No Matter What Anyone Says…

Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But You, O LORD, are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. Psalm 3:2-3 (KJV)

No matter what anyone says in mockery of the Christian you are loved by God.  It has been said by some, that, depending on Christ or God is a crutch.  Well, my response to that is… Yes, I am a spiritual cripple, and I need Him as more than a crutch.  I need Him many times to carry me.

There may be many who say of us… “There is no help him/her in God”  but I can look them in the eye and say, “God is my help, He is my shield protecting me from the vile attempts by the devil to get me to turn against the Almighty.  He is also my glory.  He is also the one who lifts up my head and sets my feet upon the Rock.

What are folks saying about you and your faith in God today?  Maybe you have been ill, attacked by a grave illness, maybe even cancer, and people are saying, or asking, “Where is her God now?”  You can use these verses to combat that. You do not need to wait till the sickness is over.  He is your shield, your glory and the lifter of your head now.

No matter what anyone says… God is for you when you are for Him through His Son Jesus Christ who is God the Son.

Glory

“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. 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. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.” Exodus 40:34-38 (KJV)

The book of Exodus begins with the word “Now” (Exodus 1:1), and is a recap of what has taken place at the end of Genesis – the family of Jacob goes into Egypt, and the family increases greatly while there.

The Bible is not a book so much that tells us about ourselves, or how to live;  it does that, but that is not its purpose.  The book we call the Bible is about GOD our Creator, Sustainer, Provider, our Strength, our Sword (or Defense), and He is definitely our Song.  That is nowhere more evident than in God’s deliverance of His people from bondage and slavery.

There is a phrase used throughout the Old Testament “They shall know that I am the LORD” and sometimes it uses the words “You shall know…” and “…the LORD of hosts”.  The prophecy of Ezekiel uses it at least 63 times.  The phrase “…Shall know that I am the LORD” is used at least five times in Exodus (6:7;  7:5;  14:18:  16:12;  and 29:46).

The One who made us all desires that we know Him and that we know He is the LORD of hosts.  He desires that we have a personal relationship with Him.  He desires that we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:29-30), and in loving Him we will love others (Mark 12:31).  For no one is being honest who says, “I love God”, and then they hate their neighbor (1 John 2:9;  4:8, and 4:20).

What does the title “Glory” have to do with Exodus and all this other stuff?  God’s glory.  His glory is radiated through His temple.  Flesh of man cannot reside in the presence of God.  Even Moses even had to leave, because he could not bear it.

The glory of God rest in His tabernacle.  Ultimately the Tabernacle is in Christ Jesus.  The glory of God was and is in Jesus Christ His Son; and that glory resides in those who trust and believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God.  The Lord is driving out the flesh in us so the glory of God is seen.

If you are still in darkness then come to the Light.  His name is Jesus the Son of God, God the Son.  The Personification of the Glory of God.

The Salvation of the LORD

It does me good to read what was said in the past.

Broken Pieces

The pressures of the world are rushing ever near you.  You feel like you should not have made that good move that you did.  Things have changed, and right now it just does not seem like it was the right move to make.  Hold on.  Be strong.  Be strong in the Lord; or as Moses said, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD…”

“And Moses said unto the people, ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will show you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.  The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”  Exodus 14:13-14 (KJV).

The LORD had done many mighty, and marvelous things to bring the children of Israel to the edge of the Red Sea.  There had been a complete destruction of…

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Day Three Hundred and Fifteen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to love my neighbor as I love myself.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”” Exodus 20:12-17 (NKJV)

“And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

Also see Day 317

Day Three Hundred and Seventeen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to love God with all my heart, all my mind, all my soul, and with all my strength; and want that for you too.

See Exodus 20:1-11

The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Mark 12:29-30 (NKJV)

Veil on the Face

“And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.” Exodus 34:33-35 (KJV)

Moses would share with the people the words the LORD gave him.  He would speak as he was commanded to speak.  The words he spoke were not easy words; as the words of the LORD are not often easy.

When Moses would speak with Israel he wore a veil over his face.  On first appearance it would appear that Moses put the veil on his face to cover the glow of his countenance, that the people might not fear or cower in his appearance to them.  When we read Paul’s account of this in the New Testament we read,

“And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: but their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.” 2 Corinthians 3:13-16 (KJV)

The veil was on the face of Moses so they could not see the glory fading.  Yet, Paul says there is a veil on the hearts of the people of Israel, because they have refused to see Jesus as their Messiah.  Oh how I pray for the removal of that veil, that they might see Jesus, and we are informed by Scripture that one day they will “Look upon Him whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10;  John 19:37;  Revelation 1:7).  They will look and they will believe.

Turn, Oh turn to the Lord Jesus Christ; and live in His glory.  The glory of Christ does not fade away.

 

Responsible for Sin

“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book which Thou hast written. And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of My book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, Mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.” Exodus 32:31-35 (KJV)

Moses had been on the Mount receiving instructions of the worship of God for the people of Israel.  They had previously received the Ten Commandments in word, having heard the voice of God speaking to them in Exodus 20.

The first Commandment is, “You shall have no other gods before Me”.  The second is “You shall not make for yourself any graven image…”, and that is exactly what Aaron and the people had done.  They had disobeyed God the LORD of all glory.  They, by making the golden calf, had separated themselves from the worship of YaHWeH.  They transgressed the law of God.

Moses, the man of God, the prophet of the Law of God, prays that if someone is to perish for their sin, “…Blot me, I pray Thee out of Thy book which Thou has written”.  It is apparent from God’s response that no one is responsible for the payment of sin except the one committing the transgression.

There is the promise of God that “Mine Angel shall go before thee…”, but there is still a visitation of judgment that must be made upon sin.

God has not, nor will He ever forsake His  people; but Oh how His people have forsaken Him.  Yet, He is merciful.  He is forever with us.

We are the ones responsible for our own sin debt, but God has provided a Substitute who has paid the price, by becoming “sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  The name of that Substitute is Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Know That I Am the LORD

“And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. 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.” Exodus 29:45-46 (KJV)

After spending time with Moses giving him direction and commandment concerning the priestly garments, their materials, making, and anointing God gives Moses the above words.

There is a woven theme throughout all the Old Testament, and that is that GOD desires that the world may “know that I AM the LORD.”  Everything that is written in the Bible is written that the world may know Him, and that He is the LORD.

The ultimate gift of GOD to the world that we might know Him, and that He is the LORD was sending His only begotten Son to die on the cross in our place; and that when we look upon Him, to Him, trusting Him we might have redemption through His blood.

Do you know today that God is the LORD?

The Holy and the Most Holy Place

“And thou shalt make a vail of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubims shall it be made: 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. 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. And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy place.” Exodus 26:31-34 (KJV)

GOD was giving Moses instructions on the proper worship of Himself, and His holiness.  To approach God any other way than God’s way is a terminal endeavor.  You will die.  You will perish, and still not see God.

The ark of the Testimony above is a representation, or symbol of the presence of God.  This pattern was given to Moses, and is a pattern from heaven itself (Hebrews 8:5; 9:22-28).  In the tabernacle of the wilderness only the priests had access into the holy place, and only the High Priest had access to the Most Holy place, and that only one day in the year, and not without blood.

As we consider this today we have one access to GOD, and that is through the cross of Jesus Christ of whom the ark of the Testimony represents.  It was His own blood that was shed.  It was while Jesus was on the cross that the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom showing that GOD had made the way for all who will believe to come to the very throne of grace to find mercy in our time of need (See Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38 and Hebrews 4:16).

May the GOD of all glory give you peace through His Son Jesus today.

God’s Glory in the Sight of the People

“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.” Exodus 24:17 (KJV)

Moses had gone up on the mountain and Joshua had gone part of the way with Him.  Moses alone had gone into the cloud of God’s glorious presence.  It was here that Moses would receive instruction for the pattern of the ark of the covenant, all the furniture of the tabernacle, and the tabernacle itself with its “wall” around it.

I have asked for years within my own heart and mind, “What is the glory of GOD?”  I do not know that I have received a clear answer or not; but one that gives me peace is that it is the fullness of God.

While Moses and Joshua were gone all the people could see was this cloud with fire and smoke.  It seemed to be a “devouring fire” to them.  We have record that Moses went into it; and Moses alone was allowed to do so.  Except for the covering of God’s hand Moses would perish.  For anyone approaching God without that protecting hand they will perish.

God has provided us a covering for entering into His presence by His Son Jesus.  The writer of Hebrews has written,

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; 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…” Hebrews 1:1-3 (KJV)

Notice, if you will, who is the “brightness of His glory”.  It is also written that Jesus is the fulness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9).  When we see Jesus; when we come to Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we are coming to and into the glory and glorious presence of GOD.

The Keeper, Protector, and Comforter

“Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him, and obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in Him. 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. 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. 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.” Exodus 23:20-25 (KJV)

Within the Scriptures there are many appearances of the Angel of the LORD.  One of them is in the above verses.  Though called “an Angel” in verse 20; God calls Him “Mine Angel” in verse 23, and He has the same authority, and power as GOD Himself.  He is to be obeyed.  He is to be worshipped.  He is to be heard.  He is also the One who blesses the people, and takes away sickness.

Who is this Angel?  Just an angel given the power to speak for Jehovah?  No!  He is the Son of God.  He is the living Presence of God in the camp.  It could be that He is the pillar of the cloud by day, and pillar of fire by night.  He is always present with them

In most cases where “Angel of the LORD” is mentioned in the Bible many Christians agree that it is a reference to the preincarnate Son of God Jesus Christ.

Notice if you will, before I close for today, how verse 20 says, “…To bring thee into the place I have prepared for you” and then Jesus’ words in John 14 “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  (John 14:2-3)

Fear Not: Fear GOD

“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. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we 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. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.” Exodus 20:18-21 (KJV)

This follows the event of receiving the Ten Commandments.  The people have witnessed the seemingly stormy, troubling, loud, odorous, and fearful scene, and are very much afraid to approach the Lord GOD.  However, this was an unwarranted, undesired fear.  God is an awe-inspiring God.

The lives, and words of the people following this event show that their fear was not what was a godly fear; but a “Sorry I am here” fear which kept them from God, rather than drawing near to Him.

Moses, drew near to God.  The “Darkness” mentioned shows us that God is unapproachable, except we come to Him His way.  Moses approached God and “drew near unto the thick darkness where God was”.

Moses tells the people “Fear not” yet there is a fear of God that keeps us from sinning against Him.  When we come to Him through His Son Jesus He accepts us, and welcomes  us into His blessed and holy presence.  That is when we do not fear.

Glorious Power of the LORD

“The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is His name…
…Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: Thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.” Exodus 15:3, 6 (KJV)

The fifteenth chapter of Exodus is dedicated to the Song of Moses (vv. 1-19).  It is a song of triumph against a nation that at the time was the center of the known world.  The people of Israel were in bondage in Egypt.  Enslaved by a king who had no mercy on them, thus was God’s judgment to come for their deliverance.

There are many who do not like looking at GOD  as being a “Man of war” or like a “Man of war”; however, that is how the Scriptures speak of Him in two different verses.  In the above verses of Exodus, and in Isaiah we read,

“The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, He shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: He shall cry, yea, roar; He shall prevail against His enemies.” Isaiah 42:13 (KJV)

Many today want a lovey, dovey god who supplies all their wants and wishes.  That god is more of a genie who grants the every wish of the one who “trust” in that god.  The GOD of glory and power is the One who has made all things; the seen and the unseen.  His glory is above and beyond that of men or women.  There is only one glory that will stand and that is the LORD’S.

When someone like the Pharaoh of Egypt exalts themselves against the LORD, the GOD will show Himself strong in His own behalf and His people.  One day all the world will know that GOD is the LORD.  For some that will not be a pleasant day or hereafter.

Make today a good one by believing in the Son whom the LORD has sent to be the payment for your sins.  When you trust His Son Jesus you are no longer His enemy, but His child.

Living in the Presence

“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: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” Exodus 13:21-22 (KJV)

The LORD had just worked out the deliverance of Israel out of Egyptian bondage.  Now He gives them the assurance of His presence, and His abiding with them with a pillar.  By day it was a Pillar of cloud; by night a Pillar of fire.  He would lead them by day and by night.

How did the Moses and the children of Israel know where to go?  God was leading them with His powerful presence.

This Pillar was associated with the “Angel of the LORD” and with when Moses spoke with the LORD (Exodus 33:9-11).  The Pillar was to stand between the Israelites and the Egyptians later before they would cross the Red Sea.  He was their Guide and Protector.  Notice too, that “He took not away the Pillar…”  He is the Living Presence.

For the Christian  that Pillar is the presence of GOD within every follower of Jesus Christ.  He is that Cloud by day, and Fire by night.  He is our Comforter, our Conviction, our Direction and Guide every moment of the day and the night (John 16:7-11).  The Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ in you to lead and guide you to become like Jesus in living.  That is the desire of every born again believer; to be like Jesus: loving the Father, doing the Father’s will, glorifying the Father, doing the work of the Father.

Living in the Presence of the LORD begins by following His Son Jesus Christ.

What You Do When You Hear the Word of the LORD

“He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: and he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.” Exodus 9:20-21 (KJV)

The words are written as the warning from Moses to Pharaoh, and his people of Egypt, of a plague of hail and fire that would kill every thing caught in the open field.  Those who had seen the previous plagues happen just as Moses had said, “feared the word of the LORD”, and acted upon it, and saved animals and human life.

What do you do when you hear the word of the LORD?  What is our response when God speaks?  Do you even hear when God speaks?  Do you care when God speaks?  You need to respond.  You need to hear.  You definitely need to care.  Your eternal destiny depends upon it.

There is judgment coming, is even already here, if you have eyes to see it, and ears to hear it.  Fear the word of the LORD, and flee for shelter.  The shelter is the cross of Jesus Christ.  There is no safety outside the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

WHAT YOU DO WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD will determine your eternal destiny.  If you fear the word of the LORD and seek shelter in the cross of Jesus you will live forever with Him.  Outside the cross of Christ is eternal torment, eternal dying.

The Purpose of Judgment

“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. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. 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. 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. And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they.” Exodus 7:2-6 (KJV)

In these verses we know the children of Israel have been enslaved in Egypt for around 400 years.  This was foretold by GOD to Abraham back in Genesis 15:13; and now God is about to fulfill His promise of deliverance.

Egypt has been a cruel taskmaster to Israel in the midst the land.  Forced labor, unrealistic standards for making brick, and building numbers, and living conditions.  God had heard their cry, their pleading for help.  Now help has come.

God sends His messengers; Moses and Aaron to deliver God’s word to the Pharaoh of Egypt.  He does not hear nor does He intend to let the people go.  The Lord of all creation has given Pharaoh opportunity to release the people without pain, sorrow, judgment; and he has refused.  Now GOD will show Himself strong to the Pharaoh, to Egypt and to His own people.  They will know that “I am the LORD” God says.

When I read the Scriptures that is a continued theme throughout the Bible.  God works, He moves, He judges, that we might know that He is the LORD.

The greatest way that was and is shown us is through the cross of Jesus Christ.  The wrath of God upon sin was poured out upon His Son.  His love for mankind was shown in that He judged Jesus His only begotten Son in our behalf.

O hear the word of the LORD today.  Believe Him.  Call on Him and He will hear you.

The Ever-Present One

“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? 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. 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? 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. 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.” Exodus 3:11-15 (KJV)

The Scripture above gives us Moses’ account of his call of God to return unto Egypt to free the children of Israel from bondage.  This is his first encounter with GOD, and it is awesome.

Moses sees God as holy, all powerful, and all present, and even all knowing in one event.  He also learns His name.  The name says that He is eternal.  Where He is is the present.  He is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  You will notice it does not say that “He was the God” but “the God of…”  That strongly implies the living, resurrection power of God; the eternalness of God, past, present and future.

His name, I AM, also reveals to us that He is Self-Sufficient; that He is in need of nothing.  It also reveals to us that we need Him.  We do not exist without Him.  We do not breathe without Him.  We do not move without Him.  There is no sunrise without Him.  He gives us each day, each beat of our heart, each step we take.  He is the One who holds all things together.  If He were to remove His hand from this world, and this Universe it would fly into pieces (Colossians 1:16-17).

This Self-Sufficient One desires to come to you today.  Call on Him.  He is the One who provides your salvation, through the cross of Jesus.

Jesus Through the Bible – What is it?

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.”  Exodus 16:15

The question above is the meaning for the word “Manna”.  It means “What is it?”  This was a new thing for the delivered children of Israel.  This “Manna” is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ.  At the time Moses and the children of Israel experienced this wonder from heaven it was an actual substance which the LORD provided to satisfy the needs of His people.  It only appeared six days of the week – Sunday through Friday – with none of the seventy day; the Sabbath for Israel.  They were to gather plenty on the sixth day for the Sabbath day.

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.” 16:31

The name manna stuck.  Even after 4000 years or so it is still called by that name.  It was to supply a means of sustenance for the children all forty years of their journey through the wilderness, until they reached the Promised Land of Canaan.

Jesus Himself refers to this and calls Himself the bread come down from heaven.

“I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”  John 6:48-51

For all who will follow Him there is sustenance and strength through our life’s journey until we reach heaven, the abode of our Saviour and Lord.

Jesus Through the Bible – The Lamb of God

“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 congregation 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.”  Exodus 12:5-7

The final plague was coming upon Egypt.  Moses had received instruction from the LORD for the deliverance from this final form of judgment on Egypt; it would affect all in the land of Egypt, even Israel.  None can stand before the final judgment without the redemptive power of the blood of the lamb.

Note in the above verse the placing of the blood on the “two side posts”, and on the “upper door post” of their homes.  Within that alone we have the sign of the cross.  It was on the cross of Calvary where our blessed Saviour bled out His life’s blood for our redemption.  The perfect Lamb of God who willingly gave His life for my sin and yours.

John the apostle wrote of John the Baptist as he said,

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”  John 1:29

Your sins and mine have been paid for by the blood of the perfect, sinless Lamb of God Jesus Christ.  You are lost and condemned without Him.  Repent, believe Him, and be saved, today.

Thus saith the LORD…

“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. 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.'”  Exodus 5:1-2

Day 7 – From Deliverance to Glory

The book of Exodus begins with the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in bondage in Egypt.  They are in bitter enslavement to Egypt.  Exodus ends, however, fulfilling the meaning of its title “Exodus” and the children are free from bondage.

My reading this morning included Exodus 35 – Leviticus 8.  I will not be commenting on the Leviticus reading, but only on the Exodus portion, and particularly the ending.

From bondage in Egypt the children of Israel, are delivered after many wonderful things which God performed through His servants Moses and Aaron.  Plagues which came upon Egypt; unlike anything they had ever witnessed; or ever would witness in their lifetimes.  It was God’s plan to deliver them, His way.  It would not be the way of Moses, nor the way of Aaron; but God’s.

It is God’s intention that His name be glorified and nothing else.  That is the greatest desire of God; that He be glorified.

The Exodus shows us the children of Israel on a journey from Egypt, through the wilderness; at least to Mount Sinai; receiving God’s commandments; instructions, and designs on worshipping God.

In the Exodus we see sin raise its ugly, demonic head while Moses is on the Mount receiving the law; and after they have said, “All that God commands we will do.”  They call on Aaron to make them gods (32:1-2) of gold and to honor for their deliverance from Egypt; I suppose.  God tells Moses to go down quickly, and he finds a riotous, debaucherous worship more in tune with the surround peoples than godly going on; defiling everything the people has said they would do.

Yet, God in His grace and mercy brings them to His glory.  They see His glory in the “tent of the congregation” or tabernacle,

“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.  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.  And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.  For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”  Exodus 40:34-38 (KJV)

And, even Moses cannot enter due to His glory upon the tabernacle.

That shows us, that even Israel, and the Law cannot bring us into His glory.  The law fulfilled in God’s only begotten Son, His blood sacrifice on the cross, His burial, and resurrection can bring sinful man, redeemed, cleansed, and into the very presence of God.

“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.  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:15-16

Jesus Christ is our High Priest who has given His own blood that we might go into the very presence of God.  I pray you find yourself there today.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 6 – The Glory of the LORD

On this sixth day of February 2012 my reading covered Exodus 21 – 34.  For me it was an hour’s worth of reading.  I know that means I am a slow reader.  Part of that time was spent in pouring me a cup of coffee with hot chocolate mix mixed in at half way through which was after chapter 27.

God of creation and all things; LORD of hosts, and Israel is the God of Glory and grace.  My how we need grace.  How I need grace.

Chapter 21 begins with additional laws concerning judgments, and handling conflicts among the people.  God also gives some rules for dealing with perversity, and obscenity among people and animals (22:16-20).

Following these rules God gives Moses the designs for building a place for “God’s dwelling” among the people – the Tabernacle in the wilderness.  He gives Moses His design for worshipping Him.  He begins with the inner Tabernacle, and in particular with Himself with the Ark of the covenant and mercy seat (25:10-22).  The table of shewbread (vv. 23-30).  The Menorah (vv. 31-40).  True worship must begin with God.  It cannot begin with music, or even preaching.  It must forever begin with God.

Chapter 26 deals with the goat skins that will be needed for the Tabernacle covering, and linens, and blue, scarlet, purple.  Silver is needed for the “foundation” of the movable tabernacle. Very intricately detailed by the heavenly Designer.  I pray you will be reading these chapters and will see that all these things of the Tabernacle in the wilderness point us to the Messiah of Israel.  The gold and the wood of the ark point us to the God-man Jesus the Christ; Jesus of Nazareth.  The shewbread shows Jesus as the Bread of Life (John 6:35-58).  The lampstand [Menorah] shows us Jesus as the Light of the World (John 8:12; 9:5).

When Moses was on the Mount receiving these instructions and heavenly designs the people down below were growing restless, beginning to complain; and due to this began crying out for Aaron to build them a “god”.  They have previously said, “All that the LORD says we will do”.  Now they are in abstract rebellion against Him.  And Moses pleads for the people;

“And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, ‘These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.’  And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: now therefore let Me alone, that My wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.’  And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, ‘LORD, why doth Thy wrath wax hot against Thy people, which Thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?  Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘For mischief did He bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from Thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against Thy people.  Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Thy servants, to whom Thou swarest by Thine own self, and saidst unto them, ‘I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.’  And the LORD repented of the evil which He thought to do unto His people.”  Exodus 32:7-14 (KJV)

Moses knew the LORD; and he knew the LORD is holy and had every right, and could with one word extinguish the nation from the face of the earth.  The heart of Moses was one with the heart of God; because he is pleading for the grace of God to win out and glorify Him.  The glory of God is at stake.  That is what the pleading of Moses for the people is about.

In another place Moses pleads for God’s mercy and grace for the people, even to the point of his own destruction in their behalf;

“And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, ‘Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold.  Yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.”  32:31-32

We need to realize that the law was given to show us our sin, our weaknesses, and our need of God’s abundant grace.  We all have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23); and stand in need of grace given us freely by God through His Son Jesus Christ; who died on the cross for our sins, was buried carrying the guilt and condemnation of sin away, and rising bodily from the grave; justifying us forever.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 5 – Mediator Desired

It seems in the reading in early Genesis that Adam must have had a fellowship with God; walking with Him in the garden on a regular basis; before there was sin in the garden.  After their rebellion and disobedience, God came walking to them, they heard His voice, and they hid themselves.

The voice of God is a fearful thing to sinful man.  Nothing vile, and unclean can stand in His presence, and it seems that is ingrained in every unredeemed heart.  It is seen in Exodus following the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt.  After the powerful and fearful working power of God in the land of Egypt you would almost think that there would be a heart that longed to hear the voice of God, but no, that did not happen.  Hear their voices;

“And they said unto Moses, ‘Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we 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.  And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.”  Exodus 20:19-21 (KJV)

We can see in this that what the people wanted was actually a Mediator.  Someone to stand between them and God, and someone to speak for God, rather than hear Him themselves.  Moses says to them, “‘Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.”  Another translation says it like this,

 “Don’t be afraid,” Moses said, “for God has come in this way to show you his awesome power. From now on, let your fear of him keep you from sinning!”  Exodus 20:20 (NLT)

It is definite that we do need a Mediator between us and God; and God has provided His Mediator.  That Mediator is Jesus, and makes it so much different.  The apostle Paul has written by the inspiration of the Spirit of God,

“For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”  1 Timothy 2:5-6

We need to see sin as a very fearful, hurtful, destructive, eternally deadly thing in our lives.  We need to see that we need God in our lives, lest we go to death and destruction – eternal death and destruction.  God requires perfection by the law.  The law shows that we are imperfect, and cannot reach God; however God has provided a way; the Mediator who gave Himself a ransom for all who will believe.

Look at the difference the apostle John offers in the New Testament;

“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.  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.  And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure.”  1 John 3:1-3 (KJV)

Those who are redeemed through the blood of Jesus are the “sons of God”, unknown by the world, because it knew and knows not Christ.  The son of God seeks God out; and seeks to be just as pure and holy as He is pure and holy.  No more fear to hear His voice, because of the Mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood on Calvary’s cross.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Day 4 – From a Garden to a Grave, and Beyond

I do not believe I have ever read so much of Genesis so quickly as I  have since beginning this reading through the Bible in 90 days.  It is exciting, challenging, and enlightening.

Our reading this morning covers Genesis 43 – Exodus 6.

We have gone from the days of creation; Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, their expulsion, a murderous son (Cain), the flood; the calling of Abraham to father a nation; and we have seen his tests, trials, and troubles.  Abraham’s and Sarah’s trying to do things their own way, and ending up causing a mess.

We see Isaac’s son Jacob practicing deception; he and a whole lot of other people doing the same thing.  Yet, God chooses Jacob to be the “prince with God” calling him “Israel”.  Jacob  has a son named Joseph who is betrayed by his brothers, sold into Egypt, cast into prison unjustly, then, promoted to second in command under the Pharoah of Egypt.  Sin is progressing; and so to is grace.  “Where sin abounds, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20).

Beginning in a garden of perfection, comfort, and every need provided to a grave in Egypt.

“So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”  Genesis 50:26 (KJV)

One of the things we can see following Adam’s and Eve’s sin in the garden is death seems to dominate the picture; however, it does not rule forever.  Since the fall everything ages, weakens and dies.  The curse of Adam’s sin is upon all of creation.  Not a one of us can rejoice in death, because death is the fruit of sin.  It is a bitter fruit.  It is a separating act.  It divides – separates the  spirit and soul of the human from their bodies.  There is, however, a death worse than physical; and that is the spiritual death which separates God from man.  That death happened instantly when Adam and Eve sinned in the garden

That death is seen when they heard God coming to them; they hid themselves.  Death is not a pleasant thing to discuss, or to write about; but it is a part of our lives.  It is also and foremost “the wages of sin” (Romans 6:23).

From the death of Joseph we go to Exodus, showing us that death is not the end.  In Exodus we find that God hears the cries of the children of Israel crying for help.  He hears their cry, prepares a man from Egypt – one of their own who has grown up with the rulers of Egypt – and sends him back to deliver His children from the bondage that has come about because of lying and deception of the brothers of Joseph.

When God calls a man it is an awesome thing.  And it was for Moses,

“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?’  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.’  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?’  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.’  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.”  Exodus 3:11-15 (KJV)

Life does indeed go on beyond death, and the grave.  And, I do not mean only in the physical realm of life, but also the spiritual.  There is an eternity to shun, and there is an eternity to indulge in, and be filled with the greatness and glory of God.

We find in the verses above that God called Moses to go and deliver the children of Israel from their captivity.  Who was actually doing the deliverance?  Moses was only a man; who had faults, failures, fears and doubts; but was still greatly used by God.

Who was sending Moses?  The “I AM”.  Meaning the “Self-Existing One” the “Self-Sustaining One”.  He needs nothing to be; He is.

He is the LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  He is also the LORD God of Jesus the Son of the LORD God [YHWH-‘Elohyim].  Jesus, the God-man who walked in flesh among us.  Jesus the God-man who bled and died on the cross for the sins of mankind as the atonement for our sins.  Those who believe in Him will be rejoined with GOD for all eternity.  That is the only eternity to indulge, and be filled with the presence, greatness and glory of God.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Scarlet Thread – Manna

When looking at the series of “The Scarlet Thread” my intention in doing this is to show Jesus Christ.  As we look at the manna – “What is it?” – is the actual meaning of the word.  We must remember Jesus’s words, “I am the Bread of Life.” (John 6:32-35).

Manna was a special bread provide miraculously by GOD for the children of Israel to gather each morning for each day.  It could only be gathered for six days, and enough could be gathered on the six day for the seventh day.  It was given in Exodus 16:14-15.  There is more scripture dealing with it in verses 16 -36.  For the verses we will look at in the book of Numbers I want us to remember Exodus 16:31,

“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.”

Remembering the taste of it was as “Honey”, or “wafers made with honey”, so it had the taste of sweetness in it.

We read in Numbers 11:8,

“And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.”

Then, they go around murmuring that “There is nothing at all, beside this manna”.  Well!  Is it any wonder?  They have taken a perfect substance, made by the hand of God, miraculously provided, a daily provision; and they try to “Improve” it.

According to Jesus in John 6 He Himself is the Bread of Life.  It is not an overstatement for me to say that there is much people today trying to “Improve” on Jesus.  When people are bored with worship of Jesus preachers try to improve it by adding to the Word of God, adding entertainment to draw a crowd, adding worldly music with spiritual words, and that don’t always include the cross of Christ.  All just so they can have a crowd.  They lose their love for Jesus.

When we look at Jesus and think of Him, worship Him, adore Him; what more could we need?  What more could we want?  We are to desire to be like Him.  How can we be like Him.  He desired to do the Father’s will (Luke 2: 49; John 8:29).  We are to live for Him, just as the Scriptures proclaim; nothing of the flesh.

We are not called to draw a crowd.  We are called to be a witness.  We are called to bear the image of Christ.

The manna is the Bread of Heaven who is Christ.  Follow Him.

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 013011

Daily Reading is Exodus 38 – 40

The book of Exodus is about a journey of a people from bondage to seeing the glory of God.  “From Deliverance to Glory” is the journey of all who come to faith in the Messiah of Israel, Jesus Christ Son of the Living God.

In the 38th chapter we find things coming to a conclusion as far as the tabernacle’s construction and set up is concerned.  The first on the list is the “altar of burnt offering”.  The place for the shedding of blood.  “Without the shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22b)  All the blood of bulls, goats, rams and lambs was only a foreshadowing of the One who would come and die for the sins of the world.

The “laver” is a basin for water; it is made of brass; as is the “altar of burnt offering” a figure of judgment.  The laver is made from the “looking glasses” or we would call them mirrors of the “assembly”.  Polished brass was the only mirror these people had.  A mirror is a way of judging one’s own physical appearance and doing something about it.  In James 1:22-25 we read…

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

The laver was the place for the priests to cleanse their hands and feet for the ministry they performed daily.  As Christians we must stop daily at the word of God, to gaze intently into the mirror of God’s word to find the correction and instruction we need for the day; by which we may glorify our Lord.

“HOLINESS TO THE LORD” was to be engraved into a plate of pure gold and placed on the turban the priests (Aaron and his sons).  We find throughout all of Scriptures that God is holy.  The garments of the priests declared the Holiness of the Lord.  Here we have the priests declaring HOLINESS TO THE LORD.  Our lives are to declare it.

In chapter 40 the tabernacle is set with all furniture, articles, garments, stones and jewels, just as the LORD has commanded Moses.  Moses has received these instructions form the Designer of the heavenlies (Hebrews 8:4-5).

The book of Exodus ends with the people of Israel in bondage; they are freed by the LORD Himself; they are a sanctified people given instructions on the journey and directions how to live and how to worship.  Thus we could sum the book of Exodus with four short words; FROM DELIVERANCE TO GLORY

“Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.  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.  And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys: but if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed not till the day that it was taken up.  For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”  Exodus 40:34-38 (KJV)

Keep on following the Scriptures.  Read Exodus 38- 40

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 012911

Today’s Bible Reading is for Exodus 35 – 37.  I pray that you are being blessed in your reading of Scripture.

In today’s reading you will read much concerning the calling, giving, preparations and getting reading to build the tabernacle in the wilderness.  The tabernacle was God’s way of demonstrating His presence among the tribes people of Israel as they journeyed through the wilderness for those; what ended up being many years.

The people gave very generously to the cause of the tabernacle.  There is hardly any way to put a dollar value on the tabernacle, except to say it was more precious than any artifact we could find today.  You might say it was priceless above anything else that is called priceless.

The offerings that were given were gold, silver, brass, special skins of goats, fine linen, acacia wood.  In chapter 36 we are told that the people gave over and above all that was needed and then asked to stop giving:

“…And they spake unto Moses, saying, ‘The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make.’  And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, ‘Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.’ So the people were restrained from bringing.  For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.”  Exodus 36:5-7 (KJV)

The one of the best things to observe in this reading today is that the givers were willing hearted.  They desired to give; and give they did; until they were asked to stop giving.

No one is asked to give without a willing heart.  God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).

No one is building a tabernacle today, but when you attend your local church tomorrow be sure you give generously in support of your church, its ministry and missions.

God loves you and is with you in the person of His Son Jesus Christ who loved you so much He gave us the willing hearted gift of His own life on the cross, was buried and rose again.  He eternally lives making intercession for us who have called on His name.

Now read Exodus 35 – 37.

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 012711

Bible Reading for today is Exodus 29-31.

Today I will be commenting only on a couple of verses from chapter 29.

“And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.  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.”  Exodus 29:45-46 (KJV)

When I read the Old Testament it is obvious to me that God is  full of grace and mercy.  It is evident in the way He deals with Israel.  He desires to dwell among His people, and He makes every way He can in His holiness and righteousness to make it possible.

What does it mean for God to “dwell among” His people.  It means very much for His people.  It means having access to the most powerful being in existence.  It means having a meaningful relationship and fellowship with that Being.  It means being a part of His family.  It means a place in eternity forever with Him.  Most of all is that He is glorified.

In the New Testament Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you… that where I am there you may be also” (John 14:3 & 4).  That was what the work of Jesus Christ accomplished.  The Old Testament picture is only a shadow of what Jesus was coming to do.

It is God’s desire, also, that the world know Him.  One phrase that is used over and over again in the Old Testament is “they shall know that I am the LORD…”  The prophet Ezekiel uses it over sixty times.  God has made a way through Jesus Christ to know Him.  There is no other way.

God desires it but will not force you.  He will be glorified in you.

Remember to read Exodus 29 – 31 today.

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 012611

Today’s Bible reading consists of Exodus 25 – 28…

Chapter 25 introduces us to the Divine design of the tabernacle in the wilderness by which God the LORD of hosts was to dwell among His people on their journeys through the wilderness to the promised land.  The first of the articles given is the “Ark of the covenant” made of wood, probably acacia wood and built into a box with God’s own dimensions and overlaid with pure gold.  The second piece is the “mercy seat” which is made of pure gold, no wood involved.

It is quite possible, since this is of heavenly design that we see the divinity and humanity of Christ in this design made of wood and gold.  The wood of course representing the human and gold the divine.

There is also given us the design of the “Table of shewbread” made of wood and gold in the dimensions given by God to Moses, and the “Candlestick” or “Menorah” as the Hebrews call it today.  All of these holy pieces were designed by holy God and were to be built just as God said.

Chapter 26 shows us the making of the inner part of the tabernacle “walls?” to be made of fine twined linen white, and using linen of blue, purple and scarlet thread woven in to make the special heavenly designs embroidered in to make it a beautiful sight to behold.

There is also the making of the veil which divided the “holy place and the most holy place”.  It was made of blue, purple and scarlet linen.  This is the veil which was divided in the temple in Jerusalem when Jesus Christ was crucified and died for the sins of the world; making a way for all who will believe to enter God’s own dwelling place.

Chapter 27 shows us the design of the altar of burnt offering.  To many this might seem a horrid place.  A place of great stench.  A bloody place.  And by our reckoning it was.  It tells us there must be; because God is holy, just and righteous; and we are unholy, unjust and unrighteous; there must of necessity be a way for us to have peace with God.  That is possible only through the shed blood of innocence.  The innocence of Jesus Christ is what we must see.

Chapter 28 we receive the design of the garments of the priests.  They were made of gold and blue, purple and scarlet linen.  There is much that could be written about the priestly garments, but I would need to do much more study on it.

One of the things that is great about being a Christian is that we have no need of the ark of the covenant, or any of the tabernacle to enter into the presence of God.  That is made possible through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Believe Him and live forever.

Today’s Bible reading is Exodus 25 – 28  read and enjoy.

-Tim A. Blankenship

My Observations 012511

On January 1 of this year I began once again reading through the Bible.  I will this year take my time and read it through with the same schedule that has been prepared for our church people and which I post on the back of our bulletin each Sunday.

There was an idea which entered my thinking this afternoon of providing a study; at least in part; that will spark new ideas in your mind and heart as well.  I can’t promise that this will go on each day, but I will endeavor for that to happen.  What will I do?  l will endeavor to give a short reading each day, and probably of the morning each day, of that days reading: for example,  today’s reading is Exodus 22 – 24; and that is what I will give you My Observations of…

Exodus 22 has much to do with responsibility for property.  Personal property as well as that property which belongs to someone else.  We could go back to the Ten Commandments on part of this to the eighth commandment which states, “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15); because the first four verses deal with stealing, and the punishment and restitution of such things.  I would dare say that if we followed the law of God’s word for these matters; even the ones following that there would be a lot less trouble with stealing; and problems with neighbor relationships.  If we would love our neighbor as we do ourselves wouldn’t we all get along much better.

There are moral issues dealt with in verses 16-31; and some of these deal with treatment of those who are materially poor.  The moral issues deal with a man leading a virgin into sexual sin, and the price he should pay; or not by the will of the father of the virgin.  There is also the issue of “sorcery”  which is the practice of the occult; including witchcraft, voodoo, fortune telling (palm reading, necromancy, astrology, etc.)  Some may want to say, “Well this is in the law.  Didn’t Jesus destroy the law with His death, burial and resurrection?”  and the answer to that is…  The law was not destroyed, but fulfilled in Christ.  The law is not nullified it is established to the full.  These verses also include things  such as beastiality.  These things by the law require death; by grace there is cleansing and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Chapter 23 deals with justice in verses 1 – 9.  Far too many times when we are aligned with a group of people we will go along with that group; even when they are doing something unjust.  For the Christian we must have the mind of Christ and speak in those situations the truth that will glorify Him.  Joining with others who are unjust to ruin the life of one is definitely unjust.  Taking care of our neighbor’s possessions is the right thing to do as well (vv. 4-5).

There are also to be three feast which the people of Israel are to keep.  Later on it came to seven, and I believe now there are nine or so among the Hebrew people.  I might be wrong about that, because I haven’t searched that out.

In verses 20 – 33 God gives promise that He will be with His people, driving out their enemies and will give them the land He has promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

Chapter 24 has Israel agreeing with God and His covenant with them saying, “All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.”  Moses goes up on the Mount Sinai to meet with God and receive “tablets of stone and the law and commandments… that you may teach them”.  To the people of Israel; as Moses was on the mount before the face of God; the glory of the LORD appeared as a “consuming fire”.  Can we not see and realize that when we get close to God we see Him in his glory.  He is a consuming fire to that which must be consumed (Hebrews 12:29).

The daily Bible reading for January 26 is Exodus 25 – 28.

Father add YOUR blessing to the study of YOUR holy word today.  Save those who may be lost through the blood of Jesus YOUR holy and righteous Son; convict of sin in  the heart of the condemned, and draw them to YOUR Son and YOUR love in Him.  A-men!

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Scarlet Thread – Passover

I continue now with the Scarlet Thread of redemption which runs through Scripture.  It is in fact pictures, types, of the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross.  We previously looked at Cain and Abel.  Now we turn our attention to the book of Exodus and the Passover.

The Passover is first mentioned in Exodus 12.  The word “Passover” is not used until verse 11; it says,

“…And ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover”

It is called the LORD’S Passover because that night the LORD would be passing over Egypt in judgment, however for the children of Israel if they followed the LORD’S command, He said,

“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 12:13)

The requirement for the house of Israel was to sacrifice a lamb.  Every home must offer the life of a lamb whose blood would be shed.  This could not be just any lamb.  The lamb must be without blemish, a male of the first year (v. 5), all be killed in the same evening (vv. 5-6).  With the blood of the lamb they were to take it with a “hyssop bunch” (v. 22) and dip it in the blood to strike it on the upper door post [lintel], and the two side posts of the door; and when the LORD saw the blood they were untouched by the “destroyer”.

”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.”

Within the picture of the “Passover” we find the lamb representing, figuring, the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29).  Jesus Christ Himself is the anti-type; He is the real thing of which all others are only the shadow, the figure.

You can know and rest assured that the price of the salvation of mankind has been fully paid for by the blood of the Lamb of God.  He did come to take away our sins.  He became our sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).  The blood of Jesus Christ was shed, then poured out on the doorposts of our lives.  If you look you can see the cross in the blood on the doorposts.  On the upper post was the blood splashed.  On the two side posts was the blood splashed.  Do you see the cross in the Old Testament?  Do you see Jesus There?  Most of all do you see Him living, having conquered sin, death, hell and the grave.  He ever lives making intercession for us.

That is the SCARLET THREAD OF REDEMPTION.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The LORD Fights For You

The pressures of the world are rushing ever near you.  You feel like you should not have made that good move that you did.  Things have changed, and right now it just does not seem like it was the right move to make.  Hold on.  Be strong.  Be strong in the Lord; or as Moses said, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD…”

“And Moses said unto the people, ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will show you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.  The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”  Exodus 14:13-14 (KJV).

The LORD had done many mighty, and marvelous things to bring the children of Israel to the edge of the Red Sea.  There had been a complete destruction of the economy of Egypt, and their demon gods put to destruction as well.  God the LORD  had been exalted.  Now they were in a tight situation.  The Sea was before them, the rocks at their backs and the Egyptian army, with chariots and mighty warriors were coming with great speed, and they would be arriving soon.

When you have followed God’s plan, and you have reached the edge of decision, and it seems as though there is no place to go.  That is the time to believe and trust the LORD God.  It is not a time to complain, or wonder why did I leave where I was, thinking everything was fine, comfortable, and certainly did not have this problem coming at me.

It is time to see the salvation of the LORD.  If He has led you out, then He will lead you through that barrier that is ahead of you.  Trust Him. Believe, and you will see the salvation of the LORD.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Salvation of the LORD

The pressures of the world are rushing ever near you.  You feel like you should not have made that good move that you did.  Things have changed, and right now it just does not seem like it was the right move to make.  Hold on.  Be strong.  Be strong in the Lord; or as Moses said, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD…”

“And Moses said unto the people, ‘Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will show you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more for ever.  The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”  Exodus 14:13-14 (KJV).

The LORD had done many mighty, and marvelous things to bring the children of Israel to the edge of the Red Sea.  There had been a complete destruction of the economy of Egypt, and their demon gods put to destruction as well.  God the LORD  had been exalted.  Now they were in a tight situation.  The Sea was before them, the rocks at their backs and the Egyptian army, with chariots and mighty warriors were coming with great speed, and they would be arriving soon.

When you have followed God’s plan, and you have reached the edge of decision, and it seems as though there is no place to go.  That is the time to believe and trust the LORD God.  It is not a time to complain, or wonder why did I leave where I was, thinking everything was fine, comfortable, and certainly did not have this problem coming at me.

It is time to see the salvation of the LORD.  If He has led you out, then He will lead you through that barrier that is ahead of you.  Trust Him. Believe, and you will see the salvation of the LORD.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Stand Upon The Rock

“O, that will be glory for me, Glory for me, glory for me.  When by His grace I shall look on His face; that will be glory, be glory for me.”  So goes the words of the song “That Will Be Glory”.  This should be the hearts desire of every child of God; to see the glory of our God.

Peter, James and John witnessed the glory of Jesus when they were on the Mount and Jesus was transfigured before them (Matthew 17:1-11).  We will see the significance of this a little later in this message.

In Exodus 32 Moses had been up on the Mount getting the 10 Commandments on stone tablets,  by God, and the people took it on themselves, using Aaron, to build an idol called the golden calf, to worship.  The people had already heard the commandments (20:1-17),  ”Thou shalt have no other gods,’ and ‘Thou shalt not make any graven image”.   When he returned with the tablets of stone the people had rebelled against the LORD’s commandments and worshipped another god, and built a graven image to worship.

Moses breaks the tablets of stone; the whole law was shattered; ground the calf into powder, poured it into a stream, and made the rebellious ones drink the water (32:20).  Moses also called for those who were on the LORD’s side to come to me (32:26).

The heart of a shepherd/pastor is seen in Moses as he prays, “Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.” Exodus 32:32 (KJV).  Moses spends time setting up a special place outside the camp which represented the place to meet God the “Tabernacle of the congregation” (33:7).  You will notice that everytime Moses went to the tabernacle the men stood at the door of their tents and watched as the “cloudy pillar descended on the door of the tabernacle”.  When they saw this “cloudy pillar” descended to the door “they worshipped (v. 10).

Moses, the man of God, longed for the  abiding presence of the LORD, and sought it diligently.  He prayed to see God in His glory, and that if God was not with him and the people that they would go no farther (vv. 13-15).

OUTLINE OF Exodus 33:21-23 –

I.  THERE IS A PLACE NEAR TO GOD TO WHICH WE ARE CALLED (v. 21).  This is a place that is provided by God.  It is God who provided the rock for Moses, on which to stand.

God desires for all those who know Him to come near to Him.  “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).  God has always provided a place for His people.  He provided a garden for Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:8).  He provided an ark for Noah and His family to escape a flood (Genesis 6-9).  The Lord Jesus Himself said, “I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:1-3).

II.  WE ARE TO STAND ON THE ROCK, AND HIDE IN THE CLEFT WHICH GOD PROVIDES (vv. 21, 22).  The rock of course represents the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God.  “That Rock was Christ”, says Paul the apostle (1 Corinthians 10:4).  He even says that Rock followed them.

There is no surer foundation than the Rock which is Jesus Christ.  He is the Rock upon which His Church is built (Matthew 16:18), and there is no other foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11).

When we come to the place God has provided for us, He hides us in the cleft of the Rock.  God passed by Moses with His hand over Moses’s eyes protecting him from the glory that would have slain him.

III.  IN THE CLEFT OF THE ROCK; COVERED BY THE HAND OF GOD (v. 22).  Even though we may be in the place God has placed us we still need His  covering hand to protect us from His glory.  His hand is on display in the person of His Son.  Jesus said to Phillip, “He that has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Jesus Himself was the incarnation of God.  God became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:1, 14), “(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (KJV).  Jesus came veiled in human flesh, and though a man never sinned, never transgressed the law of God or man, but was obedient to the Father in all points, even unto the cross.

“Rock of Ages, cleft for me; let me hide myself in Thee”.  Hidden from the glory of God that could and would consume us if not in that cleft of the Rock.

IV.  THE GLORY OF GOD FROM THE BACK (v. 23).  We are not given any description of the back of God by Moses.  Therefore we are left to believe that this was completely satisfactory to Moses.  He knew he had been in the presence of holiness, righteousness, and the awesome wonder of His glory.

One day we are promised that we shall behold the face of our Lord.  All will look on Him whom we have  pierced with thorns, nails, spears, and our sins.  When we appear before the throne of Jesus Christ He will see only the garments washed clean by His own blood, and the judgment received will be for our rewards, for good or bad we have done (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Corinthians 4:12-15).

Where are you standing today?  I pray you stand on the Rock which is Christ, and that you are hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).  When your life is “Hid with Christ  in God” you are Standing On The Rock.

-Tim A. Blankenship

The Law Fulfilled (2)

THE LAW FULFILLED (II)

The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 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. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:29-31 (KJV).

In this article we will look at the “second” which Jesus speaks of, and has to do with the final six of the Ten Commandments.

The fifth commandment, which is the first commandment in our relationships with our fellowman is, “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Ex 20:12 (KJV). If you will notice this is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it (Eph. 6:2). The strength of a good society begins in the families of that society. If mothers and fathers are not respected, revered, honored, and obeyed, then that home will not be strong. If a complete society is full of dishonored parents, then that society will fall. Honoring our parents will bring respect for other people and strengthen other homes and societies. Remember, there is the promise of long life to those who “Honor your father and mother”.

The sixth commandment is, “Thou shalt not kill.” Ex 20:13 (KJV). That is the shortest one yet, but is greatly needed. One who “Love(s) thy neighbor as thyself” will not commit the act of murder. This is not a commandment against protecting one’s own life or possessions. It means, to commit no murder. The act of premeditated murder, where it is plotted and planned and even setting a “trap” to kill someone. That is the act that is forbidden here. Of course, the child of God would not desire to even take the life of anyone whether in an act against our own person, a family member or a neighbor.

This commandment does not take away the God-given right to government for sentencing and carrying out the sentence of death for a murderous or criminal offense which calls for the death penalty. Basically, this law holds the utmost respect for all human life. It should be applied to the SCNT, and abortion controversy. If we are to err let us err on the side of LIFE. SEE ALSO Matthew 5:21-22.

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Ex 20:14 (KJV), is the seventh commandment, and it to has to do with our relationship with our fellowman. Adultery, of course, is speaking of what is called today as, “Having an affair”. One married individual with another married individual who are not married to one another, and it could be adultery also, if one is not married and the other is. Would you want your wife sleeping with another man, or with a woman? Would you want your husband sleeping with another woman, or a man? The act of adultery is actually the act of a thief as well (Proverbs 6:20-35). God desires that we hold sexuality in very high regard. It is cheapened when marriage is given to homosexuality, polygamy, and what ever else could follow. See what Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28.

“Thou shalt not steal.” Ex 20:15 (KJV). All of these commandments show that there is to be respect for individual rights given by Holy God. The right of parents to be honored and respected. The right to a life without fear of someone else taking it away. The right to have a good, solid, godly home where husband and wife trust one another, and there are no others, and this one the right to one’s own property. It also teaches to respect personal property. If you take something belonging to someone else, you have no respect for the rights of others. Others have worked hard to get what they have. They have earned the income which gave them the power to purchase that thing that you steal. You have no right to it. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. Would you want something that you have worked so hard for to be stolen from you? Of course not. Neither does your neighbor. Who is your neighbor? Anyone you meet or know, and those you do not know.

The next commandment has to do with how you speak of others – your neighbor. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” Ex 20:16 (KJV). How many times have the reputations of others been damaged, by knowingly false information, given by someone out to destroy them? You may think, “Well, I would never do that”. Really!!! Have you ever told a story you had heard on anyone, and it was nothing but gossip. Even if it is true, it is sometimes best to not pass on a story you have heard of someone. Not only can it destroy the person whom the story is about, but it could also come back on you. The question I have asked of the others carries over here as well. Would you like someone to tell a story on you? A person can be a “False witness” even in telling a true story, by the wrong intention of the heart. When Christ is in the heart, and reigns supremely these laws are written there with great desire to obey them for His honor and glory.

The final commandment is, “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.” Ex 20:17 (KJV). In the New Testament “Covetousness” is called idolatry (Col. 3:5). Basically, this could be called the capstone of all the commandments. It is certain that if your heart is on other things, it is certainly not on God alone, thus, breaking the first four commandments, and it is not right with your fellowman, because you want what she/he has. Jealousy, envy, whatever you want to call it is there, and you care nothing for your neighbor. This command has to do with being satisfied with your own. Look at these admonitions from God’s Word – “And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” Luke 3:14 (KJV). “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Eph 5:5 (KJV). “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Phil 4:11 (KJV). “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” 1 Tim 6:7-8 (KJV).

The Law of God written in our hearts just as God declared to the prophets. See Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26. Without Jesus death on the cross the Law condemns us, because we are powerless to obey these laws, but with Jesus as our Savior He abides in us thus fulfilling the law in our lives. Glory be to Jesus our Lord and Savior.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

The Law Fulfilled (1)

The Law Fulfilled (I)

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 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. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:28-31 (KJV).

Read Exodus 20:1-17

The law of God is shunned if not just completely forgotten. Is it necessary to know God’s law, in particular the Ten Commandments? In our society it seems so. With a television series on called the DESPARATE HOUSEWIVES, promoting adultery, even though that seems to be prevalent throughout our society anyway; the law of God definitely needs to be promoted.

As I stated in an earlier post, Jesus shortened the Ten Commandments into two, as printed above. I want, in this post, to show how these two relate to the ten. I will begin with the first four of the Ten Commandments.

First of all Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…”. The first of the Ten Commandments states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Ex 20:3 (KJV). The heart is the seat of our emotions, and the place of our commitments. When you love the Lord with all your “Heart” there will be no other to take His place. Whole hearted devotion and commitment is what God desires of His worshippers.

Secondly, Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God… with all thy soul…”. The second commandment states, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” Ex 20:4-6 (KJV). In short that says, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.” Why does God make this command? There is only one image that can represent Him and that is the crown of His creation – living, breatheing, man; in particular the second Adam, God’s Son Jesus Christ. He is the exact representation of God (Heb. 1:1-3). To love God with all the “Soul” is to have only one image of Him in the person of Christ. Jesus is the only one who can fill that spot of the soul.

Thirdly, Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God… with all thy mind…”. The third commandment says, “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.” Ex 20:7 (KJV). Is it not from the mind that we reason, and even speak. The words we speak will either build up or tear down. If the mind is not sound in God we will thus speak words that take His name in “Vain”. “Vain” according to Random House Dictionary means, “Without real value or worth”. God’s name is valuable and really worthwhile. Give your mind to Him, and speak of Him as He is worthy.

For the final one concerning our relationship with God, Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God… with all thy strength…”. The fourth commandment is, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 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: 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.” Ex 20:8-11 (KJV). God gave the Sabbath day as a day of rest. A day for worshipping God and renewing one’s physical strength. It is so sad to see that there is no day that is holy, and set aside for God and His glory. There are some who say this day has been done away with. None of these laws have been done away. They were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Being fulfilled in Jesus only means that when we have faith in Him we now have these laws written on our hearts. We now have a longing hunger to do these things for pleasing and glorifying the name of God. Of course, our true Sabbath rest is in Christ. Being in these physical bodies, though we do need rest and that should be one day a week.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” JESUS

When we are right with God our relationship with our fellowman will also be right. The next six commandments concerning Jesus’s second will follow, and have to do with our relationship to our fellowman.

This law of Jesus, and these first four commandments are only fulfilled in the hearts of those whose hearts are perfect toward the Lord, and that is those who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. We are powerless to keep the Law. Apart from Jesus Christ the law condemns us.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Key Commandment

A KEY COMMANDMENT

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. Ex 20:17 (KJV).

This one final commandment is a KEY COMMANDMENT, because it will have an affect on all the others.

Covetousness is the heart of envy, greed, and lust. Marriages are ruined, friendships are wrecked, and even churches have been destroyed because of this “little” sin of coveting. It is not so “Little”. It will affect your actions toward the rest of the commandments.

COVETING IS THE SECRET SIN – no one can see this sin, or knows you commit it; except God and yourself.

There are some Bible examples of covetous behavior. Achan, when the Israelites conquered Jericho, saw a nice garment, some silver and gold, and took it, even after hearing the commandment of the Lord not to do so. Because of this disobedience Israel failed in its attempt to conquer Ai, and people of Israel died (See Joshua 7). There is also king David; as he was walking upon the roof top of his palace he viewed an attractive woman bathing, and he coveted her. Someone put it like this – HE SAW HER, HE SENT FOR HER, HE SINNED WITH HER. Because of this action of covetousness, it is very clear that he broke all the others, and he murdered the husband of the woman (See 2 Samuel 11:1-5ff.). Another one is Ahab, the vineyard thief; Naboth had a vineyard which Ahab coveted, and with the designing aid of his deceiving queen clearly broke the ninth commandment with false witnesses, and murdered Naboth to get the thing he longed for.

WHY THIS IS A KEY COMMANDMENT. James tells us, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10 (KJV). Get that, “Guilty of all”. Now that can be said of all the others too, but here, I hope you can see why it is important to realize that covetousness is a seed of evil, that breeds evil, and leads to the decay of the whole law in the hearts of people.

According to the book of Colossians it is Idolatry to covet. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” Col 3:5 (KJV). Even the book of Ephesians backs this up by saying, “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Eph 5:5 (KJV). Note that Paul has written there, “Nor covetous man, who is an idolater…” O, the sad thing is there are many, many, too many people who live for the grasping and holding on of things, or people, or positions, or power; do I need to go on. I think you get the point.

If this commandment is broken, then there is absolutely no value left in any of the others, for the one who is coveting. If she/he can get what they want by falsely accusing another they will do it. If they can get it by fraud in the company they work for (stealing), they will, by all means possible. If he/she sees another person they desire, married or not, they will do what ever to get them. They will not stop at murder to get someone out of the way to obtain their goal. Certainly by these things there will be no way they are honoring their father or mother, and most sure have nothing to do with God who created them.

COVETOUSNESS LEADS TO ENVY, ANGER, MALICE, GOSSIP, ETC.. The goal of gossip is always to try and show one’s self better than the one who is being talked about.

LET’S SEE WHAT JESUS SAID, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Luke 12:15 (KJV). Again Jesus says, ” 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. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matt 6:31-34 (KJV). Now if this is not a word for those who covet things and such, I am mistaken about the whole issue, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matt 6:21 (KJV). If your heart is on the things of the world, that is your treasure. However, if your heart is on the Lord and His righteousness and glory, that is your treasure. If you are going to covet; covet the godly things, that will glorify the Savior.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

Precious Truth

PRECIOUS TRUTH

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Ex 20:16 (KJV)

To some today truth is fairly well meaningless. I wonder though, if someone had been seen at the scene of a crime, but were not guilty of the crime, how important the truthfulness of the witness would be to them at that junction of their life? I dare say it would become very important, if that witness could speak the truth and acquit the accused.

How important is the truthfulness of a witness? In some and in many cases it is the difference between life or death; or life in prison, and/or a life of freedom. Is the truth important to you, even if it applies to others? It is my belief that we should be as concerned, if not more concerned for the truth to prevail for the good of others, as well as ourselves. Truth matters in being a witness. It matters for the accused but innocent individual. It matters for the family of the innocent accused, or even the guilty. It matters for the home, the church, the local government, State government, National government. It matters for the sake of justice.

When looking at these 10 Commandments, and as we look in particular at the final six and our human relationships we should ask ourselves, “Would I want someone to commit any of these prohibitions against me?” “Would I want my children to dishonor me?” “Would I want someone killing me, or someone I love?” “Would I want another man sleeping with my wife?” “Would I want someone stealing from me?”, and coming to the present one, “Would I want someone being a false witness against me?”, and the final one; “Would I want someone desiring my things so much that they would do anything to get them?”. I will be daring and say that their is not a sane person living who would want any of these things happen to them.

Now back to the subject at hand. The law of God says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” What exactly does this involve. Is it for the individual who is witnessing in court? Yes! Is it for the individual who is witnessing to a neighbor? Yes! You are witnessing as you share a word of gossip. You are witnessing as you defame the character of someone you do not care for. Is this a good witness? No! This is as true in politics. When one candidate charges the other with things they have heard, but are not proven. When one charges the other with something they know is not true.

In his book “Love, Liberation and the Law” J. Vernon McGee has a three point outline on this ninth commandment –

I. THE ORIGINATION OF THE LIE.

II. THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE LIE.

III. THE DESTINATION OF THE LIE.

JUST WHERE DOES THE LIE BEGIN? According to Jesus Himself, the devil is the father of lies, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44 (KJV). We see clearly from the One who is the author of all of creation where the lie originated.

Why would we want to be associated with the Lie? His end is destruction. His end is eternal flames. His end is eternal torment, and anyone who follows his path will go there with him.

JUST HOW WOULD YOU IDENTIFY THE LIE? McGee writes, “Did you know that there are more words for breaking this commandment than all the other commandments put together?….some of them – lying, mendacity, prevarication, slander, backbiting, defamation, detraction, belittling, censoriousness, gossip, depreciation, derogation, rumor, vilification, aspersion, forgery, mudslinging, falsehood, guile, hypocrisy, insinuation, innuendo, railing, whispering, talebearing, libel, fib, fable, equivocation, disparagement, fabrication, aberation, deceit, trump up, forswear.” (From LOVE, LIBERATION, & THE LAW by J. Vernon McGee pg. 150). That is a terribly long list of bad words, which are words in action to destroy another.

This law is just as viable and meaningful today as it was the day God gave it. It is good for the courtroom, the living room, the sunday school room, the board room, and over the backyard fence. Can this commandment be broken even when speaking the “Truth”? It was when Jesus was on trial. Words can be twisted making a truth into a lie. Doing this makes you a false witness against your neighbor.

JUST WHAT IS THE DESTINATION OF THE LIE? Just a few Scriptures will bear out for us the lies destination. “A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.” Prov 19:5 (KJV).

“A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.” Prov 19:9 (KJV)

“Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.” Psalms 101:5 (KJV)

Now look in the New Testament, “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” Rev 21:27 (KJV)

“For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” Rev 22:15 (KJV)

“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matt 12:36 (KJV)

People who are given to lying, bearing false witness will end up in the same pit of destruction as their father. There will be no joy, no peace, no God. There will be torment, maybe even by your own lying tongue. There will be no water there to quench the thirst for lying or dryness.

Keeping the law will not save you. It is, however your schoolmaster, showing you your need of Jesus as Savior.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

A Precious Ownership

PRECIOUS OWNERSHIP

Exodus 20:15 – “Thou shalt not steal”.

Remember Jesus’s commandment? “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. (Mark 12:31).

In giving this commandment God shows that He favors personal ownership. Ownership only in the sense that we realize that it is given to us by God, and we are really only stewards of His property. God shows us the Ownership is Precious. In Exodus 22:1-4 God gives the law for a thief caught stealing an ox or a sheep. For stealing an ox he is to return 5 oxen; for sheep he is to return 4 sheep. That is a pretty steep penalty for theft, and it is not prison. It is restitution.

Restitution. according as God directs, is the requirement of God’s law. In thievery restitution is the penalty which fits the crime.

Adultery is compared to theft in Proverbs 6:27-35. For adultery though the penalty was death

The greatest theft of all is when one steals from God (Malachi 3:8-10). If a man would steal from God, by not tithing, or giving back to God His portion, then, this individual could not be trusted with anything you or I own. If a person can steal from God they will steal from you.

  • The New Man in Christ will steal no more (Eph. 4:28).
  • Steal = To take something that belongs to someone else; by deceit or by force.

To name some ways of stealing. Gambling is a method of stealing; it offers people who cannot afford it the chance for great gains with little hope and much promise. It takes from the family of the man who uses the money for food to throw the money at the lottery, casinos, dog racing, horse racing, football, hockey, what ever event, and then, come home with no money and no food. Businesses who overcharge for a product because it is in demand due to destructive storms, earthquakes, or some other tragedy is stealing from the people who trust them. When you can go into a store previous to the tragedy and buy a chainsaw for one hundred and fifty dollars, and then that chainsaw when the tragedy occurs is three hundred dollars that is theft. When an individual decides to no longer tithe to their local church; as is God’s plan; and gives it elsewhere, this is stealing from God. And if the person just decides I can no longer afford to tithe or give – that is stealing from God. When a man owes a debt to another and does not pay it, whether out of anger, or just lust for the money itself, it is theft. Our debts are to be paid to our fellow man.

Of the first seven commandments; death is the penalty for the violation. This is a second division, though less visible.

This eighth commandment does not call for the death penalty – it calls, rather for restitution (Ex. 22:1; Luke 19:5-10).

There is one exception, that is if they “Kidnap” – steal a human being (Ex. 21:16). This called for the death penalty.

Let’s take a look at how Gambling Is Stealing. It gives the false hope of something for practically nothing. It robs people of being productive members of society. What does winning the lottery contribute? You could say, “Well, I could give to charity”, so could the person who lost their money have given to a charity with what you took from them. It is destructive to families, and to society. It takes the money of many poor families through the false hope of getting more. The lottery has been nicknamed, THE TAX ON THE POOR. Lotteries, casinos, bingo, work paycheck pools, raffles, and even TV game shows are guilty of false hope. Gambling robs people of self-worth. “He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.” (Prov. 22:9). “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.” (Prov. 22:29).

When a business Overcharges That Is Stealing, “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” (2 Cor. 8:21). Let me show you what God says about “False balances”, “A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.” (Prov.11:1). “Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.” (Prov. 20:23). “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD.” (Lev. 19:35-37). In our day many businesses raise prices in an exorbitant manner then, complain of paying their employees too much. Underpaying of employees is stealing as well.

The matter of Robbing God “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” (Malachi3:8). It is a matter of withholding from God what is His. Your tithes and offerings. A tithe being 10% of your income. It is how the gospel is proclaimed by the local churches, and their agencies. It is a matter of knowing to do good and not doing it; “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). It would be a lack of worship or an unholy worship.

When A Debt Is Owed To Another and it is not paid. It has to do with financial debts and obligations. The debt every Christian owes their neighbor. The debt we owe of living the Christian life before them. The debt we owe of sharing the sacrifice and love of Jesus with them. It almost seems that that may have been what Paul meant when he said, “Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law” (Rom. 13:8). Avoiding this debt could be stealing our neighbor’s eternal soul.

In conclusion, if we love one another we will not desire what another has, and take and steal. We will practice what Paul taught the Ephesians, rather, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Eph. 4:28). There will be no need for gambling, stealing from those who are more needy – doing it legally. When one loves their neighbor there is also a love for God and for being a faithful steward of God’s resources He has put in our trust. Also there will be the need to see that all debts are paid in full, especially the debt to our neighbors that could be the redemption of their souls.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

A Most Precious Institution

A PRECIOUS UNION

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Exodus 20:14

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” Matthew 5:27-28 and 31-32.

“The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthew 19:3-9.

We have been looking at THE LAW OF GOD AND THE MODERN MAN. We have come through six of the commandments of God four of which deal with our relationship with God, and the latter six dealing with our relationship to our fellow man. We have come to the seventh commandment which has to do with the husband and wife relationship. It is to be one of fideltiy, ie., being faithful to one’s spouse.

Sadly, this commandment has been broken too many times, even in the point Jesus makes in Matthew chapter five. The look of lust is an act of adultery. What male/man, in all honesty, can say, “I have not looked with lust at any woman”? Only Jesus could say that.

The Seventh Commandment deals with all sexual sins. Premarital sex is adultery against the future spouse and marriage. Extra-marital sex is adultery to the present marriage and the spouse. It is a betrayal of trust and confidence. One of the quickest ways to ruin a marriage is to commit adultery. Somewhere in most wedding vows is the words, “…Prefering no other…” or something similar. It not only breaks the promise you made to your spouse, it also breaks the promise you made to God. It does not matter if you had a church wedding or if you were wed in the courthouse, the promise was made before God. You have a relationship with another and you are guilty. Homosexuality is an abomination. Beastiality is an abomination and gross perversion. These latter two are still in the class of adulterous relationships, breaking God’s laws. There are no degrees of adultery.

The First Institution God Ordained. This first institution is MARRIAGE. This blessed institution is falling by the wayside in our modern society. Our government penalizes married couples by the paying of more taxes in some cases. Elderly couples can receive more Social Security benefits by living together without marrying. This, in essence, is government, our government of the United States; rewarding immoral behavior.

Young couples are living together more and more without marriage. They want to “Test drive” the relationship, similar to test driving a car they want to purchase. This is a relationship not a piece of property. If you test drive a car and buy it there will come a day in a few years, at the most, where you will get rid of that car. If you “Test drive” that relationship, that is what most likely will happen to the relationship too. Why? Because there is need for commitment, and where there is no commitment, there is no power or permanance to the relationship. Either party in the relationship can leave at any time. It is with sadness that I must admit, there are many who enter marriage with this attitude as well. If you are not prepared to spend a lifetime with someone do not marry, but do not make a sham of marriage by living in rebellion to God’s law by cohabitating. There is little to no respect for the institution for marriage, and it seems due to the fact of no respect for God and that which is holy, righteous and good.

Marriage is more than, “Just a sheet of paper…”. It is in fact the bringing together of two – one man and one woman – before God and they two become “One flesh” (Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31). It is in fact a life-time commitment with binding vows that promise one another, and God, that whether “…rich or poor, in sickness or in health, loving no other, until death do we part.” That is more than a sheet of paper; it is a “binding contract” with God, and has serious repercussions if the bond is broken any way other than by death.

Adulterous Relationships Are Harmful. Adultery is against society. It breaks down the morality of a good society. Biblical morality has been completely rejected. Things once considered wrong are right, and what was right is now wrong (Isaiah 5:20). Teenage premarital sex is increasing. Homosexual activity is also a form of adultery, and is aggressively pursuing the right of marriage in our country. Thank God that the State Supreme Court of the State of Washington upheld the law declaring marriage is between a man and a woman (July 26, 2006).

When it comes to nations and people – a society which continues in this adulterous path are “Given up” by God (Rom. 1:24-27). It is against the nation. By a nation’s acceptance and tolerance of adultery – homosexuality and teenage sex it degrades the nation – “Sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34). If this degradation continues, there will come a judgment on our nation unlike anything that has ever been seen. “Adultery is treason; the adulterer should be tried as a traitor to his nation”. UNKNOWN.

Adultery is against the race. It is against the human race. It is against every race of man.

Worst of all, adultery is against God. David, the man “After God’s own heart” committed the sin of adultery. He was confronted by the prophet Nathan (2 Samuel 12:1-14). David confessed he had sinned against God (Ps. 51:1-5). David had lost his joy (Ps. 51:12-13). ADULTERY IS A SIN AGAINST ALMIGHTY GOD.

In order to understand this issue of adultery we need to maybe, ask, What Is Adultery? The Old Testament seems to relegate it to a physical act alone. In the New Testament Jesus (See above verses) equates it to a look, and a thought – the lingering, longing look and thought that is fed (Matthew 5:27-28″. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:13-15). The New Testament is much more powerful and condemning than the Old Testament law. Adultery becomes more than an act, but a look and a thought. The look and the thought is what leads to the actual act. Left to itself this law offers us no hope. We are guilty. We are condemned.

THERE IS FORGIVENESS (John 8:1-11). In the Bible the penalty for adultery is death. The Scripture given previously to the last sentence shows this was what was in the heart and mind of this woman’s accusers. Quick to pick up the stones of accusation, slow to mercy, slow to forgiveness. With this woman caught in the act of adultery, Jesus gives her forgiveness.

Notice Jesus’s words, “…Go, and sin no more”. It was not just a blanket forgiveness without responsibility. She had been forgiven, and now her life would reflect the cleansing and forgiveness she had received. Muse on these questions for awhile. Where was the man who was caught in the act with her? What did Jesus write in the dirt on the ground? Why didn’t they throw the stones?

The only one who could have stoned her forgave her instead. THERE IS FORGIVENESS FOR THE SIN OF ADULTERY. There is forgiveness for all sin, when you put your faith in Jesus Christ.

In conclusion, The Seventh Commandment Is Valid Today. Matrimony is still a sacred institution and it is reserved for one man and one woman for a lifetime together, and can only be broken legitimately by death of one or the other. Adultery still affects lives and societies, governments, churches, and families in a detrimental way. God still judges adultery. There is forgiveness for adultery. When we love God, we will truly love our spouse, and loving God and spouse is stronger and more valuable than the law. That is this law written in the heart.

-by Tim A. Blankenship