Posts Tagged ‘moses’

The Good News has changed since Moses‘ day. Back then this was the Gospel message:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the pocongregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.” (Exodus 12:1-13)
Of course most of us already know that this was just a picture (or type) of the Good News that was to come in Jesus Christ, but I wanted to focus on these two (2) things that jumped out at me in the Exodus narrative:
1) 600,000 Jewish men all received the same message.
2) They all believed it and obeyed.
The first point speaks to the evangelical and apostolic effort that was put forth — Moses received a precise message from God that needed to go out without any changes or alterations. Moses passed the message to the elders, and they passed it to men, who then passed it to other men, until all 600,000 families got the Good News. I haven’t researched it, but this may be the only time in Israel’s history that the entire nation was united for a singular cause and where all the men were perfectly compliant. We know they got it right because not one soul was lost.

We know they got it right because not one soul was lost.

The second point speaks to the first: everyone who heard the complex and intricate message obeyed it. Again, we know this to be true because not one Jew perished.

Outwardly, this ministered to me in that we [Christians] have a very precise, albeit simpler message to deliver. I took note that in the Exodus account there was not one man [who received the message] who said, “Okay, I will now pray for the Lord to give me an open door or a ‘Divine appointment’ to share this Good News.”

The notion of being sent out was implied in the urgency of the original message. If for some reason there was a man who could not go, I suspect he frantically searched for another man to go in his stead.

Inwardly, this ministered to me in that belief in the message was not sufficient to be saved. There was not one Jewish man who thought or said, “Moses, I totally believe you and this whole ‘slaughter a lamb’ thing, but I’m gonna do it my way. God knows my heart and He will understand.”
It was collectively understood that there was either going to be genuine, unwavering compliance or there was going to be death. On that day, Israel chose compliance.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway , even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Where does that leave us?

I believe in Jesus and therefore I follow Jesus. He has given us the directive to share the Gospel Message and our obedience is implied in the word “Go.”

We’re not to alter the message in any way, we’re just to pass it on in order that souls will not perish. We can (and should) pray for ‘open doors’ and ‘Divine appointments,’ but chances are we’re not going to see any of them unless or until we actually set out to deliver the message. Oh that’s not to say that God won’t send opportunities knocking upon your door (He does do that on occasion), but consider that if Israel had waited in this fashion there likely would have been a lot of dead Jewish people in Egypt on that first Passover.

You have the message and God has equipped you in some way to deliver it. Pray for your open door and then trust as you go out in obedience that you will see it clearly. If you’re a follower of Jesus, it’s only reasonable.
“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.” (Romans 12:1)

Read Full Post »

By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. Hebrews 11:24-29

God’s Grace Through Faith

There’s a lot of hope found in Hebrews 11. As we read through the entire chapter we quickly catch hold of the theme: God through faith equips His children to do His work. By faith (we read) the church understands God’s word. By faith Abel made his offerings to the Lord. By faith Enoch spoke testimonies of the Lord. By faith Noah built. By faith Abraham obeyed. By faith Sarah was strengthened. By faith Issac blessed. By faith Joseph prophesied.

moThe Biblical Hall of Faith continues with the likes of such other notables as: Rahab, Gideon, Sampson, David, and Samuel, but in the middle of these hallowed halls the writer pauses over Moses in order to reflect upon 7 consequences of his faith. I find them conspicuous in that they were all allotted to one man and that they seem to be the same things that the Lord desires to works through us, His children.

Are these things in operation in your walk of faith?

The Magnificent 7

1) By faith we reject what the world has to offer.

By faith Moses…refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter

By faith Moses turned down the world’s offer; refusing the title and the position, and rejecting that which his flesh had previously craved. By faith, Moses was able to (as per Romans 12:2), ‘not be conformed to this world, but was transformed by the renewing of his mind, that it could be proven what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’

2) By faith we let go of sin.

By faith Moses…(chose) rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin 

By faith Moses repented and let go of sin, choosing to suffer the consequences associated with leaving one’s past behind. By faith Moses understood that, ‘Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.’ (James 1:12)

3) By faith we invest eternally.

