A Voice in the
Walk-thru the Bible
-- series --
Chapters - Topics:
- 002 - Hero man: knocked down a peg (ch2)
- 2-3 - God allows this evil? (2-3)
- 3-4 - Who has made the mouth? (3-4)
- 005 - Pharaoh's Strong Heart (ch5)
- 006 - Now you will see what I will do (ch6)
- 007 - I have made you a god (ch7)
- 7-8 - Satan's Signs & Wonders (7-8)
- 008 - Separation in Worship (ch8)
- 8-9 - Separation for Protection (8-9)
- 009 - Pharaoh Acknowledges God? (ch9)
- 10a - Will you not humble yourself? (ch10)
- 10b - Negotiating with God (ch10)
- 011 - One more plague - First-born (ch11)
- 012 - Passover (ch12)
- 014 - Take your stand, See Jehovah's Salvation (ch14)
- 12a - Mixed Multitude (12 & 16)
- 16a - Murmuring against God (16-17)
- 016 - Day by Day, Step by Step (ch16)
- 020 - Ten Commandments (ch20)
- 021 - Civil Laws (ch21-23)
- 032 - God Changed His Mind? (ch32)
Re: Hero man: knocked down a peg (Exodus 2)
Joseph has died and been put "in a coffin in Egypt". (Gen50:26) Years
pass, and the king that knew Joseph is replaced by a new king, and
little by little, the fame of God's deliverance of civilization from
the horrendous famine through Joseph is forgotten.
However, God's promise to Abraham is being fulfilled, to "multiply
[his] seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the
shore of the sea." (Gen22:17) Israel is being "fruitful and
[increasing] very much, and [multiplying], and [becoming] very strong."
(Ex1:7) In fact, the Hebrew population was exploding so much so that
they became more numerous than the Egyptians, whose land they initially
came into as strangers. The land was "filled" with them. (vs7) So, for
political expediency, and "national security" the Egyptians subjugated
them into servitude. Made them slaves. During this time, many of the
structures we see even today, were built by the Hebrew slaves. But the
more they were enslaved, the more they multiplied. (vs12)
And the Egyptians "were afraid before the sons of Israel." (vs12)
Among other things we will discover as we progress through Exodus, this
verse provides one key for understanding. This word, "FEAR". Notice
that the Egyptians were "bullying" the Jews, being "tough" against
them. I'm sure we can all remember back to our younger school days.
There were the bullies, and those they picked on. The weaker ones were
always afraid of the bullies, but did not realize that the bullies were
actually afraid of and intimidated by the very ones they picked on.
Intimidated by the fact that they could not get the good grades, or did
not experience the love at home that they perceived in the ones they
picked on, etc.
Furthermore, the Egyptians did not know God. The fact that they
"feared" meant that they did not know God's "love". (1Jn4:18) One of
the generic characteristics of the final Judgment is of those who are
"fearful" or "cowardly". (Rev21:8)
Into this scene is born Moses. You can read the account for yourself if
you're not familiar with it. But we are told that, in spite of the
king's edict to destroy all male babies, "by faith" his parents
protected him. (Heb11:23) And even though he was trained up in all the
wisdom of Egypt (Acts7:22) as the son of Pharaoh's daughter and
received the best education available to anyone in the world in those
days, his childhood nurturing by his -real- parents in the Fear of God
did not leave him.
Now, Moses is about 40 years old. All educated. Living right in the
seat of power and authority. If God was going to rescue Israel out of
Egypt, what better job of "infiltration" could He have devised! A Jew
raised right under Pharaoh's nose, trained in all of Egypt's wisdom. He
knows all the ins and outs of Egyptian politics. And he must have been
informed in some manner that God had chosen him to save Israel out of
So, with all his aristocratic flair, he goes to see how things are down
in Goshen. His military training obviously has been good, because he
apparently didn't have any trouble killing the Egyptian taskmaster who
was beating a slave. (2:12) And the next day, he tries to play 'judge
and advocate' between a couple of Hebrews. Whereupon they retort back,
"Who appointed you as a man, a ruler and a judge over us?" (2:14) Just
who do you think you are?
Well, Moses figured that since -he- knew he was to deliver Israel out
of bondage, that they would, too, automatically. After all, he was now
fully trained, and groomed with all of Egypt's wisdom. What better
qualifications could one possibly have for the job? All one has to do
now is assert one's own authority and "go for it"! Right? If you've got
"what it takes", just get in there and "do it". No waiting around, and
Sound familiar? You, just graduating from seminary. Or, you "church"
looking at the -qualifications- of a prospective pastor. What do you
look for? The ABC-XYZ's after the name, indicating all the degrees and
disciplines in which the person is trained? After all, if they have the
right degree from the right school, -SURELY- they are now "qualified"!!
Well, the one-man S.W.A.T. team is now exposed. It is obvious he can't
do the job on his own. In fact, the king now knows who/what he is, and,
instead of leading Israel out of Egypt, Moses ends up running for his
-own- life. (2:15) Into the wilderness.
Shepherds were an "abomination" to Egyptians. (Gen46:34) Moses has been
raised in affluence, living among those who look down their noses at
such humble people; and now finds himself 'rescuing' some shepherdesses
from bullies. (2:17) Shepherds, and -women-!! ...of all things!!
This is a far cry from the "glory" of delivering Israel out of Egypt!
The thing he has been 'groomed' for, and is 'qualified' for! Well, he
might be educated. But he's not yet -really- 'qualified'. There's some
pride there. Some needed training in "reality orientation". There are
yet 40 years in the wilderness, before he will be leading Israel out of
He needs, yet, to know Who God is. That cannot happen in the seat of
Egypt's idolatry and politics; in all the hubbub of civilization. As
Elijah would later discover that God was not in the wind, fire and
earthquake but in the "still small voice" (1Kg19:11-12), Jesus taught
that communion with God comes from going "into your room and shutting
your door" (Mt6:6) If he was going to lead God's people in God's way,
he needed to be trained -by- God. Truly, he would use many of the
skills and associations he learned from his formal education. But what
was more needful was to know God. Of the early apostles it was noted,
"that they are untaught and uneducated men.." the rulers "recognized
them, that they were with Jesus." (Acts4:13) And they "turned the world
upside down" with the Gospel. (Acts17:6)
By the way... many of the -truly- "great men of God" spent time in the
wilderness. Elijah (1Kg17,19), John the Baptist (Mt3:1), Paul
(Gal1:17), and yes, even Jesus. (Mt4:1) Each, for their own reasons and
purposes to be greatly used by God.
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Re: God allows this evil? (Exodus 2-3)
If God is a -good- God, why is there evil? If God is -love-, why does
He allow pain and suffering? If God is these wonderful qualities, and
yet these evils exist, since God would -surely- NOT allow such evil, it
must mean that He doesn't exist. Look at this predicament I'm in;
doesn't God -care- that I'm suffering?
These are just -some- of the various arguments people raise about God.
While we aren't going to necessarily address these arguments directly,
one thing we are going to see in the coming studies, is the manner in
which God reveals Himself to mankind. He had made Himself "known" to
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Ex6:3) It has now been a few years since He
has had 'personal' contact with His people. He is about to be making
Himself "known" to all the nations by "bringing [Israel] out of the
land of Egypt." (Eze20:9) All things God does is for His Own glory.
Where does it start? As the "sons of Israel groaned from the slavery..
they cried, and their cry went up to God from the slavery. And God
heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham,
with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God saw the sons of Israel, and God
knew them." (2:23-25)
Remember, God had chosen Israel to be His own special people, "an elect
race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession."
(1Pt2:9) Paul states, "God did not thrust away His people whom He
foreknew.." (Rom11:2) God's -election- had chosen the seed of Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob as His own special people. He had preserved their lives
during the famine by bringing them to Egypt where Joseph had gone ahead
to "save life". (Gen45:5,7) And as Jacob was going, God promises, "Do
not fear" to go to Egypt "for I will make of you a great nation there."
And God does not abandon them, but promises Jacob, "I will go down with
you into Egypt, and I will also surely return you." (Gen46:3-4) God's
love for His own people He describes as "an everlasting love."
Often, when we are in the deepest agony is when God is closest to us.
In our human frailty we seem to not -notice- Him at times. But He is
there, bearing us up on "wings of eagles". (Ex19:4) If we have been to
the 'bottom', and have met Him personally and realize why we are where
we are, even when our heart might be in excruciating pain, He has a way
of making His love even -more- precious to us.
Israel has grown. They are suffering. But God knows. As Israel will
eventually come to realize, that is the best place of blessing. God
-is- there. He -knows-.
Now, it's time to start revealing Himself. It is now 40 years later and
ol' -educated- Moses is herding sheep. (3:1) He is now 80 years old.
All the "prime" of his life..."wasted". All that talent and education
'down the drain'.
And God calls out, "Moses! Moses!" (3:4) "Do not come near here. Pull
off your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are
standing is holy ground." (vs5)
During the subsequent conversation God introduces Himself to Moses. "I
am the God of your fathers..." of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (vs6)
Notice Moses' response. "Moses hid his face, for he feared to look upon
And now notice the order of things. First of all, God explains to Moses
how He knows Israel's afflictions. He knows their sorrows. Just as
Jesus "bore our sickness and carried our pain" (Is53:4), Israel was not
suffering alone. As is said, "he who touches [Israel] touches the pupil
of His eye." (Zec2:8) Israel's suffering was also God's suffering.
Why did He not come sooner to deliver them? He was "[enduring] in much
long-suffering [the] vessels of wrath.." (Rom9:22) Not desiring to
destroy Egypt, because He doesn't desire that "any should perish".
(2Pt3:9) And also, the nations God would judge as Israel would take
over their new heritage, God had said, "the iniquity of the Amorites is
not yet full." (Gen15:16)
So, God assures Moses that He knows Israel's plight. And now notice, "I
have come down to deliver them from the hand of the Egyptians." (3:8)
Why had Moses failed 40 years earlier? Because he, Moses, was trying to
work in his -own- wisdom and strength. But it was not yet God's time.
Remember how the Hebrew had taunted Moses with, "who made you our
judge?"? Well, now -GOD- is saying "I will send you to Pharaoh, and you
bring My people out.." (3:10) Notice just -Who- is now 'in charge'.
God. Moses is now no longer "big stuff". He is a servant. God's
"representative". Not his own -presumed- authority. As Paul says, "we
are ambassadors". (2Cor5:20) Many today claim to -have- "authority" as
they think to -command- God. No! God is "in charge", and we are His
servants. He has the authority, and we are -merely- His messengers. But
if a person has not 'met' God, they will not understand this.
Moses has now 'met' God, and instead of his 40-year previous bravado,
he now shudders, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I
should bring out the sons of Israel from Egypt?" (3:11)
Notice the credentials Moses is given. God introduces Himself further.
"I AM THAT I AM" This is God's "memorial" name.(vs15) His essence. "You
shall say this to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you." (vs14)
Moses has learned to be a "loathsome" shepherd, and is now ready to be
a messenger for God Most High. Since this is now -God's- project, and
will be done in God's way, it is going to result in success.
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Re: Who has made the mouth? (Exodus 3-4)
And Moses said to God, Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I
should bring out the sons of Israel from Egypt? (3:11) Forty years
later, this is now a different Moses from the one who "thought his
brothers would understand" that God would deliver them by his hand
(Acts7:25), and was striking out on his own. 'Oooooh, I can't do this!'
God's response, "I will be with you." (vs12)
What a comfort! What assurance! As Christians we can sing "Blessed
assurance Jesus is mine..." and will quote "He leads me beside the
still waters...You prepare a table for me before my enemies; You anoint
my head with oil; my cup runs over." (Ps23:2,5) But how often do we
forget it, or doubt it, when we are actually in the middle of life's
situations? This 'chiding' is as much to myself as it is to you who
read this. The area I worry about the most, I have seen God's hand work
in the past numerous times. I -know- "better" than to worry. But I
still do. Knowing that God is "with" me should be enough; as it should
have been for Moses.
First of all, God makes a promise. A "sign" of God's call upon Moses.
Once Israel has come out of Egypt, they will "serve God on this
Well-and-good... for the -future-. But what about -now-? As I re-read
this passage now, I realize Moses was doing what I always do, too.
Trying to figure out everything ahead of time. Thinking through all the
angles and 'what-ifs?' and 'what-abouts?'. So, I come to Israel,
they're going to have all sorts of questions that I don't have the
answers to. Jesus said, "do not be anxious beforehand, what you should
say...whatever may be given you in that hour, speak that." (Mk13:11)
You are sending me, but I don't even know Your -name-.
"I AM THAT I AM" (3:14) As Jesus identified Himself to the rulers, He
said, "before Abraham came into being, I AM." (Jn8:58) God, with this
name, "I AM", is the only one who -could- make the claim He does,
"declaring the end from the beginning.." (Is46:10) He is the only God
Who can claim 100% accuracy for prophecy, because He -IS-. His
existence traverses all time concepts man can imagine. This is His
unique distinguishing characteristic of His essence, making Him "above
all gods" (Ps95:3), the "Most High". (Gen14:19, 2Sam22:14, Is14:14,
"I AM", the One who created all things and holds it together, will
bring Israel out from their affliction in Egypt, to a land "flowing
with milk and honey." (3:17)
However, you need to understand that there will be a struggle. The
"king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except by a strong hand." "I
will..strike Egypt with all My wonders..and afterward he will send you
away. (3:19-20) And Israel will come out with great wealth and
They won't believe me! "Jehovah has not appeared to you." (4:1) Let's
face it, a lot of people claim to be great -somebodies-. They claim to
have visions or dreams. And, no doubt, he is remembering the taunt 40
years earlier, "who made you a judge" over us? Why should this be any
different than last time?
What is that in your hand? A staff...which becomes a snake. (4:2) God
gives him the first indication of what is about to come. "Signs" to
perform. While he would have seen Egyptian magicians performing their
demonic craft, he is now experiencing God's power, himself. This is
just the beginning.
"O Lord, I am not a man of words, either from yesterday or the third
day, nor since You have been speaking.." with me "..for I am heavy of
mouth and heavy of tongue." (4:10) -This-, from the man with the
world's greatest education credentials behind his name, of whom it was
recorded, "powerful in words and works." (Acts7:22) Even, once he gets
into Egypt and begins to speak to Pharaoh, and Pharaoh increases
Israel's bondage, and they don't listen to him, Moses complains, If
Israel isn't listening, "How should Pharaoh hear me..?" (6:12,30)
Who has made man's mouth? Who makes the dumb, deaf, seeing or blind?
"Is it not I, Jehovah?" And now go, and I will be with your mouth, and
will teach you what you shall speak." (4:11-12)
"O Lord, please..." send somebody else, whomever You wish.
In an eastern culture things are typically done in "threes". A gift is
offered; the recipient refuses. The gift is offered three times; and
then is accepted. If it was accepted before the third offer, the
recipient could be considered greedy or too eager. Now, if the
recipient doesn't wish to accept, he might refuse the third time. But
if the giver -REALLY- wants to give the gift, he would offer a "fourth"
time. That goes beyond the requisit "three", and shows his VERY
SINCERE desire to give the gift. Now, if the recipient -REALLY- does
NOT want the gift, or has hostility to the giver, he can refuse the
fourth time. And that's like a slap in the face to the giver. One OT
example of this matter of "three" is found when Joash struck the ground
"three times" with the arrows, and Elisha is angry with him for not
striking more times, and thus assuring victory over the Syrians
After his humble beginnings into this conversation, God has assured
Moses over and over of His hand upon Moses. And Moses has objected
"four" times. Three questions and doubts. And now, this "fourth" time
it's as if to say, 'I really -don't- want to do this! Can't You please
send somebody else?"
"And the anger of Jehovah glowed against Moses." (4:14)
Later when God would call Ezekiel, God's "hand..was on him", and he was
"made to eat" the scroll full of "weepings, mourning and woe" and as
God called him to go to the Jewish exiles, God -physically- lifted him
and carried him to where he was to go (Eze3:14), and it says he "went
bitterily in the heat of [his] spirit.." He did not want to go. He was
'angry' at having to go. If you will, "kicking and screaming". But "the
hand of Jehovah was strong" upon him.
You see, the call of God upon His prophets is -NOT- a call to glamour.
It is not easy. As in Ezekiel's case, he took God's message into his
"heart". (3:10) Which meant that his heart was continually heavy,
because of the "woe" it contained. When Jeremiah sought to keep quiet
due to persecution, God's Word was a "fire" (Jer20:9) that he COULD NOT
keep it in.
Moses was no different. And God retorts...Well, there's Aaron! He's a
'good speaker'! BUT... My call is upon -you-. "I will be with -your-
mouth...and I will teach -you- what you shall do." (4:15) And, of all
things, notice the nature of this relationship as they are about to
face the Egyptians. As for what the Egyptians observe, Moses will be a
'god' and Aaron will be his (Moses') 'prophet'. (vs16) After all, this
is the way many pagan religions often function. Recall that the people
at Lystra differentiated Barnabas and Paul in this manner. (Acts14:8~)
But, there is no choice in the matter. It is settled. All your
questions/objections have been answered. Whatever comes up along the
way, "I will teach you what you shall do." (vs15b)
Now, Go! (vs19) Your final concern, your safety... The ones seeking
your life are dead. It's safe.
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Re: Pharaoh's Strong heart (Exodus 5)
Paul quotes regarding God's purposes for Pharaoh, "For this reason I
have made you stand, in order to cause you to see My power, and in
order to declare My name in all the land." (Rom9:17,Ex9:16) And as the
plagues were progressing upon the Egyptians it says, "And Jehovah made
strong the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not send away the sons of
Many people who have not experienced God's mercy in their own lives,
suppose that God is "hard". They believe certain things told to them by
-supposed- "great men of God" ...that God indiscriminately went "eeny,
meeny, mynee, mo" and chose some people to bless, and others to curse.
That He gleefully set up creation and stacked the "good ones" over here
and the "bad ones" over there, and then turned them loose. And as the
"bad ones" traverse their way to destruction it is as if He was sitting
there saying, "So long, Suckers!!" ..as He 'squishes' them like ants;
or chases them around like an ant with a magnifying glass, to delight
in seeing how frantically they will scurry along, until they are burned
But notice as Paul continues, "But if God, desiring to demonstrate
wrath, and to make His power known..." (Rom9:22a) See? Isn't this the
argument? God is on this big ego "power trip", and uses people as
pawns, and He chooses them 'willy nilly'. Lates face it; didn't He say
outright that He was -using- Pharaoh to show His power?
Well, let's continue... "..endured in much long-suffering vessels of
wrath having been fitted out for destruction." (9:22b) Oh! God is
"enduring"? "Enduring", another way of saying, "putting up with;
exercising extreme patience with; giving many opportunities for the
person to change and repent; receiving many abusive, hostile responses
without retaliation; etc."
Let us never forget that "It is by the kindnesses of Jehovah that we
are not consumed, for His mercies are not ended." (Lam3:22) If He were
to mete out justice according to our deserts, He -would- "zap" us into
oblivion because we are filthy in His sight. (Ps14:3) He delays
punishment for a long time because His desire is "not having purposed
any to perish, but all to come to repentance." (2Pt3:9) Notice the
wording from the LITV there... "not having -PURPOSED- any to perish".
He did not randomly 'pick' the group He 'desired' to judge.
So, let's look at Pharaoh. Moses and Aaron come before him, proclaiming
God's will that Israel go into the wilderness to worship Him. And what
does Pharaoh reply? "Who is Jehovah that I should listen to His voice
to send away Israel? I do not know Jehovah, and I also will not send
Israel away." (Ex5:2)
Let us realize that the world religion begun at Babel with Nimrod was
'now' centered in Egypt. Isis, Horus and Set. The deities which became
the Queen of Heaven and Baal to snare Israel in later centuries. The
entities which became "christianized" in the 300's AD and became the
church of Rome. Which are now worshiped as various "marian
apparitions" and New Age thinks of god as "she". And, as for the
Egyptians, Pharaoh -was- deity.
So, when Moses comes to Pharaoh, the Egyptian -deity- is being
confronted by The Most High. And where satan said, "I will be like the
Most High" (Is14:14), Pharaoh is scoffing, "Who -is- the Most High? I
don't know Him. I don't recognize Him; His existence or right of
authority. You want to worship somebody else (besides me)? I'll show
you. You need to work harder." Whereupon he reduces the building
materials, but requires the same output from the people. And when they
are unsuccessful and their output drops, they are beaten.
This is the background from which God is working, when He declares that
He is "using" Pharaoh to show His Own glory and power. It is God Most
High against the world's "deity". Pharaoh has been approached, and
given opportunity to obey God, but refuses.
But for Moses and Israel things are looking bleak. Israel is now
suffering -worse- than before Moses arrived. They, the ones he's
supposed to lead out of Egypt, are bitterly dejected and condemning
Moses for meddling into things, "May Jehovah look on you and judge, you
who have made our odor to stink in Pharaoh's eyes.." (5:21) 'It's all
-your- fault, Moses, that we are suffering so much!'
And Moses, in turn, goes to God, "Lord, why have You done evil to this
people? Why then have You sent me?" (vs22) You sent me to deliver this
people, but things are MUCH WORSE, and "You did not certainly deliver
your people." (vs23b)
Things look rather hopeless right now!
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Re: Now you will see what I will do (Exodus 6)
And Jehovah said to Moses, Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh.
For he will send them away with a strong hand, yea, he will drive them
out from his land with a strong hand. (vs1)
Promises! Promises! You already said this, but things are worse!!
Pharaoh has increased the bondage and retributions, and "You did not
certainly deliver your people." (5:23b)
In Sunday School we have always heard about the "ten plagues" and the
parting of the Red Sea, the manna, etc. But I wonder if we have ever
really considered what was going on mentally, spiritually, emotionally
with Moses and the people of Israel -just- prior to their deliverance.
We remember everything -after- their deliverance, and make boasts about
how powerful God was in delivering Israel. But do we realize just HOW
BLEAK it all -looked- beforehand?
At the bleakest moment is when God says, "Now you will see what I will
do." And this, actually, is the first in what will be a series of
"impossible situations" in which God will demonstrate His power. And
Israel will be learning little by little that, "for nothing shall be
impossible with God." (Lk1:37) And that comment was made to Mary, as
she was being promised a husband-less pregnancy when Jesus would be
conceived in her womb.
If we can 'see' the solution to the problem, no faith is required, is
it. The way God teaches us of Himself is by allowing us to be in
situations where we can't see the way out; and -then- He resolves the
matter. "Faith is the...evidence of things not having been seen."
So, God intruduces Himself to Israel some more; and makes more
promises. As they see His power unfold, they need to know -Who- is
"I am Jehovah." (6:2) The "self-subsisting, existing" One. This is the
first time God introduces -this- name to them. When Hagar met God, she
called Him, "God of vision" (Gen16:13) because she experienced God's
looking after her. But right now, God lays the foundation for the work
He is about to do. With the situation seeming so hopeless, Israel needs
to know the qualifications of "the God" Who is making these promises.
He needs to be more powerful than Pharaoh-god. "Self-existence" is a
quality Pharaoh does not possess, because he was born of an earthly
woman. Everything in creation came into being from God. But where did
God come from? From Himself. Later He asks, "To whom will you compare
and make Me equal; yea, compare Me, that we may be alike?" (Is46:5) All
the other gods are either born, if they are human; or their substance
is weighed out and fashioned into an image, and are carried around on
the shoulders, and propped up so they don't fall over. And He declares,
"I am God, and no one else is God, even none like Me." (vs9)
OK...'Now that I've introduced Myself, I'm going to prove it.' God had
established a covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (vs4) Yes, God
heard the "groaning of the sons of Israel" (vs5) and He "remembered"
His covenant. Even though they were suffering, they were not abandoned
and forgotten; even though it might have seemed like it at the moment.
"I am Jehovah.." (vs6a) As we progress through Exodus, God will be
revealing His name over and over. When the Law is given, it will be
given -because- "I am Jehovah". All His works He does will be because
"I am Jehovah". Because "I am Jehovah" He promises "I will redeem you
with an outstretched arm and with great judgments." (vs6b)
Jehovah promises "I will take you for Myself for a people, and I will
be a God for you." (vs7) Remember how Peter reminds the Believers of
the Israeli dispersion, "But you are an elect race...a people for
And by association we can understand Him saying, when this comes about
as I am promising to you that it will, "And you shall know that I am
Jehovah your God, the One bringing you out from under the burdens of
Egypt." (vs7b) Jehovah knows that Israel doesn't -really- fully know
Him yet. But by the time He's finished, they will.
However, for right 'now', as Moses is relaying all that God is saying
to Israel, "they did not listen to Moses, from anguish of spirit and
from hard bondage." (vs9) Things are at rock-bottom. They can't get any
So God now says to Moses, "Go, speak to Pharaoh..that he may send away
the sons of Israel from his land." (vs11)
Surely You're joking! Israel [Your own people] won't listen to me. Why
should Pharaoh?! (vs12)
Moses is all "alone". Pharaoh has retorted to him. Israel is rejecting
him. And God says to go talk to Pharaoh some more. He is being asked to
lead a people that don't want to be led, out of a physically impossible
situation. Can things be any more impossible?
Remember God's words, "Now you will see what I will do..." (vs1)
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Re: I have made you a god (Exodus 7)
How could Pharaoh listen to me? And Jehovah said to Moses, See, I have
made you a god to Pharaoh; and your brother Aaron shall be your
We are about to see God's version of what Paul declared when he said,
"I became as a Jew to the Jews, that I might gain Jews..to those
without Law as without Law..I became to the weak as weak.."
(1Cor9:20-22) God's own way of working with mankind can be described,
"With the merciful, You reveal Yourself as merciful; with an upright
man, You reveal Yourself as upright...with the perverting ones You
appear perverse.." (Ps18:25-26)
So, what a person is, God reveals Himself in that fashion. Whatever a
person is, God brings more of the same upon them. For the one loving
cursing, cursing comes to them. (Ps109:17) If a person walks contrary
to God, God will be contrary to them. (Lev26:23-24) He "scorns the
scorners and gives grace to the humble." (Pr3:34) He gives to each
according to their works. (Rom2:6)
If you feel like God doesn't hear your prayers, could it be because you
never listen to God? If God seems far away from you, who moved? And on
the other hand "..if you seek Him, He will be found by you." (1Chr28:9)
Well, Pharaoh, Egypt's deity, has just refused to acknowledge God. And
as the 10 plagues will be God's curse upon 10 deities the Egyptians
worship, the conversations with Pharaoh are with a person who claims to
be "deity". Thus, God informs Moses that he is to appear to Pharaoh as
another deity. The matter of Israel leaving Egypt is not so much a
matter of politics, but is a battle of the gods.
Now... any "god" worth his salt needs to have supernatural powers. So,
when Pharaoh asks for signs, give them to him. Throw your staff down
and let it become a snake, like I showed you. (7:9)
And may the true God win! "And the Egyptians shall know that I am
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Re: Satan's Signs & Wonders (Exodus 7-8)
Pharaoh asks for a sign. And so "Aaron threw his staff before Pharaoh
and before his servants. And it became a snake." (7:10)
Remember, this is a battle of gods here. Pharaoh, not to be outdone,
calls his "wise men and the sorcerers." (vs11) Notice their
description. They are the "-priests- of Egypt". Right here we have a
definition of Egypt's religion. It is based on sorcery and witchcraft.
God has just turned a walking staff into a snake. And by sorcery, the
Egyptian priests perform the -same- sign. Only thing, Aaron's snake ate
up their snakes.
Let us receive some learning from this. These were -real- snakes they
conjured up. They -imitated- God's sign. You see, this is how satan
works. He "marvelously [transformed] himself into an angel of light"
and his ministers also "transform themselves as ministers of
righteousness." (2Cor11:14-15) And notice the wording. If Satan could
do this, it's "not a great thing" [no big deal] for the false prophets
to imitate God's works, too.
When the false prophets purport to "heal" people, it is quite possible
that many of them are -actually- healed. I can still "see" (in my
memory) the room full of crutches in that cathedral in Montreal,
Canada. The result of someone now called a "saint" who healed hundreds
of people. His actual -heart- was on display behind a window, contained
in a 'jar', preserved.
But this is how it is promised that satan will deceive many people,
whose "coming is according to the working of Satan in all power and
miracles and lying wonders." (2Th2:9) In fact, the 'miracles' will be
so 'authentic' so as to deceive, if he could do so, even the elect.
This is why so many lean on their "experiences". They get knocked to
the floor in what they call "being slain". They become overwhelmed and
start babbling like idiots. They get 'thrown' from one part of the room
to another. Some are healed. Gold appears on their teeth. Others see
sightings; apparitions of "Mary" who speaks to them. Others have
near-death experiences, and come back with marvelous tales of what they
saw on the "other side". And yes, they will quote Scripture, talk about
God and love and heaven. But it's all a big deception. The experiences
-are- "real", but they are real 'IN ORDER TO' be a deception.
God would say to Israel later, "Take heed [be careful] to yourselves,
that your heart NOT BE DECEIVED, and you turn aside and serve other
gods.." (Deu11:16) Paul says, "Do not let anyone deceive you in any
way..." (2Th2:3) and describes how satan will use signs and wonders.
Satan's purpose always has been to deceive. He is a liar and the father
of lies. (Jn8:44) As he seeks to be "like the Most High" (Is14:14) and
deceives people into thinking that his miracles are actually God's, and
people worship...they are worshiping satan. Notice God's warning to
Israel again, not to be deceived into worshiping "other gods" and
"bowing" to them. Perhaps, if you weren't yet convinced before now, you
will understand when we warn, repeatedly, that these modern-day
"spiritual experiences" that you partake of "at church" are "demonic".
When you partake in Satan's counterfeits, you are bowing to Satan...in
spite of the fact that the charismatic magicians and conjurers are
called "christian". But these modern-day sorcerers are satan's
"priests"..."pastors". You see...that's the best deception... to call
it "christian" and yet have it be directly from satan. If it all looked
like being from a jungle witch doctor stirring up potions in his 'pot',
there would be no deception. The deception is because it -appears- to
be "christian". Satan is skilled in these things and has been
perfecting his talents for 6000 years.
Thing is, in the end, Aaron's snake ate up those of the magicians.
So... did this "sign" cause Pharaoh to believe in God? "And the heart
of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as Jehovah had
said." (vs13) And you know, this is true of the modern sorcery. Some
of the angriest retorts to these mailings have been from those who bow
at satan's church of charismatic sorcery. As one person was recently
unsubscribing he brazenly, angrily proclaimed, "I'm a tongue-speaking,
spirit-filled, blood-washed Christian!" And usually the attitude comes
across, "How DARE YOU tell me I'm following satan? That I'm not a
Christian?!" But to put the words "tongues/spirit-filled" and
"Christian" in the same sentence or label is an oxymoron. i.e. Those
two concepts are incongruous [contradictory].
The priests continue imitating in turning water into blood, and
bringing up frogs. (7:22;8:7) But Pharaoh continues to be hardened. You
see, "signs and wonders", rather than making him believe, instead
hardened his heart further. The Pharisees sought signs from Jesus, even
though they had observed His works for three years. They wanted Jesus
to "perform" for them, as Moses and Aaron were doing before Pharaoh.
Pharaoh was hardened, and so were the rulers who crucified Jesus. "But
though He had done so many miracles before them, they did not believe
into Him." (Jn12:37) As Jesus said about faith, "Blessed are the ones
not seeing, and believing." (Jn20:29) If a person doesn't believe into
Christ because of "hearing the Word of God" (Rom10:17) they will not
believe even if signs and wonders are performed; even to the raising of
someone from the dead. (Lk16:31)
However, with the land full of frogs jumping all over the place, God
begins to work a change. Pharaoh asks, "Pray to Jehovah that He may
remove the frogs..." (8:8) And Moses asks, "When shall this take
place?" "Tomorrow." And Moses says, at the specified time it will be
done, "..so that you may know that none is like Jehovah our God."
(vs10) God is -specific- in His work. When sorcerers do their
conjuring, they do their incantations in the -hopes- that the spirits
will comply. When the modern charismatic priests do their prophesying,
they are never -sure- of the visions they 'see' or -pretend- to see.
They 'hedge' a lot, "I'm seeing...oh, just wait a minute...no I'm
seeing...oh yes, here it comes..." And this, of course, is done with
lots of theatrics, squinting of the eyes, hand up on the brow, bodily
contortions and moanings and gruntings. This is because, "The prophets
prophesy lies in My name. I did not send them and I have not commanded
them, nor did I speak to them. They prophesy to you a false vision, and
a worthless divination, and the deceit of their heart." (Jer14:14)
Of course, Pharaoh is still hardened.
So now it's time for another division. When Aaron struck the dust, and
lice came forth, the priests were not able to duplicate this sign. And
the priests tell Pharaoh, "It is the finger of God." (vs19) They
recognize God, but Pharaoh still is hardened.
When the king of Babylon had a dream and his conjurers could not reveal
the matter, this was God's distinguishing characteristic. They could
not conjure up the spirits to make the revelation, "But there is a God
in Heaven who reveals secrets, and makes known...what shall be in the
latter days." (Dan2:28) The dream had been from God...and so it took
God's servant to interpret it.
Now, another division. Pharaoh is told ahead of time that "tomorrow"
there will be flies. But in Goshen there will be -NO- flies. And from
this point onward, as the plagues continue, Goshen will not experience
any more of the plagues. "...that you may know that I am Jehovah in the
midst of the earth." (8:22)
This shows us another of God's ways. He says "I will put redemption
between My people and your people." (8:23) Paul speaks of redemption
in this manner, "also we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly
expecting adoption, the redemption of our body." (Rom8:23) This
redemption is when we are "changed. In a moment...[when] this
corruptible shall put on incorruption." (1Cor15:52,54) At the Rapture.
"God has not appointed us to wrath, but for obtaining salvation..."
(1Th5:9) But notice that there is a period of time when we see "wars
and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, etc." Jesus exhorted "see, do
not be terrified...but all these are a BEGINNING of throes." (Mt24:6-8)
Israel saw the "beginning" of events which ultimately culminated in
Egypt's total destruction. But when it came to a certain "line" as
these things progressed, God made a distinction between His own people,
and those upon whom He was pouring out His wrath. This is, simply, the
way God works.
So, for another topic we repeat constantly... NO, the Church, Christ's
blood-washed Believers, will NOT go through the time of His coming
wrath when He, again, metes out judgment upon the world, it's gods, and
its priests and worshippers. "Babylon" (Rev14,16,18) The Church will be
"redeemed" out of the earth just as His judgments begin to get
underway. (Mt24:38, Gen7:7, Lk17:29)
So... do not let the false prophets and sorcerer-priests deceive you
otherwise, as they conjure up their imitation 'signs and wonders'!
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Re: Separation in Worship (Exodus 8)
And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go! Sacrifice to
your God in the land. And Moses said, It is not right to do so, for we
sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to Jehovah our God. Behold!
If we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes,
will they not stone us? We will go into the wilderness, a journey of
three days, and sacrifice to Jehovah our God, as He may say to us.
Here we see the first recorded indication about "separation" in
worship. In recent weeks (months?) we have addressed the matter of
"unbelievers in the assembly". Some people understand and practice
'separation'. But others simply cannot seem to fathom the concept. They
seemingly cannot understand that there are times when God's people need
to gather to -worship- Him collectively, and that unbelievers simply
DON'T BELONG. They cannot seem to accept the fact that not all meetings
are necessarily 'evangelistic' to "win the lost".
