PB Commentary

Genesis 1:1

Ge 1:1-2
There are two words in Ge 1:2 that I am told can have a little clearer translation than that given them in the KJV. The first of these is “void.” According to those with whom I have discussed it, this word is actually in the passive voice, and should have been translated, “was voided,” or emptied out. The next is, “moved,” which is an acceptable translation, but might have been a little clearer if translated, “hovered,” or “brooded,” as a hen does over her chicks. This is by no means intended to change the meaning, but simply to, possibly, make it a little clearer. When the scriptures say, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” it refers only to the beginning of the heaven and the earth, not the beginning of God; for God is eternal, with neither beginning nor end. This is the basic concept of all true religion. Without it there could be no hope of any continuing future. No power can control anything, except during the time it exists. If God could cease to exist, so would all His works; but that cannot be.

There is no statement of continuity between Ge 1:1 and Ge 1:2. How long it may have been between God’s creation of the heaven and the earth and the time of His voiding, or emptying out the earth so that there was left in it no “form,” that is, no form of life, is not given. And it has no relevance to us, because man was not yet created. So it could have no effect upon him.

With the earth thus voided and without any form of life, it was also in total darkness, and covered with water. This “darkness was upon the face of the deep” That is, the earth was in this great abyss, which we call space, and the entire face of this abyss was covered with darkness. While it was in this condition, “The Spirit of God moved (hovered, or brooded) upon the face of the waters.” Nothing is said about His moving upon the “face of the deep” (the abyss). His concern was for the earth which was under the waters; and He hovered over it. Make no effort to find out how long this situation continued. Had it been any of our business, He, no doubt, would have told us.

Elder Cecil Sandifer



Ge 1:1

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Ge 1:1 In the beginning God...

Perhaps the first four words of the Bible are the most straightforward and easy to grasp. Yet, they are also the most misunderstood and maligned words contained in the Holy Writ. This is to be expected in the carnal world that generally rejects any worldview that places a divine creator at the forefront. However, there is even confusion amongst those that profess a belief in God as the creator and sustainer of the universe. The flesh that we all carry around is a pesky thing at times.

The truth is that God indeed spoke the world into being. Everything around us, both seen and unseen exists because He said so. Every passing days reveals an increasing complexity of all things both living and non-living. This is because of the sovereign One who spoke it so.

You are sitting down and reading this little devotion because God created man. Genesis, the book of beginnings, reveals how we came into existence. It was not definitely not by accident as some would theorize. The adage, “From goo, to zoo, to you” has no place in the mind of a believer. In Ps 139:14, David wrote, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Amen and amen. You were not an accident. All life is a wonderful gift from the Almighty. This truth should guide you in all other areas of life!

Do you also realize that God is the author of salvation? If we confess his sovereignty in creation, then we must also acknowledge that he is the sole giver of eternal life. Notice this in Paul’s letter to the Romans (emphasis mine):

Ro 8:28-31 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to HIS purpose. For whom HE did foreknow, HE also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that HE might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom HE did predestinate, them HE also called: and whom HE called, them HE also justified: and whom HE justified, them HE also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If GOD be for us, who can be against us?

This chain of salvation is unbreakable because God is its author and sustainer. It is not contingent upon our good works, belief, faith, hearing the gospel, perseverance, etc. It is GOD plus nothing. My friends this is indeed encouragement in our world of uncertainty.

If He is the creator of the heavens and the earth, and the originator and sustainer of our eternal salvation, then why do we not trust Him to meet our daily needs? Why is our faith ofttimes weak in there here and now? Again, human nature is a pesky thing. The truth is that we need not be overcome with worry as we face the inevitable trials of life. God knows what stand in need of as we labor along. Jesus beautifully acknowledged this with the illustration of the fowls of the air and the lilies of the field. God provides for them and much more for us!

Mt 6:30-32 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

My friends, it is our job to patiently and steadfastly serve God the creator in light of these truths. As the old hymn exclaims, He is the first great cause and last great end. Never lose touch with the fact that all things are created by Him. Take strength and courage from the truth that He is also the sustainer of all, and gives grace sufficient for our unique trials. Comforting words indeed!

Elder Michael D. Green, Jr.

Ge 1:1

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
"In the beginning "

to wit, of time and things, in the first place, before things were distinguished and perfected in manner hereafter expressed. Or the sense is this, The beginning of the world was thus. And this phrase further informeth us, that the world, and all things in it, had a beginning, and were not from eternity, as some philosophers dreamed.
POOLE

We did not learn anything that the GODHEAD had done until
Ge 1:1, but several things occurred BEFORE Ge 1:1 such as the COUNCIL to COUNSEL, and in this Council a CONTRACT or COVENANT was drawn up in the MIND of the Godhead, which included – Heb 13:20; Re 5:6; 13:8.

Hulan Bass

Before the creative acts mentioned in this chapter all was ETERNITY. Time signifies duration measured by the revolutions of the heavenly bodies: but prior to the creation of these bodies there could be no measurement of duration, and consequently no time; therefore in the beginning must necessarily mean the commencement of time which followed, or rather was produced by, God’s creative acts, as an effect follows or is produced by a cause.
CLARKE

The phrase "in the beginning" (berêshîth) refers to the absolute beginning of created things, to the Uranfang. This fact is supported by the following arguments in the face of many and strong claims to the contrary. 1. The corresponding phrase in Greek, en arch, which the Septuagint translators used here and which appears at the beginning of John’s Gospel, is plainly a reference to the absolute beginning. 2. The noun rêshîth appears without the article, appearing in use practically as a proper noun, Absolute Beginning (K. S. 294g). The Greek Hexapla of Orion supports this, for its transliteration with few exceptions gives bohsin, seldom baohshn. 3. The rendering which takes the expression as referring to the absolute beginning of things makes for a simple, natural progression of thought and avoids that peculiar periodic sentence structure, which shall presently be discussed as highly unnatural.

Because this noun berêshîth is without the article, that does not allow for its being taken as a genitive or construct case, viz. "in the beginning of God’s creating," etc., for with that rendering attention is at once centred on the second verse and no reason appears for mentioning "the beginning" at all.

Here, then, at the opening statement of sacred Scripture we are taken back to that point to which the human mind naturally will revert and in reference to which it asks: "What was the beginning of things?" This solemn and pithy statement gives man the information: the beginning was made by God in His creation of heaven and earth. As far as this world is concerned, it simply had no existence before this time.
LEOPOLD


"God"
He that did the creative work is said to be God, ’elohîm. This Hebrew name is to be derived from a root found in the Arabic meaning "to fear" or "to reverence." It, therefore, conceives of God as the one who by His nature .and His works rouses man’s fear and reverence. It is used 2,570 times (KTAT-(K) p. 144). This name is not a characteristic mark of a particular source as E, or in a measure also P, as Old Testament criticism is in the habit of claiming. It is used by Moses in accordance with its meaning. The work recorded in chapter one in a very outstanding way sets forth God’s mighty works of power and majesty. God’s omnipotence outshines all other attributes in this account. Omnipotence rouses man’s reverence and holy fear rather than his love. In other words, it brings the Creator to man’s notice rather as ’Elohîm than from any other point of view. In stressing this we are not blind to the fact that this chapter also shows forth God as Yahweh, the faithful, merciful one. The claim, however, , that Yahweh might just as Well be employed as ’Elohîm, if the meaning of these names is to be considered, really ignores the facts we have just emphasized above —facts which criticism, by the way, gives heed to far less carefully than conservative writers give attention to the arguments in favour of the various sources, E, J, P, D, etc.

A thought by Procksch should be noted here: "It so happens very appropriately that the first named subject of Genesis as well as of the Bible is ‘God’."
LEOPOLD

"created"

The verb describing God’s initial work is "created" (bara’). This verb is correctly defined as expressing the origination of something great, new and "epoch-making," as only God can do it, whether it be in the realm of the physical or of the spiritual. The verb bara’ does not of itself and absolutely preclude the use Of existing material; cf. Isa 65:18b: "Behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy." Also note Ge 1:27. However, when no existing material is mentioned as to be worked over, no such material is implied. Consequently, this passage teaches creatio ex nihilo, "creation out of nothing," a doctrine otherwise also clearly taught by the Scriptures; (

Ro 4:17; Heb 11:3); cf. also (Ps 33:6,9; Am 4:13). The verb is never used of other than DIVINE activity.
The berõ’, which Kit. proposes in the margin in conformity with the claims of many, for bara’, i.e. the infinitive for the finite verb, and which yields the translation, "in the beginning of God’s creating," etc., is not only entirely unnecessary but unfortunately, leads to an involved and confused sentence structure in place of a simple and a clear one. Besides, such a change is born entirely out of the desire to make room for a particular interpretation, viz. the interpretation that claims long ages of the earth’s existence prior to the creative work here to be described. To use this change of vowels is the equivalent of substituting a confused road for a straight and a simple one.

Now is this first verse a heading or a title? By no means; for how could the second verse attach itself to a heading by an "and"? Or is this first verse a summary statement akin to a title, after the Hebrew manner of narrative which likes to present a summary account like a newspaper heading, giving the gist of the entire event? Again, No. For if creation began with light and then with the organizing of existing material, the question would crowd persistently to the forefront: but how did this original material come into being? for Ge 1:1 could not be a record of its origin, because it would be counted as a summary account of the things unfolded throughout the rest of the chapter. Ge 1:1 is the record of the first part of the work brought into being on the first day: first the heavens and the earth in a basic form as to their material, then light. These two things constitute what God created on the first day. The Hebrew style of narrative just referred to may or may not be employed on occasion, depending on the author’s choice. Here it does not happen to be used.
LEOPOLD

The supposition that God formed all things out of a pre-existing, eternal nature, is certainly absurd, for if there had been an eternal nature besides an eternal God, there must have been two self-existing, independent, and eternal beings, which is a most palpable contradiction.
CLARKE

"God created the heaven and the earth"

made out of nothing, either,

1. The heaven and earth as now they are with their inhabitants. So this verse is a summary or brief of what is particularly declared in the rest of this chapter. Or,

2. The substance and common matter of heaven and earth. Which seems more probably by comparing this verse with the next, where the earth here mentioned is declared to be without form, and the heavens without light; as also with Ge 2:1
POOLE

Ge 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

In my view, this is the most important scripture in the Bible, for this reason. In the beginning speaks of God and the creation. Man was not there for it was God alone. The lesson we need to learn is that it is God in the beginning of each day; it is God in the beginning of marriage; it is God in the beginning of the work day; and it is God in the beginning of worship. When we try to do it on our own we will fail. But with God we can do all things that please him and this is our major goal. Not only is God in the beginning, but according to Re 22:13 "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." He is the beginning and the ending and all in between. Without Him we can do nothing but with Him we can do all things that please Him. AMEN Ps 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."

In this "modern day society" we live in a fast paced time. We have instant coffee, instant oatmeal, drive up windows, and even a drive in funeral home. We go to the grocery store and take time going up and down isles but when it comes to check out time we don't want to wait. The key to the above text is in the phrase "be still". quiet time is essential in building a spiritual relationship with Christ, it is far more important to hear what He has to say to us through His word than the noise that we often have around us. "Be still" means be quiet, and cease activity. It means, prayerfully open your Bibles and see what God says to you. Listening to God is far more important than anything we will ever do. AMEN!

Elder Freddy Boen

Ge 1:1 “In the beginning God.”

I consider these four words the most important words in the Bible. Why would I think this? Please consider the following. Let’s begin with our worship which we often start with singing praises to God. If He is not in the beginning, who is. There is no room for anyone else or anything, it must be God for He accepts second place to none. God alone is to be worshipped and rightfully so for we read this verse in Ps 48:1” Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.” We should keep in mind that we are singing to an audience of one, God. If we sing for any other purpose we are not worshipping God as He designed. How do we feel upon entering the place of worship? Have we thought about what we desire to do? After all we can’t do it on our own; we must have the Spirit of a Holy God in order to worship acceptably. More on these four words next time.

Elder Freddy Boen

Ge 1:1 “In the beginning God.”

Today we will look at our ‘normal’ day. Does our day begin with God? Are we interested enough to read what God has for us in His word? Secondly, do we need to hear from God to help us through the day? Do we arise saying “Lord, its morning” or do we say “Good morning Lord!” Yes, you might have problems but spending some time with God might just make the problems easier to handle. For He gave us this promise in Heb 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Yes, we need to walk with Him every day, all day, and depend on Him to guide us and help us. Frankly, I need all the help He has for me. More on these four words next time.

Elder Freddy Boen

Ge 1:1 “In the beginning God.”

Today we will examine the need for God in our marriages. A Minister often says, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the presence of God and these witnesses.” Let me give you a vivid illustration on marriage. There is a triangle with God at the top, the husband on one side at the bottom, and the wife on the opposite side. Now as the husband draws closer to God and the wife draws closer to God a wonderful thing happen; they get closer to each other. Do we need God in our lives, marriages, and home? Yes, we do! One more point; as the husband and wife draw closer to God and each other it’s possible that the children will grow with them. This will give the children a good foundation for their lives as they mature. There are blessings beyond our comprehension, by putting God first in our church life and our marriages. Stay with me for I am not through with these four wonderful words.

Elder Freddy Boen

Ge 1:1 “In the beginning God.”

After all that we have written there is still one more beginning we should study. Let’s jump forward to the day we arrive in heaven. We do not know just what it will be like but we do know this that John left on record “1Jo 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” Do we want or need more than this text tells us? Yes, there are things we would like to know but just knowing God as He is will be all we need or desire. I remember a blind minister saying “There are a lot of things I cannot see but I know that the first one I see will in heaven is God.” This is the lesson in Joh 11:44. So, in the beginning of that eternal day we will see God, be satisfied, and live with Him forever and ever. I could write many things about heaven that the Bible tells us about such as Job 19:27 “Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” However in glory it will be ‘just right.’ One more next time.

Elder Freddy Boen

Ge 1:1 “In the beginning God.”

Of all I have written this is the foundation because these four words teach us about the sovereignty of God. If He is not sovereign then we are in a heap of trouble. No, God is not the cause of all things but He is in control of all things. If there is one thing He does not have control over then I fear that one thing would destroy me. Let me give my definition of the sovereignty of God; He does what He pleases with whom He pleases when He pleases. Isa 46:9 “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me.” Also Job 9:12 “Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?” He sets in the solitude of Himself and needs no help (especially from man) and works His will for His glory and our good. This includes temporal things as well as eternal. May we all submit to the Holy God and follow His will and quit depending on the vain things of man and this world. Amen!

Elder Freddy Boen

Genesis 1:2

Ge 1:2 "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

PBtop THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT A Brief Study

In creation, The Spirit sovereignly moved upon the waters: "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." { Ge 1:2 } Note that rather than the Spirit being "moved," He sovereignly did the "moving." As proof of His Deity, the Spirit of God was not only concerned in the creation of all things, garnishing the heavens, and moving upon the face of the waters on the earth; but also in the formation of man.
4

"The Spirit of God"

not the wind, which was not yet created, as is manifest, because the air, the matter or subject of it, was not yet produced; but the Third Person of the glorious Trinity, called the Holy Ghost, to whom the work of creation is attributed, Job 26:13, as it is ascribed to the Second Person, the Son, Joh 1:3; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:3, and to the First Person, the Father, everywhere.
Poole


Genesis 1:4

Ge 1:4, “And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”

God sanctified His chosen people. This principle is taught throughout the scriptures, from the beginning when God created light. God divided the light from the darkness. “Divided” in this verse means separated out or set apart. He made the light, and set it apart from the darkness for His purpose. The light didn’t make itself “good”, or pleasing in God’s sight. Nor did it separate itself from the darkness. The darkness didn’t decide between becoming light or staying darkness. God did the making good and the dividing. The same is true pertaining to His people. God chose His people out from among all of Adam’s descendants. He sanctified, or set apart for His holy purpose, those that He chose. Those that He sanctified He made “good”; legally on the cross by the one offering of Jesus Christ (Heb 10:14), and vitally in the new birth. Without the working of God in our hearts, we are by nature “darkness” and not pleasing to God (good). “There is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Ps 14:3; 53:3; Ro 3:12). But before the world began, God chose those that He loved (Eph 1:4) and has “made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col 1:12). We “are now light in the Lord” (Eph 5:8), and God sees His work in us and He declares us “good”. One glorious day, Christ will come again to take us home. In that day, He will divide His people, the “children of light”, from the children of darkness, where we will be unto His glory forevermore.

Elder Mike Moseley

"And God saw the light, that it was good"

-we might note that all works wrought by God were actually good and perfect and in every sense adequate for their purpose. There was no experimentation of an unskilled craftsman. There was no trying and testing after the fashion of toiling men. In fact, another very noble conception pervades it all; since there are no other beings to herald the Creator’s praise, He, having achieved so praiseworthy a work, in this account Himself voices His approval that all men might know that in the very highest sense His work merited praise. Leopold

"God divided the light from the darkness"

God divided the light from the darkness. When light was brought in "God divided between the light and the darkness." This is a fundamental principle; light and darkness could not go on together. Satan is always trying to mix them. But Paul says, "Be not diversely yoked with unbelievers; for what participation is there between righteousness and lawlessness? or what fellowship of light with darkness? and what consent of Christ with Belial, or what part for a believer along with an unbeliever?" 2Co 6:14-15. And in Isa 5:20 we read, "Woe unto them who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness." ENT

God has thus divided time between light and darkness, because he would daily remind us that this is a world of mixtures and changes. In heaven there is perfect and perpetual light, and no darkness at all; in hell, utter darkness, and no gleam of light. In that world between these two there is a great gulf fixed; but, in this world, they are counter changed, and we pass daily from one to another, that we may learn to expect the like vicissitudes in the providence of God, peace and trouble, joy and sorrow, and may set the one over against the other, accommodating ourselves to both as we do to the light and darkness, bidding both welcome, and making the best of both. Henry

Genesis 1:16

Ge 1:16, "And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also."

This morning, our mind is drawn again to the unfathomable subject of the size and awesomeness of God. Truly, there comes a point in our own meditation when we must bow in submission to One that we cannot fully comprehend. (Ro 11:33-34) While that thought does not excuse us from doing as He has commanded nor attribute something to Him that we should understand from Scriptures is impossible (such as iniquity), we must still approach with the understanding that He is past our finding out with His ways and thoughts so much higher than ours. (Isa 55:10) To gather some appreciation for this topic, we must first understand some things about what He has done to gather insight as to who He is. When studying the natural creation, we understand that the evidence screams in thunder tones to the design of an orderly Creator. (Ps 19:1-2) It takes a complete fool, according to Biblical language, to look at the heavens and not see the glory of God. (Ps 14; 53) Therefore, let us look for a moment at a brief moment of His creation to see portions of His greatness.

In the Genesis account of the creation, we see two things that stand out. The first is that everything that God says will happen does happen. Every day of His work, the word says, "And God said let..." In every instance, it came forth just as He said, and this shows us the principle of cause and effect that cannot be circumvented. When the Lord speaks, it is done. When He commands from a positive declaration, things happen. This account should give us comfort and consolation in the spiritual realm, for the same principle applies to the spiritual creation that God does in our heart. (2Co 5:17) When God commands His children in a regenerative way (and one day at the resurrection), things happen just as He commands them to happen. None can stay His hand and prevent His purpose from being accomplished.

However, not all of God's commands are in this positive declarative sense. When He commands His people in the Old Testament by the mouth of His prophets, they sometimes heeded the commands and sometimes did not. They received the consequences He declared for the particular course (Isa 1:19-20), and today, not all of His children obey His commands when they sound from the pulpit or speak from the Scriptures on the page. In these cases as well, we receive the consequence for obedience or disobedience based on what He has declared. But, the comfort of the Scriptures in the creation extend to the comfort we have in the knowledge of the spiritual creation in the new birth. Someone asked me one time, "How many times are children of God identically obedient in that all children of God are obedient in the exact same way?" The point of the question was that he was trying to lay out some generic way in which all children of God behaved in a form of obedience that would allow us to declare who is and is not a child of God. My answer then is the same as today, "Twice. In regeneration, He says, 'Come,' and we come. In the resurrection, He says, 'Come,' and we come." Those two cases are identical in the cause and effect of all children of God in every case, identically, and without exception.

The other point that sticks out in the creation account is the fact that God surveys all that He does each day and declares it "good." In fact, the conclusion of the account shows God declaring these things "very good." Were we present to survey the conclusion of God's works after six days, we would be left with no other course but to say, "All has been done good and very good with nothing less or more to be added." The finished creation needed nothing else, nor was there something that was overkill. The point of this is to show that when God works, there is no problem. When we see a problem with something, we must look elsewhere to find the root source. When temptations occur in our lives, we cannot justly say, "God has brought this upon me." (Jas 1:13) Truly, our chastisement from Him could be described as an "evil" as it appears many times in Scriptures, but that evil is just and righteous. None can justly declare God bad in His works and actions. The whole reason that anything faulty came into the creation had its root source in Adam not God.

Therefore, knowing those two thundering points from this account, let us investigate this verse from the events of the fourth day. One of the interesting points about this particular verse is that the sources of light that we see today (sun, moon, and stars) were created three days after light came into the world. God instituted light (with an evening and morning to transpire) on the first day before ever setting the heavenly bodies of light in motion. Therefore, God must have had a source of light (or Light) before our natural bodies of light. We read from Scripture that light and no darkness is in Him. (1Jo 1:5) Therefore, light came from Him (more specifically from His Son) for the evenings and mornings to occur before the sun, moon, and stars.

What draws our minds particularly about this verse is the small little phrase at the end of the verse that states "he made the stars also." This type of expression is not quite as insignificant as an afterthought, but it shows the small exhibition of power it took to accomplish. Should I say about one of my own works, "In designing this widget, we had to assemble the structure and form the material, and we also had to give it color." By the expression and structure of language, the emphasis is on the structure and material, while the color is added for informational purposes but not the main point of the statement. The information of God making the stars is for our instruction, but not the main point of the verse (although still quite important). In my own statement, it is understood that I spent more time, energy, and effort on the first two items and relatively little time, energy, and effort on the color.

Consider how much people are discovering about stars. The more man learns about the stars in the sky the more he is forced to admit he did not know before. They still have no conception of how many there are, how far out in the universe they extend, or any other of the various details about them. Some of the stars are so large in girth that they will not fit within the 93 million miles between the earth and sun. Consider a star so large that it dwarfs our natural sun! All of these awesome natural qualities about the stars were written in close to afterthought fashion by the Holy Ghost. We like to trumpet some of our most notable accomplishments or things we have done that we believe no one else could figure out or duplicate. God certainly worked a work on the fourth day that we cannot duplicate or completely figure out, and He wrote it in the smallest of details!

The Psalmist declares further that these stars' creation was some of the smallest of God's exercise of power. They are the workings of His fingers. (Ps 8:3-4) Our own exercises of the fingers, such as writing, typing, or touching, are but mere fractions of our overall strength, and that is the creation of these stars for God. They did not deplete His resources, and for that matter, neither did the creation of any other thing. Knowing that these things, beyond our ability to fully fathom, are just a fraction of His power, how should we act accordingly? On a clear night, step outside and look up in the black darkness. If in a city with lights and other obstructions, find a place with a clear line of sight into the black curtain with the speckled holes of light that show forth stars' presence.

How far up are they? Immeasurable for us. How many are there? Immeasurable and more than we can see. Therefore, in comparison how far up and great is He? So much more than we could possibly understand. But, here is the comfort in the story. What are we compared to? God compares us to the stars of heaven and sand of the seashore. (Ge 15; 22) God's children are just as innumerable as the stars in the sky, and while some may go unnoticed (unseen to the eye), they are all still important to Him. We may overlook stars or not see stars, due to our limited sight. He sees and knows each and every one. The greatness of their creation is given in brief detail compared to the glory that they possess. While our creation in Christ Jesus is given more space in Scripture than the creation of the stars, consider how much was involved compared with how much we know. Do we understand how far the distance from heaven to earth is? He travelled it. Do we understand how far into the miry pit we were? He fathomed it. Do we understand how long separation from God in eternal judgment consists? He experienced it.

The work for our creation in Him is beyond my ability to comprehend when looking at just those factors. Further still, it is hard for me to comprehend the Just One being made sin for me that I might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (2Co 5:21) Yet, by our spiritual birth and His revelation, we understand that God required nothing less. I cannot fully describe the consistency, pattern, size, etc, of the stars, but I know that it took nothing short of the power of God to bring them into existence, with nothing less being suitable to bring us into reconciliation with Him. There is a modern song that is termed "praise music" that carries a truly noble thought (while I wonder if those singing it understand what they are saying), "Our God is an awesome God." Indeed, He is past our finding out, but thanks be unto Him that we have been blessed to have a portion of His counsel revealed unto us for our comfort, His glory, and our thanks to Him. May we sing of His awesomeness for all that we know of Him and pray to know more of Him going forward than we did before.

Elder Philip Conley

Genesis 1:31

Man as God Created Him/Them

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. (Ec 7:29)

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Ge 1:31)

What was the original state of man as God created him/them? I include the plural form of the word because the Genesis narrative, even in the first mention of man’s creation, refers to man in the plural.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Ge 1:26-28) (The bold “them” is my emphasis to illustrate the point.)

Up to the point of making man (with the likely exception of angels who obviously are created beings) everything that God made related to the inanimate and animal world. With each step of creation as we read the unfolding events in the first chapter of Genesis, God imposed natural laws onto the things that He created. A falling rock cannot defy the law of gravity. A procreating animal cannot violate the law to bring forth of its kind. These laws are fixed by God. The fascinating study of true science goes about discovering all the natural laws that God imposed upon His creation. Is it then any wonder that so many of the pioneers in science were devoted Christians?

Occasionally sincere Christians who struggle with this record will assert that God must have created Adam and Eve with an inherent flaw, that something was wrong with them from the beginning. This assertion however violates the Biblical record of their creation. The proper view would be to take note of the fact that God created Adam and Eve differently than any other thing that He created, and that He imposed a different kind of law onto them. Yes, He gave them certain natural laws that control their actions; for example, the law of bringing forth after their kind, “Be fruitful and multiply….” He also gave them a different law from the rules imposed on any of His other material creations. He gave them a moral law, and He assigned them personal responsibility and personal accountability to keep the law. He did not impose a divine fiat onto them that they could not violate. He did not ordain and pre-program them to sin based on a secret decree or purpose.

Elder James Oliphant 1 makes this same point.

There is a clear distinction between the laws of God governing [mind], and his laws governing matter. The plants, and, in fact, all matter, are controlled by laws that determine, eternally, the position and course of every atom in creation, but virtue or vice is never attributed to matter. The motion of a wheel may take human life, yet we never think of the wheel as censurable. Mind is governed by moral laws in which government we find virtue and vice, right and wrong, good and evil. God's right to create an intelligent being and place him under law, (moral law) with penalty specified for disobedience and I think ought to be acknowledged. Unless we recognize this as true we make man a mere machine and his actions would have no more vice or virtue in them than the action of an engine or a horse.

To ignore the unique quality of man’s creation as a moral, responsible, accountable, and intelligent creature is to ignore one of Scripture’s fundamental truths. To acknowledge this truth establishes the basis for everything in the Bible that follows the tragic account of man in Genesis the third chapter. It is my personal conviction that these traits of moral, responsible, accountable, and intelligent abilities offer a far more precise description of man created in the image and likeness of God than any other features that we might consider. All of these traits as they appear in Adam prior to his sin affirm Solomon’s point; God made man “upright.” Notice the significance of this word.

Ethically. Uprightness as the manner of life is a characteristic of the blameless (Pr 11:5) and of the man of discernment (Ps 119:128, “I have lived uprightly”). Thus the fact that God has made man upright (Ec 7:29) is probably to be interpreted as granting him the ability to recognize the divine law, rather than some inborn character as honest or straightforward (so neb). It is said of the reckless that his soul is not upright within him (Hab 2:4) and this leads to pride and failure.2

God did not make man with a design flaw that appeared when the serpent enticed him and Eve. Nor did God create man under a robotic decree that made man as certain to break the law as for the moon to orbit the earth through its cycles. God invested a unique quality of Himself into only one of His creations, humanity, and that quality most likely refers far more to the moral qualities listed above than to any other possible feature.

Do not miss the closing point of the above citation. The divine design of man, “good,” emphasizes man’s reliance on the divine law, not on any “…inborn character….” Man’s rebellious condition leaves him with a nagging and never-satisfied urge to “do his own thing,” but such a self-directing course violates even natural man’s created design. If God didn’t design His natural creation of man to be self-directed according to “inborn character” traits, why is it that professing Christians so often decide to ignore the Bible and merely “follow my heart”? When they so follow their own internal moral compass, they inevitably develop an incredibly self-serving and selfish course that destroys their Christian witness, as well as their Christian joy in obeying God and serving others.

Scripture speaks of angels that sinned and faced similar divine judgment for their moral breach, it does not go into the same detailed dialogue regarding them as in the case of humanity. Given this point in Scripture, we may reasonably conclude that God’s law to angels was in some way similar to His law to man. That is that He gave them a moral law with both responsibility and accountability to keep it. When they failed to keep it, they fell under divine

judgment for their sin. In the discussion of moral qualities I believe angels share in this unique trait, but for sake of focus I will set them aside and explore the Biblical description of man as created uniquely in God’s image.

Only man appears in the creation account with the unique feature of being created in God’s image and after His likeness. Even angels are not so described in Scripture. What features in man can we identify that distinguish humanity from any other being in nature? What features can we define that affirm man’s being created in the divine image and likeness? Some commentators draw the parallel of the Trinity in the being of God with the trichotomy (the three essential components) in man, body, soul, and spirit. This idea offers a possibility, but I fear that it stops short of the profound likeness that Scripture has in mind here. In the Ecclesiastes passage Solomon refers to man being created “upright” before complaining of his descent into a state of malcontented and self-destructive—indeed, self-mutilating—creativity. Man’s self-chosen course appears in vivid contrast with God’s original creation. “…and, behold, it was very good.” The Hebrew word translated “good” in this chapter conveys both a quality of value and a sense of esthetic and moral beauty. Man’s choice set him on a course diametrically opposite to God’s creation purpose. For that reason it is altogether fitting to describe man’s sinful choice as the ultimate act of self-mutilation as well as self-destruction.

We cannot grasp the idea of a human being created in moral perfection—a perfection that grows out of a pristine created nature that has not been compromised or flawed. Nor can we imagine a world in which the dreadful ugliness of sin is altogether absent. However, we should understand clearly that such was the precise case of man’s original state as God created him and intended for him to live. God was responsible for that state of man; God is not responsible for the sinful, depraved state of man since his self-mutilating act of rebellion from his Creator. Man alone bears that weight of responsibility. Man’s moral and aesthetic beauty as God created him escapes our grasp unless we look to Scripture alone for our answers. We cannot imagine the incredible world that would have existed had Adam and Eve simply obeyed that one rule that God gave them.

Elder Joe Holder

1 In an article on God’s decrees published in The Pilgrim’s Banner on August 15, 1896.

2R. Laird Harris, Robert Laird Harris, Gleason Leonard Archer and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, electronic ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999, c1980), 417.

Genesis 2:7

Ge 2:7, “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

Last week we wrote about death and dying, so this week we will write about life and living. This verse utterly astounds me! Not only did God “form” man out of the dust that He had created but then God “breathed” into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. We read this and rejoice in the greatness of our God but just what does it mean? In that breath of life was everything needed to cause the body to function; the eyes could see, the ears, hear, the mouth would move in speaking, the muscles would work, air would go in and out of the lungs, and blood would course through the body. What do we learn from this verse? God gives life! (Ac 17:28). Let’s read what David said in Ps 139:14, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

Elder Freddy Boen

Genesis 2:16

Ge 2:16-17

Man’s Will before and after the Fall

Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. (Ec 7:29)

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Ge 2:16-17)

Before the fall what was the state of man’s will, his innermost state of mind that determined what he did and why he did it? What is the state of man’s will subsequent to the fall? Is there a difference? These questions take us to some of the most disputed theological ideas in the entire history of Christianity.

Paul’s emphasis on salvation being of God’s will, not man’s, in Romans and elsewhere indicates that there was some difference of opinion even in the first century. In this case we have the witness of inspired New Testament writers to know the right view of the question. Perhaps the first major controversy on this question after the apostolic age surfaced about four hundred years later. W. G. T. Shedd concisely identifies the errant views of Pelagius in this controversy.

Pelagianism the theological position associated with the fifth-century monk Pelagius. He is best known for his views on the freedom of the will and original sin. Pelagius’s teaching is elaborated in great detail in the writings of his nemesis Augustine, who vigorously opposed it. Pelagius affirmed the freedom of the will, which for him meant that a person always has the ability to choose good as well as evil. That is, for Pelagius the power of contrary choice is essential to free moral agency. According to Pelagius, a person is always “able to sin and able not to sin” (posse peccare et posse non peccare). Naturally, such a view of freedom carries implications for the doctrine of original sin. Pelagius denied that human beings derive a corrupt nature from Adam; if they did then they would not be responsible for their sins. Rather, Adam’s transgression served merely as a bad example to his descendants. Against the charge that Pelagius’s teaching rendered grace to no effect, he countered that he affirmed divine grace in at least two senses. First is a grace of nature, meaning that God graciously constituted humans after such a fashion that they could meet the moral requirements placed on them. Second is special grace, which helps people to do what they could do without it but are more readily able to do with it. In this latter category are Christ’s example, the Scriptures, the sacraments of the church, etc. Pelagianism was condemned officially at the Council of Ephesus in 431 and again at Orange in 529.1

What is wrong with Pelagius’ ideas? First of all he has a fall without a fall. Man had full freedom to will and perform good and evil before the fall, and he has equally free will and ability to do both good and evil after the fall. Thus for Pelagius there is actually no fall whatever.

Norman Geisler examines this question regarding the nature of man’s will subsequent to the fall.

This is the view that all events, including man’s behavior, are caused (determined) by God. One of the most famous advocates of this view was the Puritan theologian Jonathan Edwards. He maintained that the concept of free will or self-determinism contradicted the sovereignty of God. If God is truly in control of all things, then no one could act contrary to his will, which is what self-determinism must hold. Hence for God to be sovereign he must cause every event, be it human or otherwise.

…Like natural determinism, theistic determinism may be objected to on several grounds. First, to view freedom as that which one desires is inadequate. People do not always do what they desire; no one desires to carry out the garbage or clean a dirty oven. Further, people often desire to do what they do not decide to do, such as taking revenge on someone for wronging them.

Second, according to self-determinism, Edwards’ position evidences a misunderstanding of free will. The acts of free human beings are not uncaused but self-caused. To say they are self-caused is not to say that they arise out of nothing or exist prior to themselves. Such would be an uncaused or self-caused being, which is nonsensical. However, self-determinism maintains that man’s exercise of his freedom is self-caused becoming, which is not contradictory. In other words, persons exist and can freely cause their own actions (not their own being).

Third, Edwards’ argument suffers from a faulty view of man. Human beings are not like a machine (scale) which cannot be moved until some outside force tips it in one direction or another. Rather, man is a person created in the image of God as a personal living soul (Ge 1:26-27; 2:7), and he retains this image even after the fall (Ge 9:6; 1Co 11:7). This image includes the ability to make choices and act upon them. Hence since man is personal, it is at best inadequate to illustrate his behavior by impersonal, mechanical models, such as a scale.

And fourth, Edwards is mistaken when he argues that human freedom is contrary to God’s sovereignty. God sovereignly gave man his freedom by creating him a free creature, and God sovereignly continues to allow man to exercise his freedom by sustaining him moment by moment in existence (Col 1:17). Thus the sovereignty of God is not thwarted by human freedom but glorified through human freedom. For God gave man free will, he sustains man so he can act freely, and he brings about all his purposes without violating man’s free will.2

I would not entirely agree with Geisler in his arguments against Edwards3, but I believe in the main he carries the point. If the theistic determinism view of Edwards and others is held to logical consistency, making God cause every thing that occurs (human behavior and otherwise), there is no logical or rational way to avoid making God the ultimate cause of sin. If God cannot be sovereign without causing everything that occurs, advocates of this view cannot avoid the conclusion that God caused the fall and thus God, not man, is responsible for sin. If God caused sin, Paul argues in Ro 3:1-10, then God cannot judge man for those sins. The Edwards view that any form of human freedom compromises God’s sovereignty builds on a faulty view of divine sovereignty. It demands that God must control—actively and causatively—everything that occurs, or else God is not in control and thus not sovereign. Consider the clearly self-contradictory conclusion of the theistic determinism view. God caused Edwards and others to believe this view. He equally caused me and others not to believe it. Then why does He also cause those who hold to the view to try to convince those of us who do not believe it that we should change our minds? According to their belief, God caused us not to believe it, so why should they go against God’s sovereign determinism and try to convince us of something that God has deterministically caused us to believe? When applied to the real world, the idea appears just as nonsensical as this example illustrates. Consider an even more absurd thought. If everything man does is caused by God, then God created man, gave him the law in the Garden of Eden, forbade his eating of the fruit, then caused him to eat of it, and had the audacity to condemn him for eating it. According to theistic determinism, Adam was merely doing what God caused him to do. Thus you have the absurd conclusion that if man refused to eat the forbidden fruit, he was obeying the stated law of God. However, if he ate the fruit in violation of that law, he still obeyed God by doing what God caused him to do. How can we avoid the absurdity of such an idea? More to the point, how can thinking Bible reading people believe such an idea?

The whole Genesis account of man’s fall lays specific responsibility on man, not God, for breaking the divine law. Ec 7:29 corroborates the point, along with every New Testament passage that deals with the fall and the divine judgment that man’s sin brought upon humanity. Man is held responsible for his sin, not God (either in His reveal will or in His imaginary “secret will”), I find it fascinating that folks who build their deterministic theology on God’s “secret will” seem to know so much about it. Apparently they think that God revealed the secret to them! Scripture never discusses or teaches anything about a divine “secret will,” especially a will that is contradictory to the revealed will of God in Scripture. This notion grows out of Andrew Fuller’s rejection of Biblical doctrine among the Baptists of his day and his perverting the gospel from a proclamation to a proposition. Followers of the Fuller theology will tell us that God “wishes” the salvation of all humans, but has purposed the salvation of the elect only, justifying the two divergent ideas by laying the divine wish for the salvation of all to God’s revealed will and the effective salvation of the elect to God’s secret will, or vice-versa. Forgive me if I cannot follow this illogical reasoning.

If we read the Genesis account of man’s creation and fall, and follow that study with a careful examination of other passages that develop and reason from those events, we may safely reach some sound and logical Biblical conclusions. A fall really occurred! Before the fall in his created state, man was perfectly capable of obeying the divine law, and he was under no divine compulsion or secret orchestrating foreordination to break that law. God created him upright and responsible. He freely made a choice—he was not divinely compelled—to break the law. We may conjecture as to why he made such a self-mutilating and self-destructive choice, but Scripture simply does not say, so we should not superimpose our unsanctified guesses onto the written account of Scripture.

Scripture further leaves no doubt that immediately upon eating the forbidden fruit, man fell. His immediate reaction as recorded in Scripture reveals his fall. It was decisive and immediate. To that moment he lived under the divine blessing of life in fellowship with his Creator. Immediately he began to die. Many marginal references in Bibles, Hebrew linguistic works, and conservative commentaries affirm that the Hebrew grammar of the divine curse “…thou shalt surely die,” conveys a progression that began immediately, “…dying thou shalt die,” and culminated several centuries later when Adam physically died.

The reality of the fall appears clearly in Scripture, but it is often obscured by the aberrant thinking of such men as Pelagius, James Arminius, and Andrew Fuller, all of whom to one extent or another reject that a fall truly occurred. In their view man could keep the divine law prior to the fall, but he chose not to do so. He broke the law, but he merely set a bad example by his action, so his offspring need merely ignore Adam’s bad example and keep the law, the new law given to them to believe and obey the gospel. For this reason George Ella refers to Fuller’s and similar ideas as “neonomianism,” a new law, one contrived by these men and imposed upon a man who, in their theology, didn’t fall too far. He merely stumbled and is quite capable of getting up and moving ahead with God. In this theology man doesn’t need a new life, a true Savior who replaces man’s sins with His righteousness; man merely needs a fresh start, a “new beginning.”

Ella’s depiction of “neonomianism” refers to the Fuller idea that the gospel is to be “offered” to unregenerate people, and that salvation occurs only upon their response to it in faith. In other words one law; “Do not eat; if you eat, you shall die,” goes away, and is replaced by “Believe this gospel, and live; reject it and die for ever in hell.” If man fell so as to lose his ability to obey God and even to will to obey, how can the unregenerate, unsaved person, believe and obey the gospel before he is born again? The law that man was able to keep, but chose not to keep, is replaced in this faulty theology with a law that man cannot keep until after he has been born of God.

The Biblical truth is that a fall occurred. Man had a free will before the fall, and he chose by himself—not by a secret divine deterministic decree or cause—to break the divine law given to him. He suffered precisely the consequences that God warned him would occur because of his sinful action. Today, he lives with a fallen nature, and that fallen nature produces a fallen will. Oh, it is still free, but its abilities have been substantially altered. No creature is capable of willing or acting above or outside its nature. We may wish to do so, but our physical nature precludes us from “leaping tall buildings in a single bound.” In spiritual matters man’s will reflects man’s fallen nature. While he could obey the divine law in the Garden, now he cannot. He has fallen!

In our next chapter we shall distinguish between man’s free will and the Pelagian concept known as “free moral agency.”

1William Greenough Thayer Shedd and Alan W. Gomes, Dogmatic Theology, "First One-Volume Edition (3 Vols. in 1)"--Jacket., 3rd ed. (Phillipsburg, N.J.: P & R Pub., 2003), 959.

2 Elwell, Walter A, Editor, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Books, 1984) 428-430, Freedom, Free Will, and Determinism by N. L. Geisler.

3 While Geisler claims to be Reformed and Calvinistic, his Chosen but Free is wholly Arminian in theological posture. Grace and works, Arminianism and Calvinism as they are known in Christian philosophy, are mutually self-exclusive, quite contrary to the multitude of contemporary ideas that claim to be “Cal-Minian,” a true oxymoron. In Romans eleventh chapter Paul argues that the remnant according to the election of grace is by grace and not works, further arguing that grace and works as causes of this remnant are mutually exclusive, not cooperative and synergistic. Solid Biblical truth lies, I believe, between the Edwards deterministic view and Geisler’s “Cal-Minian” inconsistencies.

Elder Joe Holder

Genesis 2:17

Ge 2:17 "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

But, Satan said to Eve "thou shalt not surely die" {Ge 3:4} Adam immediately lost fellowship with God but Adam may have thought after he had lived a hundred years "you know I’ve escaped the other part of that judgment" -when 500 years had passed he said "Ah, I know I’m free- I’ve escaped that other part of the judgment, I lost fellowship with God but I’m going to live forever" and he may have felt good when he was 900 years old but the bible says that he "...lived nine hundred and thirty years:" in Ge 5:5 "..and he died!"

Beloved, God is true- Satan’s a liar. God is true -he (Adam) died. In Ec 8:11 "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."

488

"for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die"

-may have regard to more deaths than one; not only a corporeal one, which in some sense immediately took place, man became at once a mortal creature, who otherwise continuing in a state of innocence, and by eating of the tree of life, he was allowed to do, would have lived an immortal life; of the eating of which tree, by sinning he was debarred, his natural life not now to be continued long, at least not for ever; he was immediately arraigned, tried, and condemned to death, was found guilty of it, and became obnoxious to it, and death at once began to work in him; sin sowed the seeds of it in his body, and a train of miseries, afflictions, and diseases, began to appear, which at length issued in death. Moreover, a spiritual or moral death immediately ensued; he lost his original righteousness, in which he was created; the image of God in him was deformed; the powers and faculties of his soul were corrupted, and he became dead in sins and trespasses; the consequence of which, had it not been for the interposition of a surety and Saviour, who engaged to make satisfaction to law and justice, must have been eternal death, or an everlasting separation from God, to him and all his posterity; for the wages of sin is death, even death eternal, Ro 6:23. Gill

"thou shalt surely die"

Under law Adam was, as is evident; but not under the moral law, which an innocent being could not even have understood. The commandment to him was simply not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: the terms’, not, "This do and thou shalt live," but "Do this, and thou shalt die." He had not to seek a better place, but enjoy the place he had. ENT

Ge 2:17 "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

But, Satan said to Eve "thou shalt not surely die" {Ge 3:4} Adam immediately lost fellowship with God but Adam may have thought after he had lived a hundred years "you know I’ve escaped the other part of that judgment" -when 500 years had passed he said "Ah, I know I’m free- I’ve escaped that other part of the judgment, I lost fellowship with God but I’m going to live forever" and he may have felt good when he was 900 years old but the bible says that he "...lived nine hundred and thirty years:" in Ge 5:5 "..and he died!"

Beloved, God is true- Satan’s a liar. God is true -he (Adam) died. In Ec 8:11 "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."

488

"for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die"

-may have regard to more deaths than one; not only a corporeal one, which in some sense immediately took place, man became at once a mortal creature, who otherwise continuing in a state of innocence, and by eating of the tree of life, he was allowed to do, would have lived an immortal life; of the eating of which tree, by sinning he was debarred, his natural life not now to be continued long, at least not for ever; he was immediately arraigned, tried, and condemned to death, was found guilty of it, and became obnoxious to it, and death at once began to work in him; sin sowed the seeds of it in his body, and a train of miseries, afflictions, and diseases, began to appear, which at length issued in death. Moreover, a spiritual or moral death immediately ensued; he lost his original righteousness, in which he was created; the image of God in him was deformed; the powers and faculties of his soul were corrupted, and he became dead in sins and trespasses; the consequence of which, had it not been for the interposition of a surety and Saviour, who engaged to make satisfaction to law and justice, must have been eternal death, or an everlasting separation from God, to him and all his posterity; for the wages of sin is death, even death eternal, Ro 6:23. Gill

"thou shalt surely die"

Under law Adam was, as is evident; but not under the moral law, which an innocent being could not even have understood. The commandment to him was simply not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil: the terms’, not, "This do and thou shalt live," but "Do this, and thou shalt die." He had not to seek a better place, but enjoy the place he had. ENT

Ge 2:17, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

No, we don’t like to think about dying or death. It might seem to be a morbid subject. The fact is, it is a Biblical subject and an experience we all will face one day. However, we just might be surprised at the different kinds of death the Bible talks about. I will give a simplified meaning of death; it is separation. I am convinced that this meaning will fit any kind of death we might write about. In our text today, the death under consideration is man, through Adam’s sin, was separated from God. Paul confirms this in Ro 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” This means that all of humanity was plunged into the state of sin, thus they were separated from God. They were, and are, dead to God and this means they have no spiritual life and cannot come to God as Jesus taught in Joh 5:40, And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Until something is done outside of ourselves by a power greater than ourselves, we will never have eternal life and this leads us to our text for tomorrow.

Elder Freddy Boen

Genesis 2:24

Ge 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

The home unit is the oldest institution known to man. God started the home in our verse for today and I can find no indication that He has ever changed or altered the thing He began. The home unit consist of one man and one woman and to try to alter that system, one stands in danger of offending God. Yes, it is true that God allowed multiple wives for a period of time but that was not the rule in the dawn of time. It is imperative that the structure of the home unit, as taught in scripture be observed and taught to each generation. There are two important things our text teaches us; 1. There must be a leaving. A man must leave his father and mother and the same is true for the woman. 2. There must be a cleaving of the man and woman in marriage. In the leaving aspect, it does not mean that there is no communication or family ties at all but it does mean that in the leaving and cleaving there is a brand new home unit formed and that unit stands or falls on its own decisions. Parents should never attempt to hold on to their grown children to the point that they tell them what they can or cannot do. Advise them, to be sure, but they will make their own mistakes and hopefully learn in that process. All marriages should be founded on the word of God!

Elder Freddy Boen

Genesis 3:5

Ge 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil

Hear below at
Genesis3vs5
Satan's method has always been imitation. What did he say to Eve in the garden? "God knows that if you eat this fruit you shall be as gods." Now, wait a minute, this is in the garden of Eden. Is there pagan worship - is there false worship in the garden of Eden? No. Get a Hebrew dictionary and look up the Hebrew word translated gods in our English language and you'll be surprised - it's the Hebrew word ELOHIM (0430 Myhla ‘elohiym el-o-heem’ ) - the very name of God. You know what Satan is saying, "you can become like the very God of creation if you'll just eat this fruit - imitate God, appeal to the pride, and you'll just be like God. Didn't happen did it? Oh, it didn't happen. But Satan plants the seed of thought and creates an imitation. He has ever since that time succeeded most effectively by imitation. He will imitate. What does Paul say to the Corinthians? "It's no wonder!" Satan is transformed to an angel of light so is it any wonder if his servants, his messengers are transformed into ministers of the gospel?

Elder Joe Holder

Genesis 3:6

“saw that the tree was good for food”

Ge 3:6 “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”

Looking is a problem and satan knows it. The pattern of the first sin continues to be very effective even in our day. God had specifically commanded Adam to not eat of this “tree” (Ge 2:17). But, “the woman saw”! That first look can be devastating if not quickly averted because the things that satan puts before us are often “pleasant to the eyes” and “to be desired”; that is, they appeal to our human lusts. When “Lot lifted up his eyes” (Ge 13:10) in the direction of Sodom, he didn’t avert his gaze, and he ended up in a cave in total ruin (Ge 19:30). When King David “saw a woman washing herself” (2Sa 11:2), he didn’t avert his gaze, and “the sword” of trouble never departed his “house” (2Sa 12:10). But, wise Joseph “got him out” (Ge 39:12) to remove the temptation from his sight, and though he had more troubles, the Lord ultimately blessed him beyond any possible expectation. Satan very effectively uses the same tactics today, he uses the blessings of our modern media to tempt the Children of God to spend more than they have, to do “fun things” instead of going to Church, and to engage in immoral behavior. To break satan’s devastating pattern for sin; we must “pray always” (Lu 21:36), search “the scriptures daily” (Ac 17:11), “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only” (Jas 1:22), and “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,” in Church “as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another” to go to Church (Heb 10:25). And, we must not overlook that satan heavily targets our children; that is why Moses taught the Children of Israel that the Word of God must first “be in thine heart”; that is, the adults must first learn it (De 6:6). Then the parents are commanded to “teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.” De 6:7-8). The Lord promised them good things if they did (De 6:11) and warned them of trouble if they didn’t (De 6:12)!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Genesis 3:24

Getting Past The “flaming sword”

Ge 3:24So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Whatever the physical “tree of life” was, if Adam had been able to access it and eat of it, he would “live for ever” (Ge 3:22). If it were an apple tree, I would expect to be alive and healthy when the Lord appears in the heavens on the last day; for, I really like apples. The “way of the tree of life” refers to “the way of” Eternal Life (Ge 3:22). Because of Adams sin, he and all his posterity lost access to “the tree of life”; consequently, it is impossible for any human being to obtain Eternal Life by some act of their own or of any other human being; for, the “Cherubims” with a “flaming sword” prevent it; therefore, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (Joh 6:44); that is, “No man can come to” Jesus by any act or will of their own or an act of any other person. But, the good news (Gospel) is that Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by” Him (Joh 14:6) and Jesus plainly declared “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (Joh 6:37) and “this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” (Joh 6:39)! Thus, the only way past the “flaming sword” is our blessed Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; for, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Ac 4:12)! Those who are not “born again” Children of God (Joh 3:1-8) have no interest in such blessed and holy things; but, those who are “born of the Spirit” greatly rejoice; for, Jesus Christ and He alone is their way, the sure way, past the “flaming sword”!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Genesis 4:3

And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering.” Ge 4:3-4

Why? Why was God pleased with Abel’s offering and not Cain’s? Was God being unfair or hard to get along with? Heb 11:4 gives us the answer, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain…” Two men offered sacrifices to God, but God was only pleased with Abel’s. The difference was the heart condition of those who offered.

Religious service in and of itself doesn’t please God. In fact, religious activity doesn’t automatically mean someone is righteous. I John tells us that Cain was “of the wicked one” meaning he was of the Devil. Cain brought an offering, but it wasn’t from a purified heart. Abel offered from a heart of faith. Obviously, Abel knew he was a sinner and was trusting, believing in God’s provision for his acceptance with God. Abel didn’t trust his offering, but His God.

Do you come to God with your services, hoping that what you offer will make you accepted with God? Or do you come with faith, trusting alone in the blood of the Lamb for your acceptance with the Holy One? Only when we are in this condition will our sacrifices please God.

Elder Timothy Guess

Ge 4:3-7
There is much about these offerings that we do not know; and very little that we do know. We do know that Cain’s offering was of the fruit of the ground, and Abel’s was of the ‘firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof.” We also know that Abel and his offering were acceptable to the LORD, while Cain and his offering were rejected. Now for some of the things that we do not know. We do not know when, or whether, the LORD had called upon these men to make offerings to Him. Neither do we know what, if any, instructions God may have given them concerning either the manner of making these offerings, or the substance of them. We do not know whether these offerings were for sin offering, for thank offerings, offerings for vows, or just what is their purpose. There is one other thing that we know about this whole matter. And that information comes from Heb 11:4. “By faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.” At this point we do not know if indeed Cain had no faith in God, and Abel did, or whether Abel’s faith was greater, causing him to adhere strictly to what God had told them concerning making an offering, and Cain’s was weaker so that he thought he could do as he pleased. So we are left with a great blank concerning the matter. Some of our brethren have from some source come up with the idea that the whole matter hinges upon the fact that Cain’s offering, “of the fruit of the ground” in no way speaks of the shedding of blood without which there is no remission of sin, while Abel’s offering does testify to the shedding of blood, since it is of the firstlings of the flock; and the animals had to be killed before they could be offered. But nowhere in scripture do I find anything said about this. There are offerings under the law in which the fruit of the ground is acceptable. But in this case neither it nor he that offered it was accepted. And the only reason we can find anywhere is that given in Heb 11:4.

Since Cain was very angry at being rejected, the LORD asked him why he should be angry, and look so crestfallen. There can only be one reason for failure. And that is a fault of the one who fails. If one attempts something and does well at it, that is acceptable, and that applies to making an offering as well as to anything else. On the other hand, if it is not acceptable there is something amiss. And the fault is with the one who has failed. Whether or not it is true, I cannot say; but I have heard it said that in the Hebrew language the same word is used for “sin offering” that is used for “sin.” If that is true, then the second statement of Ge 4:7 could be read, “And if thou doest not well, a sin offering lieth at the door.” That is, since the sheep often lay around near the tent, all he had to do to was to take one of them and make it an offering, and everything would be all right. I rather think, however, that the LORD is actually telling Cain that the fault lies at his door. He is to bear the blame. Therefore he has no right to be angry. Then, since the manner of inheritance is that the younger is subject to the older, the LORD tells him that Abel’s desire shall be subject to him, and he shall rule over Abel. So he has no reason to be angry.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Genesis 4:4

Ge 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:

"brought of the firstlings of his flock"

Hear below at
Genesis4vs4
There's a hint in terms of what Abel brought (Ge 4:4) - the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof that Abel brings (remember Hebrews says it was sacrificial). Abel doesn't bring convenience offering to God. He doesn't grab the first lamb or the sickly lamb. He takes the first lamb of the flock. He takes the healthiest, the fattest lamb in the flock.

There may be an element here that does identify some distinction between the quality of sacrifices brought that Cain just kind of says "Well, I've had a big harvest, I've had a lot of vegetables, a lot of produce, I'll take some of it and give it to God" - without consideration for giving the best. Abel is not that casual about what he brings - he brings his best.

Elder Joe Holder


"the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering"

There’s interesting terminology and flow of language here- God looks first at the man and then at the sacrifice. God had respect to Abel and to his offering. He had not respect unto Cain and thus did not respect or look with approval to Cain’s offering. The focus at this point seems to shift more from what was brought than how it was brought.

Genesis 4:5

Ge 4:5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Hear below at
Genesis4vs5
"Cain was very wroth"

Let's look at this thing called anger. First of all, Cain's anger is displaced and misplaced. He's not in particular angry at his brother - he's angry with God - "God, I came first, it was my idea not his!" "What's wrong with what I brought?"

When God and we don't agree, it's not time to defend ourselves, it's time to back up and take another look. There's no evidence here of soul-searching, of wondering what could I do differently? How can I bring an acceptable offering to God? There's none of that - he's mad! He's pouting, he's sulking. I don't always agree with D. A. Carson. He's a contemporary Christian commentator, writer, teacher - he is always thought-provoking - "indeed Cain is portrayed as a more hardened sinner than Adam, killing one's brother is more wicked than eating a protected fruit. Adam had to be persuaded to sin, Cain could not be dissuaded from sinning, even by God Himself. Sin is personified as an animal waiting to pounce. When questioned by God about sin, Adam (though rather petulent) at least told the truth, Cain lied and then made a joke about it. Adam accepted God's judgment in silence, Cain protested fiercely and was dispatched even further from Eden."

May I get just a little in your face - and please understand, I'm in mine too? There is this thing called righteous indignation - I grant that, but I seriously question that a lot that is passed off as righteous indignation is in fact "righteous" at all. Most often it is not and most often when we give voice and place in our hearts to anger against other people, especially anger against other people in the household of faith, we are perhaps giving vent not really to anger against them but to an anger that resides in us against God. Saints can disagree but God requires that we do so agreeably.

Elder Joe Holder

Genesis 4:7

Ge 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Hear below at
Genesis4vs7

"and if thou doest not well, sin lieth"

Sin lieth (couches) like an animal, ready to pounce on prey, at the door - in our life. Then the next verse says "unto thee shall be his desire" - sin becomes personified as if it were a life unto itself and had a life of it's own. Sin desires you - sin goes after you to neutralize you and your faith toward God.

On an occasion in the life of Christ, He turns to His disciples and He singles out Peter and He says, "Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to have you." Now, what does Satan do? "Peter, why, you're going to be the head man here - let me tell you how to really gain everything by what you do and how you do it."

Does Satan want you, to make your life better? Does sin come to you robed up in its ugly reality? No! I tell you honestly folks (based on personal experience - and I have more of it than I care to confess) and based on the testimony of scripture, sin always comes with a deceptive twist, "there's something really good about this for you." "There's nothing wrong with this - it's just great - it's a win-win for everyone - why not go ahead and do it?" The reality of sin appears here as a couching lion or animal of prey, ready to pounce on you and to have you for dinner (not to make things better for you). The appetite of sin is not your improvement and good - it is you! You're going to be the meal on the platter, you're going to be the animal on the stewer over the fire if sin has it's way.

"And thou shalt rule over him."

In the very language of the ten commandments! - thou shalt and thou shalt not. This may be an observation, but it may as well be an injunction, a command. Here is the nature of sin. It's like an animal prey ready to pounce on you. It's desire is for you. What are you going to do about it? "Oh, I'm just a poor helpless victim, I can't do a thing about it." No! That's not what you're to do. "It's really neutral, it's not after my harm, it's really looking for my . . ." No! That's not the case. About the time that hungry animal pounces, instead of crouching, you're going to realize he's not out for your best interest and looking out for your good. About the time he starts gnawing on your bones, you're going to know he's out for you, not for your best interests. You can either rule over sin or sin will rule over you - that's the point he's making here!

Genesis 5:29

God Sent Comfort

Ge 5:29And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.

Times were hard during the life of “Lamech”; for, “the LORD” had “cursed” the ground because of Adam’s sin (Ge 3:17-18). The ground was filled with “thorns” and “thistles”, tilling the ground to grow food was exceedingly laborious. Their days were filled with hard labor and there was little time for rest. Their minds were consumed with the arduous task of growing food to sustain themselves; joy and pleasure were fleeting dreams. Yet, even in the midst of their toil, “the LORD” was gracious and kind to “Lamech” and his wife! The “LORD” gave them a precious little son to take their minds off their troubles for a little while, to ease their distress. “Lamech” “called his name Noah”, which literally means ‘rest’! “Lamech” jubilantly declared of his God-given son, “This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed”! The Lord our merciful and gracious God still comforts us in times of distress; for, as Paul declared, “There hath no temptation [trouble] taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted [troubled] above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1Co 10:13)!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Genesis 6:4

Ge 6:4-6 all happened BEFORE Noah's Flood, then in Ge 7:21 all flesh died except the 8 souls on the ark - Noah & Wife, three sons, Shem, Ham & Japeth, so went the Giants. After the flood, read: Ge 8:21-22. Then in - Ge 9:24-29. So all living posterity of Adam can only be that of these three sons - God told them to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth in Ge 9:1. So here we are still in the fallen carnal nature of Adam, that is before being Born Again.

Elder Hulan Bass

Genesis 7:12

And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.Ge 7:12

In our area lately, we have had seemingly endless torrential rains. We’ve probably all thought, “Will this stuff ever stop?” Can you imagine such heavy rains for forty days straight? That’s what happened when God destroyed the earth and every person in it, save Noah’s family, many years ago. Such Divine judgment was real and it is somewhat uncomfortable for us to even think about.

From our perspective as human beings, we could think such judgment to be over-harsh. But that’s because we usually don’t see sin as God sees it. If we were to see things from His holy perspective, we would judge His judgment to be exactly right. God is love, grace, longsuffering…but He is also holy and has wrath against sin. This wrath is not out of control and evil like human wrath so often is. It is holy wrath.

My sins and your sins deserve no less than eternal torment. That may be uncomfortable to us, but it’s simply true. 100 prayers a day will not turn away God’s wrath against our sins. Nor will a sudden overflow of good deeds in our lives. The prayers of faithful saints won’t do the job. The only thing that turned away God’s wrath from His loved ones, once and for all, was the death of Jesus Christ. His sacrificial death satisfied Divine justice completely. That’s why Paul could write, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” (Ro 8:1).

Elder Timothy Guess

Genesis 7:20

“the mountains were covered”

Ge 7:20 “Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.”

This passage of Scripture is the object of both great disdain and great comfort. Those who deny the Doctrine of Creation hold it in great disdain and scoff at it and go to much expense and energy to remove it from public view. For, to permit it in public would be to permit the idea of a Sovereign God and His authority over us. The non-believers are especially adverse to our Sovereign God’s Commandments for morality, integrity, and humility. Those who believe it to be so are blessed with indescribable contentment and joy in knowing of the power of our Sovereign God. Paul puts it this way, “whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Ro 15:4). Such a God, Who is able to cover the mountains with water, is able to save me from my sin, deliver me from my many distresses, equip me to serve Him, and finally raise me from the dead to eternal life in paradise. To know it is so ought to mightily inspire us to learn in awe of our God and His Creation, use the gift of His Creation to His glory, and to daily renew our commitment to His service. Thus, I find much “comfort” in knowing that “the mountains were covered”!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Genesis 8:1

God remembered

Ge 8:1And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;

To remember doesn’t always mean that something had been forgotten, in the Bible it often means that an issue is brought to the forefront of the mind because the time is right for action. In Ge 8:1, when “God remembered Noah”, it was not that “God” had forgotten “Noah”; but, that it was God’s time for action. When “God remembered Noah” “the waters asswaged”! When “God remembered Abraham”, Lot (Abraham’s nephew) was delivered from Sodom just before it was destroyed (Ge 19:29). When “God remembered Rachel”, she conceived and gave birth to her son, “Joseph” (Ge 30:22-24). When “God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob”, He sent “Moses” to Egypt to lead the Children of Israel out of slavery (Ex 2:24-3:1). When “Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes”; God, blessed Samson, in his dying act, to slay more of the enemies of Israel than he had previously in his life (Jg 16:28-30). When our Lord was Crucified, the thief on the Lord’s right hand asked, “Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom”, “Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Lu 23:42-43)! What a great comfort to know that our Lord remembers us at critical times in our lives, especially when we come face to face with death!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Genesis 8:22

This Day The Lord Has Made

Ge 8:22, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

While scientists refuse the Creator God and speculate on global warming they come to some very strange conclusions. So what is happening to the earth? God’s absolute truth remains the same. The seasons will continue to change by decree of God until the end of the world. Thank you Lord for reminding us again today, You are still in control.

Elder Danny Ferrell

GOD’S COVENANT WITH CREATION

Ge 8:22, “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”

As the cold wind bites at my nose and ears I often think of this verse. As the winter deepens it’s easy to forget the beautiful seed time as we wonder if winter will ever end. Those long nights when anxiety comes, fear grips our soul, and we wonder if we could survive without the heat. Ah! The beauty of the eastern sky commands the darkness to flee and the warm sun commands the seed to sprout bringing the glorious flower. Thank you Lord for your covenant, the earth shall stand until Jesus returns. It is well with my soul.

Elder Danny Ferrell

Genesis 9:13

Ge 9:13, “I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.”