By faith Moses…(esteemed) the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt

By faith Moses invested in things eternal. By faith Moses had the assurance of, ‘hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began (Titus 1:2). Missionary Jim Elliot must have understood the concept as well, otherwise how could he have written, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

4) By faith we stand.

By faith (Moses) forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king

By faith Moses was fearless. By faith Moses knew to, “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

5) By faith we see Jesus

By faith…(Moses) endured as seeing Him who is invisible

By faith Moses had spiritual vision. A Christian’s faith isn’t truly blind, for the reality is believers see more.  By faith Moses knew, ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’ (John 20:29)

6) By Faith we are religious

By faith Moses kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood

By faith Moses kept the precepts of our religion, knowing it was not the faith or the religion that saved. By faith Moses knew these components were given by God in order to brig him closer to God. Moses understood ‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.’ (John 15:7)

7) By faith we move.

By faith (Moses) passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned

By faith Moses moved forward, obeying the word that he heard; knowing that to reject the truth of God’s word was to die. I can almost imagine Moses saying, “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13b-14)

So what is this thing called faith?

Again, I found an answer during my research that is better than anything I could have come up with on my own. I found this definition from ‘The Complete Bible Answer Book,’ by Hank Hanegraaff (AKA: The Bible Answer Man). Hank writes:

“The Bible defines faith as “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Thus, in biblical vernacular, faith is a channel of living trust—an assurance—that stretches from man to God. In other words, it is the object of faith that renders faith faithful. Furthermore, faith is the assurance that God’s promises will never fail, even if sometimes we do not experience their fulfillment in our mortal existence. Hebrews 11 underscores the fact that we trust God to fulfill his promises for the future (the unseen) based on what he has already fulfilled in the past. Thus, our faith is not blind, but based squarely on God’s proven faithfulness.

Finally, the faith that serves to protect us in spiritual warfare is not to be confused with mere knowledge. Millions worldwide believe in the trustworthiness of Billy Graham. They have heard him proclaim the good news on television and yet do not believe that his message corresponds to reality. Thus, they have the knowledge that it takes to be saved but do not have saving faith. Others hear the message, agree that it corresponds to reality, but due to the hardness of their hearts do not bow. Rather, like the demons, they continue to live in fearful anticipation of the judgment to come (James 2:19). Some, however, have what Scripture describes as genuine justifying faith—a faith that not only knows about the gospel and agrees that its content corresponds to reality, but a faith by which they are transformed.”

What kind of faith do you have?

If you enjoyed the post please like it, share it, subscribe to the blog, or leave a comment below. I read and respond to every remark. God bless!

Read Full Post »

And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever…” Genesis 6:3

A Message to the Non-Believer

What does it mean that God will not strive with man forever? Well aside from the obvious negative connotation, it means that God contends with and pursues after every single one of us, for the purpose of saving our souls and He does so for a distinguishable period of time.

English poet and ascetic, Francis Thompson (1859-1907), put it this way:

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the year
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vista’d hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasm’d fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbed pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat — and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet
“All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.”
(*From the ‘Hound of Heaven’)


“Strong Feet that followed after, with unhurrying chase and unperturbed pace, deliberate speed, majestic instancy, they beat and a Voice beat more instant than the Feet.”

Can you imagine?

He Stops.

God’s quest for our lost souls does not last perpetually. God ends His pursuit when we end our search; when we permanently close and seal the door to Jesus and the Spiritual knowledge that saves a man leads us to salvation. At this point the engagement will cease and hearts will be hardened. That’s what happened to Pharaoh.

Remember when the Lord said to Moses (regarding Pharaoh), “I have hardened his heart…” (Exodus 10:1)?

We know from the Genesis account that God pursued Pharaoh’s heart for a long while. Pharaoh was given numerous opportunities to repent and turn to God and each time he refused. There came a point when the Father knew this man was not going to change, and thus hardened his heart. It was Pharaoh’s choice, but God sealed the deal.