Timothy was exhorted in his ministry "of the believers" (1Tim4:12) to
be faithful to "attend to reading, to exhortation, to teaching." (vs13)
The things he was to exemplify was "conduct, love, spirit, faith,
purity." (vs12) When those gifted to be pastors and teachers do their
work, it is "with a view to the perfecting of the -saints- (not
unbelievers) for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the
body of Christ." (Eph4:12) The outcome is that there is a "unity of the
faith" (being of "one mind and one judgment" -1Cor1:10), and "of the
full knowledge of the Son of God." (vs13)
Such study needs focus. If unbelievers are "sharing" their worldly
ideas, it waters down God's Truth as received into the heart. We should
never forget that we are in spiritual warfare against "the spiritual
powers of evil in the heavenlies." (Eph6:12b) In the military, boot
camp is done in -isolation-. The recruits eat, sleep, work, 24/7 to
train their bodies and minds into the focus necessary to be effective
soldiers; so they can learn their skills to get the job done, and not
get killed. If they are married, they don't get to go home each night
during training. When they are in their various training exercises,
they don't have 'civilians' standing on the sidelines, yelling
(sharing) "suggestions" as how best to accomplish the task at hand.
They receive orders from their commanding officers...and they OBEY.
...or else!! Or else they receive punishment, or when they practice
with "live" amunition, they die when they didn't keep their 'head
down'. Think about it a moment, if you were a hostage needing
rescuing, what kind of SWAT team would you want coming to your rescue?
A rag-tag operation that had been trained by sitting around in a
circle, holding hands, "sharing" with civilians; or one that had
focused, having been trained in the best ("unloving" and "harsh")
techniques available? You'd want them to be well-trained to shoot your
And yet, for some reason, "christians" want to have the world in their
assemblies. "Sharing" back and forth. Being all lovey-dovey. Not
realizing that their mission is to "save others with fear, snatching
them out of the fire.." (Jude23) 'Can't go on "rescue missions"
without proper proving and training!
"No one serving as a soldier entangles himself with the affairs of this
life, so that he might please the one enlisting him." (2Tm2:4)
OK, let's get back to Moses. Even the -world- knows you can't mix
things up in worship. Pharaoh says, OK...go ahead and worship..."in the
land" (vs25) In other words, 'where we can keep an eye on you, where
you won't be running off, and we lose our cheap (free) slave labor.'
And Moses observes, That's not very smart. For whatever reason, cattle
were an "abomination" to the Egyptians. If the Egyptians saw something
"abominable" being sacrificed in worship, that would rile them up to
protest, and "stone" the Hebrews. That would have been the same as to
offer a -pig- on an altar in Israel. Pigs were unclean. If a Jew even
-touched- a pig, he was "unclean" until evening, and had to cleanse
himself ritually. No, "we will go into the wilderness..." (vs27)
Not long after the previous writings on this subject were mailed, I saw
a documentary on Public TV. If I remember correctly, it was about a
train 'tour' through certain parts of the United States, set up to view
several historical, cultural, geological, ethnic features that most
people might not be aware of.
During part of this tour, the trip took the visitors into Navajo Indian
territory. And of course, practically everything about them and their
art was related in some way to their worship. Remember a past Portion
on Bali? Just like the natives of Bali, the Navajo had certain things
they would 'perform' for tourists. Religious dances and such. But then,
there were some Navajo rituals which they -only- 'talked' about. They
would not do them on camera, nor for the tourists. They were "private".
Not for "outsiders". Very intimate aspects of their worship.
The Masons, as I understand it, are -very- secretive with their
rituals. We've already spoken of the Mormons who don't allow
non-Mormons into their temples; and even more specifically, outsiders
are not allowed in to view some of their secret rituals.
Even the -world- knows better!! But not the "church"!! Strange, isn't
The Last Supper Jesus commemorated with His disciples... not among the
crowds, but in 'private' in the upper room. When the unsaved join in in
worship, the words coming from their lips are an abomination to the
Lord. When they are allowed to "share" in the assembly, they sprinkle
"leaven" all over the place. Such a thing is an "unequal yoke".
If you have ever wondered why so many churches have disgruntlements and
factions, it's because there is no "fellowship". And, how CAN there be?
"What fellowship does light have with darkness? And what agreement does
Christ have with Belial?
Or... WHAT PART DOES A BELIEVER HAVE WITH AN UNBELIEVER?
One reason there is no "unity" in the "churches" is because the world
has been allowed into the Church. How can there -possibly- be love and
unity when Believers are mingled with unbelievers?! There Can't!
Do you feel distant from God? Do you want fellowship with the Lord? God
promised, "I will dwell in them and walk among them..." but if we mix
up the "temple of God" with "idols", that fellowship is broken.
Believers -are- the temple of the living God. The "unclean [should] not
in any way go in" (2Chr23:19) When we claim to have fellowship with
God in worship, and knowingly invite the unsaved to such meetings, God
is -not- honored! They serve satan. Thus, they are like "idols" in the
If Believers would just obey God, they would experience His presence in
a way they cannot imagine! They would grow in knowledge of Jesus
Christ. But people don't like to be where there's -few- numbers. But
notice that Moses says to Pharaoh, We need to go out into the
wilderness, BY OURSELVES.
Paul wrote this to the -Church- at Corinth, "Come out from among them
and be separated, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing,
and I will receive you..." (2Cor6:14-18)
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Re: Separation for protection (Exodus 8-9)
I am about to send swarms of flies on you, and on your servants... and
in that day I will separate the land of Goshen with My people resting
on it, that there be no swarms of flies, so that you may know that I am
Jehovah in the midst of the earth. And I will put redemption between My
people and your people. This miracle shall be for tomorrow. (8:21-23)
Behold the hand of Jehovah is going to be on your livestock in the
field...a very heavy pestilence. And Jehovah will make a distinction
between Israel's livestock and Egypt's livestock. Also of all that
belongs to the sons of Israel, not a thing will die...And the hail
struck every plant of the field, and it broke in pieces every tree of
the field. Only in the land of Goshen, where the sons of Israel lived,
there was no hail. (9:4,26)
If we remember back to our studies from Matthew 24, the wars and rumors
of wars and earthquakes are merely the "beginning of throes" (24:8) but
that as we see these things, we know that "the end is not yet." (vs6)
Truly, Christians have been victims of war, famine, earthquakes; just
like the rest of the world. And we concluded the first study in that
series by suggesting that the world has had a "2000-year pregnancy". Of
merely "discomfort". And notice how Israel also experienced some of the
beginning "discomforts" of the frogs, and water turned to blood, etc.
But at a certain point, God drew a "line in the sand". And He says,
From now on, My people are separated and protected from the judgments I
am bringing. And notice the wonderful word Jehovah uses. "I will put
REDEMPTION between My people and your people." We see that word used by
Paul where he says, "..we ourselves..eagerly expecting adoption, the
REDEMPTION of our body." (Rom8:23) This is the redemption where our
bodies change from "corruptible" into "incorruptible". (1Cor15:50-54)
The RAPTURE. You see, yet another O.T. example of what has become know
as the "pre-trib Rapture".
Dear Believer in Jesus Christ, don't let the unregenerate dissuade you
from God's Truth. Never forget Jesus' promise to the Faithful Church at
Philadelphia that, because of their faithfulness, He would keep them
from the "hour" of trial that is coming upon the world. (Rev3:10) He
has not "appointed us to wrath". (1Th5:9) And He gave us this example
from Israel's history as to how He did so in the past. He separated
Israel from the rest of Egypt; brought judgment on Egypt, but kept
The reason so many from the "church" are proclaiming that "the church"
is going through the tribulation can be traced to the last Walk-thru
lesson, "Separation in Worship". The Church has allowed the
unregenerate into the assembly, and as a result it has become the
"church" (notice small "c"). The "church" today has become filled with
predominantly unsaved people. So, naturally... -THEY- WILL be going
through the coming time of God's Wrath upon the world. They are of the
world. They are not the True Church of Jesus Christ!
If you want SEPARATION ("redemption") from God's wrath, then you need
to be SEPARATED unto God in your Faith and Worship. Further, please
notice Paul's words about those who experience the change from
corruptible into incorruptible. This happens because of Victory over
death. (1Cor15:54-56) Where does death come from? Sin. (see also
Rom6:23) But notice where Victory over death comes from. "..through our
Lord Jesus Christ!" (vs57) A Christian is one who has passed from
"death into life" (Jn5:24) and does not "come into judgment". The
coming time of Wrath is -God's- judgment upon the world.
But notice -WHY- Jehovah makes this distinction, to keep His own out
from under His judgment. "..so that you may know that I am Jehovah in
the midst of the earth." (8:22) God does not save us because -we- are
so wonderful. But to demonstrate His power and His own essence. So that
the whole of creation knows Him... Who He is!
If you, in obedience, "come out from among them and be separate"
(2Cor6:17) you will find your numbers are few; and the way the world
talks, you will "feel" like you are being "unfruitful". But notice
"So that, my beloved brothers, you be firm, immovable, abounding in the
work of the Lord always, knowing that your labor is not without fruit
in the Lord." (1Cor15:58)
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Re: Pharaoh acknowledges God? (Exodus 9)
And Pharaoh sent and called Moses and Aaron, and said to them, I have
sinned this time. Jehovah is the righteous One, and I and my people the
wicked ones. (vs27)
Oh, wonderful!! Did you hear this, everybody?? Pharaoh just became a
Christian! Yes, that's right. He confessed his sin, and acknowledged
Jehovah. He even 'humbled' himself and acknowledged that he was wicked.
When I was about 10 years old, in Japan, I remember this one day a man
came to the house. My father spoke with him for 3 or 4 hours...an
entire afternoon. Through the course of the conversation, the man made
a profession of becoming a Christian. And then, as they were
"fellowshiping" in this "new-found faith", the man expressed a need for
a "ride" to a certain distant village. Well, of course, Christians help
one another out when one has a need. Right? And in those days in rural
Japan, there was no regular mass-transit system, nor taxi one could
call up. We were one of the only households in the whole village that
had a car. And so, my dad gave him a ride to the destination. The man
was never heard from again amongst Christian circles. The whole 4-hour
visit, and pretense of becoming a "Christian", was for the sole purpose
of getting a Free-Ride to where he needed to go.
Notice what Pharaoh does. "Pray to Jehovah and let it be enough of the
thunders and hail of God." And I -promise- "I will send you away..."
Moses is not fooled, however. He says, Yes I'll go pray, and the
current judgment will cease, "so that you may know that the earth is
Jehovah's" (vs29) but "as for you and your servants, I know that you do
not fear before Jehovah God." (vs30)
Oh, Moses! You are being so judgmental! How can you know such a thing?
He has just acknowledged his guilt! How can you claim to know his
heart, when you haven't even taken the time to "get to know him" and
You see, the Holy Spirit "bears witness". (Rom8:16) This "witness" not
only assures the Believer that he belongs to God, but the witness also
often extends to one Believer recognizing whether another person -is- a
Believer, or not.
E-mails often come in to VW, and right at the outset I will often
-know- that the query is intended to raise strife. But I will respond.
And by the time a few exchanges have taken place, it gives me
opportunity to share God's Word with them, so that when I finally
explain to them how I will not engage in further discussion with them,
and why, they have it from God's Word. They will know from God's Word,
why I knew right off the bat, that they were a false prophet. And they
then often -prove- their 'fruits' with subsequent comments and
Just as Pharaoh did... "And Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and
the thunder had ceased, and he continued to sin. And he made his heart
heavy, he and his servants." (vs34)
You see, mere -acknowledgment- of sin, or of God, is NOT Regeneration.
Just because a person admits guilt, does not indicate a humble,
repentant heart. When something extraordinary happens, people often
exclaim, "Oh-my-God!" Ones who don't want to use God's 'name' will
soften it and say, "Oh-my-gosh!" Saying "Oh my God" does not indicate
the kind of Faith Thomas was expressing when he said, "My Lord and my
Mere acknowledgment of sin and God is no better than the demons who
"believe and shudder" (Jas2:19) when there is no Repentance and Saving
But you see... often, discerning those who are -true- converts from
those who are not is difficult. If it was an easy matter, John would
not have exhorted, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the
spirits, whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone
forth into the world." (1Jn4:1) But because these demon spirits who
proclaim their own doctrines (1Tm4:1), appear to be "ministers of
righteousness" (2Cor11:15), new converts need to be tested before they
are entrusted with ministry. (1Tim3:10)
Another one of the major problems with today's "church" is the fact
that most of the people now in high-profile positions of leadership,
were thrust there, or took it upon themselves, immediately after "being
saved". They were well-known celebrities. They were already used to
being on stage, and so, when a country musician "became a christian",
they stayed on stage, and started doing "christian" country. An actor
"got saved" and continued acting, and brought the world into the church
from their acting background. That's partly how "Hollywood" got into
the "church" as it is today; you know... the "show biz". And the
"church" followed them. They were never tested. They never grew. They
were "babies" leading others, not submitting themselves to God's Word.
They were never -taught-, but immediately started -teaching-. Just
because a person has a high degree in education and worked for a former
US president, doesn't qualify them to be a Christian leader until they
grow in the Lord, and are proved as to whether they are truly Believers
or not. Just because somebody -says- they "believe in Jesus" does not
make them a Christian. A successful business man and CEO of a large
corporation, newly saved, is not qualified to lead older Christians.
Remember... Moses' great education did not qualify him to lead Israel
out of Egypt. He needed to grow in Jehovah, first.
It takes -time-. First of all for the new convert to grow. And also for
others to see the fruits, as the person "passes the test" as being,
truly, a Believer... not merely a 'changeling'.
Thus, Paul specifies "not a novice [new convert], lest being puffed up
he may fall into the Devil's judgment." (1Tim3:6)
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Re: Will you not humble yourself? (Exodus 10)
And Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh and said to him, So says Jehovah
the God of the Hebrews, Until when will you refuse to humble yourself
before Me? Send away My people so that they may serve Me. For if you
refuse... more judgment is coming. (vs3-4)
And Moses describes how the locusts will wipe out everything that is
left, whatever the hail didn't -quite- pulverize into the ground. I've
never seen grass hoppers of this magnitude. But I've heard tell of the
"dirty thirties" in North Dakota when the grass hoppers would come
like a "cloud" and cover the land, and essentially eat everything in
sight. And the damage they caused was not limited to crops, but they'd
even eat the rubber canning seals, whatever was sticking out from
between the lid and the jar.
Now, Pharaoh's servants get into the act. "How long shall this one be a
snare to us? Send away the men that they may serve Jehovah their God.
Do you not yet know that Egypt is perishing?" (vs7) Pharaoh, don't you
know there's NOTHING LEFT to your kingdom? The fish were killed off in
the Nile. The crops and cattle were wiped out in the hail. And we're
still healing up from the lice and boils. You might be ruler, but
there's nothing left to rule over! These people have long-ago become a
liability to our welfare!
Remember the "fear" the Egyptians had about Israel years earlier?
(1:12) That's why they subjugated them in the first place, so they
wouldn't take over Egypt. But now, on account of them, Egypt is being
systematically destroyed...by, of all things, their "God"!
"And Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. And he said to them,
Go, serve Jehovah your God..." (vs8)
Phew! It's about time!!
??? Is it, really ???
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Re: Negotiating with God (Exodus 10)
Who and who are the ones going? (vs8)
Ok, you can go worship, but let's clear up a few details, here. He
starts 'negotiating' even though his country is wiped out. Sounds
somewhat like Saddam Hussein, who was supposedly "defeated" in 1991,
but he still has power, and plays games.
EVERYBODY and EVERYTHING is going.
Oh, no, no, no you don't! Just the men can go. Nobody else!
Of course, if only the men go, and their families are still in Egypt,
he knows they will come back.
So, the locusts come and they "eat every plant of the land, all that
the hail left." (vs12)
Oh, I have sinned against Jehovah your God and against you. Now, only
this once, pray again and have the locusts taken away. Just this once!
Well, he hardens his heart again, and this time there is no warning.
The next plague comes. "Darkness of gloom." (vs22)
Oh, OK then. Take your wives and your children along. Just leave your
possessions. And Moses says, we need everything for worship, too.
And after all the back-n-forth, and Pharaoh has been refusing to submit
to God, "Jehovah hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he was not willing
to send them away." (vs27) And finally, after everything they've been
through, Pharaoh finally threatens, Don't you dare come into my
presence again anymore, or "you shall die." And Moses replies, You said
In 11:1 God promises Moses, "I will bring still one more plague on
Pharaoh and on Egypt. Afterward he will send you from here. When he
sends you away completely, he will surely drive you out from here."
And we know that that is the death of the first-born of all living
beings in Egypt, man and animal. Just as God many centuries into the
'future' will be giving His Own Son, Jesus Christ; right now, as He
prepares Israel to look forward to that, He is going to -take-
But notice how Pharaoh tries to "string" God along. You see, the way
people are today is nothing new at all. How many "fox-hole conversions"
have there been? The soldier behind the bunker or in the trenches ("fox
hole") with bombs going off all around, and he's hunkered down for dear
life. And he "prays". Oh, how he prays! "Lord, if you'll get me out of
this mess alive, I -promise- to serve You." Just like Jacob did as he
was running away from Esau, "If you bring me back home alive, I promise
to tithe to You." How many of those end up just like Pharaoh? After the
person is out of the 'jam', they go back to their old debauchery.
A person has lived like the devil his whole life, and is 'now' on his
"death-bed". Somebody comes along and "shares Jesus" with him. And he
"prays" and "invites Jesus into his heart". Well, that's what Pharaoh
did, "..that He may take away from me this death only." (vs17) How many
of those are -real-? It's quite possible that -some- of them are, for
"nothing shall be impossible with God" (Lk1:37) "but with God all
things are possible." (Mt19:26)
I dare say, however, that -most- are actually like Pharaoh.
Around 25 years ago I had a dream. I have believed the Lord gave me the
dream as an instance of teaching; of "information". You see, I have
never known what it is like to not be a Christian. I was saved at age
5. While I have a few miscellaneous scattered memories (images) from
ages 2-4, the memory of the "time-line" of my life begins,
realistically, at age 5. And, that also being around the time when I
was saved, I don't remember those previous years. And furthermore, I
would have been too young to contemplate philosophical 'eternal'
In this dream (I was college age when I had the dream), I was on my
death-bed. I knew I was to die. And a few people that came by to visit
also knew that I was to die. But, in the dream, I was NOT "saved". And
these people also knew that I wasn't saved. And the 'message' that was
the dream's 'reality' to my heart was the fact that it was "too late".
I was dying; I was not saved; and it was too late to be saved.
I have believed the dream was given to me, so that I might understand
in some limited way the "emptiness" of those who are not saved. Could
that emptiness I felt be part of what Jesus spoke of as the "outer
darkness"? I don't claim to know or understand.
But in that dream, on the death-bed, there was "no more chance".
Many people try to "negotiate" with God about their lives, and their
eternity. They try to strike up "deals" with God. God, if You'll do X,
Y or Z, then I'll do A, B or C. But God doesn't work that way. God
knows your heart, just as He knew Pharaoh's heart. When it was quite
clear where Pharaoh was, "Who is Jehovah that I should listen to His
voice? I do not know Jehovah..."(5:3) ...and I will NOT obey Him or
submit to Him in humility and repentance! God didn't play 'games' with
Pharaoh. He doesn't play games with you, either. Don't count on waiting
till the last minute, to then be able to "say a quick prayer" (the
"magic formula") and then expect to "get in". It won't happen. You can
be at that final moment where you know you are about to meet your
Maker, and you will "not be able to" be saved. In your heart you will
-know- that it's "too late". You had so many chances throughout your
life, which you "blew off". So, what makes you think that 'now' is any
different? Don't play such games. It's your "eternal destiny" we're
You might think you still have a bit of time yet, before you have to
make the final decision. "Come now, those saying, Today or tomorrow we
will [do this and that, living life] who do not know of the morrow. For
what is your life? For it is a mist, which for a little while appears,
and then disappears.." (Jas4:13-14) And you don't know -when- it will
'disappear'. You might be in an airplane that looses pressure at high
altitude, or you get run over by that truck...and "snuf", in a
split-second your life is over.
"Behold, now is the acceptable time! Behold, now is the day of
salvation!" (2Cor6:2) You may not have been aware, up until now, of
all these things you are just now reading, and fear has gripped you.
That's OK. But what will you -do- about it?
"Truly, then, God overlooking the times of ignorance, now strictly
commands all men everywhere to repent.." (Acts17:30) "For it shall be,
all who shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved." (Joel2:32,
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Re: One more plague - First-born (Exodus 11)
And Moses said [to Pharaoh], You have spoken rightly. I will not see
your face again. (10:29) And then, God gives Moses some words for
Pharaoh, so he knows -just- what is about to take place.
But in review, what do we have at this point? Nine plagues so far.
These plagues have been judgments against Egypt's deities. And like the
current global religious push as they are going back to the gods of
Egypt, these deities had to do with the earth and nature. A prime
characteristic of the present unification of religions is "ecology".
Mother earth. The environment. Being at one with nature. For instance;
while the early settlers were used by God to judge the Native American
religions, essentially wiping their idolatry out into nothingness,
today America is going back to their heathen/pagan spiritualism. Over
the recent holidays I was hearing local civic comments about the
"spirit of the falls". The 'falls' being those in Spokane's city park,
of the Spokane River. I drive by one of their 'sacred pillars' daily as
I go to work, the totem pole.
In America (who "in God we trust") there used to be a mentality that we
don't adhere to pagan/heathen religions. We, as westerners are 'above'
that. But I've been noticing lately that what seems like practically
every other commercial is using a particular heathen drum beat. It is
used to sell GM trucks, Indian casinos, and was the same beat use
during the opening ceremonies for the Atlanta Olympics a few years ago,
in which all the tribes of the whole world worshiped together.
It used to be considered that this 'heathen' spiritism was a
'backwards/tribal/ethnic' sort of thing of the jungle witch doctors.
But as I watch the travel show on public TV at noon, I see the same
hideous demonic figurines in German (and other European) architecture
and church ornamentation, that I grew up seeing in "heathen" Japan, and
which are characteristic of China and other eastern religions. Judging
by architecture, the "west" has never really ever been any different
from the "east"...where it counts. ...in their worship. In the East
it's called Shinto, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. In the West it has been given
the name "Christian". But it is not the same "Christian" of Acts 11:26.
In judging Egypt's deities, the whole country of Egypt is in shambles.
God has shown Himself to be Supreme. And yet Pharaoh, a god wanna-be,
is still not submitting to the Most High. So now Jehovah is going to
strike Egypt's most precious commodity. Their first-borns. In most
cultures, the first-born is the prized offspring. The bulk of the
inheritance goes to the first-born. It is the first-born through whom
the family tree is remembered. It is the first-born that opens the
womb, and typically is the result of the two-become-one union when
husband and wife are united. The first-born is the symbol of that love
In Egypt -every- family will be affected. From Pharaoh's own
first-born, set to be his successor, down to the lowliest of servants,
and yes... the animals, too. (11:5) It is to be of such a nature that
"a great cry shall be in the land of Egypt". (vs6) And in the midst of
all this calamity, God is going to do another wonder. "And a dog shall
not sharpen his tongue (bark) against all the sons of Israel...so that
you may know that Jehovah distinguishes between Egypt and Israel."(vs7)
Think about this a minute. How do you know the mail man is on his way
through your neighborhood? You know -exactly- where he/she is by
-which- dogs are barking. Yes? And you can audibly "follow" the person
through the neighborhood by the change of dogs barking. When some
'phenomenon' is occuring, it is the nature of dogs to bark. God is
promising that not-a-dog will bark during the impending night of horror.
Furthermore, Pharaoh, you may be kicking me out of your palace right
now, as you are threatening me; but "these servants of yours will come
down to me, and bow to me, saying, Go out, you and all the people.."
And then, we will be outta here! (vs8) And Moses, the 'meekest' man on
earth (Nu12:3) left Pharaoh's presence "in the heat of anger".
Is it proper to be angry sometimes? Indeed, when God is being mocked.
And notice God's word to Moses, that Pharaoh would continue to harden
his heart unto the end "so that My miracles may multiply in the land of
Egypt." (vs9) But after this final plague "he will send you from here.
When he sends you away completely, driving he will drive you out from
Now, the penultimate insult to Egypt. Plunder the Egyptians. Silver,
gold jewelry. The land is decimated. Now, Israel is also getting all
their wealth. Egypt is left with absolutely nothing as Israel leaves.
Well, -almost- nothing. The 'ultimate' insult is yet to come.
Pharaoh may be hardened, but "Jehovah gave favor in the eyes of the
Egyptians toward the people." (vs3)
And remember shy Moses? "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh...?"
(3:11) "..and the man Moses was very great in the land of Egype, in
the eyes of the servants of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of the people."
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Re: Passover (Exodus 12)
This month shall be the chief of months for you..they each shall take
for themselves an animal..a male without blemish..from the sheep or
from the goats..they shall take from the blood, and put it on the two
side doorposts and on the upper doorpost, on the houses in which they
eat it..they shall eat..with unleavened bread and bitter herbs..it is
the Passover to Jehovah. I will pass through the land of Egypt in this
night..the blood shall be a sign to you..and I will see the blood, and
I will pass over you. And the plague shall not be on you to destroy,
when I strike the land of Egypt..And the day shall be a memorial for
you. And you shall celebrate it as a feast to Jehovah, for your
generations..you shall not eat anything leavened..take a bunch of
hyssop and dip in the blood..and touch some of the blood..to the lintel
and two doorposts. And you shall not go out, anyone from the door of
his house until morning..And the sons of Israel..did as Jehovah
commanded Moses and Aaron. So they did. (~vs1-28)
Perhaps we can understand how Peter's first epistle was written to
Jewish Believers when he writes, "Knowing that not with corruptible
things, silver and gold, were you redeemed from your worthless way of
life..but with precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and
without spot, indeed having been foreknown before the foundation of the
world, but revealed in the last times because of you." (1Pt1:18-20)
The "chief of months". The most important Feast and celebration.
Without Passover, none of the other feasts to follow could have any
significance. Passover was the occasion where Israel was redeemed out
of slavery in Egypt. Israel didn't fully understand all the
ramifications of Passover as they celebrated year after year. But this
event was foreknown before creation. When God created the universe,
earth, and put man on it, He knew man would sin. And so, He already had
a redemptive plan. The thing is, Passover was not -just- about getting
Israel out of Egypt. It primarily pointed ahead to Jesus Christ.
Everything about Passover had a type and fulfillment in Christ. We will
not study all the details at this time; this is merely a 'walk-thru'
series. The central event of all human history, the event around which
the world's calendars are even hinged (year "0"), the birth of God
incarnate, born for the purpose of dying, to redeem mankind from the
slavery of sin. Without this event, Jesus' crucifixion, nothing else
is possible. There is no Heaven and eternal life. There is only slavery
and death. There could not be Pentecost and the Holy Spirit indwelling.
There could not be Christ's glorious appearing. There could not be a
future Feast of Tabernacles where God "dwells with them" as "My
tabernacle shall be with them, and I will be their God and they shall
be My people." (Eze37:27) Once there is Passover, redemption from sin;
then everything else is possible.
Another little necessary element that was "tucked away" within the
Passover remembrances... the sheaf of the firstfruits "..then he shall
wave the sheaf before Jehovah for your acceptance; on the morrow of the
sabbath the priest shall wave it." (Lev23:11) Along with that sheaf,
there was also a burnt offering of a lamb. (vs12) Again, something they
didn't know, as the disciples "did not yet know the Scripture, that it
was necessary for Him to rise from the dead." (Jn20:9) But Jesus would
fulfill that little annual ritual, Himself being the "firstfruit of
those having fallen asleep" (1Cor15:20) when He rose from the dead on
the day 'following the sabbath'. After all, what good is death, if
there is no resurrection? "Eternal Life" would be a farce.
Let's look at Passover, briefly, through the eyes of an Israelite, not
yet having any -written- Scriptures. But since we do have the
Scriptures, and Christ -has- died and risen, we know what the various
things mean. But just briefly, as though to explain it to one not
having the scriptures... The Passover was to be a "male" sheep/goat.
The 'coming' Redeemer would be a "Male". God's "Son", not daughter.
Just as sin came through the first-created human, Adam; so also
redemption came through The Son of Man, Jesus Christ. (1Cor15:21-22)
Redemption from sin, and transference into some eternal ethereal
destiny does not come about through all the various female deities that
are worshipped. Down through the idolatrous centuries, they have been
worshipping the Queen of Heaven in her various forms; and today, even,
the pope elevates her above Jesus. Supposing that praying to the
"blessed virgin" will protect them from Jesus' wrath. But it was Jesus,
God's (male) Son who redeems us from the Father's wrath. It was the
blood from the 'male' lamb that protected Israel from the death plague.
They took from the lamb's blood and put it on the door posts. Some
translations have the hyssop being "struck" on the doorposts.
Symbolizing Jesus' blood when He was stretched up to the whipping post,
and beaten till His back was a bloody pulp. And the lintel, signifying
the cross from which Jesus would be hung.
Notice that the household HAD TO HAVE BLOOD on their doorposts in order
to escape judgment. While God had been making a distinction between
Egypt and Israel for the ending judgments/plagues, this 'blood' was a
matter where EVERYONE needed to adhere to God's command. The BLOOD was
what provided redemption. And later, all the rituals would include
sprinkling of blood for cleansing. "Almost all things are cleansed by
blood according to the Law; and apart from shedding of blood, no
remission occurs." (Heb9:22) And so, this looked ahead to Christ, "in
whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins."
(Col1:14) Because the "life..is in the blood" (Lev17:11) and is what
makes atonement. When Jesus shed His blood, He gave His life.
This blood could not be from -just-any- lamb. It had to be "without
blemish". There were tithes and first-borns that were given to Jehovah,
in as-is condition; blemishes and all. But the Passover had to be
without any defect. No broken bones, sores, disease or malformation.
This was a -physical- representation that Jesus would come, and while
being in "likeness of men" (Phil2:7) was without sin. (Heb9:28) John
proclaimed, "Behold! The Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the
world!" (Jn1:29) And the Father proclaimed Him to be perfect, "in whom
I take delight". (Mk1:11)
Also notice that there was to be no leaven. Leaven, in Scripture, is
often a type of sin, as Paul exhorts, "Then purge out the old leaven so
that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For also Christ
our Passover was sacrificed for us. So let us keep the feast, not with
old leaven, nor with leaven of malice and of evil, but with unleavened
bread of sincerity and truth." (1Cor5:7-8)
Yes, the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. (1Jn1:7) If we
have truly been redeemed, then we clean out the garbage of our lives.
That's a -choice- to do or not. Works do not save us. (Tit3:5) But once
we are redeemed, we do not "continue in sin" assuming that "grace
abounds" (Rom6:1) and thus, Israel would fastidiously clean out the
leaven from their homes. This was of such a serious concern that if
anyone ate leaven during this feast "that soul shall be cut off from
Israel". (12:15) As James says, "faith is dead apart from works".
And so, what is the significance of all this? Most modern gospels
preach a God of "love". Many evangelists (e.g. Luis Palau) don't even
like to talk about hell and God's judgment. They only like to talk
about Heaven and the "sweet by and by". But the truth of the matter is
that all humanity is headed for destruction because of sin and God's
wrath upon sin. (Rom3:10,6:23,1:18) When John started preaching he
quipped, "Offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to
come?" (Mt3:7) Jesus said that "many" would be travelling down the
"broad way" to destruction. (Mt7:13) There really is NO OPTION to man,
in his normal state, to escape God's wrath. When God sends His death
angel out, that angel is commissioned to find -every- 'first-born';
which is how it will be at the Great White Throne. (Rev20:12-15)
Anybody who has ever lived on earth will be reconstituted from whatever
state of the decay of their death, and will appear before God.
What is the ONE THING that will keep a person from appearing before
that Great White Throne? Being found in the Book of Life. How does one
get his name in that book? By the cleansing blood of the Lamb of God.
Without that blood, there is no forgiveness of sin. In Israel's case at
this first Passover, the death angel was commission to kill every
first-born...EXCEPT...where there was blood on the entry to the house.
If he came to a house and was seeking to enter to kill, but saw the
blood, he PASSED-OVER that house, sparing it.
In the same way, as Believers are charged with carrying out what has
been called the "Great Commission" to reach the world for Christ, our
duty is not so much to 'romance' people into the Kingdom by telling
them "how wonderful" Heaven is. Rather, it is as Jude proclaims, "Pity
some, making a distinction. But save others with fear, snatching them
out of the fire..." (Jude22-23) So many people are busy "loving people
into the kingdom". But it is actually a rescue mission. In the midst of
the hubbub of satan's lionous roars, and the growls of all his cubs
which would attempt to drown out the communication, screaming to the
individual, "Heeere! Grab my hand! You're drowning! Let me pull you out
of the water! Hang on! Jump out of the burning building, and I'll
And just as "it happened..Jehovah struck every first-born in the land
of Egypt" (vs29) God's final judgment is also coming. And come, it
will! Where there was no blood, there was death. In Israel, where they
obeyed God, and stayed indoors, within the shelter of the blood, they
And furthermore, that night, Egypt couldn't get Israel out of their
land fast enough. Israel was free at last. Free from bondage. Just like
Egypt no longer wanted redeemed Israel in their midst, a True Believer
usually finds the fellowship with old unsaved friends is no longer of
the 'chummy' nature it used to be. There is now a difference. If close
friendship is attempted, it is an unequal yoke. "Do not be unequally
yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership does righteousness have
with lawlessness? And what fellowship does light have with darkness?
And what agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a
believer have with an unbeliever? ..because of this, come out from
among them and be separated, says the Lord" (2Cor6:14-17)
The Believer is commanded to "come out" from the former life of sin
"former lusts" (1Pt1:14-16) And, if a Believer truly lives as a
believer should, the old crowd will no longer accept him in "close
fellowship". They become "surprised" that you are no longer "running
with them into the same overflow of unsavedness, blaspheming." (1Pt4:4)
And so, Israel came out of Egypt, "and all the sons of Israel did as
Jehovah commanded Moses and Aaron. So they did. And it happened on this
day, Jehovah brought out the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt..."
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Re: Take your stand, See Jehovah's Salvation (Exodus 14)
And behold! I am making strong the heart of the Egyptians. And they
will go after them. And I will be honored through Pharaoh and through
his armies, through his chariots, and through his horsemen. And the
Egyptians shall know that I am Jehovah, in My being honored through
Pharaoh, through his chariots, and through his horsemen. (vs17-18)
Back in June, 1967 I had just barely left home to live on my own,
preparing for my first year in Bible school. After the kind of
upbringing I had had, I was not keeping track of the news...because at
"home" the news was -always- on. The news always usurped any kind of
personal family interaction. When my father wrote in letters, all
excited about the "seven day war", I didn't pay much mind; I was too
busy, for the first time in my life, discovering who "Paul Becker" was.
Discovering personal identity. That victory essentially whizzed right
past me, over my head. It did not grab me, at the time, as being of any
significance. I barely noticed it.
However, next to Israel becoming a new country again in 1948, after two
millennia of exile, the 1967 war was the next significant event as
Israel again occupied Jerusalem. Since that time I have read various
things, and forgive me if I don't remember details; but the thing which
astounded the whole world was Israel's military prowess. Where most
military conflicts 'waste' a lot of ammunition, where bullets miss the
mark, and missles miss their targets; during that conflict Israel's
weapons achieved nearly total accuracy. Practically everything they
shot, hit the targets.
The world has looked at that as being some sort of superior Israeli
military/technical 'ability'. Back during the Cold War, world military
might was of the order: USA, USSR and Israel. Little -tiny- Israel with
scarcely a 'handful' of million people, the world's -third- military
power. We live during a time when God is again fighting for Israel
"like the day He fought in the day of battle." (Zech14:3) "..five of
you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall put ten thousand
to flight." (Lev26:8) At one point, of the tribe of Benjamin it says
of 700 "chosen men..every one could sling stones at a hair's breadth,
and not miss." (Judg20:16)
The world looks at military machinery. Weaponry. I was reading
something recently that spoke of the US's superiority being closely
related to its technology. And in large measure, to its unparalleled
satellite/communications/spying technology. Concerns that if an enemy
could disable the satellites, that it could bring the US to its knees.
What is Israel's advantage? We find it in David's response to Goliath,
"You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin. But I
come to you in the name of Jehovah of Hosts, the God of the armies of
Israel, whom you have defied." (1Sam17:45) We see that heritage
beginning as Israel leaves Egypt. God proclaims that He will be
glorified against Egypt's -military- power, that which nations boast in
and rely upon to protect themselves, and extend their religious
idiologies to their neighbors. It is how the Roman church
"christianized" the "New World", at the point of the bayonet. "Convert
or die!" It is at the root core of modern Israelie/Arab -military-
conflicts. Their 'deities'. Jihad..."holy war".
Let us first see Israel's situation; and how God is setting things up
to show His power. God leads Israel right into a 'corner'. God knew
that if Israel saw war, they would try to go back to Egypt, so He leads
them away from the Philistines (13:17); and they end up with with water
ahead of them, a spiky grasslands to one side, and tower-like abutments
on the other side. And God says to Moses, "I will harden Pharaoh's
heart, and he will pursue you..." (14:4)
Now hold on just a minute! What kind of "deliverance" is this?!? When
the Egyptians knock themselves up-side the head and say, "What is this
we have done? For we have sent away Israel from serving us." (14:5) And
Egypt's armies come pursuing after Israel, this "trap" is not lost on
Israel, either. "Were there no graves in Egypt, that you have taken us
away to die in the wilderness? What is this you have done to us, to
bring us out from Egypt?" (14:11-12)
As a 'human' who often worries about certain things in my own life, I
don't always fully understand God's ways. But I have seen His hand in
my own life in what seemed like impossible situations. God would test
Saul, and he would fail; as he would see the enemy approaching, his own
armies deserting him, and he would take it upon himself to offer the
sacrifice, not waiting for Samuel. (1Sam13) David would prove himself
to be after God's "own heart" in countless situations. Hananiah,
Mishael and Azariah would find themselves in the furnace before God
would deliver them. Daniel would spend a night with the lions. And so
right 'now' Israel find themselves trapped. No where to escape, and
Egypt closing in from behind. They have -no- weapons or military skills
or prowess. And God is proclaiming victory over Egypt's military power;
the world's -foremost- military power of that day. They are sitting
Moses calms them, "Take your stand and see the salvation of Jehovah,
which He will prepare for you today. For as you see the Egyptians
today, you shall not continue to see them again forever. Jehovah will
fight for you, and you be silent." (14:13-14)
You see where God often places His people? Into corners. Trapped. No
way out. No possibility of SELF-extrication. Yes, as frail humanity, we
fear greatly and tremble. We want to be 'in control' of our own
destiny. We are raised up and taught, if you get yourself into a mess,
get yourself out. Work hard and struggle, do the best you can, and pull
yourself up by your own bootstraps.
But this was Passover. Redemption. Salvation. This was symbolic of a
'future' redemption Christ would provide for sin. Israel was trapped in
a place where they could not get themselves out, just like we as
sinners are trapped. There is no way out. We are subject to death.
(Rom6:23, Eze18:4b) We cannot save ourselves. We are "without strength"
or ability. (Rom5:6) Just as Moses exhorted Israel to "stand and see"
and "be silent" while they observed what God would do, the salvation
that Christ provides is "not by works of righteousness which -we- have
done" (Tit3:5) but according to what -He- does.
So, until Israel's salvation is complete (them being on the other side
of the sea away from Egypt's forces), notice what God does. "And the
Angel of God withdrew, the One going before the camp of Israel. And He
went behind them. And the pillar of cloud withdrew from before them,
and it stood behind them. And it came between the camp of Egypt and the
camp of Israel." (14:19-20) Many people have speculated as to -who-
this "Angel of God" was. Paul makes it quite clear. It was Christ.
(1Cor10:1-4) God had "elected" Israel. (Is45:4, Rom11:7) He "called"
Israel out of Egypt. (Hos11:1) He was not about to let anything
separate between Him and them before He had saved them. (Rom8:35-39)
Just as God put limits on satan before Job came to repentance, Christ
also stepped between Israel and Egypt to protect them until they would
be delivered through the sea. See the Rom8:29-30 pattern here?
"..Predestined, called, justified..." But also protected until it was
Now, just as an interesting piece of 'trivia' about God's coming
kingdom rule, we are told that this Cloud of fire/smoke will again be
present over Israel, once they have received their new hearts. (Is4:5)
It will again be a "canopy" of shelter for Israel.
Well... the rest of this account is pretty well-known. The sea-bed
dries up for Israel to walk across. And the Egyptians, attempting to do
the same, end up being destroyed and drowned. Their entire military
destroyed in one fell swoop. Israel did nothing, except obediently walk
across. God took care of Israel's enemy. As though God was saying,
Don't try to do -My- job, and don't complain or worry. Let Me do what
I will do, you be silent and when the time is right...go. As for you,
Moses, tell Israel to get ready (even though they are boxed in and have
no idea what is about to take place, like Abraham "went out not
understanding where he went"-Heb11:8). Moses, you stretch out your
staff to divide the sea. And I will do My part...making sure Egypt
follows you into the sea.
"And it happened in the morning watch: Jehovah looked on the camp of
the Egyptians..and He confused the camp of the Egyptians" (14:24) and
completely dismantled their 'superior' technology, as their chariots
fell apart. And the Egyptians said, I will flee from the face of
Israel, for Jehovah is fighting for them..." (vs25)
About the "end of times" it speaks of armies with "much equipment"
(Dan11:13) And notice how God will defeat Israel's enemies again in the
future, "each man's sword shall be against his brother...(Ez38:21) and
I will strike the bow out of your [Gog/Magog] left hand, and I will
cause your arrows to fall out of your right hand." (39:3) And the
weapons will be burned for seven years. (39:9)
God fighting for Israel. If He did this for Israel in the past, and we
have seen it in modern days (1967/1973), and we know it will be again;
what's the big deal with all -our- 'little' concerns that we worry so
much about? [Ed: yes, I'm saying this to -me-, too!]
"But if God so dresses the grass, which today is in the field and
tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much rather you, little-faiths?"
And finally, notice that "fear" comes before "faith". "And Israel saw
the great hand with which Jehovah worked against Egypt. And the people
feared Jehovah, and they believed in Jehovah and in His servant Moses."
(14:31) God would be glorified against Egypt's military, and they
would sing, "Jehovah is a Man of war; Jehovah is His name." (15:3)
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Re: Mixed Multitude (Exodus 12 & 16)
And also a mixed multitude went up with them, and flocks, and herds,
very many livestock. (12:38)
And they came to Marah. And they were not able to drink water from
Marah, for it was bitter...and the people murmured against Moses...
And all the congregation of the sons of Israel murmured against Moses
and against Aaron in the wilderness...Would that we had died by the
hand of Jehovah in the land of Egypt, in our sitting by the fleshpots,
in our eating bread to satisfaction. For you have brought us out into
this wilderness to kill all this assembly with hunger. (16:2-3)
"And the mixed multitude among them lusted with a great lust; and the
sons of Israel also turned back and wept, and said, Who shall cause us
to eat flesh? (Num11:4)
Here, we see the 'secret' to Israel's continual rebellions. Truly, they
were God's elect people, descendants of Abraham. They had seen God's
power in delivering them out of Egypt's slavery, and had feared and
believed in Him. "Yet God was not pleased with most of them..."
(1Cor10:5) And the book of Numbers chronicles their 40 years of
wanderings due to their rebellion. Where did it start?
What is a "mixed multitude"? Mixed == "mixed company, knitted,
interwoven". Multitude == "exceedingly numerous".
Think of a multicolored sweater or shirt. You cannot pull one colored
thread out, without it unravelling the whole. All the colors are
'integral' with the whole. I drink "Russian Tea" sometimes. It is made
from mixing together Tang, sugar and instant tea. Once the ingredients
are combined, and the mixing jar has been shaken and turned multiple
times to make the mixture 'even', it is not possible to again separate
out each ingredient into its distinctive essence. Drop food coloring
into a clear liquid, the liquid is never again clear; you CANNOT
separate out the color.
And there were 'many' of them.
They were busy obeying the matter of keeping leaven out of their bread
dough, but didn't figure out to apply the same principle to their
leaving Egypt. And, once they got into the land of promise, they would
again have problems with making peace treaties (Josh ch9), when God
commanded, "you shall not cut a covenant with them..." (Ex23:32) Same
problem they have today; God gives them victories and land, and they
negotiate it away and give it back to those whom God defeated; even
giving sanctuary to their enemies within their own midst as it is
This mixed multitude was living right in the midst of Israel. They
became an integral part with them. And what did they get Israel doing?
Murmuring. Complaining, stirring up strife and rebellion.
But notice what an 'asset' they were to Israel! They had "flocks and
herds...very many livestock".
You who have been on this e-list for awhile, already know where this
discussion is going, don't you. A prime characteristic of the Church of
Jesus Christ, His "body", is that they "love one another". (Jn13:34-35)
This love and unity is a 'distinguishing characteristic' of the Church.
You can -know- it's the Church -because- there is [already] love. If
there is -not- love, and thus they are striving to 'make/create' love
and unity, then you know it is not the Church. (1Jn3:10b)
How many arguments and flaired tempers in church business meetings are
the result of the 'mixed multitude' within the church 'membership'? How
did they get into the church? They drove up in their high-priced cars,
wearing their expensive clothing and jewelry... they were 'beautiful
people'. And as they came, they contributed their 'wealth' into the
offering plate. Such an asset, as we had the building program.
When Israel was being led step-by-step, what did the mixed multitude
lust after? The finer delicacies. God doesn't know what we need... we
want...! Along with the fancy building, that wealth will also bring in
the high-priced Hollywood 'show biz' entertainers, too, to help bring
in other wealthy people to contribute to the offerings, to keep the
various -programs- going. The more money in the offering, the higher
can be the pastor's salary. After all, like the world does; the more
'successful' the pastor is in bringing in more wealthy 'clients', he
should get a bigger piece of that 'pie'... right?
In Israel's case the mixed multitude resulted in them spending 40 years
in the wilderness, instead of going 'right' into the land of promise.
40 years to have the rebels die off, and be judged, and raise a new
crop from childhood, who would follow the Lord. The rebels never did
get to enter the land, for all their murmuring.
To the Church God commands, "Do not be unequally yoked with
unbelievers" (2Cor6:14) While this is a classic verse regarding
marriage and dating, it is primarily written to the Church as a whole.
We have addressed, in the past, the matter of unbelievers not belonging
in the assembly. When Israel did not heed, they died in the wilderness.
When the Church does not heed, it goes into apostasy, as we see all
around us. When enough of a 'multitude' ends up in the "church",
ultimately the pastor is also unsaved. When they are "winning" people
into the church, always remember that figs do not come from thistles.
(Mt7:16) Their converts are -not- Christians. If satan is like a
"roaring lion" (1Pt5:8), his followers are like lion 'cubs'. Lions do
not 'give birth' to lambs! What results is a "church" full of lions,
not "sheep". And it is -sheep- who hear the Shepherd's voice. (Jn10:27)
This is why I said that they are being won "into the church". They are
becoming "church members", but are not part of -the- "Church" ("C").
The apostasy all starts with the mixed multitude.
However, when celebrating the Passover of God's Salvation, Believers
are to "..purge out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, even
as you are unleavened. For also Christ our Passover was sacrificed for
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Re: Murmuring against God (Exodus 16-17)
"..all the congregation...murmured against Moses and against Aaron. (vs2)
When Jehovah gives you flesh to eat in the evening, and bread in the
morning to satisfaction; when Jehovah hears your murmurings which you
are murmuring against Him, you will see. And what are we? Your
murmurings are not against us, but against Jehovah. (vs8)
"..and the people wrangled with Moses, and said, Give us water that we
may drink. And Moses said to them, Why do you wrangle with me? Why do
you tempt Jehovah?" (17:2)
Because of this, even as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear His
voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of
temptation in the wilderness, there where your fathers tempted Me,
testing Me, and saw My works forty years. Because of this, I was angry
with that generation and said, They always go astray in heart; and they
did not know My ways; so I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter
into My rest." (Heb3:7-11)
Reading the account of Israel's wilderness wanderings is an account of
continual complaining and rebellion. And who was it aimed at
continually? Moses, the 'man'. Moses, why did -you- bring us out here
to this wilderness, when we had it 'so good' back in Egypt. How quickly
they forgot the daily beatings of the taskmasters in their former
Any of you who truly serve the Lord have experienced the taunts, anger,
backstabbings and excommunications from groups called "church". Since
I've been there, too, I know how you experience loneliness and
depression over the situations. They come at you with what sound to
everybody else like 'reason'. But they disobey God's Word. They accuse
you of being 'unloving', 'judgmental' and 'divisive' and of not
submitting to the 'chain-of-command'. They, the pastors of course,
being "God's higher authority" over you; and so you are supposed to
"submit to them". And in your flesh you begin to wonder if, perhaps,
they are correct. After all, their arguments are sooo convincing.
And... how can everybody else be wrong, and -only- 'you' be 'right'?
What kind of pride do you have that you think you are right, and they
are wrong?? You need to "humble yourself"!! ...???
Well, if you are standing upon God's Word, and are suffering thus for
it, first of all Jesus calls you "Blessed". "Blessed are you when they
shall reproach you, and persecute you, and shall say every evil word
against you, lying, on account of Me." (Mt5:11) And notice that Jesus
says, "on account of Me". These reproaches are not against us, but
against "God and against His Anointed" (Ps2:1) When Israel continually
murmured against Moses, they were murmuring against God. Moses was
God's servant. A True Believer is also God's servant. And notice Jesus'
words about who these "church" people are.. "if the -WORLD- hates you,
you know that it has hated Me before it has hated you. If you were of
the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the
world, but I chose you out of the world, for this reason the world
hates you." (Jn15:18-19) If you doubt this verdict that those who
persecute you in this way from within the "church" are unsaved, notice
the verdict upon those who murmured in the wilderness, and didn't go
into the land of promise, "..we see that they were not able to enter
because of UNBELIEF."(Heb3:19)
Now that we have clarified the nature of the persecution that comes
against us, a little friendly reminder/warning to us who are believers
to be careful how we respond to God! And yes, for you who still
confuse "Eternal Security" with "Once Saved-Always Saved" as though
they were the same thing, this will likely rile your dander...be that
as it may.
All of Israel experienced Passover. They followed Christ in the cloud.
They passed through the Sea...a figure of baptism. They were "saved".
And "yet God was not please with most of them." (1Cor10:1-5) Why? When
they got out into the wilderness they decided the "cost" of following
God was too great. (Lk14:28) The "cares of this age...and the lusts
about other things" entered in, "they choked the Word" (Mk4:19) and
they perished. And these things about Israel were documented for our
benefit, so we don't follow after their same kind of lusts. (1Cor10:6)
As the writer of Hebrews warns us: "Watch, brothers, lest perhaps there
shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief in
-WITHDRAWING-FROM- [the] living God. But exhort yourselves each day,
as long as it is being called today, that not any of you be hardened by
[the] deceit of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if truly
we hold the beginning of the assurance firm to [the] end; (Heb3:12-14)
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Re: Day by Day, Step by Step (Exodus 16)
"That is the bread which Jehovah has given you for food. This is the
thing which Jehovah commanded. Gather from it, each one according to
the mouth of his eating...and so the sons of Israel did. And they
gathered; the one gathering much and the one gathering little...and the
one gathering much did not have too much. And the one gathering little
did not have any need..." (~vs15-18)
This, of course, the place where Israel discovers Manna. The food which
God provided on the ground each morning. God providing daily their
"daily bread". (Mt6:11) Whether they gathered little or much, it was
always 'just right' for the need of each person. If we follow this
through to Joshua, we would see that this provision would occur like
this for 40 years, daily, until the time they crossed the Jordan River
and were in the land of promise, and ate of the produce of the land.
The life of faith is sometimes 'scary', because God works differently
than the world does. The world seeks to amass fortunes, and be living
lives of ease with their granaries full. "Eat, drink and be glad"
(Lk12:19) The timing of the writing of this is most appropriate to me,
because I have been struggling with this, myself. Some of you may think
I'm well-off because I "run my own business". But, the more involved I
get with VW, the slower business has become. I've had several months
now where I haven't been able to pay myself. The store's bills have
just 'barely' gotten paid on time. My personal 'reserves' have been
dwindling. And yes...I 'worry'. The handful of gifts that come in to VW
during the year don't even cover VW's costs of POBox rental, postage or
website maintenance. And I 'worry'.
In discussing this recently with my friend, who also happens to be a
pastor in UK, he shared with me about his life with his wife and little
daughter, doing village 'missions' type work. They have lived an even
'scarier' life. They don't even have the meager 'reserves' that I do,
and they live week-to-week. And yes, they sometimes 'worry', too. What
was the word he uses sometimes? "PANIC!!!" ...yes, that's it...
You see, this seems to be how the Lord sees to His own, to learn to
rely upon Him. Jesus taught, "Do not be anxious for your soul, what you
eat and what you drink, nor for your body, what you put on." (Mt6:25)
Observe the birds. They don't plant in the spring, and harvest in the
fall. They do not store up provisions.."yet your heavenly Father feeds
them. Do you not rather excel them?" (vs26)
Elijah had just done great exploits for God, and prayed fire down from
God to consume the sacrifice, and kills all the false prophets. But
with Jezebel out for his life, he is on the run. God provides his daily
provisions from ravens. His breakfast in the morning, and his supper
every evening. (1Kg17:4-6) During the worst of the drought, Elijah
comes to the home of a poor widow woman who is on her last cup of
flour, and last measure of oil...and Elijah says, Make me a cake first,
and then make your meal...and promises from God, "The pitcher of meal
shall not be consumed, and the jar of oil shall not fail, until the day
that Jehovah sends rain on the land." (1Kg17:13-16) And, indeed, it
happened just as Elijah prophesied.
Now... when God leads His children, we have two options as to how we
will respond. We can do as the widow woman of Zarephath: "And she went
and did according to the word of Elijah" providing for him first, and
then reaping the reward "..and she ate, she and he and her household,
many days.." (vs15)
Or... we can be like Israel with the manna. Some did not believe God's
word through Moses. Instead of gathering just a day's provision, they
gathered up a bunch, and had left-overs, "..and it became rotten with
maggots, and stunk" (Ex16:20) And when it came to the Sabbath, instead
of having gathered double on Friday, they went out Saturday morning,
hoping to gather... "And Jehovah said to Moses, Until when do you
refuse to keep My commandments and My laws...because Jehovah has given
the sabbath to you, therefore He is giving to you two days of bread on
the sixth day. Each one of you remain in his place. Do not let anyone
go out from his place on the seventh day." ...being disobedient...
The life of faith is step-by-step, moment-by-moment. Israel also
learned about following God, -when- and -as- He led them. They followed
the pillar of cloud/fire, Jesus. If the pillar rose up and moved, they
moved. If it stayed put, they remained encamped..."whether two days, or
a month, or days...by the mouth of Jehovah they encamped, and by the
mouth of Jehovah they pulled up stakes." (Num9:~23)
The way of the world is to make plans; plan way into the future. Years
ago not long after I had just been married, I was living a life of
faith. I was "waiting on the Lord" for direction for service/ministry.
I still vividly remember a conversation with my father-in-law, a
successful business man, and his suggestion to "come up with a plan"
and just "go for it". Well, I certainly did a few little things along
the way back then, but unbeknownst to me at the time, I had just
become encumbered with an unequal yoke. In many ways, I was not 'fit'
for service. It would not be until almost 20 years later that it would
be the Lord's timing for VW to begin. But I spent those 20 years,
taking 'this' step, and then 'that' one. Along the way, the 'yoke' was
removed from me. And there were also many learning experiences.
As we already observed, Moses thought he had some great plans going
when he was freshly graduated from Egypt's education system. But the
Lord had to drive him into the wilderness first, to be trained in his
knowledge of the Lord.
The world makes plans, "who do not know of the morrow". But the
Believer says, instead, "If the Lord wills, even we will live, and we
will do this or that.." (Jas4:14-15)
At the "mouth of the Lord" we stay. At the "mouth of the Lord" we take
that step. Yes, we may push on doors to see if they open, but sometimes
the Holy Spirit doesn't allow that path. (Acts16:7) But then He sends a
messenger who says, "..come over and help us.." (16:9)
And we obey. Again, as my friend from UK says, Doing what the Lord
"requires" of us.
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Re: Ten Commandments (Exodus 20)
This section of the series is in the Library:
Please Click Here
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Re: Civil Laws (Exodus 21-23)
This section of the series is in the Library:
Please Click Here
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Re: God changed His mind? (Exodus 32)
Our 'Walk-thru' this time takes the form of a Q/A.
In doing my search (on an unrelated topic), I read a portion of
scripture that I am very confused about.......... Exodus 32:9 - 14
I have tried to understand this, but I can't figure out an explanation.
It leaves me with the impression that God "changed his mind"....that
Moses talked God out of what he said he was going to do. Surely, there
is a much deeper understanding . When you have time could you please
shed some light on this. I find it just a tad disturbing.
First of all, God's attitude regarding Israel I think can be understood
from: "For I am Jehovah, I change not. Because of this, you sons of
Jacob are not destroyed." (Mal3:6) If we understand God's
"foreknowledge", Paul writes about Israel, "God did not thrust away His
people, whom He foreknew" (Rom11:2) In God's foreknowledge, when He
chose Israel, through Abraham, from out of the rest of the nations, He
certainly -knew- they would rebel. Even in that, as he would later
judge and subsequently restore them, the world would know that "He is
I think the understanding of this passage is in careful looking at the
wording. This is why -exact- translation is so important. And that we
see what is -actually- said. Notice that God did not say "I am GOING TO
consume them." (vs10) He says, "leave Me alone, so THAT...I MAY consume
them." In current vernacular, "Get outta my way and le' me at 'em!!"
Notice also, in the context, He says, "And I will make of you a great
I believe God is both 'testing' and 'preparing' Moses for what comes
next. He is communicating to Moses His great anger over Israel. And a
little bit later, Moses would also become angry and break the stone
tablets of the Law. (vs19) And subsequently, in the midst of the
turmoil of the situation where it says that "the LORD would speak to
Moses face to face" as "to His friend" (33:11), God will be showing
Moses the glory of His "back parts". (33:23) I believe this was one of
God's ways of communicating with Moses, having a "discussion" over the
matter; as it says "which He -spoke- of doing to His people". (32:14)
This word "spoke" might be seen as "converse, threaten, commune, speak
If we consider how the Church is related to Christ like a "wife"
(Eph5:32), we might view Moses' relationship with God in a similar
fashion. What happens when a child rebels drastically? If we speak
stereotypically, the 'father' might get in a rage and say "why, I'm
gonna XXXX to that brat!!" It doesn't mean he's actually going to vent
his rage to the extent of his words. But these are his words. Let's
face it, people often say things like "I'm gonna kill him!" when they
have no such -real- intentions. But it is an expression. So, the father
may vent in words, and the father and mother then discuss what they are
going to -actually- do about the disobedient child.
Now, if Moses was filled with God's Holy Spirit, then like a Christian,
he would have had "the mind of Christ". (1Cor2:16) And as we continue,
it is Moses who is 'in charge' of overseeing their punishment. But
before Moses is to carry out the punishments, he is instilled, first,
with mercy and compassion. Both for Israel, and for God's great name
among the nations. If Moses is verbalizing these things, it means that
he is -thinking- about them, and they are becoming solidified in his
heart, as to his -attitude- with which he subsequently carries out
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