Into the Wilderness & the Sacred Ten
Sozo Short Bible Studies – Category #3 – Church History
This study takes us through the wilderness experiences of the Hebrews while helping us of the New Covenant understand our own wilderness experiences as we engage in the transformational experience from the “old man nature” to being led by the Spirit of Grace.
By Rev. G. Evan Newmyer
Testing & Exposure in Our Wilderness Experience: Here is the place of testing, the place where we find that Belief and Faith join in the Now. We will find out if we love religion or God; or do we love what God will do for us? Do we jump for joy because God did something we wanted? Do we jump for joy when we’re being persecuted for the Word’s sake? Anyone can “witness” about what they think are the good things God does for them, but few witness about their “wilderness”; yet God does some of His best work there.
Jesus proved His love for the Father more than once and one of those times was in the Wilderness. Jesus was taken into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted of the devil; by the experience we know Jesus defeated the devil, and later by His death and Resurrection, He destroyed (made ineffective) the devil (Heb 2:14):
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”(KJV)
When Jesus faced the temptation of the devil He never said, “Oh yeah, well I’m the Son of God jerk, and you’re going to get it”, or “You’re coming against the Anointing of God, you’re on thin ice.” No, Jesus merely said, “It is written,” allowing the Scriptures to speak for Him. Why? Why not use New Words? After all, didn’t Jesus bring Fresh Words from the Father? Why use the Scriptures written in the Law? Why not use some New Testament words? The New Testament bars the devil from entrance while the Law judges, thus “it” found the devil guilty. The devil tempted Jesus, but Jesus was never tempted, rather He was able to send a test back to the devil.
This reminds us of the remarks in Jude where Michael doesn’t bring a railing accusation against the devil, but merely said, “The Lord rebuke you.” Why? Was it because prior to the devil being the devil, Michael and the cherub who covers were contemporaries? Could be. Or could it be because the angels know, that what the Lord has done….. it is done. For us to presume the devil is effective is the same as saying Jesus failed. “Wow, I never thought of that.” The old man will say, “Has Jesus really made the devil ineffective?” Ah gee I don’t know, I think so, maybe not.” The dragon gave his authority, power, and seat to the Beast of the Sea (world), and the world has been used by them ever since, as were we when we were in the world. The only way the devil can do a thing to a child of God, is when the child gives the devil place (opportunity); yet if we can give place to the devil, we can also remove it (Eph 4:27): “Neither give place to the devil.” (KJV)
The Preparation Place: The wilderness has several areas of training and testing and not all those in the Wilderness are always subject to a testing, as was the case with John the Baptist. John the Baptist started his ministry in the wilderness, but it doesn’t mean the wilderness was all sand; rather the Jordan River ran right through the wilderness.
The Preparation came in the wilderness; John’s “baptism unto repentance” came in the wilderness. Jesus was baptized in the wilderness; so the purpose of John’s baptism was “that the people should believe” and yet it came in the wilderness. Thus Egypt was not the beginning; the beginning came in the wilderness.
Where did the Spirit take Jesus to be tempted of the devil? The answer is, Into the Wilderness. Therefore, we find that the Wilderness is more than a place of exposure, although it is the first place we are exposed. It’s the preparation place, the place where we gain clarity, where we are able to define the enemy, the wiles (ways) of the enemy, as we gain victory.
It’s the place where we, as sacrifices, are prepared and readied for service. If we are serious about this, we enter the wilderness of God after we receive the Spirit. All these events relate to us, Paul told the Corinthians that the same events related to them; thus if Paul felt the wilderness experiences were appropriate for the Corinthians, surely they are appropriate for us.
The deliverance in Egypt took forty days, and the trip across the wilderness was planned to take forty days; however, the children began to breach the contract three days into the wilderness, ending on the back side of the Mount, rather than the Jordan. The same is true with us; if we wander in our Wilderness, we will find ourselves right back where we started, until we submit by allowing the purpose to become reality.
God presented His half of the Covenant, and then proved His faithfulness. Now He is asking the children to prove their love; and this last aspect was their Contract to enter the Covenant. They weren’t asked to do anything above what they couldn’t do, yet they rebelled, murmured, and complained. Why? They thought that God wasn’t doing it their way. Paul said we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise; but he also said we can grieve the same Holy Spirit by corrupt communication, or by using the wiles of the devil. There is one devil, but many wiles in his forms of operating: those wiles need to be identified and defeated.
Since Grace was not an issue for these people, and since Jesus entered the Wilderness as the Son of Man, we find that the Wilderness is a Mercy issue. God’s Mercy endures forever; His Grace but for a season. The kingdom of heaven is akin to the wilderness as a place of Mercy, while the Kingdom of God is the place of Grace. We are in the kingdom of heaven; while the Kingdom of God is “in us.” These children had the power to apply Mercy, or apply bitterness, and they had the ability to believe, or fall into unbelief.
The Anointing: Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness, but He gained the victory. When the wilderness of Jesus ended, He already preached on the New Birth, talked to the woman at the well, and did many things, but it was only after His Wilderness time, wherein He proclaimed, “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me.“ The same is true in our case. We can do many things, but until we secure our Wilderness, we will not know the Power of the Spirit of the Lord for us. The phrase, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me,” is a hope for all of us. This precedent is set for those of the “Day”; if we have the Spirit, we have the Anointing. The Anointing came and then the Spirit. For some reason we want to reverse it. If we reverse it, then we wonder if we do have the anointing, entering unbelief.
However, if we know the process was to destroy the yoke of bondage and then then anoint us, and then grant us the Spirit, we can also see that if we have the Spirit, we have the Anointing. Yet, there are various “anointings.” The second we entered the Body “The Unction” over the Body protects us, it’s why it’s called the “Body of Christ (Anointed)”; and when we were “Born Again,” the “anointing unto salvation, entered us.”
When we accepted the call of the Office, the anointing for the office covered us. When the New Man manifests from us, another anointing begins to operate; and when we gather together….yet another anointing begins to manifest, in that the Holy Ghost will fill us with the anointing to deal with the masses (people gathered.) Thus for the most part, the issue is not about finding the anointing, but accepting it and by allowing it to operate.
God’s Path through the Wilderness: If God told these people they were to travel across the wilderness and do so in forty days, why did they spend forty years there? Didn’t God know they would rebel? Or maybe God changed His mind: No, God didn’t change His mind, the children changed paths. One path went right through the wilderness to the Promised Land, while the other path wandered around the wilderness without direction. Each path had a specific course, and when they failed to enter God’s path, they received the condition and position of the “wandering path” which their unbelief produced. Therefore, God gave them the purpose of the path as they “confessed”; but He didn’t change His mind. If we’ve been in this for twenty years, yet we are still carnal, we need to “check our path.” God’s path was recognizable by belief, and their path of wandering developed by unbelief.
Although God knew they would rebel as early as“from the foundation of the world,” it didn’t stop Him from presenting the plan “as if they would obey.” God is still Alpha and Omega; He can’t change, and thus the Covenant with Abraham had contracts. It was up to the children to enter God’s purpose (the contract), or fall into the hands of their own self-based purpose. Now wait, I recall when Moses was on the mount and the Lord “turned from the evil He was about to do.” Where do we think it stands in conjunction with the Book of James where we are told that God cannot do evil? Surely a conflict, right? No, not at all, the “evil” God was about to do was to harm the children based on what they had done to Him, in the Book of James it refers to God not having the intent to do evil. It’s one thing for evil to return to the person who sent it and another for God to create it. We also have to understand, that when “God repents,” it means He is either sorry for what He must do, or He causes a turn. “So, does this mean that if He turns, then He changes His mind?” No, causing a turn is different from “turning.” As we will see, God spared Moses; thus the children turned to run to Moses as they were speared with Moses. In this case we find that the Plan God that desired was presented and then rejected; yet we will find God producing another path which was designed from the foundation of the world as well.
Justice to Mercy: We also find two sides of God; one is His Mercy, the other His Justice, and by His Mercy He intervenes in the time of man according to the Plan. In our Season, God is not seeking Justice, rather it’s Salvation; however, both God’s Mercy and Justice were applicable back then (Ex 32:10-12).
“So, then if God can change from Justice to Mercy, does this mean that He changes His mind?” No, it means both are there and God applies the Mercy to Moses, along with those who stood with Moses; but His Justice still fell on those who attacked, rejected or failed to belief. Thus both were accomplished; He showed Mercy to them that He will showed Mercy to as well as Justice to them who did evil to Him or His.
Jude 5 points out how the children were delivered from Egypt, but God destroyed them who believed not. His Justice was there, but His Mercy was also there. Therefore, we will find, that when the children gathered to Moses, they received the Mercy applied to Moses; but had they remained with the attacker, they would have received the Justice applied to the attacker.
The same is true with us; when we gather to Jesus, we are protected. Thus the Body of Christ has the Unction to protect it. God didn’t change; the people either change positions to have the mercy applied, or remain in the danger, finding the Justice of God applied.
The trouble in the wilderness then, was not the devil, or Pharaoh; it was the unbelief of the children manifested through their old slavery mentality. The wilderness is designed for the people of God, but it doesn’t mean that the Wicked are spies in the Body; rather it means that the Wicked run around the wilderness like Balaam, or fit in among the rebellious like Korah. They crossed over like the rest of us, but reject the purpose, as they retain the authority of Egypt, as the “he in the world,” rather than have the “Greater He.”
We also know that when Jesus entered His wilderness, the devil was there waiting for Him. So will we find the devil waiting for us? No, Jesus defeated the devil in the wilderness, but we will face the old man and he is like his father, the devil. The Waster can do nothing but destroy. It’s all he knows; yet in the wilderness he is ineffective. He calls us “friend.” He says he is our comforter in the hard times; he pats us on the back; but he is only looking for as soft spot to insert his darts.
Cleaning in the Saving of the Soul: There are areas of cleaning in the saving of the soul; thus the wilderness will be the place where the washing takes place. Before Paul taught the Corinthians about the Separating Veil (Yoke), or Communion, or the Spirituals, or the Commandments of the Lord, he warned them about their carnal condition (I Cor 3: 1-3):
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” (KJV)
He then compared their carnal attitude to the wilderness experiences of these unbelieving children who had the “Fire by night and the Cloud by day.” So, in the wilderness, there were leaders who walked with God, who even displayed the Glory of the Lord in a visible form, yet for a people who saw God provide for them day by day and for a people who saw the Power of God . . . yet they remained a people who called God a liar.
They rebelled, made the golden calf, and rejected the purpose of their calling. Hence, if we remain carnal, we will not understand spiritual matters which could be falling around like stars, yet we will call them “foolish.”
This is the wilderness, not Study Hall. God has His study hall, a place where the Holy Ghost brings us clarity of the Scriptures. Without our wilderness time, we will impose a self-induced study hall, allowing the old man to become our theologian, ending up with a bunch of religious “self-based mental conclusions.” The wilderness is a must, yet we find some who run from it like a rabbit on fire. We should enjoy the wilderness since it is for us.
Two Witnesses: When these children first entered the Wilderness there were no Scriptures since Moses was the first scribe. It would have been vital for Moses to be exceedingly truthful in everything he wrote because “the basis is more important than anything else,” Think about “being judged by these books” if they were recorded in error? God wouldn’t; so to prove the truth of these documents God established two witnesses. Daniel was told by an angel how the “Books” would be the basis upon which the Jew would be judged; and the Holy Ghost confirmed it via John in the Book of Revelation (Dan 7:10):
“A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” (KJV)
& Rev 20:12:
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (KJV)
The confirmation keeps us from forming an imagination, or from thinking that Moses “may have” been in error, and then adding our conclusions as to what we think Moses should have said.”
If Moses said that there were 600,000 men, then there were 600,000. One might think, “Well I don’t see how they could get that many in the wilderness.” However, you weren’t there, and Moses was. When we begin natural reasoning or start to deny what is written, we will enter the wilderness of deceit and unbelief which is not a nice place to be.
Mysteries in the Bible are like an onion skin, each layer is still an onion; it doesn’t jump to an apple or banana. There are some who have found these easy to grasp. For instance when we read in Acts how people believed, we can also figure that they were baptized in water, even if the verse doesn’t say it. Why? Water baptism was something that the disciples were commanded to do; look how Peter thought it necessary even after Cornelius was baptized with the Holy Ghost (Acts 10: 47-48):
“Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.” (KJV)
However, that is as far as we can take it. We can’t assume water baptism brings the Spirit, since Peter’s experience with Cornelius shows it’s not the case (Acts 10:44-48). We can’t make the “Token,” the actual experience, since circumcision of the flesh didn’t bring the Covenant; rather it was a token regarding the covenant. The Sabbath day did not produce the Law; it was a token concerning the Law.
Our water baptism did not save us…God did; and our water baptism is our token, not God’s. Jesus will not baptize us in water; and we don’t baptize people with the Holy Ghost. “Authority” is important; and doing something outside the authority is rebellion and witchcraft. Jesus gave us the authority to baptize people in water after they make their confession of belief; however, He never said we could baptize anyone with the Holy Ghost, of which baptism brings the Spirit (Acts 11:15-17):
“And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?” (KJV)
Let’s continue on as we think about our time in the wilderness: The wilderness for these children and the wilderness of Jesus resulted in different conclusions. Jesus entered by the Spirit, maintained in Faith; and then exit-ed at the appointed time. Our wildernesses experience proves that our belief and faith are “God-based” while the Spirit is setting us free. We have said that we have faith. But do we? The wilderness will prove it. What attitude caused the children to enter unbelief when the signs of belief were all around them? Did the unbelief produce the attitude? Or did the attitude produce the unbelief? It had to be the attitude, since belief is a based on a decision. Their Attitude interpreted the events for them; yet even if the event was “good,” all they saw was evil. They could have made the choice to believe; and if they had done so, then the “Precious” part of the experience would have been obvious.
“When the children left Egypt they took their lusts along with their other belongings (I Cor 10:6).” KJV
Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. From their lusts came idol worship; and the golden calf was merely an outward expression of the idol of the self within (I Cor 10:7):
“Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” KJV
They ate God’s provision, they drank from the Rock, they had the cloud, fire, and an angel; yet they entered idol worship and committed fornication (I Cor 10:7-8):
“Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.” KJV
They tempted Christ (the anointing) with serpent’s tongues; they were then destroyed by serpents (I Cor 10:9):
“Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.” KJV
Hold it! They tempted Christ? Christ to them was the Anointing on their leadership, which was proven to them in the fire and cloud, which is the point Paul makes to the Corinthians. They were a group set apart, as the Body is set apart, thus there was an anointing of Mercy for them, if they received it.
However, they challenged the man of God; they complained about the provision, they wanted more than God gave them, and they were displeased with God, causing God to be displeased with them. Yet they were Saved from Egypt (Jude 5):
“I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” KJV
& I Cor 10:9-10).
“Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” KJV
They assumed that since God loved them, God would be their servant. They sought “Things,” but rejected the call to Believe. They wanted the Prosperity, but didn’t want the “testing of their faith.” We know that God called them “holy.” So, was God blind? No, anyone is holy when God deals with them as children; the children in the wilderness prove the premise.
Idolatry takes on many forms; the Prophets tell us we can have idols in the mind. Really, all physical idols begin in the mind of man. Thus idols are either formed from a creation, or are the creation. Say what? Yes, look at Egypt. The cat was an idol; Paul says some worship the creation more than the Creator.
One can make a human being an idol, (termed Mentor or Hero Worship). They place the person on a high pedestal; then, whatever the person says is more important than Scripture, or more Scripture than the Scriptures. The Whacko draws on the lust in people, allowing or tricking people into placing them on a pedestal. Ideas form like, “You know, he doesn’t drive here, he is transported by the Spirit.” Foolishness. Idol worship begins when man desires to dominate or control his god, while the lust in the person allows other people to worship them, as did Pharaoh. The foolishness of idol worship is the creation forming something from a creation, then calling it the Creator.
Physical idols provide man a means to touch, see or control his gods; there are other idols which man can make into his theology, such as traditions. Even the “things of God” can be made into idols. The Law of Moses was a guide; it was not “God.” But there are some, even the Pharisees who made the Law a god.
The anointing is real; and it’s mandatory, but we can make it an idol by elevating it higher than God has. All things, even the things of God are under the feet of Jesus; there is nothing higher. We can even make gods out of saints, thereby placing them in a high position, proclaiming we can never reach their position. Ahh, the golden calf. Before we reach the plans for the tabernacle we have to jump ahead to the golden calf for discernment. The people were told that they shall have “no other gods.” Then, they were told “no idols”; thus the two relate, yet are different. The Judges were also called “gods”; Moses was a “god to Pharaoh,” but these are not God. Neither did man make them gods. All of us have our favorite man or woman of God; but we are not to elevate or exalt them above measure. Moses was on the mount forty days and nights, and when the children saw Moses delayed, they wanted “gods” to lead them (Ex 32:1). The golden calf wasn’t to replace God; it was to replace Moses (Ex 32:1-2):
”And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.” KJV
The people of God are to be honored, not worshiped; they were like us until God used them, and Moses is an example, as was Paul. What made them Godly, was not their education, position, training, or discipleship, it was God anointing them. At times it gets away from us, when it does we tend to make idols out of flesh and blood. When our idol falls, so do we.
Perhaps our favorite person of God doesn’t even know we have made them an idol; but we will travel around the world just to say that we heard them, when “our hope” could be preaching in our own neighborhood. We seek the celebrity complex; we want to associate with the celebrity status, and we want to toss their name around so we feel important, which was the error of the Corinthians, “I am baptized by Paul.” Or “I was baptized by Apollos” (I Cor 1:10-17):
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” KJV
The fear of rejection wants to attach to someone we think is successful to gain our validity; but our validity is in Christ.
None of the errors of the past gives the Body an excuse for a lack of Power, nor does it provide us with an excuse to remain in a powerless position; rather we find that these people refused the God-granted means. Thus God was not pleased with many of them. “Knowledge” is to obtain what God has already given us; but we know we can reject the given knowledge (Hosea 4:6):
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” KJV
It may sound silly, but though the Cross was nearly 2,000 years ago, it only becomes effective for us when we receive it. So, we first gain knowledge of the Cross, and then receive it, yet it has been established for years. The Holy Ghost doesn’t have birthdays, He doesn’t get older; Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8):
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”KJV
The Spirit is no different. Age is only a factor when death is the issue.
We have the means to win this; all the rewards and warnings are written for us, thus we work out our own salvation by fear and trembling (Ph’l 2:12):
“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” KJV
No one, not Paul, John, or our brothers and sisters in Christ are going to work out our salvation for us. We must enter by allowing the Spirit to expose and clean us. What then is our work? It is “to believe” (Jn 6:29):
“Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” KJV
Is it all there is? No, from belief we can “deny the self, then pick up our cross daily”; we can put our faith in God, allowing the Spirit to take us on the path of the Faith of Jesus to the result.
There is the Cross, Grave and Resurrection; and we can’t stop at any, we must receive the path to enjoy the trip. Will we make mistakes? Yes, part of our learning is making mistakes, so we won’t make them again. We war against “spiritual wickedness” and this is not a wicked spirit, rather the word “wickedness” is the Greek Poneria, meaning Wicked or Iniquity.
Thus Spiritual Wickedness is the failure to be Spiritual when one has the ability. Would the Corinthians fit this? Yes, they had the Spirit, were fully capable of being spiritual, but they were yet carnal, based on their own doing (I Cor 3:1):
“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” KJV
Therefore, we find Paul equating them to the children in the wilderness, as he also equated them to the Law (I Cor 14:34):
“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.” KJV
Paul did not “praise” them, he knew they had divisions and strife among them (I Cor 11:18):
“For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.” KJV
Spiritual things to the carnal mind are still foolishness; and they will fail to respect the spiritual and in most cases they will mock it. Once we have the Spirit, it still isn’t the “finish.” It’s only the beginning toward becoming spiritual.
We find the types and shadows in the wilderness, as Moses lifted up the serpent on the staff; and so must the Son of Man be lifted (Jn 3:14). The “children” had the Rock bringing forth the water (I Cor 10:4), and they were healthy. They had the manna (Ps 105:37), yet they complained and murmured in their tents (Ps 106:25).
Jesus said He would build His Church on the Rock, and the Rock is Christ (the Body); however not all churches are in The Church, only those who are Spiritual are of the Church (Luke 8:13 & Matt 16:18).
Moses was a man who loved God and obeyed, yet he made mistakes; but when the thoughts of “giving up” entered, he went to the Lord. None of us are free of questioning, “Is this God, or what?” Nor are we free of feeling like we want to say, “I give up” which is something Timothy did. But all of us have the opportunity to go to God in order to find an answer; and all of us have the position to say, “No” to discouragement by saying “Yes” to faith.
There are valleys and places of learning wherein we are exposed; but when we are down, we know Jesus is waiting to hear from us. Paul received the lesson, and when the carnal Corinthians came as messengers of Satan, he went to Lord (II Cor 12:9). Grace is sufficient, it always is. Three times the thorn came to Paul; and three times he had to talk to the Corinthians. Paul knew the devices of Satan, the Corinthians did not, and so they demanded a sign of Christ speaking through Paul (II Cor 12:7, 13:1 & II Cor 11:3). The Corinthians allowed the “self-transformed to enter,” they listened to the false doctrines; and some of them became ministers of Satan with their false accusations. Although the Corinthians knew Paul, they saw what the man stood for; they listened to false brethren and then attacked Paul. Paul told them, “Examine yourselves, whether you be in the Faith”; and “Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the Power which the Lord has given me to edification, and not to destruction” (II Cor 2:11, 11:13-15, 12:24, 12:7-9, 12:14, 13:1-2, 13:5 & 13:10).
Our “thorns in the flesh” are carnal people who think they are spiritual; they attack based on envy, or they consider our spiritual stand to be foolishness. However, did Paul see a purpose for the thorn? Yes, and one purpose would be, so he wouldn’t be exalted above measure; but by who? Jesus? Not hardly. Himself? No, what does it leave? Oh yeah, “people” elevating or exalting him above the measure which God had applied. This wasn’t merely exalting him, but exalting him “above measure” which is much different. The children in the wilderness were a thorn in the side of Moses, and like Paul, Moses had to endure. In the case of Moses it was enduring by the Mercy of God, and in Paul’s case, he found Grace sufficient.
As soon as they entered the wilderness, Moses sang the Song of Moses, declaring that The Lord is his strength. The Song of Moses is based on deliverance (Ex 15:9). As soon as the seed of deliverance was planted, joy came. Miriam the sister of Moses, also known as a prophetess, took a timbre in hand, as she led the women in song and dance (Ex 15:20-21). This song of Moses was prior to the Law; John shows the Remnant sing the Song of Moses (Rev 5:9, 14:3 & 15:3). Is this a lesson? Yes, here they are singing and dancing, Miriam is running all over the platform; yet in three days it will all be gone. The lesson? Emotionalism for the moment, does not build faith for the endurance. This same emotional state takes us from one meeting to another just to get the feeling for the moment. As soon as we get back to the parking lot, the feeling is gone; and we’re off to another meeting. There is a Joy based on the moment, it is not a Joy based on enthusiasm (zeal with lasting effects); it’s short lived at best. It’s the emotions being stimulated, not the soul being encouraged.
Three days into the wilderness, their emotions went the other way, and they found bitterness (Ex 15:22-23). This is a type of water, but what did it point to? To them; they were pleased with God’s Mercy when it made them feel good, but now comes the test after the victory. The dancing stopped, the singing stopped, the tambourine was put away; and then out came the murmuring and complaining, proven when they murmured against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” (Ex 15:24). The unsaved soul will murmur against the people of God, yet deny their murmuring which is also against God; whereas, this experience shows that when we murmur against the appointed leaders, we are murmuring against God. The children maintained the same slavery mentality, looking for some man to save them, rather than seeking God. They saw the Sea parted, why not say, “Stand back and watch the Lord’s deliverance”? Moved by what they saw; the same emotionalism for the moment, the event dictated their reaction, rather than belief and faith governing a response.
The evidence behind them proved that God was able; but when it came down to the “now”, they failed. Abraham believed God, thus his covenant was based on his “continual belief.” In order for this group to enter into the promise of the covenant, they had to display the same type of belief. If they failed at belief, they would be presented with their own unbelief. However, Moses will remind God, how God knew what type of people these were before He delivered them; thus even Moses knew God had a plan in all this.
Faith is a “Now confidence” projected to a future hope; belief is a “Now confidence” based on past information, which shows us how important the Now is. Faith must connect to Belief via “God Is” in order to be effective. Thus if we hold unbelief, there make no connection; and our faith will be short lived, or ineffective (Heb 11:6). The unbelief of the children attacked their faith; thus before faith could generate, it was deflated. Some of us work day and night on our faith, but forget about our belief.
One month later they entered the Wilderness of Sin, and when we fail to believe, we will enter the wilderness of sin as well (Ex 16:1). When they looked about, they didn’t repent, but murmured against Moses and Aaron (Ex 16:1-2). They had a choice to believe that God was with them, or they could choose to believe in their unbelief; and they picked the latter. They blamed Moses, rather than thanking God, and like Adam who said, it was “the woman You gave me,” their unbelief said, “It was the prophet You gave us.”
They assumed that God brought them into the wilderness to die; thus their own minds twisted the truth into a lie (Ex 16:3). This step of unbelief brought the Manna and the Sabbath rules (Ex 16:4-6). The Manna was a miracle; but one can’t equate the Manna to the Bread of Life. Why? Jesus said, “Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead”, with “I am the bread of life” (Jn 6:48-49). If Jesus would have said, “I am the manna,” then we would have a basis; but He used two different words, giving us a separation. The Manna was not to show them Life; it was to show them how God can provide. Thus it was just another teaching of God to give them a basis to establish belief.
The Sabbath was not a result of their good works, but a result of their murmuring. Again God was teaching them (Ex 16:5-8). When it came time for the Sabbath day Moses said, “Tomorrow is the Rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord.” (Ex 16:23).
Why didn’t he said, “Tomorrow is the Sabbath”? Two different words, the Hebrew word for Rest is Shabbathon a noun meaning a Sacred time; it was used for the Day of Atonement (Lev 16:31), the Feast of Trumpets (Lev 23:24), the first and eighth day of Tabernacles (Lev 23:39). This word pointed to a Feast, a time of Joy, showing that all this was in the hand of God if they received it. The word for Sabbath is the Hebrew Shabbath meaning Intermission; thus the Sabbath Day was an Intermission and a time to mediate on what God has done on “the promise” and how they were acting. The trouble with the Sabbath day was… that once it’s done, it’s done and it all begins again, showing that they failed to believe. The children were told to take a day to consider how close they were to the word “Finished.” Our Sabbath is Jesus; we reflect on His Ways, as we allow the New Man to bring us into the Image of God’s Son so we can be sons of God.
Each time they murmured, complained, denied or rebelled, the Lord placed more of the Law on them. Next would come the quail, this is not the great quail hunt, but it still came as a result of their unbelief (Ex 16:12-13). Wait, if God can’t be tempted, why did He give them the quail based on their tempting Him? A mystery? Perhaps, but God was merely proving them so they could see their own folly. The provision became the exposure; but for here we want to see how the provision or prosperity isn’t a sign of holiness. God sent then prosperity, but they weren’t satisfied. Thus God exposed their greed, while giving them their need. If we think the Law of Moses was some great reward based on the holiness of these people, then we miss the point. Their holiness was based on God dealing with them, not their works, and surely not on their faith. Therefore, the New Man being created (or formed same Greek word) after God’s True Holiness made us Holy the second we were Born Again. If we have God’s “True Holiness” within, surely we have the greatest of all holiness.
God sent quail one morning, and then the manna. The word Manna means “what’s it” or “what is it?” Instead of saying, “Thank You Oh Lord for meeting our need,” they retort with “What is this stuff?” They set their own expectations in the place of God’s will, and when God failed to meet their expectation they rebelled. They wanted the deliverance, but they wanted to control the method. They never considered that they were the ones who failed to meet God’s expectation. They refused to break away from the slavery mentality; their unbelief was magnifying their pride, yet they had freedom in hand. Their experience is our lesson, not our excuse (Jude 5).
They refused to move without some man telling them exactly what to do: they had ears, but refused to hear (Ex 16:20). The people journeyed further into the wilderness to a place called Rephidim, which means “JAH (Jehovah) has cured,” which is a past tense phrase, an indicator to the children that God had cured them, if they receive it; however, they started chiding against Moses (Ex 17:2). Moses was told to travel to Horeb, where he would find the Rock. There Moses would smite the Rock with the Rod, causing water to come forth (Ex 17:5-6). Moses called the place Massah and Meribah; and Massah means Testing, while Meribah means Strife, but Horeb means Desolate. Wait, isn’t this Horeb also called Sinai? Yes, same mountain two purposes. The word Chide is the Hebrew Riyb meaning “To Strive with words, or to bring a law suit by accusation.”
Attitude in the testing is important; the context of “faith with works” in James is coupled to asking and receiving the Wisdom of God so we can deal with events and people in a Godly manner. James tells us to pray for God’s Wisdom by “faith”, and then he pointed to the “prayer of faith. So, if we pray for God’s Wisdom by Faith as well pray the Prayer of Faith, as we allow Patience to have her perfect work, do you think it connects to “the works of faith”? Yes. We find we “have not because we ask not”, or we ask in order to consume the answer on a “lust”; thus “lacking faith in the asking” is based on asking in order to enhance the “spirit lusting to envy.” If we ask for the Wisdom of God, what is our motive? Just so we won’t have to contend with people? Or do we desire to apply God’s Wisdom as an addition to the Witness? It better be the latter in order for it to “be by faith.”
When the children received their fill of water, they found Amalek coming to fight them (Ex 17:9). Moses stood for the children again, raising his hands unto the Lord (Ex 17:11); however, every time his hands slipped, the children started to lose the battle (Ex 17:12). As long as our hands are raised to the Lord, we win, but there are times when we need help in order to stand. Raising our hands is a sign of being humble, humbleness destroys pride. In the world the sign of raising ones hands means, “I give up”; but to the Lord it means, “I praise Thee.” Paul tells us to lift holy hands onto the Lord; thus holy hands are connected to a servant who desires to serve. Aaron and Hur stood on either side of Moses holding up his hands, needless to say, the Hebrews won the battle (Ex 17:12-16).
Amalek is still a symbol to the Jew; however, they missed the point. To the Jew the phrase “Forgive your enemies” is a false statement used by hypocritical Christians. The Jew hears the words of the Christian, but compares those words to actions; some Jews may be blinded to the Gospel, but they are not blind to the hypocrisy in others. To the Jew, Amalek’s action produced the Commandment, “Blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under Heaven; you shall not forget it.” (Deut 25:19).
To the Jew this means, “Never forget your enemies”; however, the context shows we are to blot out the name of the person, but not forget the event; thus we forgive the person but remember the “it”.
Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, came to the wilderness to see Moses; when Jethro heard of God’s deliverance he said, “Blessed be the Lord Who has delivered you” (Ex 18:10). This connects to “Remember Amalek”; thus it’s the Deliverance we remember. We tend to count the stripes from the last battle, but ignore the victory.
Jethro didn’t say, blessed be the Lord who is delivering you; rather he saw the event as past tense, although they were far from entering the Promised Land. Therefore, Jethro proclaimed two things: first, the deliverance from Egypt and Amalek; and second, he is speaking in faith, “calling things as a not” to Moses, “as a were” from God’s standpoint. Jethro didn’t make up the basis for his faith, he knew the evidence and then joined to it. He could have said, “Cursed are these idiots God stuck you with”; however Jethro’s words were centered on blessing, not cursing.
Jethro was a sign to the children of what God desired, but they failed to hear the warning as they continued to charge God foolishly. Jethro came in faith, but the children stood in unbelief; therefore, finding the other element of Jethro’s venture was to encourage Moses. Jethro will suggest the concept of the “judges” who were supposed to hold the same attitude as Moses and Jethro.
This is very important, there were 600,000 plus people there; and God sent one from the outside to encourage Moses. We know Joshua was a minister to Moses, but Joshua was still a subordinate; whereas Moses would consider Jethro an equal (being a priest, and his father-in-law). God won’t forget us when we are stuck in the midst of the murmuring and complaining people. He will send someone to encourage us.
Jethro also acted as a healer by bringing Zipporah, the wife of Moses, with the children of Moses. There are times where the wilderness becomes the place where families are healed (Ex 18:2). This is another example of the purpose of the wilderness, the Restoration process. On the other hand, Jesus tells us to love less our family; but this has to do with priority. If we love our family members more than God, we will compromise or even hide our faith. Family is important; but Jesus more so.
Jethro suggested for Moses to set up judges (gods) over the thousands, over the hundreds and over the fifties (Ex 18:21). This system allowed the smaller matters to be handled on a local level, the larger on a higher level, then on up the appeal process until they reached Moses. Jethro didn’t tell Moses, “Now look man, this is from God, so do it”; rather he told Moses to confirm it with God. Moses will find it’s wise to hear suggestions, yet wiser to take them before the Lord for confirmation.
If these Judges were to Judge, how are they to Judge? When Moses goes to the Mount the “judgments” will be given to him. They begin in Exodus 21:1 unto Exodus 23:19, thus God called them “the judgments” (Ex 21:1). The judges were then representatives of Moses, Moses a representative of God. The judgments gave the judges written guidelines, yet it still took compassion to enforce the judgments righteously.
In the third month the children came to the wilderness of Sinai, where they camped about the Mount (Ex 19:1-2). Moses went up the Mount to find God; and then God came to him in a thick cloud (Ex 19:9). This would be a preview of the Mount of Transfiguration where the Body of Moses and Elijah (Body of Prophets) would stand with Jehovah of the whole earth. The three disciples, Peter, John, and James would be overshadowed by a cloud, as they hear the Father say, “This is My Son, Hear ye Him” (Luke 9:29-35). Jesus appointed the Seventy after the Mount of Transfiguration, as a sign (Luke 10:1). Moses went to the Mount to find God in order to determine if the words of Jethro were of God, while Jesus as Jehovah, came down the Mount to appoint the Seventy.
Moses went up the Mount to hear from God; Jesus as Jehovah would say, “But I say unto you”; Moses would say “This is what God says”, and Jesus said, “This is what I say”.
We find Paul’s comments regarding Hagar as a type and shadow of Sinai. What does Hagar have to do with a Mountain that God was on? Paul jumped from Abraham to Mount Sinai, yet held to Hagar as the mother of manipulation (Gal 4:24-26). He also added Jerusalem of the earth into the equation, yet we know Jerusalem didn’t come into the picture until after the children left the wilderness, three areas, jumping one to the other, with the concept of Hagar in all. Hagar was not the product of manipulation; Ishmael was. But Hagar was the Egyptian bondwoman, the mother of manipulation. Ishmael was not like his father Abraham; he was like his mother the Egyptian, and this is the point.
The Children were given the Law, since their attitude was not like their father Abraham, but like Egypt. Jerusalem of the earth is still in bondage, yet it has the glory of the Sun (Jacob, the nation as Israel). New Jerusalem is “Above,” and the Mother of us all; New Jerusalem is Free.
The meaning of the name “Jerusalem” is “JAH’s Peace”; we have the Gospel of Peace; and Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Thus true Peace is found in heavenly things, not earthly. Jerusalem of the earth is adopted, Jerusalem in heaven is not. Jerusalem of the earth is in bondage; Jerusalem of heaven is free. Jerusalem of the earth is related to Judgment; New Jerusalem of heaven to Salvation. Jerusalem of the earth is important, and Jerusalem of heaven more so.
We are to be as our Father, Merciful and Holy; and we do by being Christ-like. But how? By efforts of religion? Not hardly. By allowing the New Man to form us into a son of God? Correct, but it’s not easy, yet not hard. We allowed the old man to form us for all those years. Some might say, “Not so, I’ve been a Christian all my life.” What? “Oh sure, I’m not Jewish, so I must be a Christian.” No, if you’re not Jewish, you’re a Gentile; it still doesn’t mean you are a Christian. If one did the Law of Moses it didn’t mean they were Hebrew either. We know the Covenant cut with Abraham is partly included into the one God cut with Moses, thus Paul shows two covenants. One was cut as a result of the unbelief of the people (Hagar), the other cut based on the Faith of Jesus, and which one do we want (Gal 4:24-25)? Is it of bondage, or of freedom? We are learning why it’s better to connect to the New, rather than seek self-righteousness under the Old.
The Ten Commandments were not, “Thou shall try”, nor were they, “Try, try again”; there was no “oops”. When one does the Law of Moses, or when one thinks they hold the Ten Commandments, they failed in the very first act.”How?” By wanting the same righteousness as God, yet attempting it by self-righteousness through the flesh; it still causes the Commandment, “Thou shall not covet” to fall against them. The Law of Moses was based on the failure of the children to believe; it was not based on their faith or belief. There are some who say they do the Law of Moses to please God; but faith pleases God, and the Law of Moses is not of faith. Moses was a friend of God, but the Law didn’t make Moses a friend.
Having the Law of Moses didn’t make them Moses; and being circumcised of the flesh didn’t make them Abraham. But having the New Man makes us Like Christ (Christian). We saw how Paul said that these people were “baptized unto” Moses (I Cor 10:2); the word Unto is the Greek Els meaning a motion or direction. With baptism as identification; they identified with Moses by the Law.
Paul will use the same premise when talking about the Body, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body” (12:13). This shows that the Spirit of God is the complete Report identifying us with the Body even before we accepted the position (I Cor 2:11-12). If Jesus never gave us His Body, there would be none; if Jesus didn’t give us authority to water baptize, there would be none. The purpose for being in the Body is to be Born Again so we can identify with the Spirit of God rather than remain carnal.
We are not copies of the physical Jesus; if it were the case then all of us would be sinless from birth, or we would all look alike. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, then the Word made it possible for us to be Born Again by having the Word in us (Jn 1:1-8). However, let us view our beginning which looked more like, “in the beginning was the old man, the old man was, and he wasn’t like God at all” (Rom 7). Paul said, Jesus was made (not created) the Son of Man by the seed of David, but declared the Son of God according to the Spirit of Holiness by the Resurrection (Rom 1:3-4). We are declared sons of men by Mercy (forgiveness of sins), and then declared sons of God by the Spirit (Rom 8:14). We enter the process and begin, for us, as sons of men, with the goal being, to become a son of God by the Spirit. Without the Spirit in us there is no Manifestation of the Spirit; and without the Holy Ghost we can’t call Jesus Lord (I Cor 12:3 & 12:11).
How does the Resurrection fit here? God wanted to be with His children; He told Moses to prepare for the Third Day (Ex 19:9-11). We can see that this points to the Resurrection; but these children had no idea what the third day meant. The only way “God can be with us” is to be “in us,” which takes the Power of the Resurrection. No one is going to be resurrected until they first die; and we have the advantage of imputed death by the Cross of Jesus, yet to live by the Spirit of Christ. Therefore, we can “believe” that God raised Jesus from the dead; but this is much more than an intellectual view. In order to Believe God raised Jesus from the Dead, we need the same Spirit of Holiness as our heart (Rom 10:9-10).
Anyone can mouth the words “I believe in Jesus,” until they are faced with the test. The same is true with the statement, “No one can call Jesus Lord, except by the Holy Ghost.” It doesn’t mean they can’t say, “Jesus is Lord” because even the devils admit there is one God. It means that one must have the Spirit birthed in them by the Holy Ghost in order for Jesus to be their Lord. How about calling Jesus their Savior? Yes and No; they don’t need the Spirit in them to be saved from the world, but they do need the Spirit to enter the saving of their soul. These people didn’t have the Spirit (Jn 7:39), yet God delivered (saved) them. “Wait, I think I see something here. When God delivers (saves) us from the world, it’s so we can enter the salvation of our souls without the interference of the world, or the devil”
Correct, we still war against the flesh, but it doesn’t mean we have to follow the flesh. Even thoughts we know are not right can no longer condemn us, because we walk by the Spirit, not the flesh. The condemnation comes when someone minds the flesh, and not the Spirit (Rom 8:1).
The children were told that God wanted to be among them; then Moses told the people to Be Ready for the third day (Ex 19:15). The people should have repented, but they didn’t think repentance was necessary. On the morning of the third day there was thundering and lightning and a thick cloud; and the people in the camp trembled in fear (Ex 19:16). Why? Was God going to kill them? God wanted to be among them, so why fear? Preparation; they failed to prepare for the Third Day. We prepare by “denying the self, and picking up our cross,” two factors relating to death;and then we gain the “Spirit unto Life.”
The Lord came down to the top of Mount Sinai and there talked to Moses, saying, “Go down, charge the people” (Ex 19:20-21). What does it mean? Was God going to collect a love offering (charge)? How much was it going to cost them to have God visit? Wonder if the ATM is open? The word “charge” is the Hebrew “Awd” meaning among other things, “To restore” or “give warning”; it could mean “to do again.” What did they need to “do again”? The answer is in the Book of Hebrews in Chapter 11; Abel is the first human recorded to have faith, not Adam (Heb 11:4). Then Enoch, then Noah, then Abraham, then Sara, all of whom died in faith, not having seen the promises (Heb 11:4-13). From Adam to Abraham there were only 3 people recorded to have displayed faith. Then we see Isaac, Jacob, then Joseph, all of whom were before the children were taken captive (Heb 11:20-22). Then comes Moses, and then we see, “by Faith they passed through the Red Sea”, yet not another word of faith until the walls of Jericho fall (Heb 11:29-30). They had the evidence; they had faith. It wasn’t a matter of not having faith; they had it when they crossed the Red Sea. “Hold it! I got something here. You mean if we accepted Jesus it was by faith; thus we have the faith it takes now”. Right, oh so right.
God still desires to be among His people; and none of us can say we have kept the Ten Commandments. For the most part, none of us can even say that we kept even one. However, it appears that it was either do the Ten Commandments or enter faith. Ahh, faith pleases God; they needed to affirm their belief to enter faith. They had to have faith, or keep the Ten Commandments; and the choice was in their hands. Yet they decided that neither would be their method, and that they were going to have a man stand between them and God, thereby producing the Law of Moses.
God was ready to come among the people, but it was the people who failed to Prepare for their God. Here is a very interesting aspect of God; He didn’t demand for the children to come to Him; He was willing to come among them. Were they Born Again? No, did they have the Spirit? No; they were flesh and blood, yet God would leave the decision to them, and if they wanted God with them, fine. He would be there, if not, He wouldn’t. This is God we’re speaking of, the Creator of all things; He was willing to submit to the desires of the people when it came to His presence among them. Of course we know He would not submit to something not in line with His nature, but being among His people was His desire. Later He would come among His people in the form of Jesus, yet, they would reject Him again.
However, before God could go among the people, the priests had to come before God to receive the Commandments (Ex 19:23-24). What priests? Was Moses appointing priests before the Tabernacle was built? They had priests back in Egypt; how else were they going to sacrifice? The priests were not new, and the duties under the Law of Moses would be. Nonetheless, the priests had to Prepare as well.
The priests had to “sanctify themselves” which calls for acts by the person, which is a form of self-righteousness (Ex 19:22). How about us? We are Sanctified by the Holy Ghost (Rom 15:16), through Jesus the Father Who has Sanctified us (Jn 10:36); we are Sanctified in Christ Jesus (I Cor 1:2). To be Sanctified means Separated to be Made Holy. In our case we have the added advantage of the washing of the water by the Word, with the cleaning of the Blood of Jesus from all unrighteousness. The process for us is found in the New Man, again we see it’s a Process. God was ready, but were the people? God was ready, but were the priests?
It’s generally accepted that the Ten Commandments begin with the “covenant with Israel”; but what about the Covenant with Abraham? Ahh, a mystery? Not really; where did Israel come from? It was from Jacob, who came after the Abrahamic Covenant. Abraham’s Covenant was not for the Jew, it was for the Hebrews; but when the token became incorporated into the Law, it then applied to the Jew. Noah’s Token was a sign from God, Abraham’s was a sign from Abraham; and the Token for the Law of Moses will be a sign from the people. The evidence of Noah’s Covenant is the rainbow, which is still around; but it was God who placed the rainbow in the sky, not Noah. The token for Abraham’s Covenant was circumcision of the flesh of a male who is eight days old, while the Law of Moses called for keeping the Sabbath day continually; both are tokens in the hands of man. Our Covenant calls for our token of water baptism; while the circumcision of our hearts, with the seal of the Holy Spirit is God’s part based on the baptism with the Holy Ghost. Jesus builds the Church; we cast the Net and build the Body. Do we always catch the good fish? No, Jude told us we catch both the good and bad; on the good we make a difference, and with the bad, beware (Jude 22-23). Do we toss the bad back? No, they have a right to the opportunity (Jude 22-24).
What about the Token under Abraham’s Covenant. Was it by permission? At eight days old? Not hardly? Whether the child wanted to receive the mark or not didn’t matter; at eight days old, it came by the hand of the priest (Luke 2:21-22). Was it by permission of the child’s parents? Yes, but what else were they going to do? What about us? For us it is by permission based on God’s invitation, but our consent is required; so we ask, and then receive.
To these people, they had little choice; they could say, “I’m no longer a Jew.” but the mark was with them. How about us? We connect to the Spirit, not the other way around. In Jude we find the phrase, “having not the Spirit” (Jude 19), which is an idiom meaning, “not able to hold to the Spirit.” This applies to the Wicked; it doesn’t mean that Jesus left them; it means that they left (divorced) Him (Jude 18-19). The same could be said for Judas; Jesus never left Judas. It was Judas who left Jesus. Jesus lost none, except the son of perdition (Jn 17:12). This He said in reference to Judas; but Paul said that the son of perdition was yet to be revealed (II Thess 2:3). It’s a position filled by the Wicked, by the drunk who go into the Night (I Thess 5:3-7).
What has this to do with these people? Where were they going? Were they going to break off from being a Hebrew to start a new nation in the wilderness? No, they were surrounded by nations who didn’t what them; yet Egypt was behind them, but God was with them.
They were stuck in the Wilderness, and it was either get with the program or die. In our case the wilderness is God separating us from the old man and his deeds, unto the Spirit and Character of Christ.
Don’t you love controversy? Several things are obvious regarding the Ten Commandments; in Exodus 20:2-17 we have the Commandments listed and if we take the time to number them, we will find something very interesting.
The Ten Commandments begin with:
1) Thou shall have no other gods before Me: Simple enough. We know that this doesn’t refer to idols of stone; rather it references the people God whom has ordained; thus Mentor worship is a direct violation of this Commandment. The next Commandment is…
2) Thou shall not make unto thee any graven images, covering the making of idols by the hand of man: Many place the next Commandment with this one for a reason we will see in a minute; but since it begins with “Thou shall not” it behooves us to keep it separate, thus it becomes the next in line.
3) Thou shall not bow down thyself to them: Recalling Abram’s father, we can see that one can make an idol, yet not bow to it. Here we find two points; don’t make them and don’t bow (submit) to them.
Next comes 4) Thou shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain: This is not using the Name, but taking it. If we receive the Name, we receive what it stands for as well.
Next is 5) Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy: This would seem like a “do” Commandment, but we also find “thou shall not do any work” (v. 20:10). This is the last of the Commandments in reference to man’s relationship with God; the Sabbath became the link or token connecting the Law of Moses to the Ten Commandments. This is clear since the token of the Sabbath is included in the Ten Commandments, but there is no mention of circumcision. We see two different Covenants, showing why Abraham never had to keep the Sabbath day, since it didn’t pertain to his Covenant with God.
Next comes 6) “honor thy father and mother”: Paul tells us that this was the first Commandment with promise (Eph 6:2). This is interesting, since all the others pertained to man’s relationship with God. Could this be a Commandment linking both tablets together? Could it be, their Father was God, and that their Mother, Zion (Joseph’s dream). The purpose of leaving Egypt was to obtain the Promised Land. In our case, our Mother is New Jerusalem, but our Father is still God. We bring this up since the next commandments read…
7) Thou shall not kill (murder)…
8) Thou shall not commit adultery…
9) Thou shall not steal…
10) Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor…
11) Thou shall not covet. There we have it, if we list them all, we end with Eleven, not Ten. We find many linking “Thou shall make unto thee any graven image”, with “thou shall not bow down thyself to them” as one commandment; but there are two “thou shall not” phrases, dividing them. Honor thy mother and father is a “do,” indicating why Paul saw it as “unto life,” since the rest were “thou shall not” indicating unto death.
Now we have another area, the Sabbath; after 300 AD, the Fifth Commandment regarding the Sabbath was removed, oh my! What to do? Since the Ten Commandments are linked to the Law of Moses one has to ask, “What were Christians doing with them to begin with?” The so-called Gentile Ten Commandments are different, thereby bringing about the “controversy.”
If one holds to the Sabbath, they think that the removal of the Sabbath is the key issue for the latter days, or producing the coming of the antichrist, rather than seeing in First John that there were antichrists in John’s day. If we hold ourselves above the rest of the Body based on our theology, we are slandering the brothers which is not wise. Paul cleared this issue, showing that the removal of the Sabbath day had nothing to do with being antichrist (Rom 14:5-6). In Romans 14:6 Paul said, “He who regards the day, regards it unto the Lord, he who regards not the day, to the Lord he does not regard it.”
Simply stated….if one wants to keep the Sabbath, or if they don’t, it’s between them and the Lord; it is not between them and their neighbor, nor are any of us to make it doctrine. When it’s between us and the Lord, it stays there; we don’t make it mandatory on others, and we don’t make it doctrine. We don’t think that “keeping or not keeping the Sabbath” makes us any the more or less holy, since it’s between us and the Lord. Like most practices, the second we consider ourselves righteous or holy, for doing something we consider above the rest of the Body, then we have engaged in legalism.
In some areas, the posting of the Ten Commandments has become an issue of late, but which Ten Commandments? Those listed here in Exodus? Or the so-called Protestant Ten Commandments? How about the Nine Jesus gave us regarding Mercy? How about adding, “Ye must be Born Again”, since it was a “must,” it was also a Commandment. Why do we demand the Ten, yet avoid the ones Jesus gave? The Ten are a no-win situation; they are “good,” but they never allowed for error because if you miss even one, you miss them all for all time.
And, What are we told? “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances against us, which was contrary to us, and took IT out of the way, nailing IT to the His Cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of Them openly, triumphing over them in IT. Let no man therefore judge you in meat or drink, or in respect of a holy day, of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days” (Col 2:14-16). Why? They are a shadow of things to come (Col 2:17). Colossians 2:14 calls the Ordinances an IT; the IT is the Law of Moses, which included the Ten Commandments. What do the Commandments do? They point out and define sin; they convict the person of sin, bringing the result which is death. Our freedom came when we agreed with the Law, and then imputed ourselves dead on the Cross of Jesus, so we could be free of the Ordinances against us, thereby making way for us to have the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the Dead, in order for us to have the Spirit.
Since we’re using the Bible regarding the Ten Commandments, we are nonetheless faced with eleven, not ten; yet in the “Thou” area there are only Ten. One Commandment that is a “Thou shall not”, is “Honor thy father and mother”; this Commandment becomes the link, or hinge connecting the two stones, one side regarded man’s relationship with God, and the other, man’s relationship with man.
The honor part is really left up to interpretation, it doesn’t say “thou shall,” thus it’s an ordinance. In truth Paul quoted Deuteronomy 5:16; however he made changes when he used this Commandment. What? Changes to the Commandment? How dare he? If Jesus said, “you have heard of them of old time, but I say unto you”… what is Paul doing taking us to the Commandments? If Paul said doing the Law of Moses was witchcraft for a Christian, then what is he doing advocating the basis for the Law? If the Ten Commandments are against us and nailed to the Cross, what is Paul doing? (Col 2:14-18). We will see shortly. In Exodus 34:28 the Hebrew word for Commandment is different from the Hebrew word used in other places. The Hebrew word “Peh” is often used, meaning Breath, or The mouth, pointing to the source.
In Exodus the Hebrew word is “Dadar” meaning A word, or the matter spoken; thus God isn’t “speaking directly” to these people, He is sending a message written on stone. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by Every Word proceeding from the mouth of God” (Matt 4:4). Here Moses received a Proceeding Word from God, and the children could have said, “Wait! Our father Abraham didn’t keep the Sabbath, you speak falsely bearded one!” Even these children, who failed to believe, understood the “Proceeding Word” concept.
If there are Ten, yet we see Eleven, do we think God knew it? Yes, God didn’t run down the mountain after Moses with an eraser. If anyone removes the Sabbath Day commandment, they also remove the Document from being connected to the Law of Moses; in its place one could put “honor thy father and mother”, then have Ten. If they connect the 2nd and 3rd Commandments, leaving the Sabbath in, they would still have Ten; but in either case they have to manipulate the “thou shall not” area to make it fit; but if we see these Ten Commandments, they are the basis for the Law of Moses. And “Honor thy father and mother” is the hinge between the two tablets; so then we can rest in the Scriptures, knowing they are correct, and we can also see why Paul used the “hinge” connecting the Mercy of the Father, with the Grace found in New Jerusalem, as he said this is a mystery regarding Christ and the Church (Eph 5:32).
The biggest hypocrite of all time is the person in the congregation who says, “I love you brother”, but belittles his kids, or ridicules his wife. Or the sister who says, “I love the Body of Christ,” yet hates her husband, or belittles her children. The same authority that we have, “To love one another,” is the authority that the husband has to love his wife. The same authority we have to submit to one another is the same one for the wives to submit to their husbands. However, misuse of the authority causes rebellion and a short life, also misunderstanding what Submit means causes strife.
There is something missing from the Ten Commandments. Where is Circumcision? The Token or sign was given to Abraham as a sign to be kept by his generations after him. If it was a Commandment to Abraham, surely it had to be listed. After all, circumcision was the token to enter the Covenant, so where is it?
These people were circumcised before they entered the wilderness, but it didn’t help their belief any. Keeping the Sabbath day didn’t prevent them from making the golden calf.
The Law of Moses was not a factor until they were well into the Wilderness; and the Abrahamic Covenant was long before they entered Egypt. One would think circumcision would be number one; but these Commandments do not relate to the Abrahamic Covenant, they are the foundation for the Law of Moses. The Abrahamic Covenant came from God, just as the Ten Commandments and the Law of Moses. But to whom were they given? Abraham believed God; and it was accounted to him as righteousness. But, the children in the wilderness failed to believe God and He gave them the Law of Moses.
The Rest of God: The Sabbath Day is among the Commandments, but was Abraham required to keep it? Was he required to keep the Passover? Or any holiday, even Pentecost? What is going on here? Does all this reflect to the failure to enter the “Rest of God” (Heb 4:1-10)? Could be, since these children kept the day, but failed to enter the Rest of God.
Why did God rest on the Seventh Day? Was He exhausted from working six days straight? Was He so tired that He simply couldn’t get up? Was there a ball game on heavenly cable TV that He didn’t want to miss? Or perhaps, just perhaps… He knew all things were in place for the judgment, meaning that the plan was complete in His eye. Entering the Rest of God is not the same as keeping the Sabbath day, as the Book of Hebrews points out.
For Whom is the Law Made?: We find this same God telling Jeremiah, “For I spoke not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices” (Jere 7:22). What? He most certainly did. But wait! The day? The Law didn’t come before they left Egypt or even on the third day at the bitter water hole; it came much later. In Jeremiah we also read, “But this thing I commanded them, saying Obey My voice, and I will be your God” (Jere 7:23). There it is; God’s desire for them was to obey, yet they didn’t, causing the Law to be added. Paul put it this way, “Knowing this, the Law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless, etc.” (I Tim 1:9-11). If we are the Righteousness of God, then the Law of Moses is not made for us.
One would think the Abrahamic Covenant would be incorporated into the Ten Commandments, but it wasn’t; yet the Token was incorporated into the Law. These people were given Two Covenants, each had a position, and thus the people were required to keep both. The shadow really helps us in the Gospel; there is the kingdom of heaven based on God’s Mercy for the “sons of men”, and then the Kingdom of God based on God’s Grace for the “sons of God” as they become incorporated as One.
The Abrahamic and Moses Covenants became incorporated as well; thus if one seeks the Abrahamic Covenant, yet they are not circumcised on the eight day, or if they don’t keep the Sabbath day, they are a thief and a witch (Gal 3:1-3).
The Rock and the Church: Since the Cross and Resurrection, no one is lawfully a “son of God” unless they have the Spirit. When the earthly ministry of Jesus began, it was based on Mercy in His position as the Son of man. About half way through, Jesus began to speak on spiritual matters yet to come; this was prior to Pentecost and so the disciples were “yet carnal.” Thus they were told not to speak about Jesus being the Christ (of Grace).
They had no understanding of the Spirit, the Cross or the Resurrection (Mark 9:32). Spiritual matters are foolishness to the natural mind; thus God reveals things to us by the Spirit (I Cor 2:9-10 & 2:13-14). Until the disciples were endowed with Power from on High, they were not allowed to speak of those things pertaining to the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus; but they were allowed to speak regarding the things of Mercy… “Freely they received, freely they gave.”
The Place Between: However, the Spirit was not given until Jesus was glorified by the Resurrection (Jn 7:38-39). Jesus wasn’t keeping His position as the “Christ of Grace” secret; rather the disciples lacked position, authority, and knowledge regarding those matters until the Day of Pentecost when they were endued with Power from on High. Therefore, we find that “The Rock” was in place; but “The Church” was not in place until the Spirit was given. Jesus never said that the Body was the New Covenant, rather He said the New Covenant was based in His Blood (Matt 26:28, Mark 14:24 & Luke 22:20). The Body is “the place between,” and the Rock will be broken, but the Church (via the Spirit) will never be.
Therefore, under the Shadow, the males had to be marked with the Token of the Abrahamic Covenant one time; but in order to keep the Covenant of Moses they had to keep the Sabbath Day weekly as their token. The first time they failed to keep the Sabbath day, they were no longer protected by the Law of Moses. They could pay tithe every day, make offerings every ten minutes, but they had to keep the Sabbath day for any of it to count, or… they were “stealing” the blessing. Therefore, we are to “receive tithes,” we never “take them”; we have no Commandment giving us the authority to take tithes from anyone.
God delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai; they were not bad, evil, or out of place, yet they have a Power, becoming a Principality (a place within the nation, as a beginning), but they are also nailed to the Cross. So does this mean that the Father gave, and then the Son destroyed? (Col 2:13-15). Not at all; it shows progression.
A principality is a place, not a personage; the Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments have a realm where their authority is effective, but they are only effective in their realm. Take them to a realm where they lack Authority, and we turn them into evil acts of witchcraft (Gal 3:1-3 & Jude 4).
Any time we remove something from the realm in which God has placed it in; we have committed a very dangerous act. Grace will not work in the world; and any attempt to make the world act as if it has Grace turns Grace into lasciviousness (Jude 4).
Beyond the Law: The Sabbath Day is the obvious connection between the Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments. What else does it mean? If you accept the Ten Commandments, you also accept the Law of Moses. If you accept the Commandments which Jesus gave on the Mount, you are accepting the Mercy of the Father; if you accept the Spirit you are subject to the Law of the Spirit, different realms with Laws for the realms, yet One God. To understand this we must see that clearly it is not about “from whom the Law came,” but to what realm and people that it was directed to.
Kingdom of Heaven unto Kingdom of God: God’s side of the contract was to deliver the children out of Egypt into the Promised Land, but the people had to make their commitment as well. Entering the wilderness is a type and shadow of entering the kingdom of heaven; entering the Promised Land a type of entering the Kingdom of God.
We enter the kingdom of heaven as members of the Body; but God is the one who accepts us into the Kingdom of God. Simon of Samaria is the prime example; he believed in the signs and was water baptized, but his heart was not right before God, causing him to be rejected when it came to the Holy Ghost giving him the seed (Acts 8:9-24). Yet, all he had to do was pray; but instead he attempted to get others to pray for him.
The Rest of God: The “rest” that these people were looking for, was the Promised Land; the Day was a token, or a reminder of the issue, but they never entered God’s rest. They never believed in the purpose of God, thus there remains a Rest for (our souls) the people of God, and it’s found in the Kingdom of God (Matt 11:28-29, Heb 4:3 & 4:9). Those who enter the Rest of God, cease from their own works (self-righteousness); but it doesn’t mean they don’t work, rather they stop engaging in the dead acts of self-righteous deeds (Heb 4:10). The key element to entering the “Rest of God” is still Belief.
There was a time of “preparation” for the children, a time to Tarry in order to take care of matters before Moses came down from the mount. However, they failed to prepare or repent, and when Moses reached the foot of the mount, he spoke to the people. The first thing he spoke of were the Commandments, and the people had a fit. “What are we going to do?” Moses brought clarity then advised the people, “Fear Not: for God is come to prove you, and His fear may be before your faces, that you sin not” (Ex 20:20). Prove what? How about: honest reflection on who they were and their failure to do any of the Commandments, or to allow God to train them in how to walk upright by obedience. Ahh, better to admit the wrong, be honest and obedient. However, they wanted “someone” to stand between them and God, and that someone ended up being the Law of Moses.
The people didn’t see the premise. God wasn’t condemning them for violating the Commandments; rather He was looking for honesty. In Luke we read about, “Good ground”; in Luke 8:8, the word Good means Good, but in Luke 8:15 where we find the phrase “good ground”, the word Good means Honest. Good ground is honest knowing its weaknesses, failures and shortcomings; it admits them so it can receive the Seed.
What did these Commandments say? Did they violate the Commandments? Yes, the evidence before them was exposure, but it was supposed to be. Rather than submit, or make a decision to believe, and then obey… they demanded for Moses to stand between them and God, thus making a god out of Moses.
Did they make images? Yes. The golden calf. Did they show Mercy? No, they complained and murmured on a daily basis. Did they take the name of God in vain? More than once, and the saying, “God has brought us here to kill us” is taking the name (authority) in vain. Did they remember the Sabbath Day, and keep it holy? No, if they did, then the rules regarding the Manna would not be in place. If they kept the day holy, the Manna could grow on the Sabbath, yet they wouldn’t touch it. Thus, if they were not filled with covetousness, the Manna won’t become wormy.
The Barrier: Did they commit adultery? Yes, they held to the mindset of Pharaoh, yet claimed to be of God. Their failure to repent when exposure came caused the Law of Moses to become the barrier between them and God. The Law of Moses then became a connection to the Commandments, the key element linking the Commandments and Law to the people was keeping the Sabbath day.
God gave the Law to Moses and Moses gave the Law to the People: Moses came down the hill to the people, but when Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount, He took the people with Him. Moses brought the Commandments from God to the people, but Jesus took the people to the Commandments.
The Sermon on the Mount did not do away with the Law of Moses; rather it opened the Door toward one receiving direct Mercy from the Father. It’s so interesting when Jesus says, “you have heard of them of old time”; but wasn’t it God who gave Moses the Commandments? Yes, but it was Moses who gave the Law to the people. The Law of Moses was such a barrier; and the name of God wasn’t attached to it. Rather God gave it to Moses, and then Moses gave it to the people; thus it was named after the man the people placed between them and God.
When the people left Egypt, the only requirements were the Passover meal, with the Consecration of the Firstborn; their own unbelief causes the adding of the other laws, all of which pointed out their sin, which made the Law and Commandments the handwriting against them.
The Law based on obedience: We now know that these people were to maintain the same faith they held when they crossed the Red Sea. But why? Faith would have freed them from the Law, since the belief of Abraham paid their way out of Egypt; it was going to take their belief to get them past the Law into the Rest of God. But, since they failed at belief, faith was out of the picture, proving that the Law of Moses is not of faith. Meaning the Law itself never requires faith, it is based on obedience; thus the practices thereof became week to week, or moment to moment.
To better understand the events we begin with the Crossing; as the waters parted, the children crossed on dry ground. The word Dry is the Hebrew Charabah, meaning dry land; but it doesn’t mean the land was totally absent of water.
Nonetheless, if anyone has been around a large body of water, they know that the ground is muddy; the reference here shows a “strong wind” drove off the hindrances before them, meaning that the dry wind removed the water and dried the mud. The same is true in our case; the Mighty Wind of the Holy Ghost removes the hindrances before us (Ex 14:21).
People with authority, under authority: Pharaoh took great pride in his mode of transportation; the chariot to him was more than a horse drawn vehicle. It was his mark of power. When Pharaoh attempted to cross the dry land, the Lord took the wheels off his chariots; yet Pharaoh still was trying to drive the chariot (Ex 14:20-25). The waters returned while Pharaoh and his men were still attempting to cross. He and his men drown, but the Lord saved Israel that day (Ex 14:29). Wow! Were they excited? Yes, Moses will sing his first song, but the context shows that the joy came from the destruction of Pharaoh (Ex 15:2-5). Jesus warned us about taking joy in our ability to cast out devils; rather we should rejoice because our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). It doesn’t mean He was displeased because they cast out devils, rather He was warning the 70 about taking joy over “ things under their authority doing as they were supposed to.” The real joy comes when the authority over us accepts us; thus great faith knows that we are a people under authority.
Miriam grabbed her timbrel; and the women all followed her as they danced up a storm. Was it wrong? No, Moses’ song wasn’t wrong either; they simply were enjoying the moment, but it was all that it was… “a moment.”
More lessons about mercy: Emotions and Faith are different; there is a joy in victory, but we can’t leave our faith behind either (Ex 15:19-21).But it’s exactly what they will do; they will think that this battle was the end of the war, causing them to move from faith and belief, into unbelief.
Three days into the wilderness, which was still in the wilderness of Shur, which was more than likely near the place where they crossed, they could find no water, and water, being a metaphor for Mercy, will be displayed in their attitude. When they did find water, it was Bitter (Ex 15:22-23). Did they dance? No? Did they sing the song of Moses? No? They murmured against Moses, yes (Ex 15:24). Then the Lord told them to Obey and give ear to His Commandments and Statutes, which at the time didn’t include the Law of Moses (Jere 7:21-23 & Ex 15:26). God wanted them to obey, yet obedience has variables. One can obey joyfully, or one can obey reluctantly, “Okay, okay, I will do it, but I hate it, and you know I hate it, but I will do, because I’m obedient.” Please…. don’t trouble yourself. God was looking for a people who would appreciate the gifts in hand, a people with expected anticipation for what God had in the future for them.
The water was bitter; Moses took a tree, tossing it into the water, causing the water to become sweet. What kind of tree was it? Who cares? Well, the symbol shows how the Cross takes away our bitterness by bringing the Sweet Mercy of God to us.
Later God will again make a presentation regarding this matter; but we also find some changes. In Exodus 19:5, which is before the Ten Commandments were given, God asked them to Obey His voice again, and if they did, He would make them a peculiar treasure as a “kingdom of priests” (Ex 19:5-6). Now wait, only the Levites were priests, yet it appears God wanted to make the entire nation priests. Could this be prophecy to the Kingdom yet to come?
Yes, this goes beyond the comments God gave Moses, here God is looking past the Shadow to the Image, showing He had plans for the entire Kingdom of God to be both priests and kings (Rev 1:6).
We have talked about the metaphors and allegories and the three days relate to the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. We know we’re supposed to continue to believe after we are baptized (Mark 16:16) and we can see by the attitude of these children, why continual belief is so vital. This is the second sign of God’s delivering power; the bitter water was changed by the Tree. Yet we find here in Exodus that the miracle didn’t change their nature, but the evidence should have been enough for them to change their attitude. So the water changed and they all praised the Lord. No? So the water changed and they all thanked God. No? They did nothing but consume it on their own lust (Ex 15:27 & James 4:1-4).
They took their journey from Elim to the wilderness of sin, which is between Elim and Sinai. They sang, no? They praised the Lord, no? They murmured against Moses and Aaron (adding Aaron to their list)… yes (Ex 16:2).
They entered a “God Is” thinking, but the wrong kind; they were saying “God is going to kill us,” yet all the evidence pointed to God was saving them. Did they see it? No, which became the “frustration of Moses” (paraphrased). They had all sorts of animals, but they were not red meat eaters, since they picked up the ways of the Egyptians. The term “flesh pots” doesn’t mean red meat was boiling; to them “flesh” was fowl, or fish. The word flesh has several meanings, including the flesh of man, so we don’t want to make more of this than it is.
We know the Egyptians felt that shepherds were an abomination; anyone who raised red meat to eat was an abomination. The substance in Egypt was mainly vegetarian with fowl and fish, and the children wanted to see the “good old days” when Pharaoh was meeting their need; but they forgot Pharaoh also kept them in bondage.
God would bring them Manna, but it came based on their murmurings (Ex 16:8). All this is leading to the Sabbath day; the first time we find the word Sabbath is here in Exodus chapter 16. However, did the children praise the Lord for His provision? No; the Egyptian attitude coupled with the slavery mentality brought forth more murmuring. The connection between the Manna and the Sabbath day was another indication of God seeking obedience.
Now we find the definition of “flesh” as these people knew it; God said, “At even you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread” (Ex 16:12). What Flesh did He send them? Fast food or hamburgers? No, it was quail (Ex 16:13). This is not the Great Quail Hunt, this is the first one, and the Great One comes later.
Nonetheless we find what the word “flesh” means in reference to these people.
The Manna and the Sabbath: Then the introduction of the Sabbath, with the phrase, “Tomorrow is the rest of the holy Sabbath unto the Lord: bake what you will bake today, and seethe what you will seethe; and what remains over lay up to be kept until the morning.” Then on the next day Moses said, “Eat today; for today is the Sabbath unto the Lord: today you shall not find it in the field” (Ex 16:23-25). This is the introduction to the Sabbath day, yet it’s before the Law and the Ten Commandments, but explained in Exodus 16. However, why did it come? Because they obeyed the Lord their God? No, because they needed one day to consider their ways? Partly, but God was still looking for the first steps of obedience.
The keeping of the Manna should have been a clue to their attitude, the people saw this strange thing, then said “Manna?” or “What is it?” Often we do the same, “What is this?” Yet it came from the Lord. They could only gather so much; if they gathered more it would turn wormy, and if they attempted to hoard some overnight it would turn wormy. Yet, it would keep from Friday through the Sabbath. How did the Manna know what to do? The Manna is a wilderness miracle (Ex 16:34-36); it was a reflection of God’s provision, and yet it also exposed the disobedience of the children. The Manna will cease when they leave the wilderness.
The Manna had no idea when the Sabbath was; thus the conditions were built in by God. The command came from heaven, the Manna from the earth, and the Manna obeyed, but the children didn’t and this is the point of the Manna and Sabbath day being related.
Were they successful in tempting God? Sounds like it; they murmured and complained and then God gave them what they wanted. Yet, God cannot be tempted to do evil. Ahh! Their evil temptation came, but God was not fooled; He sent back three things, a basis from which they can believe unto obedience, an exposure of their attitude, and a test. The belief part was in knowing that God can provide in many ways, such as the one time quail or the everyday Manna. The exposure was revealed God’s Mercy granted in the face of their lack of it. The “blessing in hand” can mean many things; we must be able to discern, in order to learn.
The test was in how they limited themselves to the moment; they forgot what God did yesterday and feared tomorrow, but complained about today. The exposure was obvious, instead of catching some of the quail and then raising them for many days of food, they ate the whole bunch in one sitting.
From all this we can see that the children were regressing; yet God wanted them to progress. God wasn’t going to force them to obey; it was up to them. There are many things in the Covenant that God will not do for us: we are seek the Kingdom, God won’t, He is the Kingdom. We are to put off the old man; we are to study to make ourselves approved, we are to believe, we are to walk in faith, we are to walk in the Spirit, we are to love as Jesus loves us, we are to forgive as God for Christ’s sake forgave us, and many other things based on receiving the ability from God.
God has given us the Authority and Power to accomplish the tasks, but we must apply what God gave us. Here is our example: they had the “measure of faith” and they used it to cross the Sea. It wasn’t as if they didn’t have what it took; they just failed to apply it.
We can see how all this is leading up to the Ten Commandments and the Law; they came not because of the praises of the people or the lack thereof, not because of their faith, and not because of their joyous attitude, but because of their murmuring and complaining, which was the result of their unbelief. This resulted in their refusal to obey the Lord, their God. It’s vital for us to see that Belief is a “choice” issue; and the evidence is before us. We can read a verse and either accept it or deny it; if we accept it we believe and if we deny it, we fall into unbelief.
Next would be the Water from the Rock; Paul tells us that the Rock is Christ. What? How can it be? Jesus in the wilderness? Hold it! The Rock is metaphoric to begin with, as it relates to the Body of Christ, which we are. The Body of Jesus was beaten for us; the Body of Christ is never to be struck (Ex 17:1-7).
The people “tempted” the Lord, yet He gave them water (Ex 17:2). We have to gain the clarity here; the people didn’t trick God with their tempting and God didn’t turn a deaf ear to them either. He tested them with their own words. Although they received water from the rock, they didn’t think it was a big deal; they didn’t jump up and down, sign or dance as they did when Pharaoh died. They were more moved by the death of Pharaoh, then the obvious blessings of God.
The place was called “Massah and Meribah” because “they tempted the Lord, saying Is the Lord among us, or not” (Ex 17:7). Ouch! How many of us have said that?
God tests us; we never test God. Testing God is not wise. God is responding to the children, but He is not fooled by their tempting ways. He is sending Good to them, but they don’t see as good. They made the choice to interpret what God was doing as evil, the foundation for unbelief.
All this happens before the Law and Ten Commandments and it is leading to God granting them the result of their folly. Even today the Jew thinks that the Law and Commandments are a “true and rich blessing from God”; but they fail to see to whom they were delivered, or why.
The division of proving comes next; they had the Manna in hand, they had the Water from the Rock, and they were in the lap of blessing until Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. All this is still within months of crossing the Sea, yet God delivered them from Amalek when Moses stood with his arms held up. But when Moses could no longer hold up his arms, the battle went against the children (Ex 17:8-12). Moses sat on a stone; and then Aaron and Hur held up the arms of Moses, as we saw. So what was God showing them? Unity, helping Moses was victory; murmuring and complaining was not.
The children won the battle, and Moses built an altar calling it Jehovah-nissi (The Lord my banner) but why? It was the Lord doing victory over the enemy, the same excitement the children had at the death of Pharaoh. Where was the altar for God providing the Manna? Or the Water from the Rock? There was none; the Commandments and Law are right around the corner, however, Jethro the priest, the father-in-law of Moses appears on the scene. We’ve talked about this area, but we can see there is a definite regression taking place. Did God know it? Yes, did the children tempt God? Yes. Was it successful? No. The Commandments and Law will prove it.
We reviewed the chain of events to get the right perspective on what is taking place as well as what the Commandments prove. The children were told to prepare, so they washed their clothes, but not their minds. The key was still “Obey My Voice” (Ex 19:5) as the Proceeding Word; but now it’s “keep My Covenant”; and they were about to get a Covenant. The Sabbath coming before the Law became the token for the Law, since they were already keeping it. However in for Abraham, it was not the case; first God gave Abraham the Covenant and then came the Token. The difference shows Abraham received Covenant when he was not circumcised; and these people “received” after they held the token. Therefore, for Abraham, it was obedience and belief; and for these people it was to get them to obey. They still had slave-mentally, yet the ability to be free was in hand.
Now the Commandments: The first was, “Thou shall have no other gods before Me” (Ex 20:3). What gods? This goes right back to The Fall; these are Commandments given to those under the Fall Nature. However, do we find the natural side? Yes, in mentor worship, wanting to be an “angel” or a self-appointed “god”; some call this the “Jezebel spirit” but really, it’s the Jezebel mindset of a self-appointed leader and one who is their own prophet or forms their own meaning to doctrines, or who have the “special” thing making them better than the rest of the Body; they want to be a god among people.
God said they were not to have any “god” (judge) before them; and God, what will they say? “Speak you with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die” (Ex 20:19). They proved the point; they broke the first Commandment within seconds of hearing it.
This defines the term “Body of Moses” showing us that the figure next to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration was not Moses the man, but the Body of Moses, or better stated…. a representation of the Law. Elijah was a representation of the Prophets; and there stood the Law and Prophets on either side of Jesus. But the Father said, “Hear ye Him.” So what did Peter want? He said, “Let us make three tabernacles” (Matt 17:1-6). After all, Peter simply wanted to do something, thinking that a little honor couldn’t hurt.
But, what was he doing? He was equating the Law and Prophets as equal to Jesus; not real smart. We can turn most anything into a god; even theology can be a god as well as tradition or our own personal agenda can be, and often is.
The next Commandment had to do with idols of stone, or idols in the mind (Ex 20:4). So, did they obey? No, the golden calf proves it.
They placed their bellies as an idol as well, “What shall we eat?” But, what are we told, “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought of itself”; “therefore take no thought saying, What shall we eat?”; “For after these things do the Gentiles (outsiders) seek; for your heavenly Father knows you have need of all these things” (Matt 6:31-34). “Well, it’s fine for back then; but this is now.” True, but Jesus is the same; it’s still a Kingdom Principle.
We can see how these are lining up with the fall nature; the third Commandment tells them not to bow down to the images, and so we can see how this connects to the last one, but it’s also different. “I didn’t make the idol; I just bowed” or “I didn’t bow; I just made it.” This is like telling a cow to keep the Sabbath, “I’m keeping the Sabbath, and my cow is doing the plowing.” The fall-nature looks for the loophole every time.
Taking the Name of the Lord in vain, would be the same as taking the Name of Jesus, yet rejecting the Mercy of the Father. It’s the very error mentioned in the “Lord, Lord” Scripture which people make; they did the Acts, but worked at avoiding doing the Ways (Matt 7:21-23).
The Sabbath day is the token to the Law; here we find it’s incorporated into the Ten Commandments. Showing the connection between the Commandments and Law, we find them as the Principality and Power nailed to the Cross (Col 2:13-18).
The hinge is to honor thy mother and father, so how does this relate to The Fall? “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen 2:24). Leave? What has it to do with honor? Much. God will say in Joshua 24:3, “I took your father Abraham”; we find the same reference types in many areas (Luke 1:73, 16:24-30, Jn 8:53-56, Acts 7:2 & Rom 4:12).
God pointed to our physical parents, but more important, to these people; He was telling them to Honor Moses and those in leadership. Thus, the Hinge is the Shoulder, the government order between God and the congregation.
The Hinge was important, showing we can honor our leaders, but we don’t make gods out of them. The Commandment, “Thou shall not kill” applies, since they were killing Moses daily with their murmuring and complaining.
The word “kill” means murder, or the taking of a life for some self-based purpose. Adultery is another area and according to the Jews in the time of Jesus, no man could be seen as having “committed adultery; only a woman. Also they felt that if one had the thought, yet rejected it, that they were more holy than the person who never had the thought to begin with. Jesus cleared the issue, by giving a Division in the Proceeding Word. If man or woman plans out the evil, thinks up the plan, or attempts to put the plan into action in their minds… they have committed adultery (Matt 5:27).
Then stealing is next; but steal what? Anything! Perhaps it could be the power, the calling, money, position, or a prophecy given to another; it could be anything, and it was not specific, but what else? The Mercy of God; thus taking the Mercy of God, yet refusing to give it, is stealing.
Stealing is the unlawful taking or using of something without granted permission or it is it can be the taking of something and using it in opposition of the authority. One can be using an item saying, “Well I didn’t steal it; I’m just using it, so I’m innocent.” Yeah right! Not so; you are just as guilty as the one who stole it. Paul says we should stop stealing and instead, we should work with our hands so we might have to give, so what does this mean (Eph 4:28)? God gives the Seed to the sower, but what if the sower never Sows; rather they eat all the Seed, just as these children ate all the quail? They stole the Seed, since God gave it to be Sown.
Bearing false witness is another area helping to validate the last verses in Mark; for without them we would never know why Peter had to have three witnesses, yet he still failed to believe Jesus was raised. Mary was one, the two men on the road the other two; in the mouth of two or three witnesses a fact is affirmed. When Peter said, “no,” he was calling them false witnesses, but when Peter said, “Not so Lord, I will never deny you,” he became a false witness. Have we ever promised God something, yet failed? We violated this Commandment. Thank God for Grace, Amen?
Proverbs 14:25 says, A true witness delivers souls, but a deceitful witness speaks lies. There are six things the Lord hates, the seventh is: an abomination, a proud look; but what is a proud look attached to? A proud person. A lying tongue; but what is a tongue attached to? A rose bush? No, to a person who lies. Among those things God hates we find, “A false witness speaking lies” (Prov 6:16-19). The next one is, the one falling on anyone who engages in self-righteousness, “Thou shalt not covet” (Ex 20:17 & Rom 7:7). This is the motive behind the “spirit lusting to envy,” wanting what others have, yet not willing to pay the price to get it. No human under the “fall nature” has Right standing before God. None can come boldly to the throne, unless they are Born Again. The act of self-righteousness is attempting to gain standing before the Living God by using the corrupt flesh, which means the person covets the standing, but lacks the ability to gain it.
When the people heard all these things, they feared, since they left their faith at the sea shore (Ex 20:18-21). God wanted to be among them so the very presence of God could heal them, along with their change in attitude; but they lacked belief and faith. They were still thinking, “God is going to kill us”.
We can see how all this points to the “fall nature,” meaning that the Commandments and the Law was designed for natural fallen man within the realm of the world, which ends at the Cross. The Commandments do not say that fallen man will do all these things; they say that fallen man has the Potential to do them. Jesus gave us a Way to be removed from the area of the Potential; we gain a New nature and character enabling us to do the Commandments of Mercy and Grace.
Truly, all have sinned, coming short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23); there is none righteous, no not one, but running from God doesn’t bring salvation, neither does putting barriers between us and God (Rom 3:10). However, the children in the wilderness also had the opportunity to repent, but instead of repenting, they wanted Moses to stand between them and God.
Written on Stone: This one area shows why the Commandments were written on stone; the words were from God, the stones showed the type of hearts they were sent to.
Was faith available? Yes, God spoke; and all they had to do was “Obey” the words. “Well, maybe stone is all they had to write on.” Yes, all five books were written on stone. No, the first five books were written on animal skins, not stones. The stones had a purpose; God could have written them on anything He wanted, including tree bark. The stone displayed the type of heart in the person the Commandments were directed to. You can’t circumcise a heart made of stone; the heart subject to the “circumcision not made with hands” has to be soft (teachable).
Forty Days? When the people feared, their fear didn’t stop God from talking to Moses, or continuing with the plan; but the plan now called for another Covenant, one for a people who lacked faith, since they refused to believe in God. This was in The Plan, but not the Desire. God’s Desire for these people was to spend “40 days” learning; but their murmuring and complaining not only hastened the Desire of God, and it produced the Reality of God, ending with the Law of Moses.
The Angel & Messenger of God: From the Commandments to the Judgments, we know that God gave Moses the Judgments, something we talked about prior, as they relate to what the Judges will Judge. God then gives them the Seventh Year Sabbath and then added the Three Festivals (Ex 23:10-19). Then we read something strange, God will “send an angel” before the people; isn’t God going? (Ex 23:20). Who is “this Angel”? Could it be Michael, the prince of the Jews (Dan 10:21)? Yes; but there is another aspect here as well. The word Angel means a messenger, if one speaks on behalf of God they are an Angel of God. On the other hand if one speaks from the old nature they are a messenger of Satan. Paul told the Galatians “though we, or an angel from heaven preach any other Gospel unto you than what we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:8), then he told them “but [you] received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus” (Gal 4:14), yet he didn’t rebuke them for it. This Angel carried and protected a Message; later we will find how Michael contended over the “Body of Moses”; the Body of Moses is the Law of Moses, which was birthed in the wilderness.
We change to be a change:These people hid under the Green Tree of God’s Mercy, but used the same old excuse, “God loves us” or “God accepts us like we are” or “God knows my heart.” God knew their heart, yet He still provided their provision. If God doesn’t want to make a change in us, Jesus died in vain. Through God’s love, He has provided a means for us to change, in order to “be a change.”
God so loved the world: Taking or claiming His Love, yet not fulfilling the purpose of Love is stealing. God so loved the world that He gave the Law of Moses? No. God so loved the world that He gave the Sabbath? No. God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus (Jn 3:16). However, with the giving, came the receiving. James tells us even the devils believe in One God; Jesus said Judas was a devil, so the concept of devils goes much further then fallen winged beings, just as the concept of being an angel goes further than Michael.
Prior, Moses brought the Ten Commandments to the people, but they said, “Speak you with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die” (Ex 20:19); however, they neither agreed to, nor rejected the Commandments. Moses then drew near unto the “thick darkness” where God was (Ex 20:21). What was God doing in the “thick darkness”? Didn’t all this begin by God dividing the Light from the Darkness? First John says there is no Darkness in God; so what is God doing in the darkness?
Could it be that the Darkness is representative of what these people were producing? Yes; on God’s side it was Light and on the side facing the people it was darkness, as a reflective indicator of them. Yet Moses remained a friend to God.
Obedience with belief: Moses brings the information back to the people; now they say, “All the words which the Lord has said will we do” (Ex 24:3). This was their agreement to the Covenant. Moses and the young men of the children of Israel, then gave sacrifices. But wait! The Tabernacle wasn’t built yet, so what did they use? It was the earthen altar noted back in Exodus 20:22-24. The children again said, “All the Lord has said will we do, and be obedient” (Ex 24:7). The added concept of Obedience confirmed their vow. Something is missing isn’t it? They never said, “We love the Lord, we believe and trust in Him.” Obedience without belief or love often ends in reluctant obedience.
Hear and obey: Peter calls us The Elect according to the Foreknowledge (predestination) of God the Father, through Sanctification of the Spirit “Unto Obedience” and sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus (I Pet 1:2). Moses sprinkled the book and people; the Spirit sprinkles us with the Blood of Jesus, yet in both cases we find the word Obedience. Is this the Obedience of God, or our Obedience? It is ours, of course, thus Faith must entail Obedience; when Faith comes, we must hear and obey in order to enter the Words of Faith.
Peter also told us to take heed to the Milk (more sure Word of prophecy – spoken or written word regarding Jesus) as unto a light shining in a dark place, until the Day Dawn, and the Day Star arise in our hearts (I Pet 2:2 & II Pet 1:19). Knowing the division of the Day and Night, as well as what the metaphor “Star” means, opens this passage in II Peter. The promise of being a Star, among the Stars without number must be connected to the Day Dawn; thus the Day Dawn is akin to the New Birth, the “dark place” is within us, thus we all began in Darkness, moving to the Light, to have the Light, in order for the “Greater Light” to shine through us. This sounds simple enough, but it must be done in our obedience; yet obedience can either be reluctant or willing.
God doesn’t promise to remove everything all at once; there are times when He removes the tares little by little, until we are increased in the inheritance (Ex 23:30). This shows a progression of the cleaning, rather than a “one time, one prayer” event. It’s what He wanted to do with these children; but change won’t come unless we desire it.
The children were quick to make verbal promises, but slow to put them into action (Ex 24:1-3). These people Heard, then said they would Obey, but did they? Was their obedience connected to their vows?
All this is still before the famed golden calf experience; Moses received the tables of stone for the people. The word Tables is the Hebrew Luwach meaning To glisten or Shine, as a polished rock; but why stone? (Ex 24:12). We just saw why, yet in our case the Ground is soft by belief, meaning that God can write on our hearts, rather than pointing to a stone saying that it’s our heart.
Later both God and Moses will agree, “These are a stiff-necked people”; thus a stiff-necked person is the result of a hard heart.
When Moses gets these Tables it will be on the “seventh day”; in the“sight of the glory of the Lord” was like a “devouring fire” (Ex 24:17). If it’s the seventh day, what is Moses doing carrying them? He made himself subject to the Sabbath day; but he was not required to follow the Law. It became his Law given to the people. This one event shows that Moses was not subject to the Law, but it came from him. The word Devouring is the Hebrew Akal meaning To consume or To eat up. Moses would be in this mount forty days and nights; he would also receive the plans of the Tabernacle (Ex 24:18). There we see “forty” again; the time that Moses would spend on the Mount was the same amount of time that Jesus would spend in the wilderness.
If God told them to make the earthen altar, why change now? The earthen altar was to enter into the Covenant, and now the preparation and plans for something else was being presented, another Proceeding Word. Here is another paradox, in this Covenant God made plans for the violation, in the Covenant we have, He has made plans for the completion (Ex 20:24 & 25:8).
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