Today, Pharaoh’s error is our paradigm — what God did to Pharaoh, He will do to you if you continue to refuse His grace and gift. It’s what He calls the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.” Matthew 12:31

Blasphemy of this kind is not a onetime event; it’s the continual refusal and denial of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Those guilty of the offence are subject to eternal damnation. And just so we’re all on the same page, God does not condemn these folks, they effectively condemn themselves.

God is Not Cruel

“Is it too late; has God already hardened my hard heart?”

The answer is easy to discern.

Read this Bible verse:

Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2b

Now ask yourself, “Do I still possess the ability to make a choice? Am I still able to change my mind?

If you accept the notion that now is the time for you to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, it is not too late. If you are willing to change your mind, God will change your heart. In other words, your willingness is a sign that your heart has not been hardened.

But what if now is not my time — what if I still have tomorrow?

All I can say to that is that thousands and thousands of people, young and old, died yesterday believing that they’d still have today, having bought into satan’s subtle lie, “There’s no rush.”

Is This Your Last Chance?

I don’t know, but I’m curious, “Why are you here?”

Oh, I don’t mean why are you here in a cosmic, philosophical kind of way, but why are you here, in a Christian forum, reading a Christian blog, when you don’t yet believe in Jesus Christ? Might I suggest to you that you were led here by the Holy Spirit because your time has come and that the day of your salvation has arrived.

I don’t know.

What I do know is that the choice is still yours and that God will not strive with you forever.

Thus says the Lord: “In an acceptable time I have heard You, And in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You As a covenant to the people, To restore the earth, To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages… Isaiah 49:8

Read Full Post »

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

From Glory to Glory

Have you ever been driving along a stretch of highway wondering if you are on the right road?

It can be distressing.

In the distance you see a sign. As you near it your heart rate quickens, ”What will it reveal?”

At last you discover that you are on the proper road and, joy of joys, you are heading in the right direction.

Why is this such a glorious sensation? Because you have affirmed that you’re on the right course and that your destination is closer. In this regard, road signs are great, but their glory fades as we scoot by because their job is done and the places they guide us to are greater.

This is what Paul is telling us: Christians are traversing from one glory to another glory, with the latter being exceedingly better than the first.

What are these two glories?

The Law and Jesus Christ

But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 2 Corinthians 3:7-9

Ministry of Death

The ministry of death and the ministry of condemnation are one and the same; they are references to The Law that Moses brought down off the mountain.

The ministry of righteousness is Jesus.

While the Law was glorious, the glory of Christ exceeds it.

Fact is, Jesus Christ is the only reason the Law had any glory to begin with. The glory of the Law is that it tells a person where they are and points them in the direction they need to go.  The Law is that glorious road sign directing sinners to Jesus Christ—the ultimate glory.

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. Galatians 3:24-25

We are grateful for the Law and we recognize its glory and purpose, but to stop at the Law so that we might bask in its fading glory would be silly.  If you were driving to Disney World, would you stop to glory beneath the highway billboard directing you there?   Of course not.  We appreciate its work and we move on.

Similarly, we move on from the Law to Jesus.

Don’t Forget

We live in a lost world, so remember the road signs.  Others will need to know where they are and where they need to go. Share one glory so others might know the true glory.

For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. 2 Corinthians 3:11

Read Full Post »

…After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Job 42:7

What did Job’s friend Eliphaz say that got God so riled up?

Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? If He puts no trust in His servants, If He charges His angels with error, How much more those who dwell in houses of clay, Whose foundation is in the dust, Who are crushed before a moth? They are broken in pieces from morning till evening; They perish forever, with no one regarding. Does not their own excellence go away? They die, even without wisdom. Job 4:17-21

The above passage is only a snippet of a larger discourse, but in it we see how Eliphaz took a fundamental truth of God, added his own words, and then used the mixture to verbally assault Job. There is some legitimacy in his remarks; it had an appearance of godliness, but because he contaminated it with his own worldly doctrine, it was powerless. Being half right made him totally wrong and watering down God’s word was hurtful rather then helpful.

I do however find it intriguing that Eliphaz reminded us that we ‘dwell in houses of clay’ although I doubt if he recognized the relevance of his phraseology. The fact that the Lord formed man out of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7) and that the Apostle Paul likens us to earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7) puts forward the notion that we are clay houses and not merely casual inhabitants of them. But that’s not the end of it—we are clay houses with a purpose!

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

If we listen to the false teacher Eliphaz, we might believe that our brokenness is without function; that we live, we die, and we suffer in-between, and rarely, if ever does anyone care to take notice. While that is a gross exaggeration, there is a tiny morsel of truth within it. However, the world would be well served to remember that God does not exist for us, but rather we exist for Him and even in our suffering God can be glorified.

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. Colossian 1:16

Therefore, our wholeness and (as it pertains to this story) our brokenness serves a Greater purpose. Let’s go back to the earthen-vessel analogy for a moment. Do you remember the story in Judges of Gideon and his triumph over the Midianites? How he, by God’s direction, took an army of three hundred, armed with trumpets and earthen vessels, and went against a Midianite force of over one hundred and thirty thousand. Do you recall what happened next?

Then the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers–they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing–and they cried, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. Judges 7:20-21

The light shone when the vessels were broken!

Therein lays our doctrine. In our brokenness the light of Jesus can shine! If we don’t understand the devise of brokenness or refuse to yield to the work God wants to do in it, we become troubled and miserable. But when by faith we chose to see the bigger picture, we are blessed—we recognize God’s divine plan and His purpose for it. We are refined, God is glorified, and non-believers are drawn to His light. For further examination let’s consider the Exodus story.

Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn and camp before Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, opposite Baal Zephon; you shall camp before it by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, ‘They are bewildered by the land; the wilderness has closed them in.’ Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” Exodus 14:1-4

God purposely put His people between a rock and a hard place, or more precisely, between two mountains and the Red Sea. Why? Because in so doing His Divinity and supremacy became known to the Egyptians. Did it work? Yup. Were any of the Egyptians saved as a result? It wouldn’t seem so, but that’s not the issue—God revealed Himself to non-believers and gave them a choice to make—the fact that they chose unwisely isn’t germane to my point.

What if Israel protested; what if they said to Moses, “How dare God bring us to this place of brokenness. This is not fair!” Would that have changed their predicament one iota? No, they still would have had to endure it. Wasn’t it better to understand that in their brokenness God was doing a good work of some sort? Isn’t it a better testimony for us to bear our trials joyfully rather than mournfully?

Can we see God’s hand in our troubles? Is there a bigger picture that we’re not seeing in the loss of a job, the diagnosis, or the death of a loved one? We might never know why bad things happen, but we can find our hope, peace, and assurance in knowing that God’s ways are always righteous and true.

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at Calvary Chapel Coastlands.

Read Full Post »

On the first day of the first month he began his journey from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel. Ezra 7:9-10

There is a peculiar gap between the end of Ezra chapter six and the beginning of Ezra chapter seven, a space of approximately sixty years. In this season of silence the Temple was functioning properly and the people were worshiping, but nothing of biblical note is recorded. That sad fact is an indicator that revival was probably in order. Enter Ezra.

Ezra was a brilliant man of God and the writer of this book, first and second Chronicles, and Psalm 119. He was a scribe and a priest; a direct descendant of Aaron. I am told that the Talmud records that he had the Torah memorized and that he and 119 other men determined, as led by the Holy Spirit, the canon of the Old Testament. Ezra is also a picture (or type) of the Holy Spirit in this story—his name in fact means helper.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. John 16:7

Who Cares?

Why would we care if Ezra’s a type of God’s Spirit; why is that important to us? A couple reasons: first it demonstrates once again that the Old Testament is more than just a Bible history book and that its primary function is to deliver its readers by pointing them to Jesus Christ. The second reason is that if we can claim Ezra is a type of the Holy Spirit, there’s likely Holy Spirit characteristics present in the text; things of which we can glean. And wouldn’t you know it, there are!

You can read the letter that King Artaxerxes gave Ezra (Ezra 7:12-27) if you like, but here’s a synopsis–Ezra is called by the king to be a guide, a giver of gifts, a leader of worship, a teacher, an enforcer of righteousness, a beautifier of the Lord’s house, and a gather of men. Aren’t those the very attributes we associate with God’s Spirit?

Reread Ezra 7:9-10 from the start of the blog. It’s a wonderful illustration of what the Holy Spirit does in our lives, isn’t it. Now compare it to this bundle of verses:

For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God…You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear…He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you…for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. 1 Corinthians 2:10b, Psalms 10:17b, John 14:26b, Philippians 2:13

Not only do these combined passages demonstrate how the Old Testament jives with the New, but they reveal how God’s Spirit functions in our lives. We see that He’s led by the Word, He readies our hearts, He educates, and then incredibly He does the work through the submitted believer.

A Final Thought

…Ezra came up from Babylon; and he was a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given. Ezra 7:6

Did you know that being filled with the Holy Spirit and being filled with God’s Word are synonymous? Ezra’s type bears witness to it, for he was both filled with the Spirit and consumed by the Word—both had taken up residence in his heart. Compare Ephesians 5:18b-19 and Colossians 3:16

…Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord

They’re in agreement for the most part, the only difference being that one says be filled with the Holy Spirit and the other says be filled with the Holy Word. Observe that the characteristics are identical; a Spirit-filled person and a Bible-filled person operate similarly. In other words, a noticeable quality of the Spirit-filled believer is that he or she is absorbed in God’s word.

Is that your testimony? Can you say ‘God’s Spirit resides in me’ because these other qualities are also present? If you can’t then one of two things are likely true: the Holy Spirit does not live in you ~or~ you are quenching the works of the Holy Spirit. The solution to either of those can be found in prayer and in the Word.

Follow me on Twitter HERE

These ramblings are typically (but not always) a byproduct inspired by God through my personal Bible study at SearchLight with Pastor Jon Courson and with my pastor at Calvary Chapel Coastlands.

Read Full Post »

Then the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. 1 Kings 8:6

It had been almost 500 years since the Exodus and Solomon had finished constructing the desire of his father David’s heart, the Temple of the Lord. Its moving day and all the components of the Temple were brought in and put in position and the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Holy of Holies. Question—‘What’s inside the Ark of the Covenant?’ Follow-up question—‘Are you absolutely sure?’

Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. 1 Kings 8:9

Okay, Who Stole Aaron’s Rod and the Manna?

While God in His Word does not explain what happened to the staff and manna, we can rest assured that there are reasons why they were missing. Before we delve into the explanation, we would recall why these items were placed in the Ark in the first place. Aaron’s ‘budding’ rod was a miraculous confirmation; a sign to Israel that Moses and Aaron were His intended leaders. The manna on the other hand was a wondrous sign of God’s provision. The Law was a sign of a different category; a tangible road-sign informing every reader of where he is (in sin) and where he needs to go (to the cross of Jesus Christ).

So the question of most importance is not, “Who removed these two items,” or, “where are they,” or “what happened to them,” but rather, “why does only one remain?” The answer is evident; this singular article (two tablets) effectively demonstrates two facts…

…The word of the Lord endures forever. 1 Peter 1:25a

The second fact might not be as obvious. It will serve us well to remember that there is no other people group in world history that witnessed more miraculous signs and wonders than post-Egypt Israel. What impact did all those signs and wonders have upon them? Not much. Out of entire generation of people (a couple million or more), only two, Joshua and Caleb, came to believe. There is an enormous lesson in that.

Are We Done With Miracles?