We all like to look at the rainbow and according to Ge 9:16, God also looks on it. We could write about the reason for the rainbow but I am more interested in the colors of it and what they mean. The first one is red and this color reminds us of what it took to put us into fellowship with God. Let’s read 1Pe 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” The blackness of sin had separated us from God and it would take a perfect offering to satisfy an offended God. You see, it was more than just the shedding of blood, it was the giving of a life that God would accept. The sinner could never do this, for his blood is polluted (Eze 16:22). It was the blood God saw in Ex 12:13, which prefigured the blood of Jesus. Then Paul confirms this in Heb 9:22, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Note: the Bible calls it a bow but we call it a rainbow.

Elder Freddy Boen


Genesis 9:16

Ge 9:16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

There are two kinds of covenants in the Bible, conditional and unconditional. A conditional covenant is when God says, I will do this when you do what I have commanded. An unconditional covenant is when God says I will do something but we are not involved in any way expect to be the recipient. Our text today speaks of an unconditional covenant that God made with every living thing. This covenant was made after the flood and God put a rainbow in the clouds, as a token of this covenant not to destroy the earth by water. The beautiful thing about this covenant is two-fold. First, God said He would look on the rainbow and remember His covenant. Did God need this bow in the clouds to remind Him of His covenant? No, He didn’t, but He gave us the rainbow, so that when we look upon it we know that He is looking on it and remembering His covenant. The rainbow is the assurance of the everlasting covenant God had made. It should be a great comfort to all of God’s children to look on the rainbow and know that God is also looking on the same rainbow and remembering His covenant.

Elder Freddy Boen

Ge 9:16 “And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”

After the flood God, put a rainbow in the cloud which was a token of a covenant He made with every living creature on the earth. That covenant was that God would never again destroy the earth by water. So when we are permitted to look at a rainbow we are to remember this covenant that God made so long ago. Now comes the real good part. When God looks on that same rainbow, He will remember His covenant. Just think, when we see the rainbow, we have the assurance that God is also looking on the same rainbow remembering His covenant. One very beautiful thing about the rainbow is that it has no black in it but only contains pastel colors, which blend together. One day, the Lord willing, I want to study those colors in relationship to the seven attributes of God.

Elder Freddy Boen

Ge 9:16 “And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”

After the flood God, put a rainbow in the cloud which was a token of a covenant He made with every living creature on the earth. That covenant was that God would never again destroy the earth by water. So when we are permitted to look at a rainbow we are to remember this covenant that God made so long ago. Now comes the real good part. When God looks on that same rainbow, He will remember His covenant. Just think, when we see the rainbow, we have the assurance that God is also looking on the same rainbow remembering His covenant. One very beautiful thing about the rainbow is that it has no black in it but only contains pastel colors, which blend together. One day, the Lord willing, I want to study those colors in relationship to the seven attributes of God.

Elder Freddy Boen

Genesis 11:4

Ge 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

This week I would like to examine the subject of ambition. Although the word is not mentioned in the Bible, its concept is clearly defined. First, let’s define ambition. It means a strong desire for success, achievement, or distinction. It also carries the thought of, an eager or inordinate desire or honor or preferment. Ambition is closely related to pride, so it seems that it is something the believer should avoid. In the early days of history, there were some folks that had the great idea to build a tower to heaven. I think we could call that very ambitious. It was something they wanted to do and verily felt like they could accomplish this endeavour. However, the Lord did not think much of their plans and came down and confounded their language so that they could not understand one another. When a group of ambitious people get together, I doubt that the words they use will be completely understood and the reason is, ambitious folks are most probably seeking fame, fortune, or honor for themselves and this is not pleasing to God. The endeavours of a child of God should be to please our Heavenly Father and this removes any ambitious claims of our own.

Elder Freddy Boen

Genesis 13:1

“And Abram went up out of Egypt...unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.” Ge 13:1a; Ge 13:4

In Ge 12, we see how the Lord called Abram from a life of idolatry to know and serve Him. Abram built an altar to the Lord. This reflects his heart of worship, trust and obedience to the one true and living God. Sadly, chapter 12 also records how Abram left the altar in a time of difficulty and went to Egypt. There, fear led him to compromise and lie.

The Bible doesn't shy away from recording the embarrasing flaws of even the “good guys”. Abram, a man of faith, had a lapse of faith. He blew it! He stumbled and messed up. If Abram, the father of the faithful, could stumble at the virtue he was most known for, shouldn't you and I be honest and humble enough to admit our weakness? Shouldn't this lead us to depend upon God for grace and be watchful over our fickle hearts? We should take this failing example of Abram seriously.

But we should also note the never-failing mercy and grace of God. Because God is faithful to His stumbling people, He brought Abram back out of Egypt all the way to the place where he had built an altar. Back to a heart of worship, trust and obedience. There are some falls and returns that are more dramatic than others. But the reality is, we need every day, in our hearts, to come back to the altar. To daily repent, confess and worship our great God. If you have stumbled down to Egypt in one way or another, come back to the altar. God is faithful!

Elder Timothy Guess

Ge 13:1-4
There seems to be little in this that needs any explanation. It is a very short account of the journey of Abram from Egypt back to the place where he had previously pitched his tent, and built an altar unto the LORD, between Bethel and Hai. Apparently this journey was uneventful. But Abram, when he had reached this place, again called on the name of the LORD, probably with sacrifices, for that was the usual manner of calling upon the LORD.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Genesis 13:4

See PB: Ge 13:1

Genesis 22:2

Ge 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of."

Did God try Abraham so God could find out how strong Abraham’s faith was? God knows everything, God’s omniscient, knows all. Then He didn’t have to do anything to know Abraham’s heart and limits. What was He doing? He was putting Abraham to the test so Abraham would know how great God was.

So, when you’re put to the test, it’s not for God to play a little sadistic trick and see how good you are or strong you are. It is so you can find out through the trial how strong and good God is.

Genesis 22:3

Ge 22:3, "And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him."

This morning, laziness abounds and gets worse by the day. When looking at many of the problems that plague and afflict countries, families, churches, and individuals, laziness is at least part of the root source of the problem. Many economic woes in this great land stem from the invading influence of laziness in getting "something for nothing." Spiritual decline can many times spring from laziness as all worthwhile spiritual activity takes earnest effort. Marriages crumble oftentimes due to one or both spouse’s lack of desire to put forth the necessary labor to try to save their union. However, in the subject matter of worship, many of us display one of the ugliest forms of laziness in failure to honour God in a way befitting of His dear children.

Our study verse lies within perhaps my favorite of all Old Testament passages. The story of Abraham and Isaac on the mountain reverberates with rich displays of application to Christ's sacrifice and God's satisfaction. In the temporal realm, the story is further enlightened by Paul in Heb 11 as one of the rare times when we get insight into the mind of a Biblical character. Notice briefly the tense of the language in Heb 11:17-19. The language is past tense, though we understand from a cursory reading of Ge 22 that Abraham did not actually take Isaac's life. However, Paul speaks of Abraham actually killing him, and this shows the magnificent faith that Abraham had. In his mind, Isaac was already dead, but just as surely as he intended to kill him was just as surely as Abraham saw God raising him from the dead. What remarkable faith!

One of the most stirring things about this passage that shows Abraham's noble character is the language of the verse above. In the previous verse, God had commanded him to get up and head to the mountain that He would tell him of to offer Isaac as a burnt offering to the Lord. What would you do if posed with such a command from God? How willing would you even be to do it? When my son was born into this world, passages like this took on a much more personal reflection for me. Now that I have a son, I can only ponder what my faith would look like in the light of such a plain command from the Almighty.

Many people today like to play the game of procrastination. When I was in college, the behavior was always on brilliant display. Why do something today when it is not due tomorrow? When is that test? Then why study for it now? As a side note, I have noticed a disturbing trend among some ministers to utilize this mindset when thinking about and preparing to preach to God's sheep. This mentality should be foreign and alien to any child of God, and certainly it should not rear its head in the lives of those that should be ensamples to the flock. Procrastination is a form of laziness, and what would this verse have looked like if Abraham procrastinated? Instead of him rising early in the morning to accomplish what God commanded, he would have slept in, dawdled around, and thought, "If I wait long enough, maybe God will change His mind."

Instead, Abraham was instant and ready to fulfill God's command. Doubtless, this command is harder and more penetrating than any command we have from God today. Nothing that God has commanded me even comes close to the heart-stopping injunction that was handed down here. Still, Abraham was instant. What type of command was this? By offering a burnt offering, God commanded Abraham to "worship" in this manner. Now, we see the mercy of God on rich display when He spared the knife from plunging into Isaac's breast, though He did not spare the sword of Divine Justice from piercing the very soul of His only Begotten Son Jesus Christ. But, God commanded worship on this occasion.

Today, God has commanded us to worship Him. The prescription is spirit and truth. (Joh 4:24) Nothing about God's command has changed in 2000 years. Since the first advent of Jesus Christ, the church has been set up, given the prescription of worship, and commanded to perpetually follow that prescription until His second advent to carry us home to heaven. Our prescription is not severe like Abraham's seemed to be. John tells us that God's commands are not grievous (1Jo 5:3), and nothing about the church's worship should ever be considered imposing upon us.

Consider how far we have come! I have read stories of our forefathers in the faith worshipping God in caves during dark days of persecution. Oftentimes these bands of believers would be put to death if their worship was discovered, and some sang praises to God as the flames of their tormentors took their natural lives. As little as 100-200 years ago, it was not uncommon for people to walk miles to be at worship. Ministers would sometimes ford frozen streams to make their preaching appointments. Meetinghouses were uncomfortable by today's standards with natural heat in the summer and natural cooling in the winter. And yet, to all accounts of centuries and decades ago, spiritual welfare and health among the churches and members was higher and stronger than it is – by and large – today.

Today we have greater ease to get to the meetinghouse, and the meetinghouse is more comfortable than at any other time. Religious liberty has existed as long as I have been alive in this great land, and I have never known being in mortal jeopardy for living my faith. Yet, laziness pervades every avenue of our lives: worship included. People seem to find reason after reason not to attend. Others cannot seem to find a reason to be there on time. Others cannot find the energy to engage during the service. None of these things can be attributed to harsh circumstances or for harsh worship. Rather, laziness invades and takes hold.

Many years ago, I was preaching a meeting at a church, and due to the circumstances, their pastor was away for both of my appointments there that weekend. After supper before the first appointment, one of the deacons came up to me and said, "Brother Conley, we don't do anything here. You'll have to do all the singing, praying, and preaching." The statement floored me. I had never run across such honest laziness! The words "we don't do anything here" were those that I never expected to hear spoken though I had seen some live those very words.

Abraham cared enough about his service of worship to be instant and hearty in the fulfilling of it. He shows this by his early attention to it. Just recently, I was asked, "Why do people look at being late to church as so terrible?" Again, I was floored. My reply was a simple question, "Why is it considered so terrible to be tardy to work or an appointment?" The reason is the same in both cases: lack of punctuality displays a poor attitude towards the one we appear for. In the case of employment, we display a poor attitude of reflection upon the one paying us for a day's work. In the case of worship, we display a poor attitude of reflection upon the One that has done so much for us and more than we could ever repay.

While Abraham went further than I have ever been called to go in his service and devotion to God, Christ obviously went further than anyone. Abraham's example is a noble one that I should emulate more than I do, but worship times are afforded for us to adore Christ for that great work that He has done for us. My worship of Him should have laziness weeded and rooted out completely. (Col 3:23) In these days that we have before us for whatever time we have left, may our worship of God be early. May it be constant and perpetual (rather than haphazardly). Finally, may it be energized and fervent. Since our duties are light compared to Abraham's and far lighter compared to Christ, we really have little – if anything – to complain about. As I often remind myself from a sermon I heard as a little boy, "If you knew this service was to be your last, how differently would you act? Wouldn't you want your last one to be your best one?" Indeed. Indeed I would. May we treat each opportunity as possibly our last (one day it will be) and work for that to be the best time we ever had worshipping our Great God and Master.

Elder Philip Conley

Ge 22:3-5
Even with such a terrible prospect before him as killing and offering his son Isaac for a burnt offering, Abraham made no delay. He arose early the next morning, and prepared for his journey to the place of which God had told him. In addition to Isaac, he took two of his young menservants with him, and on the third day he saw the place afar off. At this place he stopped, and left the two young men with the ass, and told them, “Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” (Up to this point in scripture, the ass and the ox are the only beasts of burden that have been introduced. The first mention of the horse is in Ge 47:17.) This speech of Abraham to the two young men is remarkable, in that Abraham knew that he was going to the mountain for the purpose of offering Isaac to God as a burnt offering; yet he says to the young men, “I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” In Heb 11:17-19 we are given the explanation of this remarkable speech. “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence he also received him in a figure.”

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Genesis 22:13

“in the stead of his son”

Geneses 22:13, “And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.”

I cannot imagine a more dreadful thing than being commanded of God to take my son’s life. As horrible as it was, when Abraham was commanded to offer his son for a sacrifice, he did not hesitate. But, in the end, God did not require such a thing of Abraham; He provided “a ram” for an “offering in the stead of his son”. However, what our Heavenly Father would not require of Abraham (or us), He required of Himself. Because He “so loved” us, “he gave his only begotten Son” that we “should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Joh 3:16). Our Heavenly Father sent His “beloved Son” (Mt 3:17) to die in our “stead”! Because He did, one glorious day; we will hear Him say, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Mt 25:34). “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Re 22:20).

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Genesis 22:14

And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” Ge 22:14

Jehovah-jireh means Jehovah will see to it or Jehovah will provide. No wonder Abraham gave this name to Mount Moriah. He had just seen God provide for Him in a powerful way. Just as Abraham was about to plunge the knife into Isaac, Jehovah stopped him and pointed him to a ram that would take the place of Isaac. God provided an offering.

Jehovah-jireh saw the greatest need of sinful men. Our greatest need is not education, wealth, or happiness. Our greatest need is to have our sins washed away in the sight of the Judge of all the earth. God saw that and provided for it. He sent His dearly beloved Son to wash us clean. God didn’t provide a ram to die instead of His Son, as He did for Abraham. He went ahead and plunged the knife of His wrath into Christ that we might live. Amazing love for sinners!

God saw our need and provided for it. Behold the sacrificial love of the Father and of the Son. Believer in Christ, because He took your place on the altar, you will not suffer the awful wrath of God that you deserve. Praise be to the Lamb! If God has taken care of your greatest need, your eternal need, will He forsake you now? If He gave up His Son for you, will He not give you the needful things of life? Trust Him.

Elder Timothy Guess

Genesis 22:18

“The Blessed Nations”

Ge 22:18 “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”

The Lord promised this blessing to Abraham when he obeyed the Lord and took Isaac, his son, to “the Land of Moriah” (Ge 22:18) to “offer him for a burnt offering”. Ultimately, the Lord did not permit Abraham to offer his son, but when he obeyed the Lord, the Lord told him “in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed”. We now know that Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior came from the decedents of Abraham. We also know that Jesus Christ our Savior, did indeed offer Himself a sacrifice unto God our Father; thus, eternally saving a “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” (Re 7:9). The Psalmist tells us that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” (Ps 33:12). The “nations” are clearly warned: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Ps 9:17). The Book of Acts details how the Church of Jesus Christ was spread from Jerusalem to the nations of the world. When the Church of Jesus Christ our Lord is functioning according to the Word of God and the Children of God are obediently submitting themselves to the Lord’s Commandments, the nation in which the Church resides is blessed of God. But, when the Children of God turn from their obedience to God, their nation fails. -- Let us earnestly pray that the Lord our merciful and gracious God will move in the hearts and minds of His people so mightily that we will indeed stand together as “One Nation Under God” to glorify His name.

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Genesis 24:4

Ge 24:4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.

Now, we come to human relationships, which I will begins with courtship. I fear that far too many times a young man will marry a carcass instead of a heart and soul. The one who marries a heart and soul will find their mate most beautiful. The thought of courtship is becoming more difficult in the “free” society we live in today. Keep in mind, God’s principles never change, even when society does! Following the pattern of a modern day society is not pleasing to God and certainly not filling to a longing heart. In our text today, Abraham sent his trusted servant to obtain a bride for Isaac and was clearly instructed to go to Abraham’s kinfolks. When a young man is seeking a companion, it should be through prayer and courtship. The purpose of courtship is to get to know one another. Going to bed with one is easy for the flesh but the morning will come and the getting up will be hard, unless the couple is married. So, let me close today’s thought with this; a couple should work this out, and come to an understanding of religious differences BEFORE marriage. If they don’t, I can assure you that difficulty will arise, which will affect the children.

Elder Freddy Boen

Genesis 24:6

Ge 24:6, "And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again."

This morning, much of life varies from one's perspective. Two people can look at an identical object (like a painting) and walk away with completely different ideas of what they saw and how to describe it. Sometimes, the description or report of what they experienced do not contradict one another but focus on a particular aspect that stood out to them. However, even though the complexity of people's personalities can lead to varied perspectives, there are some subjects that do not allow for variance of perspective. This intolerance of perspective on subjects stems from the fact that God has uttered "His perspective" if you will. For instance, debate today rages over issues like homosexuality, divorce, abortion, and other modern social "questions." Yet, God has plainly stated that these subjects are not a matter of perspective. Rather, He calls homosexuality an abomination (Le 18:22), states His hatred for divorce (Mal 2:16), and declares the sanctity of life beginning in the womb (Jer 1:5; Ps 51:5). These social debates should not be considered a matter of perspective. They are a matter of moral purity, and God has clearly laid the commandments forth for us to follow.

Our study verse sits in the midst of one of the richest Old Testament chapters for types, shadows, and pictures. The story of Ge 24 is Abraham sending his eldest servant to the "old home country" to find a wife for his son Isaac. This servant eventually finds Rebekah at the well, meets her brother Laban and the rest of the family, presents Rebekah with gifts, and delivers her back to Canaan. The end of the chapter is a beautiful scene of Isaac and Rebekah being joined together as man and wife and the beginning of what the Bible describes as a very loving marriage. While there are many rich pictures set within this chapter, for the sake of time, we will briefly mention the overarching them and move into the application of our verse. The overarching theme of this story is the purpose, direction, and providence of the Lord in sending out His gospel servants to search for the bride. Unlike the story, the bride of Christ is already His and will be with Him without the aid of the gospel minister, but the minister's burden is to seek her out to invite her to come unto her Husband in Canaan's Land to visit with Him, abide with Him, and rest with Him.

One of the greatest challenges of the gospel minister in his functions is to answer the question, "Am I going the right way?" We may ask that question about what we are to preach from week to week, where we are to go when invited, or even where we should be labouring in a pastoral way. Every duty that a minister has, there can be that nagging question, "Am I doing it right? Is this the right course?" Many times, we petition the Lord, "What wilt Thou have me to do?" We ask in prayer for guidance for the sermon to preach, the people to preach to, and the right way to go about it.

The servant on this occasion asks Abraham a question about the task before him. He is being charged with one of the gravest responsibilities that a servant could have (finding the master's son's wife), and he wants to fully know how far his responsibility lies. The question is, "What if she won't come? Do I bring Isaac to her?" Abraham's response is the verse before us. The short version is unequivocally "no, that is not an option." Under no circumstances was Isaac to be taken out of Canaan to Ur of the Chaldees or the region of Mesopotamia. It is that thought that should charge the minister today in his duties before his Master in heaven.

Notice that Abraham's response includes the word "again" in it. He tells the servant not to bring Isaac there "again." That statement says that Isaac has been there before but is not to be there anymore. Under no circumstances was the servant given liberty to affect such a thing. Later in Ge 24:8, Abraham clearly states that the woman's unwillingness to go with him cleared him in the matter, and he reiterates the point of not bringing Isaac to that place again. So, the servant's request elicits a strong warning from his master, and the repeated warning shows us the gravity by which Abraham prohibited this action. What is the point today? How should such a warning effect the gospel minister in his actions and decisions today?

In the story, Isaac is symbolic and representative of Christ, and the Father (Abraham) has strictly forbidden the ministry from bringing Christ down to the people. Rather, the minister is to seek to encourage the people up to Christ (in a fellowship way). He is searching for Rebekah to tell her about the husband that she does not yet know about. He desires to adorn her with earrings and bracelets from the Husband that she has not yet seen. Furthermore, he desires leadership by the Spirit to find the woman that is willing to give extra time and service by not only giving him water but also willing to "go the extra mile" (hungering and thirsting after righteousness).

In today's culture, unfortunately, we see far too often the reverse mindset. Instead of encouraging people to go where their Husband is (Canaan's Land – the church), they are catering Christ to where the people are. Instead of proclaiming the finished work of Christ with Him triumphantly sitting upon His throne in heaven, they bring Him back down in their preaching – crucifying Him afresh – by declaring an unfinished work of salvation that Christ did not accomplish. Furthermore, they conform the church's look to however it best pleases the people. If something will help "draw them in," then they will unflinchingly do it in the name of Christ. Such behaviour is bringing Christ back down rather than encouraging people up the mountain and through the strait gate to visit with Christ where He is.

So, the perspective by many today is that the doctrine, practice, and order of the church should cater to the people rather than the people honour and obey the dictates of Christ. Some will even proudly say that they have a "better perspective" on what real Christianity is all about. Their new way of "the living and fluid church" has finally overtaken that outdated manner of worship that is so dry and dead. Such behaviour and way of thinking flies contrary to what Abraham told his servant and what the Lord requires of His servants today. The encouragement of the Lord's people to visit with Christ should be done honestly, fervently, and prayerfully. However, there is a line that cannot be crossed. We cannot bring Christ there. We must go up to Him. The church – and what she believes and stands for – cannot be handled in "any way that we wish." We can only obey the command of the Master to search out the wife and bring her to His Son.

Since so often today people are catered to rather than encouraged to obey the Saviour, what would one expect the end product to be? What happens when parents cater to their children rather than commanding their children to obey them and follow the rules of the house? The end result is spoiled children that expect their parents to do what they say. The end result of our scenario is spoiled Christians that expect the church and her ways to revolve around them. One of the great contagions of our day is that people's schedules are catered to far too often. People do not bat an eye anymore when a vacation takes them away from the house of God. People mind less than they did before when matters of life (that do not pertain to health issues and things of that nature) take the place of regular worship in the schedule of life. Our lives should revolve around our service to God, and since public worship is a must (Joh 4:22-24), then we must have our lives revolve around church. Yet, too many have church revolving around their lives.

Abraham considered it unconscionable to bring Isaac to Mesopotamia, and we should consider it unconscionable today to do things that dishonour Christ. By dishonouring Him, we bring Him down (symbolically) by what we do and say. Our doctrine should extol the position that He occupies. Our practice should properly adorn our doctrine and further beautify the position of Christ. Our order and conduct should show forth that we appreciate His gifts and desire to meet with Him. Lose any of those things, and we act like a woman that would not have followed the servant back to Isaac. However, by doing these things, we act honourably like Rebekah and enjoy sweet times with our Husband Jesus in the land of rest. Contrary to modern man’s thinking, spiritual matters such as these are not a matter of perspective. God requires them. May we go to where He is in fellowship, and may every moment with Him be the sweetest times of our lives.

Elder Philip Conley

Genesis 24:60

The PRINCIPLE herein is the key, and not that of a “literal” scenario. Ge 24:60 The family of Rebekah, who was chosen to be the wife of Isaac. The family advised her to go with the servants of Abraham and become the wife of Isaac, and the mother of thousands of millions. She literally only bore two children by Isaac, that of Jacob and Esau. The K.J.T. clearly states that this established the Doctrine of Election, but both being born natural, by the SAME man, not yet born, not having yet done any good or evil, one loved and the other hated by God as is found in Ro 9:11-13. Ro 9:14 declares that this does not establish any unrighteousness with God. God forbid. Now read Ro 9:15-16. Now I ask – is this election timely or eternal? If “timely” then it is in PRINCIPLE for thousands of millions.

Elder Hulan Bass

Genesis 24:67

Ge 24:67, "And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death."

This morning, people fail to grasp certain concepts since they are ignorant as to the source or root cause of them. For example, many today get confused about the Bible since they fail to grasp that God breathed the Book into existence. Failing to understand the Divine Inspiration of Holy Scriptures, one will never arrive at the correct conclusion that it is infallible. Another example that crops up so often in the world today is the subject of the state of the earth and the universe in general. They look at a groaning universe and attribute things such as "global warming" or other causes to prove why the natural world seems to be "wearing out.” However, failing to understand that the root Cause and Source of the world is the Creator Himself, they do not grasp that He declared its perpetual existence with the patterns that He set forth until the day that He burns it up Himself. (2Pe 3)

One of the most misunderstood subjects today is the subject of love. Love today is promoted in Hollywood as the feelings of desire between two individuals. Love is promoted in society at large as some kind of nebulous feeling that "trumps" anything else – even truth – as people are encouraged to drop everything else in the name of love. True love – as the Bible describes it – is always built upon sacrifice and self-less activity. The greatest form of love comes from the ultimate sacrifice of laying down your life for someone else. (Joh 15:13) Yet, one of the most interesting studies that we can glean from the Bible is the study of "first usages." Where does something appear the first time? What is the situation and significance of it? Our study verse is the first usage of the word "love" or "loved" in all of Holy Writ.

Our verse finishes the large and rich passage of Abraham's servant going to find a wife for Isaac (at Abraham's command) and bringing Rebekah back to Isaac as his wife. While we will pass from most of the discussion of the context, I believe the context shows a beautiful picture of a minister informing the bride about her Husband Jesus Christ that she does not yet know that she has. The end of the passage is the culmination and consummation of the relationship between the husband and wife: in our passage being Isaac and Rebekah, but in spiritual application being Christ and His chosen. Let us focus the remainder of our thoughts upon the love of Isaac for Rebekah and the thought of first usage of principles.

Did Adam love his wife Eve? What about Abraham and Sarah? Did Eve love Abel? Did the righteous man Enoch love his son Methuselah? In each of these cases, I think we could probably surmise that there was a familial love between man and wife and even parent and child. However, God did not see fit to describe the relationship in that way. Even in the story of Abraham and Sarah – conceiving a child in their old age- there is no mention of Abraham loving her. Later there is no mention of Abraham loving Isaac. In all these previous cases, we believe that righteous individuals showed love upon their family, but the word does not appear. Is that significant? I believe it to be.

What is the source and root of love? We see the word appear here as the first source of usage. However, what is the original root and source of love? Where does it ultimately stem from? John tells us that any love we have for God comes as a result of Him first loving us. (1Jo 4:19) However, John also declares not just the source of love but the "real love" that is missed today. John says that love is shown and seen best not in us loving God but in Him loving us. (1Jo 4:9-11) Many today seem to be looking for "real love" or "true love." John tells us where it is. It is found in God's love to us. God's love is real love and true love.

Since God's love is real love and true love, we see that anything else must be measured against the standard of Him and His love. How does one measure His love? To answer that question (though we cannot comprehend the love of God in its fulness), we must look at what He has done. Remember, love is not some squishy emotion or feeling. Love is built upon sacrifice and self-less action. God certainly has manifested the greatest self-less action and sacrifice in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ. When Christ stepped down from His throne in glory and entered this world as a man, that action alone was condescension beyond compare. Yet, He humbled and sacrificed Himself further to be put to the test by men and devils in the hardest trials that anyone could imagine facing and thereby facing everything we could possibly be tempted with. (Heb 4:15) Further still, He humbled Himself in self-less sacrifice by taking the punishment due us and enduring it Himself on our behalf. (Php 2:5-10)

Such a great and gracious series of actions! Everything from laying aside glory and leaving heaven to going through the cruel torments of the cross and death were joyfully endured by our Master, Friend, and Husband Jesus Christ. Consider Him! What does all of that action show? It shows His love for us dear friends. His mettle was tested and He successfully dealt with everything that was before Him and upon Him. However, it was not done as a simple exercise. He did not do it because He was bored or needed to pass the time. Rather, He did it on purpose and specifically for those that He loves. He did it for them so that they would dwell with Him forever where He is.

Why does Isaac's relationship with Rebekah warrant Scriptures to employ the word "loved" for the first time? Friends, Isaac's love for his bride points to our Isaac's love for His people. Our Isaac did not have the death of His mother to need comfort in. Rather, for us to be with Him in His abode, He Himself had to die. He is comforted dear ones at His own death by our presence with Him. Nothing that He suffered was in vain for even one single person. Everything He suffered successfully and victoriously secured the final abode for every heir that He loves. (Isa 53:9-10) Should someone not make it to be with Christ that He loves and sacrificed for, then He would not receive comfort from His death as it was not effectual for all intended. However, friends there will be no problem in heaven. When Christ views His dear ones, He will be comforted from His own death, for the culmination of His sacrificial love will be there in plain sight.

Isaac's love for Rebekah merits the usage of this word for it points to the real source of love. A discussion about love cannot be absent of God, for He is love. Without Him, there is no love. Yet, our Isaac – God's own Son – has loved us with an everlasting love, set that love upon us, showed it in His sacrifice, and will one day have it in real fulness and complete perfection in the glorious abode above where He is. I can only imagine what tenderness and deep commitment that Isaac had for Rebekah when he brought her to his home. Friends I cannot even imagine accurately what tenderness and commitment that Christ has for us when He brings us home to glory some sweet day. Doubtless, Isaac's heart was mended somewhat with Rebekah's presence though his mother Sarah was no longer there. Friends, our presence will comfort and cheer the heart of the Saviour when we arrive in glory, for He will see the reward of His own suffering standing before Him.

Elder Philip Conley

Genesis 25:22

Ge 25:22 "And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD."

This stuggle was a normal consequence of the pregnancy of twins. Very little room in the womb for any movement after they reached a certain size. I do not think the twins were intellectually conscious of the struggle -just human relexes at work. That the Lord used the very natural events in the pregnancy and the subsequent birth of the twins to teach spiritual truths is readily apparent, but I do not think the twins were cognizant of any of this as infants.

An interesting theme is contained in this lesson. From lid to lid in the scriptures, there is a theme about second sons and/or the first last and the last first.

Genesis 25:23

“And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” Ge 25:23

These were God’s words to Rebekah who was wondering about the cause of her apparently tumultuous pregnancy with twins. The twins, of course, were Esau and Jacob. You will remember that God chose Jacob and hated Esau. That it was through Jacob that the promised blessing was continued, through which Christ ultimately was born.

God said two different kinds of people were represented in Rebekah’s womb. There are two kinds of people today: those who embrace Christ and those who do not. God calls upon His people to be a separate people. That doesn’t mean we live in communes and speak a different language than those around us. Rather, it means there is a difference in what our hearts believe, seek after, and live for.

Sadly, we as Christians often mimic the world’s values and desires. To avoid this, may we seek after Jesus faithfully in His word, asking Him to influence our mind and heart. Surely, this will lead to us beginning to think, talk, and act more and more like Him. That will make a difference!

Elder Timothy Guess

Genesis 25:29

Ge 25:29-34
As one casually reads this, he might get the idea that Esau was probably an honest man, and was tricked into selling his birthright by his brother Jacob who was a cheat, or con artist. But a little consideration should be given to some things that, though not mentioned, are, nevertheless, involved. In the society of the day, not only was it the custom that the firstborn receive a much greater portion of his father’s wealth, at the death of his father, than any other child, or children, but he also was to become the spiritual leader, or priest, of the family. There were some other things involved in what was considered the birthright of the eldest son, but these are the ones that come under greatest consideration in the present text. According to custom these should have belonged to Esau. In most families of the time the spiritual leader of the family was not a priest of God; for most of the people were idolaters; but Isaac and his family worshipped the LORD, so the birthright of Esau would have made him a priest of the LORD. And he thought so little of this that he was willing to sell it to Jacob for one bowl of pottage: “thus Esau despised his birthright.” As he came in from the field, where, no doubt, he had been hunting unsuccessfully, he was tired and hungry. Jacob had been cooking some beans (“lentiles.”) And when Esau saw them, he said to Jacob, “Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage: for I am faint.” No doubt, he thought that Jacob would, out of brotherly kindness, give him food. But Jacob saw an opportunity to attempt getting the superiority over him. So he told Esau to sell him his birthright. At that time Esau was hungry, and concerned about nothing but getting something to eat. So he said, “Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?” Surely he was exaggerating his hunger when he said, “I am at the point to die,” for he had not been on a fast of any length. He had just been out in the field. But as he viewed it his birthright was of no value to him. It would not give him any food immediately. So he despised it; and he agreed to sell it to Jacob for one meal.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Ge 25:29-30 "And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom."

Where was Jacob when Esau found him? He found Jacob not too far from his mama’s tent. Was Esau really going to starve to death when he was back in home camp? No, he wanted a bowl of soup and he didn’t want to walk the extra 50 steps it was going to take to get to mama’s tent. He wanted what his brother had and he wanted it now and he despised his birthright enough to give it up for the basic suffering he was going through at that moment. Brethren, we need to count our birthright higher than that. Our birthright is the birth of God—where God reborned us by grace of Jesus Christ and by His mercy—that birthright we need to count highly. We don’t need to be selling that birthright. Christians on Monday mornings sell their birthrights. If you listen to that filthy joke on Monday around the water cooler—you just sold your birthright. You just gave up any right at all to be a witness of Jesus Christ. You gave up any right to claim the promises of God and His kingdom.

Genesis 27:4

Ge 27:4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.

The Lord willing, I would like to examine the subject of emotions. There are natural emotions as well as spiritual and it is our natural emotions that often hinder our spiritual experiences. The emotion under consideration in our verse today is a natural one and it speaks of a strong liking for food. Isaac was now an old man and wanted some of his favorite meat before he died. I do think that each of us have a strong liking for some food. When our children are home for a meal, the mother will often prepare something she knows they especially like, or as it is used in our verse today, loved. This particular emotion proves that we are all different but alike. We are alike in the fact that we will love, often crave certain foods but different in that we do not all like the same foods. A problem arises when a love for natural food surpasses our need of spiritual.

Elder Freddy Boen

Genesis 28:16

Jacob’s Ladder

Ge 28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.

All of us inevitably go through periods of loneliness. Perhaps the circumstances of life (job, school, etc.) necessitate a move from all that you hold dear. Sometimes we are separated from those we love because of broken relationships or even physical death. Whatever the case, the uncertainty of such situations can be extremely discouraging.

This was the situation that Jacob faced in Ge 28. Granted, much of his difficulty stemmed from misdeeds in the past. He was leaving hearth and home due to a bitter relationship with his brother Esau. The threat of death was eminent and he was being sent to a strange land to seek out a wife that he had not yet met. To say that Jacob’s life was full of uncertainty is a gross understatement.

What a blessing to see that the Lord provides a wonderful vision of encouragement during this dark time. It was while he laid his head on a stone of pillows that God blessed him with the vision of a ladder that reached to Heaven with angels going up and down. The Lord stood at the top and spoke words of encouragement and reassurance to this young man whose life was in shambles.

Ge 28:13-15 And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

God reaffirmed the promise that was given to Jacob’s father and grandfather! He would always be with Jacob and would see to his needs throughout his life’s journey. What an encouragement indeed! The ladder was a symbol of God’s constant care and provision for His people. We have constant, uninterrupted access to God! There were angels ascending the ladder. In like manner, our petitions are carried up to God via prayer. In those times of great loneliness and uncertainty what a blessing to know that we have one who hears our prayers. Paul elaborates on this function of the Holy Spirit in Ro 8.

Ro 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

In the darkest hours of life when all that we can do is groan because of the hopelessness of our situation, the Spirit lifts these feeble petitions to our Heavenly Father. Likewise, the angels descending Jacob’s ladder points us towards God’s involvement in our everyday lives. He not only hears our prayers, but acts on our behalf. This was the crux of God’s encouragement to Jacob. My friends, God is not some distant observer of the happenings on Earth. He is involved. He gives us grace sufficient for the trials of life. He keeps the promises contained in His word and strengthens us for the trials ahead. The example of Jacob also reassures us of God’s mercy even during the times that we suffer because of our actions. He is indeed a God of ALL mercy and grace. May we recognize His constant presence in our lives and be comforted/strengthened by these thoughts!

Michael D. Green, Jr.
Fort Wayne Primitive Baptist Church

Ge 28:16-22
The dream Jacob had made such a profound effect upon him that when he awakened the next morning he was greatly afraid. He considered the place one that would strike dread into anyone, and he called it the house of God and the gate of heaven. He took the stone that he had used as a pillow, set it up as an altar (“pillar”) and poured a libation of oil upon the top of it. He named the place Bethel, which means “the house of God.” Before he left he made a vow that if the LORD would keep him safe, give him food to eat and clothes to wear, and bring him again to his father’s house, he would claim Him as his God, and consider this stone as the house of God. Further, he would pay to God tithes of all with which the LORD would bless him. Although Abraham did give tithes to Melchizedek of all the spoils of war that he had taken, in his battle against the kings, this is the first incident recorded of any man’s vowing to pay to the LORD tithes of all with which the Lord would bless him.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Genesis 29:18

Ge 29:18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.

Previously we have stated that love is a commitment and this verse is a strong indication of that truth. Jacob loved Rachel so deeply that he was willing to work seven years for her. Because of his love, it did not seem like seven years but only a few days (Ge 29:20), What kind of a love is it that would so move a man to work seven years so he could have her as his wife? Marriage is not on a trial basis but a life-time commitment to each other. I fear that far too many times a young man will desire to marry a girl for her looks rather than a deep committed love. Love is like a flower, it is planted in good soil, nourished, watered, tended with loving care and the root grows deep into the earth. At first the flower of marriage is like a flower in the bud stage but as time passes, and the couple go through the trials of life, that root system will keep them on course and in the later years the flower will be even more beautiful. It is a sweet sight to see an elderly husband so lovingly caring for his wife, and to look at their faces one can see the ravages of time, but the love they have glows in their eyes. This is a committed love and a love that is a pattern for the young folks to observe today.

Elder Freddy Boen

Genesis 29:20

Ge 29:20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.

This verse very clearly sets forth the thought of a love between a man and a woman. His love for her was so strong that he was willing to work for her father for seven years so that he could have her as his wife. Even when Laban deceived him, he was still willing to work seven additional years for his love was so great. What causes a man and woman to so love one another? If I knew the answer to that question, I could write a book and become very wealthy, but I do not know. Why did I fall in love with Ella the first day I met her? Were we alike? Did we have the same likes and dislikes? All I knew then and all I know now is that it seemed that we knew each other. We talked freely and openly and as often as we could. We have come to believe that God brought us together knowing our needs and supplied those needs in bringing us together. It may be different with you but it only demonstrates the truth that we are the same but different. I must quickly add this thought; even though God brought us together, how we nurtured and cherished that love was another thing altogether. Good marriages are not automatic and need nourishing. So, we will say again, there is no room for selfishness in a marriage. Amen!

Elder Freddy Boen

“they seemed unto him but a few days”

Ge 29:20, “And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.”

The account of Jacob serving “for Rachel” to be his wife, is one of the most intriguing and uplifting accounts recorded in the Bible. His father-in-law tricked him so that he actually worked fourteen years. But the “seven years” he “served” “for Rachel” “seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her”. The toil of sacrifice just doesn’t seem so bad when it is for someone that we really “love”. So it is for our husbands and wives. So it is for our children and parents and brothers and sisters. So it is for our Church Family. But, best of all, so it is with Christ and His people; as Paul wrote, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Ro 5:8). The Lord’s “love toward us” is a “great love” (Eph 2:4) and it is an “everlasting love” (Jer 31:3). Now we can loudly herald, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not” (1Jo 3:1).,

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Genesis 31:13

I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me…” Ge 31:13

Jacob was at a tough spot in his life. Laban had been mistreating him, and he was preparing to make the huge move of leaving Laban and taking his family back to the land of his birth. God said to him, “I am the God of Bethel…” Why is this significant?

Bethel was the place that God had appeared years earlier to Jacob in a dramatic way. Jacob was running away from Esau’s vengeful eye, which had been caused by Jacob’s own sin and deception. He was alone, running away from all that he had known because of his own foolish ways. But, God appeared to him. That night, Jacob’s life changed forever! The God of Abraham and Isaac revealed Himself to Jacob that night and made great promises to him. And Jacob committed himself to serving God.

Here in Ge 31, God reminds Jacob in his hour of difficulty, “I am the God of Bethel.” What memories that must have brought to Jacob’s mind! What reminders of the mercy and grace of God! Do you have a Bethel spot? Can you look back and see when God revealed Himself to you? Do you remember when He showed such deep mercy to you? Can you recall times when He has powerfully worked in your life?

Take heart. He is the God of Bethel. The same God who has worked in you in the past will be with you today and in the future. The One who started a good work in you, will be faithful to continue it (Php 1:6).

Elder Timothy Guess

Genesis 32:10

I am not worthy

Ge 32:10I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.

Jacob’s self-view might land him in a psychiatrist’s office today; for, he simply did not think very highly of himself. However, his self-view was very healthy; for, while he saw himself as unworthy, he also understood that the Lord had abundantly blessed him. He had fled his homeland with nothing but his “staff”; now, he returned with “two bands”; that is, a very large family and great wealth. He clearly understood that it was by the Lord’s “mercies” that he went from nothing to prosperity. He called it “mercies” because the Lord had done great things for him, things so great that he simply could not have done them for himself. He knew that he was “not worthy” of the Lord’s “mercies” for he also knew that he was a sinner. John Newton said it this way, “Poor, weak and worthless tho’ I am, I have a rich Almighty Friend”! When Children of God are “born again” (Joh 3:1-8), they immediately rejoice to know the Lord; but, they also moan to know that they are sinners. Jacob’s self-view was very wise; for, he well knew where his blessings came from and he readily praised the Lord Who had so wonderfully and graciously blessed him. The Psalmist worshipfully declared, “I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.” (Ps 89:1)! Paul instructs us to put our God-given “mercies” to work; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Ro 12:1)!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

“I am not worthy”

Ge 32:10 “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.”

“I am not worthy” is a strange confession to the carnal mind; for, our natural mind seeks self-justification and demands credit and praise for all accomplishments and possessions. Yet, the Spiritual Mind declares I “am but dust and ashes” (Ge 18:27), “I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6), “I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Isa 6:5), I “am a sinful man, O Lord” (Lu 5:8), “I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son” (Lu 15:21), and “O wretched man that I am!” (Ro 7:24)! Moses, after being in the very presence of God and personally observing His mighty works, truthfully and from the depths of his heart declared, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth”. Some may say that such a self-deprecating attitude is unhealthy; for, it robs a person of motivation and zeal to go forward and succeed in life. But, not so; for, it truthfully recognizes the natural state of mankind and joyfully declares, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” (Ps 121:1-2). This blessed truth is what compelled Paul to write, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Php 4:13) and it moves us to cry aloud, “O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress” (Ps 4:1)! The blessed truth that we are but sinners, yet loved and provisioned and saved by the Eternal Holy and Loving God is the foundational truth beneath Hebrews Chapter Eleven, where we learn that “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice”, “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”, “By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land”, and “all, having obtained a good report through faith”. (Heb 11)! Jacob praised and credited God with his great success; for, he had left his father’s house with nothing at all; but, he returned with a very large family, many servants, and great wealth. It is altogether healthy and just for us to see ourselves as “not worthy of the least of all the” Lord’s “mercies”; yet, blessed by God to do and accomplish and obtain wonderful things in this life. There is great joy and peace in our souls when we bow down and declare unto our merciful Lord; “thou hast girded me with strength” (2Sa 22:40), “for thou hast smitten all mine enemies” (Ps 3:7), “thou hast delivered my soul from death” (Ps 56:13), “thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat” (Isa 25:4), and “thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Re 4:11). Knowing these blessed truths, we joyfully say unto the Lord “Here am I; send me” I’m anxious to serve thee (Isa 6:8) and sing with the Hymnist, William P. Mackay, “We praise Thee, O God! … All glory and praise to the Lamb that was slain …”!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Genesis 32:26

Ge 32:26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

JCPPhilpo: WRESTLING JACOB

Genesis 35:1

go up to Bethel

 

Ge 35:1   And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

 

When “Jacob” was in great distress, “God said unto” him, “Arise, go up to Bethel”.  In a previous time of distress, “Jacob” had changed the name of “Luz” to “Bethel” because the Lord had appeared unto him in this place (Ge 28:19).  The word “Bethel” means House Of God and is typically prophetic of the New Testament Church.  In times of distress, there is no better place to be than in the House Of God.  It is in the House Of God where we hear and experience things that push back our distress and cloaks us with peace and joy, like a warm coat on a bitterly cold day.  It is in the House Of God where the Holy Spirit sends comforting messages by His preachers.  It is in the House Of God where the Holy Spirit leads us to think on Holy things, things greater and mightier and more sure than ourselves.  It is in the House Of God where the Holy Spirit moves among us and we experience the sweet joys of fellowship among the Children of God.  It is in the House Of God where the Holy Spirit leads us to joyfully worship the Lord our merciful God.  When the time comes to leave, we go away declaring, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” (Ps 122:1).  As soon as we depart, we begin to prayerfully look forward to the next Lord’s day when we “Arise, go up to Bethel”, the House Of God.


Elder J. C. Stanaland

Genesis 35:3

“go up to Bethel”

Ge 35:3 “And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.”

The word “Bethel” means “House of God”. In obedience to the Lord, “Jacob” tells “his household”, “let us arise, and go up to Bethel”. The Sunday morning message to our “household” ought to be, “Get ready we’re going to Church this morning”! When Jacob and “his household” arrived at “Bethel”, they prepared to worship (they made “an altar unto God”). In the new Testament Church, we prepare to worship by praying for the meeting, reading the Scripture, and talking together about the meeting; thus, putting our minds in the frame to worship. Jacob began the worship even before they arrived at the “House of God”. He speaks adoringly and thankfully of his “God”; declaring that He “answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went”. “Jacob” had troubles in his life that he could have focused upon and groaned about, but instead He focused upon the blessed mercies and grace that his “God” had shown to him. When he had faced troubles, the Lord heard him when he prayed and was with him during the trouble. Jacob’s “God” is our “God”, and He hasn’t changed, He still hears our prayers and is with us in times of trouble. Therefore, “let us arise, and go up to Bethel”!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Genesis 35:11

Ge 35:11, “And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins.”

I must use this verse one more day to look at the word “Almighty.” Our God is Almighty, which means “Possessing all power; omnipotent; being of unlimited might; being of boundless sufficiency; appropriately applied to the Supreme Being.” I would add to that thought that God is the ONLY Almighty that ever was, ever is, and ever will be. He possess eternity and the earth is His footstool as we read in Ac 7:49, “Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?” The Almighty is the God of all wisdom. In the dawn of time, God formed Adam out of the dust of the earth and “breathed” into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life. This means that in God’s breath was the knowledge, wisdom, and power to cause Adam’s heart to start beating, blood began to flow, lungs began to take in air and expel air, the eyes could see, the ears could hear, the muscles could work, and the brain could think. This, my friends, is our Almighty God! This is the God that saved us from sin and promised to take us home to be with Him. Hallelujah!

Elder Freddy Boen

Ge 35:11, “And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins.”

The question I would like to study this week is, “Who Is God?” Simple question? Perhaps, but when we attempt to talk about Him, it is not as simple as it seems. God defined is as follows: “The Supreme Being; Jehovah; the eternal and infinite spirit, the creator, and the sovereign of the universe.” There is more than enough material to study about in that definition than we could possibly get to in one week, or a life-time for that matter. God is eternal and to this statement we cannot get our finite minds around. Then how can we believe what we cannot understand? Paul gives us some good information in Ro 8:16, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Now, how did we “get” this Spirit? We did not “get” it. It was given by God, which is a part of Himself. Paul covers this in Ga 5:22-23 when he speaks of the “fruit of the spirit.” If there is no spirit of God there can be no acceptable fruit. The fact is, God is the giver of life as we read in Ps 36:9, “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” A sinner dead in trespasses and sins can do no more to get spiritual life than can a baby do to get natural life.

Elder Freddy Boen

Genesis 39:2

Have you ever wondered how Joseph felt after he was forced into slavery by his brethren? Further, have you wondered how he must have felt later, after he was wrongfully committed to prison? Most of his freedoms were taken away. He was subjected to the will of others who cared nothing for his God. Under those circumstances, many would be tempted to say, “What’s the use? Why should I care anymore?” But that was not Joseph’s attitude. Every indication we have from scripture tells us that Joseph continued to do good and he made the best of his lot in life, looking to God to be his helper, his supply, and his paymaster.

In Ge 39:2-3 we read, “And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.” Joseph’s attitude made a tremendous difference. He accepted his lot, he diligently did whatever he was called upon to do, and he trusted that the Lord would take care of him. And, the Lord blessed Joseph greatly. Although he was enslaved, God blessed him. Even though he was mistreated, God blessed him. Even though he was wrongfully imprisoned, God was with him and God blessed him. And so, even though Joseph was forced into service to heathens, those heathens were under the control of Joseph’s God. This is the consolation Joseph had. He knew that even though he was in difficult circumstances, God could over-rule and bless him in any way He pleased. So, while there were many things Joseph could not control, he could control his attitude and he could steadfastly trust in the one who ultimately “giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (see 1Ti 6:17).

Accordingly, David wrote in Ps 37:3, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” Then later in that psalm, Ps 37:25 says, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Friends, no matter what we have to face from our government which is becoming increasingly more intrusive into our lives, they are still subject to God. As sweeping changes in our nation’s healthcare system have just been enacted, may we continue to look to the Lord each day, just as Joseph had to do. May we pray for grace to have the kind of attitude that will please Him. And, may we trust Him for our bread and continue to seek His counsel in every decision in life. Joseph did, and he was blessed. We can, too, and we can be blessed as well. So, may God bless each of us to commit to a godly attitude this week with loving trust in Him in all we undertake to do. While battles will be lost from time to time, thanks be unto God, the outcome of the war is still our glorious victory in Jesus Christ! (see 1Co 15:57).

Elder Clayton Nowell

Genesis 41:1

Ge 41:1-8

Joseph had to stay in prison for another full two years before God brought the situation to the point that He was ready for Joseph to come into the position in which He purposed him to be. The chief butler had forgotten him. But the LORD set the stage for him by causing Pharaoh to dream a dream that none of his wise men and magicians could interpret. Although it seemed to be two different dreams, we shall see that both were the same, albeit by the use of different symbols to show them. The dream is well enough recorded without our trying to comment upon it before the interpretation is given.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Genesis 43:9

Ge 43:9, "I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him: if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever:"

Many times people fail to consider the consequences of their actions or a line of thinking. For example, signing the "bottom line" connects us to responsibility for payment of something. Today's economic climate owes much of its distress to people failing to consider (or care) about the repercussions of agreeing to make payment of things that they were unable and then later unwilling to pay. In the theological climate today, many fail to consider the full ramifications of their line of thinking when put to the fullest examination of Scripture. We will attempt to look at some of the far-reaching consequences when considering the work of Christ and how that touches our lives and should touch our thinking.

In our study verse above, Jacob (Israel) is in a quandary of thought. He believes that Joseph (his wellbeloved son) is dead, Simeon is held in an Egyptian jail, and the rest of the family perishes in Canaan with hunger in the widespread famine. The only recourse that Jacob has is to honour the governor of Egypt's request to allow Benjamin to go with his brethren into Egypt on their second journey to buy corn. The problem in Jacob's mind is that Joseph is dead, while Benjamin remains as his only child left of his beloved Rachel. Should evil befall Benjamin as he believes it has befallen Joseph, he will be left childless from Rachel and go down sorrowing into his grave at the bereavement of his children.

Since the brethren report that the governor of Egypt will not even give them an audience (much less buy corn for food) unless their youngest brother be with them, the way for survival is clear: Benjamin must go. Yet, for their survival, how shall Jacob receive calm assurance as to the lad's safety? Earlier, an offer has already been made by Jacob's eldest Reuben. (Ge 37-38) Yet, Reuben's request cannot bring Jacob hope and comfort, and only by the mouth of Judah is Jacob relieved in his mind about sending Benjamin with the rest. What we see in Judah's statement is a picture of what our Lord has done for us in protection, care, compassion, mercy, and love.

Since Judah agreed to be surety for Benjamin, we need to understand what surety entails. Many times, people confuse words that are similar yet still distinctly different. Such is the case between words like surety and security. When someone becomes security for someone else, that says, in essence, "I will do for them if they are unable to do for themselves." Until I was of proper age and on my own, one of my parents would always be listed as security for my bank accounts, car title, etc. Surety differs from security in that surety does not place the stipulation on "if they are unable to do for themselves." Rather, surety says, "I will do for them regardless." Judah does not tell Jacob that he will be there if Benjamin cannot protect himself, but rather, he will be there to protect and keep Benjamin no matter what comes.

Consider the resolve of Judah in this matter. Ge 44 shows Judah to be the central character of the entire passage. Joseph threatens to detain Benjamin for supposed theft of his silver chalice. Judah stands in earnest defense and plea for his younger brother as his surety. Had Judah been security for Benjamin, he would have let Benjamin plea his case first and then taken over if the case went south. Yet, as Benjamin's surety, Judah does all the talking, and the matter rests on Judah's ability to convince Egypt's governor to release Benjamin. Judah's resolve is further identified in our verse above in that he will "bear the blame forever" should he fail in his ability to keep Benjamin safe.

Moving past the shadow, let us consider the source of perfect surety: Jesus Christ. (Heb 7:22) Just as Judah did not allow Benjamin to plead his case before taking over, Jesus does not give us "chances" to get things right before taking over for us. We do not have to speak before our accusers, for He speaks for us. He does not keep us if we cannot keep ourselves, but He keeps us regardless. Furthermore, should Jesus Christ fail in His work of surety for us, then He would be forced to bear the blame for failure forever. Since it is evident that our Lord sprang from Judah (Heb 7:14) as our surety of a better testament and covenant, Judah makes an ideal picture of Christ on the occasion of our study verse.

Many well-meaning, God-fearing people in this world have the mistaken impression that Christ died for everybody, loved everybody, and wants everybody to go to heaven. Should that be the case (which Scripture patently shows is not), what would be the ultimate consequence of that belief? What far-reaching conclusion would be made? As our surety, Christ would bear people's blame forever, should they not be restored safely to His Father. Just as Judah agreed to bear the blame for Benjamin before his father forever, so also Christ would have to bear the blame before the Heavenly Father forever should His care of one leave them to burn in a fiery hell forever. Perish the thought! What goes on in heaven currently between the Father and the Son will go on for all eternity: perfect pleasure and delight in the work and presence of one another.

Furthermore, many well-meaning people will charge the belief of finished redemption and salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ as a "do-nothing religion." Some even lay the charge at Old Baptist's doorstep that they give or offer the hearers "nothing or not much to do." Let us consider what about Judah's case is different from Christ's. Judah agreed to be surety for Benjamin and had to defend his innocency before Joseph. Benjamin was not guilty of the crime laid against him, and Judah brought the case of Jacob before Joseph as the defense. In our case, Jesus – as our surety – defends us, knowing and pre-knowing that we were guilty, and furthermore bore the punishment so that we would not have to.

What is the far-reaching application or consequence of this line of thought? Have you ever heard the charge, "Doctrine leads to fat, lazy sheep"? Some even make the charge that discussions on the finished work of Christ are good, but there is not enough practicality being taught today. One of the striking things about the structure of Scripture is that doctrine serves as the foundation and perfect construct for practical godliness. As I heard growing up, "Good, doctrinal preaching flows into practicality like water flows in a river." When considering that Christ was willing to bear our blame forever as our surety, what far-reaching consequence happens? The feeling struck deep within our conscience should serve as the greatest remedy against licentious behaviour.

Since we were guilty before God, Christ agreed to do for us in our state. As such, He willingly and freely took our guilt, our sin, our repugnant odour, and bore it to the full. Therefore, knowing about the finished work of Christ, His surety for us, and what He went through for us should strike the following thoughts into our minds every time we come short of the glory of God: "My Saviour had to bear what I just did. He had to die for what I just thought or spoke." Furthermore, He did not just bear sins of commission but omission as well leading to these thoughts: "My Saviour had to die for what I have not done. He had to die for what I have not thought about or spoken about lately."

Therefore, whether it be transgressions of a committed nature in adultery, covetousness, theft, murder, etc. our thoughts should be stirred to consider that our Surety stood in our place to bear the blame for those things. And, whether it be trangressions of an omitted nature in failing to read the word of God, faithfully study it, meditate upon it, pray without ceasing, attend God's house, sacrificially serve Him and His brethren, etc. our thoughts should be stirred to consider that our Surety stood in our place to bear the blame for those things as well. Thankfully, we have the knowledge that He did not bear those things in vain, nor does He have to keep bearing blame for things (as though He could not quite finish the job or bear for something He did not foresee). Rather, we can be reconciled to God in our minds (at peace with Him – 2Co 5:20) that He really did put away our sins and thereby seek to serve Him more and better than we ever have before.

Elder Philip Conley

Genesis 45:15

“Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.” Ge 45:15

“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Eph 1:7

These were the actions of Joseph to his brothers who had previously sold him into slavery. Because of them, for 13 years, he had lived seperated from home and family. He had suffered injustice and long, hard days. But now, instead of dealing deserved justice to his brothers, he showed them grace with a brotherly kiss.

His generous forgiveness reminds us of Jesus Christ. Because He poured out His life in a sin-offering to God the Father, believers possess the blessing of forgiveness. We must remember the cost of forgiveness. It is free to us, but it cost Jesus His very life. The very One who we offend and dishonor with our sin and disobedience, is generous to forgive those who sincerely repent. He is so holy in His hatred for sin, and He is so gracious in His forgiveness.

Are you burdened with your sins? Does your heart ache because of your iniquity. Confess your sins to the Elder Brother, Jesus, who will kiss you with His grace. He promises to forgive sin, and to empower us to overcome sin.

Elder Timothy Guess

Genesis 45:28

Ge 45:28, “And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.”

Enough! In definition, enough can mean ‘as much or as many as required.‘ Or, it can mean ‘the required degree or extent’. An example used was seeing someone in undesirable behavior and one having their fill of it, not wanting to see this behavior any longer. Another example of enough, is ‘to be satisfied with what one has, not requiring anything additional’.

This was the case with Israel (Jacob) in Ge 45:28. The other sons of Jacob had gone into Egypt, seeking food as there was a famine in the land. And, while in Egypt, they found their provider (governor) was no less than their brother which they had tried to kill earlier. Joseph had laden them with the good things of Egypt, “with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way” (Ge 45:23). It would have been great news for Jacob’s sons to return with enough (adequate) food to sustain them through the famine, but, the news was much greater than that.

In Ge 45:26, Joseph’s brethren returning from Egypt “came into the land of Cannan unto Jacob their father, And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt” (Ge 45:24-25). Israel at first did not believe them, wanting evidence it was so. His sons told him what Joseph had said and showed him all that he had sent home with them. Ge 45:28 finds Israel (Jacob) saying, “It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.”

There are times in our lives when things get hard, seemingly unbearable, and then we are reminded of our need to go and see the son, The Son of God, who is alive and well, seated on the right hand of the Father on High, making intercession for us, and it is enough. We are given what we need to sustain us when we go to Him by faith. We have the only Saviour we will ever need. His Salvation is enough, both in time and eternal! The Perfect Will of God is enough. And, one day we will live in Paradise and it will be enough. The psalmist David said, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Ps 17:15). Truly, God’s promises are “enough”. Think About It!

Elder Bobby Willis

Genesis 46:3

Ge 46:3, “And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation.”

At the time of this writing fear is gripping many Americans. Our country, as we have known it, is being systematically dismantled by wicked people. Many are asking, “What can we do?” The answer is in our text! Let me simplify the answer with this statement: God is on His throne and is not surprised at what is happening. However, we can grieve Him in disobedience (Eph 4:30). God’s people need to keep this in the forefront of their minds, post it on the fridge, write it on the mirror, but most importantly let it rule your hearts and minds. Many times the Bible tells us not to fear, or fear not, but there is always a reason given. In our verse today the reason is “I am God!” This means we have taken our eyes off our problems and circumstances and raised them heavenward to the true source of all our strength and help. God cannot be dethroned or defeated. He rules in the solitude of Himself and needs nothing from us except our praise. As we look to God it will bring about repentance for we will have seen our great need and the only one that can help us is our God! Should we be concerned? Absolutely! But not to the point of despair and giving up. Keep our knees on the floor and our eyes heavenward. Amen!

Elder Freddy Boen

Genesis 47:1

Ge 47:1-6
See PBJohnsGe: 47.01 Out of Canaan

Ge 47:1-10

When Joseph went to tell Pharaoh of the arrival of his father and his brethren, he carried five of his brothers with him, and presented them to Pharaoh. When Pharaoh asked them their occupation, they answered as Joseph had instructed them. And Pharaoh not only gave them leave to dwell in the land of Goshen as they desired, but he also told Joseph to select active men from among them, and make them rulers over all his cattle. Then Joseph brought in his father, and introduced him to Pharaoh. Pharaoh asked Jacob how old he was. He replied that he was one hundred and thirty years of age, and complained that his days had been few and evil, and that he had not lived as long as his fathers had. Jacob had blessed Pharaoh when he came before him, and now in departing, he blessed him again.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Genesis 47:7

Few and Evil

Ge 47:7-10 “And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou? 9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. 10 And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh.”

This interaction between Jacob and Pharaoh is quite remarkable in that it illustrates to us a great spiritual lesson. In the eyes of the world, these two individuals would seem to have been on the opposite end of the social spectrum. Pharaoh was at the time, the ruler of the greatest nation on earth. Jacob was a sojourner. He had lived as a sojourner in Canaan, then Pandanaram, then back to Canaan, and now in Egypt. He never had a permanent possession of a dwelling place in any of those countries. He also was a shepherd, which was an abomination to the Egyptians. He was a financially poor man as he came to Egypt to dwell because of the famine of the land.

Moreover, Jacob’s view of his life was that his days had been few and evil and had not attained unto the days of the years of the life of his fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. Thus, Jacob considered himself to be a poor sinner whom God had richly blessed.

The world view of Pharaoh would have been that he was a great man. The world view of Jacob would have been that he was an insignificant peasant.

It is at this point that we see a great spiritual lesson as the scripture says that “Jacob blessed Pharaoh.” According to the scriptures: Heb 7:7 “And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.” In the eyes of God Jacob was better than Pharaoh and greater than Pharaoh. Spiritually, Jacob had a very close relationship with God and God richly blessed Jacob. Moreover, Jacob had the knowledge of God’s covenant promises. Truly, Pharaoh could not have blessed Jacob in the sense that Jacob blessed Pharaoh. By all evidence, this Pharaoh was a child of God and did many good things for his people and was indeed gracious toward Joseph and his family, however, Pharaoh did not have the kind of fellowship with God that Jacob had with God.

The above should teach us that it is better to have a spiritually fellowship with God than to arise to great acclaim and position in the world.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Genesis 47:11

Ge 47:11-12

Just as Pharaoh had ordered, Joseph settled his father and his brethren in the land of Goshen, and provided food for them through the times of the famine

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Genesis 47:12

Ge 47:12-17

The famine continued to be very sore in Egypt and the land of Canaan, so much so that all the money in both lands was spent for food. And Joseph took all that money to Pharaoh’s house, and there stored it. Still the famine continued. So the Egyptians came to Joseph, and told him that all their money had been used up, but they still had to have something to eat. So he agreed to furnish them bread in exchange for all their livestock, and this was enough to support them for another year.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Genesis 47:18

Ge 47:18-26

As the famine continued on through the seven years, the people of Egypt ran out of money, then they traded all their livestock to Joseph for food, and finally their lands, and themselves as servants to Pharaoh, to him for more food. By the end of the famine, Pharaoh owned all the land of Egypt, except that of the priests, and that of the children of Israel. And Joseph established a law for the Egyptians. That law was that the people must pay to Pharaoh one fifth of all the increase from the land each year, as rent. They could keep the other four fifths for their own use. But the land belonged to Pharaoh. This may seem to us a very hard situation for the people. But they were glad to have such an arrangement; for had Joseph not followed the LORD’S warning of the famine, and gathered up all the excess food of the seven plenteous years to hold in store for them, they, no doubt, would have squandered it before the famine set in; and they would have died in the famine. We have never, in this country, experienced anything like the seven year famine of Egypt. But those of us who lived through the great depression, and the “dust bowl” days, can certainly understand such a situation.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Genesis 47:27

Ge 47:27-31

From what was said about Jacob in the last three verses of Ge 45, and what he said to Pharaoh in Ge 47:9, one would have thought that he was very near death then. But he lived seventeen years in the land of Egypt. And his whole family prospered, and grew exceedingly. But as comes to all, the time of his death did approach; and he, being aware of it, called Joseph, and gave him a charge, that he should not bury him in Egypt, but take his body back to the land of Canaan, and bury it in the place where his fathers were buried. We have already seen the manner of the oath Jacob required of Joseph concerning this matter. Joseph had to put his hand under the thigh of his father and swear that he would do as Jacob had instructed him. This is the same oath that Abraham required of his servant when he sent him to Haran to obtain a wife for Isaac. We do not know whether this was an established manner of taking a very solemn oath, or whether it originated with Abraham. But Jacob required it of Joseph concerning his burial arrangements.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Genesis 48:15

“the God which fed me”

Ge 48:15 “And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,”

Not long before his death, as Jacob was blessing and praying for his grandsons, Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, he spoke of “the God which fed me all my life long unto this day”! In this statement, Jacob was praising “the God which” had “fed” him and he was exhorting his children, grandchildren, and us to look to the same “God” for protection, provision, and leadership as we live out our lives. That is, we ought to spend our time on this earth “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb 12:2). Jacob had endured some hard times in his life; he had a severe conflict with his brother, he was cheated when he went to get his wife, he lost a son that he thought had died, and he endured a famine so severe that without God’s deliverance he and his family would have died. But, in his old age, he could look back over his life and see clearly that “God” had “fed” him “all” his “life long”. And, he worshiped the “God” that continued to feed him, even as he neared death. What a wonderful example for us; as we work as hard as we can, using all our God-given talents to provide for ourselves, to help others, and to serve our God; let us also spend our days worshipfully “looking unto” our Lord for “grace to help in time of need” (Heb 4:16); that is, “the God which fed me all my life long unto this day”! This same “God” will continue to feed us with good things, even in our dying hour!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Genesis 49:22

Ge 49:22-24 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: {branches: Heb. daughters} 23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: 24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob;

JCPPhilpo: THE FRUITFUL BOUGH AND THE STRONG BOW

Ge 49:22-26
Joseph had suffered much from his brethren who had hated him when he was a child. Nevertheless God had blessed him, and made him fruitful, even in the land of Egypt where he had been a slave. From this experience in Egypt the LORD had raised him up to be a shepherd unto the children of Israel. And upon Him his father pronounced blessings of every kind, and declared that his blessings had prevailed even over those of his fathers, and reached to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; and they were to be upon the head of Joseph, who had been separate from his brethren.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Genesis 50:20

Ge 50:20 "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."

Did God predestinate, foreordain, or decree the evil of Joseph’s brethren? Would he be sovereign and not have decreed this to come to pass? I say He would have been. God is sovereign- His sovereignty is not limited to what He decreed. If I have not misunderstood some brethren, I’ve heard it advocated that God decreed these things or else He would not be sovereign.

Throughout Old Testament history there were numerous times when God’s people departed from the things God commanded. God turned them over into captivity and chastisement because of this. Such I believe was what happened when Israel went down into Egypt. While God’s smile was no longer upon Israel because of their sin and His judgment was being carried out in His chastisements yet God’s mercy was at work also when He pleased for it to be so. That is why Joseph went down into the pit and ended up in Egypt. Let us not fail to notice the ending words of this verse:

"to save much people alive"

Here is God’s mercy being displayed. God did not decree the wickedness of Joseph’s brethren but God provided a remedy, in His own good time, through all this to save alive His people through the corn down there in Egypt. He did not do the decreeing of evil in order to this end but in His sovereignty He over-ruled it for the good of His people. In other words His chastisement burned the dross out of His people and He kept much people alive. It did not say that He kept ALL alive. He may have- I don’t know. He kept those alive who He desired to bring them to an expected end- Jer 29:11 -the same end for which He works in His elect, being to the praise of the glory of His grace- Eph 1:6. A companion text that fits well here also I think as a comparison text is Ro 11:5 -there was a remnant according to the election of grace that God chastened and brought through all this according to His own purpose.

We are no different now, are we? Many times we have had the dross burned out of our lives, only to return unto those or other evils again. BUT, did God decree the sin in our lives so that He could burn the dross out of us? No way!

Ge 50:20, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

I must digress for today in order to clarify a statement I made yesterday. PB: Ro 8:28 The setting of this verse is, Joseph was speaking to his brothers about the time they had sold him into bondage, which was because of nothing more than jealousy. They did it for evil but the providence of God turned their evil intentions into something that was good, which was to save a nation. To say that the wicked act of Joseph’s brothers worked together with the will of God cannot be harmonious with Biblical principles. Evil or wicked acts never work together with anything, except its own agenda, which is to destroy. Time and time again God allowed, suffered His people to go into bondage in order to teach them and bring them to repentance. I think Paul said it well in 2Co 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” We should thank God daily for His providence that often over-rides the design of Satan. Amen!

Elder Freddy Boen

Exodus 1:1

Notes on Exodus

The name, “exodus,” indicates a departing and as its name suggest, God has given us detail of the departing of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt where they found themselves in bondage. However, the book is more than just a detailed description of the departing of the children of Israel from Egypt, but it also teaches us about the establishment of Israel as a nation in the wilderness and of the establishment of the Old Covenant law service, including the building of the tabernacle and the establishment of the Levitical priesthood.

The book of Exodus also details an integral chapter of God’s fulfillment of a covenant promise to Abraham. Among the many promises that God made to Abraham, he told Abraham: Ge 15:13-14, “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” The beginning of their departure from Egypt and their ultimate inheritance of the land of Canaan is detailed for us in the book of Exodus.

The book of Exodus like all the scriptures is a continual testimony of Jesus as Jesus told us in Joh 5:39 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Thus it is important for us to remember that the book of Exodus has an overriding testimony and that is that it along with all the books of the bible testifies of Jesus.

There are many things in the book of Exodus that are presented to us in figures:

1. Heb 9:9 “Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;”

2. Heb 9:24 “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:”

3. Heb 11:19 “Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”

Moreover, there are patterns developed in the book of Exodus that point us to heavenly things:

1. Heb 8:5 “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.”

2. Heb 9:23 “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.”

Moreover, God uses shadows in the book of Exodus to point us to better and heavenly things:

1. Col 2:17 “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

2. Heb 8:5 “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.”

3. Heb 10:1 “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”

Ex 1:1-6

:1 “Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. 6 And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.”

There are three things that seem to stand out about this passage of scripture: the names of the children of Israel; the number of the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob; and the death of all that generation including the death of Joseph.

When each of the sons of Jacob was born they were named by either Leah or Rachel and the meaning of the name was based on the circumstances of their birth:

1. Ge 29:32 "And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me." Thus the name Reuben means He looked.

2. Ge 29:33 "And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Because the LORD hath heard that I was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon." Thus the name Simeon means hearing.

3. Ge 29:34 "And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons: therefore was his name called Levi." Thus the name Levi means joined.

4. Ge 29:35 "And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing." Thus the name Judah means praise.

5. Ge 30:6 "And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore called she his name Dan." Thus the name Dan means judged.

6. Ge 30:8 "And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali." Thus the name Napthali means wrestled.

7. Ge 30:11 "And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad." Thus the name Gad means a troop.

8. Ge 30:13 "And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: and she called his name Asher." Thus the name Asher means blessed.

9. Ge 30:18 "And Leah said, God hath given me my hire, because I have given my maiden to my husband: and she called his name Issachar." Thus the name Issachar means hired.

10. Ge 30:20 "And Leah said, God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons: and she called his name Zebulun." Thus the name Zebulun means endowed.

11. Ge 30:24 "And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son." Thus the name Joseph means adding.

12. Ge 35:18 "And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin." Thus the name Benjamin means son of my right hand.

Based on the above names we, like the name of Reuben, know that the Lord has looked upon our affliction. Moreover, as the name of Simeon suggests, He has heard our prayers. Third, like the name of Levi suggest we have been joined unto the Lord by his covenant of redemption. Fourth, the name of Judah means praise, and because of the gracious work of God are we the praise of God. Fifth, the name Dan means judged, and as a part of the elect family of God we were judged on the cross of Calvary as Christ was made to be sin for us that we may be made the righteousness of God in him. Sixth, the name Napthali means wrestling and it is in our experiences that we at times wrestle with the Lord for a blessing or for deliverance in our lives.

Seventh, the name Gad means a troop and we are to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ and to fight the good fight of faith. Eighth, the name Asher means blessed and we have been richly blessed in the Lord. Ninth, the name Issachar means hired and the Lord has made us servants unto him. Tenth, the name Zebulun means endowed and we have a great dowry from the Lord as we consider both the gifts of God to us as we live in this time world and look forward to the eternal inheritance that awaits us where we will be joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Eleventh, the name Joseph means adding and we have eternal life added unto us, spiritual gifts added unto us and a home in heaven added unto us. Twelfth, the name Benjamin means son of my right hand and we are a part of the sons and daughters of God who stand on his right hand at the last day.

The second thing that stands out about the above passage is the number of the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob.

The kingdom of Israel began based on a covenant that God had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God chose Jacob and changed his name to Israel. The man Jacob had twelve sons. These twelve sons married and multiplied into a multitude. The progeny of these twelve sons were divided into twelve tribes, commonly referred to as the twelve tribes of Israel. The tribes were known by the names of the twelve sons of Jacob.

During the days of the great famine in Egypt, Jacob and his family came to live in Egypt under the protective care of Joseph: Ex 1:1-5 "Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.

2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already." From these twelve sons and seventy persons grew a nation within Egypt of nearly three million people who were delivered out of Egypt during the days of Moses.

In the wilderness God made a covenant with Israel and appointed over them twelve princes and seventy elders:

1. Nu 1:4-16 "And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers. 5 And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of the tribe of Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur. 6 Of Simeon; Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. 7 Of Judah; Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 8 Of Issachar; Nethaneel the son of Zuar. 9 Of Zebulun; Eliab the son of Helon. 10 Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim; Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manasseh; Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 11 Of Benjamin; Abidan the son of Gideoni. 12 Of Dan; Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 13 Of Asher; Pagiel the son of Ocran. 14 Of Gad; Eliasaph the son of Deuel. 15 Of Naphtali; Ahira the son of Enan. 16 These were the renowned of the congregation, princesof the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel."

2. Ex 24:1 "And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off."

3. Ex 24:9 "Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel."

4. Nu 11:16 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee."

5. Nu 11:24 "And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle."

6. Nu 11:25 "And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease."

The twelve princes of the twelve tribes of Israel became the governors of Israel and the seventy elders became the judges of Israel. What later became known as the Sanhedrin counsel had its roots in the seventy elders.

This pattern of the kingdom is presented to us in type at the place known as Elim:

1. Ex 15:27 "And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters."

2. Nu 33:9 "And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there." Elim was a place of refuge and comfort for the desert weary travelers. Here they refreshed themselves. Of course, this pointed back to the kingdom that began with twelve sons of Jacob and seventy decendants.

It also pointed forward to a future kingdom of heaven that would have twelve apostles judging the twelve tribes of Israel and seventy elders:

1. Mt 10:1 "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease."

2. Mt 10:2 "Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother…"

3. Mt 10:5 "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not."

4. Mt 11:1 "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities."

5. Mt 19:28 "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

6. Lu 10:1 "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come."

7. Lu 10:17 "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."

The twelve apostles are the ones that Christ used as foundation stones to build his church kingdom upon: Eph 2:20-22 "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." The seventy elders are representative of the gospel ministry today who go at the direction of the Lord through the Holy Spirit.

The third thing that stands out in our subject passage is the death of all that generation including the death of Joseph. This is in harmony with the promise God made to Abraham: Ge 15:13-16 “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. 15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. 16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” The book of Exodus is the beginning of the fulfillment of that promise.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 1:7

Ex 1:7

:7 “And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.”

The children of Israel had increased from seventy souls who came into Egypt unto approximately 2 million (six hundred thousand men besides women and children) that came forth into the wilderness.

There are parallels in the scriptures between the children of Israel and the elect family of God. It is apparent that the children of Israel had come to dwell in the land of Goshen, the best of the land of Egypt and that they had prospered both into a great multitude, but also, that they had increased in goods and that their labors had been abundantly fruitful. Such increase had to be by God’s providential blessings upon them.

God’s elect people sometimes are blessed with many providential blessings. However, like the children of Israel, along with the blessings come adversity, which will be evident in the next few verses.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 1:8

Ex 1:8

:8 “Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.” Joseph was a strong type of Jesus and Pharaoh, king of Egypt during the time of Joseph knew Joseph and loved Joseph. He along with the people of Egypt were indebted to Joseph and his service to Egypt and the salvation from starvation that God wrought through Joseph. Now, however, a new king arose over Egypt who knew not Joseph and would evil entreat the children of Israel and make them his bond-slaves. They were no better than cattle to this wicked king.

When the United States was formed the first President of the United States was George Washington, a man who loved and served the Lord Jesus Christ. The people of God were richly blessed of God through the service of this man. With the passage of time there have been presidents that feared God and those who did not fear God. With those that feared God, the people have been blessed. With those presidents who fear not God, the people are greatly burdened and liberty is lost.

Often in the world there arise leaders who fear not God and the Lord’s people suffer because of their reign. As we study Pharaoh and his dealings with the children of Israel we can learn many things about how a people suffer under a wicked ruler. We will also learn of God’s rich blessings and deliverances on behalf of his covenant people.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 1:9

Ex 1:9-11

:9 “And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. 11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.”

This new king over Egypt, like many rulers, had designs of increasing his political clout and control. Perhaps he even had designs to increase the size of his kingdom. Outlined above are commonly used methods that rulers use to increase their political clout and to control the actions of the people. First, he set about to divide the people into camps. To those who were native to Egypt he identified them as “his people.” In the other camp were the “people of the children of Israel. He convinced “his people” that the children of Israel were a threat to the Egyptians within their border. This was not hard to do as “they were different” from the Egyptians. They were descendants of Shem while the Egyptians were descendants of Ham. The Egyptians were dark-skinned and the Israelites were lighter skinned. This promotion of racial or ethnic animosity is a common tool of political rulers to control the minds of the people.

“Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:” Pharaoh was setting forth the idea that the children of Israel were a great threat to the Egyptians because of their numbers and strength. Moreover, he reinforced this idea by implying if there was a war they would join their enemies and fight against Egypt. He was setting forth the idea that the Egyptians would be in grave danger if they didn’t do something to lessen this supposed threat.

‘Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.” In this statement there are three fundamental political ploys that Pharaoh uses to convince the Egyptians that they need to take action against the Israelites:

1. We need to practice population control on the Israelites so as to control their (supposed) threat to the Egyptians security (lest they multiply). The means that they would ultimately use was infanticide. This is akin to the current practice in the United States to primarily control the black population by promoting abortion.

2. Next, he promoted the idea to enslave the Israelites so that they won’t fall out to their enemy in war. By enslaving them, the Egyptians could reduce their ability to wage war against the Egyptians.

3. “And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.” By enslaving the children of Israel they became a financial asset to the Egyptians of which the Egyptians did not want to lose by letting the Israelites leave the land. One only needs to look back at the events leading up to the United States civil war and the opposition of the Southern plantation owners to freeing the slaves to draw a comparison to what happened in Egypt and so see why Pharaoh did not want to let the children of Israel go.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 1:12

Ex 1:12-14

:12 “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. 13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.”

“But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.” One of the aims of the Egyptians was population control of the children of Israel. Affliction failed to accomplish what they hoped it would as far as population control was concerned. Actually it had the opposite effect as the more that the children of Israel were afflicted, the more they grew. There is a parallel spiritual lesson for us. The more that the children of God are afflicted, the more their faith grows and the more they depend upon God.

“And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.” Because of Pharaoh’s brainwashing, the Egyptians viewed the Israelites as a mortal threat to them and to see their numbers grow was a grief of mind to the Egyptians. Likewise, when the unbelievers see the faith of a child of God increase, it is a grief of mind to them because they think their wicked lifestyle is being threatened.

“And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour: 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.” The afflictions of the children of Israel were no doubt, quite severe. The lives of the children of Israel were made bitter with hard bondage. With long hours of hard grueling labor without much rest and without any hope of things getting better, their lives became very bitter. They had become the property of others and they had been reduced to be like work animals.

Similar to the above, when God’s born again children become knowledgeable of their sins and feel the burden of sin in their hearts, their heart and soul is made to serve with rigour in an attempt to bear the burden of their sin. To this situation, the Lord said in Mt 11:28-30: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When we come to Jesus and realize that he has born the burden of sin for us on the tree of the cross, we feel a great sense of relief and rest. Moreover, we can then begin to bear the burden of service knowing that the Lord is our helper and that he is yoked with us so that our yoke is easy and our burden is light.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 1:15

Ex 1:15-21

:15 “And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: 16 And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. 17 But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. 18 And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? 19 And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. 20 Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. 21 And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.”

The wickedness of the king of Egypt is very apparent from the above passage. First, he asked the Hebrew midwives to murder the newborn male babies of the Hebrews. It is safe to conclude that this Pharaoh was a murderer. Moreover, Pharaoh’s intentions concerning the Hebrews were also extremely wicked. He fact that he would have killed all the male babies and saved the female babies alive suggest that Pharaoh had more in mind than just population control, which is of itself very wicked. He intended by his actions to destroy the Hebrews as a separately identified people by killing all the male babies. If population control was all that he was after, then it would have made more logic to kill most of the female babies and save the male babies. However, by killing all the male babies, Pharaoh showed his intention to destroy the Hebrew race of people and make sex slaves out of the females.

The Hebrew midwives refused to do what Pharaoh commanded them to do for the reason that they feared God. Their fear of God was greater than their fright of Pharaoh. Some self-righteous commentators have strongly criticized the Hebrew midwives because of their tale that the Hebrew women were livelier than the Egyptian women and are delivered before the midwives come in unto them. What would those self-righteous commentators have had the midwives to do? Would they have them to tell Pharaoh that they just refused to obey them? This would have meant that Pharaoh would have killed them. Moreover, they knew that Pharaoh would have just gotten other midwives to do his wicked deeds. By telling the tale to Pharaoh the midwives not only saved their own lives but also the lives of the Hebrew male babies. God blessed them for this and made them houses.

Pharaoh’s wicked designs were thwarted by the actions of the Hebrew midwives and the children of Israel multiplied and waxed mighty to the consternation of Pharaoh.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 1:22

Ex 1:22

:22 “And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.”

Pharaoh still was desirous to carry out his wicked plans and came up with another scheme to destroy the identity of the children of Israel and to ultimately make sex slaves out of the young female babies that he would have saved alive. Pharaoh’s wicked plan required the Hebrew women to be responsible for murdering their own male babies! Certainly, this if carried out would have made the promise of God made to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob without effect. God would not permit that to come to pass. God always carries out his promises, regardless of what obstacles men may try to put in the way of His accomplishing his purpose. Moreover, as we will see, one of the sons who was cast in the river God will use to bring about the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 2:1

Ex 2:1-10

2:1 “And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Le 2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. 3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. 4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. 5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. 6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children. 7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? 8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. 9 And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.”

Now the king’s commandment was that all the male babies were to be cast into the river. However, the mother of Moses chose to disobey the commandment for three months until the child could no longer be hidden. Then she made an ark of bulrushes and daubed it with slime and with pitch so that it could float in the shallow water of the river. We are not told why she did this, but she was apparently trusting in the Lord for the child’s safety. The providence of God is very much manifest in the events that followed the casting of the child in the ark into the river. The mother had indeed obeyed the letter of the king’s commandment as she cast the baby into the river. God in his providence, not only saved the young child from death, but also put a stop to the king’s command to murder the young children.

At this point the daughter of Pharaoh came down to the river to wash herself at the river, while her maidens walked along by the river’s side. Pharaoh’s daughter spied the ark and send a maiden to fetch it. When she had opened the ark she spied the child and at this precise moment the babe wept. Pharaoh’s daughter, unlike her father, had compassion on the baby and noted that it was one of the Hebrew’s children. The baby’s sister came down from her observation post and came to Pharaoh’s daughter and asked her saying: “Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?” To this Pharaoh’s daughter agreed. “And the maid went and called the child's mother. 9 And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.” Thus, Moses was nursed by his own mother and raised by Pharaoh’s daughter.

We learn several things from the above narrative:

1. Pharaoh’s wicked command to cast the male babies into the river was stopped by the compassion of his own daughter.

2. Moses mother’s trust in the Lord for her child’s safety was rewarded by the Lord.

3. Moses mother ended up nursing her own child that Pharaoh’s daughter took out of the river and was paid wages to do so.

4. This was the second time that Pharaoh’s wicked design to kill the male babies of the Hebrews and make their daughters sex slaves was thwarted.

5. This chain of events set in motion that the Hebrew child that was raised in Pharaoh’s house would be the one who God would ultimately use to deliver the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage.

Some have compared Moses being placed in the ark and coming up out of the waters of the river to the death and resurrection of Christ. I do not disagree with that analogy, but I see the ark itself as a type of Christ and Moses as typical of God’s elect children. It was the ark that went down into the waters of the river and Moses was in the ark. This is akin to Christ going down into the waters of death and we, like Moses, were in Christ when he died on the cross. Likewise, we were in Christ when he arose on the 3rd day. We, like Moses, who was under the king’s judgment, were under the judgment of God and were delivered from that judgment by Christ’s death and resurrection.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 2:3

Ex 2:3, "And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and dabbed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink."

While living in this world, the children of God often face difficult and challenging situations. These times can easily drag the child of promise into a pit of worry and depression. In our study verse, we find the mother of Moses facing a very difficult decision. The Lord had blessed she and her husband with a "goodly child" (Ex 2:2), but the Pharaoh of Egypt, in his fear of the multiplying Hebrews, commanded that all the male children be killed (Ex 1:16). After 3 months of hiding her son from the murderers, Moses' mother came to a place when she could no longer hide her little boy, and longed to find a way to save her son's life. All of her efforts resulted in building an "ark for him" and laying it by the river's brink. This all may sound a bit strange to the carnal ear, but in this verse we can see a woman putting all her troubles in the hands of the Lord, trusting His providence to save her precious child's life. The Lord, in His gracious mercy, came to the rescue of all in the scene. The Lord comforted and rewarded Moses' mother (Ex 2:9); saved Moses life; blessed Miriam (Moses' sister) to see His marvelous hand in temporal grace; and gave Pharaoh's daughter a son she didn't have (Ex 2:10).

Dear brothers and sisters, in like manner, the Lord is able to do, and does do for His precious little sheep today. When we are facing the troubles of this life, we need to build an ark of our own and put it in His loving, mighty hands, finding a peace that's only found in Him. Amen!

Elder Ronnie B. Loudermilk

Exodus 2:11

Ex 2:11-15

:11 “And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. 13 And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? 14 And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. 15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.”

Heb 11:23 “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”

Ac 7:22-29 “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. 23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. 26 And the next day he showed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? 29 Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.”

By comparing the three passages of scripture above, we can learn a lot about Moses and his thoughts and actions at the time that Moses slew the Egyptian:

1. Moses, having been brought up in Pharaoh’s house was schooled in all the ways of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and in deeds. From a standpoint of the flesh, it could be said that Moses had it made. He was the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter and was legally heir to Pharaoh. He was a learned man and mighty both in words and in deeds. Due to the riches of Pharaoh’s household, Moses could have partaken of all the pleasures of sin. It certainly was not inconceivable that Moses could have one day become king of Egypt himself. Yet, Moses chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. This is a great lesson for all of us as God’s children. “Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” Likewise, we should esteem the reproach of Christ to be far greater riches than enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season. Christ richly rewards his faithful children with his felt presence; his many deliverances; his direction in life; his comfort, rest, and peace; the riches of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom found in his word; and his fellowship.

2. Moses thought that the children of God would understand that God by his hand would deliver Israel. This suggests that God had showed him that God would by his hand deliver Israel. However, Moses was not ready to be an instrument in the deliverance of Israel. No doubt Moses thought that he was ready to deliver Israel. After all he was highly educated. He had political pull. He had many human skills through his training in Egypt and in the household of Pharaoh. What Moses did not understand at this time is that none of those things would be of any use to him as an instrument that God would use in delivering Israel. Moses was ready to go in his mind, but he was far from being ready to go as a servant of the Lord. Moses would need forty years in the backside of the desert keeping his father-in-laws flocks before he would even be minimally ready to begin the task of delivering Israel. It has been my personal experience and also what I have observed of God’s people in their service to God, that we are the most willing and the least able when we first begin our trek in serving God. Our fleshly pride tells us that we are ready to do great things in the Kingdom of God. However, we must first become followers before we can become leaders. Each of us has much training that we need to undergo before we are prepared for leadership in the household of faith.

Shortly after I was ordained to the office of elder in the Primitive Baptist faith, I felt like I was called as an evangelist. Moreover, when the Lord blessed me in the work to constitute a church in Denton, Texas, I felt even more strongly that I was called to be an evangelist. Then for the next 25 years I served as a pastor only and did no work outside of the local church in the way of evangelism. At this point I began to think that I was mistaken about a call to be an evangelist, but rather that God had called me to be a pastor. What I did not realize at the time was that I had to learn how to be a pastor before I was prepared to train other men to become pastors, which is one of the chief responsibilities of an evangelist. I was ready to go early on in my ministry, but did not realize I had much training to do before I was truly ready for the work.

3. Moses went out to his brethren to see how they fared and looked on their burdens. He spied an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew servant. Moses finally saw the injustice done to those who were slaves to men. Moses, no doubt, knew that these were his people as he was nursed by his natural mother and he was of the same race as they were. Moses acted in anger as he slew the Egyptian who had smitten the Hebrew servant. He thought that no one saw what he had done and hid the Egyptian man in the sand. However, our sins find us out. Moses by slaying the Egyptian was just as guilty of injustice as the Egyptian had been. Actually Moses sin was a more grievous sin than the Egyptian’s sin. Moses sin was found out and Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh. The above illustrates the sovereignty of God in his selections of who he will have to serve him. Moses was a murderer and yet God chose him to deliver Israel. This illustrates both God’s sovereignty and God’s grace and mercy. All but one that God has chosen for service is sinner, saved by grace, and chosen by the sovereign will of God. The one exception is Jesus who knew and had no sin.

4. For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. 26 And the next day he showed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? By the above statement from one of his brethren Moses saw himself as being rejected as a leader who would lead them out of Egyptian bondage. This helps explain why Moses later asked God to give him signs that he might show unto Israel that God had sent him. Moreover, the above teaches us that rejection by one or more of God’s people does not mean that God has rejected us or our efforts even though we may think so.

Moses fled from Egypt based on the above saying, knowing that his evil deed was known unto men and that Pharaoh would seek his life. Moses had not yet learned that he was not ready to lead the children of Israel nor had he learned to trust in the Lord. These are all lessons that he will learn later.

5. “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” Moses action here was an example of faith used in Heb 11. If Moses had not had and demonstrated faith in God, he would not have refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, nor would he have chosen to rather suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Moses had much room to grow in faith as do all of us. Yet, Moses demonstrated that faith early on as he made the choice to esteem the reproach of Christ as greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. Likewise when we choose to become disciples of Christ rather than to continue a sinful path of life, we are also demonstrating faith in God. It is in the walk of faith that we grow in faith and become better servants unto God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 2:16

Ex 2:16-22

:16 “Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. 17 And the shepherds came and drove them away: but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. 18 And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day? 19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock. 20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread. 21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter. 22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.”

The Midianites were descendants of Abraham as Midian was a son of Abraham’s concubine, Keturah. The priests were the religious leaders of their tribe of people. I have no idea how Reuel became a priest. Moreover, it appears that the priest were not paid for their service in Midian as Reuel was a shepherd with a flock of sheep. It was the responsibility of Reuel’s seven daughters to draw water to water their father’s flock. It appears that when the daughters had drawn the water from the well to water their father’s flocks that the shepherds would come and drive their sheep away and water their flocks with the water Reuel’s daughters had drawn. Apparently this happened on a daily basis.

The heart of a man of God is to help the weak and needy. Moses seeing what was taking place stood up and helped the daughter’s of Reuel to water their father’s flock.

“And when they came to Reuel their father, he said, How is it that ye are come so soon to day? 19 And they said, An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and also drew water enough for us, and watered the flock. 20 And he said unto his daughters, And where is he? why is it that ye have left the man? call him, that he may eat bread.” Reuel recognized the gracious kindness of Moses in helping his daughters and wanted to reward him for his kindness. When Moses was come he and Reuel apparently started up a friendship. Reuel offered to lodge Moses and gave him to wife his daughter Zipporah. Moses then went to care for Reuel’s flock. Moses became a shepherd for the next 40 years.

Moses and Zipporah had a son whom they names Gershom because Moses had said “I have been a stranger in a strange land. In biblical times, it was common to name a child after the current circumstances of the father’s of mother’s life. Gershom means refugee which is what a stranger in a strange land is. Moses felt himself to be a strange in a strange land. This should be the feeling of each child of God. This earth is not our home. Our home is in heaven to which we will go one day. Until then we are strangers in a strange land.

The name, “Reuel,” means friend of God. Reuel had proven himself a friend of God by being a friend to the servant of God, Moses.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 2:23

Ex 2:23-25

:23 “And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.”

“And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage.” When God promised Abraham that he would give his people the land of Canaan, but beforehand they would sojourn in Egypt for 400 years, it is apparent that God had a time schedule for things to happen. Now, the time had come that God was preparing to deliver the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. He knew all about them and had known for all that time. Over the process of time, the children of Israel had come to dwell in Egypt in the land of Goshen during the days of Joseph. Joseph had been a saviour to Egypt and to the children of Israel. Later, however, there arose another Pharaoh that knew not Joseph and had enslaved the children of Israel and had wickedly tried to destroy them from being a separate people and to make their daughters sex slaves. God had providential intervened and prevented those actions. Now God has heard the groanings of the children of Israel and their cry by reason of the bondage.

The basis on which God was come to deliver Israel was on the basis of his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. In this covenant God had made with Abraham and confirmed with Isaac and Jacob, God promised to deliver the children of Israel and give them an inheritance in the land of Canaan. The scripture says that God remembered his covenant. We know that God cannot forget anything, but it says he remembered his covenant for our benefit for us to know that God remembers us and the covenant he made before the world began and recorded for us in Ro 8:29-30. God is a covenant making covenant keeping God. The word, LORD, literally means Jehovah who is a covenant making; covenant keeping God. This is the most common word for God in all the scriptures, being found in the scriptures over 6,000 times.

Based on this covenant that God made with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, God had respect to the children of Israel. God’s respect for anyone is based on a covenant. It is a covenant respect. There are several different times where we read that God is no respecter of persons. God does not respect persons based on any means whereby man respects or favors persons. God, however, does respect persons based on his covenant. For this reason, God had respect unto Israel, but had not respect unto the Egyptians.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 3:1

Ex 3:1-5

:1 “Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. 2 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3 And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4 And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here Am 1:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.”

Moses was forty years old when he fled Egypt and he was eighty years old when he began to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Therefore, Moses had been keeping the flock of Jethro his father in law, for about forty years. When Moses fled from Pharaoh, he was learned in all the wisdom of Egypt and was mighty in words and in deeds. He had been the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He thought at that time that the children of Israel would have understood that it was he that God would use to lead them out of bondage. Now after forty years of training in keeping a flock of sheep, we will notice a drastic change in Moses attitude and self confidence.

Sheep in the scripture are often associated as a type of the elect family of God. There are a lot of similarities between the actions of sheep and God’s born again children. It was fitting that Moses keep a flock of sheep because God was going to direct him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and through their wilderness journeying for forty years.

“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb.” Every God called pastor must lead the flock of God over which God has made him overseer. He is not to drive the flock but to lead them. Sheep are not easily driven for they will scatter. However, sheep can be led. Likewise, God’s children are not easily driven for they will scatter. They can, however, be led to serve the Lord.

Moreover, when serving the Lord, we will from time to time come to the mountain of God. We do not always dwell upon the mountaintop, but thanks be to God, that we are sometimes blessed to dwell in the mountain of his kingdom blessings.

“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” There are numerous typical word pictures of Christ and of his works. This is in keeping with what the Lord said in Joh 5:39 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” The scriptures are a continual testimony of Christ and we should continually be searching for Christ throughout the scriptures.

The word “fire” and the term “flame of fire” are frequently used in the scriptures to represent the judgment of God. The bush in the above scripture is a figure of Jesus Christ. The fire is a symbol of God’s judgment. When Christ suffered and died on the cross of Calvary, he did so under the judgment of God for the sins of God’s people. While the fire consumed the sins of the children of God, Christ was not consumed by the judgment but after three days and nights he arose victorious over sin, death, Satan, hell, and the grave. Neither Christ was consumed by that judgment nor were the elect children of God consumed by that judgment.

“And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here Am 1. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” As you would have suspected, Moses was quite curious to see this supernatural phenomenon. No doubt he wondered how a bush could burn with fire and the bush not be consumed. He very quickly found out as God called to him out of the midst of the bush. Thus, we are not left to speculate that the bush represented God or Christ.

God called Moses by name, just as he calls his elect children by name. He knows us all personally and has a name for each of us. Salvation from sin is a personal salvation to each of member of the elect family of God. God stopped the path of Moses by telling him to “Draw not nigh hither.” There are some things that God had to do for us and that we cannot help or assist in. Salvation from sin is one of those things. Next, God told Moses to “put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” Similarly, when a child of God comes to the realization that Christ alone put away his sins, he is on holy ground. As Moses was instructed to put off his shoes, so we should put off any man-crafted devices to help God in his work of saving his people from their sins. The feet have great sensitivity. We should be satisfied to feel after God and his work of salvation.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 3:6

Ex 3:6-9

:6 “Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. 7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.”

“Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” There were many so-called God’s in the world. Each tribe and nation of people of the Old Testament days had a god of their making. However, the God that appeared unto Moses was not just any god, but was the God of Moses and the children of Israel’s forefathers. He was the God who created all things. He was the covenant making, covenant keeping God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God first appeared to Abram and made several covenant promises to him. Next, he appeared to Abraham’s son Isaac and confirmed these same promises unto him. Furthermore, he appeared to Isaac’s son Jacob and confirmed the same covenant promises to him. Moreover, God manifested himself mightily to these three patriarchs. They were blessed to see some of His mighty works and to have Him lead them and providential bless them through their journey of faith. These things are things that Moses would have heard about and known. That this same God was appearing to him was indeed fearful to Moses and Moses hid his face as he was afraid to look upon God. This is in harmony with what God later told Moses in Ex 33:19-20 “And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.”

“And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;” There are four important things we are told in the above passage of scripture:

1. The term, “LORD,” is found in the scriptures in connection with God being a covenant making and covenant keeping God. It is the most frequent term used to describe God in the entire bible. In almost every time it is found it speaks to us about some aspect of God as being both a covenant making God and a covenant keeping God. It is on the basis of his being a covenant making and covenant keeping God that the next three important things are told to us.

2. God saw the affliction of his people. This is comforting to us because as the children of God we have many afflictions and we are assured that he sees our afflictions.

3. God heard their cry. In our afflictions we often cry out unto the Lord. Again it is comforting to know that God hears our cries.

4. God knows our sorrows. Heb 4:15 “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Again, this personal knowing of God is a comfort to us as he knows what we are going through and is touched by the feeling of our infirmities and is a ready present help in time of trouble.

“And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.” God’s covenant promises are fulfilled on God’s time-table and not on ours. He had specifically told Abraham that his seed would sojourn in the land of Egypt for four hundred years, and that time was fulfilled and now God had come to fulfill his covenant promise. Moreover, God had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that he would give them the land wherein they sojourned for an inheritance. This land was a good land and a large land. It was a land that figuratively flowed with milk and honey. It was a land that at that time was inhabited by the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The children of Israel would have to do war against these six tribes of people, but God promised it unto them and he always fulfills his promises. They would have this land for an inheritance! However, before they would have this land they had to first be delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. The children of Israel were in no position to deliver themselves out of the hand of the Egyptians, but God himself would deliver them.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 3:10

Ex 3:10-12

10 “Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. 11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.”

“Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.” In this verse, God gave Moses his marching orders. Moses was to bring forth the Lord’s people, the children of Israel out of Egypt. Certainly this task was much greater than just leading a small flock of sheep belonging to Jethro. The greatness of this task is exemplified in that there were approximately 2.5 million Israelites in Egypt who were to be delivered out of Egypt. God often proves his servants before he gives them greater tasks to accomplish. Moses had proven himself faithful for forty years in leading and keeping Jethro’s flock of sheep. Oftentimes, men want to do great things in the service of the Lord before they have proven themselves first capable of doing small tasks in the service of the Lord. The parable of the talents illustrates this lesson in that the man with the five talents and the man with the two talents first proved themselves capable of handling the five talents and the two talents before the master gave them greater responsibilities.

“And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Moses response is quite different than his thoughts were just before he fled from Pharaoh in Egypt. At that time Moses thought the children of Israel would have understood how that it was he that God would use to deliver them out of Egyptian bondage. Moses was very ready to begin the task at that time as he was schooled in all the wisdom of Egypt and had been mighty in words and in deeds as he son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses had a ton of self-confidence at that time. Now, however, Moses has lost his self-confidence and questions God’s wisdom in sending him to go to Pharaoh and bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt. As Moses will soon learn, he was in a far better condition now than he was forty years earlier for this task. We must first learn not to trust in ourselves and our abilities when it comes to serving the Lord. Moses had lost his own self trust. What he will soon learn that it is not based on his abilities but upon God’s abilities to deliver the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. In other words, it is not about us, but about what the Lord can do.

God answered Moses question by making a promise to Moses: “And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.” God promised Moses that he would not be alone in this task but that God would be with him. Moreover, God told Moses the final outcome of the task and that is both Moses and the children of Israel would serve God upon the mountain of God in Horeb. This was designed to give Moses much assurance based on the promise outcome. Even with the promises of God, Moses still had many doubts and at first would fall back in fear based upon his own shortcomings or inabilities. Moses is no different than we are in this regard. We often doubt the outcome of our service to God and question our own abilities to accomplish the task before us in our service to Him. It is by growth in faith that we learn to trust the Lord and listen to his covenant promises.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 3:13

Ex 3:13-15

:13 “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”

Moses doubts were being manifest in the above passage. He is expressing an excuse for not being the one that God would send. He admitted that he did not even know the name of God in order to convince the children of Israel that God had sent him. There are many names in the scriptures that apply to God. This is at least the fourth name presented in the books of Genesis and Exodus. The name God, with the Hebrew spelling “Elohim” is used to describe God as the Almighty or Creator. The name Spirit was found in Ge 1 and refers to the Holy Spirit. The name LORD has been used already a great number of times to refer to the covenant-making; covenant-keeping God. Now God is presenting a fourth name for our consideration that describes certain aspects and attributes of God. Now God has introduced to us and to Moses the fourth name which is “I AM.” The phrase “I am” refers to the present tense and indicates that God is an unchanging God, who is the same to all generations. In contrast, the phrases “I was” or “I will be” indicate change. “I was” indicates what one was in the past, but leaves open the possibility that one is not like that in the present. “I will be” indicates what one will be in the future, but leaves open the possibility that one is not like that in the present. Thus, the name “I AM” tells us that God is an ever present unchanging God.

God went on to tell Moses that His name “I AM” is a memorial unto all generations. Thus, by this explanation we know that God is not only ever present and unchanging but also that he is eternal and his attribute are the same in whatever generation we live.

“Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you:” In this sentence God uses the names “LORD;” “God;” and implies the name “I AM.” All of this together gives us an assurance that God has made and will keep his covenant; that being the Almighty he has the ability to keep that covenant; and that being ever present, unchanging and eternal that he will keep his covenant until all generations without fail. This is an important principle to us in gaining a better understanding of God’s covenant of redemption in Ro 8:29-30, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” This covenant began in eternal past with God foreknowing a people to be his. It is fully accomplished in eternity future with all those he foreknew being glorified in the eternal paradise of God. All these things are brought about by the fact that God is “Almighty;” that he is the ever present, unchanging I AM; and as LORD that he keeps his covenant that he made with himself before the world began.

The name I AM when connected with what Christ said in the New Testament tells us that Christ is God: Joh 8:58 “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” There are at least seven different phrases in which Christ referred to himself as the I AM in the book of John:

1. I am the light of the world.

2. I am the way, the truth, and the life.

3. I am the resurrection and the life.

4. I am the true vine.

5. I am the door.

6. I am the Good Shepherd.

7. I am the bread of life.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 3:14

Ex 3:14, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

How do I, only a mere mortal, full of sin, write anything about this verse? In this life we often talk of ‘has-beens’ in athletics and ‘ex-presidents’, ‘former employees’ and so on. The wonderful truth is, this can NEVER be said about our God. This phrase “I AM THAT I AM” means that God is eternal, unchangeable in His purposes, unalterable in His power, and sufficient for all we will ever need. It means, “I am God and there is none like me” (Isa 46:9). Paul put it this way in Heb 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” We change on a daily basis but God never changes and this one thought should give us great assurance in a world that gives no lasting assurance to God’s people. So, in the midst of an ever changing world let us look to Jesus, who is unchanging and draw our strength from Him to face the uncertain times that lay ahead. Amen!

Elder Freddy Boen

Who does “the LORD” say He is!

Ex 3:14 “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

In speaking to Moses when “the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush” (Ex 3:2), “God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM” (Ex 3:14). In speaking to the Jews, Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (Joh 8:58). When He appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos, the Lord said, “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”. The words, “I AM” refer to what God is, not just what He does. These words signify that God exists of Himself, that He has no beginning or ending, that He derives His power and authority exclusively from Himself, and that He is beholding to no-one or no-thing. God did not come into existence; He has ever been and will always be God. Essentially, to the “Elect” (1Pe 1:2), “born again” (Joh 3:1-8) Children of God, the Lord is our merciful and gracious and loving God; He is everything to us, for as He plainly told Israel and us, “I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. … 15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King.”! Furthermore, we are totally and exclusively dependent upon Him, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Ac 17:28). He alone is our hope for peace, comfort, joy, strength, and provision in this present life! It is true that, “in this” life “we” often “groan” under the awful burdens, tribulations, and sins that sometimes seem to swallow us up; all the while, “we” are “earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven” (2Co 5:2). Our earnest desire is justified; for, He alone is our “hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Tit 1:2). Such “hope” is the “anchor of” our “soul” (Heb 6:19); “though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations” (1Pe 1:6)! Knowing that the Great “I Am” is our “God”; let us, worshipfully cry aloud with David, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;” (Ps 63:1) and, in prayer, strongly proclaim “thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Mt 6:13)!

J. C. Stanaland

Exodus 3:16

Ex 3:16-22

:16 “Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: 17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. 18 And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God. 19 And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. 20 And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty: 22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.”

In this passage, the Lord gave very specific instruction unto Moses. Moses was to follow that instruction exactly as the Lord instructed him. He was not to deviate from it. Moses, as we shall see, either didn’t take heed to or did not believe some of the instruction. This is similar to the apostles not taking heed to what the Lord told them prior to his death on the cross. He had told them several times that he was to be delivered into the hands of men and they would put him to death and that he would rise the third day. The apostles never got beyond his statement that he would die. Peter was especially denying of this as he see in Mr 8:31 “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.” There is also a spiritual lesson in this for us as we are to understand that the instructions to us in the bible are to be followed exactly as the Lord recorded for us.

“Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt: And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey.” The first instruction to Moses was to go and gather the elders of Israel together. Moses was told specifically who he was to go to and what he was to say unto them.

The message to the elders was to remind them of the covenant promises that God had made to their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then to tell them that the time had come that God would fulfill that covenant promise whereby their seed would be delivered from Egypt and be delivered into the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Moreover, the Lord told them that the land to which they were going was far better than the land they were leaving. The land to which they were going was a land flowing with milk and honey. The term, “milk and honey,” is used to denote that the land was rich in necessary staples, and was rich in sweetness.

“And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.” Here the Lord assures Moses that the elders of Israel would hearken to his voice. This was one of Moses fears that they would not listen unto him. Moses had experienced their failure to understand nearly forty years before. However, Moses went by his own will the first time and now Moses is going at the direction of the Lord. When we go on our own without the Lord’s direction, we will meet with failure. When we go at the Lord’s direction then we can expect our labors will not be in vain. The final objective of going to the king of Egypt is to be delivered from Egypt and to sacrifice unto the Lord.

“And I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand. And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go.” Here Moses was not taking heed as the first couple of times that Moses went before Pharaoh he was met with a refusal to let the people go and Moses became despondent. Had Moses been paying heed, he would have known that Pharaoh was not yet ready to let the children of Israel go and would not be ready until God had smitten Egypt with all his wonders. After God had sent his ten sore judgments upon Egypt, then Pharaoh was ready to let the children of Israel go.

“And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty: 22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.” The Egyptians had greatly robbed the children of Israel for about four hundred years by casting them into slavery and had sore mistreated them and abused them and profited from their labors. Now God has promised to the children of Israel that they would come out of Egypt with great spoils and treasures. He has put forth a way by which some of the earthly wealth that the Egyptians had robbed the children of Israel of would come back to them prior to their leaving Egypt.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 4:1

Ex 4:1-9

:1 “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. 2 And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. 3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: 5 That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. 6 And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. 7 And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. 8 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.”

Moses continued with his doubts, objections, and excuses about doing what the Lord had commanded him to do. In this regard, Moses is very typical of God’s elect children. There have been times in all of our lives that we have doubted the Lord, we have made objections or excuses why we could not obey the word of the Lord. Yet, as God was gracious to Moses, so is he also to us.

The objection Moses made unto the Lord was that the children of Israel would not believe him and would not hearken unto his voice. Moreover, they will doubt that the LORD had sent him. On the one hand, Moses was speaking from prior experience when forty years before he had gone out and thought that they would have understood how that God would use him to deliver the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. They had answered him and said, “Who hath made you a judge and ruler over us?” However, Moses had gone that time without direction of the LORD. When we go without direction from the LORD we should expect to fail.

“And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. 3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: 5 That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.” To manifest his graciousness unto Moses and to assure him that the childen of Israel would hear his voice and believe that God had sent him, God gave Moses three signs to show unto the children of Israel. While the sign itself was miraculous and obviously came from the Lord, yet it has spiritual significance unto us today. Throughout the scriptures, “the rod,” is a symbol of the commandment and authority of God. We will see the rod used several times as God sent forth his sore judgments upon Pharaoh and Egypt. Likewise, the serpent is a symbol of Satan and sin. When the commandment and authority of God is cast down, it becomes a serpent (sin) to chase us. When Adam transgressed the commandment and authority of God in the Garden of Eden, he suffered the deadly consequences of sins bite. When Christ, the second Adam, became sin for us, he delivered the elect from the deadly (eternal) consequences of sin. Christ put forth his hand and delivered us from the sins of our flesh. Now the rod or authority of God is in the hands of Christ and we are to be obedient and submissive to his authority.

Just like Moses cast the rod upon the ground, so we likewise had cast the commandment of God upon the ground, and like Moses fled from before his own sins, so we fled from before our sins. Moreover, when Moses followed the commandment of God to take up the serpent, then it became a rod in his hands, by which he would be blessed to bring forth great judgments upon Egypt. Likewise, when we break God’s commandment we flee from the consequences of our sin which chase us. However, when we take up the commandments of God, we go in the authority of God and can do whatever God would have us to do.

“And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. 7 And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.” Leprosy is a disease known to mankind and is basically incurable by man. Leprosy is used as a symbol of sin in the book of Leviticus. Again, using the examples of Adam and Christ, we can see a typical picture of sin being brought into the world of Adam multiplied by the hand of Adam, when he disobeyed the commandment of God. Next, we see a typical picture of Christ delivering us from sin by the work of Christ’s hand. In all cases, the type is never as perfect as the antitype. When Christ delivered us from the consequences of our sins, he did not just restore us to a state of innocence, but delivered us into a far greater and better state. He gave us eternal life, which Adam did not have before he broke the commandment of God.

“And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. 9 And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.” Here we have a typical picture of Christ’s atonement for the sins of his people. Christ, being the pure river of the water of life, poured out his life giving it to redeem his people from their sins. The waters of his perfect life were poured upon the dry and barren land of the lives of his people. According to the scriptures, “the life is in the blood.” Thus, through the atoning sacrifice of Christ we are given eternal life by the sprinkling of his precious blood. In our depraved state before the application of Christ’s atonement to us, we were totally barren of anything good or worthy in our lives. After the application of Christ’s atonement for us we are given eternal spiritual life and now can bear the wondrous fruit of the spirit which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.

The Lord assured Moses that the children of Israel would believe and hearken to the voice of the above three signs. This is not to say that they would have understood the spiritual significance of those signs, but rather they would at least recognize that the miraculous signs had to come from God and thus Moses was sent to bring them forth from the bondage of Egypt.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 4:10

Ex 4:10-17

:10 “And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. 11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. 13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. 14 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. 15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. 16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God. 17 And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.”

“And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.” This is the next in the list of things that Moses uses as an excuse why that he is unable to do what the Lord has told him to do. However, while Moses was in Egypt, he was described as being “mighty in word.” Humility is generally an admirable quality, but using our weaknesses as an excuse to refrain from doing the service that God gives us is not a valid excuse. The truth is that none of us are able to do the Lord’s service that he appoints to us in our own strength and abilities. We are totally dependent upon the Lord as Jesus said, “without me you can do nothing.” The Lord answers Moses with: “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? 12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.” The Lord has promised us that he will provide us with the ability to do what he tells us that we are to do. Paul stated by the leadership of the Holy Spirit: “I can do all things thru Christ which strengtheneth me. The Lord, who is the creator of all things and has all power in heaven and earth, can loose man’s tongue and make those slow of speech to speak fluently. God promised Moses that he would teach him what he should say. Moses had not yet learned the lesson that it is not by his ability but by the ability that God gives him that he can perform the service of God. We learn this lesson through the experiences of life and seeing the Lord’s deliverances in our lives. This is a very important lesson in our growth in faith.

“And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. 14 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. 15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. 16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.” Now Moses ignores the words and assurances of the Lord and ask that God send someone to speak to the children of Israel. Here, we see that what Moses said displeased the Lord as his anger was kindled against Moses. God is definitely not pleased when we continually make excuses as to why we cannot do his service.

Even though God’s anger was kindled against Moses, yet as is so often the case, God is still gracious unto his children. In this case, God promised Moses that he would send Aaron, the brother of Moses to be his mouthpiece. God would speak to Moses; Moses would speak to Aaron and Aaron would relay the message to the people as Moses spokesman.

“And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.” Even though Moses gave so many excuses, God still required Moses to do his bidding and concluded this section by telling him to take the rod and do the signs God would show and tell him. Thus, after all the excuses we may raise, we still have to do the service God requires of us.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 4:18

Ex 4:18

:18 “And Moses went and returned to Jethro his father in law, and said unto him, Let me go, I pray thee, and return unto my brethren which are in Egypt, and see whether they be yet alive. And Jethro said to Moses, Go in peace.”

Sometimes what we don’t say can be revealing. Moses got permission from Jethro his father in law to return unto Egypt. While that was proper to do so, yet the reason Moses gave was not the real reason he was returning to Egypt. Moses said that he wanted to go and see whether his brethren were yet alive. Moses knew from what God had told him that his brethren were yet alive. Yet Moses hid from Jethro his real reason for returning to Egypt and lied to him about it. Why Moses chose not to tell Jethro the real reason for his return to Egypt and then lied about it is just speculation. There really was no legitimate reason for Moses to hide his purpose and then lie about it.

God’s people are not perfect, just like Moses was not perfect. Sin works in us to do things that we should not do and we have to ever be diligent to mortify the deeds of the flesh if we are to live lives that are pleasing unto God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 4:19

Ex 4:19-26

:19 “And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life. 20 And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to the land of Egypt: and Moses took the rod of God in his hand. 21 And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. 22 And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: 23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. 24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. 26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.”

“And the LORD said unto Moses in Midian, Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life.” The Lord continued to assure Moses that things would be all right when he went to Egypt. Naturally, one of the chief concerns a man would have in Moses circumstance is that the authorities that had sought his life would still be around and still seek to kill him. The Lord assured him that all the men who sought his life were dead and therefore he had no need to fear that there were those in Egypt still seeking to kill him.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.” Here the Lord set the stage for Moses return unto Egypt and what he was to say to Pharaoh. There are several salient points in the above:

1. Moses was do all the wonders which God had put in his hands. Moses did not get to pick and choose what he wanted to do or say. As a servant of the Lord the servant does not set the agenda and do things his way, but God sets our agenda and we are to do things God’s way.

2. God told Moses that God would harden Pharaoh’s heart that he would not let the people go. Some have wondered how that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh. When heat is applied to clay it will harden. When heat is applied to wax it will melt. The unregenerate have hearts like clay. When the heat of God’s judgment is applied to the heart of the unregenerate it hardens. Born again children of God (regenerate) have hearts like wax. When the heat of God’s judgment is applied to the heart of the regenerate it melts. When God pronounced his judgments upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he refused to let the children of Israel go.

Moreover, Moses apparently was not listening to what God said because he was very disappointed the first couple of times when Pharaoh refused to let the children of Israel go.

3. God called Israel his son and his firstborn. A first born son inherits a double portion and eventually becomes the head of the family. For instance, Christ is said to be the firstborn among many brethren: Ro 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Being a son of God makes one a member of God’s family and brings one under the protective care of God and permits one to eat at God’s table. Moreover, the father will seek to deliver his son from whatever befalls him.

4. Part of Moses message to Pharaoh is that God said let his son go that he may serve him. God also gave Pharaoh the consequences of failing to take heed and that is that his firstborn would be slain by God. There are consequences, even to the unregenerate for failing to do what God commands. God plainly told Pharaoh the consequences.

“And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband thou art, because of the circumcision.” There are a couple of questions raised in the above passages:

1. Who was the Lord seeking to kill? Was is Moses or was it Moses’ son? I am convinced that it was Moses’ son that God sought to kill.

2. The second question is why did God seek to kill him? The answer is that God had commanded Abraham and his seed to keep the covenant of circumcision. Those who failed to keep the covenant would be cut off from the people. Moses would have been circumcised when he was eight days old. This was before Moses became the adopted son of Pharaoh’s daughter. However, Gershom, his son, had not been circumcised according to the commandment of God. It was necessary that Gershom be circumcised or he would die at the hands of God. Zipporah, Moses wife, apparently was not on board with the covenant of circumcision, but complied to circumcise her son to save his life. She showed her displeasure by casting the foreskin of her son at the feet of Moses and saying, “Surely a bloody husband art thou to me.”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 4:21

Ex 4:21 "And the LORD said unto Moses, When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go."

Before Moses ever went to Egypt on his mission of deliverance, the Lord spoke to him of Pharaoh, and He said "I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go." {Ex 4:21} Jehovah said again in Ex 7:3, "And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt." The references to the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart number around twenty in the book of Exodus. In the great majority the Scripture simply says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. If we are Bible believers we simply have to accept what Scripture says and conclude that in some real sense God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. However, this does not make God the author of Pharaoh’s sin. In another real sense, Pharaoh hardened his own wicked heart. The Scripture says in Ex 8:32 that "Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go." Here we have Pharaoh hardening his own heart, while in other places we have God hardening his heart. I believe it is talking about the same thing. God did not tempt Pharaoh to sin. Jas 1:13 says that "God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." God did not make Pharaoh sin. However, God so controlled events, to a minute detail, that Pharaoh reacted in a sinful manner, and God was glorified by this. This is not a complete explanation, but a complete explanation of God’s wonderful ways is not possible for our puny, finite minds.
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but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go; that is, not directly, not for some time, not until all the wonders are wrought, and plagues inflicted to bring him to it: he first hardening his own heart against God, and all remonstrances made unto him, it was but a righteous thing in God to give him up to the hardness of his heart, to deny him his grace, which only could soften it, and to leave him to the corruptions of his nature, and the temptations of Satan; and by leaving him to strong delusions, to believe the lying miracles of his magicians: this the Lord thought fit to acquaint Moses with, lest he should be discouraged by his refusal to dismiss Israel.
Gill

Exodus 4:22

"Thus saith the Lord" (Ex 4:22).

I think this is the first time we find the words "Thus saith the Lord" in the Bible, but we find them many times thereafter in the Old Testament. What the Lord has said should be of great concern to us, and His word should be our guide in all we say and do. Where doctrine and practice are concerned we had best have a "thus saith the Lord," or else we will find ourselves worshipping Him in vain. Adding to, or taking from, the word of God is a serious offense with a strong penalty connected with it. The Lord told Israel, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you" (De 4:2). And in this same book He says, "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it" (De 12:32). Pr 30:6 says, "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar" (See also Re 22:19).

There is nothing that can be substituted for a "thus saith the Lord" when it comes to divine worship. Christ taught us that those who are guilty of "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men," are worshipping Him in vain (Mt 15:9). And it is those who desire to "draw away disciples after them" who speak "perverse things." No man will ever gain a following if he stays strictly with "thus saith the Lord," for God's word teaches us that we are to follow Christ, and "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Ac 5:29). The apostle Peter tells us of wicked men who allure others away from the truth by speaking "great swelling words of vanity" (2Pe 2:18) and Jude speaks of the same characters (Jude 16).

It is of utmost importance that we put "thus saith the Lord" above everything else. The Lord will not allow His word to be tampered with without a just retribution. Many have shown great contempt for the things that the Lord has said, and they have found that "the way of transgressors is hard." Someone coined a good expression when they said, "The Lord said it, and that settles it, whether we believe it or not."
---Elder Ralph Harris

Popular religion argues that every man deserves a chance to be saved. "Being saved," in the minds of many, is tantamount to a person coming into the possession of eternal life; and all men, in this unscriptural view of the matter, are owed an opportunity to either accept or reject that life. This is a fatally flawed theology, for if unregenerate men deserved a chance to be saved, then upon whatever grounds they deserved a chance to be saved they would also deserve to be saved. And if they deserved to be saved, they would already be good enough that they wouldn't need to be saved at all. The truth is, all men by nature are fallen creatures and do not deserve any favorable notice from God whatsoever. The eternal salvation of God's people is not based upon "a chance" but rather it is based upon the grace of God and grace alone. When God gives His people divine life, then they are capable of loving Him and serving Him, but not one moment before.---Elder Ralph Harris.
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A true believer's conduct towards his fellow creatures is regulated, or should be, by the principle of a living faith. To the degree that he feels his own weakness and unworthiness, and as he is conscious of living on the grace, mercy and pardoning love of his divine Master, to that same degree he is likely to possess a spirit of meekness and gentleness. Being humbled under a sense of much forgiveness to himself, he finds it easy to forgive others, if he has aught against any.---Elder John R. Daily, 1902.
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Had not God worn out, on Christ, the rod of vengeance, even to the very stumps, the remainder would have been upon our backs, and that would have pierced our souls with an everlasting sting.---Tobias Crisp, 1643.
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The righteousness whereby sinners are justified before the judgment bar of God is quite independent of themselves.---Selected.

Exodus 4:27

Ex 4:27-31

:27 “And the LORD said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him. 28 And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him. 29 And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: 30 And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. 31 And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.”

“And the LORD said to Aaron, Go into the wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and kissed him.” I sometimes have difficulty working more than one or two tasks at the same time. That is not a problem with God. He can work in the lives of multitudes of people at the same time. Here, God was not only working in Moses to accomplish his purpose, but was at the same time working in the life of his brother Aaron to bring about his purpose.

God had commanded Aaron to go into the wilderness to meet Moses. Now the wilderness to which God referred was a huge place. The question we might raise is how could Aaron hope to find Moses in such a huge place? That is not a problem with God, because he knows all things and is every where present and no where absent. So it is a very simple task with God to direct the steps of Aaron to where Moses was located.

These two brethren met at the mount of God. This is the best place to meet someone. When you are in the mount of God and someone else is in the mount of God, then any meeting will be delightful. Aaron met Moses and kissed him. We need not think that every time the word, kiss, is found in the scriptures that it is referring to a kiss on the mouth or cheek. Several times in the scriptures it may very well be referring to an embrace or hug. These two brethren were happy to see one another as it had probably been about 40 years since they last met. The terms of their meeting are also a delight as they are setting out on a trip to deliver their brethren from the hard and miserable bondage they were suffering in Egypt.

“And Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which he had commanded him.” The fact that God had sent Aaron as God had said he would was an encouragement to Moses that God would do as he promised. Moses was blessed to share with Aaron all the words that the Lord had told him and all the signs which God had commanded him.

“And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.” Here Moses and Aaron set out faithfully to do what the Lord had commanded them to do. They first gathered all the elders of the children of Israel together as God commanded Moses. Next, as Moses spokesman, and according to God’s promise, Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses. Next, Aaron did the signs that God had shown unto Moses in the sight of the people. When we do things the way God has commanded or taught us and we say according to the message God has given us, we can expect to see what God has promised. This is what happened.

“And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.” Belief is such a blessing to the people of God. The people believed the words and signs and realized it was from God and that God had looked upon their affliction and had sent his servants to work to deliver them. Then the people did what was most fitting for them to do: they bowed their heads and worshipped. We are so quick to pray when we feel ourselves in great need and we feel ourselves unable to deliver ourselves. However, it is also important for us to pray and worship when God delivers us or sends us good news. This the people did.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 5:1

Ex 5:1-4

:1 “And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness. 2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go. 3 And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword. 4 And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens."

“And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” This, of course, is what the Lord told Moses and Aaron to do. However, remember that the Lord also told Moses that Pharaoh would not hearken to let the people go.

“And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.” It is true that Pharaoh said that he did not know the Lord. It is also true that Pharaoh was not going to give up his dominion over his Israelite slaves. It was his moneys treasure to have them do his work for him for only the cost of the maintenance of their bodies. Pharaoh had not been born of the Spirit and had no love of God within him and he feared not God, therefore, he was going to act in an entirely selfish way. Pharaoh in his carnality cared not that the children of Israel were greatly suffering under his wicked hands. To Pharaoh the children of Israel were like oxen to do his work and then to be slaughtered for his selfish gain.

“And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the LORD our God; lest he fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword.” Here Moses and Aaron went from stating the commandment of God which God had instructed them to begging that Pharaoh would hearken to let the children of Israel go. They erred in that the God who was commanding them was far greater than the king who was before them. They should never have begged before the worldly king. It does not do any good to beg before a worldly king or ruler. He will only take it as a sign of weakness on your part.

“And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens.” In this statement the king of Egypt is showing to Moses and Aaron that he believes he is greater than what he considers to be their imaginary God. He also falsely accuses them of letting the people go from their works. He then commands them to get themselves unto their burdens which he had assigned to the children of Israel.

Moses and Aaron were now undertaking a path of much spiritual growth that will become evident in the days to come as they will repeatedly stand before Pharaoh speaking the words of God unto him demanding that he let the people go to worship the God of Israel in the wilderness.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 5:2

“Who is the LORD”

Ex 5:2 “And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.”

It is clear that Pharaoh did not know “the LORD”; he had no idea who it was that was issuing him such a command. So, he called Moses to find out just who this “LORD” might be. The word “LORD” is translated from the Hebrew word, Jehovah, which literally means, “The Existing One”. His name, Jehovah, means that He exists of Himself; that is, He has no origin, He has no beginning or ending, He has no limit in power, He has no limit in wisdom and knowledge, and He owns all things for He is the Creator. When Nebuchadnezzar learned of “The Existing One” by personal experience; he declare, “all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Da 4:35). Pharaoh came to know of Him, but Israel knew Him. Pharaoh came to know of Him when He overpowered his wise men, He took the life of his eldest son, and He defeated his mighty army. In contrast, Israel knew Him personally in a loving and worshipful way. I marvel that the Pharaohs of this world so quickly forget history, for “the LORD” yet reigns supreme “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against” His “church” (Mt 16:18)!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Exodus 5:5

Ex 5:5-11

5 “And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens. 6 And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, 7 Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. 8 And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. 9 Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words. 10 And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. 11 Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.”

“And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.” To Pharaoh worship of a God was just idle superstition and takes away from the time the people ought to be working to enrich his coffers. So to combat what he believes to be idle superstition he assigns more work to the children of Israel whose lives were already made bitter with hard bondage.

“And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.”

In this passage Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people to assign more work to the children of Israel as he said they were idle which he said was evident because they had requested: “Let us go and sacrifice to our God.” Pharaoh called this “vain words.” Pharaoh also demonstrated his arrogance toward the slaves as he shows them that if they ask for time off that he will counter by assigning more work to them. He hoped to stop any future request for time off from their burdens through this means.

“And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished.” It is evident that the children of Israel were in a burdensome predicament in that Pharaoh had increased considerably their work load and effectively shorted the time in which they could accomplish their tasks as they now had to spend considerable time gathering straw which heretofore had been supplied to them. They were set up for failure and that is exactly what would happen.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 5:12

Ex 5:12-19

:12 “So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. 13 And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw. 14 And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore? 15 Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? 16 There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people. 17 But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the LORD. 18 Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks. 19 And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task."

“So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw. 13 And the taskmasters hasted them, saying, Fulfil your works, your daily tasks, as when there was straw.” Much of the time that the people would otherwise have been making brick they now spent gathering stubble. Gathering stubble is a slow and tedious job. To gather enough stubble to make a tale of brick would take a lot of time, yet the children of Israel were told to produce the same amount of bricks as they had before. It was an impossible task that Pharaoh had given them. This he did to punish them for asking to be given time off to go and worship God.

“And the officers of the children of Israel, which Pharaoh's taskmasters had set over them, were beaten, and demanded, Wherefore have ye not fulfilled your task in making brick both yesterday and to day, as heretofore?” The taskmasters, no doubt, under Pharaoh’s orders beat the officers of the children of Israel because they had not fulfilled their task in making the same quantity of brick as they had before. The officers were in a strait. The children of Israel could not possibly fulfill the task and yet they were beaten for not fulfilling their task. In their mind, they probably thought that if they continued to fail to fulfill the task that they would be beaten to death.

“Then the officers of the children of Israel came and cried unto Pharaoh, saying, Wherefore dealest thou thus with thy servants? 16 There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people.” The officers seeking relief from the impossible task went to the only person that they thought could give them relief. They went to Pharaoh. However, Pharaoh had set them up for failure because that Moses and Aaron had sought time to go into the wilderness to worship their God. Pharaoh’s answer to them was: “But he said, Ye are idle, ye are idle: therefore ye say, Let us go and do sacrifice to the LORD. Go therefore now, and work; for there shall no straw be given you, yet shall ye deliver the tale of bricks.” Pharaoh was pointing out to them that their request to go and do sacrifice to the LORD was the reason they were in the predicament they were in. He said that it was obvious they were idle. He reiterated that he expected them to do deliver the same amount of brick even while no straw was given unto them.

“And the officers of the children of Israel did see that they were in evil case, after it was said, Ye shall not minish ought from your bricks of your daily task.” As far as the officers were concerned they had no way out of their predicament. I make the point here that serving the Lord requires a willingness and readiness to suffer for his name’s sake. As of yet, the officers and the children of Israel had not yet learned that lesson. It is one of the lessons of faith, that often times the first steps are met with opposition and seemingly failure. Yet, we must learn to trust in the Lord for our deliverances.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 5:20

Ex 5:20-23

:20 “And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: 21 And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us. 22 And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.”

“And they met Moses and Aaron, who stood in the way, as they came forth from Pharaoh: 21 And they said unto them, The LORD look upon you, and judge; because ye have made our savour to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to slay us.” It is evident that the officers of the people did not expect to suffer for the cause of God. Yet, we today need to expect to suffer affliction for the cause of Christ. The afflictions strengthen us and lead to the exercise of our faith. Typically when someone goes through affliction they want to play the blame game. The officers of the people placed the blame upon the messengers of God, Moses and Aaron. After all if they had not come and encouraged them that they were soon to see deliverance from their bondage, they would not have suffered affliction. They believed that Moses and Aaron’s going to Pharaoh to seek permission to go into the wilderness to sacrifice and serve God was the reason Pharaoh had assigned them an impossible task that led to their being beaten. This is true that is the reason Pharaoh assigned them the impossible task and caused them to be beaten. They forgot about the promise of deliverance and they did not trust their God to fulfill his promise.

“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil entreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? 23 For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.” Like Moses, most of us are prone to shy away from conflict. The officers rebuking Moses and Aaron was a conflict they had not expected and furthermore were not prepared for. Thus, Moses also had not expected to meet with opposition from Pharaoh and for Pharaoh’s reaction to their words they spoke from God. Moses, like the officers, played the blame game with God. He accused God of not keeping his promises, which of course, was not true. If Moses had paid attention to what God told him he would have known that Pharaoh was not willingly going to let the people go. Moses even questioned why the LORD had sent him. He blamed the LORD for the evil treatment of the people, which was inflicted by orders from Pharaoh. Moses had a lot of spiritual growth and growth in faith to do in the near future. This is so typical of each of us as we began our walk of faith. We often do not listen to what God has told us and furthermore, we often do not trust that God will keep his promises, and we have unreal expectations of what will take place when we follow the LORD. We all need to grow throughout our lifetime in our faith and trust in the LORD. We also need to realize that God works in his own timetable and not on ours. We should not have unreal expectations. Additionally we need to realize that at times we will suffer afflictions for the cause of Christ.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 6:1

Ex 6:1-8

:1 “Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. 2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. 4 And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. 5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. 6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: 7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.”

“Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.” After hearing Moses complaints and accusations, the LORD manifest his grace unto Moses and tells him again that He will deliver Israel with a strong hand and that when all is over Pharaoh will not only be agreeable for Israel to leave but with a strong hand he will drive the children of Israel out because of what the LORD had done unto Pharaoh.

“And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” In the King James translation the word, LORD, is the same as the word, JEHOVAH. They both mean, a covenant making and covenant keeping God. The LORD told Moses that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not know him by the name of LORD. However, they knew him by the name, Almighty. It wasn’t as though they had not heard the word, LORD, for it is the most frequent word that God used with them. What it is talking about is that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had all been witnesses of the Almighty power of God. They had not been witnesses of the LORD fulfilling his covenant that he had made with Abraham and confirmed with Isaac and Jacob. Among the covenant promises that the LORD had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was that He would give them the land of Canaan for a possession. However, in their lifetime, they had dwelt in the land of Canaan but had not been possessors of that land. Now God’s appointed time had come for their descendants to possess that land. Possession of that land would come under God’s name Jehovah or LORD.

“And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers. 5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.” God established a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage. They had been strangers in that land and not possessors of that land. There are times that we may think that God has forgotten his covenant and forgotten us. However, God cannot forget his covenant and he cannot forget us. Likewise, he had not forgotten his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and when the appointed time came for their deliverance, which God told Abraham that the children of Israel would dwell in Egypt for four hundred years and that they would be sore afflicted in that land. God heard the groanings of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians kept in bondage and remembered his covenant. Now was the time that the LORD came to deliver the children of Israel.

“Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for an heritage: I am the LORD.” In this passage of scripture, according to the covenant promise God had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob God promises the children of Israel that he will do seven things to establish his covenant promise:

1. I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

2. I will rid you out of their bondage.

3. I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments.

4. I will take you to me for a people.

5. I will be to you a God.

6. I will bring you in unto the land, concerning the which I did swear to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

7. I will give it you for an heritage.

These seven promises set the tone for what is written in the rest of the book of Exodus as well as the books of Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua.

Notice that God in making these promises made the promises using the phrase “I am the LORD” three times. He uses this phrase with the beginning, the ending, and the middle of these seven promises. The phrase “I am the LORD” is significant in that it combines two names for God. God had told Moses that his name is “I AM” to which Moses related to the children of Israel. I AM suggests to us that God is ever present, unchanging, and eternal. The name “LORD” suggests to us that God is a covenant establishing and covenant keeping God. By combining these two names, God is showing Moses and the children of Israel that he will not and cannot fail to keep his covenant promises.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 6:3

Ex 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.

God Almighty—All enemies must fall, all difficulties must vanish before My omnipotent power, and the patriarchs had abundant proofs of this.
JFB

Exodus 6:6

Ex 6:6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments:

"I am the LORD"

Eternal in his being, immutable in his counsels, faithful to his covenant, and able to fulfil it:
Gill

Now, there’s the authority, there’s the ability, there’s the sovereignty of the One behind this message.

Elder Wiley Flanagan

With a stretched-out arm, i.e. my almighty power. A metaphor from a man that stretcheth out his arm, and puts forth all his strength to give the greater blow.
Poole

Exodus 6:9

Ex 6:9-13

:9 “And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage. 10 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 11Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land. 12 And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips? 13 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.”

“And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage.” This shows that our personal circumstances can cloud our view of the future and what is about to take place. The anguish of spirit and cruel bondage of the children of Israel clouded their minds to what the LORD told them through his servant Moses. It is a lack of experience exercising faith that causes us to get bogged down in our current circumstances and not trust in the LORD for our deliverances. Paul through the direction of the Holy Spirit set forth a principle for growth in faith: Ro 5:3-5 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” The children of Israel were undergoing a great tribulation. The lesson being taught them was to be patient and wait upon the LORD. This would lead to an experience of seeing the deliverance of the LORD. This in turn would bring them hope by which they could both give glory to God and trust in him for future deliverances.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 11Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.” This shows us that the LORD fully intended to accomplish his promises regardless of the current exercise of faith of the children of Israel and of Moses. Some promises of God are conditional upon the actions of men and some are unconditional upon the actions of men. In this sixth chapter, the promises are clearly unconditional upon the actions of men. God simply stated the seven things that he was going to do to fulfill his covenant promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

“And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?” This clearly shows Moses current state of doubt in the promises of God. Another thing is that Moses still thought that he was responsible for convincing Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go, when in fact it was the LORD who would bring Pharaoh to his knees and cause him to not only let them go but drive out the children of Israel from Egypt. We should learn to not trust in our own abilities, but rather learn to trust in the LORD’s abilities to accomplish his purposes.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.” The LORD certainly knew the current state of doubt of the children of Israel and of Moses, but was not the least bit deterred from his purpose that the children of Israel be brought out of the land of Israel. Moreover, the LORD gave Moses and Aaron a charge to deliver unto the children of Israel and to Moses to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt. Regardless of their current state of unbelief, God would fulfill his charge.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 6:14

Ex 6:14-25

:14 “These be the heads of their fathers' houses: The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel; Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi: these be the families of Reuben. 15 And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman: these are the families of Simeon.

16 And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations; Gershon, and Kohath, and Merari: and the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years. 17 The sons of Gershon; Libni, and Shimi, according to their families. 18 And the sons of Kohath; Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years. 19 And the sons of Merari; Mahali and Mushi: these are the families of Levi according to their generations.

20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bare him Aaron and Moses: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years. 21 And the sons of Izhar; Korah, and Nepheg, and Zichri. 22 And the sons of Uzziel; Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Zithri. 23 And Aaron took him Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab, sister of Naashon, to wife; and she bare him Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 24 And the sons of Korah; Assir, and Elkanah, and Abiasaph: these are the families of the Korhites.

25 And Eleazar Aaron's son took him one of the daughters of Putiel to wife; and she bare him Phinehas: these are the heads of the fathers of the Levites according to their families.”

The above genealogy is primarily about the descendants of Levi. Levi was the third son of Jacob. Rueben was the first born and Simeon the second born son of Jacob. By including them in the above genealogy, the Spirit is showing us that the chosen tribe of Levi was not chosen on the basis of birth order. There is a lot said in the scriptures about the rights and privileges of the first born. There is also a lot said about the second born and God’s often placing the second born in a place of favor. However, when it came to the priesthood, God, as usual is sovereign in his choices and sovereignly chose Levi for the office and work of priesthood.

In the priesthood, Aaron and his sons who came after him and his death were to be the high priest in the priesthood. His sons were to serve in the office of priest, while the other children of Levi were to do the work of the tabernacle and service of God. The work of the children of Levi was divided and prescribed by the Lord among the descendants of the three sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

The heritage of Aaron and Moses are also shown us in the genealogy of Levi. Aaron was the first high priest and Moses was the chosen prophet of God to deliver the law to the children of Israel.

Eleazar, the thirdborn son of Aaron and his son Phinehas are also specifically pointed out in the above passage and their significance is that when Aaron died, Eleazar succeeded him as the high priest and Phinehas his son succeeded Eleazar as the high priest upon the death of Eleazar.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 6:26

Ex 6:26-30

:26 “These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the LORD said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their armies. 27 These are they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt: these are that Moses and Aaron. 28 And it came to pass on the day when the LORD spake unto Moses in the land of Egypt, 29 That the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I am the LORD: speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I say unto thee. 30 And Moses said before the LORD, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?”

All of the above is a restatement of what was previously written in this chapter. We may wonder why at times we have a repeat of what is previously written. Certainly, it is a point of emphasis. Sometimes we have to hear things or read things two or three times for it to make an impression upon us. The fourteenth psalm and the fifty third psalm are almost identical. They are very similar in what is stated to Romans chapter three verses 9-17. These three passages set forth in plain language an extremely important doctrine of which if you do not have a good understanding, many of the doctrines of the scriptures cannot possibly be fully understood. We need to have things repeated for us from time to time.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 7:1

Ex 7:1-7

:1 “And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. 2 Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land. 3 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. 5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them. 6 And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they. 7 And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.”

In the next few chapters as we study the judgments that God brings upon Egypt, we want to focus our attention on several things:

1. The attributes of God.

2. The growth in faith of Moses.

3. The total unbelief and stubbornness of an unregenerate leader as Pharaoh.

4. The difference God makes between the children of Israel and the Egyptians.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.” Pharaoh did not believe in the LORD nor did he believe the LORD. To Pharaoh the episodes that follow was a test of will and ability with Moses. All he knew of God was what he saw in Moses and he did not think that Moses was truly a God. Furthermore, since God had made Aaron Moses mouthpiece to speak for Moses, then Pharaoh look at Aaron as being Moses prophet.

“Thou shalt speak all that I command thee: and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he send the children of Israel out of his land.” The end result that God was going to accomplish is that Pharaoh send the children of Israel out of the land. Pharaoh was going to be completely resistant to that idea. Moses was to speak all that God commanded him. God was speaking directly to Moses. Moses then spoke everything that God commanded to Aaron and then Aaron spoke to Pharaoh. This was God’s order that he had established. God is a God of order and things are to be done according to God’s order. The message to Pharaoh was a simple and direct message: i.e. send the children of Israel out of Egypt.

“And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt.” Common questions people ask about this is why and how did God harden Pharaoh’s heart? Was Pharaoh simply a puppet being moved to do wickedly because God had hardened his heart? Pharaoh was not a puppet. He was acting in his own volition. The stubbornness of his heart and his resistance to the will of God was not caused by God but he acted on his own to sin. Pharaoh was not born of the Spirit and so only had an unregenerate heart. He was of the fallen nature of Adam and in that condition could not and would not seek after God. As the scriptures say, “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.” All who are unregenerate are as Pharaoh in that they do not believe in God and do not believe God.

The way God hardened Pharaoh’s heart was through judgment. Those who are not born of the spirit have a heart of flesh which is like clay. Those who have been born of the spirit have a heart that is like wax. When the fire of God’s judgment comes upon the unregenerate his heart like clay is hardened. However, when the fire of judgment comes upon the regenerate his heart melts in sorrow and repentance like wax melts under the flame of fire. According as God poured out his judgments upon Pharaoh and Egypt so Pharaoh’s heart was hardened in resistance to God.

“But Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you, that I may lay my hand upon Egypt, and bring forth mine armies, and my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.” The reason that Pharaoh would not hearken unto Moses and Aaron is because his heart was hardened in resistance to the judgments of God and he believed that he was greater and would prevail in the end. In the end, however, God would prevail and bring his armies and his people the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by great judgments.

“And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.” In the end, even the unregenerate would know by the overwhelming evidence of God’s judgment that it was God that had brought the children of Israel from among them.

“And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they. 7 And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh.” Both God’s sovereignty and his ability are magnified here. God in his sovereignty was taken a company of slaves and delivering them from their slave masters who were at the time the greatest nation then upon the face of the earth. Moreover, God’s ability is being manifest by the fact that God was using two old men who would normally be thought to be in the latter stages of their lives and using them to deliver the company of slaves who would start out as the least of all nations and later come to grow into a mighty nation by the amazing ability of God. God does not need a great multitude or a people equipped with great power or ability in order to deliver. This is abundantly manifest in God’s deliverance of the children of Israel out of Egypt and the destruction of Egypt and their mighty army.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 7:8

Ex 7:8-13

:8 “And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 9 When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Show a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent. 10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods. 13 And he hardened Pharaoh's heart, that he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.”

The rod in the scriptures is a symbol of the authority and commandment of God. Every time that Moses or Aaron stretched forth the rod it was in obedience to the authority and commandment of God. The rod cast down is like the authority of God cast down. When the authority of God is cast down it represents sin and the serpent represents sin.

A rod becoming a serpent surely shows the miraculous power of God. However, we notice that the magicians of Egypt used their magic to make it appear that their rods had also become serpents. It is interesting that even when the authority or commandment of God is broken it still has more power than the false authorities of men. Aaron’s rod that became a serpent swallowed up the serpents the magicians had brought forth.

As God told Moses, when Pharaoh saw the miracle of God and the serpent swallowing up the serpents of the magicians he hardened his heart in resistance to the authority and commandment of God

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 7:14

Ex 7:14-18

:14 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh's heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go. 15 Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thine hand. 16 And thou shalt say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. 17 Thus saith the LORD, In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. 18 And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river.”

God’s omniscience (knowledge of all things past, present and future) is manifest in this passage of scripture. God told Moses, the present condition of Pharaoh’s heart, which, of course, man could not look into and see, but God alone. Next, God told Moses what would happen in the future that Pharaoh would go the next morning to the water at the river’s brink. Only God who can foresee all future events could know what Pharaoh would do the next morning and where he would go.

Next, Moses was instructed where to go and what to say. He also told Moses what the outcome would be.

In this pronounced judgment, death is once again depicted as a consequence of sin. Waters* in the scripture are sometimes used as a symbol of all humanity. However, even more often waters in the scriptures are used as an instrument of God’s judgment. In the above we see a picture of God bringing forth the judgment of God turning the waters (all humanity) into blood (a depiction of death). Fish** are sometimes used in the scriptures to represent God’s people. Here we see that God’s people are also under the judgment of death due to sin as all the fish in the river died. As a consequence the river stank. Since the river of humanity is under the law of sin and death and all humanity by nature is dead in trespasses and sins, so we all have the stench of our flesh nature to deal with.

*Ps 29:3 “The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.”

Isa 8:7 “Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:”

Isa 17:12-13 “Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! 13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.”

Jer 47:2 “Thus saith the LORD; Behold, waters rise up out of the north, and shall be an overflowing flood, and shall overflow the land, and all that is therein; the city, and them that dwell therein: then the men shall cry, and all the inhabitants of the land shall howl.”

Jer 51:13 “O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.”

Re 14:2 “And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:”

Re 17:1 “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:”

Re 17:15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”

**Mt 4:19 “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Mr 1:17 “And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”

Joh 21:11 “Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 7:19

Ex 7:19-21

:19 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. 20 And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. 21 And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt.”

In this we see once again the order that God had prescribed for Moses and Aaron. God would speak to Moses, who in turn would speak to Aaron, who in turn would speak to Pharaoh.

Moreover, we see that God carried out the judgment just as he promised. God’s judgments are sure just like his promises are sure. When God promises judgment we can rest assured that God will bring forth that judgment just as he promised.

To the Egyptians and to Pharaoh this judgment was a great blow to their economy as a big part of their economy and livelihood rested upon the catching and eating of fish. Moreover the rivers and streams were their primary source of water and now because of God’s judgment their economy was hurt and they would have to frantically search for another source of water for their livelihood.

All this was brought about because of Pharaoh’s hard heart and his refusal to let the children of Israel go out of Egypt.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 7:22

Ex 7:22-25

:22 “And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the LORD had said. 23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he set his heart to this also. 24 And all the Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river. 25 And seven days were fulfilled, after that the LORD had smitten the river.”

A magician uses magic and enchantments to deceive and fool people into believing something to be true that is not true. This tells us that Pharaoh was a believer in magic and no doubt he viewed what Moses and Aaron were doing as being great magic tricks. Pharaoh is still looking at what is happening as a test of will and wit between him and all his power and strength and what he believed Moses and Aaron were doing with their (as he believed) magic tricks.

This goes to show us that timely demonstrations of God’s power and judgments will not persuade unregenerate men into believing in God and believing God.

In the meantime, the Egyptians became quite busy trying to find water to drink as they digged round about the river. Pharaoh’s hard heart was putting a burden and load upon his own people.

“And seven days were fulfilled, after that the LORD had smitten the river.” Seven is the number in the scriptures that is associated with completion. In this we see the LORD allowing the complete effects of his judgment to rest upon the Egyptians until the next judgment was sent.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 8:1

Ex 8:1-4

:1 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 2 And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs: 3 And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneadingtroughs: 4 And the frogs shall come up both on thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.”

We see the same pattern repeated as to the manner in which judgment was brought about upon Pharaoh and Egypt. We see the LORD telling Moses what he is to say and what is to come to pass. In this judgment “frogs” were to come up upon the land of Egypt. Frogs are known to be unclean. They are slimy creatures. They slime whatever they touch. Frogs are not mentioned very frequently in the scriptures but where they are mentioned the emphasis is on uncleanness. For instance in Re 16:13 we read: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.”

They spiritual equivalent to frogs is found in the depraved nature of fallen man. Before we are born of the Spirit we are all together unclean. Our nature is described for us in Ro 3:9-17 and includes an altogether unrighteous nature; a total inability to understand spiritual things; a total inability to do good; no desire to seek after God; an unclean mouth, tongue, lips, and throat; an ability to be destructive and bring forth misery; and having no fear of God before our eyes. This judgment of man because of sin was pronounced upon Adam when he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God told him that in the day that he ate thereof he would surely die. Consequently, when Adam ate of that tree he died in trespasses and sins and plunged all of mankind into the abyss of being dead in trespasses and sins.

We note the judgment of frogs was quite extensive. They were to come up into the houses, the bedchambers, the beds, the ovens, and the kneading troughs. It was extensive in that it was to be upon Pharaoh, upon his people, and upon all his servants. This certainly points us unto the uncleanness of the total depravity of man.

Again, the judgment was brought about because of the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart and his refusal to obey God and let the children of Israel go out of the land of Egypt.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 8:5

Ex 8:5-7

:5 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch forth thine hand with thy rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt. 6 And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt. 7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.”

The pattern continues where the LORD spake unto Moses, who in turn spake what the LORD said unto Aaron, who in turn executed the order as he was directed. When Aaron stretched forth his hand with the rod it was in obedience to the authority and commandment of the LORD. Again, the reason for the judgment was Pharaoh’s refusal to obey God and let the children of Israel go out of the land of Egypt.

The frogs came up out of the waters of Egypt and covered the land of Egypt.

“And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.” Magicians are as the word means, purveyors of magic tricks. They are deceivers who work through deception. The reason the frogs came up was not because of the action of the magicians but was because God had brought the frogs up by his power. The actions of the magicians were designed to make it appear as though they had the same power and ability as God. Of course, they do not have that power or ability.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 8:8

Ex 8:8-15

:8 “Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Entreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD. 9 And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I entreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only? 10 And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God. 11 And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only. 12 And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. 13 And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. 14 And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.”

“Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Entreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD.” In this, Pharaoh shows he has no qualms about lying or making false promises if he can get his way. He, no doubt, believed that he was outsmarting Moses by lying to him and getting his way.

“And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I entreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?” Moses believed Pharaoh’s lies and thought that the victory was won. He did this because he either did not believe what the LORD had told him or he did not listen to what the LORD had told him. Moses was rejoicing but his joy would be short lived as Pharaoh would not keep his promise and would refuse to let the people go.

“And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God. And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only.” Moses said, be it according to thy word, yet Pharaoh had no intention of keeping his word. He only wanted the frogs to be gone, then he would refuse to let the people go. It is true that there is none like unto the LORD our God, but Pharaoh because of his hard depraved heart is not going to recognize or believe in the LORD. The same is true for unregenerate (not born again) men in all ages.

“And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields.” The LORD had respect unto Moses and Aaron and the LORD did according to the word of Moses. The LORD hears the petitions of his people and he answers their prayers.

“And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.” Notice not only that Pharaoh lied and refused to keep his promise, but that he hardened his heart and hearkened not unto them as the LORD had said that he would. Moses and Aaron learned a valuable lesson here. It is far better to listen hear and believe what the LORD says than it is to believe the lying promises of wicked rulers

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 8:16

Ex 8:16-19

:16 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt. 17 And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt. 18 And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast. 19 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.”

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the land, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.” The same pattern continues whereby the LORD says unto Moses, who in turn speaks to Aaron, who in turn carries out the order. This time the judgment is “lice throughout all the land of Egypt.” This was certainly a miraculous judgment as lice was not summoned to come upon the land, but dust became lice throughout the land.

“And they did so; for Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and it became lice in man, and in beast; all the dust of the land became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.” God made the dust to become lice in man and in beast. Only by the miraculous power of God could this happen.

“And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: so there were lice upon man, and upon beast.” The magic and enchantments of the magicians can only go so far. This was far beyond the ability of the magicians to make the dust lice.

“Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.” Even when the magicians attributed this judgment to the finer of God, Pharaoh still did not believe and he hardened his heart. The unregenerate will not believe no matter what miracle they are permitted to view. This was true in Jesus day as we read: Joh 12:37 “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:” Also, once again it is pointed out to us and to Moses that Pharaoh would harden his heart until all the judgments were finished that God would send upon Egypt.

Lice are feeding and sucking insects that are known to feed upon the skin of man and animals and to suck the blood of man and animals. If left unchecked they will literally suck the life out of an individual.

God created man from the dust of the earth and after Adam sinned, God said to the man “dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Lice are similar to sin in that lice will suck the lifeblood out of man and sin actually results in the loss of our natural life.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 8:20

Ex 8:20-23

:20 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 21 Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are. 22 And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. 23 And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.”

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; lo, he cometh forth to the water; and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me.” Here, we find that the LORD knew beforehand the place and time that Pharaoh would come the next day. This illustrates the omniscience of God. Also, we see that before every judgment that the LORD warned Pharaoh to let God’s people go that they may serve him. The LORD’s messengers were to faithfully deliver the message as the LORD gave it to them. They were not to take anything from the message and they were not to add anything to the message.

“Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.”

Flies are filthy disease carrying insects that are loathed among all people. They are filthy and they leave their filth behind them when they leave. The depraved nature of man is like the filthy flies. The description of our depraved nature in Ro 3:9-18 shows us just how filthy our nature is and how we leave our filth behind us: Ro 3:9-18 “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

The flies were not just upon the land of Egypt, but were also in the houses of the Egyptians.

“And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the midst of the earth. 23 And I will put a division between my people and thy people: to morrow shall this sign be.” The doctrine of God’s sovereign election is taught here and that God makes a separation in judgment. The children of Israel were spared from this point on in the judgments of God upon Pharaoh and upon the Egyptians. Moreover, God made it abundantly clear to Pharaoh that he had made such a separation.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 8:24

Ex 8:24-29

:24 “And the LORD did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants' houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies. 25 And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. 26 And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us? 27 We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us. 28 And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: entreat for me. 29 And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will entreat the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.”

“And the LORD did so; and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants' houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies.” As always, we see that the LORD always keeps his promises. He did exactly as he said that he would do when Pharaoh refused to let the people go. Pharaoh had been given a choice and could have prevented this judgment, but he hardened his heart as before and refused to let the people go.

“And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?” Pharaoh tried to negotiate a compromise with Moses. Instead of going into the wilderness to sacrifice, he said he would let them sacrifice to God in the land of Egypt. God will not compromise with man and he will not negotiate with man. Here we see some spiritual growth in Moses as he saw the fallacy of Pharaoh’s offer. Pharaoh wanted to keep his slaves under slavery and let them have a little time to do sacrifice but not to go far away from them and he not be able to get them back. He wanted to keep the children of Israel as slaves because of their cheap labor and the financial rewards of having them.

“We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us. And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: entreat for me.” Notice that Moses did not say “let us go,” but he said “we will go…” Moses now has learned that the ultimate deliverance will come because of what God does and not based on any skill of his in negotiating or begging. Likewise, our eternal salvation from sin comes about because of what Jesus has done and not our skill as preachers or teachers. God is not dependent on us.

Pharaoh wickedly agrees to let the people go, knowing full well that he is only lying in order to get some relief. It should be pointed out that Pharaoh was a politician and politicians always have political pressures. No doubt, the Egyptian people were screaming for relief.

“And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will entreat the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, to morrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD.” It is easy to see Moses skepticism in his answer to Pharaoh as he has already seen how that Pharaoh will lie in order to get his way. Moreover, he rightly accused Pharaoh of being deceitful. He warned Pharaoh to stop dealing deceitfully.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 8:30

Ex 8:30-32

:30 “And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the LORD. 31 And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one. 32 And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.”

“And Moses went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the LORD. 31 And the LORD did according to the word of Moses.” Does the LORD always do according to what his servants say? The answer is a resounding no. However, Moses is entreating based on the known and manifest will of God, therefore, the LORD did according to the word of Moses.

“And he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one.” This is an amazing display of God’s power, wisdom, and ability. Not a single fly remained after God removed them. This is important to understand as we consider the judgment of our sins. When Jesus died on the cross to deliver us from our sins, not one sin remained of any of the elect family of God that required judgment. Jesus completely removed by his atoning sacrifice all charges of sin against us. Praise be to God!

“And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go.” Once again we see the principle that the unregenerate will always harden his heart against God regardless of what miracles or wonders he may witness. Joh 12:37 “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 9:1

Ex 9:1-7

:1 “Then the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 2 For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still, 3 Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain. 4 And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children's of Israel. 5 And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land. 6 And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one. 7 And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.”

One of the biggest negatives for Pharaoh if he let the children of Israel go was a loss in potential wealth produced by the labors of the Hebrew slaves. With the above judgment, the LORD is really hitting hard the wealth of the Egyptians and Pharaoh. To lose the cattle, horses, asses, camels, oxen, and sheep would be a loss of a large portion of Egypt’s wealth and work a heavy hardship upon the Egyptians as these animals provided so many things to the people of Egypt. Largely, these animals provided much of the foodstuff, clothing, burden bearing and transportation of the Egyptians.

There is a big difference in this judgment from the previous judgments. The previous judgments affected both the Egyptian people and the people of Israel. In this judgment, the children of Israel are sparred the destruction of their animals. This is like God’s eternal judgment of sin. Through the sacrificial atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, the elect children of God are sparred eternal judgment upon them personally, whereas the non-elect are cast into the lake of fire for eternal judgment of sin.

Despite the loss of the cattle, horses, asses, camels, oxen, and sheep, Pharaoh still hardened his heart and would not let the children of Israel go as God had said he would react. This is typical of the unregenerate who will harden their necks and back against the word of God and the judgments of God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 9:8

Ex 9:8-12

:8 “And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. 9 And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. 10 And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast. 11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians. 12 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.”

Boils are a type of skin ulcer. Blains are the result of the eruption of the boils. This, no doubt, was quite painful to those who had them. Now we see that the LORD is not only affecting negatively the wealth of Egypt, but he is also affecting negatively the health of all the Egyptians.

Moreover, the magicians with all their magic and deceitfulness had not been able to duplicate the last few judgments, now are themselves being affected with the judgment of boils and blains.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 9:13

Ex 9:13-17

:13 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 14 For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. 15 For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. 16 And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth. 17 As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?”

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.” The LORD continues to give Moses the same message to deliver to Pharaoh. This teaches us that the LORD does not change. Moreover, we are to deliver the message as the LORD gives it to us. While some would object to hearing the same message over and over again, yet the LORD knows exactly what message needs to be delivered and for how long that it is to be delivered. In the above, the intended outcome is that Pharaoh will let the people go and that the people will go and serve the LORD.

“For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.” The LORD is very specific in his message to Pharaoh as to the consequences of not taking heed to the LORD’s message. The consequences stated here for failing to obey the LORD is that the LORD would send all his plagues upon the heart of Pharaoh and upon his servants and upon his people. The result of those plagues is that the people will know that there is no God like Him in all the earth. There are always consequences to failing to obey the LORD. By studying the word of God we find that these consequences are spelled out for us in His word. The Lord gave us an example of this in Mt 7:13; 14:13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Everyone that enters the wide gate and walks the broad way will have the consequence of destruction in their lives. Likewise, everyone who enters the strait gate and walks the narrow way shall experience that it leads to a life of joy, peace, comfort, rest and fellowship with the Lord and his obedient people.

“For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.” Pharaoh’s failure to obey the LORD not only affected Pharaoh, but also affected his people. When the LORD stretches out his hand in judgment, that judgment is not always limited to the perpetrator, but often many others suffer because of the actions of the perpetrator. In the above, Pharaoh’s disobedience resulted in pestilence and being cut off from the earth upon him and his people.

“And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” Here we see the LORD took the man who was considered at that time to be the most powerful man upon the earth and used him to demonstrate that God was much greater in power and to use him as an example of the power of the God of the Hebrews to be manifest to all the peoples of the earth. Moreover, we find the above statement to be used in demonstrating he sovereignty of God in that God can does as He pleases. This is found in Rom. 9:15-18: 18 “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”

“As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?” The problem with Pharaoh is that he did not yet believe that God was greater than him and that Pharaoh could still be victorious over God in a test of will and strength. This is a problem that the unregenerate have in that they are full of pride and do not want to admit that there is a God who is sovereign and mightier than they and to whom they should submit themselves.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 9:18

Ex 9:18-21

:18 “Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. 19 Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. 20 He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: 21 And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.”

“Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.” Hail is used numerous times throughout the scriptures as an instrument of God’s judgments. Hail is associated in nature with thunderstorms. Thunderstorms can be very furious. Likewise, God can and does at times send forth his furious judgments upon the disobedient and wicked sinners. Hail is destructive in nature. Hail is frozen water. Sometimes in the scriptures water is used to represent the word of God. As spiritual born again children of God we are to desire and drink of the refreshing water of God’s word. Yet, God’s word also has a quality about it teaching us of God’s fierce judgment of sin. Hail is used in the scriptures as a symbol of God’s fierce judgment of sin. God promised to Pharaoh and subsequently to the Egyptians that he was going to send his judgment of hail upon them. Moreover, he set a fixed time for that promise to be fulfilled. Fully, as we should have expected, that promise was fulfilled at God’s fixed time.

“Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die.” In this judgment God provided a way for the people to minimize the effects of that judgment. They were to gather their cattle, and all that they had in the field home to protect them. Those who believed the word of God and obeyed him would see the judgment of God minimized in their lives, but those who did not believe the word of God would experience the full force of God’s fierce judgment.

“He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: 21 And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.” Here we find that God had a people even among the Egyptians. An unregenerate has no fear of God. However, among the servants of Pharaoh there were those who feared the word of the LORD and brought their servants and cattle home to escape the wrath of God’s judgment. Whereas those who did not regard the LORD or fear God left their servants and cattle in the field.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 9:22

Ex 9:22-26

:22 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. 23 And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. 24 So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. 25 And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.”

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.” The LORD’s clear instruction to Moses was to stretch forth his hand. The authority and power by which the judgment came about was of the LORD. Clearly Moses was an instrument in the hands of the LORD by which the LORD used him to accomplish his purpose. This is a valuable lesson to us as we should be instruments of righteousness unto the LORD. We have to realize that it is not what we do, but what the LORD does with us that accomplishes his purposes. The most important thing that Moses did above is to believe and obey the LORD. That also is the most important thing that we are to do in his service. The LORD plainly told Moses what the consequence would be of stretching forth his hand. When we move by the direction of the LORD and obey him there will be a certain outcome. We may not know exactly what that outcome will be but we can rest assured that it will be the best outcome.

“And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.” Moses, in obeying the command of the LORD was not the cause of the outcome, but he got the blessed privilege of seeing the result of the outcome. It has been my experience that when I in obedience to the Lord preach and teach the biblical truths to one or more of God’s children and they respond to those teachings, that I know that I am not the one who caused them to respond but I have the blessing of being able to see the Lords work in their lives leading them to respond to the teachings of God’s word. In this I greatly rejoice.

“So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.” In this plague, the Lord is greatly manifesting his control over nature and his power to perform what he said he would do. Just as Jesus spoke to the raging see and wind and said, “Peace, be still,” so we can comfort ourselves in the knowledge that the Lord is greater than the circumstances in our lives and has all power in heaven and in earth. This is true both in judgment and in God’s providence towards his children.

“Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.” In this we see a demonstration of God’s covenant respect for Israel over the Egyptians. God had respect unto Israel, but had not respect unto Egypt. This was based on his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 9:27

Ex 9:27-30

:27 “And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. 28 Entreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer. 29 And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord's. 30 But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God.”

“And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.” Pharaoh told the truth in all three of these statements. He did sin. The LORD is righteous. Pharaoh and his people were wicked. However, Pharaoh said this deceitfully and truly did not believe these things in his heart. Sometimes people will tell you what they think you want to hear in order to get your confidence and to ultimately get an advantage over you. It is not at all uncommon today for someone to confess that they believe in Christ and speak of their desire to serve God and yet all the time they are being deceitful and looking for an opportunity to get an advantage over you. Often times people will do these things to get sales opportunities or to get someone to invest in a business deal and then to defraud them.

“Entreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.” Pharaoh had not intention of letting the children of Israel go. He was lying in order to get relief from the plague that was plaguing him and his people.

“And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord's. But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God.” First we take note that even in the stopping of the plague, the LORD demonstrated his power. He stopped the plague at the time that Moses stretched forth his hands as the thunder ceased and the hail stopped at that moment. The Lord has power over his creation. Moses is now showed forth his good growth in faith as he stated: “But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God.” Moses recognized that what God had told him at the beginning was the absolute truth and that Pharaoh and his servants were wicked and liars and did not fear the Lord.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 9:31

Ex 9:31-35

:31 “And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. 32 But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up. 33 And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth. 34 And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. 35 And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.”

“And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. 32 But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up.” While much of the agriculture in Egypt, including cattle, sheep, etc. and crops were now destroyed, yet Egypt was not yet completely ruined. The wheat and the rie were not smitten for they were not yet grown up. Obviously, the resources and thus the wealth of Egypt was being greatly diminished by the plagues that God was sending upon Pharaoh and his servants.

“And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.” What Moses told Pharaoh came to pass in the time and manner that Moses said that it would. This was the handiwork of God.

“And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.” When Moses told Pharaoh that he and his servants did not fear the Lord and would not yet let Israel go, it was the LORD who spoke by Moses. Now Moses was repeating what the LORD had said to him. When Moses spoke what the LORD had given to him the scriptures teach us that it was the LORD who spoke by Moses. This should be a valuable lesson to us. When a gospel minister by the leadership of the Holy Spirit delivers a message unto us, then we should understand that the LORD is speaking to us by his messenger. The message is the LORD’s message and not the messenger’s message.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 10:1

Ex 10:1-2

:1 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these my signs before him: 2 And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD.”

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might show these my signs before him:” The LORD hardened the hearts of Pharaoh and the heart of his servants. The unregenerate heart is hardened by the commandment, challenge, and judgment of God. The unregenerate does not want to believe in God and absolutely does not want to obey God and will resist in every way. Pharaoh and his servants did not want to acknowledge there was a God and resisted in every way the commandments of God.

Through hardening the heart of Pharaoh and his servants, God used the occasion of their rebellion to show forth his mighty signs not only before Pharaoh, but also in the sight of His people.

“And that thou mayest tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy son's son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that ye may know how that I am the LORD.” By seeing the mighty signs of God against Pharaoh and Egypt, the Israelites saw the mighty power of God and realized that God keeps his promises. Further, God designed that those who saw these mighty signs would tell it to their children and their grandchildren. This was very important that the children and grandchildren hear of the wonders of an Almighty God and of his faithfulness to his covenant promises. By hearing these things, it encourages the children and the grandchildren in their life struggles to know that their parents and grandparents had many struggles themselves and that God according to his promises delivered them in the midst of their struggles. Sometimes, we as parents and grandparents fail to tell our children and grandchildren of the mighty deliverances that God has delivered us with. Then we wonder why our children and grandchildren do not have the same zeal for the Lord and want to follow him as we have. Part of the problem may be that we are not sharing with our children and grandchildren the struggles of our own lives and how that by looking to the Lord and praying we have experienced the Lord’s deliverances in our lives.


The LORD was teaching here that parents should share with their children and grandchildren their own experiences in the Lord and his providence towards us.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 10:3

Ex 10:3-6

:3 And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me. 4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: 5 And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field: 6 And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.”

“And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me.” Notice, how that before the LORD pronounced judgment upon Pharaoh and Egypt that he first told them what he wanted and commanded them to do. This pattern holds throughout the scriptures. It is commandment first then judgment. God’s judgments are not random but befitting of the sin committed.

“Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:” I suspect the locusts mentioned here are somewhat like the grasshoppers in this country. Back when I was young in the late 1950s we had a plague of grasshoppers that ruined many crops and ate much of the vegetation in our area. The plague was so bad that we had at one time to stop hanging our clothes out on the clotheslines to dry. The grasshoppers would chew holes in the clothes hanging on the clotheslines. I also suspect that the plague of locusts that came upon Egypt was far greater than the plague had been upon us in our region of the country.

“And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field:” The plague of hail had destroyed many of the crops and broken the trees in Egypt. This coming plague was to destroy what was left of the crops and eat all the green vegetation upon the trees. In essence, it would completely destroy the crops and fruits of Egypt in that year. The LORD was hitting hard on the economy and financial stability of Pharaoh and of Egypt.

“And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day.” The promise of the plague of locusts was not only that they would eat the residue of the vegetation, but that they also would fill the houses of Pharaoh, his servants, and all the Egyptians. Locusts are an unwelcome guest in just about anyone’s house. That they would fill the houses would be a grief of mind to those who lived there. The plague was to be the greatest plague of locusts that anyone alive in Egypt had ever seen.

“And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.” When the LORD commands, the issue is not up for debate. Moses knew this and after the proclamation was made, he left Pharaoh.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 10:7

Ex 10:7

:7 “And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? let the men go, that they may serve the LORD their God: knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed?”

Pharaoh and his servants were all politicians. As politicians they kept up with the attitudes and desires of the people. It is apparent that the people were tired of the plagues that were coming upon Egypt because of Pharaoh and his stubbornness. They were snared in the circumstances of the plagues and their grievous effects. Even ruthless kings know that if all the people of your kingdom turn on you that your time in power is going to be soon terminated. The servants of Pharaoh were advising Pharaoh of the political climate and urging him to let the men go that they may serve the LORD their God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 10:8

Ex 10:8-11

:8 “And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go? 9 And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD. 10 And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. 11 Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.”

“And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go?” Pharaoh listened to the urgings of his servants to let the children of Israel go and called Moses and Aaron back unto him. However, Pharaoh is not yet ready to let them go and uses the principle of compromise to try to get his way. Pharaoh starts with what sounds very promising: Go serve the LORD your God. However, he doesn’t stop there as he asks: “but who are they that shall go?” He lays out where he is expecting a compromise. Pharaoh is hoping to keep a portion of Israel in Egypt in order to get the rest of Israel to return after they have gone out into the wilderness to worship.

“And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD.” Moses growth in faith is readily apparent as he realizes that the God he serves has the upper hand and that his God will not compromise. In essence, Moses said to Pharaoh that all of the children of Israel will go and all their livestock with them.

Pharaoh was not pleased with Moses answer and said, “And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. 11 Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire.” Pharaoh, once again hardened his heart and told Moses that he would not go along with all the Israelites leaving, but only the men leaving. Then he says that what Moses and Aaron had desired. There is no evidence that Moses and Aaron ever told Pharaoh that they only desired that the men would leave. Pharaoh again lied in an effort to get his way.

“And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.” Pharaoh is still acting as though he is in control of the events when in all reality the LORD is in control. However, an unregenerate will think or act like he has control over the affairs of his life and not God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 10:12

Ex 10:12-15

:12 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left. 13 And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts. 14 And the locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt: very grievous were they; before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such. 15 For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees, or in the herbs of the field, through all the land of Egypt.”

We make the following observations from the above passage of scripture:

1. The plague of locust was brought on by an east wind. An east wind travels west. West is the direction of righteousness. God’s judgments are altogether righteous.

2. The plague was brought on by the commandment and power of God. Moses stretched forth his rod in obedience to the command of God, but it was God who caused the plague to come.

3. As promised the locusts destroyed ate all the herb of the land the fruit of the trees and every green thing in the trees or in the herbs of the field.

4. This was the greatest plague of locusts that had ever been experienced on the earth or that shall ever be experienced on the earth.

5. The locusts covered the face of the earth in Egypt and darkened the whole land.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 10:16

Ex 10:16-20

:16 “Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. 17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and entreat the LORD your God, that he may take away from me this death only. 18 And he went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the LORD. 19 And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt. 20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.”

“Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the LORD your God, and against you. 17 Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and entreat the LORD your God, that he may take away from me this death only.” Pharaoh has already shown that he would lie to get his way. He is not showing true repentance, but repentance in word only. We see this a lot in the world that we live in that people will fake humility and repentance to make people believe that they are sincere and then turn around and prove by their actions that they were never sincere. Moses has learned this lesson and will entreat the LORD not because of Pharaoh’s fake repentance, but because he knows the LORD has promised to show all his plagues upon Pharaoh.

“And he went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the LORD. 19 And the LORD turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.” The miracle of bringing this plague of locusts upon Pharaoh, his servants, and Egypt was indeed a notable miracle. The miracle of taking the locusts away was just as great, if not greater, miracle. Notice that the LORD took away every last locust in all the coast of Egypt. This is an encouragement to me in that I know that the Lord can and has taken away every last sin of every one of his elect family. Thus, all the elect stand before God without a single charge being laid against them as Christ has justified them totally.

“But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go.” The LORD is not through with his judgments upon Pharaoh and Egypt yet.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 10:21

Ex 10:21-23

:21 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt. 22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: 23 They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days: but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.”

We make the following observations from the above passage:

1. The darkness was a total darkness such that a person devoid of eyesight might experience.

2. The darkness was over the land of Egypt except for the land of Goshen, the dwelling place of the children of Israel. God was making a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites.

3. This darkness would have been frightening to those who experienced it, both because of its intensity and the length of time.

Part of the eternal punishment for sin is described as darkness:

1. 2Pe 2:17 “These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.”

2. Jude 13 “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.”

When Christ suffered the wrath of God to satisfy God’s judgment of the sins of his elect family there was darkness over all the earth for three hours: Lu 23:44 “And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.”

We can conclude that the Egyptians were getting a partial foretaste of God’s eternal wrath because of sin.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 10:24

Ex 10:24-27

:24 “And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you. 25 And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. 26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither. 27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.”

“And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.” After all that happened to Egypt through the first nine plagues, the political pressure would have been great upon Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go. However, Pharaoh, even if he agreed to let the children of Israel go, did not want to lose the material riches and cattle that they possessed. Thus he wanted them to leave the herds and the flocks behind.

“And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. 26 Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither.” Moses, knowing that the LORD had the upper hand over Pharaoh and that the LORD would be triumphant at last, was not willing to negotiate with Pharaoh, but simply told him how it would be that not only would all the people go, but also the flocks and herds would go also. Moses punctuated this when he said, “not a hoof will be left behind.”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 10:28

Ex 10:28-29

:28 “And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die. 29 And Moses said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.”

“And Pharaoh said unto him, Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.” Pharaoh thought he could scare Moses from his demands and from any more plagues by threatening his life. This is the ultimate threat of tyrants. Moses had no reason to fear, however, as the LORD had told him that he would lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. The one who had to be afraid was Pharaoh. He was the one who was marked out for death. Thus, Moses said, “Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.” There would be one more plague and then Pharaoh not only would let the children of Israel go, but he would drive them out of Egypt.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 11:1

Ex 11:1-3

:1 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. 2 Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. 3 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.”

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether.” The number ten is associated with the subject of law or commandments. This was to be the tenth or last plague upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt and they were all brought forth by the commandment of God. God had previously promised that after he had shown his power unto Pharaoh that he would deliver the children of Israel. Now had come the time for that final plague that not only would convince Pharaoh that he should let the children of Israel go, but that he would thrust them out altogether. Egypt had been pretty much destroyed by the first nine plagues, so this tenth plague would have to be immense if after the destruction of Egypt Pharaoh had refused to let the children of Israel go.

“Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians.” The LORD had previously promised that the children of Israel would not go out empty. The Egyptians had benefited immensely from the unlawful slavery of the children of Israel. Now it is time that the children of Israel to get back some of the goods that they had been deprived of. The LORD gave the children of Israel favor in the sight of the Egyptians and they lent them much in the form of jewels of silver and jewels of gold. In granting the children of Israel favor, the LORD was preparing them for the building of the tabernacle and its furnishings. Among the materials that would compose the tabernacle and its furnishings in the wilderness were much silver and gold.

“Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.” The servants of Pharaoh and the people of Egypt ascribed greatness unto Moses because of all the mighty works that they had been witness to. Moses, as we will learn was a man of faith, he was an extremely humble man and was richly blessed of God. However, the mighty works were by the hand of God. The honor of greatness truly belonged to God and not Moses.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 11:4

Ex 11:4-10

:4 “And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. 6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more. 7 But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel. 8 And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger. 9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt. 10 And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.”

“And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. 6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.”

Some have said that a death angel went out and smote all the firstborn, but the scripture plainly says that the LORD himself went out into the midst of Egypt.

This plague was unlike the previous plagues, in that the previous plagues that touched the resources and comforts of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. In this plague death itself was the judgment upon Egypt and such death that every household of Egypt would be affected as the firstborn of every house would die that night. The significance of the firstborn is that the firstborn represents the household. This plague did not just extend to the people but it also extended to the firstborn of the beasts.

This judgment did not respect the position of the people in Egypt, but it was the same whether it was the household of Pharaoh or the household of the maidservant behind the mill. Likewise, God’s eternal judgment of sin does not respect the position of any person. According to the scriptures, “every sin and disobedience receives a just recompense of reward.”

“But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel.” Judgment to the Egyptians was personally directed to each individual and none would escape suffering this judgment. However, the judgment of the children of Israel was not directed to them personally, but a lamb would die for them.

The doctrine of election is clearly alluded to in this passage. God chose the children of Israel because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God did not choose the Egyptians as they had no covenant promise. Moreover, God chose his people before the foundation of the world based on a covenant that he made with himself and recorded for us in Ro 8:29-30: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Those God did not choose before the foundation of the world have no covenant promise.

Moreover, the doctrine of particular redemption is also alluded to in the above passage. The lamb suffered the judgment for each household of the children of Israel, but each household of the Egyptians personally suffered the judgment of God. Similarly, Christ died for the sins of the elect family of God, but did not die for the sins of those he did not choose before the foundation of the world. Those, not chosen, will have to personally suffer the judgment of their sins.

“And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger.” The day of reckoning had come for Pharaoh and his servants. This final judgment would not only bring about the order to let the children of Israel go, but also would result in the servants of Pharaoh coming to bow down before Moses.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not hearken unto you; that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” The LORD repeated to Moses that Pharaoh would not hearken unto him until all the wonders of God were multiplied in the land of Egypt. Now this last plague would bring about what the LORD had commanded in the beginning.

“And Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh: and the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not let the children of Israel go out of his land.”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 12:1

In Ex 12, we read the instructions to Old Testament Israel as to how they were to observe the first Passover; which also, was to continue throughout all their generations. A lamb was to be slain and its blood was to be sprinkled upon the door posts and lintel (i.e., the top of the doorway). God said the destroyer (some call him the death angel) would come to slay the first-born of every house that night; but where ever he saw the blood applied to the door of the house, he would “pass over” that house. Thus, safety from the destroyer rested solely in the provision God had given - having the blood applied. Had you lived through that awe-filled night wherein all who did not apply the blood to their door lost their firstborn, you would likely have a much greater respect for God’s command to remember their deliverance in the years to come. Ex 12:29-30 says, “And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.” Whether the children of Israel “heard” the cries or just “heard of them,” there’s no doubt they gained a very deep appreciation to God for having provided for their deliverance from death on that night.

Centuries later, John the Baptist would see Jesus coming to him and say, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away (i.e., beareth away) the sin of the world.” (Joh 1:29) Later, after Jesus had observed the last Passover that God would honor (Lu 22:15-16), He instituted the Last Supper. No longer would a lamb be needed, because as Paul explained to the church at Corinth, “… Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.” (1Co 5:7) But the unleavened bread from the Passover feast would continue and would represent Christ’s sinless body. The wine they had always used would now represent His blood which would be shed for the remission (i.e., forgiveness) of sins. And, Jesus said in Lu 22:19, “… this do in remembrance of me.” And except Jesus has shed His precious blood for us, we are still in our sins. How then, could we escape the wrath of Almighty God?

Friends, if you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, then deliverance from the wrath of God because of the penalty of your sins is yours by the blood of Jesus! So, take time for a solemn remembrance of what a blessing that is! You didn't deserve it, but God gave it by His mercy and grace. And the next time you have the opportunity to partake of Communion, please don’t pass over it. What if Jesus had not died for you? Think about it. And then, with a thankful heart, partake of it as you remember what your Savior did for you in dying in your room and stead.

Elder Clayton Nowell

Ex 12:1-4

:1 “And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.”

As we begin our notes on Ex 12 we are reminded of the words of our Lord that he spoke to some unbelieving Jews in Joh 5:39: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Ex 12 paints us a beautiful word picture using types to represent the atoning sacrifice of Christ.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, 2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” The use of the word, first, is significant to us in the scriptures. For instance, we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness;” Christ is said to be the “firstborn among many brethren;” he also is the “first-fruits of them that slept;” and we as born again children of God have the “first-fruit” of the Spirit. These are just a few examples among many where the word first indicates a priority of action or purpose or worship. In the above scripture, the LORD has indicated that the events that are to take place in that month were of such importance, that the month would be the beginning of months unto the children of Israel.

“Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:”The lamb was to be the representative for the household. This points us to the fact that Christ is said to be the “Lamb of God.” As such he is the representative of the entire household of God. Unlike the children of Israel in Egypt in which there was a lamb sacrificed for each household, this plurality of lambs is not necessary for the household of God as they together are all a part of one household and that is the household of God. Therefore, Christ represented the entire elect family of God in judgment as he sacrificed himself on the cross for them.

“And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.” The children of Israel were all to eat of the lamb that night and they were to eat all of the lamb. Thus, if a household was too small to consume all of the lamb, then they would join with a neighboring household and eat the lamb together. This teaches us two principles about the atoning work of Christ. First, we are all made partakers of that atoning work. Second, the sacrifice of Christ was not a partial work, but a complete work and he sacrificed everything for us.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 12:1-2
The LORD selected a particular month of the year to be the beginning of the year on the Jewish calendar. And as we continue on with this account we shall see why this is to be their New Year. The Roman calendar, which we, even today, principally use, was established altogether by man. But this calendar was established by the LORD Himself. Later, the Jews established another “New Year” on the basis of other reasons, But God Himself commanded this to be their New year, because this is the month in which He led them out of Egypt, as we shall soon see.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 12:5

Ex 12:5-10

:5 “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.”

“Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:” From this, we make comparisons between the description of the lamb and of our Lord Jesus Christ:

1. The lamb was to be without blemish. The Lord had to be without sin to be a suitable sacrifice in judgment for the sins of the elect family of God.

2. The lamb was a male of the first year. The Lord was the first-born among many creatures.

3. The lamb was to be taken out from the sheep or from the goats. Sheep in the scriptures represent God’s covenant people. Goats on the other hand represent God’s eternal punishment of sins. As the lamb of God, Christ represented God’s covenant people on the cross. As the scape goat, Christ suffered the eternal punishment of sins for his elect people and separated them from their sins as far as the east is from the west.

“And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.” The lamb was to be kept up from the 10th day through the 14th day, which is a total of 5 days. Five is the bible number associated with death. The lamb was marked for death. By being kept up the lamb was restricted in his movements. Similarly, by covenant arrangement, Christ the Lamb of God was marked for death and laid aside his glory while he fulfilled the will of God by being the perfect representative of his people.

The whole congregation was to kill the lamb in the evening. Recently a movie came out about the crucifixion of Christ and people debated afterward as to whether the Jews or the Romans were responsible for Christ’s death. The answer is neither, but all of God’s elect family were responsible for the death of Christ as he came to save us from our sins. It is because of all the sins of God’s elect people that Christ died on the cross. Thus, we were guilty of killing the Lamb of God.

“And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.” Blood on the two side posts and on the upper door post would be in the same position as you would see the blood of Christ as he hang on the cross. The sprinkling of the blood in those positions was pointing us to the bleeding Lamb of God upon the cross of Calvary. The blood was for the household. Each household of the children of Israel were represented in judgment by the lamb sacrificed by that house. God’s house is one house and Christ as the Lamb of God represented the entire house of God.

“And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.” In the covenant of redemption and in the new birth we are made partakers of the body of Christ. In believing and obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ we become experiental partakers of the body of Christ. However, not all of God’s elect family hear or believe or obey the gospel of Jesus Christ. But all of God’s children do undergo the new birth and thus are partakers of the body of Christ in that manner and in the covenant of redemption. In the communion service, the Lord told us that unleavened bread represents his perfect sinless body. Roasting with fire would represent his sufferings on the cross and eating it with bitter herbs would remind us that we are responsible for his sufferings.

“Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.” Christ work was a perfect work and a complete work. To eat of it raw would suggest that the work was not completed. To eat of it sodden with water would suggest we have to add to it to make it complete. Christ said on the cross that: “It is finished.” Christ came and completed and perfected the work he came to do.

“And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.” It took all the sufferings of Christ to redeem all the family of God. Moreover, there was neither lack nor left over. Christ died for all the elect family of God. He did not die for any others, but the elect family of God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 12:11

Ex 12:11-13

:11 “And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”

“And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD'S passover.” On this night the Lord was passing over the houses of the children of Israel, but was executing judgment upon the houses of the Egyptians. The time of deliverance had come for the children of Israel as they were to soon be free of their bondage in Egypt. This judgment and deliverance once started would take place swiftly. They were to be prepared by having their loins girded and their shoes on their feet and their staff in their hand. In the New Testament we read that we are admonished to put on the whole armor of God. Part of this armor was to have our loins gird about with truth and to have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. So long as the children of Israel were in Egyptian bondage there was no haste except where the Egyptians hasted them through force. Now there haste is being promoted thru a better reason. The reason is deliverance from Egyptian bondage by the LORD. They will soon serve the LORD out of love for what he has done for them and no longer serve Pharaoh out of fear about what he might do to them.

“For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.” The judgment upon the Egyptians was certain and none would escape. The firstborn in every house would die that night both of man and of beast. The LORD predicated that judgment with the statement: “I am the LORD.” The LORD had promised Moses and the children of Israel that he would execute judgment upon Egypt and rid them out of Egyptian bondage. Remember, the word “LORD” means a covenant making, covenant keeping God. God keeps his covenant promises always. This teaches us the certainty of God’s covenant promise of redemption in Ro 8:29-30: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” The promises that God made to those he foreknew include his promise to them that they would be conformed to the image of Christ; called into spiritual life; justified by the blood of Jesus; and finally glorified in body, soul, and spirit.” If even a one that God foreknew do not end up conformed to the image of Christ, called, justified, and glorified, then God did not keep his covenant promises. However, we know that God cannot lie and that he cannot fail. Thus, the promises are sure.

And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” The LORD was looking for the blood. That is what made the difference between the children of Israel not suffering the loss of the firstborn and the Egyptians suffering the loss of the firstborn. If the blood was on the upper door post and the two side posts, then the LORD passed over those houses, but he did not pass over any of the houses of the Egyptians. The Egyptians were not provided blood. This passage points us to the doctrine of particular redemption. The Lord redeemed the elect, but he did not redeem the non-elect.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 12:14

Ex 12

:14 “And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. 15 Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. 16 And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. 17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. 18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. 19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. 20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.”

“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.” The purpose of a memorial is to remind us of something that is very important and that we need to remember. In the United States we observe Memorial Day, which is a day that is set aside to remember those who have died in foreign wars. They paid the sacrifice to help maintain our freedoms that we cherish as a country. Like our Memorial Day, the memorial of the feast of unleavened bread and the Passover was to be observed by the children of Israel. The memorial was of the LORD delivering them out of Egyptian bondage by executing judgment upon the Egyptians and passing over the children of Israel in judgment.

The children of Israel were to observe this memorial forever. It was an annual observance of the feast of unleavened bread and the Passover. Today, in the Lord’s church we observe the communion service the Lord implemented with the disciples before he was crucified. It is an ordinance to the church delivered by the Lord.

In the ordinance of feast of unleavened bread, the feast was to last for seven days. In the first day and in the seventh day, the children of Israel were to have an holy convocation. “Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.” In this feast they were to eat no unleavened bread. Furthermore, they were not to have any leaven within their houses. Leaven, in the scriptures, represents those things that puff up. For instance, pride, the doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the doctrine of Herod, as well as malice and wickedness are represented by leaven in the New Testament. In contrast, the term, unleavened is used to represent sincerity and truth, and sinless ness in the New Testament. The Lord told us in the New Testament that unleavened bread represented his body, which we know was pure, holy, and without sin. The person in Israel who would eat unleavened bread during that week was to be excommunicated from the people. This was serious business with the LORD.

“And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.” They were to do no servile work at those times. This is in addition to the seventh day Sabbath, the Lord will give them in the wilderness. The reason that they were to do no servile work, is because the work was performed by the LORD and he did all the work in delivering them from the judgment upon Egypt and in delivering them out of the hands of the Egyptians. This points us to the truth that our salvation and deliverance from eternal judgment of sin is all of the Lord and we do nothing to bring it to pass. We simply are to rest in his finished work.

“And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever.” Here the LORD confirms the reason that the children of Israel were to observe the feast of unleavened bread.

“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. 19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. 20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.”

Much of the above paragraph is a restatement of what the LORD said at the beginning. Our minds are lead leaking buckets, we have to constantly be reminded of things or we will let them slip. However, please notice that the LORD tied together the Passover with the feast of unleavened bread. The Passover was to be on the 14th day of the month and the feast of unleavened bread started on the 15th day and extended through the 21st day or a period of seven days.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 12:21

Ex 12:21-23

:21 “Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. 22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning. 23 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.”

“Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them,” Notice the chain of command. It begins with God instructing Moses, who in turn instructed the elder of Israel and they were to instruct the individual families in Israel. Notice how similar this is to the messages the Lord gave unto the angels of the seven churches of Asia in the book of Revelation. Christ gave the messages to John, who in turn was to give it to the angel (pastor) of each church who in turn was to instruct the people. This pattern holds for us today in the delivering of messages to the Lord’s people. First, the Lord inspired the writers of the Old and New Testaments and from those writings the elders of the churches get the messages they are to deliver unto the congregations.

“Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.” Notice that the blood provided was the blood of the Lamb which was killed by the families of the children of Israel. Next, the blood was sprinkled upon the lintel and two side posts using a bunch of hyssop. Compare this to our redemption which is by the blood of the Lamb of God who of course is Jesus Christ. The blood is sprinkled according to Heb 10:22 “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” When we are born of the Spirit of God, we have the blood of Christ applied to us by the sprinkling of the Holy Spirit.

“And none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.” When it comes to judgment, God does not need our help, thus we are not to go out for the purpose of assisting the Lord to bring about his judgment.

“For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.” The difference between the houses of the children of Israel and the houses of the Egyptians was the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts. Blood was only provided for the children of Israel, thus God in covenant favored the children of Israel, but not the Egyptians. The destroyer could not come into the houses of the children of Israel as the Lord withheld him from doing so.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 12:24

Ex 12:24-28

:24 “And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever. 25 And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. 26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service? 27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD'S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. 28 And the children of Israel went away, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.”

We make the following observations from the above passage of scripture:

1. The children of Israel were to observe the ordinance that the LORD gave them throughout their generations.

2. The ordinance was important to those who witnessed it in those days, but it was also important that each successive generation be told about the ordinance and what they were to do in observation of the ordinance.

3. The ordinance was designed to cause the children to ask why they observed that service. They to needed to be told what the LORD had done in delivering their fathers from the house of bondage and how that was accomplished.

4. The children needed to understand that God’s favoring them was based on the covenant promise the LORD made unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and not because of their own self-worth.

5. The above is an example to us today. We need to be reminded what the Lord has done for us and delivered us from our sins by his covenant promise. We need to understand these things well enough that we can tell our children about these things as well

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 12:26

“What mean ye by this service?”

Ex 12:26And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?

It seems that a great many in our Country have abandoned Biblical morality and integrity! How do we reverse this gross departure from Biblical godliness? The Children of Israel were Commanded to keep the Passover “service” and then be ready to explain it “when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service”. For the children to ask, the parents and grandparents must first be faithfully and wholeheartedly keeping the service themselves. Similarly, after Moses had recited the Ten Commandments to the Children of Israel (De 5), he gave them this Commandment: “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” (De 6:6-7). They were to obey the Commandments themselves and to constantly teach and reaffirm them to their children. Paul issues this Commandment, “ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Eph 6:4). It is certainly true that we cannot give our Children Spiritual Birth, neither can we make them lovingly “know the Lord” (Heb 8:11); but, we can surely teach them about the Lord and His Commandments! Throughout the Bible, we are Commanded to set the example and to teach our children the Word of God. We do that by first learning it ourselves, then sincerely living it, and being an active part of the Lord’s Church. Then, we should make opportunities to teach our Children the Word of God; teach by our example and by sitting them down and clearly explaining it to them. A good time to do this is after the evening meal, before the TV is turned on, before the video games start, etc. For example, when those precious little voices ask us why we eat the bread and drink the wine at Communion, we should take them seriously and kindly explain it in terms that they can understand! But, first, we must have learned the answer ourselves!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Exodus 12:29

Ex 12:29-33

:29 “And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. 30 And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. 31 And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. 32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. 33 And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.”

“And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.” This plague was like the previous nine plagues in that the Lord first promised what he would do and then he executed what he promised to do. Notice that all the firstborn of Pharaoh, and all the Egyptians and all the cattle died at midnight.

“And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.” Pharaoh had previously endured the first nine plagues upon the land of Egypt, but now he finds that the pressure from his own household as well as all the people of Egypt would come to bear upon him to let the children of Israel go.

“And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. 32 Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.” Pharaoh no longer tried to get Moses and Aaron to bargain with him but suddenly is urgent upon the children of Israel to be gone and to go serve the LORD, along with all their flocks and herds.

“And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.” After the death of the firstborn, the Egyptians knew that the firstborn represented the whole house, therefore they pronounced the sentence upon themselves by saying, “We be all dead men.” The pressure upon Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go, was coming from all the Egyptians as they were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 12:34

Ex 12:34-36

:34 “And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. 35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: 36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.”

“And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.” The people were following the LORD’s teaching on the feast of unleavened bread and the Passover, whereby they took their dough before it was leavened.

“And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: 36 And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.”

This was done in response to the command of the LORD in Ex 11:2-3: “Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians.”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 12:37

Ex 12:37-39

:37 “And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. 38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.”

“And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.” By comparing this verse with the other verses that mention the number that came out of Egypt it appears that the number of six hundred and three thousand and five hundred and fifty is the number of men besides women and children. We are never told how many women and children there were, but a rough estimate would make the total of all men, women, and children over two million who came out of Egypt. This gives us an idea of the greatness of the provision of God towards the children of Israel as they made their 40 year pilgrimage in the desert.

“And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.” The mixed multitude are not described for us in detail in the scriptures, but we probably would be safe in speculating that there were other refugees in Egypt besides the children of Israel as well as some discontented of the Egyptians who went with the children of Israel. This mixed multitude would be the source of some of the discontent and problems for the children of Israel later on in their journeys.

“And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.” This indicates to us that the Egyptians were very anxious initially to see the children of Israel depart from their coast and were rushing them to leave. Moreover, it shows us that the journey ahead for the children of Israel would be filled with problems, whereby they would have to learn to lean upon the LORD.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 12:40

Ex 12:40-42

:40 “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.”

“Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.” From the time of Jacob and his children came into Egypt during the days of Joseph until the time the children of Israel were delivered out of Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. This was the LORD’s timetable. This was according to the promise that God had made to Abraham and fulfilled beginning with Jacob and his family coming into Egypt. Moreover, it also fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham that he would deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt and make them a great nation.

“And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.” In some things, God has a very fixed and definite time table. For instance, God had promised Abraham and Sarah that at his set time the next year that Sarah would bear Abraham and son and his name would be called Isaac. Predicting a child’s birthday before the child is yet conceived is impossible for men to accurately predict. However, the God who created the universe can and does work off his own time table and can assure that what he desires to be accomplished will be accomplished just like he said it would.

“It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.” If we in our mind could place ourselves in the situation of the children of Israel at that point in time, we would see the great importance of keeping an observation of the night in which the LORD wrought deliverance for us out of Egyptian bondage.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 12:43

Ex 12:43-49

:43 “And the LORD said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof: 44 But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof. 45 A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof. 46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof. 47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. 49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.”

The above passage sets forth some provisions as to who may eat the Passover and who may not eat the Passover as well as some other provisions of the Passover feast:

1. No stranger, foreigner, or hired servant was to eat of the Passover, unless they sojourned among the children of Israel and desired to eat of the Passover, then all the males of his house were to first be circumcised.

2. No uncircumcised person was to eat of the Passover.

3. The Passover was to be eaten in one house.

4. None of the flesh of the Passover was to be taken abroad out of the house.

5. They were not to break a bone of the Passover lamb. This points us to Jesus who had not a bone broken on the cross as was also prophesied.

6. All the congregation of Israel was to keep the Passover.

7. One law of the Passover was to the home born as well as to the stranger who sojourned among them

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 12:50

Ex 12:50-51

:50 “Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they. 51 And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.”

“Thus did all the children of Israel; as the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.” Many times in the scriptures, the children of Israel were disobedient to the commandments and instructions of the LORD and they suffered the consequences of their disobedience. However, in this instance, the children of Israel did exactly as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron. There is a practical lesson to us as parents. Criticism and chastisement of our children for disobedience is proper, but it must be tempered with praise for the things they do right. The LORD has set this example for us.

“And it came to pass the selfsame day, that the LORD did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.” This is the first time that we read of the children of Israel having armies, yet as a nation, armies are a necessity for protection of the people. Likewise, the disciples of the Lord are soldiers of the Lord’s army and are to fight the good fight of faith.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 13:1

Ex 13:1-7

:1 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine. 3 And Moses said unto the people, Remember this day, in which ye came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out from this place: there shall no leavened bread be eaten. 4 This day came ye out in the month Abib. 5 And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep this service in this month. 6 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to the LORD. 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.”

This is the second time that the Lord had said to Moses for the children of Israel to keep the ordinance of the feast of unleavened bread. The details of this feast of unleavened bread are presented four times in the book of Exodus. Obviously this was a very important feast to be observed by the children of Israel.

In verse 2 the principle of the firstborn is set forth for us that all the firstborn were to be set apart (sanctified) unto the LORD. This applied to both man and beast. Some other important points made in the above passage are as follows:

1. Egypt is called the house of bondage. Egypt elsewhere is called an iron furnace. Iron is associated with bondage in the scripture.

2. The feast of unleavened bread is a memorial feast in which the children of Israel were to remember the LORD’s delivering them out of the house of bondage.

3.The children of Israel came out of Egypt in the month Abib. For the children of Israel this became the beginning of months. It was to be the first month of their new year.

4. The LORD reiterated his promise to bring the children of Israel into the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. This is the promise the LORD had made to their fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This land is said be a land “flowing with milk and honey.”

5. Leaven is set forth as being contrary to their deliverance. It was not to be seen with them for the whole seven days of the feast of unleavened bread. Their bread was to be unleavened. Symbolically this points us to the perfect sinless body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 13:8

Ex 13:8-10

:8 “And thou shalt show thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt. 9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt. 10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.”

“And thou shalt show thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the LORD did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.” Once again the Lord reiterates that the feast of unleavened bread is a memorial service and will serve as a reminder to those generations that came after the works of the LORD in bringing the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage.

“And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thine hand, and for a memorial between thine eyes, that the Lord's law may be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.” Several things are implied in this verse as follows:

1. The feast was to be a sign unto them upon their hands. The hand is the scripture is often associated with labor. A great motive for the children of Israel to serve the LORD was because of his great work in delivering them from Egyptian bondage. Their service (work of their hand) was to be renewed in their minds whenever they observed the feast of weeks. There is a lesson for us today in that the scriptures say that we love God because he first loved us. Our motive for serving the Lord is based on our love for him and what he has done for us.

2. It was to be a memorial between their eyes. Between the eyes is generally used to depict their thinking. The feast of unleavened bread being a memorial feast was to effect the way the children of Israel thought about things. Today, we observe the communion service to reflect upon what the Lord has done for us and then we wash one another’s feet to reflect how we are to serve one another because of the Lord’s love and great work of salvation on our behalf.

3. That the Lord’s law may be in their mouths. Our labors and our thoughts affect us personally, but when we speak those things concerning the Lord’s law it affects other people. This should be a lesson to us today, that we should not only keep the Lord’s laws, but also speak of them to our children, grandchildren, and our neighbors.

“For with a strong hand hath the LORD brought thee out of Egypt.” The children of Israel were to remember that it was the mighty hand of God that was responsible for delivering them out of the land of Egypt. We should remember that it was the mighty work of God that saved us from our sins, and quickened us into spiritual life and gives us a hope of heaven’s glory world.

“Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from year to year.” This reminds us about how quick we are to forget things and that we need to be reminded over and over again about the wonderful works of God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 13:11

Ex 13:11-16

:11 “And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, 12 That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD'S. 13 And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem. 14 And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: 15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem. 16 And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.”

“And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD'S.” As a consequence of the LORD’s deliverance of the children of Israel out of Egypt and bringing them into the land of the Canaanite, the children of Israel were to honor the LORD with the firstborn males and the firstlings of beast.

“And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.” The principal of redemption is set forth in this verse. Both the firstborn of man and the firstling of an ass were to be redeemed. The price of redemption was to offer a lamb for a sacrifice. All of this typically points us to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on behalf of the elect as the Lamb of God. The LORD pointed out to the children of Israel that failure to redeem an ass would sentence the ass to death. This teaches us that without the redemptive work of Jesus our sentence of eternal death would remain.

“And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage: 15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.” Once again we see the purpose of the Passover feast and the feast of unleavened bread was to remind those who came out of Egypt and to teach their children and subsequent generations how the Lord delivered the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage and how he accomplished overcoming Pharaoh’s hardened heart by slaying all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beasts. It was for this reason that they were to sacrifice to the Lord all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of the children of Israel are redeemed by sacrificing a lamb instead.

“And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt.”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 13:17

Ex 13:17-18

:17 “And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: 18 But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.”

The children of Israel had been slaves in the land of Egypt. Now that they have come out of the land of Egypt, they were not prepared for warfare. God was their leader and he knew best what they needed. Thus, the Lord led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines. The Philistines would have come and had war with them and the children of Israel would have sought to return to Egypt. Instead the Lord led them through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea.

“And the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.” While the children of Israel were not ready for war, yet they were still an army. It was an army in training. Marching is a part of an army’s training. The fact that they were harnessed indicates that they were marching in ranks and armed.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 13:19

Ex 13:19-22

:19 “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. 20 And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.”

“And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you.” When the children of Israel came to sojourn in the land of Egypt during the days of Joseph, Joseph told them that the Lord would deliver them out of Egypt and bring them to the land he had promised to them. Joseph made his brethren sware that they would not leave his bones in Egypt, but would bring them up with them and carry them into the promised land. Moses was honoring the request of Joseph and thus honoring him for the deliverance from famine the Lord had made through Joseph.

“And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness. And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: 22 He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” There were two great things the children of Israel needed at this time when they were journeying in an uncharted wilderness. They needed a guide or leader. They also needed light by night. The LORD became both of these for them as he went before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them the way and as a pillar of fire by night to give them light. In like fashion, we have the Holy Spirit as our guide in this wilderness world in which we live. As we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit we can safely say that He is the best guide we could possible have as we navigate the wilderness of life. Moreover, the Holy Spirit give us light as we face the darkness of this flesh nature the enemies of the truth that abound about us. We have light as a result of God’s eternal judgment and his timely judgments upon us and the world in which we live.

“He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” Therefore, the children of Israel had a sure guide throughout their journeys and had light each night they were in the wilderness. We have the same thing today in the person of the Holy Spirit.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 14:1

Ex 14:1-4

:1 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea. 3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. 4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.”

The LORD set a trap for Pharaoh and his host. He made it appear that Israel was trapped and could not escape the mighty army of Egypt. At this time, Egypt was considered to be the most powerful nation on earth and its army unparalleled. The LORD would show Pharaoh and all Egypt that he was a greater tactician and more powerful than all the host of this mighty army of Pharaoh. As he said, he would be honored upon Pharaoh, and his entire host. By this, the Egyptians would know that He was the LORD. Now, this suggests to us that they would know it by his mighty power and judgment upon them. Similarly, when the non-elect stand before God in the resurrection they will also know that he is the LORD by his mighty power and judgment upon them

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 14:2

Ex 14:2-3, "Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall ye encamp by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in."

This morning, man still thinks more highly of himself than he ought to think, particularly when so many things happen that he cannot control or govern. Have you ever stopped to ponder just how many things happen on a daily basis and thought of the ratio of things we have some control over to those we have no control over? Just for starters, being time and location bound creatures, we cannot control much if anything that happens in other geographical locations. I have no sway or control over anything in other countries or locales. Yet, even in my local vicinity, so many things happen daily that I cannot control, and I must admit that my limitations are great. So, when great things happen in this world, how foolish would it be for me – a small, limited man – to claim credit for the wondrous thing! Further still, looking at the things I have some control over and my historical record for making large messes in my life, again how foolish would it be for me to claim credit when wondrous things happen in those areas as well.

In our study verses above, we are on the cusp of one of God's great deliverances of the children of Israel. He has just brought them out of Egypt with a high hand. After suffering the ten plagues from the Lord – ending with the death of the firstborn in Egypt – Pharaoh finally relents to let the people go out from Egypt. Yet, the Lord is not through with His work on this wicked ruler. (Ro 9:17) Though the Lord could have directed His people in any direction He was pleased to purpose, He chose one of the most puzzling routes, when looking at it from natural man's perspective.

From the outset, we freely admit that the overarching spiritual application of this passage is a correlation to regeneration. The parallels are too numerous to ignore. All the children of Israel came out of the dark land of Egypt: all of God's children came out of sin, death, and depravity. They came out with a high and victorious hand, spoiling their enemies as they left: God's children come with the righteousness of Jesus Christ being partakers of His spoils over His enemies. Every man, woman, and child went into the banks of the Red Sea dry shod, crossing to the other side: all of God's children land on the other shore by the power of God, fully there by His grace and mercy. Again, the parallels are endless, but let us broaden our thoughts on the study verses to take into account not only the primary application of regeneration or free grace, but also the Lord's providential direction and protection as He did for His children on this occasion.

Looking at the route that God sent His nation in, there seems no path of escape, naturally speaking. With a sea in front of them, mountains on either side of them, and Egypt behind them, surely Pharaoh's thinking has natural merit and validity. The wilderness has shut them in, and they were not even smart enough to take a path that would not entangle them with the land's natural traits. Ex 14:4 tells us that the Lord specifically shows His power in this decision and will be honoured upon Pharaoh and His host for this action. In other words, God is again doing things according to His good purpose – not some random and haphazard decision – and the end of the day will be marked by an overwhelming manifestation of the power of God and His work of deliverance.

Consider the primary application of this lesson firstly. If regeneration did require a cooperative effort between man and God or even worse a sole effort of man to affect it, who would be honoured? The man would either share or have the glory and honour that rightfully belongs to God. Just as man was the last of God's natural creation (thereby removing any ability man could have to claim creative power over anything), so also man is the last when it comes to his spiritual creation in Christ. He knows nothing of God's eternal purpose beforehand, did not assist Christ in His work of redemption, does not seek the direction or counsel of God one moment before He is created alive in Christ, nor does He yearn for God in the slightest inkling of his being. (Ps 10:4; 14:1; 53:1; Isa 1:6; Ro 3:10-18)

Therefore, when regeneration comes to the man, no credit can rightfully be claimed as there was nothing of man's power to affect this change. The children of Israel find themselves "hemmed in" as it were with no observable way of escape. Yet, the way of escape not seen before it arrives proves 100% successful for them and 100% unsuccessful for their enemies. So, also our deliverance from sin, death, hell, and the grave is 100% successful in the person of our Saviour, while He, by the same token, vanquished sin, death, hell, and the grave forever and ever. Do we have the power to control death, hell, sin, or the grave? Short of God's power, we would have been "hemmed in" forever. Short of God's power here, they would have been hemmed in to die at the hands of their enemies.

Moving into the field of providential protection, consider the analogy we started with: just how little we are able to control on a day to day or moment to moment basis. Should there be any doubt that when majestic and marvellous things happen where the source of that thing is? There should not be, though oftentimes man tries to ignore the facts. For the minister, have you ever been carried up and away to a place indescribable? For the hearers, have you ever been carried up and away with the minister when that display and demonstration happens during his discourse? (1Co 2:4) Hopefully, we can answer yes, but what do we make of those times? When such an event happens to the minister (would to God it happened every time though it sadly does not), he many times sits down thinking, "What just happened here?" Oftentimes, I have witnessed while in the congregation a series of muffled "Wows" when the demonstration of the Holy Spirit concluded at the end of the message. Both the speaker and the hearers understood that naturally speaking, nothing that great should have happened.

When surveying the scene of our natural lives, how many times should you have died in your life? The number of times is too numerous for me to count up each occurrence (or perhaps remember them all). Yet, looking back at some of them, I was hemmed up completely with no conceivable way of escape or deliverance. Still, here I am today: alive and walking this earth. Nothing short of the power of God and His providential protection can possibly suffice to explain how our lives continue to this very hour. The wilderness of life does entangle us, and the land seems to constantly shut us in, but the Lord has led us thus far and will continue to lead us on to our bright and heavenly home.

One last thought of providential care and protection is the thought that the church of the Lord Jesus Christ continues to this day. Looking at the bloody pages of church history, there is no naturally conceivable reason that she should still be here, yet she abides on this earth still. Who can study the history of the church without exclaiming a series of "Wows" about the Lord's remarkable providence to provide the way of escape for His faithful, little flock here in this earth? (1Co 10:13) Sometimes the dear and faithful saints suffered the loss of life for following the cause, and sometimes the Lord directed and moved them elsewhere. Yet, she is still alive in this earth today.

Friends, our enemies seek the advantage over us at every turn in the road. Solomon cried that some of our enemies – such as sin and death – are never satisfied to have enough. (Pr 30:15-17) Can any doubt the persistence of these two enemies even today? We see them all around us. The enemies of the cross of Christ seek to serve their own bellies and devour the flock of God's heritage, and the enemies of the gospel seek to overthrow the faith of some. (Ro 16:18; 2Ti 2:16-18) In all of these things, we find ourselves "hemmed in" from time to time. Sin, death, hell, and the grave had us hemmed in but for the grace of God in the Person of Jesus Christ. The enemies of the Lord's church seem to hem in God's people, yet the Lord's gracious providence keeps her to this hour.

May our course be to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. May we move at the command to move, and may our eyes ever be attuned to see the way of escape and deliverance that He graciously puts in our paths. Even if death be our course, that provides escape into the blissful shining portals above. Since death and hell cannot hold us, the experience of death should not frighten us. Since the Lord promised to be with and never leave us nor forsake us, we should not be affrighted when our enemies encircle us with the land entangling us. Who doth know how the Lord will deliver us in that trial? However He is pleased to do so, rest assured, the way will be honouring to Him upon the heads of His enemies. While I do not sometimes see it while in the midst of a trial, I remember what another minister told me when I was faced with a difficult ministerial situation: "Well, I am looking forward to watching this." When I asked why, he responded, "I just can't wait to see how the Lord delivers you and brings you through it."

Elder Philip Conley

Exodus 14:5

Ex 14:5-9


:5 “And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us? 6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him: 7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. 8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. 9 But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.”

We make the following observations based on the above passage:

1. The non-elect quickly forget any timely judgments against them and turn again to their wicked devices. Pharaoh and his servants quickly forgot the reason they had urgently sent the children of Israel out of Egypt was because of the death of all their first born sons. They again turned to their fleshly lusts and desire to financial gain over enslaving a people that they had no business enslaving to begin with.

2. Pharaoh thought he had a great advantage because he had a mighty trained and experienced army including six hundred chosen chariots and all the chariots of Egypt and captains over every one of them. He had a mighty host to bring against the children of Israel and he knew that Israel had no trained soldiers as they had been slaves heretofore. What he failed to consider was that he would be greatly outmaneuvered and overpowered by the very God of Israel. The non-elect never learn the lesson from timely judgments.

3. Again it was the LORD who hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that he pursed after the children of Israel so that they pursued after the children of Israel including all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh and all his horsemen, and his army, and overtook the children of Israel encamping by the sea.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 14:10

Ex 14:10-14

:10 “And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. 11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? 12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. 13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”

To the above passage we make the following observations:

1. When the children of Israel got sight of the approaching army of Pharaoh marching after them, they became sore afraid. When we are young in the faith we often look at the trying circumstances of our lives and thing we are in an impossible situation. We are prone to forget the promises of God and the presence of God in our lives and the timely deliverances we already witnessed along with the demonstration of the power of God. We tend to only look at the present circumstances. This was the case with the children of Israel. They had forgotten the promises of God that he had made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They also forgot the promises of the LORD that Moses had delivered unto them and how the LORD would deliver them out of Egyptian bondage. They only thought of their current circumstance and they saw the mighty host of the approaching army of Egypt and the fact that they had no standing army and no horses and no chariots and no weapons in which to withstand Pharaoh and his host.

2. Knowing their helpless situation, the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD, however, they doubted the LORD could help them. And because they doubted the LORD could help them, they took their doubts and fears out on the LORD’s servant, Moses: “And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? 12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.” Are God’s children any different today? No, we have all been in circumstances where we have doubted and yet cried out unto the Lord but not believing the Lord would help us or deliver us. I know by experience that when adverse circumstances arise in the church that the preacher is often blamed for the situation.

3. Moses, the LORD’s servant, however, had grown in his faith unto God and had witnessed the LORD’s deliverances both in his life and for the children of Israel and could encourage the people to trust in the LORD who would deliver them: “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. 14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” Sometimes we have circumstances in which we are often helpless and unable to help ourselves. In these circumstances, it is often that we are called on to be still and see the salvation of the LORD. This deliverance for Israel would not be accomplished by Israel fighting against the mighty Egyptian army. The LORD by himself would deliver the children of Israel and destroy the host of the Egyptians.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 14:11

Ex 14:11 "And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?"

The Israelites murmured and complained, questioning "Is the Lord among us or not." Ex 17:1-7 They accused Him of leading them out into the wilderness to die. Finally they conspired to appoint themselves a leader to return back to Egypt. Nu 14:1-4 At that point, God’s patience was exhausted. He would tolerate their unbelief no longer. Since they wished to die instead of trusting Him to supply their needs and protect them each day, He granted their request. The people dropped dead, one by one, beneath the scorching Arabian sun. The story stands as an everlasting reminder of the seriousness of unbelief and the subtle danger of a gradual hardening of the heart.

71

Exodus 14:13

Stand Still

Ex 14:13, “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.”

Moses had led the Children of Israel to the edge of the Red Sea. Behind them was the most powerful military in the known world at that time. Fear fell on them, and they cried to God and blamed Moses. Moses, strong in faith, meekly said "fear ye not", don't start running, but, stay together; God will save us. God opened the red sea and saved Israel; closed it and destroyed Pharaoh's host.

Elder Danny Ferrell

“stand still,”

Ex 14:13, “And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.”

There are times when we must stop flailing around in despair and “stand still”. Sometimes, when I read exhortations like “Fear not” and “Be strong” (De 31:6) etc.; my first natural thought is; ‘Well, I wonder if the Lord means “Fear not” and “Be strong” in the trouble I’m having right now, maybe it’s time to be afraid and run for cover’. The Children of Israel were in an absolutely impossible situation; the mighty Egyptian army was in hot pursuit behind them, there were steep mountains on either side, and a sea in front of them. Yet, the Lord through “Moses” commanded them to “Fear ye not, stand still”. I’m sure that many of the Israelites thought the “Moses” had lost his mind; nevertheless, “Moses” confidently Commanded them to “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD”! They were helpless to defend themselves or to save themselves from certain destruction; but, “Moses” told them “The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” (Ex 14:14). It is good to know that when we have done the best we can, struggled until all strength is gone, and wept until there are no tears left; the “LORD” reveals His mighty power and says, Now, I will “Fight for you, and” you will have “peace”. The merciful and gracious “LORD” provided “a way to escape” (1Co 10:13); then, He Commanded “Moses” to “speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:” (Ex 14:15). So, there are times, as we face the great troubles of this life, when we have totally expended ourselves and we can “see” no way out. It is in such times as these that we must “stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD”. What we “see” is that the “LORD” provides “a way to escape” so that we can “go forward” in service to Him, in obedience to His Word; then, we experience His blessed “peace”! There is no “peace”, like the Lord’s “peace”!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Ex 14:13-18
It may be that Moses was a little too quick to tell the Israelites to “stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD;” for the LORD said to him, “Wherefore criest thou unto Me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.” While it is true enough that the LORD was going to do exactly what Moses had told them that He would, they were not to stand still, but be ready to go forward. However the LORD commanded Moses to first raise and stretch forth his rod over the sea, that it might divide, and give dry passage for the Israelites through it. Then the Egyptians would try to follow the children of Israel through the sea, and the LORD would work His wrath upon them.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 14:15

Ex 14:15-20

:15 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: 16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. 17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. 19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: 20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.”

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:” When we have the promises of God and His assurances of the certain results, it is not a time to fear and doubt, but it is a time to move out on the certain promises of God an go forward in our service to Him.

“But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.” The rod represented the authority and power of God. Now the LORD tells Moses to lift up the rod. When we are fearful and doubting, it is time to lift up once again the authority and power of God in our lives. Moses was told to stretch his hand over the sea and divide it. Obviously it was not by the power of Moses that the sea would be divided but by the power of God. Moses was contacting the power of God through obedience to the command of God. The result of this is that the children of Israel would cross over the Red Sea on dry ground through the midst of the sea.

Some attributes of God are manifest in this verse as we see the authority of God, and the power of God, and the omniscience of God, and the providence of God all demonstrated.

“And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.” The Egyptians thought that they could overrule the power of God and get their way through the might of their armies and once again enslave the people of God. But through the demonstration of the mighty power of God upon Pharaoh and upon his hosts, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen, God would receive honor from the surrounding nations as they would greatly fear the LORD. The way the Egyptians came to know the LORD was through the demonstration of his mighty power against them and destroying their “feeble” army.

“And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: 20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.” Obviously, God was making a distinction between the Egyptians and the children of Israel. On the one hand the cloud was darkness to the camp of the Egyptians, but on the other hand it was light all night to the children of Israel. Through the Holy Spirit the Lord is light to us which are born of the Spirit of God to give us light as we journey in this land of darkness known as the world. However, the workings of God are a completely mystery to those who are not born of the Spirit and they are in total darkness as to the purpose, promises, and providences of God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Going Forward In Obedient Service To The Lord

Ex 14:15 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:”

The Children of Israel were in an impossible situation; the mighty Egyptian army was pursuing behind them, steep mountains were on their right and their left, and the Red Sea was before them. Yet, “the LORD” Commanded Moses to “speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward”. Such a Command might seem absolutely unreasonable, except that it is a Command issued by the Omnipotent God that Created and sustains the earth and man. To “go forward” is to move in the prescribed direction of travel, carrying all our belongings, and having no intention or desire to return. Paul wrote of just such times in our lives, telling us that the God who issues such Commands will “make a way to escape” (1Co 10:13). He certainly did for Israel; for, when Moses stretched forth his rod, the Red Sea opened a blessed “escape” path, a path that led to a life of dedicated service to “the LORD”! So, we should do likewise; “go forward” in worshipful service to “the LORD”, bearing our “cross” (Lu 14:27), no matter how difficult or trying that “cross” may be, always “Looking” with obedient dependence “unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:2)!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Exodus 14:21

Ex 14:21-25

:21 “And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. 24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, 25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.”

“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” When Moses did as the LORD instructed him, then the LORD did as he had promised. This is also true in our lives. There are several miracles manifest in the above statement. It was a miracle that the wind parted the sea. It was a miracle that the sea became a wall on the left hand and on the right. It was a miracle that the land was dried that night. Yet, those things which are impossible with man are possible with God. The same God that created the land, the sea, and the wind can certainly cause the land, the sea, and the wind to obey His voice. That was certainly the case here.

“And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.” At this point in time, you would expect that the children of Israel would have felt pretty sure about their certain deliverance from the Egyptians as they had witnessed the great miracles of God working on their behalf. There was no reason for them to fear or doubt that the waters would remain a wall unto them on their right hand and on their left as they crossed the Red Sea.

“And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.” Either the Egyptians took no notice of the power of God being manifest or else they were in complete darkness of their own certain doom. The truth is that those who are not born of the Spirit of God take no notice of the power of God being manifest and are in complete darkness of their certain eternal judgment.

The Egyptians continued on their efforts to enslave and destroy the children of Israel even though the LORD was warring on their behalf and they were no match for his power and wisdom. Likewise, the children of this world continue to war to enslave the children of light to their ungodly deeds and thoughts and to try to wipe out all godly actions and behaviors.

“And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, 25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.” The LORD looked upon the hosts of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and the cloud. The pillar of fire represents God’s judgment of sin and the cloud represents the glory of God. The LORD looked through his judgment and glory and the time of judgment for the Egyptians had come. First the LORD troubled the host of the Egyptians. Second, the LORD took off their chariot wheels, and they drave them heavily. Finally, the Egyptians recognized their circumstances and the trouble they were in and they sought to flee from the face of Israel for the LORD fought for the Israelites against the Egyptians. Oh that we would understand today that when we have the LORD on our side, the enemy have no chance to defeat us and enslave us.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 14:26

Ex 14:26-31

:26 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. 27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. 29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. 30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. 31 And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.”

The judgment against Pharaoh and the Egyptians had come to pass. The Egyptians had taken the kindness of Joseph and turned against the children of Israel by enslaving them, and making them to serve with rigour and hard bondage. Moreover, Pharaoh had tried to destroy all the male babies of the children of Israel on two different occasions with the mindset that he would make sex slaves out of their female babies.

Pharaoh and his servants had fought against allowing the children of Israel to go out and worship their God. He had lied to Moses and tried to deceive him on several occasions. After the death of the first born sons in all the land of Egypt, he had consented to allow the children of Israel to go into the desert and worship and then changed his mind and sought to once again enslave the children of Israel.

The problem that Pharaoh, his servants, the Egyptians, and their host had was that they were going against a greater foe than themselves. The children of Israel had the LORD on their side. The Egyptians stood no chance in this battle.

As we began the book of Exodus, the children of Israel were in hard Egyptian bondage and were made to serve with rigor. They had neither army nor any weapons of warfare. They were treated like cattle. Pharaoh had no respect for their lives nor wellbeing. Yet God had promised Abraham that at the appointed time that he would deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt and ultimately bring them into the land of promise. With the above passage we see the children of Israel finally delivered from Egyptian bondage. God had destroyed Pharaoh, his host, his chariots, and all his horsemen in the waters of the Red Sea.

The crossing of the Red Sea was similar in type to the Lord’s deliverance of his elect family from their sins. The waters of the Red Sea at the point of crossing were running in a North-South direction. They were crossed by an East wind that blew Westward, thus, prefiguring the cross of Christ. The children of Israel went down into the Red Sea (with the water absent) and came up out of the Red Sea on the other side. The crossing of the Red Sea prefigured the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. At the cross, Jesus delivered his elect family from all their enemies (death, hell, grave, Satan, and sin). At the Red Sea the children of Israel were delivered from their enemies: Pharaoh, his servants, the Egyptian Army, along with all the weapons of their warfare.

"And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and his servant Moses.”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 15:1

Ex 15:1

:1 “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”

In this chapter Moses and the children of Israel sing a song unto the LORD. It is a song of praise for the LORD’s timely deliverance of them and of the resulting hope they have of future deliverances. In the book of Revelation we read of the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb: Re 15:3 “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” The song of Moses is a song giving praise to God for his timely deliverances and for their hope of seeing the fulfillment of the remaining covenant promises that God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The song of the Lamb is a song of praise to God for his eternal deliverance of his people from their sins and of their subsequent hope of eternal glory through the covenant promise made by God before the world began and as stated in Ro 8:29-30 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 15:2

“The LORD is” Ex 15:2-3, “The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” After “The LORD” had delivered the Children of Israel from the Egyptian army and through the Red Sea, they greatly rejoiced in the Lord as they sang The Song of Moses. They sang “The LORD is my strength”; that is, when we could not see a way forward and we thought that we were going to perish, the Lord Himself, with His mighty “strength”, delivered us from what seemed to be certain death. “The LORD is my … song”; that is, He is my joy and my reason to rejoice in this life. “The LORD … is become my salvation”; that is, now I have experienced and know that there is no obstacle or enemy too great for my Lord to defeat. “The LORD … is my God”; that is, He is the sole object of my worship and adoration; the Egyptian gods are nothing. “The LORD is … my father’s God”; that is, He is the same God that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob worshipped; it is not ‘old fashioned’ to worship the same God and in the same way they did. Now we can joyfully say that it is not ‘old fashioned’ to worship in the same way the Apostles did. “The LORD is a man of war”; that is, He fights the battles that I would surely loose and He wins every time. “the LORD is his name”; that is, He and He alone will receive my worship and obedience no matter how great or small I become, no matter how mighty or frail the enemies are that I encounter, and no matter how comfortable or distressed I become. Let us be encouraged and encourage others with The Song of Moses and let it be our song too!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Ex 15:2

:2 “The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.

“The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.” In this sentence of praise several points can be made:

1. The children of Israel were exalting the LORD. The word, LORD, refers to God as a covenant-making, covenant-keeping God. Thus, they were praising him for the covenant he had made and kept.

2. They were also exalting the LORD as their strength. This tells us that they felt themselves to be inadequate, but believed their inadequacies were more than made up for by the fact that the LORD was their strength.

3. When we are young we usually have a favorite song from time to time. Our favorite song at the time is the one that we sing in our hearts and minds and that resonates with us. The children of Israel were saying that the LORD was the song that resonated in their hearts and minds.

4. “he is become my salvation.” When the children of Israel looked for and longed for deliverance and faced the realization that they could not deliver themselves, then the LORD appeared to them and delivered them.

5. “he is my God.” Owning the LORD as our God does not make him our God, but it sure is good for us to own him as our God.

6. “I will prepare him an habitation.” What habitation will you prepare for the LORD? We should prepare our hearts and minds as an habitation for the LORD.

7. “My father's God.” The LORD is the same from generation to generation. The same God who was with our fathers is the same God who is with us today. For the children of Israel it was a recognition that the same LORD that had appeared and blessed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was the same LORD that had appeared and blessed them.

8. “I will exalt him.” That should be a chief goal of our lives.

Elder Vernon Johnson

The LORD is my strength

Ex 15:2The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

After “The LORD” had saved Israel from the Egyptian army and delivered them through the Red Sea; they worshipfully sang this song of victory. They declared that “The LORD” “is become my salvation”; that is, when it seemed that all was lost and that we would surely be destroyed, “The LORD” revealed His mighty power and miraculously saved us. They heralded Him as “my father’s God”; that is, He is the “God” that our forefathers worshiped and served, and He was also their “salvation”. More than 3600 years have passed, and this same “LORD” is our “salvation”; He is still delivering us from tribulations that would surely ruin us. He is the “LORD” that has “delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;” (2Co 1:10). Furthermore, He “hath” eternally “saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2Ti 1:9). And, we are still worshipfully singing of our Savior God; we sing “Victory In Jesus” (E. M. Bartlett)!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Exodus 15:3

Ex 15:3-10

:3 “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. 4 Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. 5 The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. 6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. 7 And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. 8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. 9 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. 10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.”

“The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” While God is a God of peace he also is a man of war. In order to execute his covenant promises, war was necessary. The enemy had to be defeated. The Lord’s people have enemies, just like the children of Israel had Pharaoh, his servants and his host as enemies. We have as our enemies: death, hell, grave, Satan, and sin. The Lord has fought and conquered our enemies for us.

In verses 4-10 above the children of Israel in this song recounted the account of how the Lord defeated their enemies for them. In preaching the gospel, singing praises unto God and in prayer we often are recounting the account of how the Lord defeated our enemies for us. By giving notice to the life of Jesus and his death, burial, and resurrection and the effects of that atoning sacrifice we are recounting the account of how the Lord defeated our enemies for us and giving him praise.

“Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.” The “right hand” is used in the scriptures to denote strength. It is indicative of God’s almighty power. It is also used to denote the position of honor and exaltation. The Lord Jesus Christ is the “right hand of God.” The children of God are on his right hand in the resurrection (Mt 25). We should “honor and exalt” the Lord for his “almighty power” in delivering us from our enemies. The children of Israel were honoring and exalting the LORD for having delivered them by his strength from their enemies.

“Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power:” The great glory of the Lord Jesus Christ is that he has defeated our enemies through his mighty power in his death, burial, and resurrection. His taking up of the life he laid down is indeed glorious and to him we should give all praise, honor, and glory.

“And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.” Just like the LORD overthrew Pharaoh and his hosts that rose up against him and his wrath consumed them as stubble, so the Lord Jesus Christ rose up against our enemies and God’s wrath at the cross consumed them.

“The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.” The belief and attitude of Pharaoh and his servants was that they would be victorious over the LORD and the children of Israel. How similar we see the reaction of Satan and his host in their efforts to derail the life and work of the Lord when he walked upon the earth. How mistaken Pharaoh and his servants were and how mistaken Satan and his host were in their beliefs and attitude.

“Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.” Destruction came suddenly upon Pharaoh and the host of Egypt. Likewise destruction shall come suddenly upon Satan and upon the non-elect in the morning of the resurrection.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 15:8

“the waters … congealed”

Ex 15:8 “And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.”

One of the great miracles found in the Bible, is Israel walking across the Red Sea. The theoretical explanations abound, they range from outright denial to ankle deep water. But, the truth is that the same God who created the universe and raised the dead to life is the same God that made “the waters … congeal”! The word “congealed” literally means to make firm or harden to the point that “the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap”. We are not told how firm the waters were, but they were firm (hardened) enough that they could be “stood upright as an heap”; thus creating a dry path for Israel to walk through. So that we would know that it wasn’t ankle deep water, the phrase “the depths were congealed” is used to show that their crossing was in one of the deeper areas of the sea. This was not some naturally occurring phenomena; but, it was a great miracle under the direct control of the Lord God Almighty; for, “with the blast of” His “nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea”. Indeed “the waters” “congealed” and “stood upright” and the Children of Israel walked through the sea, then when their enemy tried to pursue them through the sea, the same God caused “the sea to cover them” and to destroy them; thus, Israel was saved from their enemies (Ex 15:10). This same God moved Paul to write, “There hath no temptation (including troubles and trials) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1Co 10:13)! God does not always remove the temptations (troubles and trials) from our lives; “but God is faithful” to “make a way to escape”, just like He did Israel! Knowing this to be so, let us have courage and join Israel in worshipfully declaring, “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Ex 15:11).

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Exodus 15:11

Ex 15

:11 “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? 12 Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. 13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.”

“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” There is none like the LORD. There are gods many, but none of them is like the LORD. The LORD is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, has all wisdom, and many other attributes and characteristics that cannot be said of any other. The LORD is all glorious. There is none holy as He is. He does wonders beyond our imagination. He is fearful in praises.

“Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.” The LORD had parted the waters of the Red Sea by a mighty east wind and had congealed those waters while the children of Israel crossed over the Red Sea on dry ground. When the Egyptians sought to follow after, the LORD stretched forth his right hand and the Sea returned unto its former state and swallowed up Pharaoh and his hosts, thus, destroying the enemies of Israel.

“Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.” The work of the LORD on behalf of the children of Israel was not because they deserved to be delivered, but was as a result of God’s mercy toward them. Likewise our deliverance from the condemnation of sin is not because of any merit in us, but because of God’s grace and mercy toward his covenant people.

The LORD led forth the people which he had redeemed out of Egyptian bondage and across the Red Sea. Likewise, the LORD leads his people today which he has redeemed.

The song of Moses said that he guided them in his strength unto His holy habitation, yet at that time they were not in his holy habitation. This showed confidence on behalf of the people that the same God who had delivered them out of Egyptian bondage and destroyed their enemies would fulfill the rest of his covenant promises that he made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Likewise, we are not yet housed in heaven’s glory world, but we should be confident that the LORD will keep his eternal promise that he made concerning the elect that they would one day in the resurrection be glorified and carried home to heaven. Our confidence stems from the LORD gloriously delivering us from a state of being dead in trespasses and sins unto eternal spiritual life by the still small voice of the Son of God and of the knowledge of the LORD’s delivering us from the condemnation of sin upon the cross of Calvary.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 15:14

Ex 15:14-17

:14 “The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina. 15 Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away. 16 Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased. 17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.”

The news of what the LORD did in parting the waters of the Red Sea and drowning Pharaoh and the greatest army upon the face of the earth up to that time, would have a profound effect upon the nations surrounding the children of Israel. It wasn’t that they feared the nation of Israel but they feared the God of the nation of Israel who had wrought such mighty and marvelous works in delivering Israel. The gods of those nations were nothing compared to the God of Israel.

The children of Israel had been promised that they would possess the land of Canaan by the LORD. Because they would hear of what the LORD had done for Israel in delivering them out of Egypt fear and dread would fall upon the inhabitants of Canaan. They would tremble at the mention of the name of the LORD. They knew that they were no match to the children of Israel because of the God of the children of Israel.

“Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.” Again the children of Israel were greatly encouraged at this time by the delivering power of God to believe that they would indeed possess the promised land of Canaan.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 15:18

Ex 15:18-21

:18 “The LORD shall reign for ever and ever. 19 For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea. 20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

“The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.” This statement is just as true today as it was back then. There is no end to the LORD’s reigning in his everlasting kingdom.

“For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.” This continual recounting of the Lord’s work in delivering Israel is an encouragement to the children of Israel. They were later told to tell their children and their children’s children about the Lord’s mighty work in delivering them from Egyptian bondage. Today we should take note and tell our children and our children’s children about the mighty workings of the Lord in our lives such as His work in our spiritual birth, in saving us from the condemnation of sin and in the providential deliverances we have experienced in life. This is an encouragement both to us and to them to recount these stories over and over again.

“And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.” Here the women were expressing their joy over the great deliverance the LORD had wrought for them and their families. Joy should be embraced by us today because of the LORD’s great deliverances in our lives.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 15:22

Ex 15:22-26

:22 “So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. 23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 25 And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”

The Lord told some unbelieving Jews in Joh 5:39: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” When studying the Old Testament we should always be looking for a testimony of Jesus. In the above passage we find a testimony of Jesus.

Upon crossing the Red Sea the children of Israel made a three day journey into the wilderness of Shur. In this journey they found no water. This was a desert land and water is essential to survival in a desert land. Moreover, the human body in such conditions can only go about 3 or 4 days without water before the individual become so dehydrated that he dies. When they came to Marah they found water. The problem was that the water was bitter (poison). They could not drink of the water. The children of Israel were in a predicament in that they could not last a journey back to the Red Sea and they could not drink of the water before them. It was not surprising that they murmured against Moses, the servant of the Lord. Moses immediately cried unto the LORD and the LORD showed Moses a tree which when he had cast it into the waters the waters were made sweet. This is similar to the predicament that we as born again sinners were in. This world provides us with no spiritual water. We see our lives as poisoned by sin. We get a good look at our own depravity and come to realize our condemned state before God. We are unable to do anything about our condition. We are only delivered after the Lord shows us the tree of the cross which has been cast into the condemned state of our lives. It is then when we see that Christ died for us to redeem us from our sins that the waters of our lives are made sweet. Jesus is like that tree that was cast into the water of Marah and made the water sweet.

The word, “Marah,” meaning bitter is equivalent to the New Testament word, Mary. When Jesus hang on the cross there were three women named Mary at his feet.

“There he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.” The children of Israel had seen a type of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ in the healing of the waters of Marah. They were by type on redemption ground. Here they are given a statute and an ordinance and told to do what was right in the sight of God and to give ear to his commandments. They had the promise that if they would do that then the Lord would not put any of the diseases upon them that he had plagued the Egyptians with. Thus they were made to see that there are great blessings in obedience even though obedience was not what delivered them from Egyptian bondage. Likewise, there are great blessings to us in obedience to the commandments and ordinances of God even though our obedience is not what delivered us from our sins.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 15:23

Ex 15:23-25And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 25 And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,

JCPPhilpo: THE BITTER WATERS SWEETENED



Ex 15:23-26
After the three days of going without water the Israelites came to a place where there was water. But the water was undrinkable because it was bitter. So they began to murmur against Moses: and he cried unto the LORD because of the bitterness of the waters. So the LORD showed him a tree that he could throw into the water, and cause the water to become sweet so that it was good for the children of Israel to drink. In this we can see a type of our Lord Jesus, in that when we are faced with a very bitter situation, we can think upon the sufferings of our Lord as He was crucified upon the cross, or tree, for us; and that will always ease the bitterness of our trials. This very event was given of the LORD to prove the children of Israel, not that He needed to find out how they would react to the situation, but to show to them that He is always able to take care of them, no matter how bitter the experience they were having. And He “made for them a statute and an ordinance,” telling them that if they would hearken diligently to His voice, do that which was right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, He would keep them free from all the diseases that He had sent upon the Egyptians. He declared to them that it is He Who healed them.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 15:27

Ex 15:27
After the experiences of traveling three days without water, coming to the bitter waters of Marah, and having the LORD graciously sweeten those waters for them, the children of Israel came to a place called Elim. There they found twelve wells of water, and also seventy palm trees. So they had plenty of water, as well as shade under which they could rest for a while.

Elder Cecil Sandifer



Ex 15:27

:27 “And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.”

No doubt Elim would have seemed like an oasis in the desert. It was here that they found plenty of water and seventy shades trees under which they could rest. This account is part of a pattern found throughout the scriptures depicting the kingdom of God. The combined numbers of 12 and 70 are associated in the scriptures with the Kingdom of God. Please consider the following:

Twelve and Seventy – A Kingdom Born

The kingdom of Israel began based on a covenant that God had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God chose Jacob and changed his name to Israel. The man Jacob had twelve sons. These twelve sons married and multiplied into a multitude. The progeny of these twelve sons were divided into twelve tribes, commonly referred to as the twelve tribes of Israel. The tribes were known by the names of the twelve sons of Jacob.

During the days of the great famine in Egypt, Jacob and his family came to live in Egypt under the protective care of Joseph: Ex 1:1 "Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, 4 Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already." From these twelve sons and seventy persons grew a nation within Egypt of nearly three million people who were delivered out of Egypt during the days of Moses.

In the wilderness God made a covenant with Israel and appointed over them twelve princes and seventy elders:

1. Nu 1:4-16 "And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers. 5 And these are the names of the men that shall stand with you: of the tribe of Reuben; Elizur the son of Shedeur. 6 Of Simeon; Shelumiel the son of Zurishaddai. 7 Of Judah; Nahshon the son of Amminadab. 8 Of Issachar; Nethaneel the son of Zuar. 9 Of Zebulun; Eliab the son of Helon. 10 Of the children of Joseph: of Ephraim; Elishama the son of Ammihud: of Manasseh; Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. 11 Of Benjamin; Abidan the son of Gideoni. 12 Of Dan; Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai. 13 Of Asher; Pagiel the son of Ocran. 14 Of Gad; Eliasaph the son of Deuel. 15 Of Naphtali; Ahira the son of Enan. 16 These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel."

2. Ex 24:1 "And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off."

3. Ex 24:9 "Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel."

4. Nu 11:16 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee."

5. Nu 11:24 "And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle."

6. Nu 11:25 "And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease."

The twelve princes of the twelve tribes of Israel became the governors of Israel and the seventy elders became the judges of Israel. What later became known as the Sanhedrin counsel had its roots in the seventy elders.

This pattern of the kingdom is presented to us in type at the place known as Elim:

1. Ex 15:27 "And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters."

2. Nu 33:9 "And they removed from Marah, and came unto Elim: and in Elim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there." Elim was a place of refuge and comfort for the desert weary travelers. Here they refreshed themselves. Of course, this pointed back to the kingdom that began with twelve sons of Jacob and seventy descendants.

It also pointed forward to a future kingdom of heaven that would have twelve apostles judging the twelve tribes of Israel and seventy elders:

1. Mt 10:1 "And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease."

2. Mt 10:2 "Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother…"

3. Mt 10:5 "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not."

4. Mt 11:1 "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities."

5. Mt 19:28 "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

6. Lu 10:1 "After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come."

7. Lu 10:17 "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."

The twelve apostles are the ones that Christ used as foundation stones to build his church kingdom upon: Eph 2:20-22 "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." The seventy elders are representative of the gospel ministry today who go at the direction of the Lord through the Holy Spirit.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 16:1

Ex 16:1-3

:1 “And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. 2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: 3 And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

“And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.” Several principles are suggested by this verse of scripture:

1. Elim is where there were 12 wells of water and 70 palm trees. It was a place of rest and refreshing in the desert. As we have previously seen the numbers 12 and 70 in the scripture are kingdom numbers and point us to the kingdom of God. Thus the children of Israel were departing from this place to journey in the wilderness of Sin.

2. The wilderness or desert that the children of Israel were traveling was named “the wilderness of Sin.” This is typical of us as children of God today as we journey in this lifetime. We journey through a wilderness of sin.

3. The wilderness of Sin stretched between Elim and Sinai. Sinai is associated with the giving of the law and the establishment of the law covenant between God and the children of Israel. Thus there is a separation between the two locations called the wilderness of Sin. This is comparable to God’s children today who try to rest and refresh in the kingdom of God. Between the law of God and the kingdom of God there is a wilderness of sin that we must pass through on our daily journeys.

4. The children of Israel had departed out of the land of Egypt which is figurative of God’s deliverance of his elect family out of the bondage of the law of sin and death. In a type the children of Israel were on redemption ground. They had been redeemed from Egypt by the power of God and by the blood of the lamb. Now they are beginning their journey to the land of Canaan.

“And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:” Rather than take their needs to the LORD they murmured against the servants of the LORD. For those true gospel ministers who have faithfully tried to serve the Lord, they are well acquainted with the Lord’s people murmuring against them. The children of Israel had forgotten the great power of God that had sent forth those wondrous signs in the land of Egypt and that had divided the waters of the Red Sea so that they could cross on dry ground and the Egyptian host who followed after to be drowned in the Red Sea. They had also forgotten the pillar of a cloud and pillar of fire that had led them and given them light by night and protected them from the Egyptian army. This reminds me of how quick we are to forget that the Lord’s mighty working in our lives today whenever we are faced with trouble or problems.

Now the needs of the children of Israel was indeed great as they had no food to eat and there was not resources in the desert to which somewhere close to 2 million people could be fed. They doubted that the LORD could provide a table in the wilderness. Doubting the power and love and concern of God is a big problem that plagues God’s children even to this very day.

“And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Embellishing the past is typical of God’s people today. People speak of how much better it was in years past or when we were young. They speak of the good old days. Yet, today is the day that the Lord hath made. We should rejoice and be glad in it. The God who delivered his people in the past is the same God who is able to deliver us in the present and in the future.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 16:1-3
We may have a tendency to judge the Israelites too harshly, although, certainly, they were wrong in being so faithless as to forget so soon what the LORD had done for them. Just remember that they are also a picture of us. In spite of all the wonderful blessings our Lord has showered upon us, we too are prone to forget His mercies, and complain that we are about to be destroyed by some enemy, at the first sign of a little hardship. We try to excuse ourselves by saying, “We are only human.” That is true: but so were they. We may not have seen so many natural wonders wrought before us as had they, but if we cannot find in our experience some outstanding miracles of His grace I fear we are not looking in the right direction. If we but remember what He has done for us it is much easier to trust Him to carry us through whatever situation we may have to face. And so it was with the children of Israel. God had delivered them from Egypt, He had again delivered them from the Egyptians at the Red Sea, and He had provided for them good water where there was none fit to drink. Should they not have remembered these things instead of the flesh pots of Egypt? Let us also keep in mind the many blessings of the LORD instead of the worldly pleasures we once enjoyed before He called us out from the world. And, by all means, let us never let our minds entertain the thought that God has taken us away from the worldly pleasures to kill us with starvation.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 16:3

“And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the Lord in Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Ex 16:3

Are you ever so influenced by a current crisis or difficulty that you can only see extreme negative, which leads to bad judgment and foolish thoughts? Does your perception of things sometimes lead you to misjudge reality? That’s what happened here with the people of Israel.

To be sure, the circumstances weren’t pleasant: they needed food! Not having food is a real problem. Your problems and difficulties may be real as well. But, in reading Exodus we know that Israel was foolish in such thinking. God had just miraculously delivered them from a centuries-long slavery in Egypt. He had destroyed their enemies. God doesn’t do things just to do them. He hadn’t brought them out of Egypt just to let them starve to death in the middle of nowhere!

Sadly, if you’re like me, you can see many parallels to Israel and yourself in this case. The answer is faith. It is in having confidence in the wisdom, love and power of God. We should not let our hard times skew our view of reality. We should trust that God has wise purposes to work in our lives for His glory.

Elder Timothy Guess

Exodus 16:4

Ex 16:4-8

:4 “Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. 5 And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. 6 And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt: 7 And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us? 8 And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.”

“Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.” The congregation of the children of Israel was a great congregation with somewhere close to 2 million people. How could the LORD provide food for such a mighty congregation daily for about 40 years? It would seem to the human mind an impossible task. Yet, the things that seem impossible for man are easy for the LORD. The LORD promised to rain bread for the people from heaven and that the people were to go out and gather a certain rate every day. The bread, which is later called manna, is in many ways typical of the written word of God known as the scriptures. The scriptures are spiritual food to born again children of God. We are supposed to gather a certain rate every day. The Lord taught us that we are to pray that God would give us this day our daily bread. This is true both naturally and spiritually. We stand in need of natural food each day we live and we also stand in need of spiritual food. We should gather of that spiritual food called the scriptures on a daily basis.

The LORD said that he would use the gathering of bread by the people as a test to see if they would walk in his law or not. Reading the scriptures is important for our spiritual welfare as we journey as the disciples of the LORD. Keeping of what is written therein is also important. If we read the scriptures and then don’t keep what they teach then we are not being good servants of Jesus Christ.

“And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.” The test for the children of Israel was that they were to gather a certain rate of the bread daily and on the sixth day they were to gather twice as much, but they were to rest on the seventh day in honor of God’s work of creation. As we shall see later, failure to follow these simple instructions would have severe consequences.

“And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt: And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us?” Moses and Aaron told the people that when they saw in the evening what the LORD hath done for them that they would know that it was the LORD and not them that had brought them out of the land of Egypt. The people had accused Moses and Aaron as being responsible for their departure from Egypt and bringing them into the wilderness. Moses and Aaron were certainly incapable of preparing a table in the wilderness, but the LORD is quite capable of doing so and by what the LORD would do in the evening the people would have the evidence that it was the LORD who brought them out of Egypt.

What the LORD would do in the morning by showering bread unto the children of Israel would show to them that this would glorify God. By this the children of Israel would understand that their murmurings were not against Moses and Aaron but were against the very God who had delivered them and who would provide for them.

“And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.” Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 16:9

Ex 16

:9 “And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings. 10 And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. 11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 12 I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. 13 And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. 14 And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. 15 And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.”

The children of Israel had murmured against Moses and Aaron saying that in Egypt they had flesh and bread to eat to the full. God heard their murmurings and responded not with anger but was gracious unto them, knowing what their needs were and gave them flesh, quail, and bread, manna to eat. Moreover, they had the promise of a daily supply of manna.

“And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.” The cloud in the scripture is often associated with the glory of the LORD. In Joh 17 Jesus prayed the Father for a restoration of his glory: Joh 17:5 “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” The amazing glory of the Lord is manifest in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, the feast of bread and flesh for the children of God is eating spiritually of the knowledge of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and what he accomplished for us. Symbolically in the communion service we eat of his body and drink of his blood and this reminds us of his death, burial and resurrection. Likewise, in the ordinance of water baptism we have a representation of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus which is the glory of the LORD.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.” The children of Israel were to know that the LORD was their God by the provision that he had made for them in feeding them. Likewise, today, we know that the LORD is our God by the provision of gospel food and of the bread of his word that satisfies our spiritual hungering.

“And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.” The LORD fulfilled his promise to the children of Israel in giving them flesh and bread to eat. The manna as the children of Israel called it was described as a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. The geometric shape of round is associated with covenants in the scriptures. As far as worship of God is concerned the Lord has given two covenants: the law covenant to the children of Israel and the covenant of grace to his children today. As far as our judicial standing with God he has given us two covenants: the covenant of the law of sin and death and the covenant of redemption. As we have before noted, the manna is typical of the scriptures which are divided into the Old Testament (old covenant) and the New Testament (New Covenant).

The manna was also very small and had to be gathered every day except on the 7th day of the week. To gather something that small to feed a family would require a lot of effort. Likewise, the study of God’s word to feed our spiritual needs and that of our families requires a lot of effort. We gather it a little at a time: Isa 28:10 “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” Just a casual reading of God’s word and then ignoring it after that will neither feed our souls the spiritual food we need nor will it be beneficial to our families.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 16:16

Ex 16:16-21

:16 “This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. 17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. 18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. 19 And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. 20 Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. 21 And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.”

“This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.” The responsibility for gathering fell upon the man of the house, i.e., the husband and father. They were to provide for their family. This is true both naturally and spiritually. The husband and father is to be the leader of the home and is to be the chief provider. Fathers are to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. To do this, the fathers should set an example for the children in reading and studying the scriptures and to teach their children concerning the things that they have learned. At the same time the men were gathering for their families they were also providing food for themselves.

“And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.” The men gathered for themselves and their families according to their eating. There was sufficient for both those whose need was greatest and those whose need was less. It was sufficient but there was no excess or lack. The word of God is like that. When we gather it there is neither excess nor lack. It is sufficient for our needs and for the needs of our families.

“And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.” The children of Israel were to eat what they gathered each day. They were not to leave and store it up for the next day. The word of God is like that also. We are to apply what we study each day. We should not think that because I studied a lot yesterday that I will not have to study for a few days. The Lord taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread…” We need both natural and spiritual food each day that we live. Would we eat a large meal on Monday and expect that we would not have to eat again until the next Monday? Likewise, we need a spiritual meal each day and we should be gathering each day and not thinking we can gather more than we need today and save it up for days and weeks to come.

Moses was wrought with the children of Israel who did not eat all that they gathered. The reason he was wrought was because they were not following the instructions given unto them by the LORD. This teaches us that God is not pleased when we fail to follow his instructions.

“And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.” The LORD provided for their daily needs and they were to look for his provision each day. What they did not gather was not going to stick around as it melted. The next day they would have to go out once again and gather and be dependent upon the LORD to once again provide for their daily needs. Likewise, spiritually we are to be dependent upon the Lord to provide for our daily needs. It is good to develop an attitude of daily dependence upon the Lord. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 16:22

Ex 16

:22 “And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. 23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. 24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. 25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. 26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. 27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. 28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.”

In this passage we are introduced to the ordinance of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was designed to give praise, honor, and glory to God for his work of creation. The Lord created all things in six days and rested on the seventh day. This seventh day became known as the Sabbath. The word, Sabbath, has a duel meaning. It means to rest and it also carries the connotation of completion. God rested from a completed work. The children of Israel were to honor God by resting on the seventh day from their labors. Today, we as children of God are to rest from Christ’s completed work of saving his people from their sins. We are to cease from our labors of trying to get right with God and give all the praise and honor and glory to Jesus who has made us right with God.

The children of Israel had need for food on seven days including the Sabbath. God made provision for them by giving them twice as much supply of manna on the sixth day and for this special provision they could save up the extra days supply until the seventh day. The Lord told them that there would not be any manna in the fields on the seventh day. When some of the men doubted and disobeyed the LORD was not pleased. Likewise, the Lord is not pleased with us when we doubt him and disobey his commandments.

“So the people rested on the seventh day.” There will be more discussion and expansion on the seventh day and the requirement of the children of Israel to rest on the Sabbath further on in the scriptures. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 16:31

Ex 16:31-36

:31 “And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 32 And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt. 33 And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations. 34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. 35 And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan. 36 Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.”

“And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna:” The children of Israel gave the name of the bread that God provided. Thus, Manna literally means bread from heaven. Joh 6:32-33 “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” Jesus is the true bread from heaven that the Father has given unto us. He is the one who gives life unto the elect world. The scriptures are a continual testimony of Jesus: Joh 5:39 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Bread is a provision for the living. A dead person needs no bread and cannot eat bread. Jesus has given us life and we who have this spiritual life eat of Jesus when we search the scriptures for that testimony of him.

“And it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” White is the bible color representing righteousness. Jesus is the righteous one and we are made righteous by Jesus imputed righteousness unto us. When we search the scriptures and find a testimony of Jesus we find the scriptures to be a sweet taste unto us like unto honey.

“And Moses said, This is the thing which the LORD commandeth, Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations; that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt. As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.” By saving a bowl of manna for a memorial to be kept up it was to be a reminder and witness to future generations of what the LORD did for the children of Israel when they came out of Egypt.

“And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.” To feed a multitude of about 2 million people in the wilderness for a single day is a miracle by itself. To feed that multitude daily for forty years makes us realize just how great God is.

“Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.” The ephah is somewhat equivalent to a bushel. It is a unit of dry measure. The omer is a tenth part of an ephah and an ephah is a tenth part of a homer. It seems to me the significance here is the “tenth part.” Ten is the bible number associated with law or commandment. Thus, by describing the omer as a tenth part, it is tying the manna to the law or commandment of God. Righteousness is a term associated with the law of God. Perfect obedience to the law declared one to be righteous. Jesus Christ is the righteous one and the only one who kept the law perfectly. Through his atoning sacrifice and being made to be sin for us, he imputed his righteousness unto his elect family. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 17:1

Ex 17

:1 “And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? 3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?”

As children of God it seems our faith is put to the test every day. Before the children of Israel murmured because they had no food to eat in the wilderness. Now they murmur because they have no water to drink. The same God who provided them deliverance across the Red Sea and had done so many miracles before them in the land of Egypt and had provided for them daily bread in the wilderness is quite capable of meeting their needs for water. Like the children of Israel we get so caught up in our current needs and circumstances that we quickly forget what the Lord has already done for us and the great care and concern he has already shown us. Once again the murmuring of the children of Israel is directed toward the Lord’s servant, Moses. However, it was truly against the LORD that they were murmuring. Now the task to provide water was no easy task. With about 2 million people and the multitudes of cattle and sheep that they possessed, millions of gallons of water would be needed to supply their daily needs for water. Moreover, this was a barren desert land. To cross a burning desert with this many people and cattle would seem like an impossible task. Moreover, they did not have tankers to bring water to them and they did not have a visible source of water from which to tap. Yet the Lord’s arm is not shortened that he cannot save or deliver.

Truly it was foolish of them to tell Moses to give them water that they may drink. Moses was a man like them and had no ability to bring them water. We must look beyond the servant of the Lord for our needs. He is not capable of supply all of our needs. We need to look to the Lord who is capable of supplying our needs. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 17:4

Ex 17:4-7

:4 “And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. 5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?”

“And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? They be almost ready to stone me.” The servant of the LORD is subject to the same type of doubts as the congregation of the Lord’s people whom he serves. Moses crying out as he did showed that he also had doubts of the Lord’s deliverance and he also was afraid of his circumstances. Truly Moses could not deliver himself from the murmurings and anger of the people and like they congregation of the children of Israel feared for their own lives because of a lack of water, so Moses feared from his own life because of the mortal fear of the people.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.” The gracious compassion of the LORD is manifest here as he acts not in anger towards the unbelief and irrational fears of the people and his servant, but grants them the things that they did not even ask for. How many times in the lives of God’s people do we see the Lord moving with gracious compassion towards them and granting them according to their great needs even when they are murmuring against him and failing to ask him for their needs.

In granting the people that which they were in dire need, he told his servant to go before the people and take with him of the elders of Israel and with his rod in his hand that he had smote the river. Moses smiting the river did not part the waters of the Red Sea, but the Lord parted the Red Sea. Yet, the rod was a symbol of God’s authority and Moses was being directed to go in the authority of the LORD and to take the elders of Israel to be witnesses of what was to transpire.

“Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.” Moses was to smite the rock and God would cause water to come out of it that the people may drink. In the New Testament we are told that the rock was a symbol of Christ: 1Co 10:4 “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” Figuratively the smiting of the Rock represented the sufferings of Christ upon the cross and our blessing to be able to drink spiritually upon the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ was smitten and as a consequence we have spiritual waters to satisfy our thirsting souls.

“And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?” Thus, the names “Massah” means chiding and the name “Meribah” means tempting. The children of Israel had chided Moses and had tempted the Lord by saying “Is the LORD among us, or not?” When we doubt the Lord and chide with his servants and question whether the LORD is among us or not, then we are on the same ground as the children of Israel, we are on Massah and Meribah. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 17:8

Ex 17:8-16

:8 “Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: 16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

“Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.” Amalek was a descendant of Esau. He and his descendents were continual enemies to the children of Israel. Their intentions were to destroy Israel. A few hundreds years after this incident they will still be fighting against Israel.

“And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.” Joshua was the captain of the host and would later become the leader of Israel as they went forth to occupy the land of Canaan. The name Joshua is a contraction of Jeho-Oshua and means Jehovah saves. The New Testament rendering of the name Joshua is Jesus. Joshua was appointed by Moses to go choose out men and go fight with Amalek. This is similar to our Captain Jesus Christ choosing out disciples to go and fight as an army against the enemies of the Lord’s people. Joshua as captain of the Lord’s host led the army he chose out into battle and gave them their instructions. Likewise, Jesus leads his army of disciples into battle and gives us our instructions as to how we are to be good soldiers of Jesus Christ and to fight the good fight of faith, mortifying the deeds of the flesh and fight against principalities, against powers, and against the rulers of the darkness of this world, by putting on the whole armor of God.

While Joshua and the chosen men go to fight against Amalek, Moses is to stand upon the top of the hill with the rod of God in his hand. Again, the rod of God is symbolic of the authority of God. The hill he was to stand upon is typical of the holy hill of Zion or the Lord’s church kingdom.

“So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.” Aaron would become the high priest and his descendents would become priests and his sons after him would ascend to the high priesthood. While a lot of detail is not given us of Hur we do know that he was a descendant of Judah of the kingly line of Judah. In contrast to this, the Lord’s disciples are called to be kings and priests unto God offering spiritual sacrifices. Like Aaron and Hur who went up to the top of the hill with Moses, the disciples of God are likewise helpers together with the gospel ministry of our day.

“And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.” How often has it been the experience of a child of God that when he lifts up his hands in prayer unto God that he prevails against his enemies, but when he grows weary and fails to lift up his hands in prayer that the enemy prevails against him.

“But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.” There are times that we grow weary in our prayer life and fail to maintain vigilant in prayer. This is when we need friends who will stay up our hands and assist us to stay vigilant to pray for God’s deliverance in our lives and in the lives of our fellow workers in the kingdom of God. As a result of the conjoint efforts of Moses, Aaron, and Hur, Moses hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

“And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.” While Joshua and the chosen army fought and won the battle, the above lesson also tells us that an important part of the warfare is accomplished by the prayers of the Lord’s people.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” The above lesson was important for Joshua who would lead the children of Israel in their battles against the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. It taught him to pray unto God and to trust in the Lord’s direction and deliverances. In the end the remembrance of Amalek would be put out from under heaven. It also teaches us that our prayer life is very important in our everyday battles against our enemies and that ultimately the enemies will all be destroyed. It teaches us to depend upon the leadership, direction, and delivering power of the Lord.

“And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: 16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” The name Jehovahnissi means Jehovah is my banner. We fight our battles under the banner of Jehovah. The name Jehovah literally means a covenant making, covenant keeping God. The purpose of an altar is to praise and worship God. Moses in building an altar was doing so to praise God for his deliverances and worship him because he is God.

While the children of God have war with their enemies from generation to generation, we can rest in the assurance that we are not fighting alone, but that God is also helping us in our fight against our enemies. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 17:12

“Moses’ hands were heavy”

Ex 17:12 “But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”

While Moses hands were up, Israel prevailed on the battlefield, when he let them down, the enemy prevailed. As the day wore on his “hands” became “heavy”; but, “Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands” and Israel prevailed in the battle. One of the great lessons to be learned here is that our Christian friends are essential to us. When one of our Brethren or Sisters become weary in the Lord’s service, let us hastily run to their side and, like “Aaron and Hur”, put our arms about them and hold them up until the trouble is passed!

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Exodus 18:1

Ex 18

:1 “When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father in law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt; 2 Then Jethro, Moses' father in law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back, 3 And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land: 4 And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh:

5 And Jethro, Moses' father in law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God: 6 And he said unto Moses, I thy father in law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her. 7 And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent. 8 And Moses told his father in law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them. 9 And Jethro rejoiced for all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, whom he had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians. 10 And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. 11 Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them. 12 And Jethro, Moses' father in law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father in law before God.”

“When Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father in law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt;” This verse shows the abundant evidence of what is recorded for us in Ro 9:17: “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” Jethro had heard of all the great things that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, and that the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt. This knowledge, no doubt, spread far and wide and the name of the God of Israel was declared in all the earth.

“Then Jethro, Moses' father in law, took Zipporah, Moses' wife, after he had sent her back,” We are not told why Moses had sent his wife and two sons back to the house of Jethro while he and the children of Israel were making their exit from Egypt. I expect it was for their safety that he sent them back, but that is only speculation. We do know that Jethro was diligent in bringing them to Moses after he had heard of all the goodness of the God of Israel who had manifest his power over Pharaoh and his hosts and had parted the waters of the Red Sea that the children of Israel might pass over and the Egyptian army and Pharaoh might be destroyed.

“And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land: And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh:” As was the custom in Old Testament days children were often named based on circumstances in the lives of either their father or mother. Thus we see that Gershom’s name means Refugee and Eliezer’s name means God is my help. Moreover, the names of these two sons reflect circumstances in the lives of all of God’s children. We are all aliens in a strange land and we all have God as our help in this time world in which we live.

“And Jethro, Moses' father in law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness, where he encamped at the mount of God: And he said unto Moses, I thy father in law Jethro am come unto thee, and thy wife, and her two sons with her.” The reuniting of Moses with his wife and their two sons was no doubt a cause of great joy for them. Moreover, Jethro had been exceeding kind to Moses when he had fled from the wrath of Pharaoh who sought to kill him. We can just imagine the emotion that was present with this reunion.

“And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare; and they came into the tent.” While Moses was the leader of the entire nation of Israel and under the authority of God gave many commandments and instructions to Israel, yet we see that he maintained a proper servants attitude in all his affairs. He, and rightfully so, did obeisance unto his father in law. After all his father in law was father to his wife and grandfather to his children. This kind of respect and honor should be maintained in this modern era as well.

“And Moses told his father in law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel's sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them.” Notice that Moses gave all the credit for the great works of the LORD unto the LORD. He did not try to claim any credit for the wonderful and mighty works that were done. As servants of the Lord we should be careful to maintain the same attitude as Moses maintained. We should not try to claim any credit for the wonderful and mighty works of the Lord that we have either experienced or that we have been witness to or heard of.

“And Jethro said, Blessed be the LORD, who hath delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of Pharaoh, who hath delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them.” When Moses declared the mighty works and wonders that God had performed in Egypt and had delivered the children of Israel, then Jethro, likewise, proclaimed the greatness of the LORD and how that he was greater than all the proud powers of Egypt and Pharaoh.

“And Jethro, Moses' father in law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses' father in law before God.” After hearing of all the great things that God had done, then Jethro sought to worship the God of Israel by offering burnt offerings and sacrifices. Then the elders of Israel came to eat bread with Moses father in law. Eating bread with someone in the scriptures is a sign of fellowship with the individual you are eating bread with. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 18:13

Ex 18:13-16

:13 “And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening. 14 And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? 15 And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to inquire of God: 16 When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.”

“And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.” The question of everyday judgment of the people is presented to us here. The people would have been approximately 2 million in number. Moses sat to judge the people. One judge for two million people would seem to be an almost impossible task both for the judge and for the people who would have had to wait in line for perhaps weeks or months to have their matter heard.

“And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?” Moses’ father in law certainly saw the dilemma that both Moses and the children of Israel were faced with.

“And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to inquire of God: When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.” The statutes and judgments of God and his laws had been revealed from God to Moses. In his efforts Moses was trying to apply the judgment of God to the problems and situations of the people who were in need of judgment and counsel. Thus, Moses as one man, was trying to apply the statutes, judgments, and laws of God to the problems of each individual who came to him and to teach each individual the statutes, judgments, and laws of God. Again, we point out that this was tantamount to one man trying to judge two million or so people each on an individual basis. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 18:17

Ex 18

:17 “And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. 18 Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. 19 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God: 20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do. 21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens: 22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. 23 If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.”

“And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.” It is a common reaction that if someone tells us that what we are doing is not good, that we try to defend ourselves and try to make the case that the person telling us that does not know what he is talking about. This is because of our pride. Moses did not react in pride when his father in law told him that the thing that he was doing was not good. Rather, he took the position of the writer: Pr 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Moses, no doubt, had a very high regard for his father in law and for his thoughts on the matter. Jethro had been very kind unto Moses when he fled from the presence of Pharaoh. Jethro had taken him in and had given Moses his oldest daughter to wife. By all indications they had been close for those forty years that Moses kept his father in laws sheep in the wilderness. No doubt Jethro’s words were received by Moses with high regard.

“Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.” I would strongly suspect that Moses was by experience realizing that what his father in law told him was true. To hear the causes of great lines of people from morning to evening would have to be tiring for Moses. Then to realize that there are far greater numbers of people coming each day for judgment than what you could get around to in a days time had to be a weariness of mind to Moses. Moreover, the people coming to Moses must have been getting frustrated as they perhaps had to stand in line for days to get their case reviewed and judgment given.

“Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:” Jethro’s counsel begins by advising Moses to be for the people to God-ward to bring the people’s causes unto God. Interceding on behalf of others and then seeking God’s counsel is wonderful advice for us today. Shouldn’t we bring the problems and burdens of our friends and family and church members to God and to seek his counsel to provide the solution to those problems and burdens.

“And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.” The giver of the laws and ordinances, and the instructions of how we are to walk and what work we must do comes from God. Jethro is telling Moses to take what the LORD gave him and teach it to the people. On a much smaller scale the gospel ministers of today are to do this also to the people they serve. As the people of God, we need to know his laws and ordinances, we need to know how we are to live our lives in obedience to God to his name’s honor and glory, and we need to how what our work is and how we are to do that work.

“Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:” Paul told Timothy in 2Ti 2:2 “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Moses was not alone in the judgment of the people. However, he had a responsibility to choose men of high moral credentials as detailed above and set them in order to the work at hand. While we do not call men to the work of the gospel ministry, that is God’s work: we, as a church, are to determine their qualifications based on a very specific set of instructions set forth for those who are to be ordained. Moreover they are not to be novices but are to prove themselves as able men, able to preach and teach the word of God.

“And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.” This system of judicial review sounds very familiar to the system of judicial review that the framers of our constitution set forth in the constitution. As a result of that which Jethro outlined, the burden would be shared by many and the efficiency of judgment would be greatly increased to the benefit of and timeliness for the people.

“If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.” Jethro’s counsel was not to be heeded because he said it, but only heeded if God commanded it. By all indications, God commanded it as this because the pattern for the judgment of Israel. This relieved the burden of Moses and it relieved the burden of the people so that they could go their place in peace. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 18:24

Ex 18:24-27

:24 “So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said. 25 And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves. 27 And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his way into his own land.”

“So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.” By doing all that his father in law had said he had to have sought confirmation from God about this for his father in law had told him to do so.

“And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.” Considering the children of Israel numbered about 2 million people, Moses had to make selection of a very large number of men. The process for selection is not spelled out for us, so we are left to speculate about how he may have gone about selecting the men and how he determined that they met the required qualifications. Since they are described as able men, the Lord’s involvement would be strongly suggested by this statement.

“And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.” Today, we do not bring our hard causes unto Moses. We should bring both hard and small causes to God in prayer. We should be looking to find our answers in the scriptures as they are a thorough furnisher unto all good works. We need the direction of the Holy Spirit to guide us in our search for answers.

“And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his way into his own land.” When we have a close relationship and fellowship with someone, it is usually hard to see them leave, however, it would be selfish on our part to hinder them from going back to their own home as they have needs and responsibilities thereElder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 19:1

Ex 19:1-8

:1 “In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. 3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.”

“In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.” Sinai is a very significant place for the children of Israel. Here at Sinai, the LORD would give to the children of Israel the law and the ordinances and commandments for them to keep. However, there was even more significance to Sinai as we will see.

“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.” The LORD instructed Moses here to remind the children of Israel to consider the mighty works that they saw in the land of Egypt and how that the LORD had delivered them out of Egyptian bondage and destroyed their enemies at the Red Sea and how he had bare them on eagles’ wings, and brought them unto himself. It is good for us to remind ourselves from time to time about the mighty works of God in our lives and how he has delivered us from our enemies when he died on the cross and was buried and arose again the third day.

“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Here the LORD proposes a conditional covenant to the people with great promises. The covenant was conditioned upon the obedience of the children of Israel to the voice of the LORD and to their keeping his covenant. The promises were that if they obeyed and kept his covenant then they would be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. There had never been the like before on the face of the earth that a nation had been singled out of the LORD and promised that they would be a peculiar treasure to the LORD above all people and that they would be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. 8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.” Here Moses speaks the words of the LORD to the elders of the people who in turn relay these words to the people. The response was that all the people answered together, saying, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. In answering in this manner the children of Israel confirmed this covenant agreement with the LORD. Thus, they bound themselves to the covenant God had set forth to them. The covenant was ratified. This was the Old Covenant that God made with the children of Israel. The details would come later at Mount Sinai. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 19:9

Ex 19:9-13

:9 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD. 10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, 11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. 12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: 13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.”

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever.” Throughout the scriptures we are taught that the glory of the LORD was in the cloud. When the LORD delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt we read where the LORD appeared unto them in a cloud by day to lead them the way and a pillar of fire by night to give them light. Moreover, throughout their wilderness journeys, the children of Israel would follow a cloud. The children of Israel did not see the LORD with their eyes, but he made his glory known unto them. Upon Mount Sinai, the LORD promised here that he would come unto them in a thick cloud and that they would hear his voice when he spoke with Moses so that they would believe Moses for ever. Before this, when the LORD spoke with Moses, no one else was around to hear it. They saw the miracles and wonders, but did not have first hand knowledge that the LORD really spoke with Moses. Now they will have heard the LORD with their ears that he spoke to Moses and that what Moses told them was of the LORD.

“And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.” The people had confirmed their agreement to keep the covenant of the LORD and to obey him in all that he taught them. While, because of the omniscience of the LORD he knew already what they had spoken, it was needful that Moses, who was serving as the intercessor between the LORD and the people, tell the words of the people unto the LORD.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.” To come into the holy presence of the LORD, the people needed to be clean and to set themselves apart to hear and serve the LORD. Sanctification has multiple facets even to us today. First, the Lord sets us apart in covenant election as he had set apart the children of Israel in his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Next, the Lord sets us apart in the new or spiritual birth. Moreover, we are to set ourselves apart both in our dedication to serve the Lord and to live separate or holy lives. Now the people had the promise of God that he would come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai. This was not to see the face of the Lord for no man can see his face and live. Rather it was to see the glory of the LORD as he would manifest himself upon Mount Sinai.

“And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.” The curse of death was upon Mount Sinai. It was to either man or beast that if he should touch it he should die. This is in keeping with what we read in Ga 3:10, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” The law was given at Mount Sinai and the LORD also will pronounce a curse upon the people if they broke the law. Death is the penalty for sin. This includes death of the body, death in trespasses and sins, and eternal death. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 19:14

Ex 19

14 “And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. 15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.”

In obedience to the command of the LORD, Moses relayed the words of the LORD and sanctified the people. The people washed their clothes as they were to be clean and wear clean clothes in approaching to the holy presence of the LORD. Moreover, Moses told the people to abstain from sexual relations as they approached to the LORD. While there is a time and a place for sexual pleasures between a married couple, the setting ourselves apart to come into the holy presence of the LORD means exactly that and we should prepare ourselves to hear his words, both in mind and body. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 19:16

Ex 19:16-19

16 “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. 17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. 18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. 19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.”

Sometimes there are scriptures that lay the groundwork for other scriptures. We often find patterns in the scripture that hold throughout the bible. The use of thunders and lightnings is often associated with the severe judgments of God. The smoke of a furnace and fire are also associated with the wrathful judgments of God. The arising of smoke is associated with the judgments of God. When the people heard the sound of the thunders and lightnings and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud, then all the people in the camp trembled. It was a fearful and dreadful sight and circumstance. The commandments of God and our relationship to the commandments of God as violators of those commandments should make us all fear and quake as we realize the wrathfulness of God in eternal judgment.

“And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.” Here we find the LORD fulfilling his promise that the people would hear the LORD speak unto Moses and believe him foreverElder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 19:20

Ex 19:20-25

:20 “And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up. 21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. 22 And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them. 23 And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it. 24 And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them. 25 So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.”

“And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.” The LORD descended to come to talk to Moses, while Moses ascended to talk with the LORD. The same principle applies to us today. The LORD descends with mercy and love and grace to communicate with his children today. We have to go up to communicate with the LORD. Our prayers ascend unto God. He sends his answers down to us and his felt presence in our lives comes down to us. We serve a great and mighty God, who is much higher than we are: Is. 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.” Now Moses had already charged the people, however, the LORD knows better what the mind of the people is and he knows the way of people is to be inquisitive, though they have been warned. Thus, the LORD told Moses to go back down and charge the people again. This is very typical of us today as God’s children, that we have to be continually charged to do what is right and not to do what is wrong.

“And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.” Now the people had sanctified themselves according to the command of the LORD, however, the priests had an additional sanctification which apparently they had not done. The LORD promised to break forth upon them if they did not do the additional sanctification. This is similar situation to us as disciples or servants of the LORD. We may sanctify ourselves to live Godly, but have we set ourselves apart to serve and worship the LORD in the way he has commanded?

“And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.” Now this is what Moses wanted to believe that the people would not break forth and they had made efforts to try to prevent their breaking forth. However, legislators make laws, and police try to enforce those laws, yet people still violate those laws. Often, God’s people are like that too.

“And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.” Thus, the LORD sent Moses down to once again warn the people and the priests not to break through to come up unto the LORD. Moreover, he restricted on this occasion that only Moses and Aaron could come up unto the LORD.

“So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.” For most of Moses service unto the LORD after the LORD appeared to him in the wilderness, he was obedient to the commands of the LORD. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 20:1

Ex 20

:1 “And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.”

This section of the book of Exodus is commonly called the Ten Commandments. Volumes have been written on the subject of the Ten Commandments. I do not intend to do that here. I will limit my comments to some basic arrangements found here as follows:

1. These commandments were given to the children of Israel. However, they do spell out to us God’s moral standards which apply to all of mankind and not just to the children of Israel.

2. The first four commandments pertain to the moral standard God requires of man and judges man based on his relationship with God.

3. The last six commandments pertain to the moral standard God requires of man and judges man based on his relationship with other men.

4. In the New Testament, the Lord expanded on the moral standard by showing that the Lord not only looks on the outward violations of the commandments as sin, but also, the inward violation is considered sin as well:

a. Mt 5:27 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

b. Mt 5:21 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

5. The most controversial of the commandments seems to be concerning remembering the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. God established the Sabbath when he created the heavens and the earth and rested on the seventh day. Thus the Sabbath Day was designed to honor God for his work of creation of which we all have our existence because of his creation. Some argue that we should continue to honor the seventh day Sabbath in our day as the Ten Commandments still show forth God’s moral requirements for man. In this New Testament church age, we honor God for even a greater work in which he has completed and now is resting. We honor him for his work of saving us from our sins. That this work is a completed work of God in which he is resting, we site the following verses of scripture:

a. Heb 1:3 “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

b. Heb 10:12-14 “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them sanctified.”

We conclude that the work of salvation from sin was a completed work of Jesus Christ and that he is now resting in that completed work. This fits the definition of Sabbath. Sabbath means completion and rest. According to Heb 3; 4 we are to rest in the finish work of Jesus Christ: Heb 4:9-11 “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” The word, rest, above comes from the same Greek word that is otherwise translated Sabbath. God has, therefore, ceased from his completed work of saving his people from their sins and now rests. Likewise, we are to cease from our works of trying to get right with God and rest in his completed work. This gives honor unto our God, Jesus Christ.

6. The commandment of “Thou shalt not kill” is also at times controversial. Some argue that capital punishment is a violation of this commandment; therefore, governments should not enact the death penalty. The Lord further expounded on this commandment in the New Testament as he said in Mt 19:18 “He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness…” The Lord defined “thou shalt not kill” to mean “thou shalt do no murder.” Capital punishment, self-defense, and killing in war to defend ones country is not defined as murder. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 20:5

A JEALOUS GOD (Ex 20:5)

When Moses took charge of the children of Israel it was evident that they were a rebellious people. They were inclined to worship with the nations around them, and in doing this they owned other gods than the true God. They could consistently worship with one another, but Israel could not mingle with the nations around them. To do so confessed that there are other gods than the true God, and this is the greatest affront to God. This was the stumbling-block Balaam taught Balak to cast before Israel (Re 2:14), when he found that he could not curse Israel, and that the Lord was the sure support of Israel. He points out that the surest way to harm Israel is to induce them to marry into the families of the nations around them. Nu 22; 23; 24 recite the efforts of Balaam to ruin Israel. the 24th chapter shows that as soon as Balaam returned to his home that "Israel joined himself to Baal-peor." For this the "anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel." There were twenty-four thousand persons who died as a result of this destruction.

One of the children of Israel brought a Midianite woman, openly into the camp, and Phineas took a javelin and slew them both. To mix with the nations around in worship is to confess that their god is something. To do this is to admit that God is not "All in all." God's claim is, "I am God and beside me there is none else."

"Make ye marriages with us and give your daughters unto us and take our daughters unto you? (Ge 34:9). This was the cry of the nations around; but the safety of Israel required them to be a separate people. Customs that will build up other nations will ruin the Israel of God. Balaam pointed to this as the sure way to ruin Israel. To take a heathen woman to be the mother of your children will be fatal to the principles of true religion. Moses said, "Neither shalt thou make marriages with them" (De 7:3). To mix up in marriage with the nations around, is to destroy all the prejudice of Israel against the nations around, and the very nature of true religion is to look with prejudice upon error. When you destroy this prejudice you have no true lovers of truth.

Truth on any subject is illiberal (that is, opposed to liberalism), and especially is it so in religion. When we declare that there is "one only true and living God" we cannot afford to join in sacrifice or worship of any idol. "Ye shall destroy their altars, break down their images, and cut down their groves." Lovers of truth cannot maintain fellowship with error. Those who have stood for truth have ever been safest when they have been a separate people.

It is remarkable how prone Israel was to fall into idolatry when Moses went up into the mount to receive the law. Aaron and all the people united in making a golden calf to worship. Moses' own brother was in this sin. The people had seen idolatry in Egypt and knew the manner of it. They said, "These be the gods that brought us up out of Egypt." Three thousand of them were put to death for this sin (Ex 32:23-35).

How easy it is to slide into idolatry. It has been so in all ages and dispensations, and is so yet. Where one learns to be tolerent and liberal to error, he is no longer a faithful defender of the truth.

---Elder J. H. Oliphant
Zion's Advocate, 1913

Exodus 20:12

Ex 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Salute means to show respect and honour. The home unit is the oldest unit known to man. God started the home, husband and wife, man and woman, in the dawn of time and that unit has stood the test of time, but is now on the brink of disaster. The church will be no stronger than the homes that make it up; therefore if the home unit goes under, what will happen to the church? The foundation of the home is respect, honour, and love. Take either of these elements out and it weakens the home. When children do not respect their parent’s, chaos will ultimately follow. Then, when those children grow up and marry, what will their children be? The foundation of the home is the word of God and when His word is trampled underfoot, what can we expect God to do? Do we really want to know?

Elder Freddy Boen

The Apostle Paul has told us that this is the first commandment with promise. Its promise is, “That thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” There should be no need to explain the meaning of the commandment. As we all know, it simply means that we are to obey our parents. The child, or even grown person, who does not obey his parents, does not honor them, even if he should build a great and very ornate monument to them. Just as obedience to God is the greatest honor we can render to Him, so obedience to our parents is the greatest honor to them. Now, there are two ways of considering the promise that goes with this commandment. There is in it the promise of longer life to the individual who keeps this commandment. And as we look around us today, we can see the results of the failure of obedience to it. Just within the past few days there have been more than a half dozen murders in one of our local cities, and if it were investigated from that standpoint, which it will not be, no doubt it would be found that these murders were brought about because someone had disobeyed his parents, and had done something, or had gone somewhere that his parents had warned him against. So lives were shortened by disobedience to parents. Then we can, and should consider this promise from another perspective. The LORD said, “That thy days may be long on the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” The covenant that the LORD made with the children of Israel begins with, “If ye will obey My voice indeed.” Then the LORD tells them what blessings He will give to them. Later on He told them that if they rebelled and turned away from his commandments He would deliver them into the hand of their enemies, who, in turn would destroy and scatter them. So if they, or we, keep this commandment He promises that we shall remain for a long time in the land he has given us. If we but consider the history of our own nation, we will be forced to acknowledge that in the former generations of people children were taught to obey their parents, and most of them did. The result of that was that the LORD continued to bless this nation. During the past sixty or seventy years there has been more and more disobedience to parents, even to the point that now all the supposed to be authorities have been crying that children need to be allowed “to do their own thing,” whatever that may mean. And parents who actually try to teach their children discipline can be put in prison, and their children taken away from them. Even a blind person can see the results of that. Even the sins that fifty years ago had to be kept secret, and were therefore held at least somewhat in check are now brought forth and flaunted before everyone. Although a majority of society does not believe it, it will be the downfall of our nation. This started as disobedience to parents, and has grown to disobedience to authority whether parental, or legal. How far He will permit it to go, I know not. But He will bring it to judgment.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 20:18

Ex 20:18-21

:18 “And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. 21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.”

“And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.” When the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and heard the noise of the trumpet, and saw the mountain smoking, there were greatly afraid of God and of his judgment of sin. Likewise, when we have a heart-felt conviction of sin and realize that we have sinned and come short of the glory of God and that we are worthy of everlasting punishment in the lake of fire, it causes fear to arise in our hearts as well. We have an illustration of this in the New Testament when the two men came to the temple to pray: Lu 18:10-14 “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

The publican, who felt himself to be a sinner and felt the conviction of sin “stood afar off” and “would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven.” He could only cry out “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

“And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” The people felt that if God should speak to them that it would be in judgment and that they would die.

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” A people who do not fear God will not keep the commandments of God. According to the books of Psalms and Proverbs:

1. Ps 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.”

2. Pr 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

3. Pr 8:13 “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.”

4. Pr 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

“And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.” This was as God had commanded Moses, that Moses would come up unto him in the thick darkness, but the people would not. Elder Vernon Johnson


Exodus 20:22

Ex 20:22-26

:22 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. 24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. 25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. 26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.”

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.” The fact that the children of Israel had seen that God talked to Moses from heaven was to solidify their confidence in what Moses was telling the children of Israel that it was coming from God and not from man. Man can devise all kinds of thoughts and sometimes men can dream dreams and think there is significance to their dreams and that other men should follow them because of their dreams or because of their superior intellect. However, dreams and the intellect of men pail in comparison to what the God of the universe, who created all things, has to say.

“Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.” There is only one image found in the scripture that accurately depicts our God. The works of men’s hands cannot accurately depict our God. The only image acceptable to God is what the scriptures say about Jesus Christ:

1. 2Co 4:4 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

2. Col 1:15 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

3. Heb 1:3 “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”

Even so, man in his depravity has continuously tried to depict God after images made by men of wood, hay, gold, silver, etc.: Ro 1:23 “And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

“An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.” An altar serves as both a place of worship and a place of sacrifice. These two things are not exclusive of one another. Today, we worship God based on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as he gave himself to suffer and die for us to redeem us from our sins.

The significance of the sacrifices of burnt offerings and peace offerings is further explain to us in the book of Leviticus. I would advise the reader to go study those things in the book of Leviticus.

“In all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.” The Lord designated a place for public worship for the children of Israel. A little later in the book of Exodus, the tabernacle will become the designated place for public worship of the children of Israel. Later, the temple located at Jerusalem, will be the designated place for the children of Israel to publicly worship. Moreover, the Lord promised a blessing of both coming unto them and in blessing them.

“And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.” An important lesson here is that man’s works (a hewn stone on which man had lifted up his tool) is not to be worshipped or become a part of the worship of God. God’s work in redemption of his people is altogether of the Lord and man did nothing to bring it about. Therefore, man has no reason to glory in what man has done, but all praise, honor, and glory is to be given to God.

“Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.” Today, we see men trying to present salvation from sin as a step by step process, whereby if men follow the prescribed steps he will be saved. They are going up by steps to the altar of God and their nakedness (sin) is discovered in this process. Thus, the Lord told the children of Israel that they were not to go up by steps unto the Lord’s altar and that their nakedness not be discovered thereon. Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 21:1

Ex 21:1-11

This chapter begins a series of judgments that God gave unto the children of Israel. Practically speaking, these judgments were an application of the Ten Commandments that God had commanded the children of Israel in ratifying the law covenant with them.

These judgments are based on equity. This is a statement of God’s value of various actions and the equitable value of judicial penalties for breaking the judgments. For too often in men’s systems of judgment, we see punishments that are not equitable to the crime committed. Often times, penalties are established by law that give a great variance. For instance, a penalty of one to ten years in prison for committing a certain crime can result in great unfairness in judgment and make for favoritism based on the financial or political clout of the one being punished or of the family of the one being punished. The judgments set forth by God for the children of Israel are very specific in nature and apply to all the children of Israel equitably regardless of societal or financial status or political clout.

:1 “Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. 2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. 3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself. 5 And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: 6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.

7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. 8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. 9 And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. 10 If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. 11 And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.”

This section of judgments pertains to the treatment and judgment of servants (slaves). In those days, most of the time, people would sell themselves into servitude based on debts they owed to others.

“Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them. 2 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.” First, a distinction is made between a Hebrew servant and a servant who was not a Hebrew servant. When the children of Israel went in to possess the land of Canaan, one group of the inhabitants sold themselves to Israel to be their slaves for a lifetime so that they would not be destroyed with the other inhabitants of the land of Canaan that Israel dispossessed.

The principle of indebted servitude is definitely a biblical principle. When you owed debts and were unable to pay those debts then you became the servant of the person who paid your debts for you or the person who you owed your debts to. This principle is presented to us in the New Testament as declaring that we are the servants of Christ because of the debt that he paid for us: 1Co 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”

A lifetime of slavery was not generally allowed for Hebrew servants under the judgments given to the children of Israel. A servant was to serve no more than six years and then would be considered free of his debts and a free person going out free without cost. In other countries a servant generally would not be set free unless a ransom was paid for his release.

“If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.” If a servant was married when he became a servant, then his wife was to be released with him when he was released.

“If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.” If the master had given a slave to be the wife of another slave, then when the slave had finished his service, then his wife and children were not allowed to go out with him. This is a matter of equity. The wife and her subsequent children were the servants of the master and had a debt to pay. They were not free of that debt simply because her husband had paid off his debt.

“And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: 6 Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.” Here the Lord made provision for the servant who was to be made free, that if he did not want to be separated from his master, wife, and children, then he would enter into a covenant of service for ever with his master. The awl makes a circular cutting in the ear. The circle is the bible shape signifying a covenant. The process set forth is both visible and open for all to see that he has made such a covenant. It is with just as much dedication that we should enter into the service of our Lord and his fellowship.

“And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.” Just as it is not safe today for a young woman to go out at night as the young men do, it was also true during that time. Depraved human nature has not changed.

“If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.” The master who betroths (marries) a maid servant and then puts her away has dealt deceitfully with her. He has no right or authority to sell her to a strange nation, but is to let her be redeemed.

“And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.” If the master gives the maid servant to his son to be his wife, then the master shall deal with her as he would a daughter and not as a maid servant any more.

“If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish.” The master, who marries a maid servant and then marries another woman, has the obligation to continue to provide for the first wife’s food, raiment and duty of marriage without diminishment.

'And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.”

A master who violates any of the above three judgments is to let his maid-servant go out free without money.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 21:1-6
This is a continuation of the law. Some matters mentioned herein have not been previously covered, and we shall also find some that amount to clarifications of some things already given. The first item that is considered is that of the status of a Hebrew servant. And notice is to be taken that a servant who is a Hebrew is not governed by the same law as one from some other nation. If a man buys a servant who is a Hebrew, he must let him go free after six years of service, unless certain things take place. In general, so far as his marital status is concerned, as he came so shall he go. There is provided an exception to this. If he was unmarried when he was bought, and his master has given him a wife while in his service, He still will leave without the wife, and without any children that may have been born to him, unless he refuses to leave his wife and children. In this case, he must be brought before the judge, and must make a declaration of his love for his master, his wife and his children, and refuse to leave them and go free. Then he must be brought to the door, or the door post, and his master will bore his ear through with an awl. Then he will be the servant of his master for life.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 21:12

Ex 21:12-21

:12 “He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death. 13 And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee. 14 But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die. 15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. 16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death. 17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. 18 And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: 19 If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed. 20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. 21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.”

The above passage of scripture deals with the judgments of men who caused the death of others. The various circumstances are examined and the sentence is appropriate to the circumstances.

“He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death.” The sentence for murder is death. Anything less than death for premeditated murder is not equitable. Remember the guiding principle of God’s judgments for men is that the sentence is to be equitable to the crime. The death sentence is most appropriate for premeditated murder.

“And if a man lie not in wait, but God deliver him into his hand; then I will appoint thee a place whither he shall flee.” If the death was an accident and not premeditated, then God promised a place for the man who accidentally killed another to flee to. Later, we are told that God provided cities of refuge in the land of Canaan for the man who killed another by accident that he may flee to and find refuge from the avenger of blood. The details for this are given to us in Nu 35.

Moreover, four more situations for which the death penalty is to be meted out are set forth for us:

1. But if a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour, to slay him with guile; thou shalt take him from mine altar, that he may die.

2. And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.

3. And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

4. And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

5. And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.

We are also given the circumstance of men fighting and one smiting another with his fist or with a stone and the other man not dying: “And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be thoroughly healed.” Notice that the punishment is equitable with the crime: healing his wounds and paying for loss of time.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 21:12-14
Here we have a clarification of the commandment that says, “Thou shalt not kill.” In fact, verse 12 declares that “He that smiteth a man so that he die, shall be surely put to death.” If this were the end of the matter, we would have to conclude that killing a man, under any circumstances was what the commandment considered. But verse 13 provides that, in the case of the killing not being premeditated murder, a sanctuary would be provided for the slayer. Yet if a man commits premeditated murder, no sanctuary is provided. He can be taken even from the altar of the LORD, that he may be executed.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 21:22

Ex 12:22-27

:22 “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. 26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. 27 And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake.”

“If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.” It appears here that the case of two men fighting and a woman being hurt with child and the child being aborted as a result, that the husband would set the penalty and the judges would determine the equity of the penalty.

“And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. 26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. 27 And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake.”

The principle of equity is clearly stated above. The punishment is to be equitable with the offense: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Likewise, the Lord established the equity of a master smiting out the eye of a servant or the eye of a maid, or the tooth of a servant: that equity is for the servant to go free for the loss of a limb or body part.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 21:22-25
This law may seem a little confusing in that it provides that the guilty man shall pay “according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him;” and then says “and he shall pay as the judges determine.” Apparently this matter was to be as many of our damage suits are. The plaintiff will demand so much; and the judge will decide whether or not this amount is reasonable. Apparently, a fetus was not considered as equal to a person who had already been born; because if the woman has a miscarriage because of the incident, and no other injury is sustained by her, the matter seems to become a damage suit: but if there is other injury, the one causing it shall be given a like injury, all the way from his life being required if the woman should die, to his being punished by a whipping for the lightest injury, “stripe for stripe.”

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 21:28

Ex 21:28-36

:28 “If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit. 29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death. 30 If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him. 31 Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him.

32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned. 33 And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein; 34 The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his.

35 And if one man's ox hurt another's, that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide. 36 Or if it be known that the ox hath used to push in time past, and his owner hath not kept him in; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the dead shall be his own.”

“If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.” In this case the death is solely the ox’s fault and not any fault of the owner. The penalty is that the ox is stoned to death and the flesh of he ox is not eaten.

“But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death. 30 If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.” In this case, the owner knew of the ox’s tendencies and did nothing about it, therefore, the owner bears responsibility in the death of person killed. The death sentence thus applies to both the ox and the owner of the ox. However, the owner of the ox does have the option of paying a ransom for his life whatsoever sum is laid upon him.

“Whether he have gored a son, or have gored a daughter, according to this judgment shall it be done unto him.” The same sentence as above is applied if the ox has gored a son or a daughter.

“If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.” Thirty pieces of silver is the redemption price of the manservant or the maidservant. Please note that we were the servants of sin and Christ was sold on our behalf for thirty pieces of silver.

“And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein; The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his.” The owner of the pit is responsible for the death of the ox or the ass and he is to pay money to the owner of the ox or the ass as it is valued alive. Then the carcass of the ox or the ass becomes the property of the owner of the pit.

“And if one man's ox hurt another's, that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide.” This situation presumes that there is no prior knowledge of the ox pushing beforehand. In this case both the live ox and the dead ox are equally divided among the ox owners.

“Or if it be known that the ox hath used to push in time past, and his owner hath not kept him in; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the dead shall be his own.” In this circumstance the owner of the live ox shall pay the owner of the dead ox the value of the dead ox before it died and then the dead ox shall become his. Again in all the above we note the principle of equity in judgment.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 21:28-32
None of this needs any explanation. As we can see, if the killing of a man or a woman by an ox is the first act of this sort that has been done by the ox, although it is to be killed, its owner is not to be held liable. But if the owner has been warned that the ox has been of a temperament to do such, and he has allowed him to be loose, so that he has again had opportunity, and has gored someone, the owner is guilty, just as is the ox: and both shall be put to death unless a redemption price has been laid upon the owner. If so, he must pay whatever price is laid upon him. There is also a difference made between the ox’s killing a citizen, and his killing a servant. In the event of his victim being a servant, whether man or woman, the owner of the ox must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the servant. In all cases the ox must be stoned, and his flesh can not be eaten.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 22:1

Ex 22:1-4

:1 “If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. 2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. 3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 4 If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.”

One of the Ten Commandments was “thou shalt not steal.” The judgment concerning a thief shows forth both restitution and deterrence. “If a man steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.” Not only is the thief to restore what he took, but the penalty is not one for one, but five for one for an ox, and four for one for a sheep. Thus the penalty goes beyond restoration, but also takes much more from the thief so as to serve a deterrent to the act of theft.

“If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.” This teaches us that the property owner had a right to defend and protect his own property even to the extent of killing the thief who was in the act of his theft.

“If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him;” This situation goes beyond the mere act of defending ones property, but in taking vengeance upon the thief, that is beyond the penalty that the Lord had set. This would be equivalent to murder.

“For he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.” This is equivalent to debtor’s prison whereby the thief is sold into bondage because he could not make full restitution of his theft.

“If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.” This is different from when the thief had already sold the animal or had killed the animal. If the animal is still alive and in the hand of the thief, then the thief is to restore double.

Elder Vernon Johnson

This is the beginning of the penalties for various sorts of theft. In this verse we have the penalty for stealing oxen and sheep, whether the stolen animal be killed or sold. The thief must restore five oxen for one ox, and four sheep for one sheep. This certainly should make a would be thief think twice before committing this crime. Notice that the LORD did not provide for him a long line of appeals so that he might finally drag the cast to death in the courts, as so many do today.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 22:5

Ex 22:5-6

:5 “If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man's field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution. 6 If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.” The principle being set forth here is equivalent to an eye for an eye. If your cattle feed in another’s field, then you are to restore the equivalent to the other’s field. Likewise, if you are responsible for starting a fire and it does damage to another’s property, then you are to make equivalent restoration to the one whose property has been damaged.

Elder Vernon Johnson

This is a law that would, it seems, be a very great deterrent to the act of letting one’s livestock graze in a neighbor’s field or vineyard. He that did this might have had an even better field or vineyard than that in which he let his animal graze. But he still would have to make restitution from the very best he had. This should cause everyone to be careful that his livestock were not permitted to go into his neighbor’s field.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 22:7

Ex 22:7-8

:7 “If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, let him pay double. 8 If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour's goods.”

A note here on the simplicity of God’s laws governing man’s actions toward man. The laws are very easy to be understood. They are very specific and leave very little room for interpretation.

The above situation governs man’s responsibility to keep safe and secure the goods of a neighbor who has given him something for safe keeping. Simply if the thief is found, then the thief pays double. If the thief is not found, then the master of the house is brought before the judges who will judge whether he has put his hand to his neighbor’s goods.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 22:7-13
In general this covers that which one might leave with another for safekeeping for a time, whether it be money, livestock, or whatever it may be. First, if it be stolen from the one to whom it has been entrusted; if the thief is found, it shall be dealt with just as it would have had it been stolen from the owner while in his possession. The thief must pay double. If the thief is not found, the one to whom it had been entrusted shall be brought before the judges, and inquiry must be made as to whether or not he has stolen the item. For anything that one has, and another claims was lost by himself, or was stolen from him, both parties must be brought before the judges, and investigation be made by them. Then whether plaintiff, or defendant, whomever the judges may condemn shall pay double the cost of the item to the other litigant. If any animal is delivered by one to another to keep for him, and it dies, is injured, or is stolen with none seeing it when this occurred; then these men shall come together and make an “oath of the LORD” between them, that is the one who had received the animal to keep for his neighbor shall swear, with the LORD as witness, that he has not stolen, or in any way damaged his neighbor’s property. The owner shall then accept this oath, and the other shall not make good the loss. But if it be found that he has stolen the item, he shall make restitution. And the amount of restitution has already been set by previous laws concerning theft. If it was an animal, and has been killed by wild beasts, (“torn to pieces,”) what is left of it must be brought for evidence, and no restitution will be required.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 22:9

Ex 22:9-15

:9 “For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour. 10 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it: 11 Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good. 12 And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof. 13 If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it for witness, and he shall not make good that which was torn. 14 And if a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good. 15 But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire.”

“For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.” In this we see a responsibility given to the judges to make righteous judgment between the challenges of neighbors. The decision of the judges determines to whom the challenged item belongs and the losing party is required to pay double to his neighbor.

“If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it: 11 Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.” In this case, when a borrowed animal dies and there is no witness to the death, both neighbors are to take an oath of the LORD that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbor’s goods and the owner is to accept thereof, and it shall not be made good. The strength of the oath of the LORD places a moral bond on the parties making the oath.

“And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.” When the borrowing neighbor has the borrowed item or animal stolen from him he is considered responsible for the stolen item and is to make restitution unto the owner of the borrowed item or animal stolen.

“If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it for witness, and he shall not make good that which was torn.” The borrowing neighbor cannot control the actions of a wild predatory beast, thus he is not considered responsible to make restitution to his neighbor.

“And if a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good. 15 But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire.” The distinction in judgment is dependent on whether the owner of the borrowed animal is with it or not.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 22:16

Ex 22:16-25

:16 “And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. 18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. 19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death. 20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed. 21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. 22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; 24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless. 25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.”

“And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.”

In this day in which the majority of people ignore God’s laws regarding fornication, there would be an entirely different mindset towards fornication if the man knew that he is required to marry the maid he is enticing and lying with. In addition, if he knew that he had to pay a dowry to the father according to the dowry of virgins, then he would be much less apt to commit fornication.

“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” This speaks to us of God’s moral judgment of witchcraft. This should be a warning to the multitudes of people who practice witchcraft today.

“Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.” God gave the death sentence to those who practice bestiality.

“He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.” Likewise, the death sentence is pronounced by God upon those who would worship or sacrifice to other gods.

“Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” There were two phases to the children of Israel dwelling in the land of Egypt. During the days of Joseph, the children of Israel were treated well in the land of Egypt. After the death of Joseph and after another Pharaoh arose over Egypt, the children of Israel were evil entreated by the Egyptians. Certainly, the above judgment was admonishing the children of Israel to treat the stranger in the same way that they wanted to be treated in the land of Egypt.

“Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. 23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry; 24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.” The widows and the fatherless children are the most vulnerable and least able in any society. The Lord admonished the children of Israel to not afflict either the widow or the fatherless child. Failure to take heed to the commandment of God would incur the wrath of God against those who miss treated the widow or the fatherless child.

‘If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.” Lending to the poor was to be without usury.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 22:16-17
Fornication is a sin that was forbidden among the Israelites, just as it should be among all people. But among them were some who would not obey the commandments of the LORD, just as there are among all nations. This law was given to help curb such. If a man did persuade a girl, who was not already engaged to another, to have intercourse with him this commandment provided that he must marry the girl. In the event her father did not want to give her to him as his wife, he must “pay money according to the dowry of virgins.” The only previous reference we have to the dowry of virgins is Ge 34:12, which is the speech of Shechem to Jacob and his sons after he had committed fornication with Jacob’s daughter Dinah. He said, “Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.” Therefore we do not know what the dowry of a virgin was, other than whatever the father of the girl might demand. Although in the referenced case, the brothers of Dinah went in and killed Shechem and all the males of the city where he lived, and brought Dinah out of his house, they, no doubt, had given her to be his wife. So we might conclude that the LORD’S commandment here means that the girl is to be married by the man who has defiled her, whatever may be the price of the dowry.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 22:26

Ex 22:26-31

:26 “If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: 27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious. 28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people. 29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. 30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me. 31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.”

“If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down: 27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.” This goes under the category, of “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

“Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.” The use of the word, gods, here refers to the rulers of the people, i.e., those in authority.

“Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me. 30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me.” This is in harmony with the laws of tithing given to the children of Israel. They were to give of the first ripe fruits, and of the liquors, of the oxen, and of the sheep. “And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.” Flesh torn of beasts in the field is not clean and not fit for human consumption. By giving attention to this law, the children of Israel were practicing an act of holiness.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 23:1

Ex 23:1-9

:1 “Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. 2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: 3 Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause. 4 If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. 5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him. 6 Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause. 7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. 8 And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous. 9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.”

The above laws are very plain and would be difficult to misunderstand. Moreover, the principle behind the laws is also easy to be understood. These laws line up with two great principles that the Lord stated in the book of Matthew:

1. Mt 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

2. Mt 22:36 “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 23:1,3
Certainly, these verses deal with three different actions; but they are all very closely related. First, we are not to make up a false story about anyone or anything, and neither are we to agree with the wicked to give false testimony, when they conspire against someone. If there is a multitude that are bent on doing evil, and we would be alone if we refused to follow them, we are still to maintain the way of righteousness. If there is a case being tried in the court, and every witness is giving false testimony in an effort to twist the verdict, we are still to maintain the truth, instead of going with the majority. And, finally, we are not to shade our testimony, or give false testimony for a poor man just because he is poor. Surely, the very poverty of a poor man might make us want to help him; but we are still to maintain the truth only.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 23:2

Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil

Ex 23:2Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

Human reasoning tends to follow the majority, assuming that “a multitude” is probably right, simply because they are the majority! But, the Word of God shows that the faithful to God were often in the extreme minority. In Noah’s day, there were only eight people saved from the flood that destroyed all the wicked (1Pe 3:20). King David declared, “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about.” (Ps 3:6); that is, I might be the only one standing against “ten thousands of people”; but, “I will not be afraid” of them, I will stand faithful to the Lord no matter how many may “set themselves against me round about”! In the early New Testament period, the Lord’s Church stood against great multitudes that sought to destroy her because she didn’t “follow” the “multitude”. When the “multitude” couldn’t destroy her, they sought to pollute her with unbiblical doctrines and practices. But, thank the Lord our merciful God, all through the ages, He has maintained a “remnant” (Ro 9:27; 11:5) that would not “follow a multitude to do evil”. Let us pray for wisdom and courage and strength to “be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1Co 15:58); even if we must refuse to go with the great “multitude”.

Elder J. C. Stanaland

Exodus 23:10

Ex 23:10-13

:10 “And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: 11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard. 12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed. 13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.”

“And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof: 11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.” This verse give us the principle of a sabbath of years. There are two things necessary for a Sabbath: there must be a grouping of seven (seven is associated with the subject of completion in the scriptures) and there must be a “rest.” In the above the harvesting of the land was on a seven year cycle. The people were to sow their land and harvest it for six years. Then on the seventh year they were to let the land lie fallow and not gather the harvest in the seventh year. There are several thoughts we can take from the above:

1. The principle of the Sabbath is not restricted to a seven day week. The above shows a Sabbath of years. Later when God gave to the children of Israel, the “year of jubilee” it was based on seven sabbath’s of years and the restoration and deliverance came in the first year of the eighth Sabbath of year.

2. The stated purpose for the land, vineyards, and oliveyards lying still and resting was for the poor of the people to have something to eat as they would glean the fields in the seventh year.

3. Moreover, scientific experiments have proven that if land is regularly allowed to lie fallow on a regularly scheduled cycle, that the land rejuvenates itself and maintains its productivity. Failure to allow the land to lie fallow over a regularly scheduled cycle depletes the land of its essential nutrients and the end results is that land begins to lose its productivity.

4. Later, we are told that the Lord promised to bless the six year so that it would produce plentiful supply of food for the sixth, seventh, and eighth years.

“Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.” The weekly Sabbath is patterned after God’s creation. In the creation God worked six days and he rested in the seventh. Observing the seventh day Sabbath every week by resting on the seventh day was giving praise, honor, and glory to God for his finished work of creation.

Moreover, the seventh day of rest was not just for the owner of the land, but was also applied to the ox and the ass, the son of the handmaid, and to the stranger. In this manner both the beast of the field, the workers and the stranger would be able to rest and refresh themselves. It is a medically proven fact that the human body needs at least a day of rest every week to be healthy and to maintain productivity.

“And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” To be circumspect means to take heed to and to closely observe. The laws that God gave to the children of Israel were good laws and good for he people and good for the nation to observe. They were fair laws when kept according to the words of the laws. In addition, to observing the laws God set forth for them, they also were to take heed not to mention the name of other gods, nor to speak their names out of their mouths. This teaches us that God is a jealous God and he alone is to be worshipped and served as God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 23:10-13
When I was a boy, I lived in a part of our state that had already been so badly worked to death that we had to use a great deal of fertilizer to get it to produce enough for us to get by. But then I often heard it said about another area of the state that the land there was so rich, and deep that it would never wear out. However, today even that land has worn out also to the point that it takes a great deal of fertilizer to make it produce. I have often wondered how much better would all our land be today if we had followed this commandment that the LORD gave to Israel. They were to let their land rest one year in every seven. This would have resulted in much better farmland for a much longer time. I do not claim to be able to say just how much would have been added to the longevity of the land by this treatment; for had it been done as commanded by the LORD, He might have caused it to do more for it than what man would be aware of. He also repeats His commandment that we should work six days, and rest on the seventh day. And when I was farming, most people did that. But after the tractor became the usual “beast of burden,” that began to change. And now, as we pass through many farming areas, we cannot tell one day from another by the working or the resting. All are alike, full of activity. And, of course this also applies to all other lines of work. He commanded Israel to be circumspect in all the things in which He had given them commandments. And He further charged them that they were to “make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” Not only were they not to worship other gods, but not even to mention their names.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 23:13

Ex 23:13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

Circumspect is a word that does not come up in our daily conversations. In fact, the first time I saw this word I had no idea what it meant. It means “give heed, pay strict attention to” and in this verse it would mean not to speak of or worship other gods. Apparently the children of Israel, in coming out of Egypt, had ingrained in their minds the names of the gods of the Egyptians, which were many. Israel needed an attitude adjustment to not think about other gods but to think only on the name of our God, who is One alone. I think this is evidenced in Ex 20:3 when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, for the first commandment said, Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Jesus confirms this in Mr 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. The lesson for us today is we need to be very careful about putting anything or anyone before our God. He is to come first in all things and has every right to demand such, even though it is far better when we will put God first with a heart of love. Amen!

Elder Freddy Boen

Exodus 23:14

Ex 23:14-17


:14 “Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. 15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:) 16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. 17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.”

This passage of scripture lays out the three great feasts that the children of Israel were supposed to observe each year. The details of these feasts are given to us in other places in the first five books of the bible. However, this passage brings together all three feasts and ties them together.

The feast of unleavened bread is also tied to the Passover. The Passover is a part of the feast of unleavened bread. Spiritually, this feast points us to the perfect life of Jesus (unleavened bread) and his perfect sacrifice to atone for the sins of his people.

The feast of firstfruits is connected for us in the New Testament to the feast of ingatherings at the end of the year: Ro 11:16 “For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches” and 1Co 15:20 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” If the offering of the firstfruits was acceptable (holy) to the Lord, then the harvest at the end of the year would be greatly blessed and acceptable to the Lord. Spiritually, Christ offered himself without spot to God:

a. Heb 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

b. 1Pe 1:18 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

Since Christ offering unto God was accepted (holy), then the lump (harvest) is also holy and the harvest is assured: 1Co 15:51-57 “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thus, Christ is the firstfruit to rise from the dead unto glory, and those who he atoned for will also arise one day (at the end of this time world) unto glory. This ties together for us the feast of firstfruits (Christ resurrection) and the feast of ingatherings (resurrection of God’s redeemed unto glory).

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 23:14-19
These are miscellaneous commandments that are of primary concern to only the children of Israel, and they were given to cause the children of Israel to keep in mind that the LORD had delivered them from the bondage of Egypt, and that it was He Who provided to them the increase of their fields. Certainly, from this, we also should take a lesson that we should remember that it is He Who has also saved us, and even provides for us the natural things we need, as well as all spiritual sustenance. Notice that the LORD only required all the males of the Israelites to appear before Him three times each year; and He specified the times. He further commanded that none should appear before Him without a sacrifice for Him. (“None shall appear before Me empty.”) He also commanded that they should never offer the blood of His sacrifice with leavened bread; and they should never let the fat of His sacrifice remain until the morning. They must offer it the same day in which it is brought. They are never to forget to bring the offering of the firstfruits into His house. The commandment, “Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk,” seems clear enough without comment, although some have tried to “spiritualize” it to get some further lesson from it.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 23:18

Ex 23:18-19

;18 “Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning. 19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.”

Without an understanding of the purposes of the animal sacrifices unto God, these verses along with many others would make not be understandable unto us. The God authorized animal sacrifices in the Old Testament all pointed spiritually to the sacrificial atonement of Christ.

Moreover, the offering of blood was tantamount to the offering of the life: Le 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Thus, it was the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that atoned for the sins of his people.

Many of the Old Testament sacrifices were made with both wine for a drink offering and unleavened bread for a meat offering. The Passover was observed with both unleavened bread and wine. The daily morning and evening sacrifices were observed with a meat offering of unleavened bread and a drink offering of wine. Besides there were many other sacrifices that were observed with both wine as a drink offering and unleavened bread as a drink offering.

Christ instituted the communion service in Mt 26:26 “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” It is very plain that the bread represented his body and the cup represented his blood.

Unleavened bread represents sincerity and truth: 1Co 5:7 “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” Here leaven is set to represent malice and wickedness and unleavened bread set to represent sincerity and truth. The body of Christ is the very embodiment of truth. There was no sin, malice, or wickedness in the body of Christ. This should explain to us why the children of Israel were not to offer the blood of their sacrifices with leavened bread.

“Neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning.” The fat was considered the richest or choicest part. The sacrifice points us to the sacrificial atonement of Christ. The fat being the riches or choicest part, we gather that the richest or choicest part was a completed sacrifice and was sufficient for the purpose that it was offered. As a completed sacrifice, there was no need for another sacrifice later. Certainly this was true with the sacrificial atonement of Jesus Christ.

“The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God.” Christ is the first of the firstfruits: 1Co 15:20 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

Christ went into the eternal house of God when he ascended after his death, burial, and resurrection. He is the first of the first fruits and his ascension into heaven assures us of our resurrection and ascension into heaven.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 23:20

Ex 23:20-33

:20 “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. 2 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. 23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.

24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. 25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. 26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. 27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.

28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. 29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. 30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. 32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”

This section of scripture could properly be called the blessings of God that are predicated on obedience to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. It begins with God promising to send his angel before the children of Israel into the land of promise: “Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.” The promise is that the Angel will go before them, and will keep them in the way and ultimately bring them into the place which God had prepared and promised to them. The meaning of the word, “Angel,” is “messenger.” However, this angel is doing more than just delivering messages to the children of Israel, but is actively engaged in their efforts to reach the promised land of Canaan and to possess that land. In our day we have the Holy Spirit to go before us and to bring us the messages of God and to keep us in the way and ultimately lead us into and within the promised church (kingdom of God) on earth.

“Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.” The statement, “beware of him,” told the children of Israel not to ignore and not take notice of the one who would go before them, and keep them in the way, and bring them into the land of Canaan. It would be a great mistake on their part not to beware of this Angel. Likewise, we are to beware of the Holy Spirit and his workings in our lives and in the body of the church. If we are watching, we can see his working in our lives and in the church and that in itself is a great blessing. If we ignore him, then we generally struggle with the affairs of life and often fall into hurtful circumstances.

The children of Israel were also commanded to “obey his voice.” The voice of this Angel would give them instruction and guidance and warning for their lives and journeys. Failure to obey would lead to serious circumstances and to much destruction in their lives and in their efforts to reach the promised land of Canaan. Likewise, we today should obey the voice of the Holy Spirit who gives us good instruction and guides us in His service and gives us good warning to deliver us from many foolish and hurtful lusts.

“Provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.” God is holy and this Angel had the name of the Lord in him. This is strongly suggestive that the Angel is indeed the same as the Holy Spirit. There is a New Testament admonition: Ga 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” There is a price we pay for our transgressions. That price is that we reap what we sow. We shall suffer the chastening rod of God for our transgressions. Eternally, we are delivered by the blood of Christ and subsequently are given eternal life by the grace of God. Here in time, we will suffer for our transgressions by reaping what we sow and feeling the chastening rod of God.

“But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.” Here the children of Israel had the promised blessings of God based on their obedience to the voice of the Angel. That promise was that he would be an enemy to their enemies and an adversary to their adversaries. Moreover, that he would go before them and bring them into the land of their enemies and cut their enemies off.

“Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.” Among the commands placed on the children of Israel was that they would not worship nor serve the gods of the people of the land nor do after their works, but overthrow their works and break down their images. God is a jealous God and he is jealous of the worship and service of his people that that worship and service be given to Him alone.

“And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.” The riches of God’s blessings upon his obedient people are partially spelled out in this passage. He promises that if they will serve him then he would bring upon them the following promises:

1. He would bless their bread and their water.

2. He would take sickness away from the midst of them.

3. Their young would come forth from the womb and the mothers would not be barren and they would fulfill the number of their days.

4. He would send His fear before them and destroy all the people to whom they would come and would make their enemies turn their backs unto them.

“And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.”

The same God would created the world has control over his creatures. He can command the hornet and use them to drive out the enemies of the people. This is what the Lord told the children of Israel that he would send hornets before them and drive out the enemies from before them.

Moreover, the Lord told the children of Israel that their enemies would be driven out little by little until the children of Israel be increased and inherit (possess) the land. A sudden possession would result in another set of problems for the children of Israel, i.e., wild beasts of the field multiplying against them. The wisdom of God is far greater than man’s wisdom.

“And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.” Here the Lord established the boundaries of the habitation of the children of Israel and promised them he would deliver the current inhabitants and drive them out before the people. Certainly there were a multitude of blessings that God made to the children of Israel predicated upon their obedience to him.

“Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.” The Lord warned the children of Israel not to make a covenant with the current inhabitants of the land. Yet that is one of the first thing that the children of Israel did.

“They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.” Those to whom the children of Israel made a covenant with did indeed lead the children of Israel to sin against God and to serve their gods and it did indeed become a snare unto them.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 23:20-25
For the greater part this seems to be self explanatory. We are to remember that the covenant God made with the Israelites, (See Ex 19:3-9) was a covenant concerning temporal blessings. In that covenant He said nothing about giving them eternal life. He said that, if they would indeed obey His voice, He would make them a kingdom of priests, and that they would be a peculiar treasure unto Him above all people of the world. Here He enlarges upon that covenant, declaring that if they would obey His voice, He would bring them into the land of Canaan, and would drive out the six nations that at that time inhabited the area. Some who claim to be Christians today try to appropriate this covenant unto themselves, and teach that if we will only serve the LORD, and obey Him, He will give us every thing of this world’s goods that we want. They forget that Christians are not under this covenant. The writer of the Hebrew Epistle declares that this covenant has been set aside in favor of the new covenant, which, although it has even better promises than this, does not promise this. Jesus has told us that following Him is a path of suffering, to be crowned with glory only after the whole journey is over. Even He suffered while in this world, and He did not promise anything better in this world for those who follow Him. There may be some confusion concerning the Angel mentioned in this text. Some may think it to be Moses, who was indeed the messenger of God, (and the word “Angel” does indeed mean “messenger”) but it seems to me that One greater is here intended. It seems to be the same Angel of Whom Jacob spoke in Ge 48:16, Which surely is the Presence of God Himself. The Israelites are warned to “beware of Him, and obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in Him.” They were to obey Him in all things. Then He would lead them into the land of promise, and God would drive out the six nations that were already there. Then He cautioned them against having any part with the gods of the people of that land. They were, instead, to completely destroy both the people and their gods, as well as their altars, and everything that pertained to their idols. They were to serve and worship the LORD only, and He would bless their bread and their water, that is, both their food and their drink. And He would take away sickness from among them.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 24:1

Ex 24:1-2

:1 “And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. 2 And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.”

Some people have the mistaken idea that somehow God must treat everybody the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the above we find that God allows some to come and worship afar off, one to come near unto him and all of the people were forbidden to go up with Moses. We are not all alike. We do not all have the same gifts. We are not all given the same work to do. We worship differently in the New Testament church than the children of Israel worshipped in the Old Testament worship.

First, the LORD allowed and commanded Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel to come up and worship afar off. Notice that anytime we truly worship that we are “coming up” unto the Lord. The very act of true worship carries us up above our usual station in life.

“Moses alone shall come near the LORD:” Moses had a unique position in the Old Testament days. God gave to Moses alone the laws, ordinances, and commandments to deliver unto the children of Israel. In the New Testament Moses is compared to Jesus as far as being a certain prophet to deliver the Testaments of God: Joh 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” What Moses delivered shows our condemnation before God, while what Jesus Christ delivered shows us our salvation from sin by the finished work of Jesus Christ.

“But they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.” There are several parallels between Moses and the Lord Jesus Christ. This is one of them. When it came to the work that God had Moses to do, he was unique in what he saw and what he did. Likewise, when it came to the work that Jesus Christ came to do, he was unique in that work and in the deliverance of the elect family of God from sin: Mt 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Thus, Moses was unique in that God used him to deliver the “law” unto the children of Israel. Moreover, Jesus was unique in that he alone saved his people from their sins.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 24:1-2
This gives us the same lesson as was signified by the vail of the tabernacle, and later of the temple. That is, it showed that as long as the law service was in use, the way to God was secret. But at the crucifixion of our Lord the vail of the temple was torn into two pieces, from the top to the bottom, signifying that In Christ all believers have equal access to God. In the present text, although the LORD told Moses that Aaron, two of his sons, and seventy of the elders of Israel could worship Him from a distance, only he could come near Him.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 24:3

Ex 24:3-8

:3 “And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. 4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. 6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. 8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.”

“And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.” When all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do, they verbally ratified the covenant that God had made with them. They were now bound to this covenant and all its terms including the blessings of obedience and the judgments of disobedience.

“And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD…” We have preserved for us a record of all the words of the LORD which he gave unto Moses with regard to the covenant He made with the children of Israel. We have them because Moses wrote them. Thus, there was a verbal ratification of the covenant and a written record of that covenant and its ratification. Since, they were written, future generations would have the benefit of what the people verbally agreed to and the terms of the covenant.

“And rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.” We begin to see a pattern that will extend throughout the scriptures of the priority of worship and service unto God. By rising up early, Moses is demonstrating to us that worship should be first in our lives and not last. After the example of Abraham, Moses built an altar for worship. Moreover, Moses erected twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. Twelve, is the representative number and is a part of the combined kingdom number of one, twelve, and seventy. Israel had twelve sons and these twelve sons multiplied and now there were twelve tribes named after the twelve sons of Israel. The twelve pillars were thus figurative of the twelve tribes of Israel, in other words, all of Israel.

“And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD.” Moses, will later write about the significance of the different types of offerings that were made unto the LORD. The burnt offerings testify unto us of the judgment of God meted out upon Jesus for our sins. The peace offerings testify unto us of the effect of judgment of God bringing peace between us and God. The setting and timing of this worship was based on a covenant that God had made with the children of Israel. Likewise, we have a similar setting today, in that God made a covenant under which we can give praise, honor, and glory to God for his work in redeeming us unto God, causing us to be born of the Spirit and promising unto us a future resurrection of our bodies from the grave. This covenant is set forth for us in Ro 8:29-30: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

“And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.” The blood is shed for an atonement and is sprinkled to sanctify or set apart. Here the altar is set apart by the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifices. Similarly, we are set apart (sanctified) by the shed blood of Jesus Christ by which he atoned for our sins. Now we are set apart for a holy use of God.

“And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. 8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.” Again we see where the people agreed to the things written in the book of the covenant. By the sprinkling of the blood of the sacrifices upon the people after they had verbally agreed to do all the things written in the book of the covenant and be obedient, the people were being set apart under covenant obligation to do all that was written in the book and to be obedient unto all those words.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 24:3-8
Moses, always faithful to the LORD, went to the people, and told them all that he had been commanded concerning the laws and judgments of the LORD. And the people all answered “with one voice,” and said, “All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.” Thus they bound themselves to keep the covenant exactly as set forth by the LORD. Then Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, probably, on a scroll, for it is in Ex 24:7 called a “book,” and in that day they had no books such as we have today. He then arose early the next morning, and built an altar and twelve pillars, a pillar for each tribe of Israel. After this was accomplished he selected young men of the Israelites, and had them offer burnt offerings and peace offerings to the LORD upon the altar. He took the blood of the offerings, and put it in basins, and then he sprinkled half of it on the altar. Then, to make sure that the people understood their covenant with the LORD, he read the book in the hearing of all the people: and they declared that they would do all that the LORD had commanded them. Finally, Moses took the remaining blood and sprinkled it on the people, declaring to them, “Behold, the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.” We shall soon see that despite the agreement the people had made to obey all that the LORD had said, it was not long until they turned completely away from that covenant, and wanted other gods instead of the LORD.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 24:9

Ex 24:9-11

:9 “Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. 11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.”

“Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:” It could be argued that this was the first Sanhedrin court as there were seventy elders of the people. These were approved and appointed of God to be able to come to the point that they did. The rest of the people were not allowed to come there. These were permitted to see things that were amazing. They were allowed to see the God of Israel and they were allowed to see his dwelling place. As we have before read, only Moses was allowed to go up unto the Mount. However, this in no way lessons the great blessing these seventy elders, Aaron and his two oldest sons were permitted to see. Moreover, God laid not a hand upon the nobles of Israel.

“And there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” Moreover, concerning the sapphire, we read that the throne of God is also compared to a sapphire stone: Eze 10:1 “Then I looked, and, behold, in the firmament that was above the head of the cherubims there appeared over them as it were a sapphire stone, as the appearance of the likeness of a throne.” The sapphire stone alluded to in the scripture is of great value: Job 28:16 “It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire.” Thus, the dwelling place of God and his throne is of great value and precious. Additionally, clearness speaks to us of purity. Everything about God is perfectly pure.

“Also they saw God, and did eat and drink.” Eating and drinking throughout the scriptures is a sign of fellowship. This teaches us that the ones who went up were allowed to fellowship with God. What an amazing blessing we have today that we can have fellowship with God by eating and drinking of the gospel truths of God’s word.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 24:9-11
After Moses had, by the blood of the sacrifice, consecrated both the altar and the people, he took with him Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of the people of Israel, and they went up before the LORD. And they saw the God of Israel. We, later on, find the LORD telling Moses that even he cannot see the face of God, for “no man shall see Me and live.” So it may be that even at this time they did not see His face. We are sure that they saw His feet and that upon which they stood. Inasmuch as the pavement upon which He stood was called a sapphire stone, and is said to have been “as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.” (This “sapphire stone” was a precious gem stone of a bright blue color, and is thought by most scholars to have been the lapis lazuli instead of what we today call a sapphire. The amazing thing about this event is that these all saw God, and He did them no harm. So they, apparently, did eat and drink in His presence.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 24:10

Ex 24:10 “And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.”

Next is the color of blue. This color is the heavenly color and it speaks of the majesty of God. It tells of His glory and His power. Isn’t it amazing that the sky is blue and on a clear day we can see such a canopy of God’s greatness that it staggers out minds. Every time we see a blue sky we are reminded of our eternal God, whose throne is in heaven. This should encourage us to know that our God is the great lawgiver, the great judge of all men, and the Saviour of sinners. In the natural world blue is so often used in a negative context, such as a blue Monday, one has the blues, etc. but God’s heaven declares the positiveness of God, the glory of God and the truth that He is eternal. Blue should encourage us to worship God in Spirit and in truth. The vastness of a blue sky reminds us of how big our God is and how little and dependent we truly are. The next time you look up at a blue sky, worship Him in the heart and give Him praise and glory. Amen!

Elder Freddy Boen

Exodus 24:12

Ex 24:12-18

:12 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God. 14 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them. 15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. 16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.”

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.’ Anytime we go into the presence of the LORD we must come up and this is what the LORD told Moses to come up to him into the mount. The LORD promised Moses to give unto him tables of stone (on these the Ten Commandments were written.) He also promised to Moses that He would given unto him a law and commandments which the LORD had written. Sometimes men make the mistake of saying that the bible is just a collection of the writings of men. This, presumes that men were simply writing a historical account of events as they witnessed them or heard the accounts from others. However, 2Ti 3:16 tells us “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” The scripture is given by God. The scriptures are not originated with men but God is the author of the scriptures and men are the pen by which God wrote the scriptures. Obviously what Moses was to receive was not authored or originated by Moses.

With what God promised to give Moses came also a responsibility given to Moses. He was to teach the people what the LORD had given to him.

“And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.” Previously we had read about Joshua as he led the children of Israel in battle against the Amelekites. Now we see Joshua serving or ministering to Moses. Before a man can be a good leader, he must first learn to be a good minister and serve others. Joshua would later have a very important and prominent role in leading the children of Israel in battle against their enemies as they drove out the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. He would be a captain unto them.

“And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.” When a good leader must temporarily vacate some responsibilities for a while as he attends to other business, he will always look to see that those vacated responsibilities are taken care. By appointing Aaron and Hur to serve as counselors and judges for the people in his absence, Moses was seeing that those responsibilities that he had previously taken care of are still taken care of in his absence.

“And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. 16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.” Throughout the scriptures a cloud is associated with the glory of the LORD and a devouring fire is associated with the judgment of the LORD. We see these principles being illustrated in this passage of scripture. Please remember that the LORD had appeared in the midst of a cloud that lead the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt and the scriptures told us that the glory of the LORD was n the cloud.

Also, in the LORD’s glory is also his judgment. The LORD judges his people and particularly the sins of his people. Those sins must be atoned for based on God’s judgment of his broken laws. To the people below the sight must have been both awesome and awful at the same time.

It was on the seventh day that the LORD called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. Seven is the bible number of completion and the LORD is calling upon Moses out of his glory. This in type points us to the completed work of Jesus Christ who having suffered the wrath of God on our behalf at the cross of Calvary and having completed the work of redemption, manifested to us his glory in his resurrection from the dead.

“And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.” What a tremendous experience this servant of the LORD was permitted to see and experience. He was permitted to dwell in the midst of the glory of God and in the mount of God’s judgment for forty days and forty nights.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 24:12-18
Evidently when Moses and his companions were given this view of the LORD, they were not called to come up into the mount, but only to come up very near to it, for when Moses was called to come up to the LORD into the mount, he commanded the elders, who had accompanied him thus far, to remain in camp with the people, and judge any matters they might need to bring before them. We cannot be absolutely sure whether, or not Joshua accompanied him all the way, and remained with him through his time in the presence of the LORD upon the mount. But from what is said in Ex 24:13, and what is later said, in Ex 32:17, there seems to be a strong possibility that he did. At any rate, the LORD called Moses, and told him to come up to Him in the mount to receive some stone tables (tablets) upon which He had written “a law, and commandments.” Having charged the elders to remain, and oversee the children of Israel, he went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. Then the glory of the LORD remained upon mount Sinai. The cloud covered the mount six days without any other action taking place. Then, on the seventh day, the LORD called Moses from the midst of the cloud. All the time that the glory of the LORD remained on the top of the mount it appeared to the Israelites as a terrible fire on the top of the mountain. When the call came to Moses from the cloud, he went into the midst of the cloud, and up into the mount. And there he stayed for forty days and nights.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 25:1

Ex 25:1-9

:1 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, 5 And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, 6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”

From reading the above we make the following observations:

1. The people were to make a free will offering. It was to be an offering from their heart and not compelled upon them. They were not being forced to make this offering, but were to make it as God placed it upon their heart.

2. Most of the things that were to be offered were both expensive, of great value, and often rare. Their worship came with a price to be paid. Likewise, unlike what many people think today, true worship costs. If you are not willing to sacrifice for the cause of Christ, then you probably will not be willing to practice true worship of God.

3. All of the items that were to be offered have a biblical significance, which we will attempt to show as those things are used in the building of the tabernacle, its furniture and in the garments of the priests and in the worship service.

4. The tabernacle and all its instruments were to be made after the pattern God showed Moses in the mount. There was no room for deviation. Man was not to take from it or to add to it. True worship today has the same criteria. We are to worship according to the pattern shown us in the New Testament and we are not to add to it or to take from it.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 25:1-9
This entire text seems to be plain enough that none should have any difficulty in understanding it. We might say that “shittim wood” is the wood of the “shittah” tree, which most scholars agree is what is now called the “acacia” tree. It is of the same family as the Mimosa with which we are familiar. We should notice also that the LORD commanded Moses to make for Him a sanctuary, or dwelling place, that He might dwell among the Israelites; and he was to make both the tabernacle and all instruments thereof exactly according to the pattern that the LORD was going to show him. By this we also might gather that we do not have the authority to change anything concerning our worship of God from what is given in His word, to what we might think to be better.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 25:10

Ex 25:10-16

:10 “And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. 12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. 13 And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. 15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. 16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee.”

The Lord said in Joh 5:39 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” The scriptures are a continual testimony of Jesus. At the time this was said the New Testament had not been written. When studying the Old Testament we should be constantly looking for the testimony of Jesus. Paul wrote in Heb 8:5 “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.” Obviously this is a reference to what we read in Ex 25:9. Therefore what we read concerning the tabernacle and its furniture is a shadow of good things to come. While the shadow is not the object itself, it does outline to us the shape of the object and leads us to the object.

The Ark of the Covenant described to us above is a shadow of Jesus Christ. We will now notice some of the parallels between the Ark of the Covenant and the covenant work of Jesus Christ:

1. The Ark of the Covenant was a vessel that held and was used to preserve and protect the two tables of the covenant that God made with the children of Israel. Similarly, the work of Jesus Christ including preserving and executing the covenant of redemption and those embraced by that covenant.

2. The Ark of the Covenant also had placed within it a bowl of manna for preservation to future generations. The manna was the food that the children of Israel were given by God while they journeyed in the wilderness. Similarly, the Lord said, Mt 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Moreover, he said, Mt 4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The manna being a type of the written word of God, Jesus lived and kept every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God.

3. The third object in the Ark of the Covenant was Aaron’s rod that budded. Aaron’s rod was chosen over the representatives rods of the other eleven tribes as it budded and brought forth fruit. They were all dead rods, yet Aaron’s rod came back to life or was resurrected. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Jesus arose from the dead after three days and nights in the grave. Moreover, Jesus is our hope of the resurrection of our bodies.

4. The Ark of the Covenant was covered within and without with pure gold. Gold in the scriptures is used in connection with kings and kingdoms. Jesus is the King of kings and reigns today as the King of the kingdom of God. That which is pure is symbolic of that which is holy or righteous. Jesus is the Holy One of God and he alone is altogether righteous. Moreover, he is altogether righteous in his divine nature and in his human nature.

5. The Ark of the Covenant was crowned with gold. According to Heb 2:9 “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”

6. There were two rings on each side of the Ark of the Covenant making a total of four rings. There were two staves each of which went through two of the rings on each side of the Ark of the Covenant. The staves were used to bear the Ark of the Covenant. Man’s hands were not to touch the Ark of the Covenant. The number four is associated with the work of the Holy Spirit in the scriptures whereas the number two is associated with the subject of witness in the scriptures. Only the Levites were to bear the Ark of the Covenant. In parallel, the work of Christ is his work alone and man has no part in executing that work. Moreover, the carrying of the Ark was the work of the Levites. Likewise, the gospel message today of Jesus Christ is borne by his called called ministers. They did not assist in the work (man’s hands were not to touch the Ark) but simply carry the message of what Christ has done for his people. This message is found in the scriptures which is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 25:10-22
Notice should be taken of just how meticulous is every measurement and every detail the LORD gave concerning this ark of the testimony. It should be remembered that the mercy seat is actually the lid of the ark of the testimony. We shall, the LORD willing, say more about this at a later time. The cherubim were to be made an integral part of the mercy seat, not just ornaments to be set upon it. The exact positioning of these cherubim was given. And God had already told Moses that he should take care to make all things according to the pattern that He would show him. This is part of that pattern. When this ark of the testimony and mercy seat are set up in the tabernacle that He will later describe, this will be the place at which God will commune with Moses, concerning whatever commandments He will give him for the children of Israel.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 25:17

Ex 25:17-22

:17 “And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18 And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. 20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. 21 And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.”

The mercy seat described to us above is a shadow of God’s mercy towards his children based on Christ’s covenant work of redemption. We notice some of the parallels between the mercy seat and God’s mercy toward his children based on the covenant work of Jesus Christ:

1. The length and the breath of the mercy seat is the same as the length and the breadth of the Ark of the Covenant. Moreover, the mercy seat has as its foundation the Ark of the Covenant as it sits on top of the Ark of the Covenant. This teaches us that the mercy seat is not greater or lesser in length and breath than the Ark of the Covenant. Thus, God’s mercy does not exceed nor is it less than the covenant work represented in the Ark of the Covenant. In the Ark of the Covenant were the tables of covenant that God made with the children of Israel. Therefore, his mercy in that covenant was not less than or greater than the number of the children of Israel.

Similarly, Christ’s covenant work and mercy in the covenant of redemption is not greater than or lesser than the number embraced in that covenant. The covenant of redemption is spelled out for us in Ro 8:29-30: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” The exact same ones, no more, nor no less, that God foreknew were also predestinated, called, justified and glorified. In addition, Joh 17:2 “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” Christ gives eternal life to as many as (not one more, not one less than) the Father gave him.

2. Notice that there is no height dimension given in the description of the mercy seat. This teaches us that the mercy of God is not bound to those embraced in his covenant.

3. There were two cherubims of gold of beaten work with one on either end of the mercy seat. The wings of the each cherub stretched from one end of the tabernacle to the inward wing of the other cherub. Moreover, the cherubs had their faces inward toward the mercy seat and the Ark of the Covenant. Since the bible number two is associated with the subject of witness, the two cherubims would therefore be witnesses. The law and the prophets answer to these two witnesses as their testimony like the wings of the cherubims stretch throughout the Old Testament age. Their faces being inward teach us that the testimony centers around the covenant work in the Ark and the mercy of God. That the cherubims are of beaten work teaches us that the children of Israel have been tried, tested and shaped by the written word of God in the Old Testament. Since the cherubims are of gold, we see that the testimony is the testimony of the king, who of course if God.

In parallel, the witnesses that we have today stretch further than just the law and the prophets. We have the witnesses of the Old and New Testaments which stretch in their testimony from the beginning of time until the resurrection of the dead and into heaven’s glory world. The testimony is that of King Jesus, who is both the King of kings, and the King of the kingdom of heaven. The centerpiece of their testimony is the covenant work of Jesus Christ and his resultant mercy towards his covenant people.

4. The Lord promised to meet with Moses and to commune with Moses from above the mercy seat and between the cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony. In contrast, we read in Re 8:3 “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.” Today, God meets with all of his people in prayer through the atoning work of Christ and his intercession on their behalf.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 25:19

Ex 25:19, “And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof.”

When God gave the instructions to Moses on the building the Ark of the Covenant, He told him to place a cherub at either end of the Ark with their wings touching and faces looking at the Ark, or more precisely, the mercy seat. Christ is that mercy seat and this is where we meet with God when we pray. I am reminded of the text in Mt 4:11 when Jesus, after being tempted for forty days and nights that “angels came and ministered unto him.” In service of angels it seems that they always had their faces toward Christ. Could there be a pattern here for us? The thing that drives this home is the verse in Joh 20:12, “And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.” John and Peter did not see this, or it is not recorded that they did, but when Mary looked in the tomb she saw this great sight. I will continue this thought tomorrow.

Elder Freddy Boen

Exodus 25:23

Ex 25:23-30

:23 “Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 24 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. 25 And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about. 26 And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof. 27 Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table. 28 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them. 29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them. 30 And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before me alway.”

Based on the information provided for us in the above scriptures we make the following observations and comparisons:

1. With the gold crown and the table overlaid with pure gold and gold being associated with kings and kingdoms in the scriptures, we conclude that this table was designed to be a king’s table. That being the case, then this table is as a shadow pointing us to the table of the King of the kingdom of heaven: the table of Christ the King of the kingdom of God.

2. When Christ came as the King of the kingdom of God, he possessed a two-fold nature. He was both God and man. The table in the tabernacle consisted of both shittim wood and pure gold. This two fold material would mirror the two fold nature of Christ.

3. The rings and the staves are designed in the same way as the rings and the staves in the Ark of the Covenant and would have the same significance both to the table and to the Ark of the Covenant.

4. This table was designed as an eating table as it held bowls and spoons and dishes and covers. Moreover the showbread was placed on the table. Later we find that the showbread consisted of 12 loaves and the priests were to put fresh loaves on the table daily. There are two verses in the New Testament that speak expressly of the Lord’s table:

a. Lu 22:30 “That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

b. 1Co 10:21 “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.”

The bible number 12 is the representative number. For instance, twelve princes represented the twelve tribes of Israel. Thus 12 represented the entirety of Israel. Since there were twelve loaves on the table of showbread, this would representatively signify food for the entirety of Israel.

Moreover, the loaves were arranged in order of six loaves by six loaves. Using six sitting beside the second six if could be seen as 66, which is the number of books of the bible. It is no stretch to say that the spiritual food for all of God’s elect children is the sixty six books of the Old and New Testaments.

Eating at a King’s table is usually restricted to the children of the King. We read in Re 1:5 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” This passage shows us that the same ones that Christ redeemed are also made kings and priests unto God. Thus, those that Christ chose and redeemed would have the privilege of being able to eat at the king’s table.

In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John we read of the Lord feeding a multitude of people with five loaves of bread and two small fishes. Afterwards the disciples picked up the fragments which consisted of twelve baskets.

Mt 14:17 “And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. 18 He said, Bring them hither to me. 19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. 21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.” In this, the Lord blessed the loaves and gave to the disciples to give to the multitude that ate and were filled. Today, the Lord gives messages to the gospel minister, who delivers to the congregation and gives them spiritual food to eat in the worship service. Those who are in the congregation are eating at the King’s table spiritually.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 25:23-30
This is the description of the table upon which was to be kept the “shewbread,” or showbread, which was to be kept continuously before the LORD. Not only are all the details and dimensions of the table given, but also the details of all the dishes, bowls, covers, and spoons that were to be used with it. Everything except the table itself was to be made of pure gold; and it was to be made of shittim wood, and overlaid with pure gold. The Israelites were to keep bread upon this table at all times. Later He will give them orders concerning when they are to take away the stale bread, and replace it with fresh bread.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 25:31

Ex 25:31-40

:31 “And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same. 32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:

33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick. 34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers. 35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick. 36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.

37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it. 38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. 39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels.

40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.”

In Re 1:20 the Lord informs us that the candlestick is a symbol of the Lord’s church: “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” When looking at what the scriptures teach us about the candlestick we are looking for parallels about what the Lord teaches us about His church.

The candlestick had a main stem and six branches coming out of the sides of the main stem. By counting the main stem with the six branches we come to a total of seven stems out of the candlestick. Seven is the bible number associated with completion. This teaches us that the church the Lord has given us is complete. It needs nothing more than what the Lord has given us in his word. 2Ti 3:16-17: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Since the scripture is complete, then nothing needs to be added nor should be added to it. The scripture being a thorough furnisher unto all good works teaches us that that the Lord has given us everything we need for the church. We should not add to that which the Lord has given us nor should we take away from what the Lord has given us. We do not need unscriptural auxiliaries, nor man instituted schools to train ministers that are also unscriptural. To add to the Lord’s church above what we are taught in the scriptures says that we believe the Lord did not have a perfect design and that we know better than the Lord what is needed in the church. That is gross hypocrisy.

The candlestick was made of pure gold. The word, “pure,” in the scriptures indicates that which is without mixture. By nature each member of the Lord’s church is a sinner. However, there is purity in God’s eyes of all that have been born of the Spirit of God. Christ has redeemed them from their sins and now there is no charge that can be laid to one of God’s elect for he has justified them. Thus, in the courtroom of God we stand before him as being without sin and therefore pure.

The word, “gold,” is used throughout the scriptures in connection with kings and kingdoms. Those who make up the Lord’s church are kings for we read in Re 1:5-6: “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” The Lord’s children who are reigning with Christ in His church are kings according to the scriptures. Our dominion is not over other people, but our dominion is over our own bodies as we are to bring our bodies into subjection and to mortify the deeds of the flesh. We are to implement the laws of the king of kings in our dominion.

The candlestick was molded out of “beaten” gold. The word, “beaten,” speaks to us of tribulations, testings, temptations, and afflictions. According to 1Pe 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” It is the trying of our faith that helps mold us into what we need to be as the servants of Christ. James told us in Jas 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

Each of the branches, had a knop, and a flower, and three bowls like unto almonds in each branch. The use of the “knop” in this context is indicative of a bud. The growth process would be a bud, then a flower, then an almond. This teaches me that we are to grow spiritually in the Lord’s church. Peter taught us this in 2Pe 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The bowls were made like unto almonds. The almond is a nut that is a fruit of the almond plant and also a nut that provides nutrition. Thus, it is both a fruit and supplier of nutrition. While the bowls were not almonds, but made like unto almonds, the almonds, bring in focus the utility of the bowls. Each branch had three bowls. The main stem had four bowls. The total number of bowls in the candlestick was 22 bowls. Twenty two is associated with the subject of the word of God or scriptures. The scriptures can be divided into three parts: the law; the prophets, and the letters. The first 22 books are about the law and its development. The next twenty books are about the prophets and their fulfillment. The last twenty two books are the letters. The 119th Psalm has 22 divisions marked by the twenty two letters of the Hebrew alphabet and is all about the word of God. We conclude that the bowls in the candlestick were typical of the word of God.

The prophet Zechariah was permitted to see a vision of the Lord: Zec 4:2 “And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:” In this vision, the bowl contained the oil which through the seven pipes provided the oil for the seven lamps. Thus the scriptural example of the bowls utility is to provide the oil for the lamps. The word of God is the oil for the lamps of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The lamps are obviously for the light of the church. There are seven lamps so this is suggestive of a complete light as seven is the number of completion. Christ said he is the light of the world. Obviously he is talking about spiritual light of the spiritual world. Light is for manifesting things. Christ is the manifestation of God unto his people: 1Ti 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”

In addition, Christ is the source of light that is the children of God: Joh 1:9 “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” This world is a spiritual world and Christ lighteth every man that comes into this spiritual world. They are lit by Christ when they are born of the Spirit of God.

Furthermore, the written word of God is a light to God’s people: Ps 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” The scriptures show us where we are and give us light to direct our way (path). Notice that the oil from the bowls supplies the fuel for the lamps. The bowls, as we have seen, are a figure of the scriptures. This also explains for us the meaning of the oil to the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins in Mt 25:2-3 “And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.”

`Moreover, the Lord called the disciples “the light of the world:” Mt 5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” The disciples are individually a light in which we are to let so shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify the Father. The light of the disciples is the good works that they do. This is a light to men (who have spiritual eyes) that they may see the light and glorify the Father. Moreover, when the disciples collectively let their light shine, then it is as a city that cannot be hid. Collectively, when all the disciples in the church are letting their light shine, it will be a manifestation to the community that the Lord is there.

The gospel is also a light to manifest the works of the Lord: 2Ti 1:10 “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:” The gospel does not give life and immortality, but it brings that work of Christ in giving life and immortality to light.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 25:31-40
This “candlestick,” or, in reality, lamp stand, was to be made of a talent of pure gold. (The Jewish talent actually ranged in weight from fifty pounds to one hundred pounds, according to the standard in use at the time.) At the price of gold today, even the lightest weight would amount to quite a sum of money. Not only was the lamp stand to be made of pure gold, but so also were the several instruments mentioned along with it. The various bowls mentioned in this description were reservoirs for the oil which would feed the seven lamps thereof. The lamps of ancient times were simply a container for the oil, with a wick of some sort through which the oil would feed the light. They were of much simpler construction than even the kerosene lamps we used when I was a child. At the end of each branch of this lamp stand was a bowl made to resemble an almond, with a flower to hold the wick. Notice the LORD’S instructions to Moses concerning this, and all other things He had commanded him to make. “And look that thou make them after the pattern, which was shewed the in the mount.” No deviation was to be allowed in anything.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 26:1

Ex 26:1

Chapter 26 Preface

There are certain sections of the scriptures that are written in figurative language. An example of this is the book of Revelations. According to Re 1:1: “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:” We are told in this verse that the book is written in sign (signified) language. The key to gaining understanding of that book is in finding the meaning of the multitude of signs in that book. Moreover, throughout the bible there are very strong correlations between bible numbers and associated bible subjects. Likewise, there are strong correlations between bible colors and associated bible subjects. In addition, we find strong correlations between bible metals and associated bible subjects. Generally, these correlations hold throughout the scriptures.

In the book of Hebrews we read concerning the tabernacle and the vessels of the ministry: Heb 9:21-24 “Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:” In this passage we are told that the tabernacle and the vessels of the ministry are patterns of things in the heavens and are figures of the true. Based on this our approach to the study of the next few chapters will be to look at the figures and patterns to search how they teach us about the heavenly things and the true tabernacle of God and of Christ.

We will first, try to establish the meanings or correlations of the colors, metals, and numbers used in the descriptions given in each of the next few chapters and then attempt to see how these correlate to the heavenly things and the true tabernacle and to Christ.

Ex 26:1-6

:1 “Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them. 2 The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and every one of the curtains shall have one measure. 3 The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another. 4 And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second. 5 Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another. 6 And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.”

There are three things in the scriptures that are called the house of God. Two are in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament. The tabernacle was called the house of God: 1Ch 6:48 “Their brethren also the Levites were appointed unto all manner of service of the tabernacle of the house of God.” The temple was called the house of God: 2Ch 3:3 “Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first measure was threescore cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.” In the New Testament the church is called the house of God: 1Ti 3:15 “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

In Heb 9:21-23 we are informed that the tabernacle and vessels of ministry were patterns of things in the heavens: “Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. 23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.” The New Testament Church is a heavenly thing of which the Old Testament tabernacle is a pattern.

“Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen…” The scriptures associate fine linen with the righteousness of the saints: Re 19:7-8 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” The New Testament associates the bride, the Lamb’s wife, with the Lord’s church. As such the saints which make up the church are clothed with fine linen or righteousness.

However, according to Isa 64:6 “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” This along with Ro 3:10: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” If we have no righteousness of our own, then how can we be clothed with fine linen or righteousness? The pattern of the curtains says that there were ten curtains. Ten (1) is associated with the law or commandments of God in the scriptures. Jesus said: Mt 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” In fulfilling the law and the prophets, Jesus became the perfect sacrifice for his covenant people: 2Co 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Thus we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ.

“and blue, and purple, and scarlet…” Blue (2) is associated with the law in the scriptures and purple (3) is associated with royalty and scarlet (4) is associated with blood or warfare. As we have already noted, Jesus kept the law perfectly and is the royal king who was prophecied to come and through his atoning blood has made us righteous. He fought the enemies that we could not defeat (sin, death, hell, Satan, and the grave) and defeated all of them through his perfect sinless life, his atoning sacrifice upon the cross and his death, burial and resurrection. Moreover, we see the pattern of the ten curtains pointing us to the church being made righteous through the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ who now sits as King and High Priest over the house of God.

“with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.” As we have previously shown in our study of the book of Exodus, the cherubims in the scriptures are associated with the subject of witness. According to what is described before us, the curtains contained cunning needlework of cherubims. This points us to the fact that the members of the Lord church are to be witnesses: The following three verses show us how that each member is a witness:

1. Ro 2:15 “Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;”

2. Ro 8:16 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”

3. Re 20:4 “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

“The length of one curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits…” Only one time in the scriptures is the phrase, “eight and twenty,” used. The number twenty and eight is used a few times in the Old Testament but no pattern jumps out from its usage. However, when the numbers of eight and twenty are used as two separate numbers, we see a pattern develop. The number eight (5) is associated with new beginnings in the scriptures. One significant new beginning is the new or spiritual birth. All of those who comprise the Lord’s visible church on earth have undergone a new or spiritual birth. The number twenty (6) is associated with service. As members of the Lord’s church on earth we are to serve one another and thus serve God.

“and the breadth of one curtain four cubits:” There is a correlation in the scriptures between the number four and the work of the Holy Spirit. This is especially true with the work of the Spirit in the preaching and receiving of the gospel. One of the things that each member of the Lord’s visible church on earth shares is that each member has heard and believed the true gospel of the grace of Christ.

“And every one of the curtains shall have one measure.” Eph 4:3 “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. : There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ga 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

“The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another.” In this verse we read that there are two couplings of five curtains that make up the tabernacle. This would correlate to the fact that the Lord had two flocks of sheep consisting of Jews and Gentiles and ultimately those two flocks are coupled together to make one flock: Joh 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” Notice that each set of five curtains was coupled together to make one set. Notice how this principle of unity is taught and practically brought about in the New Testament church as Paul taught in Eph 4:13-16 “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

“And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the uttermost edge of another curtain, in the coupling of the second. 5 Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another. 6 And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle.”

The two sets of curtains were attached together with loops of blue and taches of gold. Fifty, like the number eight, signifies a new beginning. Blue, as we have noted is associated with the law, and gold (7) is associated with kings and kingdoms. With this in mind, we find a correlating passage in the New Testament: Eph 2:11-16 “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”

Five (8) is associated with death in the scriptures. It was through the death of Christ that both the elect among the Jews and among the Gentiles are brought together into one body. Moreover, Christ slew the enmity, the law of commandments contained in ordinances (blue), between the Jews and the Gentiles by his blood. In so doing our King (gold) and redeemer reconciled both unto God in one body by his cross and brought us together into unity.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Footnotes

(1) Ten: Ten and Law or Commandment

There is an association between the use of the bible number ten and the subject of law, or commandment, or authority. This association began in the first chapter of Genesis when the phrase, "God said," appears in ten verses and is associated with God's commandments in natural creation.

This association is manifest in the fact that God gave ten commandments in establishing His covenant with the children of Israel. He sent ten plagues upon the land of Egypt because Pharaoh disobeyed his commandment to let Israel go ten times. The word, "law," appears in the book of Genesis ten times. The term "wrath of God" appears ten times in the scriptures and is used to show God's great displeasure at the disobedience toward his commandments. Moses is commanded to use the rod to manifest the authority of God ten times.

The book of Psalms tells us to sing praises upon an instrument of ten strings, which we will see is symbolic of the commandments written in the heart and mind of God's born again people.

Abraham married the Egyptian handmaid Hagar after he had been in the land of Canaan ten years. Hagar as we will see is a representative of the law covenant.

The false authority of Satan is manifest to us in the book of Revelation as he is pictured to us as a dragon with seven heads and ten horns. The dragon causes to rise up out of the sea a beast with seven heads and ten horns. We are told the dragon gives the beast his power and great authority.

The two cherubims in the temple were each ten cubits in height and each had a wing spread of ten cubits from end to end. The molten sea was ten cubits in diameter. The temple had ten candlesticks and was built upon a foundation of stones of ten cubits in size. As we will see in later essays these had a connection with the laws and commandments of God.

(2) Blue Blue and Law Association

In the scriptures, there are associations between different bible colors and particular bible subjects. For instance, the color blue is closely associated with the subject of "law" or "commandment."

Fifty times in the scriptures the word, "blue," appears. The vast majority of times it is used as a color on some garment or fabric. Most of the time it appears with other colors in the garment or fabric. Those times will be addressed when we study color mixtures.

The association between the color blue and the subject of law or commandment is defined for us in Nu 15:37-40: "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God."

The purpose of the blue ribband as a fringe on the border of the garments of the children of Israel was to call to their memory, when they looked upon the ribband of blue, the commandments of the Lord, that they may remember and do those commandments. Thus, the color blue would be associated in the minds of all the people with the commandments of the Lord.

The fact that the word, blue, appears in the scriptures exactly fifty times, is no coincidence. The number 50 is the number of new beginnings. It is thru the keeping of the commandments of the law that Christ presented himself as a perfect sacrifice for the elect children of God and thus procured for them a new beginning in righteousness before God.

The ten linen curtains of the tabernacle were connected together by loops and taches. The loops were of blue color: Ex 26:5 "Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the coupling of the second; that the loops may take hold one of another. 6 And thou shalt make fifty taches of gold, and couple the curtains together with the taches: and it shall be one tabernacle." The tabernacle was one tabernacle made up of ten curtains couples by loops and taches. Ten is the number associated with the law. The color blue is associated with the law. The color of linen is associated with righteousness. The color gold is associated with kings and kingdoms. All of this brought together speaks to us that Christ is the king (gold) who through his keeping of the commandments of God (blue) couples the keeping of the commandments of God (blue) with his imputed righteousness to the children of God.

Next, we notice that the robe of the ephod of the High Priest was all of blue: Ex 28:31 "And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue. 32 And there shall be an hole in the top of it, in the midst thereof: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as it were the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent." There was to be no rent in this robe of the High Priest and it was to be all of blue. Christ is our High Priest and there was no rent in his righteousness. Christ told us in Mt 5:17 "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

(3) Purple Purple-Royalty

There is a very strong correlation between the subject of royalty and the color purple in the scriptures. The word, royal, means that which belongs or pertains to a king. The children of a king are said to be his royal seed. The clothing of a king are his royal apparel. The cities of the king are referred to as royal cities. Thus, all the possessions of a king are royal possessions.

Purple is a mixture of blue and red. Blue is associated with law or commandment and red is associated with war, blood, and judgment. Our King, Jesus Christ, kept the law (blue) to a jot and a tittle and then conquered sin, Satan, death, hell, and the grave through shedding his blood upon the cross of Calvary and satisfying the judgment of God upon the imputed sins of his elect people. The inscription above the head of Jesus on the cross read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." He was and is indeed the King of the Kingdom of heaven.

The color, purple, is found in many things pertaining to the tabernacle and temple. Often it is used in combination with other colors such as blue, red, gold, and white. The following items in the tabernacle and the clothing of the high priest contain such combinations including purple: curtain of the tabernacle, veil of the tabernacle, hanging for the door of the tent, hanging for the gate of the court, the ephod of the high priest, the curious girdle of the high priest, the breastplate of the high priest, the hem of the priests robe. The color, purple is also the color of the covering of the brazen altar. The combination colors will be dealt with in another section of this study on colors.

The soldiers who crucified Jesus dressed him in raiment of purple before his crucifixion and mocked him:

1. Mr 15:16 "And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, 18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him."

2. Joh 19:2 "And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, 3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. 4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. 5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!"

While the soldiers mocked Jesus as the King of the Jews, yet Jesus was and is indeed the King of kings and Lord of lords:

1. 1Ti 6:15 "Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;"

2. Re 17:14 "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful."

3. Re 19:16 "And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

The virtuous woman in Pr 31 is said to be clothed with clothing of purple and silk: Pr 31:22 "She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple." The virtuous woman is first a type of the Lord's bride, His church. The church is clothed with righteousness (white=silk):

1. 2Co 5:21 "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

2. Re 19:8 "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."

3. Re 19:14 "And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."

The church is also clothed in royal apparel (puple) of King Jesus:

1. Re 1:5 "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

2. 1Pe 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"

The loved in Song of Solomon is a type of the Lord's bride also and is described as follows: Song 7:3 "Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins. 4 Thy neck is as a tower of ivory; thine eyes like the fishpools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bathrabbim: thy nose is as the tower of Lebanon which looketh toward Damascus. 5 Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple; the king is held in the galleries. 6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!" According to 1Co 11:15 a woman's hair is given to her for a covering: "But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering." Thus, the Lord's bride has as her head, the Lord Jesus Christ. She is His royal bride.

Also, in the Song of Solomon, King Solomon made a chariot to carry "the daughters of Jerusalem." The daughters of Jerusalem are a type of the Lord's covenant people. Song 3:9 "King Solomon made himself a chariot of the wood of Lebanon. 10 He made the pillars thereof of silver, the bottom thereof of gold, the covering of it of purple, the midst thereof being paved with love, for the daughters of Jerusalem." This chariot is the King's chariot and was covered with purple. The Lord, himself, is our chariot and he carries us ultimately into the glory world:

1. Joh 6:37 "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day."

2. Ro 8:29-30 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

Satan is an imitator. He tries to imitate Christ, but in a wicked way. We see in the scriptures where his false or idol gods are clothed in purple: Jer 10:8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. 9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men."

Moreover, Satan's worldly rulers are covered in purple: Eze 27:3 "And say unto Tyrus, O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles, Thus saith the Lord GOD; O Tyrus, thou hast said, I am of perfect beauty. 4 Thy borders are in the midst of the seas, thy builders have perfected thy beauty. 5 They have made all thy ship boards of fir trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee. 6 Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars; the company of the Ashurites have made thy benches of ivory, brought out of the isles of Chittim. 7 Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail; blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was that which covered thee."

Satan's wretched bride is also covered in purple: Re 17:4 "And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration."

The great difference between those of the Lord's who are covered in purple and those of Satan that are covered in purple is that the Lord clothed his own with purple, but the bride, kings, and people of Satan covered themselves with purple.

(4) Scarlet Red and its Association with War, Blood and Judgment

There is a very strong correlation in the scriptures between the color red and the subject of war, blood, and judgment. Specifically the ultimate lesson is that red shows forth the war against sin, the blood atonement of Jesus Christ, and the ultimate judgment of sin.

There are different shades of red. The scriptures show forth this principle in that red, scarlet, and crimson are all used to depict the association between the color red and the subject of war, blood, and judgment.

Specifically we shall consider in future essays the following specific topics:

1. the Red Sea and the battle against the enemies.

2. red wine and the blood of Christ.

3. the rams skin dyed red and the blood covering of Christ.

4. the scarlet thread or line and God's covenant people.

5. the scarlet colored beast and great red dragon and Satan's war against the Lord's disciples.

6. the red heifer and the atonement of sin.

7. the red horse.

(5) Eight Eight, Fifty – New Beginnings

There are at least eight new beginnings in the scriptures that are associated with the bible numbers eight or fifty. The number fifty is used in such a way that it is the either the first day of the eight week or the first year of the eight week of years. Thus, the number fifty is used the same way as the number eight.

The eight new beginnings taught in the scriptures are:

1. New beginning in the flesh

2. New birth

3. New judicial standing before God

4. New covenant of worship

5. New kingdom

6. New Testament

7. New manner of worship

8. New nature of the flesh.

(6) Twenty Twenty Outline

The number twenty is associated with the subject of service in the scriptures. In addressing this association, we list the following topics:

1. Service under the law ends with a curse.

2. The price of service

3. Requirements of service

4. Serving the Lord is better than serving men or mammon

5. Jacob served Laban for twenty years

6. Joseph was sold into Egyptian bondage for twenty pieces of silver

7. Army service began at twenty years of age

8. One of the purposes of the Lord's house is for service.

(7) Gold Gold Associated with Kings and Kingdoms

In the scriptures often there is a very strong correlation between bible colors and bible subjects. Gold is both a color and a metal and as both color and metal it is associated with Kings, things pertaining to kings, and kingdoms. This correlation will be presented in both the color section of this work and in the metal section of this work.

The first time the word, gold appears in the scriptures is found in Ge 2:11-12: "The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone." According to the law of first occurrence, gold is said to be good. Gold is both precious (rare) and valuable. Often throughout history it has been the basis of money exchange. Also, gold is not easily corruptible. Gold is a standard by which other things worth is judged.

Often, gold points us to King Jesus and to his bride, the church. According to Re 1:5-6 Christ has made his children both kings and priests: "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

The things that we learn studying the color gold and its corresponding subject of kings and kingdoms often point us to characteristics, qualities, and works of King Jesus and to characteristics, qualities, and works that we should possess as kings and priests unto God.

The serious inquirer may want to study the following in relationship to the correlation between the color gold and the subject of kings and kingdoms:

1. Abraham's gift to Rebecca.

2. Pharaoh's promotion of Joseph.

3. King's tabernacle.

4. Table of the King.

5. Incense Altar of theKing.

6. King's Crown.

7. Candlesticks.

8. King's temple.

9. King's Mercy Seat.

10. Garments of the High Priest

11. King's Targets

12. King's Shields.

13. King's Throne.

14. King's Footstool.

15. King's Drinking Vessels.

16. King's Sceptre.

17. Queen and King's Daughters.

18. King's Witnesses.

19. King's Gifts.

20. King's Girdle.

21. King's Golden Vials.

22. King's Golden Reed.

23. King's City

(8) Five Five – Death

In the scriptures, the number five is often associated with the subject of death. For instance, in the fifth chapter of Genesis (sometimes known as the obituary column of the bible) in the fifth verse after Adam's name was mentioned five times we are told that he died. All but five individuals in chapter five have their names mentioned exactly five times followed by the statement "and he died." Enoch was mentioned six times but he was translated that he should not see death. The lives of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth extended beyond the flood and their deaths are not recorded until later in the scriptures.

In addition, in 2nd Samuel several individuals were pierced under the fifth rib and subsequently died. Furthermore, in the book of Revelation, John recorded that when the fifth seal was loosed he saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and the testimony they held.

There are five deaths mentioned in the scriptures: death of the body; second or eternal death; death in trespasses and sins; death to fellowship; and dead to sin.

The one who has the power of death, Satan, has his name, Satan mentioned fifty five times in the scriptures. The desires of Satan are set forth for us as five "I wills" in Isa 14.

The pride of the flesh that is dead in trespasses and sins is illustrated in the five "I's" of the Pharisee. The excuses of the flesh nature is set forth in the five "I's" of Adam.

Next, there is a five-part covenant, sometimes called the covenant of redemption or covenant of grace, which shows forth God's remedy for death thru the death of his Son.

Jesus, whom God made to be sin for us, suffered five puncture wounds through his body as he suffered and died for the elect.

The persecutions of those dead in trespasses and sins against the gospel ministry are manifest against Paul as five times he received forty stripes save one for preaching the gospel.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 26:1-6
Here we have the beginning of the instructions for the making of the tabernacle itself. As can readily be seen, the curtains of which it was to be made were very beautiful. There were to be ten of them. All were to be of the same size, forty-two feet by six feet. Then preparation was to be made for fastening them together in two sections, with ten of them in each section. This was to be done by means of loops of blue in the selvedge edge of each curtain, where it joined another. And fifty clasps of pure gold were to be made to fasten the two sections together, that the whole might be one tabernacle.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 26:7

Ex 26:7-13

:7 “And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make. 8 The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure. 9 And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tabernacle. 10 And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second. 11 And thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and put the taches into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one. 12 And the remnant that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the backside of the tabernacle. 13 And a cubit on the one side, and a cubit on the other side of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, it shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it.”

Animals are frequently used in the scriptures to represent biblical principles. For instance, sheep are used to represent God’s elect covenant people. In contrast, goats (9) are used to represent God’s eternal punishment of sin. Forty times, goats are associated with the sin offering, which is more than the other animals (sheep, cattle, doves, and pigeons) combined. The curtains covering the tabernacle were made of goats’ hair. It was necessary that a sin offering be made for the people of God. Likewise, the Lord’s elect people in his church had to be redeemed by an offering for the eternal punishment of sin. Jesus was the offered sacrifice who suffered the eternal punishment for the sins of the elect.

The length of each curtain was thirty cubits. The bible number thirty (10) is associated with the subject of redemption. The New Testament points out to us that Jesus was betrayed into the hands of men for thirty pieces of silver, which was the redemption price in the Old Testament for a woman. Jesus, as our redeemer, was sold for the price of redeeming a woman, which of course, his church is the bride of Christ.

In this covering, the taches tying the curtains together were made of brass. Brass (11) is the bible metal associated with judgment. It is this eternal judgment of God that Jesus suffered for us on the cross of Calvary that unites us all together in redemption.

We also take note that the number of curtains of goats’ hair is eleven. The number eleven (12) is associated with joining together. Eph 5:31-32 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” As a part of the bride of Christ, we are joined together by the atoning blood of Jesus and his eternal redemption of us through suffering the eternal punishment of our sins.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Footnotes:

(9) Goats Goats and punishment of sin

Animals are frequently used in the scriptures to represent biblical principles. For instance, sheep are used to represent God’s elect covenant people. In this essay we will explore how goats are used to represent God’s eternal punishment of sin.

In the Old Testament there are eight sacrifices associated with the tabernacle or temple worship. There is the sin offering, the trespass offering, the burnt offering, the peace offering, the wave offering, the heave offering, the meat offering, and the drink offering. The only offering that goats were used in is the sin offering. In forty verses in the scriptures either a goat or a kid of the goats was used as the sin offering. This is more than all the other types of animals or birds combined. Cattle were used in 23 verses; sheep were used in six verses; a pigeon and a turtledove were used in 1 verse. Thus, in the seventy verses that the sin offering is mentioned, the goat is mentioned in forty verses.

Each of the Old Testament sacrifices under the tabernacle or temple worship point us to various aspects of what Christ did for us in atoning for our sins. The sin offering pointed us to the fact that Christ suffered the judgment of God on account of our sins. The trespass offering pointed us to the fact that we had trespassed against the laws of God and that Christ paid for our trespass. The burnt offering pointed us to the fact that Christ suffered for us in judgment because of our sins. The peace offering pointed us to the result of Christ atonement caused God to be at peace with us. The meat offering pointed us to the pure sinless body of Christ that was broken for us. The drink offering pointed us to the blood of Christ that was offered to God to remit our sins. The wave offering pointed us to the victory we have in Jesus Christ. The heave offering pointed us to both the resurrection of Christ and our awaiting resurrection.

The ordinance of the scapegoat gives us an understanding of God’s purpose in using the goat to represent God’s eternal punishment of sin. The ordinance is set forth for us in Le 10:8-16:8 “And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD'S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.”

Two goats were used to represent the one work of Christ on our behalf in God’s judgment of sin. The one goat was offered for a sin offering. Christ offered himself without spot to God as a sin offering having suffered the wrathful eternal judgment of sin on our behalf. The second goat was sent unto a land not inhabited: Le 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. As a result of Christ’s offering and God’s acceptance of Christ’s offering, Christ put away our sins (symbolized by the scapegoat which was sent into a land not inhabited after our sins were atoned for by the first goat). Christ put away our sins by his sacrifice on our behalf. The judgment of God had been satisfied and our sins shall never again be brought before God as set forth in Ro 8:33: “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.”

The next thing we read about goats is that goat hair was a covering of the tabernacle: Ex 26:7 “And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make. 8 The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure. 9 And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tabernacle.” Goats’ hair is the product of the goat. These eleven curtains of goats’ hair covered the tabernacle. Since goats represent God’s eternal judgment of sin and the product of God’s judgment of sin in the person of Christ on behalf of the elect family of God is to cover these elect children with Christ’s work of justification. The tabernacle ordinances all point us to Christ’s work of justifying his elect family: Ro 4:7 “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.”

The final use of goats in representation in the scriptures is found in Mt 25. Mt 25:31-46 sets forth God’s eternal judgment of sin at the last day. In this passage there are two classes of people who are represented by sheep and goats. The sheep are on the Lord’s right hand and are called righteous and go away into eternal life. The goats are on the left hand and are called cursed and go away into everlasting punishment. The sheep represent God’s elect children and are declared righteous because Christ was their sin offering delivering them from the everlasting punishment of their sins. The goats are cursed by sin and were not covered by the atoning blood of Christ and thus have the eternal judgment of God to face because of sin.

(10) Thirty Ten and Law or Commandment

There is an association between the use of the bible number ten and the subject of law, or commandment, or authority. This association began in the first chapter of Genesis when the phrase, "God said," appears in ten verses and is associated with God's commandments in natural creation.

This association is manifest in the fact that God gave ten commandments in establishing His covenant with the children of Israel. He sent ten plagues upon the land of Egypt because Pharaoh disobeyed his commandment to let Israel go ten times. The word, "law," appears in the book of Genesis ten times. The term "wrath of God" appears ten times in the scriptures and is used to show God's great displeasure at the disobedience toward his commandments. Moses is commanded to use the rod to manifest the authority of God ten times.

The book of Psalms tells us to sing praises upon an instrument of ten strings, which we will see is symbolic of the commandments written in the heart and mind of God's born again people.

Abraham married the Egyptian handmaid Hagar after he had been in the land of Canaan ten years. Hagar as we will see is a representative of the law covenant.

The false authority of Satan is manifest to us in the book of Revelation as he is pictured to us as a dragon with seven heads and ten horns. The dragon causes to rise up out of the sea a beast with seven heads and ten horns. We are told the dragon gives the beast his power and great authority.

The two cherubims in the temple were each ten cubits in height and each had a wing spread of ten cubits from end to end. The molten sea was ten cubits in diameter. The temple had ten candlesticks and was built upon a foundation of stones of ten cubits in size.

(11) Brass Brass Judgment Outline

In the scriptures there is a very strong correlation between the subject of judgment or justification and the biblical use of the metal, brass. This correlation is found in many places. The serious bible student may want to study the following which demonstrate this correlation.

1. Bezaleel and Hiram

2. Fetters of Brass

3. Brass Couplings

4. Pillars of Brass

5. Brass Laver

6. Brazen Altar

7. Brazen Censers

8. Brazen Serpent

9. Vessels of Brass

10. 12 Brazen Oxen and Brazen Sea.

(12) Eleven Eleven – Compacted, Coupled, or Joined

The numbers one and eleven are very similar in their association with bible subjects. The number one is associated with the subject of unity. The number eleven is closely allied with this association in that eleven is associated with that which is compacted, coupled, or joined together. The word, coupled, appears eleven times in the Old Testament:

1. Ex 26:3 "The five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and other five curtains shall be coupled one to another."

2. Ex 26:24 "And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners."

3. Ex 36:10 "And he coupled the five curtains one unto another: and the other five curtains he coupled one unto another."

4. Ex 36:13 "And he made fifty taches of gold, and coupled the curtains one unto another with the taches: so it became one tabernacle."

5. Ex 36:16 "And he coupled five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves."

6. Ex 36:29 "And they were coupled beneath, and coupled together at the head thereof, to one ring: thus he did to both of them in both the corners."

7. Ex 39:4 "They made shoulderpieces for it, to couple it together: by the two edges was it coupled together."

Similarly, the Greek word, kollao, means to cleave, join (self), keep company. This Greek word is found eleven times in the New Testament and is used to indicate that which is cleaved together, joined, or coupled.

One of the coverings of the Old Testament tabernacle had eleven curtains. These eleven curtains were all coupled together: Ex 26:7 "And thou shalt make curtains of goats' hair to be a covering upon the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make. 8 The length of one curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of one curtain four cubits: and the eleven curtains shall be all of one measure. 9 And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tabernacle. 10 And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops in the edge of the curtain which coupleth the second. 11 And thou shalt make fifty taches of brass, and put the taches into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one."

The Lord gave the gift of the gospel ministry and one of the purposes of the gospel ministry is to preach the word of God so that the members of the church may be coupled or joined together around the word of God: Eph 4:11 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."

The question is asked and answered in Am 3:3, " Can two walk together, except they be agreed? To be united in faith, we must be agreed. Our agreement is not on the details or interest of each individual, but our agreement is one the fundamental teachings of the scriptures.

There are some Old Testament verses that associate the number eleven and the word of God which, of course, is that by which we are coupled together:

1. De 1:3 "And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD had given him in commandment unto them;"

2. Eze 26:1 "And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,"

3. Eze 30:20 "And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, in the seventh day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,"

4. Eze 31:1 "And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,"

5. Zec 1:7 "Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,"

Another example of this association between the number eleven and the subject of being coupled, joined, or compacted together is found in Ge 37:9 "And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me." The dream of Joseph, who is a very strong figure of Christ in the Old Testament was that his eleven brothers would come one day and make obeisance unto him. The figure is that we as the children of God are coupled together in our true worship of Christ through the knowledge of the word of God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 26:7-14
After giving the instructions for making the curtains of “fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet; with cherubims of cunning work,” the LORD told Moses that there were also other coverings to be made to go above these beautiful curtains. First there must be a covering made of curtains of goats’ hair. And exact dimensions were given for these, as well as instructions as to how they were to be put together. Then two more coverings are to be made. One is to be made of rams’ skins dyed red, and the other is to be made of badgers’ skins. No instructions are given as to the sizes or the manner of fastening these coverings together. No doubt the first curtains were to be primarily for beauty, and the others for protection of the tabernacle.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 26:14

Ex 26:14

:14 “And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering above of badgers' skins.”

When God covered the nakedness of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, he made for them coats of skins. This first sacrifice to cover the shame of sin pointed us to the Lord Jesus Christ who through his sacrificial atonement covered the shame of our sins. The rams’ skins dyed red are figurative of the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of His elect world.

The covering above of badgers’ skins is what outsiders saw of the tabernacle. I cannot think of anything more plain or unappealing to the natural eye as badgers’ skins. However, the beauty of the tabernacle was not in its outward appeal. The beauty is inward. Likewise, the beauty of the Lord’s manifest church on earth is not in its outward beauty, for it is very simple. The real beauty is its inward beauty. When the church has joined together in the Spirit to sing praises unto God, to pray for his guidance and blessings and to give thanks for his goodness, and the message is delivered from a God called minister who is led by the Holy Spirit, it is truly a blessing of great beauty to behold by a spirit born, sin convicted, child of God who rejoices that he has been saved from his sins and that he has a God who watches over him, blesses him daily, and guides him through the trials of life

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 26:15

Ex 26:15-29

:15 “And thou shalt make boards for the tabernacle of shittim wood standing up. 16 Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half shall be the breadth of one board. 17 Two tenons shall there be in one board, set in order one against another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle.

18 And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards on the south side southward. 19 And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for his two tenons, and two sockets under another board for his two tenons. 20 And for the second side of the tabernacle on the north side there shall be twenty boards: 21 And their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.

22 And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards. 23 And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides. 24 And they shall be coupled together beneath, and they shall be coupled together above the head of it unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners. 25 And they shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. 26 And thou shalt make bars of shittim wood; five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle, 27 And five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the two sides westward. 28 And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall reach from end to end. 29 And thou shalt overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shalt overlay the bars with gold.”

The boards of the tabernacle provide the structural framework of the tabernacle. Without the boards the whole structure would collapse. The boards are an essential part of the tabernacle. Similar to the tabernacle the members of the Lord’s church are built together as a structural framework of the church:

1. Eph 2:19 “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

2. Eph 4:15 “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

The boards were all of one measure in length. Each was ten cubits in length. As we have previously seen, ten is associated with the law or commandment. The church is made up of members in whom God has written his law in their heart and mind:

1. Heb 8:10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:”

2. Heb 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;”

There were twenty boards on both the south side and the north side of the tabernacle. Since the boards were each a cubit and a half in breath, the total length of the south side and the north side of the tabernacle was thirty cubits. As we have shown previously the number twenty is associated with service and the number thirty is associated with redemption. One of the reasons that God has redeemed us is that we might serve him. In the church we should have two great themes: we have been redeemed that the shed blood of Jesus and we are thus supposed to serve Him in His kingdom church.

Moreover, each board had two sockets or tenons on which the board was founded. These tenons were made of silver. Silver (13) is associated with redemption in the scriptures. The number two is associated with the subject of witness in the scriptures (14). The very basis of our witness as the disciples of Christ is based on the fact that we have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus.

On both the north side and south side of the tabernacle there were forty sockets of silver. The number forty (15) is associated with the subject of trial and judgment in the scriptures. The Lord’s people in the church undergo many trials and timely judgments in their lives which serve to strengthen them as disciples and servants of the Lord:

1. 2Co 8:2 “How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.”

2. 1Pe 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

3. 1Pe 4:12 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

4. (2Co 12:10 “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

5. Jas 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

6. Ro 5:3 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;”

Including the two corner boards there were a total of eight boards on both the east and the west sides of the tabernacle. As we have previously noted the number eight is closely associated with the subject of new beginnings. Every member of the Lord’s church has experienced a new beginning in that they have all been born of the Spirit of God.

Each side of the tabernacle was to have five bars made of shittim wood and overlaid with gold. This shows forth and ties together the atoning work of Christ in his death and the two fold nature of the redeemed creature in that he is both flesh and spiritual and thus has been made a king and priest unto God. As we have previously shown gold is associated with kings and kingdoms and through the blood of Christ we have been made kings and priests unto God: Re 1:5 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Elder Vernon Johnson


Footnotes:

13 silver Silver – Redemption

In the scriptures bible metals are associated with particular bible subjects. The metal, silver, is associated with the subject of redemption. It is well known that throughout history, silver and gold have been used as mediums of exchange (money). The primary medium of exchange in the scriptures is silver. The great majority of times that we find silver mentioned in the scriptures it is used as money to purchase or redeem various objects or materials.

Many times in the scriptures we see various numbers, metals, colors, etc. associated with the basic bible doctrines by use of types and shadows. We will look at the following examples of how silver is typically used to show forth the redemptive work of Jesus Christ:

1. Value of price of a servant.

2. Trespass offering.

3. Trumpets of silver.

4. Gift to Benjamin.

5. Redemptive price of children of Israel.

6. Abraham's gifts to Rebekah.

7. Foundation of the tabernacle.

14 Two Two = Witness

Nu 35:30 Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die.

De 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

De 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

1Ki 21:10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.

Mt 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Mt 26:59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; 60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses, 61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

2Co 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

1Ti 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

Heb 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

Re 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

Ga 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

(15) Forty Forty – Trail and Judgment

The number forty is often associated in the scriptures with the subject of trial and judgment. In a courtroom, you first have the trial and then you have the judgment. Sometimes we see the number forty associated with the trial and sometimes we see it associated with the judgment after the verdict is rendered.

We observe in the scriptures the number forty associated with the following examples of trial or judgment:

1. The destruction of the world during the days of Noah

2. Moses going into the mount to receive the law contrasted to Christ's being tested of Satan.

3. The spies spying out the land of Canaan

4. The judgment upon the children of Israel in the wilderness because they did not believe the promise and power of God

5. The judgment of a wicked man

6. National judgment of Israel because of sin and repentance

7. Trial of faith due to Goliath's defiance

8. The buildings of the tabernacle, temple, and of Ezekiel's vision

9. The trial and judgment of Ninevah

10. Judgment of Jerusalem and Jews for their rejection of Christ.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 26:15-25
All the curtains and coverings previously described seem to have been for the top of the tent. Then He gives instructions for the sides of the tabernacle. They are to be made of wood boards twenty seven inches wide and fifteen feet long each. All are to be prepared with tenons and sockets for assembling without the use of any kind of tools. All their sockets are to be made of silver. The numbers of the boards for each location are given. For corners two boards are to be coupled together, but all others are to be set up and taken down when the tabernacle is to be set up, or when it is to be moved, as it will have to be done many times on their journeys.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 26:30

Ex 26:30

:30 “And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was showed thee in the mount.”

The scriptures teach us that God is very particular about how he wants things to be done. He does not leave room for us to add to his pattern of things. There are two New Testament verses that are quotes from the above verse quoted:

1. Heb 8:5 “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount.”

2. Ac 7:44 “Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen.”

Two examples of those who did not follow God’s pattern should sober any of God’s children who think it is alright to add to or take away from the pattern God has given us for worship:

1. Le 10:1-2 “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.”

2. 2Sa 6:3-7 “And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. 4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. 5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. 6 And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. 7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.” The ark was to be carried by the Levites who were to carry it by the staves through the rings on the side of the ark. Men’s hands were not to touch the ark.

The Lord taught us plainly that there was a very particular way in which we are to worship him:

1. Joh 4:23-24 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” God did not leave any wiggle room for us to add to or take away from that which is specifically laid out for us in the scripture as the proper way in which we are to worship God.

2. Mr 7:7 “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”

The Lord also has taught us in the scriptures that they are a thorough furnisher and that we need nothing more than what is taught in the scriptures to worship him: 2Ti 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Since the scriptures are given to us by inspiration of God and are a thorough furnisher unto all good works, then anything that we add to the pattern God has given to us for worship that is not found in the scriptures is a very serious error that God is not pleased with. We should test everything we do in worship to the biblical pattern for worship. If we leave anything off or if we add anything to it, then we are saying we believe that we know better how to worship than God does!

God covered the nakedness of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, he made for them coats of skins. This first sacrifice to cover the shame of sin pointed us to the Lord Jesus Christ who through his sacrificial atonement covered the shame of our sins. The rams’ skins dyed red are figurative of the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of His elect world.

The covering above of badgers’ skins is what outsiders saw of the tabernacle. I cannot think of anything more plain or unappealing to the natural eye as badgers’ skins. However, the beauty of the tabernacle was not in its outward appeal. The beauty is inward. Likewise, the beauty of the Lord’s manifest church on earth is not in its outward beauty, for it is very simple. The real beauty is its inward beauty. When the church has joined together in the Spirit to sing praises unto God, to pray for his guidance and blessings and to give thanks for his goodness, and the message is delivered from a God called minister who is led by the Holy Spirit, it is truly a blessing of great beauty to behold by a spirit born, sin convicted, child of God who rejoices that he has been saved from his sins and that he has a God who watches over him, blesses him daily, and guides him through the trials of life.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 26:31

Ex 26:31-33

:31 “And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: 32 And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold: their hooks shall be of gold, upon the four sockets of silver. 33 And thou shalt hang up the veil under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.”

We are not left to wander what the veil of the tabernacle and later the temple represents. In Heb 10:20 we read: “By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;” Thus the veil which separated between the holy place and the most holy place represents the flesh of Christ.

Thus, the colors blue and purple and scarlet along with fine twined linen are associated with the flesh of Christ. According to our previous studies we know that blue represents law or commandment and purple represents royalty and scarlet represents war and blood. Likewise, the fine twined linen represents righteousness. In connection with these colors and their representation of the body or flesh of Christ we have the following New Testament verses:

1. Mt 5:17-18 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” This verse tells us that Jesus came to completely and perfectly keep and fulfill all of the law and the prophets.

2. Mt 21:5 “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” This fulfilled prophecy of Christ declares plainly that Christ is the King and thus is the perfection of royalty.

3. Ro 5:9 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

4. Eph 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”

5. Col 1:14. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

6. Col 1:20 “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

7. 2Co 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Verse 1 above tells us that Jesus came to completely and perfectly keep and fulfill all of the law and the prophets. Verse 2 tells us that the fulfilled prophecy of Christ declares plainly that Christ is the King and thus is the perfection of royalty. Verses 3-6 tell us that Christ through his shed blood justified us, redeemed us, and made peace through the blood of his cross. Verse 7 tells us that Christ is the righteous one and that he made us righteous through His being made sin and suffering on our behalf.

Moreover, the curtain was made with cherubims which are closely associated with the scriptural subject of witness. According to Re 1:5 Christ is declared to be the faithful witness: Re 1:5 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,”

The vail was hanged on four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold. In the scriptures the number four (16) is associated with the work of the Holy Spirit. The fact that the pillars are of shittim wood indicate there is a human element to the hanging and yet since it is overlaid with gold, there is a kingly element to the work as well. The answer is that the work of Christ is plainly set forth for us in the four gospels. These men wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost to write.

“And the veil shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.” Since Christ is that veil that divides between the holy place and the most holy place. Those who come unto the most holy place must come through Christ as a great number of scriptures teach us of which the following is a small sample:

1. Ro 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”

2. Ro 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

3. Ro 5:11 “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.”

4. Ro 6:11 “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

5. Ro 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

6. 1Co 15:57 “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

7. Ga 4:7 “Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

8. Heb 10:10 “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Footnotes:

(16) four Four - Spirit

There is a correlation in the scriptures between the number four and the work of the Holy Spirit. Interestingly, there are four Hebrew and Greek words that are translated into the English word Spirit. Similarly, there are four Hebrew and Greek words that are translated into the English word spiritual. There are numerous groupings of fours in the scriptures that correlate with the work of the Holy Spirit. While our chief endeavor in these writings is to study the working of the Holy Spirit, we will be trying to accomplish this by studying the numerous groupings in scriptures of four things. Some of the groupings of four showing this correlation are:

a. The river that was parted into four heads.
b. The four living creatures & four cherubims.
c. The four wheels.
d. The four horses.
e. The four beasts.
f. The four gospels.
g. The four winds.
h. Four-square things.
i. Four sore judgments.
j. Four carpenters.
k. Four gifts of gospel ministers.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 26:31-32
Another item that was to be made was a vail to separate the holy place from the most holy. It was to be made of similar pattern to the first curtains ordered for the tabernacle, and to be hung upon four pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold. No detailed size is given for the pillars. Neither is the thickness of the vail given; but some have said that it was, perhaps, as much as four or six inches thick. Of that I can give no assurance. The hooks of the vail were of gold, while the sockets in which they were hung were of silver.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 26:33

Ex 26:33 And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.

Within the confines of the second veil we find the Ark of the Covenant. This was a box about four feet long, two and one-half feet wide, and two and one-half feet high. This “box” was very symbolic to the Jews and it also contains a picture type our Lord Jesus Christ. This Ark was made out of shittim wood and was over laid with pure gold. But where did Moses get the gold for this Ark? If you remember reading about God delivering Israel from Egyptian bondage, you will remember that God allowed his people to spoil the Egyptians (Ex 12:36) and later Moses called for the silver and gold for the building of the Tabernacle and its furniture (Ex 25:1-3). I like to put it this way; God gave His people their wages for all the time they were in bondage and He also knew they would need this silver and gold for the building of the Tabernacle. I think one of the main points is, God provides our need even before we need it. I think it is wrong for a church to build a big bank account just for that sake. God blesses the church and its members so that they will have what is needed in the future service for Him.

Elder Freddy Boen

Ex 26:33 And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.

The Tabernacle had a holy place and a most holy place, called the Holiest of all (Heb 9:3). Only the high priest could enter into that place, but when Jesus was on the cross, paying our sin debt that veil was rent in twain from top to bottom, signifying God’s law was satisfied and this means that we, as priests, can enter and talk with God, worship God, and make our own sacrifices of praise. We often dedicate a building to the service of God, and this is where the church assembles for worship. The building is made of the same kind of materials as our homes and businesses, yet there is a difference. That difference lies in the fact that the building is dedicated to God for a particular purpose, which is to worship our God. No, the pulpit is no more holy than the pews or it is just a risen place so the congregation can see the minister better and he has better view of them. How should our buildings be treated? It is my belief that they should be treated with respect, and children should be taught it is the place where we worship God in singing, praying, and preaching. It is holy in the sense that is set aside for worship and it is where we come to meet with our Lord.

Elder Freddy Boen

Ex 26:33-37
In this the LORD gives instructions for the hanging of the vail, and the placement of the furniture of the tabernacle. Then the final item, the hanging for the door of the tent, is described. It was to be, essentially, like the first curtains of the tabernacle, and the vail. And it was to be hung upon five pillars made like the four upon which the vail was hung, except that, the sockets of the pillars upon which it was hung were to be of brass instead of silver.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 26:34

Ex 26:34 And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.

God commanded Moses to build the Tabernacle and it was to be made to particular specifications. I find no place where God allowed Moses to do what he wanted to but in all things, God gave the instruction. There were two veils in the Tabernacle and both were made of fine twined linen of blue, purple, and scarlet. Upon entering through the first veil one would see the table that held the candlestick on the south side and the table of showbread on the north side. This means the Tabernacle faced the east and anyone entering would be going west. Historically this has been the direction of the church and to a large degree it is still true. John wrote to the seven churches in Asia and the church is back in Asia today. This means the church has circled the earth. Could it be that we are closer to the end of time than we know? The next thing we notice about the Tabernacle is, in front of the second veil is the golden altar of incense. This brings us to the second veil which separated the holy place from the most holy place, or the holiest of holies and this is where we will go tomorrow.

Elder Freddy Boen



Ex 26:34-37

:34 “And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place. 35 And thou shalt set the table without the veil, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side. 36 And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework. 37 And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them.”

“And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.” In the above passage we have described for us the placing of the furniture within the tabernacle. The ark of testimony which represents Christ and his covenant work and the mercy seat properly belong in the most holy place. Whereas the table and candlestick properly belong in the holy place.

The mercy seat was placed upon the Ark of the Covenant in the most holy place. The most holy place is typical of the glory world. The mercy seat represents God’s mercy towards his covenant children. God’s mercy to his covenant children is based upon the fact that Christ through his covenant work redeemed them and forgave them of their sins and made them righteous before God.

“And thou shalt set the table without the veil, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side.” The Lord revealed to us the significance of the candlestick in the book of Revelations: Re 1:20 “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” The lamps on the candlestick give light to the church and the table holds the source of food for the church. These are properly placed in the holy place which is representative of the Lord’s church.

“And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework. And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them.”

“And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework.” The description of the door hanging sounds very similar to the description for the veil that separated between the holy place and the most holy place. We know the veil represented the flesh of Christ and the colors described to us the fact that Christ was the perfect keeper of the law (blue), the royal one to come (purple), the prepared sacrifice to redeem his people from their sins (scarlet) and through his redeeming blood to make them righteous (fine twined linen.)

“And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them.” Shittim wood is associated with the humanity of Christ and gold his divine kingship. Five is representative of death and brass is representative of judgment. Christ is both the son of man (shittim wood) and the son of God (gold). Through his atoning sacrifice (death) Christ brought the judgment (brass) of righteousness to his covenant people. We are able to enter into the church because of the fact that we have been made righteous before God. Moreover, only those who have been made righteous before God are able to enter into the Church Kingdom of God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 27:1

Ex 27:1-8
It is to be noted that this altar and the staves with which it was to be carried were made of shittim wood, like all other wooden items that have been mentioned; but they were to be overlaid with neither gold nor silver, but with brass. And all the vessels and utensils of this altar were to be made of brass. And from this fact comes the idea that, in figure, brass always denotes judgment. Because this is the altar upon which the sin offerings of the Israelites were to be offered. Again we find the LORD reminding Moses to be sure that all things were made exactly according to the patterns shown him in the mount.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Ex 27:1-8

:1 “And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. 2 And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass. 3 And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basins, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass. 4 And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brazen rings in the four corners thereof. 5 And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar. 6 And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass. 7 And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it. 8 Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was showed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.”

This altar will become known as the brazen altar. Upon this altar were placed the sin, peace, and burnt offerings that the children of Israel were called upon to make. This altar was a shadow of the one great offering of Jesus Christ for the sins of his elect family.

The dimensions of the altar were five cubits by five cubits. Five is the bible number associated with death. Of course, Christ died for the sins of his people.

This altar was foursquare (17). The term, "foursquare," implies precision. For something to be foursquare the four sides must all be the exact same length and the four corners must be exactly 90 degrees. The works and buildings of man are almost never that precise. The most precise instruments and machine measurements have some tolerances. The sacrifice to redeem the sins of God’s people had to be perfect and precise and that is exactly what we find in the sacrificial atonement of Jesus Christ for his people.

The height of the altar was three cubits. Three (18) is the bible number associated with the Godhead. This altar of sacrifice reveals the work of the Godhead in redeeming God’s elect family.

The altar and all the vessels were of brass. As we have previously shown, brass is the metal representing suffering and judgment. Through the sufferings of Jesus Christ on the cross God has executed the judgment of the sins of the elect and has made them justified before God: 2Co 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

In the midst of the altar was a grate of network of brass. It was upon this network of brass that the sacrifice was placed.

There were four brazen rings through which two staves of shittim wood overlaid with brass were placed in which to carry the brazen altar. As we have previously shown four is associated with the work of the Holy Spirit. There are four gospels which among other things describe to us the work and person of Jesus Christ. Two is associated with the subject of witness. Shittim wood is associated with humanity. The message of salvation through the atoning blood of Christ is delivered to us through the witness of the gospel ministry.

“Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was showed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.” God did not allow any room for Moses or the children of Israel to deviate from the pattern that God gave to Moses.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Footnotes:

(17) foursquare Four Square

The term, "four square," implies precision. For something to be four square the four sides must all be the exact same length and the four corners must be exactly 90 degrees. The works and buildings of man are almost never that precise. The most precise instruments and machine measurements have some tolerances.

Seven times in the scriptures we read of things that were to be four square. The first time is in Ex 27:1, "And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long and five cubits broad; the altar shall be four square: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. This brazen altar was where the burnt offering was made. There was to be a continual fire burning in the brazen altar and the lamb or other sacrifice was to be burnt on this brazen altar. Of course this ceremony typifies the sufferings of Jesus on the cross for his elect people.

The second time four square appears is in Ex 28:15-16, "And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work Foursquare it shall be being doubled" This breastplate of judgment was worn next to the heart of the high priest when he went into the holy place. The names of the twelve tribes of Israel were inscribed on twelve stones that were arranged in rows on the breastplate of judgment. Thus the high priest bore the names of the children of Israel upon his heart in the breastplate of judgment when he went into the holy place for a memorial before the Lord continually. This typifies the Lord Jesus Christ bearing the elect family of God in his heart when he entered heaven itself offering his own blood for their sins and this offering being accepted of the Father.

The third time four square is mentioned is in Ex 30:1-2, "And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon of shittim wood shalt thou make it. A cubit shall be the length thereof and a cubit the breath thereof; four square shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be the same." It was upon this golden incense altar that the high priest burned incense when he went into the holy place. According to Re 8:3-4 this ceremony pointed to the intercessory work of Jesus Christ interceding on behalf of the elect family of God; "And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand." This harmonizes with Ro 8:34-35 where we are assured that Jesus Christ is at the right hand of God making intercessions for all the elect.

The fourth time foursquare is mentioned is in 1Ki 7:31. We are told that in the buildings of the temple there were ten bases. Also upon the bases there were borders and engraved upon the borders were cherubims, lions, and palm trees. The borders were foursquare. The cherubims speak of heavenly messengers; the lions speak of kings; and the palm trees speak of victory and rest. Thus the scriptures given to us by God thru the heavenly messengers tell us of our King Jesus, who thru his redemptive work has gotten the victory over sin, death, hell and the grave for his elect and thus they have peace with God thru our Lord Jesus Christ and furthermore they are made kings and priests to God.

The fifth time foursquare is mentioned is in Eze 40:47: "So he measured the court, an hundred cubits long, and an hundred cubits broad, four square; and the altar that was before the house." While various chambers and buildings and the inner court was restricted to the priests, high priest, and prince, the outer court was open to all the people. This outer court was foursquare. The scripture tells us God's elect are a great multitude that no man can number, yet the kingdom of God is said to be a little flock. Today, carrying out the true worship of God is a little flock, yet God's elect are an innumerable host which no man can number and will ultimately have a home in the glory world.

The sixth time foursquare is mentioned is in Eze 48:20, "All the oblation shall be five and twenty thousand by five and twenty thousand; ye shall offer the holy oblation foursquare, with the possession of the city." This holy oblation of land that was offered was for all Israel. Of course Jesus offered himself as a lamb without spot or blemish that all the elect family of God will have an holy possession as heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Thus we live in hope of an inheritance that is incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, but is reserved in heaven for you.

The seventh time foursquare is mentioned is in Re 21:16, "And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth" The city consists of God's elect family. Ro 8:29-30 describes this foursquare city: "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Thus God's elect people lie in the midst of God's predestination, calling justification, and glorification.

Notice the precision of this covenant. All that God chose without the gain or loss of one are predestinated, called, justified, and glorified. Truly only God could be this precise so that none are lost, but all he chose in Christ before the foundation of the world are justified by the blood of Christ, called into spiritual life and glorified in the resurrection of the body at the last trump. May God be glorified for his wonderful works toward the elect of God.

(18) Three Three

The number three is associated in the scriptures with the subject of the Godhead. It is no coincidence that the word, "Godhead," appears exactly three times in the scriptures:

1. Ac 17:29 "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device."

2. Ro 1:20 "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:"

3. Col 2:9 "For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."

Based on reference 2 above, the Godhead is both invisible and clearly seen. It is invisible to the eye, yet clearly seen by the things that God has made.

The Godhead is stated for us in 1Jo 5:7 "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." The Godhead and how three are one is one of the great mysteries in the scriptures. No man will ever be able to mine all the depths of this great mystery.

The Godhead with the associated number three, yet one, is seen by the things that God has made. The number three, yet one, is God's signature on the things that he has made. All great artists sign their work. Furthermore, product manufacturers place their name on their products. Writers place their name on their books, etc. Most things of value, the authors or manufacturers want you to know who was responsible for them. God has placed his signature on all that he has made and done.

We see this pattern of the Godhead throughout the material universe in which God created. We see this pattern of the Godhead in the writing of the bible. We see this pattern of the Godhead in the things that God has directed to be made or done. We see this pattern of the Godhead in the works of God. We see this pattern of the Godhead in the worship service of the church and in the ordinances of the church. It would appear that God has placed his signature (three, yet one) on everything that he has made and done.


Exodus 27:9

Ex 27:9-18

:9 “And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side: 10 And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver. 11 And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings of an hundred cubits long, and his twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver. 12 And for the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits: their pillars ten, and their sockets ten. 13 And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits.

14 The hangings of one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three. 15 And on the other side shall be hangings fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three. 16 And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four. 17 All the pillars round about the court shall be filleted with silver; their hooks shall be of silver, and their sockets of brass. 18 The length of the court shall be an hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass.”

The tabernacle is divided into three parts: the most holy place; the holy place; and the outer court. The most holy place is a type of heaven. The holy place is a type of the church kingdom; and the outer court is a type representative of the elect family of God.

Only Aaron and his qualifying male descendants who held the office of the high priest were allowed to go into the most holy place with the blood of a suitable sacrifice. Only the male descendants of Aaron who were the priests were allowed to go into the holy place. All of the children of Israel were allowed access to the outer court of the tabernacle.

Similar to the above, our High Priest after the order of Melchisdec, Jesus Christ, entered into heaven having obtained eternal redemption for us. The qualifying disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ enter into the church kingdom through water baptism. The entire elect family of God is embraced by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ and is made righteous thereby.

The numbers and colors of the court of the tabernacle tell us the story of the elect family of God. The total length of the perimeter hangings of the court is three hundred (19) cubits. The number 300 is closely associated with the bible subject of faith. There were twenty pillars for each of the length sides of the court. Twenty is the bible number closely associated with service. The height of the court was five cubits high. Five is the bible number closely associated with death. There were ten pillars for each of the breath sides of the court. Ten is closely associated with law or commandment. Each of the breath sides of the court was fifty cubits long. Fifty in the scriptures like the number eight is closely associated with new beginnings. The hooks and fillets of the pillars were of silver. Silver is closely associated with redemption. The pillars and their sockets were of brass. Brass is closely associated with judgment.

The hangings were made of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen. Blue is closely associated in the scriptures with law or commandment. Purple is closely associated with royalty. Scarlet is closely associated with blood or war. Fine twined linen is closely associated with righteousness.

The elect family of God is delivered from the curse of the law (blue) and redeemed (silver) and justified (brass) from their sins by the blood atonement (scarlet) of Jesus Christ:

1. Ga 3:10,13 “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” … “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”

2. Ro 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”

3. Eph 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”

4. Col 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

5. Heb 9:12 “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

6. Ro 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”

7. Ro 5:9 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Moreover, through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus (scarlet) we are made righteous (fine twined linen) in the sight of God: 2Co 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

The new or spiritual birth is a new beginning (fifty) for an elect child of God and imparts faith (300) to him:

1. Joh 5:25 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”

2. 2Co 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

3. Ga 6:15 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”

4. Eph 4:24 “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

5. Ga 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

6. Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

In addition, through the new birth we are made royalty (purple) by Christ: Re 1:5-6 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Furthermore, as a result of the new birth we have been given a purpose for our lives and that purpose is to serve (twenty) God:

1. Eph 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

2. Ro 1:9 “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;”

3. Ro 7:6 “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”

4. Ro 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

5. Ga 5:13 “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

“And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four.”

The gate of the court, the entrance to the holy place and the curtain unto the most holy place all have things in common. They all show us that entrance to the court, to the Lord’s church kingdom, and into heaven itself is by and through the covenant work of the Lord Jesus Christ. This covenant is spelled out for us in Ro 8:29-30: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Please note that the work (silver) of this covenant is completely and totally the work of God. In order to justify us before God, Christ had to keep the law (blue) perfectly and then present himself as a perfect sacrifice (scarlet) unto God. The work (four) of the Holy Spirit in this covenant is evident in the effectual calling. Moreover, it is evident when Christ presented himself as an acceptable sacrifice unto the Father: Heb 9:14 “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

Additionally, by this covenant work Christ hath made us righteous (fine twined linen) before God as set forth for us in Ro 8:33: “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.”

The final result of this covenant is that we are made royalty (purple) as the sons and daughters of the King of kings. We are born into the family of God through the miracle of the spiritual birth and our bodies are adopted into the family of God through the Lord Jesus Christ: Eph 1:5 “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Footnote:

(19) three hundred Three Hundred – Faith

There is a very strong correlation in the scriptures between the number 300 and the subject of faith. This correlation is so strong that the words faith and its derivatives, faithful, faithfully, and faithfulness occur exactly 300 times in the King James translation of the New Testament. In addition, the words, believe and its derivatives, belief, believeth, believing, and believer occur exactly 300 times in the scriptures. There are between 30 and 40 writers of the Old and New Testaments whose writings spanned about a thousand years. There is no way they could have collaborated together to come out with such statistics. This was by the leadership of the Holy Spirit that such a correlation has been made even to the number of times the words appear in the scriptures.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 27:9-15
After the tabernacle was set up, a court was to be established around it. It was to be enclosed with a set of curtains hung from pillars around it. These curtains, or hangings were to be made of fine linen, and the size of them was given. For the north and south sides of the court, the hanging for each was to be one hundred cubits long, and, though it is not given here, the height was to be five cubits. On the west side there was to be a hanging of fifty cubits length, and five cubits in height. The east side was to have an opening in it of twenty cubits width, set in the center, with a hanging on each side of the opening of fifteen cubits length and five cubits height. The hangings on the south and north sides were each to be hung on twenty pillars, with each pillar having a socket of brass, and the hangings having hooks of silver. On the west side there were to be ten pillars with their sockets of brass, and the hooks of the hangings were silver. On the east side there were for each of the hangings three pillars with their sockets and the hooks as for the others. Nothing is said at this point to that effect, but one would think that the pillars were shittim wood overlaid with brass.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 27:19

Ex 27:19-21

:19 “All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass. 20 And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. 21 In the tabernacle of the congregation without the veil, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.”

“All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass.” As we have previously seen, brass is typical of suffering and judgment. The vessels of the tabernacle included instruments used for various purposes. Ro 6:13 “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” To be useful an instrument must be able to withstand the fire. Brass is a metal which withstands fire. It is not consumed by the flame. God’s children are judged in Jesus Christ and are also called upon to withstand many timely judgments. Once we have been born of the Spirit of God we are made able to withstand the trials, persecutions, tribulations, and afflictions that come upon us and not be consumed by those trials, persecutions, tribulations, and afflictions.

“And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.” We are able to compare this having and using pure oil olive with the New Testament passage of the ten virgins: Matt: 25:1-13 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 and five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”

The wise virgins provided oil for their lamps. Oil is the fuel that when combined with oxygen and a spark burns to produce the fire. Olive oil, therefore, is like the scriptures. The oxygen is synonymous with the Holy Spirit and the spark came when we were born of the Spirit of God. Without the oil or without the oxygen or without the spark there would be no light. Likewise, we would not produce spiritual light without the word of God, or without the Holy Spirit, or without the new or spiritual birth. The Holy Spirit provides the last two. We have to gather the first in order to produce the light so that we can let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify God.

“In the tabernacle of the congregation without the veil, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.”

In the holy place, without the veil, we see the commandment was for Aaron and his sons to order the lamp from evening to morning before the LORD. In the New Testament economy, Christ is the High Priest and the children of God in the church are the holy priesthood:

1. Heb 3:1 “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;”

2. 1Pe 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

The Lord told us in: Mt 5:14 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 28:1

Ex 28:1-3

:1 “And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons. 2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty. 3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.”

Aaron was to be the High Priest of the children of Israel. His sons were to be the priests under Aaron. This order would continue even after the death of Aaron, as the oldest qualified living son would ascend to the office of the High Priest and the male descendants of Aaron would be the priests. The High Priest would go into the most holy place accomplishing the service God had assigned to him. The priests would serve in the holy place accomplishing the service God assigned to them.

In the New Testament order, Jesus Christ is the High Priest after the order of Melchisedec. The born-again children of God are assigned to the office of priests:

1. Heb 6:20 “Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

2. Re 1:5-6 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

3. 1Pe 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”

4. 1Pe 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

Those who occupied the office of the High Priest and the priesthood had a requirement that they wear holy garments. Not just any garments would do to serve in these offices. They were to wear the garments ascribed to them by God. These garments were for glory and for beauty. In comparison to the Old Testament type, the Lord Jesus Christ wore holy garments for glory and for beauty and the children of God who occupy the office of priest also have a holy garment they are to wear in their service to God.

Aaron’s garments were to be made by those who were filled with the “spirit of wisdom.” Likewise, Christ’s holy garments are made for him by the Holy Spirit of God.

Aaron’s garments consecrated (set him apart) that he may minister in the office of the High Priest.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 28:1-5
This is the general commandment that the garments of the priests be made. The LORD names the garments that are to be made, but gives no details concerning them. These He will give as we go along. Aaron and his sons are chosen for the priesthood. This shows that God always chooses who shall serve Him, and in what capacity he shall serve. He did not advertise for people to come, and make application for the office; and neither did He let the people vote to elect those who would serve. He also instructed Moses to speak to “all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments.” Even the ones who were to work on this project were chosen of God. It was He who had filled them with “the spirit of wisdom.” So it ever is with the works of the LORD. He calls whom He will, and qualifies them for the work.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 28:4

Ex 28:4-5

:4 “And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office. 5 And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.”

In the above are listed six garments that make up the holy garments of the High Priest. Later in this chapter Moses was instructed to make linen britches for Aaron and his sons. This brings to a total of seven garments that were to be on the high priest when he ministered in his office. Seven is the bible number associated with completeness. These seven make up the complete covering needed by the high priest in order to minister in that office.

The garments were to be made of five materials which consist of five colors. The colors are gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and white. Five is associated in the scriptures with the subject of death. Gold is associated with kings and kingdoms. Blue is associated with law or commandment. Purple is associated with royalty. Scarlet is associated with war or blood. White is associated in the scriptures with righteousness. These all point to the Royal (purple) King (gold=Christ) fulfilling the law (blue) to a jot and a tittle and making the perfect sacrifice on the cross (scarlet) to redeem his people from their sins and to impute his righteousness (white) unto them. This was the work of our High Priest after the order of Melchisedic (Jesus Christ) who offered himself as a lamb without spot unto God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 28:6

Ex 28:6-12

:6 “And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work. 7 It shall have the two shoulder pieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof; and so it shall be joined together. 8 And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen. 9 And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel: 10 Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth. 11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold. 12 And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.”

The ephod was the shoulder piece of the High Priests garments. The shoulder is used throughout the scriptures as that part of the body associated with the carrying of burdens.

“And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.” The ephod consisted of all five colors (gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen) indicating that the work being typified was the redemptive work of Jesus Christ who came to carry the burden of saving his people from their sins.

“It shall have the two shoulder pieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof; and so it shall be joined together.” In the ephod there were two shoulder pieces joined together. This is typical of what Jesus said concerning himself as the Good Shepherd who came to save his sheep from their sins in Joh 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” We are also told that the Lord’s people once consisted of twain (two) (Jews and Gentiles) but were joined together by the Lord’s work on the cross: Eph 2:15-16 “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:” We thus can conclude that Christ has carried the burden of his people, both among the Jews and among the Gentiles and that through his atoning sacrifice has joined them together as one.

“And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.” Next, we are told that both the ephod and the curious girdle are made of the same materials, thus they are both associated with the covenant work of redemption of Jesus Christ. More about the curious girdle will be explained later.

“And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:” The engraving upon two onyx stones the names of the children of Israel testifies to us that the high priest was representing the entirety of the nation of Israel and carrying their burdens. The onyx is a white stone. White is associated with righteousness. Neither, the children of Israel nor we are righteous by our own merits. Therefore, we conclude that the high priest was to be bearing the burden in order to make the ones he represented righteous. In type, our High Priest, Jesus Christ, bore the burden of the children of God, both Jew and Gentile, to obtain their righteous standing before God.

The names were engraved before the High Priest went about doing his work. This speaks to us of God’s sovereign choice in the election of his people.

“Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth.” In all there were twelve sons of the children of Israel after which were named the 12 tribes of Israel. These twelve names represented the totality of the children of Israel. Even when the number of the children of Israel multiplied to number in the millions, twelve still represented the entirety of Israel. Twelve is used in the scriptures as a representative number. Twelve represents the whole.

“With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold.” The signet is a signature ring. It was the ring usually associated with a king who would sign his name to authenticate that which he signed as being signed by him and carried his full authority. That the names were engraved like the engravings of a signet, teaches us that the names engraved had the full authority and authentication of the king. This is typical of God’s choice of a people: Eph 1:4 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” Moreover our names were written in a book: Re 21:27 “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.”

The engraved stones were set in ouches of gold. They were engraved in onyx stone and set in ouches of gold. In type they were engraved in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and set in the work of the King of kings.

“And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.” This speaks to us of the duel work of the High Priest. The High Priest bore the burden of the children of Israel and he interceded on their behalf by bearing their names before the LORD. Typically this points to the work of Jesus Christ who bore our burdens before God and made us righteous with his imputed righteousness and stands at the right hand of God to ever make intercession for us.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 28:6-12
The LORD here gave Moses the description of the ephod that the children of Israel were to make for the priest, as well as the “curious girdle of the ephod.” Since the LORD had already said that Moses was to speak to those “that were wise hearted, whom I have filled with wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments,” it was unnecessary that He give exact details of everything that was to be done. He just gives a general description, and tells of what materials these items were to be made. He did say that they were to take two onyx stones, engrave the names of the twelve tribes of Israel on them, in the order of their birth, and put them in settings on the shoulders of the ephod, that Aaron might bear the names of the Israelites “before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.”

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 28:13

Ex 28:13-30

:13 “And thou shalt make ouches of gold; 14 And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches. 15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. 16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.

17 And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. 18 And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. 19 And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. 20 And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their enclosings. 21 And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.

22 And thou shalt make upon the breastplate chains at the ends of wreathen work of pure gold. 23 And thou shalt make upon the breastplate two rings of gold, and shalt put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate. 24 And thou shalt put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastplate. 25 And the other two ends of the two wreathen chains thou shalt fasten in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod before it. 26 And thou shalt make two rings of gold, and thou shalt put them upon the two ends of the breastplate in the border thereof, which is in the side of the ephod inward. 27 And two other rings of gold thou shalt make, and shalt put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath, toward the forepart thereof, over against the other coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod. 28 And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod.

29 And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually. 30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.”

Of all the garments of the High Priest, there is more said of the breastplate of judgment than of any of the other garments. Now all the garments represented very important things in the work of the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ. The central theme of the High Priestly work of Jesus Christ is judgment.

“And thou shalt make ouches of gold; 14 And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches. 15 And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it. 16 Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.” The main purpose of the ouches of gold and the two chains of pure gold was to tie the breastplate of judgment to the ephod. The fact is all the work of Jesus Christ in his High Priestly office is tied together. The fact that both the ouches and the two chains were of pure gold (gold is associated with kings) suggests that the work is performed altogether by the King of kings. Pure gold suggests there were no impurities in this joining. This eliminates the works of men working in conjunction with the work of Christ in bringing about this judgment.

The breastplate of judgment was to be cunning work. The word, cunning, means to be intertwined. While there are several parts to this work, yet each part of the work is intertwined with the other parts.

“After the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.” Again, like as in the ephod all five colors are a part of the breastplate of judgment. These all point to the Royal (purple) King (gold=Christ) fulfilling the law (blue) to a jot and a tittle and making the perfect sacrifice on the cross (scarlet) to redeem his people from their sins and to impute his righteousness (white) unto them. This was the work of our High Priest after the order of Melchisedic (Jesus Christ) who offered himself as a lamb without spot unto God.

“Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.” That the breastplate of judgment is foursquare tells us that the four sides are exactly equal and the corners are of a perfect 90 degrees. Do we find a passage of scripture that fits the pattern suggested concerning the judgment of God that is foursquare with each side equal? Yes we find this passage in Ro 8:29-30: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Notice that all that God foreknew have four actions that God takes towards them: They are predestinated, called, justified, and glorified. Notice that the four actions embrace exactly all that God foreknew. That is, the same ones he predestinated, he also called, and the same ones he called, he also justified, and the same ones he justified, he also glorified. Each action embraces the exact same ones that God foreknew without the addition or subtraction of a single one.

“And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row. And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond. And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their enclosings. And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.”

In the breastplate of judgment there are 12 names. These names are the names of the children of Israel. Each name represents the entire tribe which proceeded from that son of Israel. Thus the entirety of Israel was embraced by the 12 stones.

There were four rows of names. Four in the scriptures is associated with the work of the Holy Spirit. In type these twelve names which represented all of Israel are typical of the entire family of God who bear the work of the Holy Spirit in that they have been born of the Spirit.

“They shall be set in gold in their enclosings.” Once again, the use of the metal or color gold, shows us that this work is the work of a king (King Jesus).

The twelve names were engraved with the engravings of a signet. This signifies that the stones and their names bear the authority and authenticity of the King who chose them.

That there are twelve different stones suggests to us that those represented maintained their own identity. The elect children of God are not going to be clones of one another in heaven. We will still have our own identity.

Each of the twelve tribes were engraved on precious stones as all the stones are precious. In the sight of God all of his children are precious.

“And thou shalt make upon the breastplate chains at the ends of wreathen work of pure gold. And thou shalt make upon the breastplate two rings of gold, and shalt put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate. And thou shalt put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastplate. And the other two ends of the two wreathen chains thou shalt fasten in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod before it. And thou shalt make two rings of gold, and thou shalt put them upon the two ends of the breastplate in the border thereof, which is in the side of the ephod inward. And two other rings of gold thou shalt make, and shalt put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath, toward the forepart thereof, over against the other coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod. And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod.”

It is abundantly apparent in the above passage that the breastplate of judgment is bound unto the two shoulder pieces of the ephod. This connects the work of the high priest in bearing the burdens of the twelve tribes with the judgment brought about by the high priest. Thus, the high priest was to bear the burden of the entirety of Israel and he was to execute the judgment on behalf of the entirety of Israel. This in turn points us to our High Priest Jesus Christ who bore our sins burden to the cross of Calvary and through his offering of himself as a lamb without spot or blemish he brought eternal judgment to the same ones for which he bore their burdens.

The coupling was arranged in such a way that the breastplate would not be loosed from the ephod. Since the names in the ephod and the names in the breastplate are the exact same ones, then the high priestly work was to bring judgment to all that he was to bear their burdens. If he failed then the work was flawed. Of course, Christ as our High Priest cannot fail and all for whom he died are brought into a righteous state before God.

“And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.” Aaron was to have the entirety of Israel upon his heart when he went into the holy place to make sacrifice for them. If he failed in his duty then he would have come out with a broken heart. Likewise, Jesus Christ had the entirety of the elect family of God upon his heart when he went to execute the judgment of God upon the cross of Calvary. If he failed to redeem even one from the wrathful judgment of their sins, then he would have had a broken heart. Obviously Christ could not fail and did not fail as all those for whom he died are justified from their sins and will live with God in heaven one day.

“And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.”

Urim is the ocular brilliancy of the figures in the high priests breastplate. Thummin is the epithet of the objects in the high priests breastplate as an emblem of complete Truth. Sometimes they are referred to as lights and perfection. The brilliancy associated with the twelve stones in type suggests the glory to be revealed in the children of God at the last day. Moreover, the work that brought this brilliancy is based on the perfect work of Jesus Christ in keeping the law to a jot and a tittle and presenting himself before God as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of his people.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 28:13-21
There are two of the stones named here that there seems to be some disagreement concerning what gems they are according to the modern names of gems. They are the sardius and the ligure. The sardius is thought by some to be the ruby, and by others to be a carnelian. They do agree that it was of a deep red color. The ligure is thought to, probably, be a jacinth. All of these stones were to be arranged in settings on the breastplate of judgment that was to be worn by the priest when he should go in before the LORD. And each stone was to have engraved upon it the name of one of the sons of Israel. They were to be arranged in the order given, in four rows, and the names were to be in the order of the births of the sons of Jacob, thus representing the twelve tribes of Israel.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 29:1

Ex 29:1

Ex 29

Preface

This chapter introduces us to several themes that are developed in much greater detail in other places, especially the book of Leviticus.

This chapter introduces us to seven Old Testament sacrifices or offerings that all point us to the work of Jesus Christ. These sacrifices are as follows:

1. Sin offering

2. Burnt offering

3. Peace offering

4. Meat offering

5. Drink offering

6. Wave offering

7. Heave offering.

This chapter also introduces us to the use of the words: consecrate; hallow; and sanctify. While all three terms have similar meanings, yet, there are some differences between the Hebrew words used for consecrate and the Hebrew words used for hallow or sanctify. The words, hallow and sanctify, come from the same Hebrew word and carry the connotation of cleansing for a holy use. Whereas, the Hebrew words for consecrate carries the idea of a complete preparation and setting apart for a holy use.

Additionally, we are introduced to the morning and the evening sacrifice that was to be carried out and observed by the children of Israel into perpetuity.

There are five animals used in the sacrifices or offerings that God gave unto the children of Israel. These are as follows:

a. Cattle

b. Goats

c. Sheep

d. Dove or Pigeon

e. Turtle Dove.

The bullock is a beast of labor. The bullock in the offerings was symbolic of the labors of Christ who was offered for our sins and accepted of God.

Goats represent God’s eternal judgment of sin.

Sheep are frequently used to represent God’s elect people.

The turtledove is often referred to as the love bird as the male and female have been often observed paired in a nestled position.

The words, dove or pigeon, appear 42 times in the scripture. The number 42 is associated with God’s covenants. Thus, the dove or pigeon is representative of the Lord’s covenant people or church.

The shoulder is associated throughout the scriptures with the carrying of burdens. The heave offering is always associated with the shoulder.

The breast is associated mostly with the wave offering. Otherwise it is associated with intimacy and nurturing.


Ex 29:1-4

:1 “And this is the thing that thou shalt do unto them to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest's office: Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish, 2 And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them. 3 And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams. 4 And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.”

“Take one young bullock, and two rams without blemish,” This introduces us to the principle of animal sacrifice that points us to the sacrificial atonement of Jesus Christ. In the scriptures, the bullock or cattle are used as beast of burden. The bullock calls us to the work of Christ and the burden that he carried. Rams or sheep are used typically as a representation of God’s covenant people. This points us to the fact that Christ came as a representative of God’s covenant people to save them from their sins.

“And unleavened bread, and cakes unleavened tempered with oil, and wafers unleavened anointed with oil: of wheaten flour shalt thou make them.” Unleavened bread is to be distinguished in the scriptures from bread that is leavened. Leaven represents things such as false doctrine, pride, wickedness, malice, and sin. That, which is unleavened, represents sincerity and truth and purity. The Lord used unleavened bread in the communion service to represent his pure sinless body.

Kings and High Priests were anointed with oil. This teaches us in type that Christ not only came to save his people from their sins, but also to reign as King in the kingdom of God and High Priest after the order of Melchisedec for his people.

“And thou shalt put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bullock and the two rams. 4 And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.” We note in this passage that which is to be used in sacrifice is also tied together with a washing.

The washing of Aaron and his sons was done to them. Later they will do some washing. This is significant in that the children of God are first washed by God in the washing of regeneration and afterwards they are taught that they are to do some personal cleaning in their own lives. The washing of regeneration cleanses us from our sins and the cleansing we are to do, cleans our walk of discipleship.

Likewise to our subject passage, Christ sacrificially atoned for our sins at the cross of Calvary. Moreover, this work of atonement is applied to us in the washing of regeneration by the Holy Ghost. This ties together justification and the effectual calling of God in regeneration or new birth.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 29:1-14
There should be nothing in this to need any explanation, since it is so clearly stated. But one should notice with what exactness each action is laid out. Notice that in verses 1 through 7 very clear directions are given for consecrating Aaron to the office of high priest. For this he was to be dressed in the garments that he was to wear when he went into the holy place. While thus fully dressed, he was to have the anointing oil poured upon his head. And the anointing oil was not to be just a drop or two, but a significant amount, so that it would indeed be poured instead of being sprinkled, or dripped. Then they were to take Aaron and his sons, and dress them in the garments made for them to wear in the tabernacle of the congregation, and at the altar, and consecrate them. At this time they were to bring a bullock to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, have Aaron and his sons put their hands upon the head of the bullock, and kill the bullock at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. Then Moses was to dip his finger in the blood of the bullock, put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar, and pour all the remainder of the blood beside the bottom of the altar. Then he was to take the specified parts of the bullock, and burn them on the altar. But all the remainder of the bullock was to be carried outside the camp, and burned. This was done because this was a sin offering. This has been considered a type of the offering of our Lord Jesus. Isaiah says, Is. 53:10, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.” And He was offered (crucified) outside the camp, that is outside the city of Jerusalem.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 29:5

Ex 29:5-9

:5 And thou shalt take the garments, and put upon Aaron the coat, and the robe of the ephod, and the ephod, and the breastplate, and gird him with the curious girdle of the ephod: 6 And thou shalt put the mitre upon his head, and put the holy crown upon the mitre. 7 Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him. 8 And thou shalt bring his sons, and put coats upon them. 9 And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them: and the priest's office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons.”

Ex 29:5-7 teaches us that the High Priest had to have the proper garments on and be anointed with the anointing oil before he could be set apart to minister in his office. All of the garments as we studied in Ex 28 pointed us to the person and work of Jesus Christ and all his holy attributes, we see the necessity that Christ be perfectly clothed with all these things those garments pointed to in order to serve as the High Priest after the order of Melchisidec.

Ex 29:8 and Ex 29:9 teach us that the sons of Aaron had also to be clothed with the appointed garments in order to minister in their office. In comparison, we as children of God must be clothed with the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ and be clothed with humility in order to minister unto the Lord’s people as his disciples.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 29:10

Ex 29:10-14

:10 “And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock. 11 And thou shalt kill the bullock before the LORD, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 12 And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar. 13 And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar. 14 But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering.”

“And thou shalt cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the bullock.” In Le 16:21-22 we are taught the significance of the laying on the hands upon the head of the animal as follow: “And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.” Thus, the laying on of the hands of the priests upon the hand of the sacrifice is to symbolically show the transfer of sins from the sinner to the sacrifice. Of course, this is illustrative of the transfer of the sins of God’s elect children from the elect children unto the Lord Jesus Christ, who as the lamb of God died for the sins of his elect children.

“And thou shalt kill the bullock before the LORD, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.” The bullock in the scriptures is a beast of burden and this slaying of the bullock symbolically represents that Christ bore the burden of the sins of his elect family and delivered them by his death.

“And thou shalt take of the blood of the bullock, and put it upon the horns of the altar with thy finger, and pour all the blood beside the bottom of the altar.” We are taught in the scriptures that the life is in the blood. This symbolically shows us that it took the blood of Jesus Christ to redeem us from our sins.

“And thou shalt take all the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul that is above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and burn them upon the altar.” The fat of the animal was considered the richness of the animal as the fat was what gave the meat its flavor and the fat was also used in cooking by the people and in the making of other useful products such as soap, etc. Christ showed his great richness towards us when he suffered for us upon the cross to redeem us from our sins.

“But the flesh of the bullock, and his skin, and his dung, shalt thou burn with fire without the camp: it is a sin offering.” Heb 13:11-13 “For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. 12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.” Thus, Heb 13:11-13 teaches us that the sin offering is a type of the perfect sin offering of Jesus Christ. The sin offering is illustrative as the word, sin, infers Christ’s offering of himself for the sins of his people.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 29:15

Ex 29:15-18

:15 “Thou shalt also take one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram. 16 And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar. 17 And thou shalt cut the ram in pieces, and wash the inwards of him, and his legs, and put them unto his pieces, and unto his head. 18 And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.”

Fire is often used as a symbol of God’s righteous wrathful judgment against sin. The burnt offering consumed the animal that was sacrificed.

“Thou shalt also take one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.” As with the sin offering, this was symbolic of the transfer of sins of the sinner unto the animal that was sacrificed, which represented in type the transfer of the sins of God’s elect family unto the one who was made to be sin for us, Jesus Christ.

“And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar.” This is similar to the sin offering as the shedding of blood was necessary for the remission of sins: Heb 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Also, the ram is used in the scripture as a type of God’s people and thus, Christ was representing the people of God when he died for them on the cross.

“And thou shalt cut the ram in pieces, and wash the inwards of him, and his legs, and put them unto his pieces, and unto his head.” This shows us that the ram had to be clean as a burnt offering. An unclean ram would not have been acceptable as a burnt offering. Again, the figure points us to Jesus Christ who was altogether without sin before God and it took one who was totally clean without sin to suffer God’s wrathful judgment for the sins of his people.

“And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.” The burnt offering was to illustrate Christ suffering on behalf of his people. The end result of that suffering was a sweet savour unto God. Likewise, we read of Christ in Heb 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The end result of Christ’s suffering on the cross was the joy that he had redeemed his people from their sins.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 29:15-24
Back in Ex 29:1-3 we find that Moses was commanded to provide a young bullock, two rams without blemish, and a basket containing certain items of bread. We then have seen what was to be done with the bullock. Now we have the instructions concerning what was to be done with the first ram, and a part of those concerning the second ram. The first ram was to be brought before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation; whereupon Aaron and his sons were to put their hands upon his head, and the ram was to be killed. Then after sprinkling the ram’s blood around upon the altar and properly dressing the ram they were to burn the entire ram on the altar for a burnt offering unto the LORD. The laying on of hands, whether upon a sacrificial animal, or upon a man, symbolically made him the representative of those who laid hands upon him, and is even so considered until the present time. With this ram thus disposed of they were to bring the second ram, have Aaron and his sons put their hands upon his head, and kill him. Then they were to put a little of his blood upon the tip of the right ear, upon the thumb of the right hand, and upon the big toe of the right foot, of Aaron and his sons. Then they were to take some of the blood and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle them upon Aaron and his sons, and upon their garments. Then they were to take specified parts of the ram, with one loaf of bread, one oiled cake, and one wafer from the basket of unleavened bread, put them in the hands of Aaron and his sons, and have them wave them as a wave offering before the LORD.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 29:19

Ex 29:19-22

:19 “And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram. 20 Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. 21 And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him. 22 Also thou shalt take of the ram the fat and the rump, and the fat that covereth the inwards, and the caul above the liver, and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, and the right shoulder; for it is a ram of consecration:”

The ram in the above passage is said to be the ram of consecration. The sacrifice of this ram was designed to symbolically consecrate or set apart Aaron and his sons for the work that they were to perform in their service to God and his people.

“And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram.” Once again, this represents the transfer of the sins of God’s people unto the person of Jesus Christ who suffered and died for our sins at the cross of Calvary.

“Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.” Just as the sins of the Lord’s people was transfer to the Lord Jesus Christ so the blood of Christ is applied to the Lord’s people to cleans and consecrate them. This principle is taught us in 2Co 5:21: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

“And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him.” Here we have illustrated both a cleansing and an anointing to consecrate Aaron and his sons. Typically this principle is taught us in Tit 3:4-5 “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Therefore in the new birth our soul is cleansed by the blood of Christ and we are consecrated or set apart with the ability to worship and serve God and his people.

Elder Timothy Guess

Exodus 29:23

Ex 29:23-28

:23 “And one loaf of bread, and one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer out of the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the LORD: 24 And thou shalt put all in the hands of Aaron, and in the hands of his sons; and shalt wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. 25 And thou shalt receive them of their hands, and burn them upon the altar for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour before the LORD: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 26 And thou shalt take the breast of the ram of Aaron's consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before the LORD: and it shall be thy part. 27 And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the shoulder of the heave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons: 28 And it shall be Aaron's and his sons' by a statute for ever from the children of Israel: for it is an heave offering: and it shall be an heave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifice of their peace offerings, even their heave offering unto the LORD.”

In this passage of scripture there are three offerings brought together: the wave offering; the heave offering; and the peace offering.

“And one loaf of bread, and one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer out of the basket of the unleavened bread that is before the LORD:” As we have previously shown, that the unleavened bread is a representative of the Lord’s sinless body. Also, we showed that unleavened bread representing that which is sincere, truth, and pure. All these things point us to the perfect body of Jesus Christ.

“And thou shalt put all in the hands of Aaron, and in the hands of his sons; and shalt wave them for a wave offering before the LORD.” The timing of the wave offering is revealed to us in Le 23:15-16: And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.” Thus, the wave offering was to be offered fifty days before Pentecost. This was the day in which Christ rose from the grave. Thus, the wave offering signifies Christ’s victorious rising and delivering his people from sin, death, hell, the grave, and Satan.

“And thou shalt receive them of their hands, and burn them upon the altar for a burnt offering, for a sweet savour before the LORD: it is an offering made by fire unto the LORD.” This ties together Christ’s sufferings on the cross with his victorious rising from the grave.

“And thou shalt take the breast of the ram of Aaron's consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before the LORD: and it shall be thy part. And thou shalt sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the shoulder of the heave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of the consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons:”

The use of the breast in the wave offering signifies Christ’s love for his children. This was his motivation for suffering and dying for the elect family of God.

The shoulder of the heave offering signifies, the burden Christ carried for his elect family and the subsequent victory when he arose from the grave.

It is through the blood of Christ and his victorious rising that we are consecrated to serve as his disciples and be a holy priesthood unto the Lord.

“And it shall be Aaron's and his sons' by a statute for ever from the children of Israel: for it is an heave offering: and it shall be an heave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifice of their peace offerings, even their heave offering unto the LORD.”

As we have previously shown the connection between the wave offering and the heave offering, now we see the connection between the heave offering and the peace offering. It is through Christ’s sufferings on behalf of his elect family and his victorious rising that we have peace with God, which is what the peace offering represents.

Elder Vernon Johnson


Exodus 29:25

Ex 29:25-28
After performing this wave offering, Moses was to take these things that had been so waved before the LORD, and burn them on the altar for a burnt offering unto the LORD. Notice that only part of the ram was thus offered. The breast of the ram was not of that part. So Moses was to take it and wave it before the LORD, and it was given him of the LORD for his own use. It is not specifically so stated, but apparently the other parts of the ram that were not used in the wave offering of Ex 29:24 were to be given to Aaron and his sons. And a statute was ordained that perpetually the heave offerings of their peace offerings would be given to Aaron and to his sons.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 29:29

Ex 29:29-30

:29 “And the holy garments of Aaron shall be his sons' after him, to be anointed therein, and to be consecrated in them. 30 And that son that is priest in his stead shall put them on seven days, when he cometh into the tabernacle of the congregation to minister in the holy place.”

Thus, the priesthood of Aaron was to be passed down from generation to generation. It was not a continuing priesthood. In this, the priesthood of Christ after the order of Melchisedec was far superior to the priesthood of Aaron. The priesthood of Christ being an eternal priesthood, he was perfect to make the perfect sacrifice and to ever make intercession for the sins of His people.

While the priesthood of Aaron changed with every successive generation, the same holy garments were to be worn by the descending sons of Aaron in the High Priesthood. In these garments the succeeding priest was to be consecrated and anointed. He was to wear these garments for seven days. The number seven signifies completion. This points us to the fact that once Christ had completed his work, then the work was completed forever as there would be no succeeding High Priest after Christ as his priesthood is an everlasting priesthood.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 29:29-30
Thus the LORD gives instruction as to the succession of the high priest. He who shall be high priest after Aaron will be permitted to put on the consecrated garments of Aaron, and be consecrated therein. At that time he will wear these garments “seven days, when he cometh into the tabernacle of the congregation to minister in the holy place.”

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 29:31

Ex 29:31-34

:31 “And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration, and seethe his flesh in the holy place. 32 And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 33 And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them: but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy. 34 And if ought of the flesh of the consecrations, or of the bread, remain unto the morning, then thou shalt burn the remainder with fire: it shall not be eaten, because it is holy.”

“And thou shalt take the ram of the consecration, and seethe his flesh in the holy place. 32 And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 33 And they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made, to consecrate and to sanctify them:” Here the sacrificed ram was to be eaten by Aaron and his sons along with the bread in the basket. The bread represents the pure sinless body of Christ whereas the ram represents Christ sacrificial atonement on the cross.

The above passage of scripture points us to Joh 6:53-54 “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” The elect family of God have been made to drink of the blood of Christ and to eat the flesh of Christ through the miracle of the new or spiritual birth. As a result they have eternal life. Notice the Lord’s wording above: He said that if you eat not of his flesh and drink his blood then you have no life in you. However, those who hath eternal life are the ones who eat his flesh and drink his blood and they will be raised up at the last day. Thus, you had to already have eternal life in order to eat his flesh and drink his blood.

“but a stranger shall not eat thereof, because they are holy. And if ought of the flesh of the consecrations, or of the bread, remain unto the morning, then thou shalt burn the remainder with fire: it shall not be eaten, because it is holy.” The stranger in this passage would be symbolically representative of the non-elect.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 29:31-37
Here the LORD gives instructions for the use of the flesh of the ram of consecration. It is to be noted that no stranger shall be allowed to eat thereof, for it is holy. If any of the flesh, or of the bread is left until the morning it shall be burned with fire. It cannot be eaten, because it is holy. Aaron and his sons shall be consecrated seven days, and an atonement shall be made for the altar for seven days to sanctify it.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 29:35

Ex 29:35-37

:35 “And thus shalt thou do unto Aaron, and to his sons, according to all things which I have commanded thee: seven days shalt thou consecrate them. 36 And thou shalt offer every day a bullock for a sin offering for atonement: and thou shalt cleanse the altar, when thou hast made an atonement for it, and thou shalt anoint it, to sanctify it. 37 Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.”

Seven days Aaron and his sons were to be consecrated. Each day a bullock for a sin offering was made for their atonement. Moreover, the atonement for the altar was to be for a period of seven days. Seven is the bible number representing completion. Thus both Aaron and his sons and the altar were to be completed atoned for. The atonement served to consecrate them to serve in the office of the High Priest and in the office of the priesthood.

The altar is where the sacrifice was made. The altar in the Old Testament days was originally an altar of stones. Later with the giving of the law, the altar was a brazen altar where the sacrifices were laid. In these New Testament days we have another altar as shown by the following verses of scripture:

1. Heb 13:10 “We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.”

2. Re 8:3-5 “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. 5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.”

Notice that the angel filled the censer with fire of the altar. In this passage the censer is Christ’s intercessory work. The angel is Christ. The “fire of the altar” is Christ’s sacrificial atonement on behalf of his people. Today we make our spiritual offerings upon Christ’s sacrificial atonement.

The atoning work of Christ along with our spiritual birth completely consecrates us to serve in the office of the holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices unto God: 1Pe 2:5 “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 29:38

Ex 29:38-42

:38 “Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually. 39 The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even: 40 And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering. 41 And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 42 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.”

This was the ordinance of the morning sacrifice and the evening sacrifice. This ordinance was to be observed daily throughout their generations. The lamb of both the morning sacrifice and of the evening sacrifice was to be accompanied by the unleavened bread offering and the drink offering of wine. When the Lord instituted the communion service with the disciples we note the significance of the unleavened bread and the wine: Mt 26:26-28 “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” The unleavened bread represented the perfect sinless body of Christ and the wine represented the blood of Christ. This New Testament ordinance like the Old Testament ordinance points us to the atoning sacrifice of Christ upon the cross, where he as the Lamb of God offered his body unto God for the sins of his people and shed his blood to redeem his people from their sins.

It is interesting to note that the children of Israel observed the morning sacrifice which was made at the 3rd hour of the day and the evening sacrifice which was made at the 9th hour of the day for a period of about 1500 years. Yet, when Christ hang on the cross from the 3rd hour to the 9th hour, very few of them at that time even considered that this was the Christ!

“This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.” Please note here that the Lord promised to meet with and speak to the people at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation where the continual burnt offering was to be made. Christ through the Holy Comforter speaks to his people today based on his sacrificial atonement for them at the cross.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 29:38-44
The LORD here gives a commandment that two burnt offerings shall be offered upon the altar, one in the morning and the other in the evening, each day throughout the generations of the children of Israel. He also tells exactly what shall be offered with these offerings, both the “meat offering” and the drink offering. And He declares that at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation is where He will meet with, and speak with Moses. He also promises that He will sanctify the tabernacle by His glory, and that he will also sanctify both the tabernacle and the altar, as well as Aaron and his sons to minister unto Him.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 29:43

Ex 29:43-46

“And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory. 44 And I will sanctify the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar: I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priest's office. 45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. 46 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God.”

In this passage we have a promise of things to come. The tabernacle was sanctified by God’s glory after that it was erected and all the furnishings had been placed. We read of this in Ex 40:34-37 “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 36 And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: 37 But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.” I will have a lot more to write about this when we get to Ex 40.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 29:45

Ex 29:45-46
This is simply the declaration of the LORD that He will dwell among the children of Israel, and cause them to know that He is the One Who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt for the very purpose of being their God, and dwelling among them. Notice that absolutely nothing conditional is mentioned in this declaration.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 30:1

Ex 30:1-6

:1 “And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it. 2 A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same. 3 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about. 4 And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make it; and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal. 5 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 6 And thou shalt put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.”

The children of Israel were to make an additional altar besides the brazen altar that was before the tabernacle. This was an incense altar on which the High Priest would burn incense. The altar was to be foursquare:

Four Square

The term, "four square," implies precision. For something to be four square the four sides must all be the exact same length and the four corners must be exactly 90 degrees. The works and buildings of man are almost never that precise. The most precise instruments and machine measurements have some tolerances.

This is the third time in the scriptures we read of things that were to be four square.

The first time is in Ex 27:1, "And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long and five cubits broad; the altar shall be four square: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. This brazen altar was where the burnt offering was made. There was to be a continual fire burning in the brazen altar and the lamb or other sacrifice was to be burnt on this brazen altar. Of course this ceremony typifies the sufferings of Jesus on the cross for his elect people.

The second time four square appears is in Ex 28:15-16, "And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work Foursquare it shall be being doubled" This breastplate of judgment was worn next to the heart of the high priest when he went into the holy place. The names of the twelve tribes of Israel were inscribed on twelve stones that were arranged in rows on the breastplate of judgment. Thus the high priest bore the names of the children of Israel upon his heart in the breastplate of judgment when he went into the holy place for a memorial before the Lord continually. This typifies the Lord Jesus Christ bearing the elect family of God in his heart when he entered heaven itself offering his own blood for their sins and this offering being accepted of the Father.

The third time four square is mentioned is in Ex 30:1-2, "And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon of shittim wood shalt thou make it. A cubit shall be the length thereof and a cubit the breath thereof; four square shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be the same." It was upon this golden incense altar that the high priest burned incense when he went into the holy place. According to Re 8:3-4 this ceremony pointed to the intercessory work of Jesus Christ interceding on behalf of the elect family of God; "And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand." This harmonizes with Ro 8:34-35 where we are assured that Jesus Christ is at the right hand of God making intercessions for all the elect.

Next, the incense altar was to be made of shittim wood and was to be overlaid with pure gold. The shittim wood is a destructible material whereas the gold is an indestructible material. Thus, the incense altar would be symbolic of one who had both a mortal nature and an immortal nature. The incense altar would be symbolic of the person of Jesus Christ as he walked upon the earth.

Moreover the incense altar had a golden crown, which points us to Christ and his reigning as king of the kingdom of God and of his victorious triumph over the enemies of his elect people; sin, death, hell, grave, and Satan.

The incense altar had rings in which staves were inserted in order to carry the incense altar. Man’s hands were not to come upon the incense altar as it pointed us to the perfect and solitary work of Jesus Christ in redeeming his people from their hands. That it was carried by means of two rings points us to the principle that the purpose of the gospel is to exalt Jesus Christ and what he had done for his people in redeeming them from their sins.

“And thou shalt put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.” The placement of the incense altar teaches us that the Lord meets with his people based on his covenant work as testified by the ark of the testimony and by his mercy as testified by the mercy seat and through his intercessory work as testified by the incense altar.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 30:1-10
This is the description of, and the instructions for the use of the altar of incense. Whereas the altar of burnt offering was overlaid with brass, this one is overlaid with pure gold. It is also much smaller than the altar of burnt offering. This altar is to be set in the tabernacle of the congregation, but in a position where only the vail of the tabernacle is between it and the ark of the testimony and the mercy seat. Each morning Aaron is to burn incense upon it as he dresses the lamps, and each evening as he lights them. This is to be done daily throughout the generations of the children of Israel. And once each year he shall put the blood of the sin offering upon the horns of this altar to make an atonement. Nothing else shall ever be offered upon it.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 30:6

Ex 30:6 And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.

The mercy seat was, and is, very important, for this is where God would meet with His people. That principle is still true today, for we surely do not desire for God to meet us anywhere else. We should never demand justice but beg for mercy. This mercy seat was the lid to the Ark of the Covenant, thus signifying the truth that everything in the Ark was covered by God’s mercy. Grace is getting what we do not deserve and mercy is not getting what we do deserve. Mercy is our only plea and without it I shudder to think of the consequences. God’s mercy should be the covering for our lives and it is our hope of living with God in glory. You see, Jesus met our judgment on the cross and we received God’s mercy. This makes the value of the suffering of Jesus more precious and dear to redeemed sinners. Even in our prayers we should plead the mercy of God.

Elder Freddy Boen

Exodus 30:7

Ex 30:7-10

:7 “And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations. 9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon. 10 And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD.”

The picture presented here is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ just like the other furniture in the tabernacle. The picture points us to the intercessory work of Jesus Christ which is presented to us in the book of Revelation: Re 8:3-5 “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. 5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.”

Re 8:3-5 "And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. 5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake."

This passage points us back to the Old Testament tabernacle service in which the High Priest interceded on behalf of the people. In the Old Testament service there was a golden altar, a golden censer, a brazen altar with fire, and incense that was burned in the golden censer upon the golden altar. Also the throne in the Old Testament tabernacle service was a mercy seat that set upon the Ark of the Covenant. This service took place in the Most Holy Place.

While all the priests (the sons of Aaron) had censers with which to burn incense only the High Priest was to burn incense on the golden altar: Ex 30:7-8 "And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations." This represented the intercessory work of the Lord Jesus Christ:

1. Ro 8:34 "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."

2. Heb 7:25 "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."

Next this incense was burned with fire from off the altar. God warned the children of Israel that they were not to burn strange fire:

1. Ex 30:9 "Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon."

2. Le 10:1-2 "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD."

The fire that was to be used to burn incense was fire from off the brazen altar. It was upon the brazen altar that the sacrifice was burned. This represented the sacrificial atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is on the basis of his sacrificial atonement as the Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary that Jesus Christ, our High Priest, intercedes on behalf of his elect.

This intercession of the High Priest came with the prayers of the saints: Lu 1:10 "And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense." Our prayers gain acceptance with God because of Christ's sacrificial atonement and because of his intercession on our behalf.

Thus the angel that stood at the altar having a golden censer is the Lord Jesus Christ in his High Priestly office interceding on behalf of the saints. Here he offered up much incense upon the golden altar with the prayers of the saints. The sacrifice on the brazen altar is frequently said to be a sweet savour unto God. The incense that was burnt on the golden altar was sweet incense. Thus God is pleased with the sacrificial atonement of Jesus Christ and he is pleased that his people pray unto him because of the intercessory work of our High Priest Jesus Christ.

It is important to remember that the smoke of the incense comes with the prayers of the saints and ascends up before God. Thus our prayers are fragranced with Christ's intercessory work. It is his intercessory work that gives the sweet odour to our prayers that God receives.

"And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth." When a person is born of the Spirit he is sprinkled with the blood of Jesus (fire of the altar) and the Holy Spirit takes up His abode in his heart making intercessions that cannot be uttered: Ro 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

Elder Vernon Johnson

Exodus 30:11

Ex 30:11-16

:11 “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. 13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. 14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. 15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. 16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.”

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.” The numbering of the children of Israel was at the direction of the Lord. Much later David took upon himself to number the children of Israel to satisfy his own pride and there was a great plague that destroyed many because of this. This initial numbering of the children of Israel was designed to provide for the service of the tabernacle. Without the ransom money there would have been a plague upon the children of Israel. The requirement for the ransom money was upon all that were numbered without exception. This was a ransom to save the souls of those numbered from the plague that would have been poured out upon them without the ransom money.

“This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. 14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. 15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.” The price of the ransom money like the price of our redemption from sin was the same for every one that was ransomed. The ransom for our redemption from sin was the shed blood and suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ and it was the same regardless of the individual ransomed. Since the shekel is equivalent to 20 gerahs, then the half shekel is 10 gerahs. The number 10 is associated in the scriptures with law and commandment. Thus the ransom money was a legal requirement placed upon them by the Lord.

“And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.” In the service of the tabernacle the High Priests was to make an atonement for the children of Israel. The ransom or atonement money was appointed to support those who performed the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 30:11-16
The LORD commanded Moses to number, or take a census of, the children of Israel. And when this census was taken, every male Israelite twenty years of age and older must make an offering unto the LORD. This was to be an offering of money, and all of these offerings must be the same amount, one half a shekel. None could give more, and none could give less. This offering was to make an atonement for the souls of those making the offering. This was to continue as a memorial to the children of Israel before the LORD. That is, it was to be done year by year.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 30:17

Ex 30:17-21

:17 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. 19 For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: 20 When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD: 21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.”

We had noted previously that before the High Priests and the Priests could serve in the tabernacle that they had to be washed. This washing was applied to them. In this it is a type of the washing of the soul that takes place in regeneration.

Now we are told that Aaron and his sons were to wash themselves before they go into the tabernacle of the congregation to serve therein or to come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD. This is similar to the washing that a disciple of Christ is supposed to do in order to serve the Lord in His church kingdom:

1. 2Co 7:1 “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

2. Jas 4:8 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

“Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.” The wash basin was made of brass. Brass is made from copper and zinc. Both the copper and the zinc is heated with great heat and mixed together to make brass. Brass in the scriptures is associated with the judgment of God. The cleansing of the brazen wash pot points us to the cleansing we are to do in keeping the word of God: Ps 6 “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” Like the water of the wash pot we are to cleanse ourselves for the service of God at the washing of the pure words of God.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 30:17-21
Here the LORD gives Moses instructions for making, and for the use of the laver that was to be put between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar. Aaron and his sons, and succeeding generations of priests were to wash their hands and their feet at this laver when they were going into the tabernacle of the congregation or when they were going to approach the altar.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 30:22

Ex 30:22-33

:22 “Moreover the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, 24 And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: 25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. 26 And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, 27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense, 28 And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. 29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. 30 And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office. 31 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations. 32 Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. 33 Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.”

There were four ingredients in the making of the holy anointing oil: myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, and olive oil. Four is the bible number associated with the work of the Holy Spirit. Next, the anointing was to be performed by Moses. Likewise, it was prophets who anointed the priests, and kings. Samuel anointed Saul and David. Similarly, the prophets Elijah and Elisha were also appointed to anoint kings and priests in their day. This points us to the greatest of all prophets: Jesus Christ. He holds the titles of Prophet, Priest, and King.

It was an holy anointing oil for the purpose of sanctifying the tabernacle and its instruments and those who served in the tabernacle. To sanctify is to set apart for a holy use.

This points us to the fact that today we are anointed by the Lord Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit in the spiritual birth. We are set apart for a holy use to serve the Lord as we are taught in Eph 2:10 where we are told that we are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Likewise, the Holy Spirit anointed the church by means of (baptism of the Holy Ghost) on the day of Pentecost and at the household of Cornelius.

This anointing is performed only on the elect family of God and not ever on the non-elect.

Elder Vernon Johnson

Ex 30:22-33
Having given instructions for the building and setting up of the tabernacle and all the furniture thereof, and instructions for consecrating Aaron and his sons, and those who should succeed them, the LORD here gives instructions for making the anointing oil that was to be used in the consecration of all things, and all persons that were to be anointed. This anointing oil was never to be used for anything except that for which He has authorized it. Anyone who makes any like it, or uses it for any other purpose except that authorized will be “cut off from his people.” No explanation is given for the phrase, “cut off from his people.” It might mean that he would be put to death, or it might mean that he would only be disowned by the Israelites, and exiled from them. Either way it was not a pleasant prospect for one who would do such.

Elder Cecil Sandifer

Exodus 30:34

Ex 30:34-38

Sweet Scents Unto The Lord

We all love to smell the fragrance of a rose or other beautiful flowers with their own pleasing scents. Ex 30:34-38 is a passage of scripture where the Lord told Moses to take sweet spices with pure frankincense and make it into a perfume to be put in the tabernacle. This sweet smelling perfume was not for the benefit of Moses or any of the Israelites, but rather “it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD” (Ex 30: