheepfold? On ground level. It wasn’t a hundred feet up in the air, or down in some cave, or across some raging river. The door to the sheepfold was ground level. Now what’s the analogy? Salvation is also always right at ground level. We don’t have to climb a high mountain, nor pay a million dollars, or shape up, or any of these things so many people have assumed is associated with God’s salvation. And the Holy Spirit has been doing His work, is doing His work, in order to bring us to the place that we walk through that door by faith. Let’s go back to the Book of Exodus Chapter 12 again. After they applied the blood, the death angel passed through Egypt, and all the firstborn of both man and beast are now lying dead. Now verse 35:
“And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians (in the King James the word is “borrowed” and that is unfortunate, because when you borrow, what are you supposed to do? Give it back, and God never intended that. So, the word “borrowed” should be “asked,” and is in many translations) jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment:” In verse 36, see how the Lord is instrumental in all of this:
“And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they (and again the word should be “gave”) lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.”
Don’t lose sight of the fact that, by the time we get to Chapter 25 of the Book of Exodus, God is going to give instructions to Moses and Aaron to now build the tabernacle. And where are they going to get all the required silver, gold, and linen? Well, from the Israelites, who got it from the Egyptians. See, God isn’t just spoiling Egypt to pad the pockets of the Israelites. He is looking forward to using those items Himself in the building of the tabernacle. So keep all that in mind.
“And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses (that is up there in the Delta area of Egypt in Goshen) to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.”
And the women, of course. Remember in one of our recent lessons, I used the figure that there were between three to seven million people that left Egypt. You know the Lord always gives me comfort, as shortly after that I was reading an article in the Jerusalem Post and the Rabbi used almost the identical figures, only he used three to five million. And then the other day a lady sent me a National Geographic from 1976, that was dealing with Moses and the Exodus and close to the same figure was used in that article. I think it was two and one half million. All of these figures are based on this six hundred thousand on foot. But in the very next verse, what also went out with them?
“And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.”
I bet most of you wonder, `Who was this mixed multitude?” Well, they were the hangers-on. Probably a lot of them were Egyptians and foreigners who had been laboring in Egypt with the Jews, but always remember they were not Jews themselves. They probably saw a good thing and decided to go along with them. They infiltrate into the spiritual realm, and become almost like a parasite. And as they get out into the wilderness experience and they began to murmur, this mixed multitude is the first ones to complain. Someone the other day was saying, “So many of the churches today have got problems; so many are splitting.” I told him that all goes back to the mixed multitude of Exodus. And he said “Mixed multitude, what are you talking about?” Well, I said the mixed multitude were not true Israelites.
I think most of our problems in our churches today (the ones that are constantly murmuring and complaining) usually come from the unsaved element in the church. They have no real spiritual concerns, or knowledge. But you see they can pick and destroy, simply because the very good of the local Body is not so much in their hearts, as maybe a little finer furniture, more beautiful music, a bigger organ. And it is amazing how many churches have been literally broken over these secular things. They really don’t mean that much. I can remember years ago, a lady from a different denomination than ours was complaining to my wife at work one day that they were having church problems and were about to split. And do you know what the problem was over? The color of the upholstery of their pews. They were arguing over the colors gold and blue. But you see, that’s a mixed multitude working. Now, verse 39:
“And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough….”
Leaven in Scripture always speaks of what? Evil or sin – but I prefer the word evil. Leaven is yeast, and when you put yeast in bread dough it is going to affect the whole lump. That’s the teaching in Scripture. When leaven comes in, evil, unless it is rooted out, will sooner or later affect the whole. Leaven here, speaking of evil, was to be left out of their bread dough, as they make this exodus out of Egypt. They were to take unleavened bread, because the picture in type of course is, that they are to be a separated people. Separated unto God, no longer wrapped up in the paganism of their Egyptian masters.
“Now the sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.”
Remember that 430 years as we have taught it, was from the time Abram, (and his name was still Abram) had left Haran, and had come down into the land of Canaan, and sojourned up and down the land. From that point until Jacob goes to Egypt is 215 years. And from the time that Jacob gets to Goshen till the exodus is another 215 years right to the same day it came to pass.
“And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.”
I’m saying this so will you understand that the Word of God is so true and accurate. God is in such complete control of time, and events, that he doesn’t miss 430 year’s by 24 hours. But the exact day of the 430th year ending, Israel moved out of Egypt. Now, I want to come on over to Chapter 13. God now institutes the setting aside of the firstborn. That was always indicative of a family relationship throughout the Tribes of Israel. After He established that, we read now read in verse 17:
“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, (that’s after the night of the Passover) that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines,….”
Which, of course, would be the short route. God didn’t let them take that route, so I know they didn’t cross the Red Sea at the shallow point. But they come out of Goshen and go down the shore of the Red Sea, and somewhere along the deeper part of it they are going to be locked in with mountains on one side of them, populated areas on another side, and coming in from the rear will be Pharaoh’s army – so picture that in your mind. The Red Sea in front of them. Forbidding mountains on one side; population on the other; and the Egyptian army to the rear.
“But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.”
Now, at the top end of this body of water where it’s eighteen inches deep, the reeds there are not wilderness. That’s a populated area. The wilderness doesn’t approach until further down the Red Sea, so I’m convinced they had to have crossed where it was deep. Of course it would not have been much of a miracle if they would have just had to cross eighteen inches of water.
What do you think the word “harnessed” is in there for? Well, stop and think. For three to seven million people to move completely out of an area of the nation, and to be encamped down here at the Red Sea, and ready to go through as the water parts, do you think that was a common experience? For years this had bothered me. How in the world did that many people move that far in such a short period of time? And how did they get through that Red Sea in such a short period of time – plus all their livestock? Remember cattle and sheep move very slowly. The only conclusion I can come to, and of course I can’t prove it from Scripture, except there are some verses that indicate it. It’s in Exodus 19. Let’s look at it. I want to impress upon anyone that I teach, that the God of Israel is a God that is constantly performing the miraculous. Not the miraculous as we think of miracles today. I mean real miraculous events – and this had to be one.
“Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians (in other words, drown them in the Red Sea), and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.”
Now, we know they didn’t fly, they walked. But I have to think somehow or other, God moved that whole group of people and animals speedily without them even realizing it. Again, I think during the tribulation, the 144,000 are going to experience that same kind of travel. They will be able to go from place to place with utmost speed, and not even realize they are doing it. So I have to think that something hastened their travel here. Now, back to Chapter 13:
“And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, `God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.'”
Now, all of this should tell us something. And again so many of the writers and historians always try to leave the miraculous and supernatural out of it, don’t they? And they wonder how all of this came to be. Some of these people (not all) had known by faith, that these things would happen to God’s Covenant People. Joseph knew that the time was coming, when God would take them back to Palestine. We know that Moses’ parents had faith, when they saw he was a proper child and that God was still in their midst. Even now, as Moses and Aaron are preparing to move the children of Israel out of Egypt, where do they know they are going? Palestine. So they take Joseph’s bones with them.
“And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night.”
Again this same article that I had read by this historian, was making the conjecture that there was probably a volcano at the time. And that the dust provided the cloud by day, and that the volcano fire was the fire by night. Ridiculous! This was a supernatural cloud, which was the very presence of Jehovah. A cloud by day that gave them shade from that Middle East sun. And then it became a pillar of fire by night by which it gave them light to carry on their activities. The Scripture makes it so plain. Who was that cloud? It was God the Son, Jehovah, in His Old Testament personality. Don’t ever take anything away from that.
Later on in the Book when the Tabernacle is completed, what happens to the cloud? Well, it set right over the Holy of Holies. And it becomes the guiding light of Israel. When it becomes time for them to move and camp some place else, what happens? The cloud lifts up and moves. When it stopped, they were to set up the Tabernacle, so that the Holy of Holies was under the cloud. It was the absolute presence of God. This is what amazes me. How could those Jews, seeing that cloud every day and that fire each night, still be that disobedient and prone to sin.
Let’s bring it up to our own present time. Are we any different? We are no different, we’ve got just as much evidence of the power of God and His holiness. Just as much evidence of His dislike of sin. But does it scare us? Not really. So we have become just about as blase about a lot of these things as the Israelites were in spite of everything that God was doing in their very midst. If you believe these things literally, you will never get into trouble. Don’t ever try to explain them away. After all, what does God say? Without faith it is impossible to please him.
LESSON ONE * PART III
RED SEA EXPERIENCE: A PICTURE OF OUR SALVATION
Let’s begin with Exodus 14. In our last lesson, we left the children of Israel down on the shores of the Red Sea completely surrounded by the Egyptians coming in behind them with the chariots. And everything seems hopeless doesn’t it? Put yourself in their shoes. No wonder they were “scared stiff” as we would say.
“And Moses said unto the people, `Fear ye not (what’s the next two words?), stand still,….”
Can you imagine what those people must have thought under those circumstances. And to have their leader to tell them to stand still. Every time I read this verse, I normally don’t ascribe much to humor, because I’m not a comedian, but I always think of a story, and I’m sure most of you have heard it. It’s about the little fellow who came home from Sunday School, and his biblically ignorant dad said, “Well, son what did you learn today?” The lad replied, “Well, we learned about Moses crossing the Red Sea, and how they came upon the sea and the Egyptian army was right behind them. They engineered some pontoon bridges, and they all went across and just when the Egyptians came up after them, they pushed the plunger and blew up all the bridges with the Egyptians on them.” The dad said, “Wait a minute. Is that what they taught you in Sunday School?” The lad said “no, but if I told you what they told me you wouldn’t believe it anyway.”
Well, that is exactly the way the world takes these things. They want to somehow rationalize it, how it could have happened naturally by ordinary events. But listen, these things are not ordinary events. This is the miracle, working power of God. Now, I put on the board during our break time that the Book of Exodus, as we first introduced it, is the Book of Redemption. Israel of course is God’s Covenant People. But by virtue of the sins of the brothers, when they sold Joseph into Egypt, spiritually what happened between Israel and God? They were separated. He lost them. And they end up in Egypt in slavery, without an altar, sacrifice, or worship and they had been totally alienated. So what was God going to do? He has to buy them back. He must redeem them.
So, this is the whole process then of the Exodus – a redemption, whereby God is going to do the redeeming. Israel is in a position where she can nothing. They have no armed forces, economic , or political clout. They are helpless. Now, throughout the Book of Exodus we find that redemption is going to require a purchase, in the person of Moses, of course. Now, Moses had to be proven, as the legitimate leader and deliverer by virtue of what? He performed the Signs. The rod became a serpent, his hand became leprous. All those signs were to prove to the Jew that Moses was indeed God’s man for the job. The person as far as we are concerned in our redemption process was the Lord Jesus, who in His earthly ministry also performed signs and miracles to prove who He really was. So He validated His claim, in that He was indeed the Redeemer of Israel. Secondly, all the way through the Book of Exodus, we saw that God required blood of the lamb. It had to be placed on the door post or they would have never survived. Bring it into the New Testament and our Lamb is Who? – Christ, and the New Testament substantiates that. Let’s go to I Corinthians Chapter 5. Paul now writes:
I Corinthians 5:7
“Purge out therefore the old leaven (remember it refers to evil and sin.), that ye may be a new lump, as ye (believers) are unleavened (our sin problem has been removed by virtue of our forgiveness, and our salvation. We are now to be an unleavened people.). For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us:”
He was our Passover lamb. Now, if you will return to Exodus again, we will come to the third step in these next few verses. God is going to bring about their redemption, by exercising His power. Israel is not going to be able to build a pontoon bridge, they are going to have to wait on the power of God. For us the power of our salvation, is epitomized, or brought to it’s crescendo, at the resurrection. It’s the power of the resurrection of Christ – that makes our salvation possible. Otherwise the Scripture says we are yet dead in our sins.
Now, let’s look at verse 13 once again, it almost seems like a ridiculous answer to their dilemma. And again I want to emphasize there is no hope, and the enemy is closing in on them. Now Moses tells them to stand still, because there is nothing they can do. And only God can provide the answer. So what does he do? He opens the Red Sea. Now, let’s read on:
“And Moses said unto the people, `Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.'”
In other words God is not only going to let Israel escape, but He is going to destroy their enemies. Now how does that apply to us? Let’s go back to the New Testament starting with I Corinthians:
I Corinthians 1:18
“For the preaching of the cross….”
I think I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears saying again. Have you ever realized that Paul never mentions Bethlehem. He never mentions the birth of Christ, or his earthly ministry, or miracles. Why? Because Paul only has one message, and that is the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ. That’s the Gospel; and the very core of his whole message throughout all of his Epistles. And here he is referring to it again. For the preaching of the Cross… Do you see that? Not the preaching of Christ and His miracles.
I had an interesting conversation with a lady who called from our Denver audience. She had expressed how she enjoyed the program, and in the closing of our conversation, she made a statement like this: “After all, you have to go by what Jesus said.” I said, “Now, hold it just a minute. Be careful how you say that. You’ve got to realize that what Jesus said in His earthly ministry, He said to the Jew under the Law.” I could tell by the little stoppage in her voice that I had set her to thinking. When you go to the Epistles of Paul, he is revealing to us the very words of the same Jesus, but now from His glorified, ascended position as the resurrected Lord and Savior. Now that makes a big difference.
This is why Paul never refers back to Christ’s earthly ministry, but only to the resurrected Christ, where the power of God was made so evident so far as we are concerned. So he says, “the preaching of the cross is to them that perish (in other words, to those that just simply reject it and ridicule it and scorn it – because it’s to them) foolishness.” My, you know how many people try to say, “What has something that took place 2,000 years ago got to do with me today? Well, it’s got everything to do with us today because it’s the eternal God who was on that Cross. Now, let’s go on:
I Corinthians 1:18
“…but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”
I want you to underline that word “power.” It’s the power of God. Just as sure as God opened the Red Sea by His power, God also exercises His power, not only in resurrecting Christ from the dead, but bringing us out of our deadness in sin and slavery to it. Then come on down to verse 24:
I Corinthians 1:24
“But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”
So we have to rely upon that power. I’d like to have you come back to Ephesians. I said I’d try to keep it in order, so let’s go from Corinthians, through Galatians and into Ephesians, Chapter 1. We’re going to see almost all three aspects of these three steps in the redemption of Israel, right here in Ephesians Chapter 1. Paul again is writing to the Gentile believers in the area in which he had ministered throughout the book of Acts there in the western end of Asia Minor, what we know today as Turkey. And so to the Ephesians he writes in Chapter 1, verse 7:
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”
When he says, “in whom,” Who is he referring to? – Christ. And that redemption spoken of here says that we have been bought back through His blood. I know a lot of people are repelled by that. I can’t help that. And as I said in earlier lessons, you have to understand that God in His Sovereign way of doing things, decided that it would be through the shed blood that He would be able to forgive sin and NO OTHER WAY. We just have to take that by faith. I have a personal idea why He chose the blood. Life is in the blood and you cannot have new life until death takes place, and life again comes out of that death of a previous life. That’s what the death, burial and resurrection is all about.
So God has mandated that there can be no salvation, no forgiveness, without the shedding of blood. So here it is. We have redemption through His blood and not only are we redeemed, but what else? We are forgiven. “The forgiveness of sins according to…” (what we deserve? No, that’s not what it says.) “…according to His grace.” His unmerited favor. We don’t deserve it. None of us deserve it, but it’s by His grace that He has seen fit to do it.
“That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”
How many people are merely saved as a fire escape? I’m afraid too many times this is especially true when we have children saved. They just don’t want to go to hell. They want to go to Heaven. Well, there’s nothing wrong with that, of course. But listen, we’re not just saved to escape hell. We’re not saved just to go to Heaven. We’re saved for what? To be to the praise of His glory in this life. Right now! This is why God has paid the price of our redemption, so that we can be to the praise of His glory, those of us who first trusted in Christ. We believed. It doesn’t say, “To you who are baptized and join a church.” It doesn’t say, “To you who have done good works.” It says, “To those who have praised Him and have brought Him glory.” Now let’s go on:
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”
Watch the sequence here. He said, “…after that ye heard the word of truth…” How many times have I heard someone say, “Well, I have always been a Christian.” Have you ever heard that? Does that fit this? Were you a Christian before you heard the Word of Truth? Impossible! And so it always scares me when I hear this. I’ve had real close friends use that expression. Listen, was Israel always free? No! Israel had to come to the place where she recognized there is nothing she can do. She’s doomed. Until what? The power of God enters in, and that’s her escape. Now, it’s the same way with our salvation today, tonight or whenever. Every last one of us were separated from God. We were in the bondage of sin and we had to come to that place where the power of God enters in. Now, a verse just came to mind. I’m not through with Ephesians, but hold your finger there and we’ll come back to it. Turn with me a minute to Colossians, where the power of God is the only thing that can do it:
“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (who has prepared us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who (God) hath (speaking in the past tense) delivered us from the power of darkness (out of slavery), and hath (past tense again) translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”
Israel was in the darkness of slavery back there in Egypt, but what brought them out? The power of God! When he uses the word “hath,” which is past tense, it’s not speaking of something we’re working toward, nor hoping for; it’s something that we have right now. It just opened my eyes when someone asked me years ago, why heaven isn’t taught in the Old Testament. Why, the Jew had no concept of dying and going to heaven. Well, my answer to that of course, was that Israel was an earthly people with earthly promises, but we in the Age of Grace, are a heavenly people with heavenly promises. And so here we have it. Even though we’re here on the earth tonight, yet, where is our citizenship? It’s in heaven! We are already a heavenly people by the power of God. I don’t want to get away from that word. Now, let’s go back to Ephesians:
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,”
I’m emphasizing that because I’ve had so many people come up after I taught this little verse, and say this is the first time I have seen the order. There was no way I could have been saved as an infant. There is no way I could have been saved by something someone else did for me. I had to hear the Word the Truth. So remember neither could Israel move out of that slave experience except for the power of God. Now they are going to, by faith, walk through. We know that. But yet, God exerts his power while they could do nothing. And that is where you and I are. But we have to come to the place where we recognize our hopelessness. There is nothing you and I can do to get us out of that hopeless state of being lost in sin.
We want take time to look at the Gospel of your salvation but it is in I Corinthians 15:1-4 where Paul says that by his (Paul’s) Gospel “you are saved,” and that Gospel is, If you BELIEVE that Christ was crucified for our sins, He was buried, And He rose from the dead. That’s the Gospel. Now, implied of course in His death, is the shed blood; we can’t leave that out. But the Gospel is that body of truth, which I usually like to concentrate by saying the finished work of the Cross. The finished work of the Cross – that’s what opens our Red Sea that is out in front of us. That’s the work of the Cross that takes us away from the power of Satan. “After that you believed,” the rest of the verse says.
Again, I always like to point out the things that are not there. How many people would like to put it this way: in whom you also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, and were baptized, and joined the church and so on and so forth. Isn’t that right? But it isn’t in there. The Bible is so plain that our salvation comes by BELIEVING plus NOTHING! Because Christ has done it all. I told one of my classes the other night, and I shook up one lady for sure. She said, “Now Les, I’ve been baptized in such and such a way, but I just wanted to get to heaven.” Well that’s noble. Listen, you don’t get to heaven by being baptized. You get to heaven by Trusting and Believing the Gospel. All of these other things of course will follow in their rightful place. Do you see how plain it is? In whom also after that ye believed. And then what did God do? He sealed us, with that Holy Spirit of Promise. Then Paul goes on throughout all of his Epistles, that the moment we believe the Gospel we were saved, born again, and the Holy Spirit then indwells us, He empowers us, and He keeps us. Let’s look at just a few more verses. Again I want to take you back to the hopelessness of Israel. And the hopelessness of a lost person, figuratively speaking, as we are encamped on the shores of the Red Sea. Remember, all seems hopeless:
“And you (Paul says as he writes to believers) hath he quickened (are made alive), who were dead (we were on the other side of the Red Sea) in trespasses and sins. Now, look at verse 2 and 3. Isn’t that the exact picture of Israel in Egypt, and of you and I before we were saved?
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, (who’s that? Satan) the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we (what’s the next word?) all (none of us escaped this, we are all here) had our conversation (or manner of living) in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”
That’s where we were. But, oh, look at those next two words. What are they? “But God…” Oh, don’t lose that. Paul doesn’t say, “But you,” or “But I,” But What? “But God.” Come right back to the Red Sea again. Here was Israel. “Stand still,” Moses says, “and see the salvation of God.” What’s he saying? Oh, it looks hopeless, there is nothing we can do. But God. And what’s God going to do? Open the Red Sea. And that’s exactly what He has done for us, and we walk through on dry ground. Not by anything we have done, or deserve, but all because of what Christ has done for us, and through us.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead (we were helpless, and hopeless) in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace are you saved;),” Let’s close with two choice verses most of you know.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; (plus anything else? NO) and that not of yourselves: it is the (what’s the next word?) gift (do you work for a gift? No, a gift is something that someone extends to you for really no reason. And there is nothing you can do to merit it.) of God:”
“Not of works (there was nothing Israel could do, and that’s where God wants us. To only trust the finished work of Christ on the Cross. That is what makes our escape possible.), lest any man should boast.”
LESSON ONE * PART IV
RED SEA EXPERIENCE: A PICTURE OF OUR SALVATION
Now, let’s pick up again in the Book of Exodus Chapter 14. As God has opened the Red Sea, by virtue of Moses stretching his rod over the waters, the water has opened up and the children of Israel walk through on dry land. Now, let’s come in at verse 26.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, `Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen,’ And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.”
Now, the Scripture does not indicate whether Pharaoh himself led his armies, I rather doubt it. If history is correct, Rameses the 2d was the Pharaoh at this time. Then he certainly didn’t lead his army, because historians have found what they believe is one of the mummified Pharaohs that was indeed Rameses the 2d. But whatever, the Scripture leaves us unaware of whether Pharaoh himself was drowned. God completely destroyed the whole army. And in verse 29, it makes it clear once again:
“But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.”
Again I have to discredit the movie, The Ten Commandments, because you could never run three to seven million people, with all their livestock, through that narrow channel as they showed it in the movie. And I know they did quite well, with the technology they had, but I’m again convinced, that not only did God move this whole multitude miraculously faster than the three-mile-an hour walk, but He also must have opened the Red Sea, an amazing amount of distance wide also. He would have had to. But regardless of how He did it, how much he did, we know He did it. The Scripture says so and we believe it. The picture again, as hopefully we brought out in our last lesson, was a picture of our own salvation. It is actually indicative of the burial of Christ. And coming out on the other side is resurrection. Let’s look at a verse in Romans Chapter 6. As most of you know, I don’t teach from a written format, or notes, and as these things come to mind, and as the Spirit directs, I have to stop and check them out. But you see here that Paul makes it so plain, that we too have to be identified with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Even as Israel was separated from Egypt, and went through that typical burial of the Red Sea, and though they didn’t get wet, in type it was their burial. Their death to Egypt. And they came out on the other side, even as Christ came out from the grave.
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: (many people will disagree, but I’m convinced this is not a water baptism. Water baptism cannot do what Paul is talking about here.) that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
No baptism can give new life. Only the power of God can do that. So I am convinced, maybe contrary to the way I was taught in my earlier years, that this is Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Paul speaks of this in I Corinthians Chapter 12. I hadn’t intended to do this but I feel the Spirit is leading this way for a reason, so let’s look at this verse. In Chapter 12 is what I consider the only valid baptism for us in this Age of Grace. And it’s a baptism that human hands cannot touch; it’s a baptism that a lost person can have no part in. In water baptism, we can never be sure of a person’s salvation.
I was brought up in a congregation where candidates for baptism were examined very thoroughly, yet I’ve come to the conclusion in my later years that there is no way a group of men, or pastors, can truly determine a person’s salvation. We can hear their testimony and come to some human conclusions, but we can never look on the heart. That is something that only God Himself can do.
I’ve told my class that I don’t think it will actually happen this way, but if it were, and we get to glory, we are suddenly going to realize that a lot of people are there we didn’t think would be. And there are going to be a lot of people not there that we thought should be. We probably won’t have that kind of knowledge, but just hypothetically if that were the case, we would be surprised and disappointed. But we can’t look on the heart, only the outward veneer to reach a conclusion. But that’s not the heart. This is where the Scripture says also “Judge not!” Consequently this is the baptism that Paul refers to here in verse 12:
I Corinthians 12:12,13
“For as the body (that is this human body. In other words from head to toe, we are controlled by one central nervous system, one mind, one brain) is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body (ten fingers and toes if we are normal): so also is Christ.”
And here Paul is referring to the Body of Christ. Now, verse 13, and this may shock some people, but again I’m not changing or twisting the wording, we are going to leave it exactly where it sits.
I Corinthians 12:13
“For by one Spirit (notice that Spirit is capitalized, so it is in reference to the Holy Spirit.) are we (and remember Paul always writes to believers. What’s the next word?) all (not just a favorite few, or a special elite, but how many? All But of course that’s according to God’s determination of who is a believer, whether weak or strong, spiritual or carnal) baptized into one body,” So reading the verse again: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
Let me qualify the Body of Christ, which of course came on the scene in the New Testament, I think after Pentecost. Some people disagree with me, and that’s fine. But you search the Scriptures until you are sure you can prove me wrong. But I’m convinced that the Body of Christ didn’t necessarily begin at Pentecost, because Pentecost was strictly a Jewish holiday, with a Jewish message. When the Gospel of Grace begins to go out to both Jew and Gentile, especially at the church in Antioch, in Acts Chapter 11, where it says that the believers at Antioch were the first to be called Christians; this was about 10 years after Pentecost.
That’s where they were first called Christians. Not the Jewish believers in Jerusalem in those previous years. But when Gentiles started coming in by faith in the Gospel of the grace of God, they were now called Christians as the Scriptures says, so that’s where I feel the Body of Christ began when Paul begins to preach this message of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. And by faith and faith alone without the Law. And as men and women began to believe that, then the Holy Spirit baptized, or placed them, into the Body of Christ, the Church. Now, I asked my class the other night, as I have over the years, as I don’t care what denomination you are a part of it doesn’t make any difference, the question is still valid: is every member on your church roll a genuine born again Christian? No. Remember we are not to judge, but we know for a fact that they are not all true believers. What about the unbeliever? Are they members of the Body of Christ? No, they can’t be. They are unsaved. Only the saved go into the Body of Christ. So this is where I get the premise, that the only baptism that really counts for eternity is this one. The one that places the true believer into the Body of Christ. Let’s also look quickly at Ephesians 4. Again, Paul writing to believers says:
“There is one body, (The Body of Christ) and one Spirit, (The Holy Spirit) even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism,” How many? ONE. Do you see that?
So you can have your name on as many church rolls as you wish. But unless you are in the Body of Christ you are doomed. The Scripture makes it so plain. But if you are a child of God, you are in the Body of Christ by virtue of the placing it there by the Holy Spirit, as Paul makes it so plain. And then as members of the Body of Christ, we all maintain our individuality, we all have unique place in that Body, and yet we are all what? ONE. That’s also why, when you walk into a room full of fellow believers, are you a stranger very long? No. I’ve experienced it and I know you have. I’ve had people from far off states come into my class, and on the way out they will say, “The minute I stepped into this room I felt at home” And that is as it should be, because when you are with fellow believers there is that oneness that any other group can never experience. Now, let’s go back to Romans Chapter 6, and we’ll begin with verse 5.
“For if we have been planted….”
Do you see that? The analogy is of course, the planting of a seed. If you were to plant a kernel of wheat, and everything being appropriate, what is the first thing that seed does? It dies. And when it dies, what else happens? New life. Now the whole system of nature, and we have alluded to this many times over the past couple of years in this teaching: the whole sphere of spring time is a picture of, death, burial, and resurrection. Everything that produces a seed in the fall, and that seed falls someplace, it will die, and when everything is right, it will spring up into new life, and reproduce again. It is the same way in the spirit. We must die. Do you remember the very first command that God gave to Adam and Eve concerning the tree? “The day that thou eatest thereof, thou shall surely die.” There was no escaping. Then Ezekiel comes along many years later, and he puts it in a little different language, but it is still the same law. He says “The soul that sinneth, shall surely die.”
So, you see the human race is faced with no alternative, but that we must die because we are born in sin. And yet there is a loophole, and what’s that loophole? We can die in the person of Christ on the Cross, by identification, by faith, and by trust. When Christ died, I died. And this is what Paul is saying here in verse 5, “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death (If we can honestly believe that he died my death), we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” That is our blessed hope. We won’t live and die like a dog. And we don’t have to live and die with a prospect of an eternal doom. We can live and die with the prospect that the best is yet to come. The greatest thing that can happen to a believer is to die. In Psalm 116: 15 He tells us “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
We don’t like to face death, for a multitude of reasons. We don’t like to leave our loved ones, and there are many more reasons, but in reality, death of a saint is what? It’s glorious. It’s on to something far better. But for those who have not experienced this identification, death is something indeed to be feared. Death is a horrible experience, because it’s not going to something better, but something worse.
“Knowing this, that our old man (we taught the Book of Romans in this class, but someday we’ll get there again. But when Paul speaks of the old man, or the old nature, then he is talking about the old Adam that we are born with. Remember, last lesson we taught in Ephesians Chapter 2, that we who were dead in trespasses and sins, have now been made alive. Well, how were we dead in trespasses and sins? In the old Adam that we are born with. Now, back to verse 6) is crucified with him (what does crucifixion do? It kills, doesn’t it. And when we are crucified with Christ, then God, in so many words kills the old Adam. He puts him out of commission.), that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
“For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
Several years ago I had some judges in my classes, and it was always interesting to bring up an analogy of this. What if they had in their court room, someone who is about to be convicted of a hideous crime, and all the evidence was against him. And they were about ready to turn it over to a jury, and he looks guilty for sure. But just before it happens the old boy dies. I then asked one of the judges, “Now what happens?” The case is closed, it’s over. You can’t try a dead man. You can’t do any kind of business with a dead person. This is the analogy that Paul is driving. If our old Adam is dead, can you any longer deal with him? No. That’s the whole idea. He is dead. In other words, those of us who have let old Adam be crucified, we are now dead to the desires of that old Adam. Again, that’s the power of God. You don’t work for something like that. This is all part of His saving salvation.
“Now if we be dead with Christ (that is by identification with the crucifixion), we believe that we shall also live with him:”
And that is why the resurrection is fundamental to our faith. I’ve had several people tell me that they have had a Sunday School teacher or preacher, who could certainly preach about Christ’s earthly ministry and about his crucifixion, but they had trouble with His resurrection. What about those people? According to Scripture, if they can’t believe all of it, then they are lost. We have to believe that Christ rose physically, spiritually, literally, from the dead. And He is alive evermore.
“For in that he died, he died unto sin once:….”
In other words, to rid of that old Adam; How many times? One. The Book of Hebrews tells us over and over, that this Christ died once, and that it satisfies all eternity. Now let’s turn back to Exodus. We find now as the Egyptians are floating up on the sea shore, the Israelites look back at the view, and I don’t want this to sound morbid, but what’s the first few words in Chapter 15.
“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD,….”
Now, this is the song of Moses. And we won’t take time to read through it, but I would like for you to read it in your spare time, because I think it is rather important. When you get to the Book of Revelation, and we get into the eternal state, we will sing the song of Moses. The song of redemption, that the battles are over, and we have now attained that to which God has been bringing us all along. Now verse 22:
“So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur (Moses is leading that multitude down toward Mount Sinai); and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.”
Now, that is a dilemma, isn’t it? That many million people, and livestock, and to have no water.
“And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter:….”
It was totally undrinkable. The first thing I like to point out to new believers, whether they be young or old, is in just a little while after they have had their salvation experience, they will run into a bitter experience. It is just the way God works. We are never saved to walk a rose petal pathway. We will have trials and difficulties just like Israel did. Israel comes now down into that forbidding desert, and God doesn’t just give them a basket of roses. They are going to go through some very trying times. And here is the first one. They are thirsty, and their livestock are bellowing for water. And when they do find some, it’s a bitter disappointment; it’s not fit to drink. Now read on:
“And the people murmured against Moses, saying, `What shall we drink?’ And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet:…”
An article that I had read on this said Moses found a branch out there in the desert, and threw it into the water, and through some chemical reaction the water became fit to drink. They lose the whole thought. The tree throughout all Scripture, points to only one tree. What is it? The Cross. There is a reason why the Cross is referred to as a tree. It’s because back in the Book of Deuteronomy it says “cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.” And so the Cross was the place of curse. It was where God literally poured out his wrath upon our Passover Lamb. When they come to the place of a bitter experience, there is only one remedy. And what is it? The Cross. This is what God wants us to do, whether we have been a Christian for years, or new believers. When a trial or tribulation comes, where do we go? The foot of the Cross. That is where everything begins and ends for us today. If we try to bypass the Cross, we are just as hopeless as these Jews were in Egypt.
And also in our experience, if we can just learn, that when tribulations and disappointments, and sorrows come, we should just race to the foot of the Cross, because that is where everything has been satisfied. Now after that bitter experience made sweet, Moses again leads them, with the cloud, and pillar of fire, and he brings them now to an oasis. And here is a question I can’t answer, and I guess every class has asked it. What is involved here in the twelve wells of water, and the seventy palm trees? I’m sure there is something involved, but whatever, I think it epitomized a place of rest and a satisfaction of their thirst.
“And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.”
I think that most believers are aware of the expression, “a mountain top experience.” Something that has just thrilled you. But you don’t accomplish much on a mountain top do you? It’s a beautiful place, you can see the view. But where does the work have to be done? Down in the valley. So in the Christian experience, you may have a mountain top experience, but don’t try to stay there. You must get down to the dirt and grime in the valley, where you will have the trials, tribulations, and disappointments.
LESSON TWO * PART I
MANNA: GOD’S SAME GRACE SAVES US AND KEEPS US
We will be studying in Exodus Chapter 16, but before we start this lesson, I would like to share with you a letter, we received yesterday, from a wheat farming family in Montana, next to the Canadian border, and I’m just going to read you her closing statement. This is so typical of letters we are receiving from the television audience, as well as those who are getting the Video Tapes. She simply closes her letter by saying ” I can’t begin to tell you what your teachings have done for me. I have grown more in the past 6 months than I have in the past 46 years of my life. Thank you, Sincerely.” We don’t read these letters for compliments, but I tell you it sure helps to know that something is being accomplished for the Lord in what we are doing. So now let’s get back into the Book. In our last lesson, we left off with the children of Israel at Elim. I think my closing remarks were that you can’t just stay on the mountain top. All the hard work is down in the valley. Even though this was almost a mountain top experience for the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt, and had come to this beautiful oasis, yet they have to move on. They will be moving on down through the Sinai now, and soon will be arriving at Mt. Sinai, and there receive the Law.
“And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month….”
You want to remember they left Egypt in April, and so now this is May. Also remember that in that area of the world it is getting hot. They will again be needing water. We are talking about a few million people, and livestock, so it takes lots of water.
“And the children of Israel said unto them (Moses and Aaron), `Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt (they are already getting squeamish about where Moses is taking them), when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full;….'”
Isn’t it amazing how short memory can be? They didn’t have it that good in Egypt. They were slaves, and under bondage. It almost sounds like they ate at the steak house every night, but that wasn’t the case.
“Then said the LORD unto Moses, `Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove (or test) them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.'”
We won’t take the time to read all of these verses, as it has taken us two years now to get just this far. But most of you know a lot of these verses by heart. So let’s skip down to verse 14, and the appearance of the manna. Most of you know that Israel lived on manna for 40 years. They learned to cook it several different ways in order just to stomach that same food day in and day out. The whole idea with manna, is that this is the very bread of God. Remember in John’s Gospel, Jesus spoke of himself as the Bread of Life. Back here in Exodus, manna is going to sustain the House of Israel as they have come out of Egypt, and all through their 40 years of wilderness journey.
Now, also in this account between verse 14 and 22, God institutes a law that on the sixth day they shall gather how much manna? A double portion. Because He is going to institute the Sabbath before he gives the Law. And I think this is rather interesting: Back in Chapter one of Genesis, where we have the recreation as I call it, God brought everything on the scene in six days and on the seventh day he rested. That wasn’t because God was all tired out at the end of that six days, but he was setting something up that would be for man’s own good. I think it still carries on even unto our own economy, that God still knows what is best for us, and that is, that we need one day out of seven for rest.
“This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, `Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.'”
“And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, `This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest, of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe (Or cook) that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.’ And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.” And Moses said, `Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.'”
This is set up before the Ten Commandments are given. Now, there is a lot of confusion today about the Sabbath. I have instructed my classes over the years, don’t ever call Sunday the Sabbath. Sunday is not the seventh day, it is the first day of the week. We know beginning back here, God is dealing with Israel, and He does set up the seventh day as the day of rest and worship. It will be incorporated into the Ten Commandments, but we always have to remember that the very high point of God’s dealing with man, centers in not only Christ’s death, and burial, but in His resurrection. This is what sets us apart. We have become believers after His resurrection.
This is the message that Paul is given on Mt. Sinai, as I pointed out before. Just as sure as God gave the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai, and took it down to the children of Israel, I feel God took Saul of Tarsus from Damascus, down to Sinai and we know according to Galatians that he spent three years down there by himself. So he got three years of private, personal, seminary experience, as the LORD revealed to him the doctrines of Grace. And Paul doesn’t stay on Mt. Sinai; he takes it down and spreads it to the Gentiles. What separates all of this is the resurrection. We are on resurrection ground, and not on the legal ground of the Mosaic system.
Let’s turn to Acts 20. Now, the Sabbath is a controversy with so many people and groups. There is one group that shouts from the house tops that the reason America is having problems is, we have forgotten about the Sabbath. We have lot’s of problems, and a lot of it is spiritual, but not because we don’t keep the Sabbath. Remember, Paul never instructs us to keep the Sabbath, because now it is the first day of the week, because it was on the first day of the week that Christ rose from the dead. So, here in Chapter 20, Paul is out ministering to the Gentiles. Let’s go to verse 6:
“And we sailed away from Philippi (Philippi was in Northern Greece.) after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days; where we abode seven days. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples” (not the Twelve, but the believers who heard Paul preaching the message of Grace, and believed.) came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them,….”
It is interesting that we also have the same connotation in I Corinthians Chapter 16. I’m touching on this because so many people either call or asked, “Are you sure we are not supposed to keep the Seventh day Sabbath.” Yes I’m sure, because that was under the Law, and it’s also interesting that out of all the Ten Commandments that Paul refers to throughout his letters, the only one he makes no mention of is the Sabbath. In other words Paul will say, since the Law is fulfilled with love, therefore we don’t steal, therefore we don’t commit adultery, therefore we don’t bear false witness, and he goes on down the Law through his Epistles, like in Ephesians, where he talks about honoring thy father and mother. So Paul makes a reference to nine of the Ten Commandants, but the tenth one is glaringly absent. And that is the one concerning the Sabbath day. That separates us from the legal system. Remember he’s writing to Gentile believers.
I Corinthians 16:1
“Now concerning the collection for the saints,….”
Remember, Paul was instructed by Peter and James back in Acts 15, when they finally agreed to let Paul go to the Gentiles without making legalists out of them, or Judaising them, but to be sure to remember the poor here in Jerusalem. And you remember why they were poor don’t you? In the early part of Acts the Jewish believers had houses and land, but they sold them and they put all the money into a common kitty, and everyone lived on it. If you have a common kitty, and let everyone use out of it, you will finally run out. We can see this happening even here in America, with the entitlement programs.
So those Jewish believers lived well for a while, but they ran out of money. And these are the poor that Peter and James are referring to in Acts 15. If the Jewish believers had accepted the Kingdom that was offered to them they would not have gotten into that predicament. But they rejected the Kingdom. The Kingdom did not come in and they found themselves destitute. But God in his sovereignty continued to watch over them by laying upon the hearts of the Gentiles of Paul’s Gospel to give offerings for the poor saints at Jerusalem. So this is the background for these next 2 verses.
I Corinthians 16:1,2
“Now concerning the collection for the saints (those Jerusalem believers) as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week (do you see that? Now a lot of people have even told me, “Well, Sunday was elevated as part of the pagan background.” I can’t help it if the pagans named the first day of the week, but our whole idea of the first day of the week is not necessarily the name of the day. It was the day of the resurrection. Always remember that) let every one of you lay by him in store (not ten percent of your income, although that is the guideline. I don’t want people to misinterpret me. But beginning way back in Genesis in Chapter 14, Abraham gave to Melchizedek ten percent so that became a guideline. The only thing I maintain is, don’t mandate that someone give ten percent or else. If you do, then you are putting them back under the Law. And Paul never says that. He says, “But when you give, give as God has prospered you.” You are not under a mandate to give, but rather with your own free conscience as it is led by the Holy Spirit to give as God has prospered you.), as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
I guess Paul felt like I do on this matter. There is nothing I hate worse than to have to ask for money. And that is why we won’t do it on this program. I just detest it, and I think Paul did also, for he says to have all that done before I get there. So reading verse 2 again in it’s entirety: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
There is another Scripture reference with this day of the week. Turn with me to Romans Chapter 14. And here again, I’m not taking anything away from our Sunday services, but on the other hand, I always remember the old evangelist John R. Rice, and he use to almost deplore the Sunday morning worship hour. And what he was deploring was the fact that it had just become a ritual. It was that one hour a week, when people thought that they were fulfilling their obligation to God. I like what Paul says here:
“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike.” (now, if you have a translation, like a King James, the word is alike, but it is in italic isn’t it? So that has been added by the translators to clarify. But it is clearer if it is left out. Let’s read it without the italic.) “One man esteemeth one day above another, another esteemeth every day.”
Do you know what that means? Do you just become a Sunday Christian? Do you just become aware of worship and praise once a week? When should we? All seven of them. Every day of the week, you and I in this Age of Grace who realize what God has done on our behalf, and we are unworthy of any of it, then is it too much to expect that every day becomes a day of praise and worship? That doesn’t mean we have to go to a formal service, or have your church doors open seven days a week, but it does mean that your Christian walk should just not depend on that one day a week service for worship. But when it comes to the formal assembling of God’s people, on what day does Paul refer too? The first day. Now I hope that may have helped a little bit.
I just had another thought, and it never dawned on me until just the other day. How many of you have heard the expression, “Have you ever prayed the sinner’s prayer?” Could you sit down with someone and help them pray the sinner’s prayer? What was the sinner’s prayer? God be merciful to me a sinner. Think a moment, and this may shock some of you (The Book shocks me almost every day). Do you realize that after all that Christ has done it is a finished transaction, and do you realize we don’t have to ask or beg for mercy, for it has already been done? We are actually amiss to say to God, be merciful to me. He’s already been merciful when he suffered, died, and was victorious by rising from the dead. He now offers salvation, not to someone who can crawl through all kinds of human sufferings, to approach God.
I can remember years ago, hearing an elderly lady in our church talking about some poor lost individual, and I can still here her as she said, “Oh, if only that poor man could pray through.” Pray through what? What was he supposed to pray through to somehow approach God. There is nothing to pray through. It has all been done. Remember where the Shepherd has the door to the sheepfold? At ground level, right in front of us.
And so His mercy has already been accomplished, and we don’t have to beg for it. And the same thing comes into this area of forgiveness. Do you and I have to beg for forgiveness? No, our sins have already been forgiven. Come with me to Colossians for a moment. So many of these things we read before the Cross, we try to insert after the Cross and it won’t work. Leave them where they are. The title of a song just came to mind, “And the Cross Makes the Difference.” And it does make a difference. Here again, Paul writes to us believers:
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, (remember we are still dealing with that old Adam at that time) he hath (past tense) quickened together with him, having (past tense) forgiven you all trespasses;” Isn’t that great. He has forgiven all our sins.
LESSON TWO * PART II
MANNA: GOD’S SAME GRACE SAVES US AND KEEPS US
Let’s go back to the Book of Exodus, Chapter 17. We come out of Chapter 16, where the children of Israel have been given the manna. If you can picture the Sinai Peninsula, and as the Israelites are making their way down that Peninsula toward Mt. Sinai, where most Bible Scholars feel was at the southern end of the Peninsula. They have been hungry and murmured, and God gave them the manna. Now they are thirsty again.
“And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide (or argue) with Moses, and said, `Give us water that we may drink.’ And Moses said unto them, `Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?’ And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, `Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?'”
Now, that must have been quite a group of people for Moses to put up with. In fact, at one point he said “God these are not my people, they are yours.” But you see Moses was only human, and I can see where he got exasperated.
“And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying `What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.’ And the LORD said unto Moses, `Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.'” Now, here is one of the most glorious verses in Scripture:
“Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb (Horeb and Mt. Sinai are one and the same. Also underline the word rock if you don’t mind marking in your Bible.); and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink….”
Of course, God was also aware of the fact that not only were the people thirsty, but also their livestock. So He supplied all of this water, and I believe it was like a river that flowed down that desert floor, and they all had plenty to drink. We have to identify the term rock. So come back to the New Testament to I Corinthians Chapter 10. Remember that all through Scripture, when the word rock is used in any symbolic setting, it will only refer to One Person and that person is Jesus The Christ. He is always the Rock. In another place He is called a stone of stumbling. We need to start in verse 1 to pick up the flow. Paul is writing to the believers at Corinth.
I Corinthians 10:1-4
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud (the cloud that symbolized the very presence of Jehovah, by day, and that fire by night.), and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; (Manna) And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock (notice that the word rock here is capitalized.) that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
Now, there is another one in Matthew. It is a verse that, I think, is twisted all out of context, in order to make it say something that it doesn’t say. Again, simply because people do not maintain a Biblical rule of order. And that is when a word is used a particular way it is not used out of that context. Matthew Chapter 16, and most of you are so very familiar with it. I use it quite often to point out Peter’s confession – what was his mode of salvation, and that is verse 16, where he comes to the conclusion:
“And Simon Peter answered and said, `Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered and said unto him, `Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.'”
And again, we cannot comprehend spiritual truths unless God opens our understanding. That is just part of it. And that doesn’t take away our free will, or make us bound to a decision by God, that we will go to hell or Heaven. Nevertheless, before we can comprehend spiritual truths, God must open our understanding, even as Jesus said that God did here with Peter. Now verse 18, this is the verse I want you to see:
“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
There is a perfect example of using the term symbolically, Who is this Rock? Peter or Christ? Well Christ is, all the way through Scripture. How could the Scriptures suddenly make Peter the Rock? Well it doesn’t. The Rock referred to here upon which He will (future tense) build His Church is the only Rock in Scripture and that is Christ Himself. Now, let’s go back to Exodus 17, where this rock has been smitten.
There is also a great lesson in that as well, for you and I on this side of the work of the Cross. Remember, I’m talking about His death, burial, and resurrection. Why, or how, do you and I appropriate that finished work? Only by faith. But in order for us to appropriate these things by faith, what had to happen to Christ first? He had to suffer, and die. And according to the Old Testament, He was smitten. He was smitten for offenses. Keep that word in your mind when we get into the Book of Numbers (and you are all aware of the account), where the children of Israel are complaining again because of no water, and Moses is at the end of his patience. He takes his rod and contrary to God’s instruction, instead of speaking to the rock, he strikes it. And you don’t strike Christ twice, He has been smitten. The word in the Book of Hebrews over and over is “once.” He went to the Cross once, and He does not go again, and again, and again.
So we should always remember some of these basic truths of Scripture. After He has been smitten and has arisen from the dead victorious over sin and death, we don’t appropriate any thing more by another crucifixion, but now we appropriate it how? By fellowship, speaking, communication. That is why God has given us the power of prayer, that we can now speak with him, we can praise, and partition Him.
So, back to Exodus. Moses strikes the rock and out comes all this water. Then verse 8 will start out “Then came Amalek.” Now, you have all heard about the Amalekites, and who were the Amalekites? Amalek was the grandson of Esau. And the Amalekites became the continuous enemy of the Nation of Israel. Why do you suppose the Amalekites began to do battle with the Israelites at this point in time? Remember the setting: they are out there in the desert, there is very little water and it is a tremendous commodity. And the Amalekites see this abundance of water flowing out, as a result of Moses smiting the rock.
Now, it becomes warfare over what God has provided. And then, you bring this into your own everyday experience, Many of these things, like the Apostle Paul says, are written for our learning. Not for our doctrine so much, but our learning just practical experience. Just as soon as a person comes into that right relationship with God, and becomes a child of God, and we partake of that living water, what does the old flesh do? It begins to war. And the flesh wars against that new nature. The Amalekites are a picture of that, I think. They are a picture of the flesh warring against the Spirit. Here with Moses, we are not dealing with Grace, we are still with God dealing with Israel, and very soon into Law. Back here God would help them with their physical battles, but in our economy, how do we fight our battles? Spiritually. We don’t fight them with guns and swords, but in the realm of the Spirit. Now verse 8:
“Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said unto Joshua, `Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.’ So Joshua did… And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. You all know the story.
But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. And the LORD said unto Moses, `Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.’ And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi:” I have just thought of a verse so let’s turn to Zechariah Chapter 14:
“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh (remember this is prophecy about the battle of Armageddon), and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.”
“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle (Do you have the picture? Lately in the news the world is just funneling arms and rockets and warfare material into the Middle East. And I don’t think they know why, except it makes for good economics. I think we see the same thing in our beloved America, How much of our economy rests on defense contracts? There is only one area of the world with the money to buy it all and that is the Middle East with all their oil money. So it is just a constant flow from all the nations of the world selling this war material to the Middle East. However, there is more to it than economics. The Sovereign God is still in control. But the day is coming when all the nations of the world will be gathered there for this last and final battle) and the city (Jerusalem) shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.”
“Then shall the LORD (the LORD is Jehovah in the Old Testament but in the New Testament it is Christ) go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”
This is simply a reference of how many times in Israel’s history did God literally fight their battles. Now let’s come back to Exodus, as this is what made me think of Zechariah. Who really fought the battle against Amalek? – God did. God was in complete control using the Israelites. And this is why Moses in verse 15 built an altar and called it Jehovah-nissi: God is our Banner. In Chapter 18 all I would like to point out is this concept of first the natural and then the spiritual, and we see this all through Scripture. Here is another good example. Moses’ father-in-law Jethro, now comes on the scene, and he sees this multitude of Israelites and he see them besieging poor old Moses with one problem after another. and you read it in your own spare time. But Jethro tells Moses, “There is no way one man can do all of this alone. You must set up a system of dealing with their problems.”
“And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, `What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? (that is with their problems) 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 statutes of God, and his laws.’ And Moses’ father in law said unto him, `The thing that thou doest is not good. 18 Thou wilt surely wear away,….'”
We would probably say today “Moses this is going to kill you.” Jethro, this Midianite Priest (I hesitate to call him a pagan, but I don’ t believe he is a believer in the God of Abraham, although he is a relative of Abraham) says.
“Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel,….”
(I want to tell you how to do this). But has God had anything to do with this? Now watch and see if you can find any place in the chapter that said “And the LORD said.” He is out of the picture completely. This is only a man speaking in the energy of the flesh, although it sounds very logical. There is nothing basically wrong with what Jethro is advising.
“And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, (Sounds good doesn’t it?) men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and ruler of tens:”
When they came out of Egypt they already had organization. They have a good system in place by tribes. But everything that old Jethro says just sounds so good. So verse 24:
“So Moses (What is the next word?) hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.”
This spiritual man Moses, who has such a close relationship with God, listens to this man; I guess I can call him pagan, and hope I am not wrong. Remember, God hasn’t said a word about it. This is all in the energy of the flesh. This is the natural. Now, let’s see the spiritual. Turn with me to Numbers Chapter 11:
“I am not able to bear all this people alone (this is in spite of the advice he got from Jethro), because it is too heavy for me. And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.”
Old Moses had just about come to the end of his rope, hadn’t he? Now, here in verse 16 and 17 is the spiritual remedy:
“And the LORD said unto Moses, `Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel (Remember, 7 is the number of God), whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle (By now the Priesthood has been established and the tabernacle is in the midst of the camp) of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.'”
“And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, (now, all of that power for leadership that Moses had, God is going to take some of it from him) and will put it upon them (the seventy); and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.”
Now, do you see the difference? God has said he would come down and empower these 70 men, that they will have the same quality of spiritual leadership that Moses had from the beginning. None of that was indicated back there when Jethro came on the scene.
“And Moses let his father in law depart (He had given his advice; Moses took it for what it was worth, and it’s not long after that that God proposed His own solution); and he went his way into his own land.”
Now, as we come into Chapter 19, it is the month of June. Israel is gathered around Mt. Sinai, and God is getting ready to give them the Law and then the Tabernacle.
LESSON TWO * PART III
MANNA: GOD’S SAME GRACE SAVES US AND KEEPS US
Let’s turn now to Exodus Chapter 19.
“In the third month (June), when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount (the mountain of God). And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, `Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians (drowning them in the Red Sea), and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.'”
It’s going to be a long time before we get to the Book of Revelation at the rate we are going. So I’m going to take the time here to jump all the way to Revelation, because you have the same identical word used. And the reason I like to tie them together is because it will be a like circumstance for a group of Jews, who at the last half of the tribulation period, will be fleeing away from Jerusalem, to a place God will lead them. It will probably be to the mountains of Moab southeast of Jerusalem, that He has this place for them. We pick this up in Revelation Chapter 12.
“And the woman (Israel) fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they (The Godhead) should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.”
That is 3 1/2 years. Now who are these Jews that are going to be fleeing from Jerusalem? For this we need to go back to Matthew 24. I hadn’t intended to teach this, I thought I was going to stay in Exodus, but I always feel that the Holy Spirit has a reason for doing some things and this may be one of them. Of course, the setting for Matthew 24 is Jesus alone with the twelve disciples. And they have asked Him in the earlier verses in this Chapter, “What are the signs of thy coming? What can Israel look for at the appearance of their Messiah?” Jesus is speaking here:
“When ye (now, He is talking to the twelve and the Nation of Israel, whom they represent. There is no Gentile language in here whatsoever.) therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)”
We want take time to go back to Daniel, but you remember that Daniel said in the middle of the week, or 7 years, the anti-christ will move down into Jerusalem. I think probably from Western Europe. He will move into the Temple in Jerusalem and defile it, probably like Antiochus the Syrian did back in the Old Testament. He will probably offer a hog on the altar at the Temple in Jerusalem, which we know will be rebuilt. And if you have been watching your news, you know that every Jew in the world is waiting for the Temple to be rebuilt. And according to Daniel, will then turn on the children of Israel, and bring in that terrible last 3 1/2 years of tribulation. Then Jesus says when you see the Temple defiled by the anti-christ:
“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:”
I always like to point out the different classes or category of people here that Jesus is referring to. In the Middle East economy, you will find that most of the better homes have their patio on the house tops. So here you have probably retired people, and they are not to come down to take anything out of their house.
“Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes,”
Here is another category of people, and these are the working class. These are the younger people, the ones that are doing it by the sweat of the brow.
“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” And here is still another category as this involves mothers with little ones, and expecting mothers. “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:”
The winters in Israel can be adverse and miserable, and also Israel is going back under the Law, so the sabbath comes into play again. It is interesting to read the accounts in the Jerusalem Post. There is a law before the Jerusalem Parliament, and has been for several months, that will actually re-establish the Sabbath in every category in Israel. And there is a lot of controversy between the secular Jews and the religious Jews, as the religious Jews have almost mandated this to be. So everything is getting set in the Nation of Israel even as we speak. We think it won’t be too long before they have the Temple and will start Temple worship again, and re-establish the Sabbath day. This will shut down all of their movies and night clubs and places of entertainment and business. And even in Jesus’ day they could only walk a short distance.
This is what Jesus is making reference to. Because they will be required to go many many miles, they had better pray that it won’t happen on the Sabbath. It will be just like leaving Egypt the night of the Passover. There was something about that exodus out of Egypt that had to be miraculous. They walked, but on the other hand God must have miraculously hurried them along, to have been able to go from Goshen down to the Red Sea in a very short period of time. And I think you will have the very same thing happen here, at the mid-point of the tribulation. These Jews are suddenly going to realize that the one they thought they could trust, the one they had signed that treaty 3 1/2 years earlier, turns out to be their mortal enemy. So this mixed escaping remnant, a complete cross-section of the Jewish society, will gather and make their flight out of Jerusalem on foot, heading for the mountains Southeast of Jerusalem.
“For then (beginning with this event) shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
This last 3 1/2 years is going to be the most awful time in all of human history. We cannot even imagine what it will be like. But this escaping group of Jews are the ones referred to in Chapter 12 of Revelation. They are going to their place in the wilderness, where the Godhead is going to protect and feed them.
“And when the dragon (and of course the dragon in Scripture is always in reference to Satan who has been cast out of heaven earlier in this Chapter.) saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (Israel) which brought forth the man child (Christ),”
And so he just turns on the Jew, that he had earlier given permission to have the Temple worship, and had been more or less benevolent to them. Now he turns in hatred on them. Now, here is the identical word from Exodus.
“And to the woman (this escaping remnant of Jews) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place (in other words a designated place by a Sovereign God), where she is nourished (taken care of, even as God took care of them in the wilderness with the manna, water, and etc.) for a time, and times, and half a time (3 1/2 years), from the face of the serpent.”
So they will be providentially protected by God for that last 3 1/2 years. And the reason I like to connect Exodus and Revelation is that just as surely as Israel was isolated in Goshen from the plagues, so will Israel be isolated from all the calamities of the tribulation. But wherever this group of Jews is being protected they will be completely insulated from it. And God will feed them, and protect them. Remember at the mid-point of the tribulation so many things happen. The only way I can teach Revelation is to delineate all the events at the beginning, and at the mid-point, and then all the events at the end. Then fill in the details.
So at the mid-point of the tribulation the anti-christ comes to Jerusalem (probably from Europe) but at the same moment Satan is cast out of heaven, and he indwells the anti-christ. Now, this has happened before and a good example is Judas – when Satan entered in and literally took over the man Judas, and used him. So Satan will also indwell the anti-christ and will control him. When Satan, in the man anti-christ, sees this escaping group of Jews, probably quite a few thousand of them, what does he do? – Just like Pharaoh did when he sent an army after them from Egypt. Then verse 15:
“And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, (these escaping Israelites) that he might cause her to be carried away (or destroyed) of the flood.”
Always remember that Revelation is speaking in symbolic language, and just as sure as Pharaoh saw Israel escaping and sent an army after them, the anti-christ will do the same thing. But God intervenes, even as he did at the Red Sea by drowning all the Egyptians. What does he do here?
“And the earth helped the woman (under the control of the Sovereign God), and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood (or armed force) which the dragon cast out of his mouth.”
What happened? Just before that Battalion or Regiment of armed forces got to the escaping Jews, the earth opens up in a deep crevice and just literally swallows them up. You may think that is just too hard to believe. Is it? That is no harder than believing that God opened the Red Sea and drowned them. Remember the Scriptures says “with God all things are possible.” So as these Jews are escaping, they will go out as if they have wings like a eagle. Remember that what God said happened in Egypt. And how did they leave Egypt? They walked. It was so miraculous the way God did it that it seemed like they took wings and flew. And so it will be that way again, by a miraculous, Sovereign God. Now, let’s come back again to Exodus Chapter 19. to continue our study. Now, for another real interesting 2 or 3 verses:
“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:” Let’s break that verse down.
“Now therefore, if (means conditional. Israel is going to be left with a free will.) ye will obey (faith and obedience are almost synonymous) my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, (there will be more than one Covenant, but that all boils down to be under that one master covenant, which was the one God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And that is, Israel would become a great nation of people, they would dwell in their own land, and one day God would be their King, and government. This was the Covenant they were to be aware of, and be obedient in preparing for the fulfillment of it.) then ye (the nation. Always remember that God deals with the Jew on two levels. One is national, and the other is personal. Never lose sight of that. When He makes a national Covenant with Israel it involves the whole nation. But a nation is still made up of individuals, so He will deal with the Jew individually of course. When the LORD says in Isaiah, and Paul repeats it in Romans Chapter 11, that the Nation of Israel shall be blinded, that is a national thing. And they have been blinded, and are still blind. But an individual Jew can still be saved today.) shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:”
Now, if you went back into the root of the word treasure, it boils down to not just an ordinary treasure, not just a treasure worth a few thousand or a few million, but it is a treasure of intrinsic value. You can’t put a value on it. It is beyond comprehension. That is what the Nation of Israel will be in God’s economy. And He says you will be that above all people. How can God designate one nation to be above all others? Because He is Sovereign. What does the rest of the verse say? Because “all the earth is mine.” There is a verse in Deuteronomy we need to look at. This is written by Moses, but Who is speaking it? God Himself. The Sovereign Almighty God.
“When the most High (remember that’s another term for Deity we studied in Genesis) divided to the nations their inheritance (God designated where their borders would be and how large their population would be and how they would be blessed one way or another), when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people (all these nations) according to the number of the children of Israel.”
Isn’t that amazing? Some people may accuse me of making too much of the Nation of Israel. How can you? You can’t make too much of them. This whole world revolves around God and His chosen people Israel. And I know they are out there today in a blindness, and dispersion, but they are still in the news, three times a day, seven days a week, Why? Because they are the very vortex of all of God’s dealing with the nations. Oh, if only our politicians could recognize it. They can not stab Israel in the back and get away with it. They can’t ignore them and hope they go away. Jerusalem from day one, God said would be a stone of stumbling. And isn’t that exactly what it is? The world today is in constant turmoil, because they don’t know what to do with Jerusalem. And the reason they don’t know what to do with Jerusalem is that they don’t know the Book. So now back to Exodus 19 again:
“And ye (the Nation) shall be unto me a kingdom of priests,….”
Those of you who have been with me a long time know that the kingdom, is the kingdom, is the kingdom. What kingdom? That kingdom that is coming on earth, which Christ will one day rule, not just the Nation of Israel. Although they will be the apple of His eye, and will be the greatest nation on earth, when that kingdom comes in. But it’s the only kingdom that the Scripture is looking forward to. Granted, you and I as Grace Age Believers, are already members of the kingdom. And it is now in heaven. But where is that kingdom coming to? Back on the earth. So always remember that the kingdom is the kingdom is the kingdom unless the text designates something else. We will be going to the Book of Acts in the next lesson and pick this up there.
LESSON TWO * PART IV
MANNA: GOD’S SAME GRACE SAVES US AND KEEPS US
Picking up from our last lesson, we were discussing in Exodus 19:6 that God had promised the Nation of Israel that they were to be a Nation of priests. Now, what is a priest? A go-between. Between man and God. For Israel to become that kingdom of priests (go- between) naturally they are not going to be a go-between themselves and God, for they have God. So who are they going to have to be the go-between for? The Gentiles. A lot of people can’t understand this coming out of the Old Testament, that the whole purpose of setting aside the Nation of Israel was to be the vehicle to bring these pagan Gentiles to a knowledge of Israel’s Messiah. Now keep that concept in your mind as you come all the way through the Old Testament. God is preparing the Nation of Israel to funnel back into the main river of humanity, and bring the Gentiles to a knowledge of their King and God.
Turn to Acts 2, and here Peter is preaching that Pentecost sermon, but to whom is he preaching? Jews only. Remember he is still on Covenant grounds. He is still referring, in Chapter 3, to the fact that you are the children of the Covenant, which God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now, we as Gentiles are not under those Covenant promises. That was strictly Jew only. Here, Peter, preaching on Covenant grounds says:
“Ye men of Israel,….”
Now, I don’t claim to be an English major, but I can read English, and I don’t see any mention of Gentiles here. He only says “Ye men of Israel,….” and that’s all. And then from verse 25-30 he goes back to the Old Testament and quotes David. David meant everything to a Jew. Did he mean anything to the Romans or Greeks? No. So you see this was all Jewish oriented. Now come down to verse 36:
“Therefore let all the house of Israel,….” (plus all of you Gentiles? No, it doesn’t say that.)
“Then Peter said unto them (the House of Israel), Repent, and be baptized every one of you….”
And that wasn’t anything different than what John the Baptist preached way back in Matthew. Jesus and the Twelve preached it, and Peter is still preaching, “Repent and be baptized.” How many? “…every one of you….”
Do you know what that means? Every person in Israel, would have to repent and be baptized, and then they would have become a nation of Priests. In Chapter 3, Peter is still preaching to the same kind of a crowd, his language is identical, and here Peter and John go up to the Temple in verse 1. And as soon as you see the word Temple that should tell you they are still under the Jewish Law, as the Temple is still operating. God hasn’t told them to shut it down. Titus hasn’t come and destroyed it. And so Peter and John go up to the Temple.
“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.”
And of course they heal the lame man. When they healed the lame man it was an extension of the healing powers of Jesus that the Twelve practice. Jesus told them they would have this power.
“And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.” What are they wondering? How was this man healed. Now Peter says to that Jewish crowd:
“And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, `Ye men of Israel….'” (I don’t twist the Scripture, I just leave them where they are. That is just plain English, “Ye men of Israel.”
“The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers,….”
None of this would mean a thing to Gentiles. But it does to God’s Covenant people. So Peter is applying all of this to his fellow people, the Israelites. Now come all the way to verse 26.
“Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you (so far Jew only), in turning away (how many?) every one of you from his iniquities.”
Now how many is every one? It means what it says. Every single Jew that was on the planet when Peter was preaching, had to come to that recognition that Jesus was their Messiah. Now had they done so, and the last Jew had said we believe that Jesus the One we crucified is raised from the dead and is our Messiah and King, what would have God done? He would have sent the King, and they could have had the Kingdom on earth, that they were promised, and then every Jew could become a priest. They would have gone out into all the Gentile nations. But they didn’t, and as a result we don’t see Jews winning Gentiles in the Book of Acts. Except on one occasion (Peter and Cornelius) and that was for the purpose of the events that would take place several years later in Acts Chapter 15.
Now, turn to Zechariah Chapter 8, and I know we have looked at these verses before but sometimes it takes awhile for these things to soak in. Here in Chapter 8, this is all in the prophetic program of God’s dealing with Israel. Preparing them after they have come under the Law, which we will see, if not in this lesson, then the next one, where Paul says in Galatians that the Law was given to the Nation of Israel to be a tutor, or schoolmaster. Why do we tutor kids? To prepare them for a future role in society. Why do we sit up schoolmasters? To prepare kids for future roles.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; `It shall yet come to pass (remember this is before Israel rejected it all, and then God turned to the Gentiles with the Apostle Paul), that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities.'”
“And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, `Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.'”
“Yea, many people and strong nations (oh, God intended for the Jew to circumvent the globe, and bring the nations of the world to a knowledge of the God of Israel.) shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem (on the earth), and to pray before the LORD.”
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts (remember, this is the LORD speaking); `In those days (what days? – when Israel could have had every Jew a priest. Back in the Book of Acts, with Peter preaching to the Jews, and this went on for several years. Israel would have had her King in her midst in Jerusalem after the earthly kingdom was set up. Although Israel rejected it. It was still a valid offer and promise.) it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages (that means out of every dialect, and there are many. All would understand.) of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew (why? Because he is a priest, a go-between, the one who can take them to a knowledge of their God. Remember this is what God offered the Nation of Israel, back here in Exodus 19, that they would be a Kingdom of Priests. And you can’t have a Kingdom without a King.), saying, `We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you.'” Now, reading the verse in it’s entirety:
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; `In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, `We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.'”
Now, isn’t that plain? This was the prospect for the Nation of Israel. They could have had the King and the Kingdom, and every Jew would have been a priest. And the nations of the world would have just literally clung to a Jew in order to get to Jerusalem and have a knowledge of Israel’s God. I said that was their prospect, but they simply blew it. They rejected all of that, when they just couldn’t believe who Jesus really was. So God permitted the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. And Israel was sent into a dispersion, spiritual blindness. The Nation of Israel lost all of these promises from the Old Testament, and God, without Israel, turned to the Gentiles with the apostle Paul. Another verse just came to mind, let’s go to Romans 11. This Chapter says it all. Paul is now writing again to us Gentiles and explaining how it all came about.
“I say then, `Have they (the Nation of Israel) stumbled that they should fall? (in other words, a lot of people like to teach that God is all through with the Jews, and the Nation of Israel, and He has given everything over to the Church. That’s not what the Bible teaches at all. That is something that man and the devil made up. It has no basis in fact whatsoever. God is not through with the Nation of Israel, she is back in the land. She hasn’t got it all yet, but one day she will have. God has not forgotten His Covenant promises. But until then, she is in a spiritual blindness, and a dispersion.) God forbid (or banish the thought) but rather through their fall (through their rejecting these prospects we have been studying) salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.'” Now, reading the verse in its entirety.
“I say then, `Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.'”
And, of course, the Church has failed in that as well. Because rather than provoking them to jealousy, she made enemies of them. And it has only been in the past 20-30 years, that the religious Jews are recognizing that the true believer in the finished work of Christ is still the best friend that Israel ever had. Even the Israeli government is beginning to recognize that so many of these true Christians groups, especially out of America, are the Nation of Israel’s best friend.
“Now if the fall of them (in other words, when they rejected all of this during that 40 years of the Book of Acts, and they ended up losing their temple and going into dispersion) be the riches of the world (by Paul’s Gospel coming to us), and the diminishing of them the riches of the gentiles; how much more their fullness?”
Oh, Israel’s glory is still in the future, they are still going to be the apple of God’s eye. But they have some terrible times ahead of them before that happens. Now back to the Book of Exodus Chapter 19. Never lose sight of the verse (6) we have been teaching. It is a benchmark verse.
“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.” Now verse 8, and look what it says:
“And all the people answered together, and said, `All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.'” (what are they asking for? Law. They don’t even realize that this is what they are asking for. We will do, is legalism) And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.”
I think we have time to take one little look at Exodus 20, where we have the giving of the Ten Commandants as we understand them. And before we even look at the Ten Commandments, I want to take what minutes we have left in this lesson, to show why the Law was really given. Look in Chapter 20, verse 1:
Not the LORD, not Jehovah, which is usually associated with God dealing with Israel. But here we come back to the Triune God. Do you think that this is an accident? No. No word of Scripture is. And when you come down to verse 2 we see the normal approach to the Nation of Israel from God and it is LORD God or Jehovah. Now, back to the God of verse 1. Why do you suppose it is God, rather than LORD God or Jehovah? Well, we must go to Romans Chapter 3. Keep in mind what is just said, that Jehovah was the name that was particularly associated God with His people Israel.
The term God, transcends Israel and goes over to everyone. The Triune God is that which every nation of the world must deal with.
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” Now, we need to stop and break this one down.
“Now we know (there is no doubt) that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: (let me ask you a question. Who was under the law? The Jew – but go on) that (what are the next words?) every mouth may be stopped, (Now, we go beyond the Nation of Israel, and to the whole human race So then, does the law condemn you and I as Gentiles, or just the Jews? Everyone. So all comes under the condemnation of the law) and all the world (might be made fit for heaven? That’s not what it says, although most think that way. How many people of your own friends and neighbors have some way gotten the idea in their head, that if they can just keep the Ten Commandments to the best of their ability, it will take them to heaven? Many, many people think this way even right here in the Bible belt. But that is not what this verse says. It says) and all the world may become guilty before God.” So the law was given for one purpose and what was it? To make them guilty. In verse 20b Paul writes:
” …for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
The other thing you must remember about the law it was Holy, it was perfect, it was righteous, from God’s point of view. But to mankind it was, weak, fleshly, it was beggarly. Why? Because law had no inside power to help the person doing it to keep it. All the law could do was condemn, it could never take the person and say, “I say do not steal, and I will help you from stealing.” The law can’t do that. The law has no power to help a person keep the law. And for some people it is quite the opposite, you tell a little kid, don’t go through that door. But when you turn your back he is going to try to see what is on the other side of that door. Now are we any different? No. Just as sure as the law says do not commit adultery, what does the average human mentally say? “There must be something about it that I might like.” That is reverse psychology. But the law has absolutely no way of helping a person keep the law. But when you come under Grace, and I always say that Grace isn’t a license. But can you see the difference? Under Grace, just as soon as you believe in what God has done for us, the Holy Spirit indwells us, and now we have power.
Now there is something working from within that will help us keep these very laws of God. Always remember, we don’t keep the law for salvation. We become law keepers as a result of our salvation. The Old Testament believer did not have that. All he had was the demands of the law, with no power whatsoever to help him keep it.
LESSON THREE * PART I
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE TABERNACLE
During our lessons, we never try to bring anyone out of one group into another. Our teaching, we trust, is strictly nondenominational. We just simply want to teach the Word, and see what it says, as well as what it doesn’t say. None in this ministry take any money for our own compensation, but only do it as a love for the LORD. The only compensation we get is the encouragement from others in how they have learned through our teaching, as well as those who have come to know the LORD. All the money we receive goes strictly for TV time and expenses of the ministry; no salaries are involved in this ministry whatsoever.
Now, we left off in our last lesson, We were teaching that the law still has control over the whole human race. If you just stop and think about it, whether they are pagans or absolute atheists, or whatever, any society on earth must have some sort of a fabric as the Ten Commandments laid out for the human race. The law in itself is given specifically to the Nation of Israel. I have put the Ten Commandments in brief form on the board. But let’s read them in our Bible in their entirety. Then I will come back and comment on them as I have them listed on the board. The thing I want you to catch, is that all five of the first commandments will be connected with that statement. The last five, the LORD thy God is never mentioned. So be aware of that.
“I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage (and here comes the direct command) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;”
Now, we must stop for a moment. A lot of people have asked me, “What does this really mean?” I think all you have to do is just look at some of the present day statements from our psychologists and psychiatrists, with regard to how certain qualities within a family will carry on down from generation to generation. And you may ask, what are you talking about? Abuse. You take the child who has lived under an abusive father. We now know that by far the greatest percentage of the time, when that child becomes a father, he normally will be an abusive father also. We call it in agriculture, livestock and poultry, and etc., the pecking order. That was first coined years ago by the Ag college researcher when they were watching particular chickens. And all of a sudden they realized that in every flock of chickens, whether small or large, they noticed that immediately they set up a pecking order. I’ve watched it, and it is true in most livestock also. They will immediately, when you put a bunch together, establish their pecking order. And the one down at the bottom will never try to compete with the one at the top.
And that is exactly what the human make-up does, It establishes a pecking order. If you have an abusive father, he in turns abuses his wife, and who will she invariably turn on? The children. And then you have the children under that kind of abuse from their mother, they must have someone to pick on. And have you ever seen or read accounts of a child catching a butterfly and pulling it’s wings off. Why? He has to have something to vent his feelings on, and he can’t compete with those above him, so he takes something beneath him.
This is the way the human make-up operates until the very power of a Sovereign God comes into that life. And that’s why we must realize that society today is in the shape that is in because they have pushed God out of their thinking. We have pushed Him out of our schools, and homes, and then wonder why things are going on like they are. That is all wrong, and so God is warning that these traits will take off down the line for generation after generations. Alcoholism is another good example of generation after generation in the same family. And that is what the Scripture is saying about 1500 years before Christ. So it is not anything new. Now, for the third command, let’s read verse 7:
“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
But verse 9 is part of that commandment, as well as verse 8. And as I was thinking on these things, most of my preparation on this one was while I was in the hay field. That is where I can do my best thinking anyway, setting on that tractor, with nothing else to distract me. It suddenly dawn on me that part of this command concerning the Sabbath is six days thou shall what? Work. And that is such a dirty word for so many people anymore. People don’t really want to work. I can remember, back when I was in the service, I had a young man from the east coast, who worked under me. And he actually thought that work of any kind was a dirty word. He honestly thought you were not an intellectual unless you could get out of doing any kind of work.
I was thinking along these same lines: the people that are so strong in our midst, and I love them, who think that all of our problems are because we don’t keep the Sabbath. How may of those same people would be willing to work six days? Most don’t want to work more than five, and some four or less. Many times we take a portion of Scripture we like and it fits us fine. But we leave out what we don’t like. So part of the commandment to keep the Sabbath also says six days you will work. The seventh one you can rest. And again I’m tying this one in with the first five, that are man’s relationship with his God, because of the statement now in verse 10:
“But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God:….”
Now, I know there are some groups that take this commandment and put it with the final six as being part of man’s relationship with man, but I prefer to keep it up here in the first five. Remember the first five are man’s relationship to God because of that connecting link – The LORD thy God over and over. And the other five, man’s relationship with man, because The LORD thy God is not included in any of those five. Let’s read on in verse 11:
“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
Let’s go into the fifth one. And this one is also in the first five again because of that statement of the LORD thy God.
“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
Those five are held together then by that connecting link. The last five of course are much simpler and again just stop and think. How long can a society hold together if you absolutely ignore, especially, these last five? Well it can’t. In fact we have missionary friends who have ministered to uncivilized tribes in the area of South America.
Many of you remember years ago when the five missionaries were killed by the Auca indians. Our friends work in that same area, and they started with literally uncivilized people, still running in the jungle with their bow and arrows, with nothing but a loin cloth on. And they befriended them and finally brought them out where they could communicate with them. I know Dick has said more than once, it was so amazing that, when they brought those uncivilized tribes out, they had a moral code. A moral code, that often would make America look pretty sick. Where do they get it? In Romans the apostle Paul tells us for those who did not have the written law, where did God put the law? – In their heart. The conscience meanwhile accusing, or excusing them. Even the uncivilized people of the world, in order to maintain their little tribes, must have some sort of a law that is patterned after what God gave here to Moses. Now verse 13, this is the sixth commandment:
“Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery (number seven). Thou shalt not steal (number eight). Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour (number nine). Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s (number ten).
I hadn’t intended to look at Romans right now but I feel we need to. Thou shalt not covet is the one commandment that puts the apostle Paul in an awareness of all the others. Romans Chapter 7. This is a difficult Chapter, I know. And we are not going to comment on it today. But nevertheless, Paul is going through the awful turmoil of what I think all of us experience at one time or other. The things we should do, and the things that we want to do, but we don’t do, and the things that we shouldn’t do, but we do anyway. So this is his dilemma. He says in verse 7:
“What shall we say then? `Is the law (The Ten, the moral law) sin?’ God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin (I wouldn’t really understand what God’s perfect demands were), but by the law: for I had not known lust (that is desire), except the law had said, `Thou shalt not covet.'”
Now, when you really think about it, and that is what I try to get people to do – when you get up in the morning and you are getting ready to begin your day’s work, and you have a little time to do some thinking, I want you to mull these things over. Is it possible to break one of the other nine commandments, without first coveting? If you have never thought about it, you won’t answer. But if you have thought about it you know that coveting is at the root of breaking every one of the commandments, and that is why Paul makes reference to it.
I suppose the one most people would wonder about is taking the name of the LORD thy God in vain. How can you maintain that a man who curses and swears, using God’s name in vain, is coveting? If you know anything about psychology, then that is easy. Why do people curse and swear? I’ll tell you why, for the same reason the little kid who gets no attention at home is a cut up in school. What does he want? Attention. What does a guy that curses and swears, and uses foul language think he is getting? Attention. That is what it boils down to. He is coveting attention.
Now, with regard to these Ten commandments, I would like to go to Jesus’ ministry in Matthew 22. If you noticed as we read those commandments in Exodus, there was one word glaringly absence. Who know what it is? Love. You didn’t see that word in there did you? No. I know when you get to Deuteronomy Chapter 6, Moses tells the children of Israel, “Know that the LORD thy God is one God.” And what does the next verse say? “And thou shalt love him with all thy heart.” But stop again and think. Can anyone of you force someone else to love you? You can’t force someone to love anybody. And God knew He couldn’t.
So I think that is the reason the word love is not in any of the Ten Commandments. But from the very onset of the creation of man, why did God create man in the first place? So that He (God) could have someone, that after He had extended His love, would love Him back. And that is the only reason we are here. God had angels, He had enough to populate all the universe as far as that goes, but He did not have someone that had that capability of returning His extended love. Turn to Matthew 22:
“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, `Master, which is the great commandment in the law (he thought he was putting Jesus on the spot didn’t he? But look how Jesus answered)?” Jesus said unto him, `Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'”
Now, wait a minute; was that last statement in the Ten Commandments? Did you read it in there back in Exodus Chapter 20, “that thou shalt love thy neighbor?” What has Jesus done? Well when He said to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, He is referring to the first five. And when we are aware of these first five commandments, of how God is approaching us from His point of view, what is it intrinsic for us to do? To love Him. When we realize that He is the Supreme God, and is the One who will not give in to competition from idols etc. When He is the one who has created everything, and has set up the home, and that is the reason I put the father and mother with the first five. The home is part and parcel of God’s plan for the ages. This is where everything is supposed to be taking place.
And so He puts these two commandments into perspective. This is the first one, thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and the second with our relationship with our fellow man. With our home, family, and neighbors. So what is Jesus really telling this smart alec? And that was what he was, who thought, “Well I’ve got Him this time.” And Jesus just simply lumps the two into two great areas of human relationship, Man with his God, and man with his fellow man.
Now, I think we have time to turn to the Book of Romans, where Paul just puts the frosting on the cake. I want to be known to anyone I have ever taught as a teacher who maintains that we are not under Law but under Grace. But I also want you to realize that I’m not throwing the law out the window, as having no use to us. It is basic of course, even in the age of Grace. Everyone of us as a child of God are going to fail, but hopefully by God’s Grace, how are we responding to these Ten commandments? They are the very core of our social fabric aren’t they? Now, look at what Paul says in Romans 13.
“Owe no man any thing (this could have been translated defraud no man), but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath (past tense) fulfilled the law.”
Now, we had better define. My definition of the love that Paul is talking about is not erotic love, or Hollywood’s idea of love. Paul here is talking about a love that seeks the other person’s highest good. You might want to write that in the fly leaf of your Bible. It is the best definition of love I have ever come across. It is not original with me, I heard it years ago, and I have always liked it. There is nothing involved in that as far as hugging and kissing and a physical attraction. It is just simply seeking the other person’s highest good. If our young people, in their courting, would keep that uppermost in their minds, would we be in the moral shape we are in? Of course not. For if the young man dating that lovely little girl would have her highest good on his mind, would he try to bring her into an immoral situation? No.
You take a husband and his wife, or a neighbor with a neighbor, as long as we are always attempting to do, whatever we do, the other person’s highest good, then Paul says we are fulfilling the whole Law. It becomes so simple, but we have to understand, that we can do none of this just simply on the basis of commanding.
We need to remember that from the very onset in the Garden of Eden, when old Satan approached Adam and Eve, and got Adam to eat and sin came on the scene, who now becomes God’s greatest adversary? Satan. Stop and think, everything that God says is best for us not to do, Satan says do it. Look at the heartaches out there in the world today. Why are there so many? Because they have gone contrary to what God has set down as our best. He knows what is best. And no society can survive by totally going contrary to these Ten Commandments. But if you get nothing else from this lesson always remember, that when you have loved another, you have fulfilled the Law.
LESSON THREE * PART II
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE TABERNACLE
Please turn to Exodus 23, We will be skipping a couple of chapters. I had a call the other day from a lady who asked, “Les, would you please digress. Stop where you are and go back and teach the Book of Revelation; I am 89 years old, and I want you to teach it before I pass on.” Bless her heart; I told her we would try to hurry, and I think we will after the Book of Exodus; we certainly want go chapter by chapter. We will take a brief look at Israel’s history, leading up to the Book of Daniel, and when we get to the Book of Daniel we will stop and indeed study prophecy for a while. Because when you study Daniel, you must study Revelation, and vice versa. So we will be doing that in the not too distant future.
Now that the law has been given, and man being what he is, even Israel will be shortly breaking the law, so God has to give what we call the whole system of law. In that whole system of law, we like to break it down into the moral law, which was the Ten. And then He comes right down the line and gives Israel the civil law. In other words, if their bull gets out and tramples down someone else’s crop, there had to be a system to compensate. Then on top of that, in order to compensate for the breaking of the moral law, God gave them what I like to refer to as the ritual, or the system of worship. And that involved of course the priesthood. They will also soon be establishing the Tabernacle so that Israel would know exactly what to do under any set of circumstances.
Before we get to the Tabernacle, I would like for you to stop in Chapter 23. We are all acquainted with the story of the ten spies, who go into the land of Canaan, to spy out the land. And I imagine that at least 99 out of 100 casual Bible students do not understand that that was not part of God’s plan at all. God intended for them to trust him explicitly. After all, He had already brought them out of Egypt miraculously, He had brought them through the Red Sea. So what were some measly little Canaanites (maybe some were 7 feet tall), but what are they with such a God. So God’s intention was as soon as the Tabernacle is completed, which will be in a year, God wants them to raise it up, so He can take them straight North into the Promise Land. No delay with 12 spies or any such thing. This is so clear now in Exodus 23, ordinarily, I don’t like to read too much, but on the other hand, people have told me that, as I read they will see things they had never seen before. So we will trust that the LORD will speak as I read it. We also may skim some of this, so you read it thoroughly in your leisure time.
“Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.”
Now, I need to stop for a moment. Who is the Angel in this case? It is Jehovah Himself. The Angel of God, The Angel of the LORD, is always God the Son. We pick that up in Genesis 46, where Jacob referred to Him as the Redeeming Angel. There is only one Redeemer in Scripture and that is God the Son. Jehovah in the Old Testament and Christ in the New Testament. So this is Jehovah that is speaking to the children of Israel and He is going to lead them.
“For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. Thou shalt not bow down to their gods,… And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.” Now verse 27:
“I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy (He is not telling Israel they have to destroy; He will for them.) all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.” Now reading verse 29:
“I will not drive them out from before thee in one year (this is not going to happen all of a sudden because Israel wouldn’t be able to keep up); lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. And I will set thy bounds from the Red Sea even unto the sea of the Philistines (the Mediterranean); and from the desert unto the river (Euphrates, that is the river in Scripture): for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me:….”
Now, in line with all of that, I would like for you to turn with me to the Book of Deuteronomy Chapter 1. The Book of Deuteronomy is a synopsis, (a repeat of everything,) and so Moses is going back to where they had departed from Mount Sinai, and were indeed ready to go into the Promised Land.
“And when we departed from Horeb (Mt. Sinai), we went through all that great and terrible wilderness, which ye saw by the way of the mountain of the Amorites, as the LORD our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea. And I said unto you, “Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the LORD our God doth give unto us. Behold, the LORD thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it,….”
Does He tell them to send in 12 spies? No. Then who’s idea was it? The Israelites. They were the ones that backed off and were weak in faith, and forgetting all the power that their God had manifested. They say, “Hey, we can’t go in until we see what we are up against.” And when this happened, God condescended. But oh, don’t you imagine that those Jews must have wished those 12 had never gone in? It was because of their report that Israel got weak and afraid, and said “Oh we can’t do it.”
The amazing thing as we look at this from time to time, and we won’t take time to look at it now, but, in Hebrews the 4th Chapter Paul, by inspiration, is referring to those 40 years that they wasted in the wilderness. And he says “You could have gone in, and had the land of promise, but you did not because of your unbelief.” Not their immorality, and they had been guilty of that, and it wasn’t because of any other thing, but only their unbelief. And that is so appropriate for us today. What is the matter with Christianity today? Unbelief. People just cannot break down and say “Yes I believe what God says.” But they have the intellectual world with all of their intelligences, and their education, putting down the Scripture, and so what does man say? “Well, really, how can I believe this?” That is unbelief. This is what gets to the very heart of God.
Now, back to Exodus. So, God is preparing the Nation of Israel. They are several million strong, they are gathered around Mt. Sinai. They have now been given the Ten Commandments, and He has already begun to give them a certain amount of the Civil law in the intervening chapters. And now He is getting ready to set up the Ecclesiastical, or that part of the law that establishes their Temple worship. Of course it will be a Tabernacle. Who knows why this is called a Tabernacle? What is the other word for tabernacle? Tent. And what is a tent? Something temporary. When you live in a tent, you aren’t living in something substantial and permanent, but in something you can pick up and move. Now the apostle Paul also refers to our body as a tabernacle. It’s not here forever. It is temporary. And consequently we must tie all of this together. Now, let’s look at Chapter 25. God has called Moses up again unto the top of the mountain. The fire and thunder is taking place:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, `Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. (what was the word? Willingly) And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair (skins that have been put together with goat’s hair), and rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins,….'”
The badger here is not what we picture when we think of a badger. It was really a seal or a sea water animal, and I want you to remember that, because these hides of the seals will be on the outside of the tabernacle tent which I will point out when we get to it.
“Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate (we know these were beautiful stones).”
I want you to get the picture: they are out there in the wilderness, in the Sinai desert. Where are they going to get all of this material? Where did it come from? Egypt. Remember when they came out of Egypt, they spoiled Egypt. The Egyptians just gave everything to these Israelites. God had all this in mind. It was a Sovereign God who caused those Egyptians to give of their wealth. Several years ago I read a book of ancient history, and there is not a lot of written materials back from then, other than the Scriptures. Egypt was indeed in complete shambles, economically, socially, militarily, and everything, by the time the Israelites had left. Well, here is the reason. Israel just simply took Egypt’s wealth, not because they took by deceit, but by a Sovereign God.
Now, we will start on the Tabernacle building in verse 9. I like to point something out here. As God is now giving instructions for this Tabernacle an amazing thing comes up. I think very few people have caught it, although they may have been reading their Bible all their life. And that is that the Tabernacle floor plan that God gave to Moses was a copy of one not on this earth but where? In heaven. Now let’s look at verse 8:
“And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern (That’s the crucial word.) of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”
In other words, God isn’t dreaming this up from nothing. God said to Moses “I’m going to give you the instructions to build this tabernacle on earth, patterned after one that is in heaven.” Alright, we need to show that from Scripture don’t we? For that ,we must go back to the Book of Hebrews Chapter 9. We alluded to this several weeks ago, and I have several request to repeat it. So if we have time in this lesson we will try to do it. If not, then we may wait until the next one, because I don’t want to be rushed in the final minute or two. But here in Hebrews Chapter 9, verse 11 Paul writes.
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle (now look at the next statement), not made with hands (in other words not made like the tabernacle in the Sinai, or something like Solomon’s Temple by men. But we are talking about a tabernacle that God has constructed.), that is to say, not of this building; ”
A newer translation may be in the text, that word “building” would have been better translated what? Creation. This is what Paul is referring to not made with men’s hands, and is not on this earth or this creation, so it has to be in heaven. In the very Throne Room. And evidently God has set this up in heaven, so that even though we see it all practiced back here in ancient Israel, yet it becomes so appropriate for you and I in the Age of Grace. We will be coming to all of this in the next few lessons. But when that High Priest went in and sprinkled the blood on the Mercy Seat, as the High Priest of Israel, what did Christ do for us? He did the same thing, only instead of going into the Tabernacle of Israel, He went into the Tabernacle in heaven. Now let’s read on.
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his (Christ) own blood he entered in once into the holy place, (his little room behind the vail was called the Holy of Holies, and Christ went into the one in heaven as our High Priest. He brought His own divine shed blood at the crucifixion) having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
Do you see why a study of the Tabernacle is so appropriate? A lot of people say “Don’t touch that, it is so old and dusty, there is nothing in it for us.” Hey, it’s got everything in it for us. And we will be pointing that out in our study on the Tabernacle. Now let’s come back again to Exodus 25, You will notice that the first thing in verse 10 that God gives instructions for is this piece of furniture way back here. Now this faces east. They always sat the same way, and this would be the west, and of course this would be the south. As man would approach God, he would come from here. Here was the brazen altar, on which they made their sacrifices, but here was the very Ark of the Covenant, the mercy seat, where the High Priest would come in once a year and sprinkle.
Now, it is interesting that as God gives his instructions for all of this, He begins with this piece of furniture. (The Ark of the Covenant) Not this one. Now why is that? Because you see when God deals with man in salvation, where does everything have to begin? With himself. Always remember, man does not look for and find God. Some of you have been with me for several years now, but when Adam and Eve sinned, and they sewed those fig leaves, then toward evening Who did they hear in the garden? God. Did Adam and Eve run to meet Him, and say “Lord, you are the one we are looking for?” What did they do? They hid. Who had to find them? God did.
Now listen, it has never changed. Mankind will never, of his own volition, go looking for God. It is just contrary to our make up. God has to make the first move. That doesn’t mean that God has just simply forgotten some, and has already picked out who He will save, and who He won’t. I don’t agree with that at all. Because the work of the Cross was sufficient for how many? Everybody. A few weeks ago, I used the illustration in John’s Gospel Chapter 10 of the door to the sheep fold? Remember, I said that door was ground level. It is not beyond the reach of anyone. But, nevertheless, it still must begin with God. So the very first instruction for this tabernacle is going to start with this (The Ark of the Covenant). Then we move on through and on this side of the vail, and this next piece of furniture is the table of shew bread and that is in verse 23.
“And thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood (Or Acacia wood):….”
Now, this was a little tree or shrub that grew in the Sinai desert. This just shows us also the craftsmanship of these Israelites. I was studying on this a while back, while riding my tractor in the field. The last generation we think has come up with so much technology, such as particle board and plywood and all these things. It is nothing new. If you read, they took this little tree and we read that some of the boards are 18 inches wide. And those little trees were not that big. So they had to glue and particle it until they had all of these furnishing out of this acacia wood. Then we come to the golden candle stick, and God gives instructions on how to build that, and it will be out of beaten gold. And then as you come on through, you see that He just gradually keeps moving in the instructions all the way out until He meets with mankind.
Now, come to Chapter 30 for a moment. After describing how to make the Ark of the Covenant, the table of shew bread, the candle sticks, He tells in verse 1 how to make the altar of incense, which is this one right here in the middle. It was also made of this Acacia wood and covered with gold. And in verse 18 they were also to make a laver of cleansing, filled with water, where the priest would wash his hands and feet.
LESSON THREE * PART III
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE TABERNACLE
Let’s get right back into The Book for this lesson. Please turn with me to Exodus 32. Last week we saw that God began giving the instructions to Moses, while he was on the mountain the first time. And while he was gone, what happened? Israel got impatient, because he was gone 40 days; and coming out of Egypt, they were just saturated with idolatry. So with Moses gone they asked for a god. It is hard for us to comprehend, and we easily condemn the Jews. But you know what I always say? “Human nature is no different today than it was then.” I have maintained as long as I’ve been teaching, that if Christ were to come on the scene today as He did then, the human race would do the same thing. They would reject him. So, as soon as Moses is out of sight for a period of time, they get impatient as we see in verse 1.
“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, `Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot (know) not what is become of him.'”
I saw a clip on television the other night, and I think you know that I’m very slow to point an accusing finger at anyone. But again it was a clip on some of these New Agers on the mountainside at someplace, worshiping the sun, and whatever. And I thought how in the world can people of this enlightened day, so called intellectuals, fall for such garbage. But they do. And here was Israel. God, as I have stressed the past few weeks, has done some very miraculous things while bringing them from Egypt to Mount Sinai. And don’t lose sight of the fact that cloud and pillar of fire is still over them. Everyday there He is. They could not escape His presence.
But now just as soon as Moses is gone, they come to Aaron and say “Make us gods” and Aaron doesn’t even argue. This is the thing that amazes me. You would have thought that a mature individual like Aaron would say “No, wait a minute, people, Moses is coming back down.” But what does Aaron say? “Well, take off your jewelry, and bring me all your gold, and we will make you a god.” And remember he tells Moses later, that they throw this gold into the fire, and out comes this calf, like he had nothing to do with it.
“And Aaron said unto them, `Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.’ And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, `These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.’ And when Aaron saw it, he (Aaron) built and altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, `To morrow is a feast to the LORD.'”
Can you imagine a man like Aaron saying something like that. Was that a feast to Jehovah? Why no. It was a pagan feast. And it was copied right after one of the gods of Egypt which was apsis (I think is the name of that god, the golden calf). And all that they are doing now is not a worship to Jehovah, but to this adulterous, pagan god. Now verse 6:
“And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”
I have always been very careful on this television program, because I know we have a lot of kids watching also, and that is another encouragement, when parents tell us that their-ten-year old kids are learning so much. So I don’t want to get to explicit. But I think everyone including these kids, have seen the movie the Ten Commandments. The first time I saw it, (and that time I didn’t know the Scriptures as well as I do now) but I thought, isn’t that typical of Hollywood, to have these women out there, skimpy dress appearance putting on those seductive dances. I thought that had to be strictly the thoughts of Hollywood. But it wasn’t. You see the words here in the Hebrew “rose up to play” was that they actually were naked. And they put on these seductive dances. Now those of you who have been in my classes over the years have heard me say over and over again that paganism and idolatry was always steeped in the most abject immorality that we can imagine. That was part of their worship. They had brought all of this right out of Egypt. The Israelites of all people. Now in verse 15 we find Moses and Joshua coming down out of the mountains.
“And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables (The Ten Commandments) of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.”
Evidently, Joshua accompanied Moses up part way on the mountain, as I feel Moses was alone with God at the top and gave the instructions to build the Tabernacle, and gave him the law. But now Moses and Joshua pick up their companionship as they come down the mountain.
“And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, `There is a noise of war in the camp.’ And he said, `It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery (that is not a victorious army we are hearing), neither is it the voice of them that cry for being over-come (or being overrun by an army): but the noise of them that sing do I hear.’ And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing (and again in the Hebrew it was seductive dancing): and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.”
Now, here is another amazing thing, that the Bible never contradicts science. For years the scoffers would say, “Whoever heard of such a thing, as putting gold into solution.” But those of you who had arthritic friends years back, one of their prime cures was gold shots. They would actually put gold into solution and gold shots were given to relieve the pain of arthritis. So you see the Bible was chemically correct way back then.
“And Aaron said, `Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people (you bet he knew them. He was disgusted more than once with them.), that they are set on mischief.’ For they (now watch this) said unto me, `Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot (know) not what is become of him.’ And I said unto them, `Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.'”
Now, isn’t that amazing? This is a grown man, but to me it sounds like my little four-year-old grandson. He might say something like that. He would say “Grandpa, I just did such and such and this is what happened.” But here we have this grown, mature, man Aaron trying to fool Moses, but more than that, who does he think he is fooling? God! As if God didn’t know that he was the one who fashioned it. He was the one who went up to the altar to worship it. Now, I want to make an analogy. And I’m a friend of preachers. Some of my dearest friends have been some of my pastors. In fact, in the last month, my wife Iris and I got back up to our old home area of Northern Iowa, and Southern Minnesota, and it was a centennial of my old home town. And so we saw everybody all the way back when I was just a kid. Among them was an old pastor who got me started teaching. He was the one who literally twisted my arm and got me to teach a class of high school boys. And it was just a thrill to see him. So when I say some of these things, don’t think that I don’t have a kinship with pastors. But, on the other hand, we’ve got to say things like they are.
A long time ago while I was in the service, I was driving across Texas with my radio on, and I heard a great old Southern Baptist preacher who has since passed on. I’m not sure of his name, but I will never forget a statement that he made in that sermon I heard on the radio that day. He said “When I was a little boy growing up in the tall pine trees of the Carolina’s, I always noticed that the trees that die, started dying at the top first.” What was he driving at? He was castigating his own denomination for the departure from the truth that was taking place, already in the higher echelon of the denomination. They are not alone, every denomination takes that track. Their leadership is what begins the slide. We see this over and over in Christendom, and again it is nothing new. Here is this man Aaron; he should have been the man that stood in the gap, while Moses was on the mountain. Instead he gives in to the demands of the people.
I just thank the Lord for the role he has given me. I love people and I like to get as many people at my class as I can, but I’m not beholding to anyone. My income doesn’t depend on trying to keep people happy out there in the pew. But there are many preachers up against that very thing. They have to keep everybody content or the money doesn’t come in. And the first thing you know, he is gone and out of an income. I thank the Lord I don’t have that worry. As long as those old cows have a calf or two, I’m going to survive. I can teach the Book and not have to compromise, and I can’t thank the Lord enough for the ability he has given me.
“And when Moses saw that the people were (what?) naked;….”
I’m reminded of a sermon I heard, and it might have been from that same old pastor we were telling about a while ago. He was also a Bible teacher as well as a good preacher. He was talking one time about the maniac in the New Testament, the Gadarenes, out of whom Jesus cast legions of demons. And he made the point, and analogy and I will never forget it. “When they saw that man filled with his demons, what was he? Naked. As soon as Jesus came into that man’s life, and cast out the demons, what was the first thing that man did? He put on his clothes.” And that hasn’t changed either. Go back to the last lesson. Everything that God said thou shalt not do. What does the old devil say? Just the opposite. God has instructed us how to clothe our body, but what does Satan do? Tells us to take them off. It is so obvious. Well anyway, they were dancing naked around this golden calf. A perfect example of the idolatry out of which they had come.
“Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, `Who is on the LORD’S side?….'”
Which of you are going to mean business with our God? He puts them up against it doesn’t he? Now, God moves in and He brings on a plague, because of their gross immorality. I’m not an old prude, but I’ll tell you what. I know what God expects of the human race. God has not changed one bit from Genesis 1 till today. He has not and will not change. What God hated back here, He hates today. We are all being programmed. My wife and I were talking about it on the road up here today. Some of the lyrics that she has heard in the last few days, that our little kids, and my grandchildren now are being subjected to. It’s frightening. And these people are just literally scoffing at everything that God has ever instructed for the human race. Immorality is something that is taken for granted. After all, everyone is doing it. Isn’t that the ideal. But God hated it then, and He has hated it ever since. So He brings a plague on them. Now verse 2:
“And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.”
In other words, they went out and put to death all of those they knew were guilty. Now those three thousand men did not count the women, these are just the men, for that is way the Scripture usually counts. Let’s go to I Corinthians 10, And here is where the scoffers come into the picture, and say “See the Bible just contradicts itself – all the time.” The real scoffer does not know his Bible. Here Paul is making reference to this very event around the golden calf, and God’s anger against the children of Israel, and His punishment of them:
I Corinthians 10:8
“Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.”
Now, this is where the scoffer jumps on that. They say “In Exodus it reads three thousand and here twenty three thousand.” Let’s go back to Exodus and I will explain that. Exodus again where we just left off in the 32d Chapter. Moses now intercedes on behalf of the people and in verse 30 we read:
“And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, `Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement (or covering) for your sin.’ And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, `Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have make them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin-; (do you see that dash at the end of sin? Moses could not imagine, how God would forgive such gross sin. So the sentence is not even finished – and Moses says continuing on) and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.’ And the LORD said unto Moses, `Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.’ And the LORD plagued (how many died here from the plague?) the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.”
In that one verse, what do you pick up? Three thousand are listed up here earlier being killed by Levi swords. And the twenty thousand that is seeming a contradiction are the people that the Lord plagued. And the apostle Paul fills in the blanks in Corinthians, by saying, “That it was twenty three thousand, rather than just three thousand.” Now, I would like to go on over to Chapter 35, We are moving as fast as we can; I know so many of you are wanting us to teach prophecy, and yet I don’t want to skip too much that we lose the flow here, as we come up through the Book of Exodus. Moses has now come down with the second set of the tables of law. And the Sabbath day is renewed again, and Israel is reminded of it.
“And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, `This is the thing which the LORD commanded,’ saying, `Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: Whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, and oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense,”
“And onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod, and for the breastplate. And every wise hearted among you shall come, and make all that the LORD hath commanded; The tabernacle, his tent, and his covering, his taches, and his boards, his bars, his pillars, and his sockets, The ark, and the staves thereof, with the mercy seat, and the vail of the covering, The table, and his staves, and all his vessels, and the shewbread, the candlestick also for the light, and his furniture, and his lamps, with the oil for the light, And the incense altar, and his staves. and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the door at the entering in of the tabernacle,”
“The altar of burnt offering, with his brasen grate, his staves, and all his vessels, the laver and his foot, The hangings of the court, his pillars and their sockets, and the hanging for the door of the court, The pins of the tabernacle, and the pins of the court, and their cords, The cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office. And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses.”
Now don’t lose sight of what has just happened with the horrible events around that golden calf. But God has cleansed Israel, the remainder now have come to a place once again of fellowship, and they have been forgiven.
“And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold:…. And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, and red skins of rams,…. Every one that did offer an offering…. And all the women (He is not going to leave them out) that were wise hearted did spin with their hands,….
A lot of people get the idea that God is a little bit partial toward men, especially in the Old Testament. Maybe in some areas he was. But God still used the women, and even in our New Testament, in the Age of Grace. I can remember back when the feminist movement first began, that they tried to get the Bible out of our universities, they did not want a single copy left, and when they were asked by a reporter why they felt that way, their reply was, because of the Letters of the Apostle Paul. If they could just get Paul out of the Bible they could probably stomach it.
But I come back and say look, anybody who has read that last Chapter of the Book of Romans could never accuse Paul as being anti-feminist. You go through that Chapter and he names woman after woman who were part and parcel of his ministry. Who helped him in the ministry. The Bible is not anti-feminist. In fact, if you stopped to think about it, do you know what was the greatest feminist movement that ever hit the human race? Christianity. Now among most of your pagan people, yes, a woman is still a second class citizen. Even in our Middle East today, a woman just does not have the same rights and privileges like we in the western world have. But the women here are putting their spinning wheels and needles to work. Now verse 30.
“And Moses said unto the children of Israel, `See, the LORD hath called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge (In spiritual things? No – in what?), and in all manner of workmanship;'”
Do you think that God is not concerned with your daily life. Absolutely He is. Twenty-four hours a day He is concerned with every fact of your life. Some people think, we can’t bother God with material things. All He is interested in is the spiritual. Don’t you believe it. God is interested in everything in our lives, physical, material, as well as spiritual.
“And to devise curious works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,” Now, verse 35 and this just puts the frosting on the cake. All of these He has set aside to be craftsmen:
“Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.”
These are all basic trades of craftsmanship works.
LESSON THREE * PART IV
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE TABERNACLE
I just want to say that we hope the programs are a blessing to each of you. Please remember we are nondenominational; I’m not a pastor, so don’t address me as Reverend, Preacher or Doctor. I’m just a layman, and rancher and we just do this for the Lord without any compensation. We love to do it, and trust we are laying it up in glory. And in the process we trust we can bring people, who don’t know the Lord to a knowledge of Him. And we can help believers, come into a closer walk, and realize that this is an exciting Book. I was thinking the other evening, you can take all the great authors of the world, you could roll them all up into one and they can’t even come close to this one. And that is why I love to teach this old Book as most of you know.
If you will come back with me where we left off in Exodus Chapter 35, the last verse. Moses has put the call out to the people for all the things that are needed. I have often said that, would to God that church people could respond today like the Israelites did here. Why, pastors would just be beside themselves wouldn’t they? They would actually have to tell their flock, “Hey, quit giving. We have more then we know what to do with.” But that is what happened here. It actually got to the place that Moses said, “Don’t bring anymore, we’ve got all we can handle.” Now Chapter 36:
“Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary,….”
Now, here we need to stop for a moment. Who is giving them the ability to perform these tasks? God does. Where do you get the ability to do what you do? God gave it to you. Never lose sight of that fact. Whatever you and I are, or ever hope to be, it is because of what God has done in and through each one of us. I have stressed over the years that every believer, I don’t care how untalented you think you are, God has a roll for you, He has given you a gift. I’ve seen people who thought they had no gift. But they used the gift tremendously, and never realized they were using it. And this is what happened here. God gave gifted people to bring about his work.
“And Moses call Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD put wisdom, even everyone whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it:”
Where does it have to start? With the heart. A question came up in one of my classes recently, the person said, “Les you are always saying that all God is looking for is to believe. How do I know that I have believed enough.” Have any of you wondered that? And it is a good question. Because lots of times people get the idea, “Well, if I just believe then I’m alright.” Most people, especially in our beloved nation believe in the historical fact that Christ lived, died, and maybe have a head knowledge that He also rose from the grave. But that is not believing. That is not what we are talking about. Believing doesn’t come from the head but from the heart.
We always point to this part of us (The Chest) and even the Bible speaks of the heart as in the chest area. We are not talking about that pumping organ, the organ that takes our blood and sends it down our arteries and veins, etc. When we talk about the heart, we are talking about that very central part of us that has a relationship with the spirit world. And it is in that area that God has to begin and finish His work. So when I talk about believing, trusting, having faith in the Gospel, I’m talking about the true heart belief. Not just a head knowledge. I’m sure most of you have heard the expression that many people will miss heaven by twelve inches and you say “What do you mean?” They had it in their head, but never got it in the heart. And there is something to that.
We must always be sure that we are believing, not just because we can give a mental assent to something. But because God has literally opened up our ability to believe these things, and trust our whole eternal destiny on it. If I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t sleep at night. I know enough about this Book to know there is an eternal doom coming for those who do not have that kind of a heart of faith. It is going to be awful for those that are lost, We can’t comprehend that. But for those of us who believe, and as it shows here, it begins in the heart. Now continuing on, if we are going to finish Exodus this lesson. Let’s hope so.
“And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning. And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary,…. And they spake unto Moses, saying, `The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work,…’ And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, `Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.’ So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.”
Oh, they were still going to bring more, but they had to tell them we have enough, we don’t need anymore. Now we are going to start the construction, with the things the people have brought. We will start with the linen curtains. The linen curtains are that which comprise what we would call today, the outer fence. The point I like to make is, that all the dimensions of this Tabernacle in the wilderness can all be divided by five. Everyone of them. Five in Scripture is the number of Grace.
So even as we are talking Law, yet the attribute of God, that even gives the Law to Israel, is Grace. What prompted God to bring them out of their slavery? His Grace. What prompted God to go seek Adam and Eve, after they had disobeyed? His Grace. So always keep this in mind. Grace is that one attribute of God that keeps Him dealing, even with the Nation of Israel, even after they made the golden calf, having gone into gross immorality. Why didn’t He destroy the nation? His Grace. Why does He come now and give them this whole system of worship? His Grace. The linen curtains, then, are going to be the outer fence. It will be 150 feet long, and 75 feet wide. It was made high enough that nobody could simply look in. So this outer fence was to keep all of this from view of the casual onlooker.
Another thing I want you to remember is that this Tabernacle was always set with the gate in the outer fence, facing east. I have put the names of the 12 Tribes up here on the board. and will name them for you. To the east, and the tribe that would always lead during their journeys, was Judah. Remember Reuben was the oldest and should have had that position, but Reuben sinned, and was an immoral person, who had a relationship with his father’s concubines. Consequently, God in his Sovereignty, brought Judah to the place that Reuben should have enjoyed. Another reason for Judah’s leadership is that Christ will come out of the tribe of Judah. So it says “that the scepter shall never leave Judah.” So on the east, and the nation will always move out in that direction, you have Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. Then on the south were the three tribes of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad. On the west were Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin, and on the north were the three tribes of Dan, Asher, and Naphtali. And there are your twelve tribes.
Now, of course, Levi is not mentioned, but Levi picks up the territory that surrounds the tabernacle area. They are not listed as one of the 12 tribes, even as they go into the Nation of Israel. So the linen fence is all around the outside. The next one is the curtain of goat’s hair. And this is the rough sketch of this little tent, and this is the outer frame of it. The curtain of goat’s hair is going to be that first layer that fits over the main frame, which is made of Acacia wood covered with gold.
So this main frame made of wood, covered with gold, and then the first curtain that lays over the outside edge will be this goat’s hair. The next layer will be the Ram skins dyed red. That is in verse 19. And then the very top, or outer area, were the seal skins (badger was the word in the King James but it was a sea animal) to stand all the extreme weather of the Sinai. But I want to point out that it was not pretty in its appearance. And the reason I’m pointing that out, is all of these things are a picture of Christ Himself in one of His attributes as He pertains to us today. Now the goat’s hair, I think, will refer to the Scape Goat. Remember that term? That was when the High Priest would lay the sins of Israel upon it. The seal skins on the outer, that which could be seen if they could look over the fence as it was seen, was very plain. There was nothing beautiful about it. What does the Scriptures say about Jesus to the unsaved person? “There is no beauty, that we should behold him.” To the unbeliever, He has nothing that appeals to them. But when we come to the inside frame, they had linen curtains also hung. Hung with gold or silver hooks, it was a combination of blue, purple, and scarlet fine linen; and woven into it were likeness of cherubim.
Now, use your imagination. Can you begin to imagine how beautiful that must have been? This is fine twine as it is called, some of the best linen that craftsmen could create. Interwoven in all of these colors, and in that weaving were the likeness of these cherubs. and they were all through it. You see you have a complete opposite. From the outside, Christ has no beauty that we should behold him, but once we become involved in Christ, now what is He? He’s everything. He is beautiful. And only the believer can understand that. All that He is. And it’s the same way as they would come into the tent. They would not see or experience that beauty, until the priest would come inside. Now let’s keep moving on. Then we find that all of these parts of the outer fence and everything else is set in socket of brass, or silver and the other important thing I wanted to point out is in verse 35.
“And he made a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubims made he it of cunning work (Again this was intrinsic beauty).”
This vail separated the Holy of Holies from the main sanctuary. This part was only a third of the size of the sanctuary. The Sanctuary was 45 feet long and 15 feet wide. So the Holy of Holies was only 15 feet square. Now here is that vail. We are most acquainted with the vail, as it was in the Temple in Jesus’ day. And at the moment of His death, what happened to the vail? It was rent from top to bottom. Not from the bottom to the top. But from the top to the bottom and this signifies that no man had anything to do with it. It was an act of God. The vail pictured the very Body of Christ. The vail is what kept the presence of God from the priest, as they would practice their daily administrations. They would only come up to here. Only the High Priest, once a year could come in behind the vail.
We will be studying that when we come to the Day of Atonement. Now, let’s come to the Laver of cleansing. Here is someone who has given us his idea of the various furnishings, all made of wood, and covered with gold, except the Mercy Seat, which is in the Holy of Holies. It is pure beaten gold that formed these cherubim that sit up here as they overshadowed the Ark of the Covenant, which became the Mercy Seat. That was the piece of furniture that sat behind the vail. Someone asked me during a break, “Where is the Ark of the Covenant today?” Well, we know it has been gone ever since the Babylonian captivity, but there is nothing to indicate that the Babylonians took it with them, so turn back to Revelation Chapter 11. I think maybe others have had that same question. And these are the events taking place during the tribulation. Things are getting rough on the earth.
“And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament (another word for testament is covenant): and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
Now, there are those who claim they know where the Ark of the Covenant is. And we are quite sure that Israel is going to frantically look for it. For when they get their Temple rebuilt they will need it. The Ark of Covenant as it was experienced back in the early days of Israel, was the very indication of the presence of God. Now we know that when Israel sets up their Temple in the next few years, the presence of God is not going to sit over it. It will be a man-made religion for the most part. It won’t be like it was back here in Exodus. Because Israel is so far from God today, there is no way God will manifest His presence with them in the very near future, but He will during the tribulation.
Coming into the next little room was the altar of incense on which they burned fresh incense everyday. That was in the middle. Then here on the south side of this sanctuary stood the golden candlesticks. And out between the actual tabernacle tent and the brazen altar, where they burned the sacrifices, was this laver of cleansing. When the priest would come in and begin his sacrifices here at the brazen altar, then he would have to stop at the laver of cleansing, which was filled with water. It was brass made of looking glass. Even today when you get dirty out in the garden, after you wash, how do you check up? With a mirror. The priest would come to this laver of cleansing, and it was not only a wash basin, but also a mirror. And then he could proceed on.
All of this is a scriptural lesson for all of us. So turn to John’s’ Gospel Chapter 13. Now there’s still quite a few among us who still practice foot washing. And I don’t condemn them for it. They will say, “Well, it is in the Bible,” but again they are, I feel, bringing something in from God dealing with Israel, into the Church, which is not necessarily instructed for the Church. We pick it up now this whole cleansing aspect. And remember they didn’t stop here and take a whole bath. They had to do that before they began their priestly ministry. But after they had stopped at the altar, and made their sacrifices, they would stop here and wash their hands and feet. Okay, now we pick it up here during Jesus’ earthly ministry. They are at the last Passover.
“He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter (and I’ve said over the years that Peter is always putting his foot in his mouth, and here he does it again.): and Peter saith unto him, `Lord, dost thou wash my feet?’ Jesus answered and said unto him, `What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.’ Peter saith unto him, `Thou shalt never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered him, `If I wash thee not (his feet), thou hast no part with me.’ Simon Peter saith unto him, `Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.'”
In other words, old Peter wanted Jesus to give him a bath. If we are going to do it part way, let’s do it all, he says.
“Jesus saith to him, `He that is washed (Do you see that? You have had your bath. The priest had had his bath, but what did he need? Just to wash his hands and feet.) needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.'” Who was left out? Judas. In the next verse:
“For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, `Ye are not all clean.'”
What was the setting? Remember the Jews of Jesus’ day did, primarily, their bathing in the central public bath house. We also know that the sanitation was not all that good, and the streets were filthy. So by the time they went from that public bath to the time they got home, their feet was filthy. So they needed foot washing. Oh, they had been saved, but they needed a daily cleansing. Now, quickly turn to Ephesians where we pick that same analogy out of the Jewish background, and we bring it into the Church age. And we have this same teaching, but on a different level. Paul writes:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” He is talking about us believers, the members of the Body of Christ.
“That he might sanctify and cleanse it (not with the washing in a foot tub, or laver, but how?) with the washing of water by the word,”