Heaven forbid! Jesus told His church that there is an order in which these things will occur…

And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17-18

And He told us why there needs to be an order…

A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Matthew 16:4

And there’s the second reason. Generally speaking, we are sign-seekers; we want evidence, we want confirmation, we want corroboration before we commit and handover the reigns to Someone we cannot readily see or touch. There’s a drawback that comes with that kind of attitude and Jesus told us pointedly what it is:

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Matthew 24:24

The rod and the manna were removed for our protection! So like me, you might ask why were those signs and wonders placed into the Ark to begin with. I submit to reveal to us that a) they exist, and b) we don’t need them to come to faith, and c) they will follow us as we follow Jesus. We should consider what was said regarding John the Baptist [who] Jesus called the greatest prophet whoever lived…

Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.” And many believed in Him there. John 10:41-42

Read Full Post »

Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight Romans 3:20 What is Justification?

In the biblical sense of the word, what does justification mean? My pastor has always liked to say that its meaning is plainly spelled out in the word itself. “Its just-as-if you never sinned, ” he would say. It helps to recognize that it means much more than just having been forgiven of transgression; it’s a declaration of righteousness. Imagine going to court for a speeding ticket and your case is never called. When you make an enquiry, the judge advises, “We have no record whatsoever of you having committed the offense you speak of.” That’s justification.

Justification is Independent of the Law

The opening verse from Romans 3:20 remind us that no person can be justified; that is made righteous, by the law. Perfect adherence to the law is an impossibility for the earth-bound. While it is true man can justify certain behavior, that in know way suggests that the Father does the same. In His perfection, God cannot and will not wink at our offenses.

Justification is by Faith in the Lord

…The righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 3:22a

There is only one source for justification—Jesus Christ. By faith alone can righteousness be realized.

Justification is For all Mankind

…To all and on all who believe… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:22b-23

The word all in the original Greek language means all–this blessing is for everyone. Why? Because all have sinned and our Father desires that no one should perish. His grace is always there and all a person must do, is by faith take possession of it.

Justification is Exclusively by His Grace
…Being justified freely by His grace Romans3:24a

God has provided one way, not because He is mean or even exclusionary, but because we are, for lack of a better word—stupid. God’s purpose is to keep the formula, the remedy, whatever you want to call it, as simple as possible—one way, two choices—a person either wants salvation or they don’t. The more choices we have, the muddier the water—satan know this and the likely reason there are gazillions of false religions out there. Our loving God is not a God of confusion, but order.

Justification is Free But not Without Cost

Whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood. Romans 3:25

God the Father gave to us His Son to pay the price for all the sin of the world, thus solving the divine dilemma: doling out perfect love and perfect justice simultaneously.

Justification is Not an Achievement

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. Romans 3:27

There are no bragging rights for the guy who rides the bench for the entire game when his team wins. So it is with justification. The justified had nothing at all to do with it, therefore the only one to get the glory is the One who afforded it. We are saved and blessed by grace, not by works. Let us never confuse the fact that because God might bless us while we do works, that the work itself is what brings forth blessings.

Justification Validates the Law

Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. Romans 3:31

A road sign is designed to do two things: tell you where you are ~and~ where you aren’t. The Law is such a device—it tells us that we are mired in sin and at the same time points us to the solution in Jesus Christ. The law is not dead to those who are justified, but we are in a sense dead to it. The mere fact that the law brought us to the cross proves its inherent value and establishes its purpose.


Read Full Post »

Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. Deuteronomy 33:1Now What?

Did you know this is the first time in the Bible the phrase ‘man of God’ is used? In autobiographical fashion and under the inspiration of God the Father, Moses writes this about himself. How come? Numerous reasons I suppose, but the passage from Deuteronomy 33, I believe, sums up the intent most excellently. Moses was, as best as any one can be, a selfless man; his heart and love for Israel an expression of God’s own heart and the final reason God directs him to record it.

What Did He Do?

God had just informed Moses that he was not going to enter the Promised Land ~and~ that he was going to die—like immediately. Moses already knew about the first part, but what’s this death-stuff he had to wonder. Yes it’s true, Moses was 120 years old, but the Bible tells us he was in great shape. He could have complained or at the very least attempted to intercede on his own behalf, but what does Moses choose to do? Nothing. Instead he turns and pronounces a blessing upon those who would be entering into the Promised Land; the nation of Israel.

What Would You (or I) Have Done?

Don’t tell me, but that’s why God has given us an opportunity to read this account of Moses—so we will know what to do when tribulation smacks home. Moses had no forewarning (and the reason that makes his case extra special), but we do—God has given us His word and in it He instructs us how men and women of God are to react. And why would we want to respond like Moses? Because it is what men of God do—we live to bring honor, glory, and praise to our Lord and Savior, with the deepest gratitude we can muster.

We don’t have to, we get to.

Follow me on Twitter HERE

Read Full Post »

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6


So frequently we find ourselves in God’s word, but lament that nothing much of spiritual significance is going on. Maybe we’re mired in fear, far too anxious to be of much good to anyone or anything, complaining about most of what we experience. Faced with tribulation our tendency is too often to crabbily recoil, belligerently spoil, or inefficiently toil, turning out results seldom worthwhile.

In order to overcome the first thing we need to recognize is that fear is pleasing to satan. Why is the devil pleased? He is pleased because in our fear we are not drawing on faith; in other words, we are not relying on Jesus Christ. It’s not necessarily that fear is faith in the devil, but rather a faith in nothingness—that somehow, in our anxiety, in our complaining, in our dread, something positive will be the result. That’s just utter nonsense.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

An Important Principle

The Deuteronomy passage plots a critical, spiritual principle in regard to our faith that you might not have caught. God essentially tells Israel to first be not afraid, for He will be with them on the other side of the Jordan River. In other words, it is a conditional agreement—God tends to reveal His self after we act faithfully. So, if it is our testimony that God seems distant, the cause might very well be that we walk in fear.

And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:26-27

We see the very same thing illustrated in this account from Matthew’s Gospel. There is a horrific storm and the disciples fear for their lives. Suddenly Jesus appears to them walking upon the turbulent sea, but they do not recognize Him. Why? Because they were filled with fear and fear nudges out faith.

Take note of what happens next because it is important. Jesus tells them to first be of good cheer, then He announces, “It is I.” Then and only then do they recognize Jesus for who He truly is. And that is the true essence of our faith. Christians should never be caught saying, “Seeing is believing, ” because that is in direct contrast to what faith is! It is when we believe; when we speak and act faithfully, we see.

Furthermore, We Know…

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God Romans 10:17

Faith is worked-in as we absorb God’s word and faith is worked-out when we speak or act out faithfully. If faith comes in and does not go out, we are quenching His Spirit and the work He desires to do. It’s the very reason the Dead Sea is dead—the Jordan flows in, but nothing whatsoever flows out. However, when we act faithfully (fearlessly), we experience the abundant life in Christ Jesus as He reveals more and more of Himself.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him… Hebrews 11:6a

When we more fully understand this principle, in the face of our tribulations we will choose to be of good cheer and thus an awesome, pleasing witness for Him. Inevitably we discover it works, or more accurately, God works. As God breathes forth His word and we eagerly take it in, our faith matures. As we faithfully speak out and act out the word that we heard, God is pleased, He is honored, He is glorified, and He is revealed.

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5b-6

follow me on Twitter HERE

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Overcoming The Times

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

The Motherhood Marathon

Finding the humor, beauty, and purpose in the mess of motherhood

Greater Cause

Addressing Daily Issues From a Biblical Worldview

Disciples of hope

Living the hope that comes from Christ


Thrift Store Tripping and Frugal Living at its Best

In the Little Things

Finding Meaning in the Madness and the Mundane

The Perfect Dad

Every man dies. Not every man truly parents.


Mark 16:15 Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Let's Talk Gospel

Christian Encouragement and Entertainment

Kendall Lyons

writing stuff

God charts the road

A road that represents the course of those who desire to follow God

The Master's Meadow

Lush pasture, living springs, and marked paths

Servants' Journal

A blog about Christian life and Biblical teaching.

Don Charisma

because anything is possible with Charisma

%d bloggers like this: