Following God Into the Wilderness



Chapter Three – Into the Wilderness

The wilderness in scripture represents that place that is hostile to the flesh (those living for self and seeking their way). This is not a place of comfort and ease by God’s design. Those seeking the flesh (pleasures, riches and lusts of this world and the cares of life – one’s own way), would never venture into the great and terrible wilderness by choice (Deut 1:19 ); it is far away from the comforts the flesh desires. The Lord uses the wilderness to teach faith, trust and obedience to God and to tear down the things of the flesh. The wilderness is the narrow path that leads to God. The “high places” (eminent things – high, lofty, exalted) and “house of gods” (groves, idolatry, images) in one’s heart must come down. This is a place where your self sufficiency, resourcefulness and ingenuity reach their limitations. The waste howling wilderness (desert place, Deut 32:10) is the place where you realize your inabilities and helplessness and see your great need for God (or you perish in your stubbornness and disobedience). Your idols are powerless and fall by the wayside. The wilderness is a place of fiery serpents, scorpions, deserts, pits, drought (dearth, deficiency, famine) and no water and thus the flesh becomes a great hindrance. (Deut 8:15, Jer 2:6). The fiery serpents and scorpions are venomous and represent the devil and those who follow him in his rebellion (The Lie), such as the demons and fallen man (Ez 2:5, Lk 10:19 ). These are found in the shadow of death that we must walk through (Ps 23:4, Jer 2:6). You must reach beyond that which the flesh can provide or understand - FAITH. The flesh and its rebellion to God must be broken. The pride and self seeking must die in the wilderness (starved to death). God uses the wilderness to humble you and teach you that you must surrender to and live by every word that proceeds out of God’s mouth (Deut 8:3, Mt 4:4). The wilderness is a place of temptation intended to see whom you will serve – God or the flesh. This is where God will purge the rebels (Ez 20:38 ). The flesh is a tremendous hindrance (difficulty, obstacle, barrier, impediment, encumbrance) in the wilderness – it seeks that which is opposed to God. All the things the flesh desires are not to be found there. Many will turn back (in seeking their way/path, Jn 6:66) or drop along the way, but a remnant (Mt 7:14 , 20:6, 22:14 , Lk 13:24 ) will proceed forward (Is 10:21 -22, Rm 9:27 -28, 11:5). The wilderness will reveal just who you are serving if you have eyes to see. The Lord makes a way in the wilderness and gives water where there is none (Spirit and life, Is 43:19-20). The Lord is the water and He is life (Jer 2:13 , 17:3, Jn 7:38 -39, Rev 7:17 ). God led Moses and the children of Israel into the wilderness to humble them and prove their heart and obedience to Him for the intent to do them good at their latter end (Deut 8:2, 16). God’s purpose was to have a people (nation) who would lovingly surrender to His will and be an example to the world (Ex 19:5, Deut 4:7-8, 20, 34, 14:2). 1 Kings 8:53 , “For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt , O Lord GOD.” The children of Israel were to incline their hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments (1 Kgs 8:58 , 61) for the intent: 1 Kings 8:60, “That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.” Hosea 12:13 , 13:4-5, “And by a prophet (Moses) the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt , and by a prophet was he preserved. Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt , and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me. I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.” Jesus said you must be converted (change of nature) and become as a little child to enter into the kingdom of Heaven (Mt 18:3, 19:14 ). A little child is loving, trusting, submitted and obedient toward its parents. A little child depends upon its parents for everything. This is how we must be toward God. This is how things were to be in Eden before the fall of man. The wilderness tears down self and teaches us to love, trust, submit and obey God. In turn, the Lord provides for all our needs (manna, meat, water, shoes and clothes do not wax old, direction, defense against enemies, healing from disease and poisonous bites, etc). Many in the wilderness will have no appreciation for God’s provisions (water, manna, quails), but will pine away for the world’s provisions (i.e. that of Egypt ). Those who are peevish (Fretful; petulant; apt to mutter and complain; easily vexed or fretted; querulous; hard to please, express discontent, froward) hold onto self-will and seek the flesh, and are always unthankful (unappreciative) of the things of the Spirit. God’s provision forced one to live one day at a time (i.e. gathering of manna) focusing upon God’s giving of our daily bread. We must be mindful of the Lord (foremost) every day of our life and not just the world’s religious days – we must be thankful. God’s separating of the rebels within the children of Israel in the wilderness is a microcosm (community regarded as a miniature or epitome of the world) of God’s dealing with man in general. The epitome is that the children of Israel are representative of all men (rebellious, sincere, religious, self seeking, faithful, etc.) and their responses to God’s workings within them (surrendered or unyielding, prideful or humble, faithful or unbelieving).

The wilderness is your journey with God through life on your way to the Promised Land (eternity). The wilderness will determine who will truly surrender to God’s authority and serve Him of a free and loving heart of obedience and who will not. This journey can only be completed by faith in God and yielding to His direction and provision along the way. Many who start out on this journey will never go beyond the flesh and their carcasses will drop along the way. Those who seek the flesh are said to be in unbelief (seeking their way) and will not enter into God’s rest (entered by God’s way – faith). Hebrews 3:16-19, “For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” Unbelief is not just a refusal to mentally accept the reality of God. Unbelief is a refusal to cleave to God in love, trust, surrender and obedience which is known as faith – to walk in His ways. One could believe in God, but refuse to live for God – and this is most often the case. Most believe that they can seek their own way with a form of godliness and be justified before God. This is a refusal to truly leave Egypt from the heart and forsake the things of self. Unbelief is to have a froward heart (unwilling to yield or comply with what is required because of one’s reluctance to turn from evil) that loves the darkness (Jn 3:19 ). We reveal our belief or unbelief through our actions. Unbelief is living and trusting in your way rather than God’s Word. You must understand that “your way” is temporal and quickly passing; God’s Word is eternal and unchanging. Creation was formed by God’s Word and is sustained thereby (God said and it was - Genesis Chap One, Jn 1:1-3). God brings pressure to bear in the wilderness that reveals the true intent of our hearts. The real you will surface under pressure, which is a denial of the things that the flesh desires such as water, food, comfort, familiarity, entertainment and security. At this point (which cannot be fully appreciated until you are in the circumstance), you will either seek “my will” or “thy will.” You either cleave in trust and belief or rebel in seeking immediate satisfaction – seeking your will which is having no confidence in God’s will and is thus unbelief. There is one sure characteristic that will identify the sincere and genuine followers of God – CHANGE. These will change significantly to conform to God’s Word. In other words, every Word that proceedeth from the mouth of God will affect a genuine change in their heart which will manifest outwardly in their life. Self will decrease that Christ may increase (Jn 3:30 ). The false and insincere will change (twist, pick and choose) God’s Word to conform to self (opposites - rebellion). These will change God to fit their opinions and sentiments. God will just be added to their pre-existing “house of gods” or idolatry – high places. God will be one more option in their pursuit of self (bless me – provide, fix, heal, save, give, endorse).

John the Baptist and Jesus (who had no sin) both spent time in the wilderness (Lk 9:10 ). John grew up in the wilderness and later ministered from the wilderness (Mt 11:7, Lk 3:2, 7:24 ). It was said of John: Luke 1:80, “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel." John learned to have faith, trust and reliance upon God in the wilderness. Consider God’s provision: Matthew 3:4-6, “And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea , and all the region round about Jordan. And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.” John was a man that had died to self in the wilderness and was truly submitted to God’s purposes. John was weak to the things of the flesh, but mighty in the Spirit – the greatest prophet ever to arise (Mt 11:11 , Lk 7:28, Jn 5:35 ). To be great, you must become least. Had he been raised in the cities (i.e. Egypt ), John most probably would have never come to this place of surrender to God. John was truly unique in his time and his message came to him from God in the wilderness (Lk 3:2). Matthew 3:1-3, “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” John was a lone (solitary) voice in a very religious world pointing the one true way to God. He was an oddball (looked upon with suspicion/skepticism) to those living in the flesh, but was sent to prepare the way for God’s own Son. Mark 1:4-5, “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea , and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.” John was teaching death to self and a forsaking of the ways of the world (i.e. Egypt ) and surrender to God in sincere sorrow for transgressions against the Lord (repentance). He may have seemed a bit rough (irregular, coarse, forceful), but displayed true love in sacrificing self (forsaking of “self” life, reputation) for the benefit of others (to draw men unto God). John came as a servant to all and faced the ridicule of religious man (Mt 21:25 , 32, Mk 11:31 ). John said: Matthew 3:8-11, “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” There must be more than just an association with God in our lives. The way in which we live every day must reflect the new life that we have in Christ through the faith we live – “evidences” of that faith. Christ was coming who would provide the power (Holy Ghost, Comforter) such that we can be truly transformed and walk in His ways (fire). When Jesus came he also faced the wilderness. Matthew 4:1, “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” In the wilderness there was no food or water and it was an isolated place. Jesus was tempted of these things to seek self rather than the will of God (Mt 4:2-11, Lk 4:1-13). Christ prevailed in all temptations revealing that He walked after the Spirit and not after the lusts of the flesh (Rm 8:4-5, 1 Pt 4:2). God will bring us all into the wilderness to reveal the heart. Many will assume that evidence of their faith is attendance at a church building (religious organization). When one looks upon such a facility will they see the glory of the world (steeples, stained glass windows, giant auditoriums, gymnasiums, convention style kitchens, banquet halls, fellowship and youth facilities, orchestras or bands, buses, etc.) or will they see lives devoid of self and totally surrendered to God, walking in His will every day in their every action? Are these the ones “called out” of the world or the ones religiously comfortable in the world – such as were the Pharisees and Sadducees.

This chapter considers the travels of the children of Israel from their triumphant Red Sea crossing to Mount Horeb (Sinai) where they meet with God. God speaks His will to Israel through Moses and audibly (verbally, out loud, from His own mouth) from the mount. In all cases the people agree to abide in (keep, obey) God’s commandments and serve Him. However, the people’s actions revealed a different nature than their profession (consider the strong parallel in today’s religious world). Many people will profess great things to God with their lips while their actions reveal a heart of unbelief (Mt 15:8, Mk 7:6). The Lord had done tremendous miracles before this people and spoke to them in all His glory, yet the rebellious nature of man continually surfaced to claim its own. God said to them: Deuteronomy 4:32-36, “For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire.” The people proclaimed that they would serve God, but it turns out that they really preferred that God would serve them (again, consider the strong parallels with today’s religious world). Lucifer wanted to live in his will and be served and so does rebellious man – for man has the devil’s nature. The Lord’s commandments were designed to take one’s attention (focus) off of self and place it upon God first and then others. Herein lied a great problem for a stiff-necked people.


From the Red Sea Into the Wildreness

Exodus 15:22-24, “So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?” It doesn’t take the flesh very long to rise up and declare its dominance. Psalms 106:13-14, “They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.” The moment one has to suffer any discomfort in the flesh for God’s purposes; self shall rise up and declare its independence. This is the fallen nature of man; to seek self and be ruled by the lusts of the flesh (to seek one’s own). Give me this and give me that! The flesh “waited not” for God because it has no patience – it wants to be served. The people were peevish; meaning they were apt to mutter and complain (fretful, petulant) and were hard to please. Those living in the flesh are always this way. God did not deliver Israel from Egypt through mighty miracles, divide the Red Sea, and destroy Pharaoh’s army such that He could lead them out into the desert to die from a lack of water. Where will our trust be? There can only be one authority in your life, the flesh or the Spirit (Gal 5:16 -17). To seek God is to deny the flesh. To seek the flesh is to deny God. It really comes down to this: Romans 8:5-6, 8, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Which one will be the priority? God declares that He will be the authority and you must be submitted and obedient to the Lord’s will. God will test and try us and no doubt this was the first test of the Hebrews (Ps 7:9). The children of Israel had just been rejoicing three days prior over their miraculous passage across the Red Sea (on dry ground) and the Lord’s total destruction of the Egyptian armies (the most powerful in the world, Ex Chap 14, 15:1-21). Suddenly the flesh is denied something it wants (perhaps something it needs) and it rises up in rebellion. We will discuss in this book how Moses twice went forty days and nights without food and water, yet was sustained of God (Deut 9:18, 25, 10:10). Moses should have died both times, yet faith preserved him. Moses sought God first, and the Lord provided for his needs supernaturally (Mt 6:33 ). Our trust must be in God, especially in times of need. Many focus on self, but that is what must die. To focus on the needs or self is to not focus on God - unbelief. Often when the flesh has reached its limitations, then God will move – and thus the flesh does not glory or triumph (1 Cor 1:29 ). The objective is to tear down trust in and reliance upon the flesh. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “And he (Jesus) said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” When you are weak in the flesh, then you are strong in the Spirit. God’s grace is His work in your heart (and life) as you walk in faith (Php 2:13 , Heb 13:20 -21). This work begins on the inside and manifests on the outside (Mt 23:27 ).

The flesh was once denied the forbidden fruit in Eden (Gen 2:16 -17). Man did not require this fruit it was just a desire (temptation). The devil convinced man to transgress God’s will and get the fruit his flesh desired. Man thereby submitted to the devil’s rebellion against God and took on Satan’s nature of rebellion. This is the nature of man that must die in the wilderness. It’s easy to love and seek a God who serves you (gives you what you want), but will you love and serve God if you are denied? This is a great indicator of sincere love and trust. One way makes God your servant (as the devil tried to do) and the other makes you God’s servant (as all things will be eternally). The devil tried to tempt Jesus into making God (the Father) His servant when Christ was in the wilderness. Matthew 4:5-7, “Then the devil taketh him (Jesus) up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt (make God your servant) the Lord thy God.” The devil tempted Jesus for forty days with lusts of the flesh (three specific temptations noted) in hopes that Christ would submit to him (Mt 4:1-11, Mk 1:12 -13, Lk 4:1-13). In all cases Jesus declared His absolute surrender and obedience to the Father and denied the flesh to accomplish this. Jesus was forty days and forty nights without food or water, yet God sustained Him – He did not perish (Mt 4:2). Seek God first and He will meet your needs (Mt 6:33 ). To profess God without actions (evidence) is meaningless. Many will profess love for God while doing the very things that oppose God – for benefit of self. We have discussed how love is the sacrifice of self for the benefit of another (obedience to your Creator in this instance). The devil tempts the flesh with wants and needs (its lusts) in the wilderness (place of denial, lack or desire). Those who live in the flesh will be taken captive (snared – caught through deception and fleshly bait) at his will (2 Tim 2:26 ). He who is begotten of God keepeth himself that the wicked one touch him not (1 Jn 5:18 ). Let us consider a deeper meaning of the forty days and forty nights. In the days of Noah when man had become wicked upon the face of the earth, God said He would send a flood to destroy all flesh (Gen 6:17). In order to do this, it would rain upon the earth for forty days and forty nights (Gen 7:4, 12). After forty days and forty nights, the flesh would be dead (Gen 7:21 -22) and the ark (containing the righteous) would be lifted up (Gen 7:17 ). The forty days and forty nights is symbolic of “death to the flesh.” Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights just prior to being tempted in the flesh. The flesh had to die! Moses fasted forty days and forty nights (more than once) to enter into God’s presence where no flesh will glory (at Mount Horeb, Ex 34:28, Deut 9:9, 18). The flesh had to die! Elijah fasted forty days and forty nights prior to coming into God’s presence where no flesh will glory (also at Mount Horeb, 1 Kg 19:8). The flesh had to die! The children of Israel wandered forty years in the wilderness until the men of the flesh (unbelief) died out (Josh 5:6). Later in this chapter we will also consider an additional and equally applicable meaning of the number “forty.” How does your faith hold up when things are not going your way? You will either whine and cry or say to God, “thy will be done.” The Hebrews had to learn faith and trust in God alone, for all their needs. The waters were bitter and the way back was too far, what were the people to do? Exodus 15:25-27, “And he (Moses) cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.” God was proving the hearts of the people through the denial of their flesh. Would their faith be strong in Him or would they rebel? Notice what God desired in the people - their obedience to God’s will. The Lord was telling them that He would be their provider in all things (necessary things and their health), but they must look to Him in trust and obedience, this is where our well-being is found. The Lord proved Israel at Marah and made a statute and an ordinance that they would walk in His ways and keep His commandments (Ex 15:25 -26). Everyone who enters the wilderness must be of a ready and willing heart to obey God. One can only survive the wilderness by “following” the direction of the Lord.

The initial trek into the wilderness revealed that the people’s minds were on self. The Lord counseled them to obey Him and keep His commands and He would see them through. God now leads them further into the wilderness. Exodus 16:1-3, “And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Once again the flesh rises up claiming its lordship (ye shall be as gods, Gen 3:5). The flesh demands its way, but the wilderness produces leanness, patience and suffering (longsuffering), self control, and denial (Jn 16:18-19, 20, 16:33, 17:14, Rm 5:3-4, 8:17, 24-25, 12:12, 1 Cor 4:12, 2 Cor 6:4, Gal 5:22, Eph 4:2, Php 1:29, Col 1:11, 3:12, 2 Thess 1:5, 2 Tim 2:12, 3:12, 4:2, 1 Pt 2:20, 2 Pt 3:9, Js 1:3-4, 5:10, Rev 14:12). Those living for self consider such things to be negative because they deny them what they want – immediate fleshly gratification (indulgence, fulfillment, enjoyment, pleasure, entertainment) and satisfaction. The flesh will quickly deny and sacrifice the things of God to get what it wants – compromise and justify away. The flesh does not want to follow God’s leading, it wants to take its own path, to seek its own way - what satisfies it. If going back to Egypt gets the flesh what it wants, then man’s desire says, “so be it! Those seeking self, want to do the leading and have God follow them - to serve them. The flesh wants to rise above the most High, but the flesh must be cast down (Is 14:13 -15). Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate (through Jesus, Jn 10:7): for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Egypt (idolatry, wickedness, rebellion, pride, self) is very representative of the broad path. The broad path glitters of all the flesh desires. The broad path satisfies and caters to self. Even so, there are bondages on the broad path and it does lead to death. The gate to the broad path is called “death” and the doors are the shadow of death (Job 38:17). Most people believe that having all their needs met and material excess is the blessing of God. The author submits to you that if you are not spiritually mature, these things will be the greatest obstacles you may face in your relationship with God. These things will actually keep your focus off of God and on self. Notice that the children of  Israel were willing to die just to sit by the flesh pots and eat bread to the full. If they could seek their desires, they would pay the price later. Many today are willing to die as long as they can seek self to the full. Of course no one who is seeking self really thinks they will truly die one day – they live for the moment and love the darkness. On the broad path, the flesh will live now and the spirit will die eternally. The day of death is looming, for God says to those who transgress His will (and seek their own – rebellion), “thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:17 , Ez 33:14). God does not lie (Ti 1:2)! The majority will always travel the way of the flesh which is the broad path – Egypt. Each step down the broad path is one closer to death and one further from God. The wilderness is very representative of the narrow path. It is plain, unappealing and very hard on the flesh (Ps 27:11). Jesus Christ is the strait gate (door) to the narrow path. One only enters through repentance and surrender to Christ’s Lordship (Mt 4:17 ). On the narrow path the flesh will die now and the spirit will live eternally - opposites (Mt 10:39 , 16:25 , Mk 8:35 , Lk 9:24 , 17:33 , Jn 12:24 -25). For ye are dead! And your life is hid in Christ ( Col 3:3). The plain narrow path leads to God and only those who sincerely seek Him over self will travel it. One must trust in Jesus and “follow” as He leads in righteousness. Jesus restores your relationship with God. Psalms 23:3-4, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Very few people will walk the narrow path because it is arduous and rugged and there is denial of the flesh, with suffering and reproach. You truly must be seeking God to even see (recognize) this path (its hidden to those seeking the flesh, Jn 3:3). No man would seek such a path apart from God’s calling (Jn 6:65, Rm 3:11 ). The narrow path is foolishness to those who are seeking their own way. 1 Corinthians 2:14 , “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Those who seek self (including religious man) could never understand denying the very thing they love and cherish (worship). For what reason they would say? The reason you must deny (relinquish) your way is so that you can humble yourself and absolutely submit to God’s way. There can only be one authority in your life. There will certainly be only one authority throughout eternity. To seek your way is to rebel against God’s way. This is what the devil did and he is the father of all who follow him. To seek self (your way) is to submit to and follow Satan (the devil’s lie: that you can transgress God’s will and not die and shall be as gods in determining your own way, Gen 3:4-5). Therefore: 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” The reason the cross is foolishness is because it represents death to self – death to your rebellious way (Rm 6:6, Gal 2:20 , 5:24 , 6:14 ). Those who are seeking themselves are perishing, but they do not see it that way. The cross is also the way of reconciliation with God (Heb 2:17 ), which is coming back under God’s authority (through Christ) by way of faith (sincere love, submission and obedience to God’s will). God perfects our faith by tearing down the things of the flesh in the wilderness (on the narrow path). This is a lifelong struggle with sacrifice, persecution, suffering, denial and reproach. These are the things Christ endured and He is the firstborn of many brethren. Those who follow Christ will experience the same things He did and through these experiences will be conformed to His image. Romans 8:29 , “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”


Flesh and Bread From Heaven

The Lord proved Israel once again by raining bread from heaven. Exodus 16:4, “Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.” God had Moses assemble the congregation. Exodus 16:11-15, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel : speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.” God provided for the necessary needs of the children of Israel . In so doing God was going to teach them to rely upon and obey Him as we will discuss shortly. The bread was God’s life giving provision that although nutritious and filling, was not what those living in the flesh would desire – certainly not what was expected. God does not cater to the will of the flesh, but provides in His way and for His purposes. Psalms 106:14-15, “But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” Leanness is want of flesh and meagerness (destitution of fat) – not enough to indulge in (treat, spoil, give into the desires to excess) – thinness of body. This means there was not an excess whereby the body may produce fat (store up calories) or be satisfied through the flesh. One could not lessen the need for God by stretching the provision for self. Exodus 16:16-28, “This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?” The manna was very small (like an hoar of frost or coriander seed) and much had to be gathered to make a little bread. 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.” This required much effort. Those living in the flesh were not content with the manna and yet had to labor much to obtain it. When the sun rose it melted away so there was not much time to gather it. This whole process required daily obedience and surely kept the people’s thoughts on God the source. Only one day’s worth could be gathered at a time (except prior to the Sabbath), otherwise it bred worms and stank. This means that the flesh was denied its security of having a supply (store) or hoard (reserve, stockpile) of food. The people had to trust and depend upon the Lord daily. The people had to obey and gather the manna daily. Many will seek to arrange circumstances in their lives to lessen their dependence upon God. This is nothing more than the flesh having its control with no need for faith (that which is beyond the flesh to control). God says we will live by faith, but the flesh has no such desire and is in rebellion to God. When you control the circumstances in your life then you are not walking in faith – but rather in the flesh. Although the manna sustained their lives, this was what they ate every single day. Some (those who gathered much) had to sacrifice for the benefit of others – this is Love. Similarly, those who follow Christ must trust in God through faith everyday. If you do not feel leanness to absolutely need and depend upon God everyday, then perhaps your flesh has found comfort in its surroundings (its way or control)? Perhaps your flesh is indulged, full, content and thriving? If this is the case, you can be guaranteed that your relationship with God is lacking and in need of immediate attention. If things are going well in your life, do not necessarily consider it to be God’s blessings. More than likely your flesh is not being challenged to conform to the image of Christ through death to self ( Col 3:10 ). You must be actively denying the flesh all its lustful fulfillment by obediently seeking God’s will. If you are truly seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then the flesh will be attempting to exalt itself for attention and regain what it is being denied or has lost. This is a spiritual battle for dominance. Exodus 16:35, “And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan.” The commandments for gathering manna were clearly given, but the rebellious people continued to exert their will. Some attempted to keep the manna over night, while others looked for manna on the Sabbath. They continually rebelled against God and would not obey simple directions. Consider God’s purposes: Deuteronomy 8:3, “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” God’s purposes were to tear down the flesh and humble the people to obey His Words – that they might know that “I AM” the Lord your God (Deut 29:6). God wanted them to have faith in Him. This equates with Christ’s statement on the Sermon on the Mount (Beatitudes) when He said: Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Our necessary meat must be to do the will of God (Jn 4:34 ). God provides us with what we need to perform His will, but the flesh will never be satisfied with God’s provision. Most people will not seek God when things are going well in their lives, only during times of duress (pressure) and great need. Many have a cyclic (recurring, repeated, habitual) relationship with God that is only relational to the duration (extent, interval) of a provision for a given need in their lives. This occasional sudden interest in God is one-sided and based upon what God can do for me (self). At other times, most are a comfortable (to the flesh) as being lukewarm, which is nauseous to God ( Rev 3:16 ). God desires those who will truly love Him and will personally sacrifice to obey His every Word. Psalms 78:23-38, “Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the corn of heaven. Man did eat angels’ food: he sent them meat to the full. He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven: and by his power he brought in the south wind. He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea: And he let it fall in the midst of their camp, round about their habitations. So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire; They were not estranged (withdrawn, alienated) from their lust. But while their meat was yet in their mouths, The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel . For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble. When he slew them, then they sought him: and they returned and enquired early after God. And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.” God was very longsuffering toward this rebellious people. They were never content. They had no faith or trust in God. They did not obey. They followed grudgingly and were ruled by their flesh (their constant lusts). Their God was their fleshly lusts and needs which they clung to (cleaved). They only sought God for need and their hearts were not right. These people were full of unbelief. The same is true of all men. Most in this world (including religious man) seek their way (with or without a form of godliness). God is looking for those who will lovingly and freely submit to Him in obedience and be led for His purposes. God was teaching Israel reliance and obedience in sending manna. Israel never responded with the heart that God desired. Had you asked any of them they would have told you they were following and worshipping the Lord (as the religious always say), yet…God said of them: “A stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God (Ps 78:8).” Throughout the existence of man, there has always been only a remnant that would give God their heart and soul (Is 10:21 -22). This is the harvest that God is after in this earth (Js 5:7-8). God has great mercy and forgiveness, but it is a longsuffering that all would come to repentance and truly turn to Him (2 Pt 3:9, Rm 2:4). The rebellious will perish – the guilty will not be cleared (Num 14:18 ).


The Bread of Life (Jesus)

The manna (bread from heaven) was very symbolic of Jesus. John 6:30-35, “They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” Recall what Jesus had once said on the mount: Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Thus, they will never hunger or thirst (filled with the Spirit). The children of Israel were to believe on God (heart faith) and obey His commands with respect to manna (or anything else). Consider Jesus’ obedience: John 6:38, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” AND John 14:31 , “But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.” AND John 8:29 , “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” Christ was surrendered to do the Father’s will and Jesus is the one we must “follow” and become like – to conform and be in His likeness. Jesus was saying that God sent Him and that whosoever receives Him (believes on Him with heart faith) will be sustained of God (seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteouness and all these things shall be added unto you, Mt 6:33 ). John 6:40 , “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” They wanted to satisfy their flesh (lusts) – to be carnally (pertaining to the flesh) fed. Jesus was telling them their desire must be to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. True life is found only in God. John 6:46-51, “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 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.” This is foolishness to those seeking to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Those who love God and desire His will more than life itself will understand how Christ atoned for and reconciled the path back to the Father. These will “follow” Jesus for He leads the way back to God. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life – the bread of life (Jn 14:6). Most seek their own will and have no desire to relinquish their will and cease all rebellion. These are following their father the devil down his path that leads to hell. Jesus went back to God and sits on His right hand (Mk 16:19, Lk 22:60, Jn 13:3, 14:12, 28, 16:5, 10, 16-17, 28, 17:13, 20:17, Acts 2:23, 5:31, 7:55). The devil is going to hell ( Rev 20:10 , separation from God). These are two opposite paths that have distinct (separate) and opposite terminations (end points). Those who deny self (die to self) and take up their crosses and “follow” Jesus will find heaven at the end of Christ’s path (Mt 16:24 , Mk 8:34 , 10:21 , Lk 9:23 , 14:27 ). All the rebellious ones who live for self (denying and sacrificing nothing) will find the lake of fire at the end of Satan’s path. God said if you transgress his will that you will die. The devil said you can do your own thing and live. Well, you do die! This verified the truth of God’s Word and exposed the lie of the devil. John 8:12 , “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” You must release your love of darkness and Jesus will light the path back to God. Otherwise: John 8:21 , “Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.” Those who love darkness cannot follow a path of light. John 12:46 , “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” Those who love darkness cannot live in the light – light overcomes darkness (Jn 1:5). Those who do not follow will die in their rebellion to God (living for self). Those who say they are in the light, but do not walk in the light are only deceived while in darkness. 1 John 1:6-7, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” You cannot go your own way and still come to God – the paths are divergent. John 11:25 , “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” Notice that we must live in Christ. Jesus must become your very life and not just your religious observance. Jesus said, John 8:51, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” To keep Christ’s commandments is to live them daily. God wants your loving obedient heart and all else will fall short.

Exodus 17:1-3, “And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?” This is beginning to be a very familiar occurrence. The children of Israel were again seeking their will rather than submitting to God. The Lord had provided for all their needs, but they exhibited no faith in God whatsoever. There was no patience, trust or thankfulness. Exodus 17:4-7, “And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel ; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel . And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel , and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not? (also Is 48:21)” The rock was symbolic of Jesus (Deut 32:15, 18, Is 51:1, Mt 7:24 -25, 12:10 , Lk 6:48 -49, Rm 9:33 , Eph 2:20 , 1 Pt 2:7-8). Deuteronomy 32:4, “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” 1 Corinthians 10:4, “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” Isaiah 28:16, “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” The water that proceeded for the rock was symbolic of the Holy Spirit whom Christ gives to those who “follow” Him. God would later say: Deuteronomy 6:16, “Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.” This was what Jesus referred to when He was tempted of the devil forty days and nights in the wilderness. Rather than produce water from a rock (people lusted for water for the flesh), the devil suggested that Jesus turn rocks into bread (food for the flesh, Mt 4:3, 7, Lk 4:3, 12). We are not to tempt our Lord God. Psalms 107:35, “He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.” The Lord God brings life out of death. We die now (to selfish want/lusts) that we may live later (eternally submitted to God).


The Holy Spirit

Moses and Jesus were both filled with the Holy Spirit (Num 11:16-17, Is 11:2, 42:1, 59:21, 61:1, 63:11, Acts 10:38, Mt 12:18, Mk 1:10, Lk 4:1-2). All the prophets of old were filled with the Holy Ghost (Zech 7:12, 1 Pt 1:10-11, 2 Pt 1:21, Mic 3:8, Mk 12:36, Lk 1:6, 15, 41, 67, 2:25-27, 1 Sam 10:6, Ez 2:2, 3:24). The children of Israel did not have such a filling of the Holy Spirit. Man had God’s written Word (Moses and the prophets), but always interpreted it through fleshly eyes and misapplied it (Rm 8:7). Jesus has made a new covenant (testament, Heb 10:16 ) and now we have more perfect access to God. John 14:15-16, “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.” If we obey we will receive the Spirit (Acts 5:32 ). If you are double minded (dual loyalties with things that oppose one another such as with God and the world/self/flesh), do not expect to receive anything (Js 1:6-8, 4:8). Ephesians 2:18, “For through him (Christ) we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” John 7:37-39, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” Jesus the rock, gives living water. 1 Corinthians 10:4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” Jesus was the rock and water flowed from the rock. This was a foreshadowing of Jesus giving the Holy Spirit (baptism of). John 4:10 , “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” Jesus leads unto living fountains of waters (Rev 7:17, 22:1-3, Zech 14:8) and these are as a well of water springing up into everlasting life (Jn 4:14). The Spirit produces living water, but the flesh would never be satisfied with such nor will it be given to it. Why should one need living waters (the Holy Spirit)? Because the Spirit gives you life in God. Jesus came to baptize in the Holy Ghost and fire (Mt 3:11 , Lk 3:16 , Jn 1:33 ). Jesus said, John 16:7-8, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” To be expedient is to be advantageous, profitable and beneficial (as to a given purpose) for our being able to follow Christ. John 1:12, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” What is this power? Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem , and in all Judaea , and in Samaria , and unto the uttermost part of the earth (also Rm 15:13 , 19, 1 Cor 2:4-5, 4:20 , Eph 3:20 , 1 Thess 1:5).” Jesus came in the power of the Holy Ghost (Lk 1:35 , 4:14 , 32, 36, 5:17 , Acts 10:38 , Rm 1:4). Those given power are “born again” of God (Jn 1:13 , 3:3, 5-6). Those that “receive” Christ are sealed by His Spirit (Jn 3:33 , 2 Cor 1:22 , Eph 1:13 , 4:30 ). Jesus was sealed with the Spirit (Jn 6:27 ). The Spirit rebukes (admonishes, reprimands) one of iniquity (pulls down idols in one’s life) such as to lead them in Jesus’ path. The Spirit leads in paths of righteousness (Ps 23:3). Judgment concerns making righteous decisions based upon the truth. This is the ability to choose the good and refuse the evil (Is 7:15 -16). Proverbs 28:5, “Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.” The Lord gives us His Spirit that we may understand. John 15:26 , “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.” This is how God puts His laws into our hearts and minds – the Holy Ghost is the witness of God (Heb 10:14 -24). The Holy Spirit dwells within those who are sincere and obedient to God (Acts 5:32 , 1 Cor 3:16 , 6:19 ). The scriptures present a question: Romans 11:34, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” The answer to the question is the Spirit of God. Through the Spirit we have access to God’s wisdom and Christ’s direction all the time (Eph 1:17 -18). The Holy Spirit searches and reveals the deep things of God and we thereby have the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:10 -16). Can we possibly have greater understanding than this? John 16:13 -15, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” The Holy Ghost teaches us the true meaning and intent of God’s Word (unfolds) and leads us in the way – correct understanding and application (Rm 8:14 , Gal 5:18 ). Man will always read God’s Word with fleshly intent and interpret it in ways that benefit self. There are so many doctrines and religious denominations of man – contradictory and confusing. The Spirit guides those who are submitted and obedient to understand the truth of God’s Word (lifts the blindness which is there due to the flesh) who will deny the flesh (and its lusts) and sincerely live within God’s Word. Those who read God’s Word with no intent to apply it, quench the Spirit (put out, extinguish, douse, stifle, smother, 1 Thess 5:19 ) and grieve the Spirit (Eph 4:30 ) and thus become lost in their own blindness of flesh. The Spirit’s direction will always agree with God’s Word because He testifies of Jesus who is the Word – and they are One (Jn 17:17 , Js 1:18 , 1 Pt 1:25 , 1 Jn 5:6-7). John 14:26, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” If we truly want to know God’s will and desire to perform it, then the Holy Spirit will ensure that we understand it. 1 John 2:27, “But the anointing which ye have received of him (Christ sent the Spirit) abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him (also 1 Jn 2:27).” The Holy Spirit’s role is absolutely vital and cannot be understated or underestimated (misjudged, misvalued). If you have not the Spirit, then you are none of His (Christ’s, 1 Jn 4:13 ). Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” It is also important to note that man does not control the Spirit in anyway. If man is leading then the Spirit is not. Religious error quickly manifests itself when the Spirit is absent. Man cannot know God or serve Him apart from the Spirit. God has sealed us with the Spirit in our hearts: 2 Corinthians 1:20-22, “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” Earnestness is the seriousness in the pursuit to meet a given objective – a fixed attention (a sincere and serious quest). To be earnest is to be ardent in pursuit, eager to obtain and longing in desire (devoted, zealous, intent). The objective is to be stablished (made firm) in Christ. The Spirit works to stablish us in Christ by combatting (coming against) that which opposes Jesus in our lives (idolatry, iniquity, rebellion, transgression, frowardness, etc.). Therefore, those who are stedfast in the flesh (holding to darkness) resist, quench and grieve the Spirit. Yielding to the Spirit allows you to be transformed into the image of Christ which is to be perfectly obedient to the Father’s will (speak the Lord’s Word, work the Lord’s works, die to self, walk in truth, etc.). Colossians 3:10 , “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” Jesus said: Mark 16:15 -16, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Those that are “baptized” shall be saved! This is not referring to water baptism. Certainly you must take to heart the symbology of water baptism to be saved - which is death to self; forsaking your transgressions and rebellion; and surrender to God through Christ. However, this is referring to the baptism of the Holy Ghost. How do we know? – read the next verse. Mark 16:17, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues.” Speaking with tongues is exclusive of the filling of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4, 19:6, 10:44 -47). [see: note] John the Baptist said Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire (Mt 3:11 , Lk 3:16 ). Now consider what happened at Pentecost: Acts 2:3-4, “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Notice the symbology of “tongues” (speaking in) and “fire.” We just covered that if you do not have the Spirit, then you are not Christ’s (1 Jn 4:13 ). We cannot walk this walk of faith without the Spirit; it cannot be done! – Jesus said it was expedient that He go that the Spirit may come (Jn 16:7-8). Can it be anymore clear? Without the Spirit there is no teaching (understanding); no leading; no conviction; no restraint; no power; and no intercession. So, do you have evidence of “tongues (tongue talker)?” Best seek the Lord (sincerely) who gives good gifts (Acts 1:5, 2:33 , 38, 4:31 , 8:15 -17). Luke 11:13 , “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” 1 John 4:13, “Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.”

Consider how God draws us unto Himself: 1 Peter 1:2, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” We are justified by Christ’s blood and set apart of the Spirit for obedience unto God. Our faith keeps us through the power of God unto salvation (1 Pt 1:5). Again, the power of God is the Holy Spirit working in your life. God tries or tests our faith along the way as we encounter multiple temptations (1 Pt 1:6-8). Our souls are purified as we obey God’s truth through the Spirit (1 Pt 1:22 ). At the end of our faith we receive salvation for our souls (1 Pt 1:9). We must realize that the Holy Spirit is integral (essential, vital, fundamental) in all this in leading, teaching and empowering. If you do not exercise your faith through obedience, then God cannot work within you (given your free will) to transform you and thus your faith is dead (Js 2:17 , 20, 26). The Lord works within willing hearts through faith (Php 2:13 ). God will not force a rebellious and froward heart to be something it doesn’t want to be. All will be judged according to their deeds (Job 34:11, Eccl 3:17, 11:9, 12:14, 2 Kg 8:39, Ps 62:12, Pv 24:12, 29, Is 59:18, Jer 17:10, 25:14, 32:19, Ez 7:3-4, 8-9, 27, Oba 1:15, Zech 1:6, Mt 12:36-37, 16:27, Jn 5:29, Rm 2:6, 16, 14:12, 1 Cor 3:13, 4:5, 2 Cor 5:10, Col 3:24-25, 2 Tim 4:1, 1 Pt 1:17, 4:5, Jude 1:15, Rev 2:23, 20:12-13, 22:12). If you come to the end of your life and there has been no faith, then there certainly can be no eternal reconciliation. Those who have served the flesh will be given over to its strong desires - eternally.


Mount Horeb (or Sinai)

The Lord told Moses at the burning bush (on Mount Horeb), that when Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt that he would serve God on the same mountain of Horeb (Ex 3:2, 12). Mount Horeb is also referred to as Mount Sinai in scripture. This is the place where the children of Israel would initially meet (encounter) and serve the Lord their God. Mount Horeb is also the place that God (having spoke to Moses there prior) spoke to the children of Israel concerning His Law. Israel ’s love, trust and worship toward God and obedience to His law was what would distinguish Israel from all other peoples. Deuteronomy 4:5-8, “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” God would separate Israel from all other people as a testimony to a dying world (Lev 20:24 ). Deuteronomy 26:18-19, “And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken (also Ex 19:4-6, Deut 14:2).” God made a covenant with the people at Horeb to obey His law. The problem was that the very essence of faith, which is willful surrender to God in love and trust could not be legislated through the law. Obedience was required by the covenant, but true sincere love and devotion had to emanate (radiate, spring forth) from the heart. Abraham was justified by faith, but his descendants sought justification through ancestry and the law. The Lord does not want a heartless observance. Soon after God spoke, Moses went upon the mount to receive the written Law from God, and the Hebrews corrupted themselves by making a golden image (Ex 32:1-4). The Lord had warned the people: Ezekiel 20:6-12, “In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands: Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt : then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt . But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt . Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt , and brought them into the wilderness. And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.” God delivered the children of Israel out of the wickedness and bondage of Egypt which is representative of the devil and all the things in the world that oppose God (idolatry, self, materialism, etc.). The intent was that the people would come back under God’s authority through faith and be a most peculiar people in a rebellious world. Most of the people did not cast away or forsake the evil of Egypt , but brought it with them. These clung to their darkness, and remained in blindness and unbelief. These same ones would also drop along the way in the wilderness, never having set foot in the Promised Land.


God Speaks to His People

Exodus 19:1-8, “In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai , and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel . And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.” The Lord wanted to bless Israel above all nations (Gen 26:4, 28:14, Deut 7:6, 14:2, 27:18-19, 28:1, 9-10, Acts 3:25). God had demonstrated to Israel that He was capable of doing this. They were to be God’s earthly example of what the Lord expected of all men. For this to be accomplished, God required the people’s love and obedience (faith, loyalty, devotion). The Lord was about to make a covenant (agreement, promise, pledge) with the children of Israel, and the people agreed to abide by God’s conditions. This covenant represented the people willfully laying down all rebellion and self seeking and coming back under God’s authority. This was God reconciling a people to Himself having brought them out of the bondage of the devil’s lie (represented by Egypt ). In Eden, man made an agreement (or covenant) with the devil to willfully disobey God, come out from under God’s authority and seek self (join the devil’s rebellion, Gen 3:4-6). Man had disobeyed God in order to obey the devil and seek self. The devil called God a liar and man accepted Satan’s proposition (Gen 2:17 verses Gen 3:4). This is the rebellion that must be destroyed in man in order for man to be reconciled back to God. This study will show that there is no way that you can give God the love, devotion and obedience He requires and also seek self (that which opposes God). You will have to decide whom you will serve. The people agreed to serve with their lips, but God will judge us by our hearts and actions (deeds, ways, fruits). This covenant was a foreshadowing of what God would later do perfectly through Christ. Jesus destroyed the works of the devil (resultant from the lie, 1 Jn 3:8) and brought about the possibility of ultimate reconciliation to God (through faith in Christ). God choose Israel as His peculiar treasure through obedience to the Lord’s commands and this is such a foreshadowing of what Christ would also do. The Lord would later state: 1 Chronicles 17:21, “And what one nation in the earth is like thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his own people, to make thee a name of greatness and terribleness, by driving out nations from before thy people, whom thou hast redeemed out of Egypt?” Similarly, through Jesus Christ: Titus 2:14, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” Consider the similarities: God took Abram, who was not a people, and multiplied him into the people of God – a peculiar treasure. God later called them out of darkness ( Egypt ) unto Himself (Who is light, Ps 104:1-2, 1 Jn 1:5). Jesus calls whosoever will, who are not a people, as the people of God – a peculiar people. Christ calls them out of darkness (our rebellion, iniquity and self seeking, 1 Jn 1:6) into His light (Mt 5:16 , Jn 1:4-5, 8:12 , 12:35 -36, Rm 13:12 , Eph 5:8, Php 2:15 , 1 Jn 1:5). The children of Israel became God’s peculiar people by virtue of their forsaking their old life and obeying God’s laws through faith. The “followers” of Jesus become God’s peculiar people by forsaking their old life and obeying Christ’s commands through faith (Jn 14:15, 21, 23, 15:10, 1 Jn 2:3-4, 3:22, 24, 5:2-3, 2 Jn 1:6). Transgressors are those who seek self and forsake God, and these shall be consumed (Is 1:28 ). Jesus “purifies” His people as they walk in faith and are transformed into His image along the way as led and taught by the Spirit (Rm 8:29, Col 3:10). To be a peculiar people is to be as a light shining in darkness (Mt 5:14 -16). Every one of us affects the others around us. We can draw men to God or away from God through our actions. We are to be a light that lives the truth and walks by example. Consider what happened to many of the children of Israel who followed God, but did not walk in faith. Hebrews 3:8-12, 14-19, “Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” God was not pleased with them because they murmured, complained, lusted after things, committed fornication, made a false God, were unthankful, disobedient, obstinate, and self centered – no faith (1 Cor 10:1-11). These provoked God to anger – wrath. Therefore: Hebrews 4:1, “Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” AND 1 Corinthians 10:12 , “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” God is consistent throughout His Word. Whether in the days of the prophets (i.e. Moses) or His Son (Jesus), the Lord is calling a peculiar people of faith out of the world (mankind) and unto Himself – if they be willing and obedient (Is 1:18 -20). They will be distinguished by their love, submission, trust and obedience to God (faith) and their fellow man (canon of love – the gospel, 1 Jn 3:23 -24, 4:9-11, 21). Isaiah 26:2-3, “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation (those who trusted in faith through the ages) which keepeth the truth (God’s Word) may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” 1 Peter 4:2, “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” The children of Israel followed Moses (who was directed of God). Moses walked by example (as do all who are truly sent of God). We are now to follow Jesus (Who was directed of God). Christ left us an example, that ye should follow righteously in His steps (1 Pt 2:21 -24). We are to walk as He walked (1 Jn 2:6).


The Ten Commandments

The Lord had Moses prepare the people for His appearance on the third day and to set bounds around the mount (Ex 19:9-15). Deuteronomy 4:10, “Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.” Exodus 19:16-19, “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.” God is exceedingly awesome and greatly to be feared. Words are not adequate to describe the magnificence of God and thus He revealed Himself in a cloud and the people feared exceedingly. Psalms 68:8, “The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.” God revealed Himself to the people to show them that He is the only God and mighty in power. Deuteronomy 4:35 -36, 39, “Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him. Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire. Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else (also Deut 4:11 -12, 32-37).” The Lord called Moses and Aaron up to the mount, but had them warn all the people that no one else was to come near (Deut 19:20-24). Moses said: Deuteronomy 4:14 , “And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.” Similarly, the follower of Christ must learn obedience through faith in conforming to the image of Christ that he may do so when dwelling with God in eternity. God then proceeded to speak His commandments unto the people (which they were commanded to perform) as detailed in the following paragraphs (Deut 4:13 ): Psalms 99:7, “He spake unto them in the cloudy pillar: they kept his testimonies, and the ordinance that he gave them.”


Nothing Before God or Images to Represent God

Exodus 20:1-6, “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt , out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me (also Deut 5:7). 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 (also Deut 5:8): 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 (also Deut 5:7-9, 6:14); And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments (also Deut 5:10).” This is the first command in submitting to God’s authority. God is to be the center of your life. God is your life’s priority – God is your very life ( Col 3:4). Nothing shall come before God (not self, family, things, activities, jobs, opinions, religiosity, etc., Lk 14:26 ). Ye shall not be as a god (Gen 3:5) in exalting self. To exalt self (pride) is to deisregard God – there can only be one authority in your life. In Egypt the people (of the flesh) worshipped their various gods through physical representations or graven images. The same is true today. For example, no one knows what Jesus looked like, yet images of Christ abound. There are paintings, drawings and sculptures (statues) and all have a very similar (comparable) figure or image (likeness) that most everyone has come to accept and embrace as Jesus. Children are taught through the use of these images in religious classes (printed materials). In reality no one knows what Jesus looked like, but through false conditioning everyone is sure that they do know what Jesus looked like (they believe a deception and a lie). This is worshipping an image. If the image is not the exact truth then it is a lie and if you worshipped Christ (in the Spirit) then there would be no need for an image. A representative image (not factual) is a false image (Is 40:18, 25). Isaiah 46:5, “To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?” Most likely this image is in most people’s minds when they pray or think upon Christ. Christ came to the earth as a man, yet was God. God has stated that He cannot be worshipped as a fleshly image. No graven images of any likeness of things in heaven, in earth or in the waters under the earth is all inclusive. What this is saying is: John 4:24 , “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Images are for those who live by the flesh and not in the Spirit (Rm Chap 8)! We approach God through faith and not physical representations (Heb 11:6). Many movies (or dramas) have been made that have actors representing Christ. These are false images. Not only are the physical features wrong, but also the personality, mannerisms, body language, temperament, thought processes, expressions, etc. This is very damning, it violates God’s command. For man to grave an image of God is for man to conform God to his image (the one man makes). Can you see how this subjugates God to the will (opinion, sentiment) of man? God says that we are to conform to the image of Christ (Rm 8:29 ). This does not mean the physical image, but the character Christ revealed by His example (love, devotion, and obedience to God, death to self, sacrifice, love to others, etc.). This is a faith verses flesh issue. Man wants to worship something he can see, touch, feel or generally relate to in a physical way. God requires faith which denies the flesh what it wants. Faith bypasses the flesh and this confounds (mystifies, confuses, baffles, perplexes) the will of man (by God’s intent). Faith denies (makes void) the wisdom of man (requires trust in God, 1 Cor 1:19 -20, 22-23, 27-31). Many assume that because their images are religious and suppose they relate to God in some way that this makes them acceptable with God. You must understand that the whole context of this commandment is of a religious nature. It deals with what man religiously does to worship a god, verses what God says you will do. This is an obedience issue. You either obey God’s command or you obey your version of what you presume. So you think this is all innocent? Then you will most likely exalt your will above God’s command. Making an image and calling it Christ or making a cross does not mean you have authority to disobey God. Crosses are images! Nowhere in the Bible is the cross ever designated as a “Christian” identifier. People bow before crosses and pray. Where is the authority for such? There is no such authority given anywhere! God showed Himself to the Children of Israel and they were exceedingly afraid. A physical representation could never portray the totality of God, but that is not the point. To worship (highly revere, possess or wear images) religious images (representations of Christ, crosses, etc.) is to worship another god. This is a god of your own making in the likeness of something in heaven, in earth or in the sea under the earth. The issue is clear, but the blind cannot see. God brought His people out of the land of Egypt where images abounded (idolatry and bondages). In today’s religious world images also abound (crosses, fish, doves, stained glass, praying hands, teaching materials/aides, etc.). There is no difference. The question is, “do you want the deliverance?” The Holy Spirit descended upon Christ in the form of a dove (Mt 3:16 , Mk 1:10 , Lk 3:22 , Jn 1:32 ). Should we therefore build dove statues and bow down to them? Those worshipping in the flesh just might (or perhaps just wear a pin). God said that those who actually keep His commandments are the ones who love Him and they will receive mercy. Jesus said the same thing (Jn 14:15 , 21, 23-24, 15:10 ). Jesus also loved the Father and kept His commandments (Jn 14:31 ). Those who do not (no matter how well intentioned their presumptions are) have iniquity and hate God (are in rebellion to God’s will). Many people “religiously” violate God’s will. May God give you eyes to see.

Under the law the penalty for worshipping other gods was death (Ex 22:20 , Deut 17:2-5). Deuteronomy 13:6-11, “If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you.” The death penalty also applied to religious leaders (false prophets, Deut 13:1-5) or whole groups of people (cities, Deut 13:12 -18) who sought after and led others after different gods.


Using God’s name in Vain

Exodus 20:7, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (also Deut 5:11 ).” You are not to use God’s name profanely (not hallowed or consecrated, Lev 19:12 ) or irreverently (to desecrate, defile, blaspheme) showing disrespect or contempt (less worthy) – to put to base or improper use. The command is straight forward and the penalty is severe: Leviticus 24:11-16, “And the Israelitish woman’s son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:) And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel , saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.” You can always tell a person’s heart by the things they say. Matthew 15:18-19, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” We live in a time when most people routinely use God’s name in vain and dishonor God through the things they say (blaspheme). To most God’s name has become an expression of accentuation (emphasis). They will irreverently use God’s name to emphasize a moment of excitement, disapproval, tension, surprise, near mishap or tradgedy, etc. This shows no respect or fear of God. How could God’s precious Holy Spirit be in such a person? This is such a habit (bondage, addiction) for some that only God’s deliverance will completely set them free. One must first see and understand the transgression with a grieving heart and then repent to be set free. Most people would see this as minor (their will) yet it violates God’s written will. Who will be obeyed; self or God? Those who love God, obey God – if you love Jesus, keep His commandments (Jn 14:15 )!



Exodus 20:8-11, “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 (also Deut 5:12-14).” God set apart the seventh day as special. Genesis 2:2-3, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” God designated that the children of Israel observe the sabbath day. Over time calendars and names (days, weeks, months) have changed. The sabbath was traditionally observed from sundown on Friday (the modern calendar equivalent) to sundown on Saturday (the modern calendar equivalent of the seventh day) which is the seventh day of the week. Sunday (calendar equivalent of the first day of the week) is not nor has it ever been the sabbath day. The sabbath was intended to be a time of rest, worship, meditation, and reflection upon God. Man was to stop/cease all his fleshly activities and put his mind upon his Creator and give God due glory (wholly seek God with a perfect heart). The penalty for violation of the Sabbath was severe: Numbers 15:32 -36, “And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.” Violation of the Sabbath brought death. Exodus 31:15, “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.”

By the time of Christ, the Jews (scribes, lawyers) had considerable interpretations (derived requirements) in place regarding the sabbath. They came up with a heartless regiment of hundreds of specific rules that even specified down to the weight of an object that a person was allowed to lift. This became a heavy burden upon all (Mt 23:4, Lk 11:46 ). Even though the religious authorities demanded strict adherence to their interpretations, they themselves routinely violated them to do things such as circumcision (Jn 7:22 -23); or to loose and lead away an animal for watering (Lk 13:15 ); or lift/pull an animal out of a ditch (Mt 12:11 -12, Lk 14:5). When Jesus came and went about teaching, healing, and delivering, the sabbath observance became one of the primary issues among the Jews regarding Him. Jesus was constantly accused of not observing the sabbath and was closely watched (Mt 12:10 , Mk 3:2, Lk 13:14 , 14:1, Jn 5:16 , 7:23 ). Jesus was persecuted by them and they sought to kill Him (Jn 5:16 , 18). They said Jesus was not of God because He did not keep the sabbath (Jn 9:16 , 24). On one instance (repeated in three of the gospels for emphasis), Jesus and His disciples were walking through a field of corn on the sabbath. Christ’s disciples began to pluck the ears of corn, rub them in their hands and eat them (Mt 12:1-6, Mk 2:23 -26, Lk 6:1-4). This was considered a major violation of the sabbath since they were harvesting, preparing food and eating with unwashed hands (a tradition of the elders, Mk 7:5) on the sabbath. Jesus said the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath; and that His disciples were guiltless; and that He was Lord of the sabbath (Mt 12:7-8, Mk 2:27 -28, Lk 6:5). This brought new light on the requirements of man verses the requirements of God. Jesus intentionally did many of His healings and deliverances on the sabbath because this exposed the cold hearts of the religious ones (Mt 12:9-14, Mk 3:1-5, 5:5-15, Lk 6:6-11, 13:10-17, Jn 5:1-16, 9:1-38). Mark 3:4, “And he (Jesus) saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.” Jesus chastised them concerning their own hypocrisies and this infuriated them. Since they considered Christ to have broken the fourth commandment (which they themselves definitely did, Mt 7:3), these religious ones set about to kill Him by setting up false witnesses and thereby break the sixth and ninth commandments, yet they saw no wrong or inconsistency (contradiction) in their actions (Mt 12:14, Mk 3:6, 5:16-18, Jn 5:18). Jesus came and revealed God’s love and compassion. Jesus and His disciples did not violate the sabbath because all Christ did was go about and do the will of the Father – He perfectly kept the law (Mt 5:18 ). Man’s interpretation of the law was wrong (incorrect) and was bent on denying others (controlling, Lording over) for God and self rather than love which denies self for God and others. Christ’s heart, mind, soul and strength was given in total surrender and obedience to the Father. This is how we are to be today. We must be following Christ and obeying His commandments. God must be the priority in our lives, over all things and at all times (Lk 14:26 , 33, Gal 2:20 ). The Spirit will lead us to focus upon God in all that we do. Our lives cannot consist of serving this world and the flesh for benefit of self (careers, possessions, entertainments, pleasures, etc.). We are to be focused upon God with our heart, mind, soul and strength continually. In doing so, we more than keep the intent of the sabbath. In focusing on God, you must spend personal time alone seeking God through His Word, prayer, fasting and being led of the Spirit. Those whose hearts belong to God will seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will come later or not at all (Mt 6:33 ). God compared the sabbath with entering into His rest – God rested on the seventh day (Heb 4:4-5). The Lord further equated entering into His rest with Israel entering into the Promised Land (Heb 3:8-11). The people feared and would not obey the Lord and thus it was said of them: Hebrews 3:19, “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” The Promised Land (and hence God’s rest) could only be entered into by faith. Therefore, we enter into the sabbath rest of the Lord through faith. We cease from our own works (Heb 4:10 ), which is following our own way (seeking your own will, the flesh), and submit fully to the Lord (thy will be done) such that God provides for us.


Honoring Parents

Exodus 20:12 , “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee (also Deut 5:16 ).” Honoring your father and mother is an object lesson for honoring God. We are to respect our parents, love them, obey them, trust them and serve them. These are also the things we are to do unto God – above all. Ephesians 6:2-3, “Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Those who are obedient receive life and this is the key message. When we honor and obey God we receive life (eternal). God is referred to as our Father in scripture (examples: Mt 5:16, 48, 6:9). We are told to be obedient children, not seeking after our own will (former lusts, 1 Pt 1:14 , Mt 5:47 ) We submit to our parents and our parents provide for our needs. Similarly, will must absolutely submit to God and seek Him foremost and He provides for our needs (Mt 6:33 ). Whoso curseth his father and mother shall have his lamp put out in obscure darkness (Pv 20:20 , also Mk 7:10 ). Similarly: Leviticus 24:15-16, “And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel , saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.” Honoring our parents (authority over us) who gave us life (through God) is like honoring God (the giver of life, Creator, the authority over us). What about the rebellious? Deuteronomy 21:18-21, “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.” Similarly, Psalms 37:38, “But the transgressors (rebellious to God) shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.” They shall be destroyed from all the earth and rooted out of it (Pv 2:22 ). Death was the penalty under the law for not honoring parents. The penalty for not honoring God is: “ye shall surely die.” This reveals the heart of God toward disrespect of His instituted authority. We are to respect our mother and father and also respect our God (foremost, Lev 19:3). Man disregarded God’s authority in Eden and thus brought death into the world (Gen 2:17 ). Exodus 21:15 , “And he that smiteth (strikes) his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.” The rebellious will lose their lives (eternally). Exodus 21:17 , “And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death (also Lev 20:9).” Those who blaspheme and dishonor God (curseth, idolatrous, disobedient, unloving, unthankful, etc.) are rebellious and will surely die (Lev 24:16). Proverbs 28:24, “Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.” Just because your parents are familiar to you, gives you no right to transgress their authority and take liberties. Just because you “profess Christ” and believe you are walking in God’s grace, you have no authority to transgress His will or have some presumed “Christian liberty” to violate His commandments (1 Pt 2:16 ).

This study will reveal that God considered most of the children of Israel (His children) to be stiff-necked, stiff-hearted, stubborn, and rebellious to the Lord because they would not obey Him. Most did not enter into God’s promises (Promised Land). Rebellious children are always seeking after their own will rather than honoring that of their parents. The character of Satan is rebellion and self seeking and those who are submitted to him will be like him. Lucifer (the created) rebelled in disrespect and disregard for God (the Creator). The rebellious will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Jesus pointed out how the religious through their traditions had violated this commandment. Mark 7:9-13, “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” The religious ones came up with a tradition that if a son where to designate his property to the religious system then he would not longer be responsible to help his parents with their needs. This violated God’s intent even though the religious would have said they would put the money to better use to “win people to the Lord” or “serve God.” You cannot dishonor and disregard God in presuming to serve God. Does God take more pleasure in “religious works” or obedience to His will (Mt 7:21 -23)? The Lord said of Israel that even though all passed through the baptism of the Red Sea and ate and drank the same spiritual meat and drink (1 Cor 10:1-4): 1 Corinthians 10:5, “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” These lusted after self, tempted God, were idolators and committed fornication (1 Cor 10:6-11). In other words, they did the things that opposed God’s will and remained in their rebellion to Him. Similarly, many who “profess” Christ live opposed to Him. Do you suppose that God will be well pleased? Do you suppose that God will change His mind and welcome the self-seeking and rebellious to dwell with Him eternally?



The author wrote in the first book that the Lord required him to walk the things he wrote. Further, the author had written concerning the issue of birth control – just whose will is to prevail? This was the last major area of the author’s life to be yielded to the Lord as eyes were opened (blindness removed). The Lord triumphed over me – Praise God! The Lord required it of me. I am quite thrilled to say that after some absence on my behalf, there is a new child in the world – Luke. The Lord spoke several things to my heart: Surrender and obedience to God produces life. This was dramatically revealed to the author in a very real, tangible and beautiful way. Disobedience to God inevitably (unavoidably, with certainty) produces death. Parents are entrusted with a tremendous responsibility. One or more lives are placed into their hands to nurture, teach and guide. Words cannot adequately describe the importance of such a task. You have the capacity to develop or destroy a life. To lead to God or completely turn away. You are facing a world that is largely in rebellion and dead set against the purposes and principles of God (1 Jn 5:19 ). How will you stand? Will you guard this precious one’s heart and lead in the ways of the Lord or will you allow the world to conform the child into its likeness? Will you (as the parent) be a godly example or a worldly example? As the child grows, a nature will be reflected and evidenced in the youth’s actions. This nature will be that of God or that of the world – one will prevail. The nature will also be indicative of the parent’s hearts as well. Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” God’s Word is true and so is this statement. Unfortunately the opposite may also be said. If you train a child in the way he should not go (to be as the world), then when he is old he is just as likely not to depart from it (however, the Lord is merciful and all things are possible, Lk 1:37 , Mt 19:26 , Mk 9:23 , 10:27 , 14:36 ). What does it mean to be as the world? It means to be culturally similar (conforming to popular culture). You may be religious and have a slightly higher morality and some “profession of belief;” however, do you live basically like the world around you? For instance, is the Lord being taught and lived in your home or perhaps the world through television? Many consider themselves to be good Christians and are amazed that their grown children have largely fallen victims to the ways of the world – divorce, adultery, fornication, addictions, foul language, failure, self seeking, intemperance - perhaps disrespectful to the parent (or others). They say, “my child was not raised that way,” but perhaps they were. Perhaps their lives are just like all the things they put into their hearts from watching the television, movies and such (and following the world). All the teaching, temptations and enticements that were sown were also later reaped (Gal 6:7-8, Job 4:8, Pv 22:8, Hos 10:13 ). Sow to the wind and reap a whirlwind (Hos 8:7, Jer 23:19 , 30:23). The Amish and Mennonites were correct in their hard stance against the things of the world (we must be guarded; we are not ignorant of the devil’s devices, 2 Cor 2:11 ). The battles were to have been won (years earlier) through standing in faith for God and taking the ridicule of the world. The battles were to have been won by refusing to allow the world’s entertainment (television, music, written materials) and celebrations (Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc.) into your home and hearts of your children. The battles were to have been won through brokenness and obedience to God and not through material blessings (rather, leanness of flesh). The battles were to be won in surrendering to God daily, living God’s truth (Word) by example, and teaching your children the same in all situations. The battles were to have been won in pointing and leading your children to God, not in allowing things that draw them away. The battles were lost in compromise (everybody’s doing it) and justification of the evil. The battles were lost though ignorance of God’s Word, unbelief (not placing God foremost in your life) and a froward heart (refusing to do what is required). This culture is extremely seductive – tremendously. The broad path is not so greatly (vastly, widely) traveled because people are wise to it. You may find that your values are more in line with this culture (world) than the Word of God. I challenge you to start reading God’s Word and walking in it. As you walk, the blindness will lift, but not until.



Exodus 20:13 , “Thou shalt not kill (also Deut 5:17 ).” To kill is to exalt self and  impose control over another to such an extent that you take their very life away. Love (giving of self for the benefit of others) produces life. Jesus gave Himself that all might live (Gal 2:20 ). Killing (the sacrifice of others for the benefit of self) produces death. The devil deceived man into transgressing God’s will (sacrifice of others for his selfish purposes) and thus produced death – thus the devil is a murderer (Jn 8:44 ). Those who follow in Satan’s rebellion can also only produce death. Killing is hatred, bitterness and unforgiveness taken to their conclusion. The first murder was committed by Cain against his brother Abel (Gen 4:1-10). Cain and Abel both offered sacrifices unto the Lord (Gen 4:3-5). Hebrews 11:4, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” Cain became wroth and jealous of his brother and slew him. We must love one another: 1 John 3:12, “Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.” Those who kill are always seeking self at another’s expense. The Lord said: Genesis 9:5-6, “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” The penalty for killing under the law was death (Ex 21:12 ). Leviticus 24:17, “And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.” Numbers 35:31, “Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.”

Most will generally agree that killing is wrong. However, these same ones will also look for loop holes such as “self” defense or killing associated with war. Jesus would later come and condemn all forms of killing by combining this commandment into the two great commandments (canon of love, 1 Jn 3:23 -24, 4:9-11, 21): Matthew 22:39, “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” One man asked Jesus who his neighbor was and Christ answered with the story of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:29 -37). The Jews hated and despised Samaritans and it turns out that they represented the neighbors (fellow man) that this man should love. Now mankind will always justify hatred for their enemies (Lk 6:35 ). Some wanted to continue with an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, so Christ elaborated on the intent of the second commandment: Matthew 5:43-45, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Notice how some tried to bypass (find loophole in) the second commandment through the use of the term “enemy.” Jesus said you are to “love” enemies if you want to be a child of God; and couldn’t have been more specific and clear (Pv 25:21-22, Rm 12:20 ). As an example: Romans 12:20 , “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” Can you see how these acts of love are the sacrificing self for the benefit of another (no pride, which is self-exaltation, involved here)? Your act of love diffuses another’s act of hate (which is sacrificing others for the benefit of self – the devil’s nature). If you return retribution, then hate has overcome love (Mt 5:39 )! What Jesus is telling us is that we cannot allow the hate of others to overcome our love and also transform (conform) us to have the nature of hate. Luke 6:35-36, “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” We must walk in the Lord’s nature - If we become as the evil then we are evil! We must walk in God’s nature and not that of Satan. Leviticus 19:17 , “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.” A profession of Christ does not allow you to walk contrary to Him. This may seem hard because the wicked are aggressive and just “take.” We must die to self and entrust our lives to God. It may seem like you are the loser and the wicked are triumphing over you, but this is strictly a fleshly perspective. You are the victor because you have not yielded your righteousness and allowed the wicked to change and transform you (to corrupt) into that which dishonors God. One who stands for righteousness at the expense of self brings honor to God (consider Job). If the rotten apples corrupt (spoil) all the good apples in the barrel, then what is fit for consumption? Our perspective must be godly and eternal and not fleshly and temporal. We praise God even in our own demise – this is surrender. If we keep Jesus’ Word, we know we are in Him (1 Jn 2:5). Luke 6:27-28, 32-33, “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise (the second commandment). For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same (also Rm 12:14 ).” Whenever you talk to someone about enemies and justification for hating them, it always boils down to loving those who love you. What shall we say of our enemies? Job 31:15, “Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?” Therefore, those who “what if” Christ’s clear commandments on this subject or justify alternatives are simply not willing to obey the Lord. This is just the honest truth! These simply “feel” or “reason” that their thoughts on the subject are more valid and this is how they live. Consider the case of the American Civil War. Brother hated brother in a brutal war. 1 John 4:21 , “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” The religious men on both sides were sure that their side’s cause was right and God was on their side. Both sides held religious services and prayed for their troops, yet their very endorsement of such things (the war), violated Christ’s commandment (which they knew) – did that matter? Recompense no man evil for evil (Rm 12:17 ). Modern day Christians “voluntarily” send their sons and daughters off to war to fight for their country (always assuming the other guy’s kid will do the actual fighting and dying). Jesus said, if you love me (the first commandment), then keep the second commandment – does this matter? What do your actions say? Shall we all hate one another – who will show love (put into practice Christ’s commands)? Would it not be better to suffer the evil (1 Cor 6:7, die)? Shall the whole world be filled with hate and violence? Religious man, you err greatly in furthering such thought. The dying should be to self and the fleshly reluctance (or refusal) to obey the Lord. If you do not keep Christ’s Words then He is not in you and there is no relationship (1 Jn 2:5). 1 John 2:9, 11, “He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” Many will say: “But we are defending our nation or ourselves.” Go back and ponder the verses you just read – you’re seeking your way and are blinded by your own darkness. My “sentiment (opinions mixed with strong feelings)” will rise above the most High. God’s way is not nullified with what seems reasonable and justifiable to the flesh (make the Word of God of none effect, Mk 7:13 ). God’s kingdom will not operate in hate and neither will its citizens. No one goes off to war without having hatred and unforgiveness in their heart. How could you kill otherwise? Who kills without emotion – the heartless? 1 John 3:10 , 15, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother (we are all brothers going back to Noah and ultimately back to Adam, family of man, brotherly love). Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” To be a murderer is to have the nature of your father the devil (Jn 8:44 ). Those who follow Christ must love and overcome evil with good (Rm 12:20 -21). We must bless those who persecute and curse not (Rm 12:14 ). Jesus said we cannot seek revenge either (Mt 5:38 -42, Pv 24:29, Rm 12:17 , 1 Pt 3:9). Religious men greatly honor their veterans and have “prayer for the troops” – a mockery of true love. Matthew 26:52, “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Some perish in the war, some perish “according to their deeds” at judgment. Does God answer prayers that violate His declared will (Second Commandment)? Does God just understand your violations religious man (bow to your sentiment)? Oh religious man, go and pull out all of your biblical arguments to “justify” your “way.” Continue to justify the hate of war rather than the love of God; your only moving away from a truly loving God (Is 41:21). Try and justify your hatred before a God whose Magnificence (splendor, glory, radiance, majesty, brilliance) you cannot even comprehend in your limited human reasoning – a God who does not have hate in His nature (God is love – but will show Himself froward or unsavory to the froward and wicked, Ps 18:26, 2 Sam 22:27). Try and explain to God why one with a heart of hate should dwell with Him eternally – no doubt many have. Make sure that you understand the difference between killing and judgment, and understand that you do not have such capacity, knowledge or authority to know such things. Sons and daughters should be counselled not to go to war! – These are pivotal (fundamental) concerns that are ignored. There is a time and a season for everything a purpose under heaven. From this day until the coming of the Lord, we have been COMMANDED to abide in Christ’s covenant of “love (Mt 22:37 -38, Mk 12:30 -31, Lk 10:27 , 1 Jn 3:23 -24, 4:9-11, 21).” If a man love me (Jesus), he will KEEP my commandments (Jn 14:23 ). This is the gospel!!! Will you disregard? John 15:12, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you (also Jn 12:34-35, 15:17, Rm 12:10, 13:8, Gal 5:13, Eph 4:2, 1 Thess 3:12, 4:9, Heb 10:24, 1 Pt 1:22, 3:8, 1 Jn 3:11, 23, 4:7, 11-12, 2 Jn 1:5).” Many a religious man will profess, “I love God” while waving their flags and endorsing America ’s violent actions around the world. Perhaps they turn on their television and listen to man’s reasoning of why they should hate a certain people. Man is very good at justifying all his evils – his heart is desperately wicked (Jer 17:9). Those in the flesh will find consolation with the world. Consider: 1 John 4:20-21, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” Perhaps your reasoning is a bit self centered: John 12:43 , “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” Many religious men will justify many things because they do not want to suffer reproach for Christ (reproach goes against the flesh). Every country that enters into war considers God to be on their side. Man (in the flesh) sees those who go off to war to fight for their nation as heros. God sees those who refuse to go as heroes. These lay their lives down (and incur the wrath of society, loss of reputation) for another (those who will not perish as a result of them not supporting or participating in the war and its hate). 1 John 3:16 , “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” This verse is the counterpart to John 3:16. Love is giving and sacrifice for another. Love denies the flesh (even the strong desire for self preservation) to fulfill God’s purposes. Your hate will reveal your heart. Proverb 16:7, “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” In conclusion: 1 John 3:23-24, “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” Jesus commands that we love one another! Will you rise above the most High in your hatred? OR Will you keep Christ’s commandments and be found in Him? Jesus (as a man) never fought in wars nor endorsed them. Will you abide in Christ and walk as He walked (1 Jn 2:6) or will you walk your “own way?” Love your enemies and do good and great shall be your reward (Lk 6:35 ) – forgive and ye shall be forgiven (Lk 6:37 ). Consider Christ’s desire that will be implemented: Isaiah 2:4, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (also Micah 4:3).” Do you desire to be rebuked by the Lord Almighty? Live peaceably with all men and overcome evil with good (Rm 12:18 , 21). 1 John 4:21 , “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” Dear reader, if you only knew how the Lord changed the author’s heart on this issue. The Lord absolutely showed and the author yielded – My God hath triumphed over me. Will God’s love triumph over you?

Most understand the physical act of killing someone, but killing is more inclusive than just that. Jesus said: Matthew 5:21-22, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” You must attempt to reconcile with those you have hard feelings against (Mt 5:23 -24). To hate or wish harm to others in your heart is the same as committing a physical act against them. 1 John 3:15 , “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” Christ would have us submitting one to another in love. Killing stems from the roots of bitternesses, hatred, and unforgiveness. You cannot harbor such feelings against others. God has forgiven those who are sincere toward Him of much and we are expected to do the same to others who have transgressed us. Matthew 6:14-15, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Your forgiveness from God depends upon your forgiving of others (Mk 11:25 -26). We are to be as our Father who art in heaven and not set limits on how many times we are willing to forgive (Mt 18:21 -22). Consider the parable Jesus told (read Mt 18:23 -35). Murder, hatred and bitterness are the devil’s nature and that of his children (Jn 8:44 ). Galatians 5:19-21, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (also Rm 1:25-32).”



Exodus 20:14 , “Thou shalt not commit adultery (also Deut 5:18 ).” Adultery is commonly understood to be sexual intercourse between a married person and a partner other than the spouse. The broader scope would also include unfaithfulness of heart and spiritual adultery against God. This is a severing (disunite, dissolve, undo) of devotion, trust and commitment that you have made toward another – the one you are bound to in love. Let us understand how God views the marriage covenant. Genesis 2:24 , “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Jesus later reiterated (repeated) the point: Matthew 19:4-6, “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 (also Mk 10:6-9).”  For two to become one is as close and intimate (cherished) as can be achieved – perfect closeness and unity. This is a commitment for life – only death can separate (Rm 7:2-3). The two make a vow before each other and God (Eccl 5:4). A vow is a solemn promise to love, honor, obey, trust, be faithful, and make sacrifice for hereafter in total commitment to the other. He who makes a vow must be careful to perform it (Eccl 5:5). In marriage, one must take focus off self and place it upon another. Marriage teaches the concept of dying to self for the benefit of another (sacrifices) - LOVE. The woman is to love, honor, obey and submit to her husband as per God’s established order (Gen 3:16 , 1 Cor 11:3, 7-9, Eph 5:22 -24, Col 3:18 , Ti 2:5, 1 Pt 3:1, 5). The husband is to cherish his wife and love her as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it (Eph 5:25 , Col 3:19 ). Men are to love their wives as their own bodies, giving them honor (for the two are one, Eph 5:28 -29, 33, 1 Pt 3:7). There is to be complete faithfulness between the two. What God joins together, man is not to pull apart – it is sacred (blessed, hallowed, holy). Therefore, neither marriage partner nor anyone outside the marriage is to violate this sacred vow. Adultery is a violation of sacred trust and faithfulness. Unfaithfulness brings about disunity and separation. Similarly, when one makes a vow to follow Christ, you are also agreeing to love, honor, obey, trust, be faithful, and make sacrifice for hereafter in a walk of faith with Jesus as led by His Spirit. Woe to him who breaks the vow. Your focus is no longer on yourself, but your Lord. Let's repeat that; your focus is no longer on SELF, but upon JESUS – to whom you are betrothed (Rev 19:7-9, 21:2). Christ and His church (Ekklesia – called out ones, out of the world/Egypt, those redeemed) are one (Eph 5:29 -33). This is a great mystery, Christ (the head) and his redeemed (the body, church, Ekklesia) are one! If you have been unfaithful in these aforementioned characteristics regarding your spouse (whom you intimately know and are one with), then you can be sure that you have also violated your relationship with God (whom you have not seen). Marriage between husband and wife is very similar to your relationship with Christ. In order to maintain oneness (faith, trust, love) with your spouse, you should never seek close friendship with a member of the opposite sex. Revealing personal details to another that should be sacred between spouses destroys intimacy. Often one will confide in another thoughts and feelings that should belong only to your spouse. What starts as an innocent friendship can quickly become lustful and a great temptation. Proverbs 6:27-29, 32-33, “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.” Under the law the adulterer was to die – without mercy (Deut 22:22 -25). Leviticus 20:10 , “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” This would certainly seem extreme in today’s society, but then consider the untold amount of adultery that goes on routinely and indiscriminately. The media (television, radio, magazines) present adultery as a normal and acceptable thing and in appealing, seductive and enticing ways. Thus, most of the population does not consider this all that serious a thing. One religious man whose wife was an adulteress described her as, “only human.” How trivial and mundane – lack of self control, unfaithfulness, betrayal, and adultery are fruits of the flesh and not the Spirit. Proverbs 30:20, “Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness.” The adulterer died under the law (written with the finger of God, Ex 31:18), fortunately, Christ amended the law (written with the finger of Jesus, Jn 8:4-8) to provide mercy for the truly repentant and sincere individual (consider Jn 8:3-11). All others will be judged according to their actions. Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge (also Pv 30:17).” God does not consider us “only human” and will hold us accountable to our actions.

The primary definition of adultery is well bounded and generally understood. However, abstaining from physical intimacy (contact) with another outside the marriage vow is not sufficient alone. Jesus made further clarification regarding adultery with regards to the heart. Matthew 5:28 , “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” The intent of this statement would also apply to a woman having lustful feelings toward another man. One does not have to physically perform an act to be guilty of adultery. Adultery deals with the intent to violate the trust, love and faith between spouses, however (in whatever way) the desecration is manifested. From a practical standpoint this means that you cannot ogle or fantasize about another. These have eyes full of adultery (2 Pt 2:14 ). This world is geared toward causing you to do just that. Consider the television (discussed in Chapter One). The television is full of sensuality and tempting situations specifically designed to cause your mind to take notice, think upon and fantasize about another (soap operas, talk shows, movies, sitcoms, etc.) – very seductive. Sensuality is the gratification of the senses, particularly the sexual appetite. This is adultery of the heart. Many sit in front of this idol and imagine lives and situations with those other than their spouses. Magazines have front covers specifically designed to draw your immediate attention with scantily clad women that have highly suggestive poses and looks with headlines of a sexual nature. Romance novels are designed such that the reader will imagine, bond with, and dream of another (wishful thinking). Pornography (books, magazines, videos, and internet) is a complete giving over to sensuality and desire for others – very little left to the imagination. Most modern music is written and instrumented to appeal to your sensuality. These things will cause great discontentment between you and your spouse. The two are to be as one, but these things tear apart - they assault the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, happiness, goodness, peace, faithfulness, truth, righteousness, self control or temperance). This definitely has a bearing on how you conduct yourself. Ladies when you apply the make-up, put on the jewelry and dress in ways to show off your features (dress provocatively), are you trying to draw attention to yourselves (1 Tim 2:9, 1 Pt 3:3)? Do you want men to ogle at you and perhaps fantasize – perhaps married men? Moms and dads, do you allow your daughters to dress in sexually suggestive ways. Many young ladies now wear shorts that have writing across the seat of their pants. Why do young ladies wish to draw such attention to their behinds (this is to be as a harlot)? What about mini skirts, halter tops and bikinis? Do you encourage your sons to look at the ladies? This society is consumed in sensuality and this is driven by the media (television, radio, magazines, etc.). The people basically love to have it so including so many who say they love Jesus (love the darkness, Jn 3:19 ). Jesus said if you love Him, keep His commandments. Those who are entertained by the media of this country will become one with it’s ideals and this will manifest in their daily lives. Many live in this artificial world created by the media and have become dissatisfied with their own reality including their spouse (whom they are suppose to be one with). These things are not so innocent and will destroy your life or those of your children. How do you as a professed believer in Christ (and your family) fit into this society? Do you disregard Christ’s commandments in your daily life (what you are entertained by, how you dress, what you think about)?

The next consideration regarding adultery concerns your relationship with God. Many will make commitments to God and then have eyes for another (self, the world, idolatry). This relates to the first commandment, Thou shalt have no other gods before me. The Lord said: Deuteronomy 13:4, “Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him (also Deut 10:20 , 11:22 , 30:20, Josh 22:5, 23:8).” Recall that in marriage a man is to cleave to his wife. In relationship to God, we are to cleave to the Lord. Deuteronomy 10:12-13, “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?” Jesus slightly restated this as the first great commandment: Mark 12:30 , “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” We are to love, honor and obey God in complete faithfulness. Marriage between a husband and wife is liken to the relationship between Christ and the church (Eph 5:23 -32). You make a solemn (serious, earnest, sincere, firm) vow when you submit to Jesus as Lord. Who wants to enter into relationship with someone who is insincere (disingenuous, feigned)? The insincere are only seeking selfish benefit at the expense of another – HATE (Ex 20:5, Deut 5:9, 32:41, Pv 8:36 , Jn 15:18 ). This describes the relationship that many desire to have with God. God took the children of Israel for His own (covenant, marriage, Jer 3:14 ). God warned the children of Israel that he had chosen them to be a special people unto Himself and they were not to make marriages with the peoples around them because they were evil and idolatrous and would turn their hearts from serving God – they were to destroy their altars, images, writings, pictures and groves (Deut 7:1-9, 12:30, Num 33:52, Josh 23:11-13). Similarly today, we are not to join ourselves with the evil culture around us by participating in its wicked practices (television, magazines, music, entertainments). These will be great snares to turn our hearts from God. When Israel was coming into the Promised Land, Balak hired Balaam to curse Israel (Numbers Chapter 22, also discussed in Chapter Four). God would not allow it for Israel was blessed (Num 23:12 , Deut 23:4-5, Josh 24:9-10). Balak understood that God was on Israel ’s side and that Israel was to mighty for him to defeat. God had also said through Balaam: Numbers 23:21 , “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel : the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.” This became the basis for Balaam’s counsel to Balak. Balaam advised Balak to corrupt the object of God’s desire. If Israel became a reproach to God, not only would God not defend them, but would fight against them. Balak would seduce the children of Israel through the wiles of the flesh. Numbers 31:16, “Behold, these caused the children of Israel , through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.” This became known as the doctrine of Balaam. Numbers 25:1-3, “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab (people of Balak). And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel .” God sent a great plague among Israel because of this (Num 24:9). God then had Israel utterly destroy the Moabites including Balaam (Num 31:8). Therefore, those who fornicate with and partake of the world’s idolatry are following the doctrines of Balaam. Jesus had grave things to say of such things in His message to the churches. Revelation 2:14, “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” AND Revelation 2:20-23, “Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” When you become as a harlot with the world, you become one with it. 1 Corinthians 6:15-16, “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.” This is to be unfaithful to God and brings separation. Proverbs 2:18-19, “For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.” You cannot follow Christ and follow the world – they are going in separate directions. God does not want to be married to an adulterer anymore than you would want to be. James 4:4, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”

Adultery is a serious issue. It undermines and destroys the very nature that God desires us to have. This nature is love, trust, obedience, submission, patience and faithfulness. One must sacrifice self to obtain these godly attributes - LOVE. Adultery seeks self at the expense of all other - HATE. Adultery is a work of the flesh (Gal 5:19 ). Galatians 5:24 , “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” If you cannot be faithful to your spouse whom you have seen, then you certainly cannot be faithful to God whom you have not seen. Either way, those unfaithful to God’s Word will be eternally separated from Him (2 Thess 1:9). Therefore, Adulterers (whether physical, of the heart, or against God) will not inherit the kingdom of God . 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God ? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God .”


Additional Considerations Regarding Adultery

We are told that the divorce rate for couples within the church now meets or exceeds that of unbelievers. There is absolutely no reason to doubt this premise given what can easily be observed. Matthew 19:3-9, “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 (also Mk 10:2-12).” Many who “profess Christ” seek divorce usually resulting from seeking self rather than sacrifice of self for another. These hate their own flesh (i.e. two become one, Eph 5:28 -29). To hate is sacrificing another for the benefit of self. Some consider the clause for “fornication” to be their legal way out of a marriage (before God). However, most ignorantly do not understand what this means. Fornication is voluntary sexual intercourse between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman (incontinence or lewdness of unmarried persons). What Jesus was saying is that if a man marries a woman and discovers that she is not a virgin (has had sex prior to the marriage), then he has a legal means for divorce. The marriage covenant would have been made through deceit. Jesus did not say that after the marriage if one of the partners were unfaithful (during the course of the marriage) that one had a legal means of divorce, otherwise Christ would have used the word adultery. Now many will protest and say, “this is not right;” it is not your fault if your spouse commits adultery (and continues to). Under Mosaic law, which was certainly in force when Christ made the statement (and Jesus perfectly kept the law), the adulterer and the adulteress were taken out and stoned (killed, Lv 20:10 ). Once the violator was dead the spouse was naturally free from the marriage covenant. Many will now say that modern law does not allow for the killing of adulterers and adulteresses. This does not change God’s Word concerning His desire that the marriage covenant be until death. There was also a clause to determine guilt or innocence of a woman suspected of committing adultery – curse of the bitter water (Num 5:11 -31). Jesus brought mercy and forgiveness for those guilty of adultery as was exhibited by His forgiveness of the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8:3-11). However, Jesus clearly did not repeal the commandment regarding adultery. There will be a judgment and the deeds of many will be revealed (Mt 12:36 -37, 16:27 , Jn 5:29 , Rm 2:6, 16, 14:12 , 1 Cor 3:13 , 4:5, 2 Cor 5:10 , Col 3:24 -25, 2 Tim 4:1, 1 Pt 1:17 , 4:5, Jude 1:15 , Rev 2:23 ). There is no mercy for those who presumptuously (willfully in bold defiance of known truth) do such things without true repentance (Heb 10:26 ). This is not a matter of doing “your will” and then asking forgiveness later. Does not the Creator of all things know the true intent of the heart? God hates divorce! It ruins lives – think of the innocent children. Marriage is intended to be sacred, but is rather observed as trivial and insincere (what can you do for ME). This is why there are so many marriage contracts and hyphenated names. If your spouse commits adultery then you have two options. You can seek reconciliation (forgive) or separate and not remarry until such a time as your spouse should die. If you remarry while your spouse lives, then you clearly commit adultery yourself. Many will continue to defend the indefensible – that is the darkness. God would have you to stop justifying that which opposes Him and come to the light (Acts 26:18). Marriage is sacred and is symbolic of Christ and the church. Woe to him that detracts (disregards) from God’s will and justifies and teaches others. If you are guilty of divorce and remarriage then you must seek the Lord in sincere repentance and follow the Spirit’s leading. The Lord God is merciful to those who truly repent and surrender to His will.

Many will say that it is not right for one spouse to suffer (not be able to remarry) if the other commits adultery. The author is certainly not without compassion in such matters, but you must also consider if all parties are truly innocent. We have discussed how many who “profess Christ” are not following and are living as the world. When men and women (those married) sit in front of the television, go to movies, rent videos, read magazines or romance novels and/or have close worldly friends that do the same, you are opening yourselves up to seducing spirits, your own lusts and those things that oppose God. The popular culture in this world will conform you to its image. This is an image that opposes God and most certainly glorifies adultery, fornication, sensuality, teasing (provocation, flirting) with the opposite sex, pornography, violence, drugs, alcohol, gambling, foul language, course jesting, etc. This is the image of the beast (antichrist – against Christ). These things will create desire, tempt, induce fantasy, and will make you feel as if your life is mundane (ordinary, dull, routine, boring, unexciting, humdrum, dreary) and wasting away. These things will make you and/or your spouse feel dissatisfied with the reality of your lives when compared with make believe fantasy worlds of fictitious creations. Spouses will start seeking their own excitement like what they see on television or read about in literature. The devil tempted Eve with forbidden fruit in Eden . The devil (via the things of the world) will constantly tempt those who willingly subject themselves with such things with the forbidden fruit also. In a moment of weakness or gradual change of attitude, the things you put in your heart will manifest themselves outwardly. Therefore, when you build your life on a worldly foundation, don’t be surprised when things take on the similarity of a soap opera. This is called “reaping what you sow” for God is not mocked (Gal 6:7). They that plow in iniquity (sin) and sow in wickedness reap the same (Job 4:8). You make a choice to follow the seemingly glamorous and easily traveled broad path and these are the burdens and bondages along the way. The children of Israel chose to walk as the world (i.e. like nations around them) and disregarded God’s warnings. This is what happened: Isaiah 42:22-24, “But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore. Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come? Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.” God protects (fights for) those who are submitted to Him. Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” Those who walk in their own way are a prey for the devourer (God Himself fights against you – see Chapter Four, “The Doctrine of Balaam). To be robbed and spoiled is to have your life in ruins (the devil is a theif and a robber and snares at will). God has clearly counseled in His world not to love the world or the things therein (lusts of flesh, eyes, pride of life, etc., 1 Jn 2:15 -17). We have been told to come out of such things (2 Cor 6:17 , Rev 18:4). If you and your spouse are submitted to God, cannot He sustain you and your marriage (the covenant of marriage is in God’s will)? Divorce results when you are submitted to the world – the wise will carefully consider this (Pv 9:9). When you dance with the world, it always picks the tune. So, men, are you as the world or do you allow your wives and children to be as the world? Prepare to reap the same. So those who continually defend (justify) the evil, prepare to partake of it. Conforming to the world has another effect known as deception. Those who are as the world never see themselves as such. This is the blindness given to those who seek “their way.” To live in darkness is to be blind to whats going on around you – to the truth. The more you die to self and the things of the world, the closer you will be with Christ. This is a difficult path for those who love and serve the flesh – who will you serve? Jesus must increase and you must decrease (Jn 3:30 ). You must overcome the world (Rm 12:2, 1 Jn 5:4, Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 26, 3:5, 12, 21, 21:7). You must conform to the image of Jesus (Rm 8:29 , 1 Cor 15:49 , 2 Cor 3:18 , Col 3:10 ). You must abstain, abhor, eschew, refrain, depart, hate, cease, reprove and cleanse ourselves from all evil (Eph 5:11, 1 Pt 3:11, 1 Thess 5:22, Rm 12:9, Ps 37:27, 97:10, 119:101, Pv 3:7, 8:13, 14:16, 16:17, Is 1:16, Amos 5:15, 2 Cor 7:1).

Consider the other implications of all the divorce in this country. Pastors who perform marriage ceremonies involving divorced individuals (one or both) are consenting in their wickedness (violation of Christ’s command) and are not walking in God’s righteousness, truth and judgment. Preachers who do this are encouraging “adultery!” These men will be held to a higher standard because they knew the truth, and rather than warn others, were actually participant in opposing the truth (Heb 13:7). Acts 20:28 , “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God , which he hath purchased with his own blood.” The religious man of today has at best a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding divorce and remarriage – they seek the praise of men. Does not the purposeful ignorance of the truth not equate to complete denial and rejection of the truth? Please do not fault the author for all the confusion in today’s very “loose” religious world. I am only proclaiming the truth and am not the author of it (Christ is) – although I do completely submit to the truth (Jesus) and absolutely see the wisdom therein. I will gladly bear reproach for Christ’s namesake. Consider all the mega-churches of today that seek acceptance within the world (1 Jn 5:4). Do the leaders of these religious organizations preach against divorce or rather provide understanding? Do they call adultery for what it is or justify and placate the adulterers and adulteresses by stretching God’s forgiveness into acceptance? Do they seek the praise of men or do they suffer reproach for Christ (the truth) concerning wedding ceremonies for divorcees (Jn 12:43 )? Is it even possible to be the pastor of a large church and still maintain membership (audience) while preaching the truth about issues such as divorce? If truth is not being preached, then what are your itching ears coming to hear (2 Tim 4:3)? Which is more important, membership or truth? Which is superior, entertaining feel good experiences or convicting heart rending truth? The clear answers regarding many of these questions is that the majority of pastors (so-called) in this country do not rock the boat over incredibly important truths such as divorce and adultery (especially given the widespread transgressions). These seek the praise of men rather than the honor of God (Jn 5:44 ) – and their memberships love to have it so (Jer 5:31 ). They seek big churches with large memberships. They seek good reputation (popularity) with all men. They seek self and not God! Now consider prayerfully if your participation with such groups is not also consenting in these practices. The largest most entertaining churches in town may be (probably are) traveling a broad way opposite of Christ. One thing that is clearly evident in the scriptures is that the “truth” has never drawn a big crowd.



Exodus 20:15 , “Thou shalt not steal (also Deut 5:19 , Lev 19:11 ).” Stealing is exalting self and taking that which belongs to another for selfish benefit. This is an act of aggression that seeks your will at the expense (detriment) of another - To obtain something through the violation of another. If you have stolen in the past and now realize your fault, you must make amends (reparation for loss, compensation, reimburse, make up for) so much as is possible (Ez 33:15). To make amends is to provide restitution (providing the equivalent, recompense, restoration) for the wrong committed (Ex 22:1-2, 7, Ez 33:15). The best show of remorse (regret, repentance) and the intent of the heart is to make right through your actions rather than your words (including whatever sacrifices are necessary, 1 Jn 3:18 ). You must provide an atonement; the scriptures consider amends to be restoration (Ex 22:1-4, 12, Pv 6:30 -31). Luke 19:1-2, 5-10, “And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho . And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Notice Zacchaeus’ repentant heart to more than restore and make amends for past wrongs. Jesus said that salvation had come to him through such a change of heart and actions (evidences). Thieves will not enter into the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor 6:9-10).” Those who kidnapped (stole people) were to be put to death (Ex 21:16 ). We are not to defraud our neighbor. To defraud is to withhold wrongfully from another what is due him (to cheat, deprive another). Leviticus 19:13 , “Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning (also Mk 10:19 ).”

Most understand the primary meaning of stealing and its wrongfulness. This is a great shame for those caught in the act. There are also other considerations that many do not consider. Man took something very precious from God in Eden . Man took from God’s glory and honor by judging the Lord as not worthy to obey and be submitted to. Man chose rather to obey Satan, the enemy of God, and follow that which opposes God (rebellion, self-centeredness. Rather than give God due honor, glory, and worship, man sought his own honor and glory and continues to even today. Man defrauds God what is due Him – all glory, honor, praise, obedience, sacrifice, love, thanksgiving, and worship. Man could not provide an equivalent to God for the wrong committed in Eden . Man is full of iniquity and rebellion and had nothing comparable to offer for the transgression committed. God in His mercy and love sent His only begotten Son (Jesus) to provide the atonement for man (Is 53:6, Jn 3:16 , Rm 5:11 , Gal 1:4). Jesus restored that which He took not away (Ps 69:4). Man only receives God’s atonement and reconciles with God by relinquishing (abandoning, renouncing, giving up) all his rebellion and self seeking and living a life of faith through Christ. Man may offer some small measure of restitution (only through God’s working in him) by living a life of sincere faith to give (restore) glory and honor to the Lord. This is only possible through Christ. Faith is humble surrender in love, obedience and trust to the will of God. Faith is accomplished through the leading of the Holy Spirit (teaching, guidance, direction, etc., Jn 14:26, 15:26, 16:7-8, 13-15, Acts 2:38, Rm 8:9, 1 Cor 2:10, 16, 3:16, 6:19, Gal 3:2, Eph 1:13, 1 Pt 1:22-23, 1 Jn 2:27, 4:13) who is given by Christ to those who obey (Acts 5:32). Through your faith, God works in you and transforms you to His expectations (which was mirrored in Christ, Rm 5:1-2, 1 Thess 1:13 ). This is the grace of God and it produces acceptable fruit (Jn 15:1-8). Those who sincerely follow Jesus are they which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word (God’s will), keep it (obey), and bring forth fruit with patience (Lk 8:15 ).

Jesus said: John 10:8, “All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.” The thieves and robbers that Jesus is referring to are those things that you put before Him in your life. This could be a myriad of things such as career, home, family, religion, hobbies, entertainments, pleasures and self. These things rob Christ of the glory that He should receive and absolutely deserves from you. Those things placed above Jesus relegate the Lord to a position of lesser importance – less worthy of due consideration. Also, when you fill your life with things that oppose Christ, then you steal from His glory. We have discussed the filth and iniquity that is spewed from the television idol. These are the things Christ came to deliver you from and Jesus laid His life down to do it. When you sit in front of the television and enjoy and fill your heart with these evil things, you make a complete mockery of everything Christ did through your willful actions. You have no regard for Lord’s sacrifice or His presence. You say you love Jesus, but through your actions you reveal you love the things that oppose Him. This robs Christ of His glory and greatly dishonors Him. The creation should yield and worship the Creator, yet much of the creation has rebelled against the Creator in seeking to bring glory to itself. Notice that Jesus said that his sheep did not hear them. They do not give place to the things which oppose their Lord. Those who love Jesus are actively living their faith everyday and are keen (wholehearted, devoted, zealous, ardent, fanatical, eager, acute, sensitive) to put Christ first in all things and abhor and eschew that which is evil. These individuals will grieve over (Ez 9:4, 2 Pt 2:7-8) the evil and be quick to repent of any personal failure (1 Jn 1:9). John 10:10 , “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” The devil is a thief as are those things we place above Christ. The devil lures us away from Jesus with those things we lust after (that which the flesh desires). The devil stole man’s heart away from God by tempting him in his flesh. The devil corrupted man and took him into his bondage and rebellion. The devil separates you from God in order to kill and destroy you. The devil can only accomplish this through your free will. God will not allow him to overpower your free will. Therefore, those things you lust after separate you from Christ and deny the Lord His due glory from His creation. These things (through your choices) and the devil’s enticement will kill and destroy you (keep you in rebellion against God).


False Witness

Exodus 20:16 , “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour (also Deut 5:20 ).” To be a false witness is to give an untrue or misleading (generally first hand) account (by altering or adding to) of an action or event in providing evidence against another. A false witness will utter lies (Pv 14:5, 25) and lying lips are an abomination to the Lord (Pv 12:22 ). Exodus 23:1, “Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.” To misrepresent fraudulently (deceitfully, dishonestly, falsely) - treacherous. To intentionally assert or declare false testimony or witness against another as if true. Exodus 23:1, “Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.” Generally a false witness seeks to gain from his deed, whether advantage, reward or acceptance and popularity (Is 5:23 ) – he is motivated for self. A false witness is a maul (wound in a course manner), and a sword, and a sharp arrow (Pv 25:18). Exodus 23:7, “Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.” Jesus was the victim of false witnesses (Mk 14:56 -57). Psalms 35:11-12, “False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.” Christ is saying that through their words, they destroyed His very being (character, good name, reputation, essence of who He is). False witness is character assassination and murder. A false witness that speaketh lies is one of the seven things that God hates and that are an abomination to Him (Pv 6:19 ). These destroy the righteousness of one to uphold wickedness (deceit, treachery, etc.). Proverbs 17:15, “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.” Punishment for a false witness under the law is as follows: Deuteronomy 19:16-21, “If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you. And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” A false witness shall not go unpunished, but shall perish (Pv 19:5, 9, 21:28 ). From an eternal standpoint (i.e. The Judgment): False witnesses shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Mt 15:18 -20). God made special provisions for sentencing of crimes due to false witnesses: Deuteronomy 17:6-7, “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death (also Num 35:30, Deut 19:15, Mt 16:18). The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.” There is less chance for two to collude (conspire, plot, scheme) to both become false witnesses.

One can also be a false witness in the way they represent Christ to others. They may live a life that is false or hypocritical (insincere) regarding their profession of faith. Their actions/deeds around others bring dishonor to Jesus. One may also twist the meanings or intent of Christ’s Words (gospel) into another gospel altogether, perhaps to seek benefit in the flesh (2 Cor 11:4). A sincere follower of Christ will be a light or “witness” to the truth. Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” One who is false will be a dark witness to that which is wicked.



Exodus 20:17 , “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s (also Deut 5:21 ).” Covetousness misdirects affections which belong to God (for His glory) to other things for the purpose of self glory (for man’s lusts). Rather than placing your attention upon God, it exalts created things (seeking after, desire for) above god (i.e. idolatry) to satisfy the flesh. The flesh is thereby exalted and God is diminished. This is why covetousness is linked to idolatry in scripture ( Col 3:5). Jesus said: Luke 12:15 , “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Your life is in God. Take heed and beware are strong words coming from God and one best pay attention to them. To covet (want, yearn for, and crave) is also to desire enviously that which belongs to another (take rather than give). Coveting springs from the root of greed (materialism, worldliness) and centers on selfishness. Those who covet are never content (satisfied) and thus never truly thankful. Covetousness is not just the desire for what you cannot have, but also for that which you can readily obtain – avaricious (greedy of gain or possession). Much of the world’s advertising is geared toward creating a strong desire in you to have a certain thing. This is witchcraft and is wickedness. Psalms 10:3, “For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.” In advertising, the item for attention will be presented to you in such a way that you are led to think that everyone wants or has one and that you must have it also. Advertisers will link their products to activities or entertainments that you enjoy. These advertisers will constantly tempt (entice, appeal to, lure, excite, convince) and provoke (bring about, trigger, cause) you to covetousness through messages that mainly appear on television, radio, and in magazines. The author is told there exists shopping channels on television that appeal to your lusts twenty-four hours a day. They want to create a desire where no need exists. Advertisers must fixate your attention on their product in a short moment of time by appealing to your inner lusts such that the enticement will remain long after the appeal and result in a later action. This is serious manipulation! They create factitious (needs created by advertising) lusts! Many will allure through the lusts and desires of the flesh and exercise the heart though covetous practices (2 Pt 2:14 , 18). In all this we must remember that one who is covetous has their heart on SELF and their wants/desires rather than on God’s will. A wise man will seek God wholeheartedly and remove himself from such temptations. This is done by not partaking of the television or thumbing through the magazines (especially the catalogs) – in other words, do not give place in your heart. Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conversation (lifestyle) be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he (Jesus) hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” The key is to be “content,” to have “self control,” to not let the flesh rule your actions. Psalms 119:36, “Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.” Those who profess Christ are specifically told: Ephesians 5:3-5, “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 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.”


Summary of Ten Commandments

Man rebelled in the garden of Eden to seek his selfish wants rather than deny self and submit to the will of God in perfect obedience. Man’s fallen nature is that of the devil which is self-centered; and he is now ruled by the lusts of the flesh. God’s Ten Commandments go against this fallen nature of the flesh. These commands focus man’s devotion and attention first on God and then others (one’s neighbors). To be devoted to another (loving God or neighbor) is to deny self (or vice versa). God’s commands deny the flesh and restrain (contain, confine, hold back) man’s self seeking ways. The heart of man is desperately wicked (Jer 17:9). Jesus said: Mark 7:20 -23, “And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” Matthew 15:19  adds “false witness” to this most unsavory list of works of the flesh (Gal 5:19 -20). When you sincerely submit (surrender, yield) to God, the Spirit will work to tear down these things of the flesh. The flesh will resists and your devotion will manifest itself. The nature of God is opposite of this list, namely love, joy, peace, goodness, meekness, self control (temperance), truth, righteousness, longsuffering, gentleness, and faith (Gal 5:22-23, Eph 5:9). These are the fruits which must manifest in your life. Galatians 5:16, 6:7-8, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

Under the law, breaking the commandments by seeking other gods; using the Lord’s name in vain; breaking the sabbath; dishonoring parents, killing; and adultery were penalized by death. False witness could be penalized up to and including death. Stealing could result in death (Ex 21:16 , 22:2). However: Deuteronomy 19:15 , “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” There was no mercy under the law. Hebrews 10:28, “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses.” Deuteronomy 5:32-33, “Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.” As previously mentioned and one of the great points of this book: Obedience to God produces life, life more abundantly and life eternal (Jn 10:10 , 1 Jn 5:11 ). Disobedience to God produces death including the second death. Obedience draws you to God who is the giver of life. Disobedience separates you from God where there is no life. Disobedience equates to “thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:17 ). The Lord said of the people after He spoke His law: Deuteronomy 5:29, “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” Obeying the Lord was equated with well-being. We die to ourselves in obedience to God such that life will spring forth. A seed dies to produce life which bears much fruit (Jn 12:24 ). The majority of the children of Israel never truly clung to the Lord with the heart of love that God desired. Most sought after the idolatry of the nations around them or had a “legal” obedience. Jesus came and amended the law (which offered no mercy) to provide mercy for sincere and repentant individuals (Is 16:5). Christ also provided the Holy Spirit such that one could live a life of sustained faith and fulfill the intent of the law. The law was not done away with, but was written in the hearts of those who genuinely seek God. Hebrews 10:16-17, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more (also Jer 31:33-34, Ez 36:26-27, 2 Cor 3:3).” God through His mercy and grace conforms us to His expectations. Those who are insincere and persist in any such violations (including those who make profession of Christ) will not inherit the kingdom of God (Rm 1:26-32, 1 Cor 6:9-10, Gal 5:19-21). These will face the second death.


Christ’s Commandments

Jesus took the Ten Commandments of God and reduced them down to two. These Two Great Commandments bear repeating (gospel of love): Mark 12:29-31, “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.” We discussed how the Ten Commandments could be observed through “legal obedience” whereby one might seemingly keep the letter of the law, yet not the intent of the law. The religious system that Christ came to religiously observed the law (through man’s doctrines and traditions), but had no love or compassion for their fellow man. This was revealed when Jesus healed on the Sabbath (Mt 12:10, Lk 6:6, 13:14, Jn 5:9, 9:14) or told individuals that their sins were forgiven them (Mt 9:2, 5, Mk 2:5, 9, 3:28, Lk 5:20, 23, 7:47-48). The religious men were infuriated by these acts of love and compassion (Mk 2:7, Lk 5:21 , Jn 5:18 , 9:16 ). The law itself does not necessarily produce “heart obedience” whereby one loves and obeys God with all their heart and also loves their fellow man (1 Jn 4:21 ). The law made nothing perfect (but faith in Christ did – the surety of a better testament, Heb 7:19 , 22). The Ten Commandments were to direct man’s attention off of “self” and onto first God and then his fellow man – to restrain “self” (the wicked nature of man). Many used the law to condemn others. However, the Ten Commandments do not actually (explicitly) contain the word “love.” Notice the use of the word “love” in the Two Great Commandments. What does “love” mean? Consider the popular verses: John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” God defines love as “sacrifice” or giving of yourself for another. God so loved the world He “gave” or “sacrificed” His own Son for us – for our benefit. Jesus came not to justifiably (with good reason) condemn us, but to “give” or “sacrifice” Himself for us that we might be saved (to do us good in the end). Jesus came and led by example (1 Pt 2:21 -24). He denied Himself for the benefit of others (we must also - 1 Jn 2:10 ). Man used the law to condemn (and unto death). Jesus came and forgave (and unto life, 1 Jn 2:25 ). Consider what Jesus said: John 15:12-13, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another (your neighbor), as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” If we do not love others as Christ loves us, then we have no right to Christ’s love. John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Jesus loved by continually giving of Himself for others as a servant (Lk 22:27 , Jn 6:38 , 13:12 -17, 2 Cor 8:9, Php 2:7-8). He fed, healed, delivered, taught, suffered, served, showed compassion (wept), sacrificed, defended, prayed for, encouraged, and forgave. The greatest “love” is the complete “sacrifice” of self for another – to lay down one’s life (1 Jn 3:16 ). Consider this relation: John 3:16 reveals that God “gave” His only begotten Son for man (Christ laid down His life for us). 1 John 3:16 reveals that man is to “give” himself for his fellow man (We lay down our lives for each other, 1 Jn 4:21 ). Mark 10:45 , “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom (to liberate, set free) for many.” Therefore, the Two Great Commandments completely take your attention off of self and direct it in love (giving, sacrifice) to first God and then others (this is known as charity). So, to obey Christ’s commandments is to live in the law of love (1 Jn 5:2). 1 John 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us.” This produces obedience from the heart and true “faith.” You can never truly die to self and serve God and others without such “love.” Therefore: 1 John 4:10-11, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” Now, consider what Jesus said: John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Those who make a vow (solemn promise) and enter into Christ’s covenant (which was sealed by His blood, 1 Cor 11:25 ), must keep Jesus’ commanments. Christ’s covenant is “love” and to keep this testament you must obey. In Christ, faith worketh by love (Gal 5:6, Eph 3:17 ). 1 John 4:7-8, 16, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” John 14:23 , “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” In other words, if a man sacrifices self to keep Christ’s Words, then God will sacrifice for your benefit and dwell with you. Love is reciprocal – but must first place God foremost. When we come back under God’s authority in obedience as reconciled through Christ, we have a personal relationship with God (Rm 5:10 , 2 Cor 5:18 ). The Holy Spirit resides within us (1 Cor 6:19 ). 1 John 3:24 , “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” If you do not have the Spirit, then you are not Christ’s (Rm 8:9, 1 Jn 4:13 ). You cannot “know” Christ apart from submission and obedience to Him. 1 John 2:3-4, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” John 15:10, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” Consider how well this fits with what God had told the children of Israel: Deuteronomy 7:9, “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.” Jesus totally died to self in keeping the Father’s will and obeyed perfectly, thus abiding in His love. We must die to self and obey Christ’s commandments and thereby abide (continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand firm, tarry, in the same state, be one with) in His love. This is saying that we must follow Christ’s example – to walk as He walked (1 Pt 2:21 , 1 Jn 2:6). If we do not abide in Christ in love, then we are cast forth as a fruitless branch to be gathered and burned (Jn 15:1-8). John 15:9, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” Your vow of faith to Christ is for love and obedience hereafter – stedfastness (firmly fixed or established, constant, resolute, not wavering). 1 John 2:5, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” Our assurance that we are in Christ is found in our obedience to Him, and this perfects our love. Sacrifice of self equates to obedience which equates to love. 1 John 5:2-3, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” We sacrifice self for the benefit of God. Therefore, we can conclude that God is amazingly consistent in His Word and dealings with man. God’s desire has always been that man will approach Him in faith (love, contrite heart, obedience, trust, submission and humbleness) - as did Abraham. Consider what God said at the time of the first covenant (at Mount Horeb) when the Ten Commandments were given: Deuteronomy 10:12-13, “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?” - to cleave to Him in obedience (Deut 13:4). Is this not the First Great Commandment that Jesus stated? All things will be reconciled to God as they were prior to the fall of man in Eden . For this to happen, man must renounce (relinquish) his self-will (self-seeking) and submit (to yield, resign, or surrender to the power, will and authority of God) to God’s authority freely in love, obedience and trust with all due humbleness. God is not compromising with man (or Satan) in any way, but is offering man forgiveness, mercy, restoration (replacing to the former state as in Eden ; recovery from man’s fallen rebellious state) and grace if man will surrender to God freely through Christ. The second covenant of faith is exercised in following Christ as led by the Spirit down the narrow path that leads back to God. John 12:26 , “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” We no longer serve “self,” but another – God and our neighbor. Your life must be found in Christ (1 Jn 4:9, 5:11 -12). 1 Corinthians 4:2, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” Let us be faithful! As you travel through the wilderness, God will work through your faith to tear down and destroy the flesh and bring you fully under His will.


Just After God Spoke His Law to the People at Horeb

Exodus 20:18-23, “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. And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel , Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.” God was definitely getting the people’s attention in a very real convincing way. The people greatly feared to hear God directly and requested to hear God via (through) Moses. This set the foundation for a priest (one who offers sacrifices to God), and intercessor (one who interposes between God and man with a view to reconcile them) or advocate (one who pleads on behalf of another, intermediary). The children of Israel did not want to hear directly from God in all His Glory because the flesh was exceedingly fearful and could hardly stand in God’s presence. God’s presence brought great conviction and is all consuming. Deuteronomy 5:24-27, “And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.” Rather than talk directly with God, man desired a mediator (advocate, intercessor). Moses filled this position initially (talked with God and spoke His Words to the people, Deut 4:11 , 5:31 -33). Jesus later came and became our intercessor and advocate (high priest, prophet and King) to bring peace (reconciliation) between God and man (1 Tim 2:5-6). Hebrews 2:17, “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Jesus bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors (Is 53:12). It is written: Hebrews 12:18-21, “For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)” Moses would later say: Deuteronomy 18:16-19, “According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him (also Deut 5:27 , 18:15 -19, Jer 23:5).” Moses (through God’s direction) was referring to Jesus Christ. This was also acknowledged by the disciples of Jesus shortly after the resurrection of Christ (just after Pentecost). Acts 3:22-23, “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” The people did not want to see or hear from God in all His glory for fear that they would die. The people wanted God to speak to them through Moses. God later sent His Son to the earth as a man. John 1:14 , “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Jesus came in the flesh from the seed of David (Heb 2:16 ). Romans 1:3, “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” Christ ultimately descended from Abraham: Galatians 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” Jesus came speaking God’s Words (not His own, Jn 3:34 , 7:16 -17, 8:28 , 38, 12:49 -50, 14:10 -11). So you see, Jesus came as a prophet (yet a Son) who was raised up among the brethren whose heart contained God’s Words and He spoke as He was commanded (Deut 18:18 ). John 12:49-50, “For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” Can you see how Jesus exactly fulfilled the prophesy of Moses and fulfilled God’s purpose? Now consider that God said whatever Jesus spoke (which came from God the Father) that He would require it of man and he who will not hear and obey shall be destroyed from among the people. Jesus later added: John 12:47-48, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” We will consider just what Jesus had to say later in this chapter. Jesus also came as a King and a High Priest (as Melchisedec, Heb 7:1-2, 15, 20-21). So, Christ is all in all - King, Priest, and Prophet (1 Cor 8:6, Eph 1:3, Col 1:18 , 3:11 ). Colossians 1:19, “For it pleased the Father that in him (Jesus) should all fulness dwell.” The King, Priest and Prophet could also be likened to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Colossians 2:9, “For in him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Moses was faithful to God to do what the Lord required. He spoke God’s Words, performed God’s Works and had a whole heart of love to do God’s will. Moses failed to do God’s will once (speak His Word) and was not allowed the enter into the Promised Land (Num 20:8-12). Jesus was completely faithful to God to do what the Lord required. He spoke God’s Words, performed God’s Works and had a whole heart of love to do God’s will with no transgression or iniquity. Hebrews 3:1-6, “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” We are in Jesus’ house “if” we are stedfast (unwavering, dedicated, devoted, loyal, dependable, resolute, firm, unyielding, determined), committed) and enduring (continuing, lasting, permanent) in our faith (obedience to Christ’s commands, Mt 10:22 ). 1 Peter 1:9, “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” Our confidence is our certainty of faith as expressed in our actions/deeds/fruits, which will always be a devotion to God. Therefore, Jesus, as High Priest (also King and Prophet), sacrificed Himself for the people and interceded before God to obtain God’s mercy and reconciliation for those who would abide in His testament sealed with His own blood (1 Jn 2:28). Jesus redeemed (delivered from bondage, distress, penalty, liability, or from the possession of another, by paying an equivalent) us by His blood (Rev 5:9-10).

Notice that God has now verbally told the people twice that they are to make no other gods (such as were in Egypt ) and particularly not of gold or silver. Keep in mind that the people were clearly advised by God’s verbal commands. Exodus 20:24-25, “An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.” Man is always drawn to physical representations to appease the flesh. Man wants to see, feel and touch since he has submitted himself to the desires of the flesh. This is why God said that an altar was to be made of unaltered stones. Carving the stones pollutes the altar because man will inevitably worship and revere the physical object rather than God. As mentioned earlier, modern Christians have deified (sacred, holy, blessed, sanctified) the symbol of the cross. Most people do not understand what the cross even represented. However, they will pray before it and be baptized under it. The cross and baptism represented death to these very things of the flesh. God will be worshipped in spirit and in truth (Jn 4:23 -24). Faith “bypasses” these things of the flesh (Rm 8:8) and this is how God must be pleased (Heb 11:6). So, Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6) and they that are in the flesh cannot please God (Rm 8:8). The flesh wants its images, but God says there will be no such images.


The Covenant at Horeb (Sinai)

Exodus 24:3  And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.” God is not after forced servitude, but a ready, willing and surrendered heart. No one approaches God unless they have a willing heart to yield to Him. The creation must recognize and surrender to the will of the Creator. The Creator gave life and the creation has no ability to maintain life on its own. To disobey the Creator is to choose certain death. The children of Israel agreed to abide in God’s laws – to live within them. Similarly, when one approaches Christ, they must agree to abide in Him and to follow His commands (Jn 15:1-8). John 15:10, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” Notice that Jesus set the example! Jesus absolutely obeyed and yielded to the Father during His entire time on earth. This cannot be over emphasized. This is a yielding of your entire life. As Jesus absolutely surrendered to the will of the Father and perfectly obeyed His laws, we are to absolutely surrender to Christ and keep His commandments. Those who come under God’s authority (as prior to the fall in Eden ) obey Him – thy will be done in earth (in your life), as it is in heaven (Mt 6:10 , Lk 11:2). Those who wish to remain as their own authority (as after the fall in Eden ) do not obey God and are in rebellion. Psalms 37:38, “But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off (also Pv 2:22 , Is 1:28 ).” The unjust are reserved unto the day of judgment to be punished. These are those who walk after the flesh (as per the devil’s lie in Eden ) in the lust of uncleanness (Rm 6:19 , 2 Cor 12:21 , Eph 4:19 , 5:3). Defilement by transgressions and iniquity is uncleanness (lewdness, filthiness, foulness, sinfulness). Exodus 24:4-8, “And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel . And he sent young men of the children of Israel , which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.” A covenant is a formal binding agreement sealed in blood – a solemn (serious and sincere, sacred) agreement. Hebrews 9:20, “Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.” To be enjoined is to be admonished with authority (ordered, directed, commanded). Deuteronomy 5:2-3, “The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.” Man made a covenant with God whereby man agreed to be obedient to God’s laws which were first verbalized by God and then written by Moses in a book and read before the people (Deut 5:1, 4-22). Romans 10:5, “For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.” A sacrifice (animal) was made and the covenant was enacted by the sprinkling of blood. The law was binding and to be kept with no clause of mercy for transgressors (Neh 9:29 ). Through the law God was laying a foundation of understanding for the people. Galatians 3:19, “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.” Jesus is the seed which would come to Whom the “promise” was made. Until such a time, man was not to continue in his transgressions against God (seeking of self and the resulting iniquity which has continued since Eden ). This would have led to total corruption as before the flood. Worshipping God (reverence, love, devotion, trust, faith) and abiding in His laws would set the children of Israel apart (sanctify) as God’s people. Galatians 3:24 , “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ (the seed that shall come), that we might be justified by faith (as Abraham).” Consider what God told Israel after verbalizing the law: Deuteronomy 6:4-6, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” This is the First Great Commandment that Jesus would later state (Mt 22:36 -37, Mk 12:29 -30, Lk 10:27 ). Now consider what God also told the children of Israel : Leviticus 19:18 , “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” This is the Second Great Commandment that Jesus would later state (Mt 22:38 -39, Mk 12:31 , Lk 10:27 ). Christ’s gospel has been there all along (discussed below). Old Testament or New Testament, makes no difference; God has been completely consistent with His expectations for man all along. There were some men (consider Simeon, Lk 2:25 -32) who lived prior to Christ’s coming (the seed) that grasped God’s expectation of man and walked in His Spirit. These two commands revealed the law and what the prophets had been saying when they spoke God’s Words; this is superior to burnt offerings and sacrifices (Mt 22:40 , Mk 12:33 ). Luke 1:50 , “And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.” The fear of the Lord is wanting to know and please Him – to walk in His ways (Deut 6:13, 24, 8:6, 10:12, 20, 13:4, 17:19, 31:12, Josh 4:24, 24:14, 1 Sam 12:14, 24, 2 Kgs 17:36, 2 Chr 19:9, Job 28:28, Ps 2:11, 19:9, 25:14, 33:8, 18, 34:9, 86:11, 96:9, 103:13, 111:10, 115:11, 135:20, 147:11, Pv 1:7, 2:5, 3:7, 8:13, 9:10, 10:27, 14:26-27, 15:33, 16:6, 19:23, 23:17, Is 11:2, 33:6). This was God’s desire from the beginning ( Eden ). The law could not in and of itself (apart from love of God) produce this “heart” faith. The law was weak through the flesh (Rm 8:3). Although God’s desire has always been that man approach Him in faith, obedience to the law itself does not engender (produce, create, bring about) true faith. Galatians 3:23 , “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.” Observance of the law can easily become ritualistic and heartless to those living in the flesh (apart form the Spirit). This could be thought of as “legal obedience.” This is as foolishness, which is the lack of true understanding (truth), wisdom (righteousness) or good judgment (Mk 7:20 -23). Legal obedience would be going through the motions without the devotion (zeal, fervor, dedication), heart, sincerity, willing sacrifice (love) and compassion toward God and others. Romans 3:20 , “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Knowledge of sin without an antidote (cure, remedy, solution) is lacking. The antidote (justification before God) was to be found in faith, which most never grasped. Faith takes the law (God’s will) and adds love (sacrifice of self for others), devotion, surrender, trust and a willing heart. The law can be legislated, but faith must emanate and proceed from within. Romans 9:31-33, “But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I (Jesus) lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” Most of Israel sought “legal obedience” and not “heart obedience.” The law provided understanding of iniquity, but not justification through sole (exclusive) rigid obedience to the law (must be mixed with heart and love). The law provided no justification of past violations. Justification is remission of sin and absolution (forgiveness, pardon) from guilt and punishment. Acts 13:38-39, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man (Jesus) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” This is not justification for continued transgressions, but rather for past iniquity prior to sincere repentance (Rm 3:25 ). Let no man think he can walk in transgression against God (Is this where the Spirit will lead?). Christ turns us from our iniquities (Acts 3:26 , 1 Jn 3:5). It is by faith (not the law) that we stand and we must continue therein being grounded and settled and not moved away from the hope of the gospel ( Col 1:22 -23). Romans 4:13, “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Following the underlines above we conclude: The promise was not through the law, but through faith. Our righteousness is through faith and not through the flesh. Galatians 3:12 , “And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” One can grudgingly keep the law (forced will of the flesh), yet have no real heart toward God (love and trust) or others. We discussed that one could seemingly obey the law and not physically commit the act of adultery, but still desire to do so in their heart through lustful thoughts toward others; thus violating the intent. One could seemingly obey the law and not physically murder, but still have hatred, bitterness and unforgiveness in their heart and wish evil toward others; thus violating the intent. After all God said: Leviticus 19:17 , “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.” When Christ came, the religious leaders hated Him without a cause and suffered (wished) sin upon Him (hoped to catch Him doing wrong); yet Jesus was innocent and without sin (Jn 15:25 ). One could seemingly adhere to the law in their actions, but not be contrite (remorseful, penitent, ashamed, regretful) or sincere (genuine) in their heart. This attitude would be rebellious because you would still be transgressing God’s will and purposes in your heart even if you had a “forced” (compulsory) outward adherance. God’s desire was that the law would be kept through right intent. Galatians 3:21, “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” Obedience (adherence) to the law itself does not necessarily produce the accompanying love, trust, devotion, and surrender that is known as faith or “heart obedience.” The law will not necessarily produce a contrite heart. A contrite heart is one that is greatly grieved and sorrowful in offending God (mourns over sinfulness) – being poor in spirit. This is what Jesus referred to as being clean on the inside and not just having a righteous outward appearance (Mt 23:25, Lk 11:39-40). Matthew 23:28, “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” However, faith will not only produce the attributes that God desires, but will also keep the intent of the law. Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” God has given man a free will and you cannot be made to love; you must choose to love. You cannot legislate faith and only faith brings life. This is why Christ later came and brought a better covenant that amended the foundation of the law. Hebrews 7:22, “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.” The law provided the knowledge of God’s will (Gal 3:24 ) and your faith is the desire and ability (through God) to correctly live within it. Keeping the law was dependent upon the strength (resolve) of the flesh, yet the flesh is opposed to God. Man continually gave in to the flesh and transgressed God’s law. Those under the law did not have the Spirit. Galatians 3:2-3, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” We must be led to obedience through the Spirit (by our faith) and not through wrong motivation (i.e. fear of hell) and the forced will of the flesh. Romans 5:1-2, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Galatians 2:21 , “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Grace is God working in your heart to transform to His will (conformed to the image of Christ) you as enacted by your faith (Ti 2:11 -14). Romans 8:3-5, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” You must decide, are you going to live your life in the flesh with a form of godliness (forced adherence with no real heart – being religious) or surrender to Jesus in true faith? The “religion” of man was seeking God through the “works” of the flesh and they didn’t “KNOW” God. What was true then, is equally true today.


Christ’s Testament

Let us next consider Christ’s covenant (New Testament). This testament is Jesus’ declared will which became effective after His death (Heb 9:16 ). Hebrews 9:17 , “For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.” Jesus gave His life to secure the covenant. Mark 15:37-38, “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.” Recall that the veil separated the holy from the most holy (where God dwells, Ex 26:33). That one rip signified direct access to God (in the Holy of Holies) for all men through Christ by His blood (Eph 2:13 -18, Lk 23:45 , Heb 10:19 ). Ephesians 2:18, “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father (also Eph 4:4-6).” We can now approach the Father through the Spirit with nothing in between; not through man, doctrines, religion, priests, pastors, denominations, ceremonies, rituals, memberships, works, etc., can hinder us from God. We approach God through Jesus (the Head) and by the Holy Spirit (whom He has given us). This covenant of grace (testament, doctrine) procures eternal life (salvation) from God; upon the condition that man “receives” Christ and yields obedience to the terms of the gospel remaining stedfast until the end (Heb 3:14). We have discussed that Jesus’ gospel was one of love. 2 John 1:9, “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” Abiding in Christ’s covenant is a very solemn binding agreement. Jesus has been misrepresented by modern day religion as only being there to forgive continued transgression to the point of endorsing the evils men do. Jesus is a great King and will not be endlessly mocked! Hebrews 8:6-13, “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” God puts His law in our inward parts and we shall all know Christ, from the least of us unto the greatest, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more (Jer 31:33-34, Ez 36:26-27). Jeremiah 24:7, “And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” Jesus didn’t come to destroy the law or what the prophets had said, but rather to fulfill (Mt 5:17 -19). Consider that the prophets’ message (they spoke God’s Words) was always to turn from your wickedness (idolatry, man’s ways, transgressions, Egypt , etc.) and submit to God. The first covenant was the one established with Moses and the children of Israel at Mount Horeb . The people did not abide by obedience in the first covenant and it did not produce saving faith (from the heart). The Lord wants to take out that stony heart and put in one of flesh, a new heart and a new spirit – a clean heart and a right spirit (Ez 11:19, Ps 51:10). This is what Jesus was referring to when He said you must be “born again” (Jn 3:3, 1 Pt 1:23 , Eph 4:24 , Col 3:10 ). Ezekiel 11:20 , “That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” The Lord will put His Spirit within you to accomplish this (Ez 36:26-27). Hebrews 10:9, “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.” The Lord has given us the Holy Spirit and written His laws in our very hearts and minds (also Heb 10:14 -17). We become “born again” with God’s nature (Jn 3:3, 1 Pt 1:23 ). 2 Corinthians 5:17 , “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” We are now led of the Holy Ghost with hearts of love toward the Lord. Romans 8:4, “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Galatians 5:18 , “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” We are led of the Spirit through faith. Romans 3:31, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Conversely, Romans 4:14, “For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.” Galatians 3:11 , “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” The law does not produce faith, but faith conforms one to the full intent of the law. The righteousness of the law is contained in faith. The Spirit will lead us in paths of righteousness to perform the will of God and thus abide in His grace; keeping the intent of the Lord’s law. Consider what was prophesied of Christ: Luke 1:72-75, “To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” Remember that Abraham was justified by his faith prior to the law through the righteousness of faith (Rm 4:13 , Heb 11:8, 17, Js 2:21 -23). Abraham had surrendered to God’s will in love, trust and obedience (Rm 4:3). Galatians 3:16-17, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.” Christ’s covenant establishes faith and procures the promise (Gen 22:18 ). The “promise” will be discussed in the next paragraph. God made a covenant (agreement with promises) with Abraham based upon faith and this covenant predates the giving of the law (Gal 3:19 ). Consider God’s covenant with Abram: Genesis 17:7, “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed (Christ) after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.” God required a token for the covenant which was symbolic of a deeper purpose which was revealed at a later date (Deut 10:16 , Acts 28:27, Rm 10:10 ). Genesis 17:10-11, “This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.” God would later state: Deuteronomy 10:12-16, “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. ALSO: Deuteronomy 30:6, “And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.” The foreskin represented the fleshly covering of the heart (lusts, self will) that detered (prevented) one from truly loving God with heart, mind, soul and strength. Loving God with all your heart leads to fulfillment of the law. The foreskin is a covering of flesh. Man sought his flesh in Eden in transgressing God’s will. The flesh and its opposition to God’s will must be removed to enter into relationship with God. They that are in the flesh cannot please God (Rm 8:5-8). Being no more stiffnecked is to remove (cut away) all rebellion to God and to surrender in obedience to His will. How is this circumcision of the heart accomplished and what does it mean? Colossians 2:11-12, “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” The flesh (its lusts and selfish will) must be removed from one’s heart in order to approach God. The flesh leads us to seek our will and thus continue to transgress God’s will. Every covenant that God makes has a token. The token for the covenant with Noah was God’s bow (rainbow). A rainbow is produced by light and water. Jesus is the “light” and the Holy Spirit is “the water” in scripture (Jer 2:13, 17:13, Mt 4:16, Lk 1:79, Jn 1:4-5, 9, 3:19-20, 4:10, 7:38-39, 8:12, 9:5, 12:46, Acts 9:3, 1 Pt 2:9, 1 Jn 1:5, 5:6, Rev 21:16, 22:1, 17). The combination of the two produce the brilliant and beautiful colors of God’s bow. This bow is around the throne of God (God remembers and keeps His covenants, Ez 1:26 -28). Circumcision was the token of God’s covenant with Abraham. Blood was the token of God’s covenant with the children of Israel and it purifies the flesh (discussed in Chapter Two, Ex 12:13 ). Baptism is the token of the last covenant (Christ’s, Mt 28:19, Mk 16:16 , Acts 1:5, 2:38 ). Blood is the life of the flesh (ours is corrupted) and our life is found (justified) in Christ’s spilt blood (Lev 17:11 , Rm 5:9, 1 Jn 1:7). Baptism is symbolic of death to self. You must yield to God and His purposes and die to your own. In baptism, the old man who transgressed God’s will (sin, iniquity) and lived in rebellion (disobedience, disregard) dies, and the new man in Christ arises (born again, Jn 3:3, Rm 6:3-4, 1 Pt 1:23 ). This is baptism of repentance. The old man dies that the body of sin might be destroyed such that we no longer serve sin (Rm 6:6). God (only God) circumcises the heart such that you may love and serve Him. God thus works His grace in us (if you live obediently in faith) to do that which is pleasing to Him. God’s love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Rm 5:5) – this is true circumcision of the heart. To be an heir to the promise (given Abraham, Gal 3:14 , 29, Heb 10:36 ) we must be circumcised in the heart - inwardly. (Rm 2:29). Those who seek the flesh (children of the flesh) are not of God (children of God), but those of the promise are counted as the seed (of Abraham). Galatians 3:27-29, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” There is no more Jew and Gentile (no difference - Rm 10:12 -13) only those of the flesh and those of the Spirit (big difference). All are baptized into one Spirit (1 Cor 12:3). Stephen did a good job of stating the problem with the children of Israel (just after the time of Christ): Acts 7:51 , “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” They had blindness of heart and never put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:17 -24). They were not led of the Spirit, but rather the flesh (thus uncircumcised in heart). Rather than blindness of heart, we must have singleness of heart (sincerity, purity of mind and purpose, singleness of belief – one only) for Jesus. Circumcision and baptism are essentially saying the same thing; your self will must die (and the resulting transgressions against God’s will) such that you totally surrender to God’s purposes with all due obedience. We can now conclude: Galatians 3:7, 9, “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” This faith is what God was establishing (built the foundation) the nation of Israel upon (Abraham’s descendants upon, Rm 4:13 ). Romans 4:16, “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.” Jesus said: John 8:56 , “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” Christ was establishing the covenant of faith. Galatians 3:14, “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Many didn’t understand this statement so Jesus elaborated by saying, “before Abraham was, I AM” (Jn 8:58 ). Now consider it was the great “I AM” who spoke to Moses through the burning bush (Ex 3:14 ). The great I AM has come in the flesh to amend the covenant at Horeb (Heb 2:16 ). The law would now allow for mercy. Those under the law did not walk in the Spirit. You must have God’s Spirit to walk in faith because faith is blindness of the flesh. Recall that the people wanted God to speak to them through Moses and God spoke through Moses saying He would raise up a prophet among them to speak His Words – the prophet is Jesus, The Son (Deut 18:18, Acts 3:22, 7:37). Jesus brought and obediently spoke God’s Words that essentially said the “just” shall live by faith (Rm 1:17 , Gal 3:11 , Heb 10:38 ) – not by sight (human senses and reasoning, 2 Cor 5:7). Galatians 3:29 , “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Therefore: Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” Consider God’s incredible blessing on Abraham (procured through faith): Genesis 14:19-20, “And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.” God is the possessor of heaven and earth and in a sense so is Abraham through Jesus Christ. Jesus came into the world from the seed of Abraham (lineage Heb 2:17 , Rm 1:3; - Eph 1:10 , Col 1:16 , 20, Rev 5:13 ). Philippians 2:10-11, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

What is the “promise” of the Father? Luke 24:49, “And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem , until ye be endued with power from on high.” Jesus told the apostles (whom He had designated) to gather with the disciples and wait in Jerusalem for this needed (necessary) power. Acts 1:4-5, “And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” The promise is the Holy Spirit and life (Gal 3:14 , 1 Jn 2:25 , 5:19 , Ti 1:2, 1 Tim 4:8, 2 Tim 1:1)! John the Baptist had proclaimed that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire (Mt 3:11 , Lk 3:16 ). Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem , and in all Judaea , and in Samaria , and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” The apostles and disciples gathered: Acts 2:1-4, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Jesus fulfill His Word: Acts 2:33, “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he (Jesus) hath shed forth this (The Holy Spirit), which ye now see and hear.” You must call out to God (Lk 11:13 ), repent (Acts 3:19 ) and obey (Acts 5:32 ) to receive the Spirit. Jesus said if you love Him you will keep His commandments and he will pray to the Father to send you the Comforter (Holy Spirit) and He will abide with you forever - for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (Jn 14:15-17). Acts 2:38 -39, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized (representative of death to self and new life in Christ) every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” All who are Christ’s receive “the promise” of the Father. Ephesians 1:13-14, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” If you are not filled with the Holy Spirit, then you are not Christ’s. Romans 8:9, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Having received the Holy Spirit, this is how God puts His laws into their mind, and writes them in their hearts – according to Christ’s covenant (Ez 11:19-20, Heb 8:10). The Spirit teaches, unfolds and leads (in paths of righteousness, Ps 23:3). Through the Spirit we understand the deep things of God and have the mind of Christ and can judge all things (1 Cor 2:10 , 15-16). Thus, we can understand judgment which is that which enables a person to correctly discern (understand from God’s truth) right and wrong (good and evil). We ascertain the truth through the Spirit and the Word. This is the ability to walk in wisdom (knowledge and fear of God, and sincere and uniform obedience to his commands, Ps 111:10, Job 28:28) and prudence (wisdom applied to practice, forseeing and avoiding evil, actions to be done in due means, order and season as unto the Lord, sound judgment in avoiding evil or attempting good, Hos 14:9, Eph 1:8-12). Wisdom dwells with prudence (Pv 8:12 ). Ephesians 1:8-9, “Wherein he (Jesus) hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself.” Proverbs 3:5-7, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart (this is wisdom); and lean not unto thine own understanding (man’s ways are in rebellion to God; faith makes man’s wisdom void). In all thy ways acknowledge him (God is foremost in your life), and he shall direct thy paths (you must obediently follow). Be not wise in thine own eyes (every way of a man is right is his eyes, Pv 14:12 , 16:25 , 21:2): fear the LORD (walk in His ways), and depart from evil (this is prudence). Through the Spirit we have wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus (Eph 1:17 ). The eyes of your understanding are enlightened to know Christ’s will (Eph 1:18 ). Jesus said of the Comforter (Holy Spirit): John 16:8, “And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin (through knowledge of the truth), and of righteousness, and of judgment.” Therefore, we have truth, righteousness and judgment. Now consider: Jeremiah 9:24, “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth: for in these things I delight saith the Lord (also Jer 4:2).” Also consider: Psalms 33:4-5, “For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.” God loves truth, righteousness and judgment (Ps 15:1, 33:5, 96:13, Jer 4:2, 9:24 , Zech 8:8). Through the Spirit we have truth, righteousness and judgment. The very fruit of the Spirit (what is produced in you) is truth and righteousness which brings correct judgment (Eph 5:9, 6:14 , 2 Cor 6:7). Therefore: God puts His laws (will, purposes) in our mind and writes them in our heart (which are truth, righteousness and judgment). Moses came and walked in truth (God gave him His laws), righteousness (Moses loved and obeyed God – Spirit and faith) and judgment (Ex 18:13 , 15-16, 26). Jesus (as a man) also walked in truth (Jn 1:17, 3:21, 4:23-24, 8:31-32, 40, 45-46, 14:6, 17, 16:13, 17:17, 19, 18:37), righteousness (Mt 3:15, 5:6, 20, 6:33, Rev 16:5) and judgment (Mt 12:18, 23:23, Jn 5:22, 27, 30, 7:24, 8:16, 9:39, 12:31). Christ’s throne will be established in truth, seeking judgment and hastening righteousness (Isaiah 16:5). Jesus came to bear witness of the truth and everyone that is of the truth hears His voice (Jn 18:37 ). Jeremiah 4:2, “And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.” Jesus told the religious men that they omitted the weightier matters of law (truth), judgment, mercy (the merciful shall receive mercy, Mt 5:7), and faith (righteousness, Rm 1:17 , 4:5, 9:30 ) – Mt 23:23 . We are to be as our Father. Leviticus 19:2, “Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel , and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.” We are not to do after the doings of the land of Egypt – after their ordinances (Lev 18:3). We are to follow God’s judgments and ordinances (Lev 18:4-5). Jesus would later confirm: Matthew 5:48, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” We are to walk as Christ walked.

The second covenant was made between Christ, who represented man, and God (the Father). This agreement requires man to live by faith (Rm 1:17 , Gal 3:11 ). Hebrews 9:12-13, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” Dead works is serving the law without a contrite heart and love toward God. Moses was sent by God to redeem the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt (Ex 3:7, Micah 6:4, Acts 7:35 ). Jesus came to redeem them that were under the law. Galatians 4:4-6, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Jesus provided better promises – eternal redemption and eternal inheritance (Heb 8:6, 9:12 , 15). Jesus perfectly kept the first covenant (Law), with total love and surrender to God. We are not to serve God through mundane heartless motions, but have a living vibrant love for Him. Jesus has sealed this covenant with His own blood! Romans 3:25-26, “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” Through our faith in His blood, we are sanctified (set apart) and Christ remembers our sins and iniquities no more (Heb 10:17 ). Hebrews 9:18-24, “Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” Jesus appears before God and seals His testament (covenant) with God for us. Under the first covenant: “the man which doeth those things (keeping the law) shall live by them” (Rm 10:5). Under the second covenant: Hebrews 10:38 , “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him (also Hab 2:4).” Notice that you shall live by the rules of your covenant (binding agreement sealed in blood). God said of the first covenant: Jeremiah 11:3-4, “And say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant, Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God (also Gal 3:10).” Those who commit to the second covenant under Christ are also expected to be obedient in their faith, otherwise God has no pleasure in them. This faith becomes their life (Rm 1:17 , Gal 3:11 , Heb 10:38 ). Faith will produce love toward God and death to self. In either case, if one makes a vow (a solemn promise to God – to be done hereafter), then you must perform it (Num 30:2, Deut 23:21 , Eccl 5:4). Better to have not made a vow than to make one and not keep it – that would be a heinous offense (Eccl 5:5). Those who vow to follow Christ will live by faith which is a contrite heart of surrender, love and obedience to Jesus’ commandments. Those who do not are transgressors. God told the children of Israel: Jeremiah 11:3-5, “And say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant, Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God: That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O LORD.” The same is true for the covenant one makes with Christ – woe to them who disregard! We are justified and bound by the blood of Christ to live in faith through Him. We surrender to Jesus as absolute Lord and obey His commandments. We love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and our neighbors as ourselves (Mt 22:37 -38, Mk 12:30 -31, Lk 10:27 ). We are filled with His Spirit and are taught and led and transformed into His likeness or image (Rm 8:29 , 2 Cor 3:18 , Col 3:10 ). Faith, by nature of what it is, allows God to transform you through His Spirit. If one is unyielding and froward (refusal to do what is required) toward the things of God, then they are not walking in faith and how violated the covenant. In other words, if you are walking if the flesh and following your will, then you most certainly are not yielding to God’s will. Romans 8:12 -13, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Now recall God’s promise to Abraham: Galatians 3:8, “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” There is now a covenant of faith in force (through the blood of Christ) whereby all nations have been blessed. God is faithful and keeps His promises. Consider what happened with the first covenant at Horeb: Jeremiah 11:7-8, “For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not.” Many people profess Christ, yet walk after their own imaginations – whether their way (seeking self, world, etc.) or their sentiments (opinions mixed with emotions). Man continually seeks to be his own authority and walk in his own will as per the devil’s lie in Eden – “you shall be as gods.” Many in the religious world think God’s hands are tied and that somehow His “free gift” is a one way relationship – to serve them. Those who do not genuinely walk in God’s covenant receive curses and do not enter in to God’s rest (eternal life). Vengeance is the Lord’s and He will recompense face to face (Deut 7:10 , 32:35, Ps 94:1, Is 61:2, 63:4, Jer 51:6, Mi 5:15 , Heb 10:30 ). 2 Thessalonians 1:8, “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Let us be faithful in Christ: Psalms 25:10, “All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.” Christ testimony was a declaration of witness for the purpose of establishing or proving God’s Word – a declaration of God’s will.

Just before Christ died He instituted an observance. Mark 14:22 -24, “And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many” (also Lk 22:14 -20, 1 Cor 11:25 – New Testament in my blood). Jesus said, “this do in remembrance of me” (Lk 22:19 , 1 Cor 11:24 -25). 1 Corinthians 10:16 , “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” When we partake of the Lord’s supper, we remember (spiritual union, empathy, relationship) Christ’s broken body and spilt blood that sealed His testament before God, that we are to live in faith. 1 Corinthians 11:27, “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.” Similarly, if we walk unworthily in Christ’s covenant then we are guilty of the blood of Christ (Gal 5:16, 25, Eph 2:10, 4:1, 5:8, Col 1:10, 2:6, 1 Thess 2:12, 4:1, 1 Jn 1:7, 2:6, 2 Jn 1:6). Hebrews 10:28-31, “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (also 2 Pt 2 20-22).” Grace is the Spirit renewing the heart and restraining from sin. Woe to them who disregard the seriousness of Christ’s covenant (do not regard genuinely) – lessen (reduce in importance in their daily life). Most make a life of asking forgiveness rather than a life of obedience. Doing despite grace is resisting the Spirit and not yielding or refusing to depart from evil. John 6:53-56, “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” Jesus was not referring to physically eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Christ was referring to entering (partaking) into His covenant. Jesus’ blood (which is the life of the flesh) flowed freely sealing His testament and giving us life through Him. Leviticus 17:11 , “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Man transgressed God’s will in Eden and greatly wronged God. Due to man’s fallen nature and resultant iniquity (sin), he could not possibly provide (Pv 20:9, Rm 3:23 ) the due reparation (amends, recompense). Man also could not in and of himself correct his condition. Christ provided for our atonement. Atonement is reconciliation after enmity whereby reparation is made by giving an equivalent for a wrong committed. Romans 5:8-11, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Jesus’ testament corrects past wrongs and reconciles God and man (makes peace) whereby man can come back under God’s authority through faith (Eph 1:7, Col 1:14 ). Faith encompasses the surrender, love and obedience to God that existed prior to the fall. Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities and chastised (punishment and correction) for our peace (Is 53:5, 1 Pt 2:23 -24). Christ bear the sin of many and made intercession (mediate between two parties at odds with the desire for reconciliation) for the transgressors (Is 53:12). Christ intercedes according to the will of God (Rm 8:27 , 34). Christ ever liveth to provide intercession for us (Heb 7:25 ). Ephesians 2:13-18, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” This new man is the one who is “born again” with the nature of God and filled with the Spirit. Colossians 3:10 , “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” The new creature lives in faith (Rm 6:4, 2 Cor 5:17 , Gal 6:15 ). Colossians 1:19-23, “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven...” Jesus’ will was that we live in faith as led by His Spirit. This covenant was sealed with His blood. The agreement justifies all who walk in faith through Christ before the Father. Through faith (surrender to God, love, obedience and trust) the Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ our Lord (Eph 4:15 ). Only those who continue in faith (walk, follow Jesus, led of the Spirit) will be justified before the Father and reconciled. If one is not moving forward in faith, then they are doing despite the Spirit of grace (not being renewed in the heart and conforming to Christ). That which is not of faith is rebellion to God (His will and purposes).


Christ’s covenant brought Mercy

Under the covenant at Horeb there was no mercy for those who transgressed the law (Heb 10:28 ). Jesus made a new and better covenant (testament). John 1:17 , “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Romans 11:27, “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” As we submit and obey (in faith – for we are now under God’s authority and not our own), the Lord remembers our sins no more (Heb 8:12 , 10:17 ). Isaiah 16:5, “And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.” Consider what Christ hath done: Psalms 85:10, “Mercy (Jesus’ provision) and truth (God’s law, Ps 119:142) are met together; righteousness (through faith, Rm 1:17, 3:22, 4:5, 9, 4:13, 9:30, Gal 5:5, Php 3:9) and peace (reconciliation with God through Christ, Rm 5:1, 8:6, 14:17, Gal 5:22, Eph 2:14-17, 4:3, Col 1:20) have kissed each other.” This is best explained through a situation that occurred in Jesus’ earthly walk. John 8:3-6, “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.” Notice that these religious men were setting Jesus up such that they might accuse Him. This was a seemingly no win situation for Christ. Jesus had been going about offering forgiveness of sin in mercy and compassion (Mt 9:10 , Mk 2:5, 3:28 , 4:12 , Lk 5:20 , 7:47 ). Jesus said: Matthew 9:13 , “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance (also Hos 6:6).” This idea of forgiveness and compassion did not set well with these religious men who had a heartless form of observing the law. Jesus proclaimed that He came to judge no one (Jn 8:15 -16, 12:47 -50), but to seek that which was lost (Ez 34:11-12, 16, 31, Mt 18:11 , Lk 15:4, 19:10 ). There was no mercy under the law and it clearly stipulated that the penalty for adultery was death (Lv 20:10 , Heb 10:28 ). If Jesus agreed to stone her as per the law, then they would have destroyed His message of mercy and forgiveness. However, if Jesus told them not to stone her (exhibiting mercy), then He would have violated the law and they would have great reason to accuse Him. Recall: Exodus 31:18, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God (also Deut 9:10).” The original law was written by the finger of God! Notice in the preceding verses that Jesus stooped down and wrote with His finger on the ground. Jesus was amending the law to allow for mercy and compassion. Our love toward God through faith is reciprocated with God’s love toward us (although God first loved us, 1 Jn 4:19 ). Through Christ, God forgives us and we forgive each other (Mt 6:14 ). We live under the two commandments of love (Mt 22:37 -38, Mk 12:30 -31, Lk 10:27 ). The law became heartless with the focus on the penalty for sin. These men had no love, concern or compassion for God or this woman. John 8:7-9, “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” Jesus appealed to their own heart and conviction of personal transgressions. They realized that if they stoned her, they would have to save the really big stones to be used on themselves. God’s Word brings great conviction upon sinful man. John 8:10 -11, “When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” Jesus offered undeserved mercy and compassion. Many will gladly receive Christ’s forgiveness, but what about the “go, and sin no more?” Those who are following in faith will never use mercy and forgiveness as license to continue to transgress. Those who are truly thankful for forgiveness will serve Christ with a sincere heart. If the lady continued in adultery than the mercy and forgiveness would have had no meaning. Those who live in faith will have a contrite heart and will forsake the things that oppose God due to their love of God – they want to please Him. Those who love self more, will continue in those things which please self. Romans 11:27, “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” Jesus came to take away sin and those who continue therein have cause for great concern. Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Christ takes away our sin and transforms us into His image. Jesus had no sin and we must become as our Lord. Romans 13:12 , “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” – reconciliation with God (shoes), truth (belt), faith (shield), righteousness (breastplate), and salvation (helmet - Eph 6:13 -18, 1 Thess 5:8).


Just After the Covenant at Horeb

Exodus 24:15-18, “And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 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 . And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.” Deuteronomy 9:9-11, “When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the LORD made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water: And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. And it came to pass at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant.” Notice that Moses sat in the cloud six days waiting to be called of God and was called on the seventh. Man is to wait upon God. Six is the number of man (Gen 1:24 -31) and seven is the number of God (Gen 2:1-3). Patience is a denial of the flesh (Lk 21:19 , Rm 5:4, 8:25 , 2 Cor 6:4, Heb 6:12 , 10:36 , Rev 14:12 ). Does the flesh like to wait upon anything? The flesh would rather have God stay upon (serve) man. James 1:3-4,” Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Everything about faith is designed of God to deny the flesh; whether patience, hope or trust in that which is beyond the flesh’s ability to understand or control. Faith compels us to live one day at a time with trust in that which is outside our reasoning and in obedience which denies our will. Moses fasted during this time. The flesh will not glory whatsoever in God’s presence and this includes eating and drinking. Moses did not partake of food or drink in God’s presence. God sustained Moses supernaturally during this time, but not through the lusts of the flesh. It is not physically possible to go without food and water for forty days; yet when we seek God’s will all things are possible (Mt 19:26, Mk 9:23, 10:27, 14:36). The flesh must be denied to perform God’s will. If you are not denying the flesh, then you are denying God. 1 Corinthians 1:29, “That no flesh should glory in his presence.” Man transgressed God’s will in Eden to seek the desires of the flesh and this nature is enmity with God. Jesus was led of the Spirit into the wilderness where He fasted for forty days and nights. Christ was seeking God’s will as He was about to enter into His earthly ministry. During this time Jesus was tempted of the devil. When the flesh is denied in order to seek God’s will, then one is strong in the Spirit. Jesus overcame the devil’s temptations, because He sought God’s will more than His own. This is our way of escape when temptations come – we must seek God’s will more than our own. To understand this, you must realize the source of temptations. James 1:13-15, “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.” Man is tempted through the wants of his flesh. These are choices you make that engender (create, produce) bondage. Notice the process: lusts and desire bring about a temptation; conceding (yielding, surrendering, compromise, giving in, everybody’s doing it) to a temptation brings about sin. Sin is bondage – servitude (Jn 8:34 -36, 2 Pt 2:19 ). The penalty for sin is death (Gen 2:17 , Rm 5;12, 6:23 , 1 Jn 5:17 ). Death is separation from God (the giver of life). Sin is anything that transgresses God’s will. Sin originates from seeking the desires of the flesh (your will, self) rather than submitting to God’s will. It all goes back to Eden . Sin entered the world through Adam’s transgression (Rm 5:12 ). Consider the devil’s ploy: Man submitted to the devil’s rebellion in Eden . However, as part of God’s curse, there is enmity (hostility and hatred) between the devil and man (Gen 3:15 ). Although both are in rebellion to God, they are not united (allied) in their rebellion. Apart from God there is always disunity, confusion, hostility, incontinence (no restraint of passions or appetites, free or uncontrolled indulgence) and hatred (the opposite of God’s nature of love, joy, peace, goodness, meekness, self control, etc., Gal 5:22 -23, Eph 5:9). God through His love and mercy has made possible a way for man to come back under His authority and be reconciled. The devil has no such hope. Therefore, 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” How does the devil devour man? Satan accomplishes this by separating man and God through the aforementioned process of temptation, capitulation (surrender to the temptation), sin and death. He makes you an enemy of God by keeping you in your transgressions and rebellion against God through your fleshly lusts. This is unbelief and is the opposite of faith. The devil corrupts you through your own selfish lusts. Those living for self through the flesh will never yield to God in the Spirit. The great condemnation is that this is brought about through your own freewill choice. The devil just sways you in the wrong direction, but you freely choose – the power is in your hands. Thus, you will stand before God justly condemned according to your own deeds. You will not be able to shift blame to others (even to the devil) or even Adam (you are equally guilty). The devil doesn’t make you do it, he entices you to freely do it through your lusts – your choices (arrived at through your opinion – your way, your path). For those who truly and sincerely seek God, the Lord has made a way of escape. 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” All men are tempted and the temptation itself is not a sin. How you respond to the temptation is what is important. God will not allow a temptation to be unbearable or against your freewill to choose. God has provided a way of escape, but it is definitely not through the flesh. The flesh is what got you into the temptation. God’s way of escape is to submit to His will through the Spirit. This is a denial of the flesh. Your desire must be toward God and not toward yourself. The whole point of the temptation is to beguile you into choosing self. Recall from above that it is the lusts of the flesh that result in the temptation. Giving into these lusts results in sin. Therefore, the path of escape cannot be through the flesh. How did Jesus escape the devil’s temptations in the wilderness? Jesus fully sought God’s will and made His intentions known by responding with God’s Word. Christ said in response to the devil’s temptations: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God;” and “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God;” and “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” This shows a surrender to God’s will. Jesus was also actively denying the flesh (His will) to achieve God’s will (fasting forty days and nights). These Words were backed up by the way Jesus lived His life daily – His actions. So if you are actively living for your will daily (just doing your own thing), with disregard for God’s will, then how can you possible escape such temptations? You cannot! Christ will aid those who are sincere: Hebrews 2:18, “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” Succour is assistance that relieves and delivers from difficulty or distress. However, this does not apply to those who intentionally flirt with temptation by placing themselves in situations they know to be without virtue – thus tempting God. The devil doesn’t mind if you are the most religious person on the face of the earth as long as your words are not backed up by your actions – as long as you are a hypocrite (assumes the appearance of piety and virtue, one who feigns himself as something he is not, false appearance, façade, thin covering, pretentious, etc.). The devil wants you to be religious as long as you are deceived to the truth of your actions. Thus, you think you are serving God, when in actuality you are serving self. What is the hope of a hypocrite when God taketh his soul (Job 27:8)? Consider this oh religious man – be not deceived. Recall the discussion on television is Chapter One (Idolatry). Can you now see how that purposefully placing yourself in front of constant temptations, “as seen on TV,” will only lead to sin? There is no way of escape because your mind is not on God, but rather your flesh (self) and its entertainment. Ephesians 4:27, “Neither give place to the devil.” Seeking self (the flesh, your will, following your path) is what gives place to the devil.  So, how do we keep from being devoured by Satan? We must resist by being stedfast (unwavering, resolute, committed, Heb 3:14 , Ps 78:8) in our faith toward God (1 Pt 5:9). To freely place yourself in evil or wicked situations is to depart from God in unbelief (place yourself above the Lord). To partake of the world is to not partake of Christ (Heb 3:14 ). Many have given in to temptation and have been brought into bondage. To be in bondage is to be the servant of one or many types of sins. Freedom is only found through Christ as one must subdue the strong will of the flesh to break free. You must truly desire the freedom in order to confront and overpower the flesh. Jesus will give you strength and the struggle is won through faith and sacrifice. Once free you must forsake and not look back (i.e. looking back to Egypt ). If you do not forsake, what is the point of the battle (struggle)? It all boils down to this: Romans 6:16, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death (yielding to your temptations through seeking self), or of obedience unto righteousness (living God’s will and denying the flesh)?” We must be led of God’s Spirit (as Christ was led of the Spirit into the wilderness, Mt 4:1, Lk 4:1) through the wilderness. Your faith transforms you, it compels you to choose obedience to God rather than capitulation (submission, defeat) to the desires of the flesh. This is God’s grace working in you. Romans 8:2, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” God will test or prove you, but God will not tempt you. Let us understand the difference. When God tests or proves you He is trying your heart to see if you will follow and obey him. God’s intent is to draw you to Himself. However, if you are not willing to surrender to Him, the Lord will not force you. God is longsuffering for the purpose that you will repent and come back to Him the way God has designated and that you do not perish (2 Pt 3:9, Rm 2:4). The devil tempts you for the purpose of drawing you away from God to the intent that you will perish (die the second death, be separated from God eternally). These two objectives are in opposition to each other. God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, turn ye, turn ye from “your” wicked ways (Ez 33:11, Is 55:7). Man will often seek God to endorse or validate his own idolatry (beliefs, opinions, doctrines, lifestyle, own way, desires, etc.). In such cases, God will most likely answer you according to the idols in your heart. In other Words, God just gives you the answer you want to hear because you are seeking self and not His truth. Ezekiel 14:4-5, “Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.” God is not mocked (Gal 6:7). When you seek for God to endorse “your way” then your heart is not toward serving God, His way. Suddenly your error (rebellion/iniquity) becomes your own stumbling block because you suppose God is own “your side.” God says you must repent and turn from your idols and abominations (Ez 14:6). If you do not the Lord will set His face against you and cut you off (Ez 14:7-8). Deuteronomy 13:1-4, “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” If anyone leads you in a “religious” path that is away from God, they are a false prophet. This will always be done as some variation of the devil’s original lie (you can transgress God’s will by seeking your own will and not die, Gen 3:4-5). These false prophets will tell you that you can seek the flesh and not die – they seduce you through the flesh (1 Jn 2:26 ). The lusts of the flesh become the idols that are set before God. This could be anything that you do that takes priority (comes before) over God in your life. An idol could also be a person, place or thing. Many religious people will play down obedience to God and make a mock of sin (Pv 14:9). They do not take “sin” or surrender to God’s will seriously. Their doctrines or gospel will always appease the flesh. To seek the flesh is to seek your way. Notice what God said in the preceding verses. You must walk in God’s way and totally obey Him such as to cleave to the Lord. The false prophets will lead you away from God’s way (maybe subtly) by seeking your way or theirs. The devil essentially said, “you can sin and not die.” These will tell you that everyone sins or nobody is perfect. They will placate you in the flesh – no need for deliverance. They may say that once you are saved that you are always saved – no matter what. They will twist God’s Words to allow for the lusts of their flesh. They will presume that God “just understands” or will look the other way. This is to make God a liar and invalidate His Word! They will strongly imply that salvation is to be found in a repeated prayer (sinner’s prayer) and once said, you will have eternal life. This denies Christ’s covenant of faith. As we have discussed, faith is a lifetime of devotion and commitment in yielding to God and being transformed by Him. One can easily repeat a sinner’s prayer and spend the rest of their life virtually unchanged (although religious still seeking self) – and not even have God’s Spirit. The author has witnessed this so many times. Deuteronomy 13:5, “And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.” The punishment for such false prophets is severe because they not only walk away from God, but they lead others away from God. God leads you out of your transgressions, iniquities, rebellion and resulting bondage ( Egypt , the land of idolatry). The false prophets want to bring you back to Egypt or keep you there – the iron furnace (Deut 4:20 , 1 Kg 8:51 , Jer 11:4). God further says that you are not to take such wicked counsel from family members or close friends (Deut 13:6). God must be the authority in your life.


Bearing Iniquity

During Moses' time on Mount Horeb , he was clearly bearing the sins of the people before God. He totally put self aside (denial of the flesh through fasting) in pleading for the people. The number “forty” represents the bearing of iniquity (Num 14:34, Ez 4:6, Deut 9:18-19, 25, 10:10, 25:3, Jonah 3:4, Gen 6:7:4, 12). We will discuss in the next chapter that the children of Israel are punished for their disobedience to God and unbelief to wander in the wilderness to bear their iniquities (Num 14:33 -34, Ps 95:10). Deuteronomy 8:2-3, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” What this is saying is that God expects you to die to your will (self) and live for His will – His every Word; your very sustenance. To live by every Word of God is to come totally under God’s authority (Lk 4:4). Christ repeated these same words when tempted of the devil (Mt 4:4). Jesus was led of the Spirit into a wilderness where He fast for forty days and forty nights (Mt 4:1, Lk 4:1). Jesus bore the iniquity of all men (Is 53:11-12 – “for he shall bear their iniquities”). During this time Jesus was tempted of such things as His hunger (to use the power of God to serve the flesh, Mt 4:2-4, Lk 4:2-4). We are not to be guided by our flesh (i.e. hunger in this case), but by God’s purposes. Jesus said to seek first (foremost) the kingdom of God and His righteousness and the needful things of the flesh God will provide (Mt 6:32 -33). Your will must be to obey God with all your heart in humbleness (meekness). To live by God’s Word will cause you to have to deny self. Jesus was refusing the evil and choosing the good and bearing the sins of the people (just as Moses had done – Deut 9:18 -19, Ps 106:23) in the wilderness experience (Is 7:14 -15). Christ would later state: John 4:34, “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Christ esteemed the Father’s Words more than necessary food (Job 23:12 ). Moses was frustrated by this people’s unbelief and obstinate hearts that were set on self. Deuteronomy 9:24-28, “Ye have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you. Thus I fell down before the LORD forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the LORD had said he would destroy you. I prayed therefore unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; look not unto the stubbornness of this people, nor to their wickedness, nor to their sin: Lest the land whence thou broughtest us out say, Because the LORD was not able to bring them into the land which he promised them, and because he hated them, he hath brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.” Moses interceded for the people based upon what would ultimately bring God glory. Moses defended God and man and placed himself as the advocate to bring reconciliation. Jesus would later do this perfectly in His testament. The purpose is to draw man to the Lord for God’s glory.


The Lord’s Tabernacle

The Lord spake unto Moses in the mount and said: Exodus 25:8-9, “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” A tabernacle is a tent which is mobile and serves as a temporary habitation. The tabernacle is a place of worship where God would dwell among the people. It is very important to note that the design (pattern) was specifically given by God and was not to be deviated from (Ex 25:40). Man always wants to improve upon the things of God and in doing so they become something altogether different. God wants our obedience and not our sentiments and opinions. We are to follow and not lead. The leader is the one that determines the course (path, way) and the things that are required along the way. The Lord went on to describe the materials that would be required to construct the tabernacle (Ex 25:2-8). The instruments consisted of an ark with a mercy seat above it (Ex 25:10-31); a table (Ex 25:23-30); a candlestick (Ex 25:31-39); an altar (Ex 27:1-8); and an altar to burn incense (Ex 30:1-5). The ark was where God would communicate with man: Exodus 25:22, “And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.” All the details concerning the construction of the tabernacle were also specified in detail (Exodus Chapter 26) and an outer court (Ex 27:9-21). A vail was to separate the two interior rooms of the tabernacle. Exodus 26:33-35, “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. And thou shalt set the table without the vail, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side.” The altar for incense was located: Exodus 30:6, “And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.” The design and tailoring of the holy garments for the priests were also specified in detail (Exodus Chapter 28). There were also lavers for washing (Ex 30:18-21); holy ointment (anointing oil, Ex 30:23-33); and perfume (sweet incense, Ex 30:34-38). Exodus 31:18, “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” Therefore, in the mount, Moses was given specific details (patterns) for constructing a dwelling place for God (tabernacle) and all the necessary things for worship. Moses was then given two tables of stone which God had written (with His finger) which were the Ten Commandments that the Lord had earlier spoke to the children of Israel .


The Golden Calf

Exodus 32:1, “And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.” Less than forty days prior God had spoken to the children of Israel from the very mount they were camped about (Mount Horeb, in thunderings, lightings, trumpets and smoke) and said: Exodus 20:3-4, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 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.” When Moses did not immediately return, they started seeking “their way” again. Patience and trust are elements of faith (they deny self). Focusing on self is a major component of unbelief (this denies God). Those seeking self cannot relate to self denial, self sacrifice (love), patience, and trust. Psalm 106:19-22, “They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass. They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt ; Wondrous works in the land of Ham , and terrible things by the Red sea .” Where were the people yearning to go with their new god? The people desired that which was most familiar; they were wanting to return to Egypt (Num 14:3-4). Nehemiah 9:16-17, “But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not.” Many will start out into the wilderness with God and the moment things seem difficult to the flesh, they will reminisce (muse over, remember fondly) aspects of their old life. Acts 7:39-40, “To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him (also Neh 9:18).” They won’t abandon the concept of serving God; they will just create their own god. Acts 7:41, “And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.” They will create a god of the flesh – one that is in touch with what they desire (bless me, serve me, minister to me) – one that they can control. They will attribute things of the real God to the one they create. Religious people do this all the time by twisting scripture. They will play up or misinterpret (through eyes of flesh) the scriptures that allow them ease of flesh and play down or ignor the ones that do not. They will build their own god from scriptural text and then add a heavy dose of their own sentiments (opinions mixed with emotions, Gal 1:6-8). Romans 10:3, “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” God’s righteousness is through faith – with the heart man believeth unto righteousness (Rm 10:6-10). Man will contrive his own criteria for righteousness and thus disannul (cancel completely) the Word of God. Irregardless, God’s Word will stand (eternally) and these will be judged by it (Jn 12:48). Man also likes to serve God through physical representations – that which the flesh can see and touch or visually relate to. The application of faith is beyond the flesh or its ability to understand or control. The people were ready to return to Egypt – to be entangled again! They think, perhaps Egypt wasn’t that bad – there were some good things about it. Their minds were on self and its gratification (their way/will) even if it meant bondages for the flesh. Our minds (heart, desire, devotion, hope, trust) will always be on either God or self. Those who seek God have forsaken self and seek a better place (Promised Land), and are just sojourners and pilgrims in the land (Heb 11:13). Hebrews 11:14-16, “For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country (Promised Land, New Jerusalem, dwelling with God). And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out (Egypt, the world, self-old man), they might have had opportunity to have returned (Lk 9:62, Gal 2:18, 2 Pt 2:20). But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city (New Jerusalem).” We have to decide (choose) if we are seeking God and His provision or self and the world (i.e. Egypt). Majorities will always seek self – this has been demonstrated throughout scripture and is easily observed today. Exodus 32:2-6, “And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” The Lord specifically stated (spake, Ex 20:22 ) personally to them and stressed: Exodus 20:23, “Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.” They had agreed to obey God in this matter (Ex 19:8, 24:3). They had made a covenant (solemn agreement) with God and it was sealed with the sprinkling of the blood of sacrifice (Ex 24:7-8). They greatly dishonored God and brought shame upon Him by disobeying the covenant and making a golden calf (reminiscent of Egyptian gods) and then they attributing their deliverance to it (they were opprobrious and ignoble toward God – expressing contemptuous reproach; disgraceful through shameful conduct; disrespectful; dishonorable in character or purpose). Nehemiah 9:18, “Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt , and had wrought great provocations.” Acts 7:40, “Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.” How disrespectful (insolent, impertinent), unthankful, rebellious and disingenuous (insincere, untruthful) – such disregard! Psalms 78:40-41, “How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” They had total disregard (no use for) the Righteous God that had freed them from their bondages – who had redeemed them from great misery (Ez 20:16). The people despised the oath in breaking the covenant (i.e. Ez 16:59, 17:18-19). They wanted to return to the very wickedness and evil that God had delivered them from. Notice that the people created a god that allowed them to indulge themselves – to eat, drink and play. Many who profess Christ today, do not serve the Lord described in the Bible, but rather one who will allows them to eat, drink and play; which they attribute to “grace” by their presumption of license (to continue in the flesh, Jude 1:4). Man, who is true (faithful) to his fallen nature, still desires that forbidden fruit (as in Eden) – to seek self and be as a god in determining his own way (Gen 3:5). This is the type of contempt (disdain, scorn, disrespect, condescension, arrogance) that Lucifer had for God in seeking self. Man has the devil’s nature and generally refuses God’s reconciliation. The gods the children of Israel had known in Egypt were considered fun-gods which allowed for excess in the flesh. The One true God came against the flesh and the people realized they identified more with the false gods. The same is true today, but is never viewed in this context. The gods of this world accommodate the flesh and most people are attracted to them. Who wants to die to the desires of the flesh? Be honest! The broad way to destruction accommodates the desires of the flesh. There are many people (who, like the children of Israel) have stated they will obey God and who (like the children of Israel) have agreed to live in God’s covenant (they profess Jesus) that have built such golden calves to return to the ways of Egypt. These are eating, drinking and playing with the world as they dance around the calf. God had destroyed the gods of Egypt and shown them to be false and powerless and the children of Israel were witnesses to this. Now the children of Israel have resurrected one of these Egyptian gods and have even attributed their deliverance to it - shame. Shame to those who “profess” Christ and do the same.

Exodus 32:7-10, “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 (also Deut 9:12-14).” Moses must have been stunned by God’s revelation of what was going on back in the camp. How could such a thing be? The Lord rightly stated (righteous judgment) that this people were stiff-necked. They were hard hearted, stubborn, impudent, obstinate, pertinacious and full of unbelief. God would have been more than justified under the covenant to completely consume these self centered people. Notice that God tells Moses that He will create a nation from him. Exodus 32:11-14, “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.” Moses demonstrates the attributes of a true leader by defending the people and pleading for God’s forgiveness. God (who is longsuffering, Ex 34:6, Num 14:18, Ps 86:15, Rm 2:4, 9:22-23, Gal 5:22, 2 Pt 3:9) was most likely testing Moses in this matter. Moses was probably tempted with the idea of becoming a great nation, but put his self interest aside and stood up for both God and the people (Christ was tempted similarly in the wilderness). God was testing Moses for the intent of drawing him closer to himself. Moses defended God’s honor (before the nations of the world) while pleading for the people (i.e. remember the promise to Abraham). Psalm 106:23, “Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.” Moses was walking in faith by denying self and seeking God’s purposes. God thought to destroy them: Ezekiel 20:13-14, 17, “But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them. But I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out. Nevertheless mine eye spared them from destroying them, neither did I make an end of them in the wilderness.” Many religious people do the same to Christ today. They have vowed to walk through the wilderness in faith, following Christ; yet they seek their own desires to follow (fulfill) self. Nahum 1:3, “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit (exonerate, set free, dismiss from guilt, obligation or accusation) the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” God is patient to draw men unto Himself, but woe to the wicked, your time will come (Ez 18:21-23, 27-28, 30-32, 33:11, 14-16, 19). The Lord encourages you to turn (cast away) your transgressions and make you a new heart and a new spirit (Ez 18:31).

Exodus 32:15-19, “And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount (also Deut 9:15-17).” Moses had the law of God which was written in stone (by the finger of God). This was the documented version of what God had spoken to the children of Israel some forty days before. This was the covenant which the people had agreed to abide by. The people purposefully (presumptuously – willfully in bold defiance, insolently) ignored the covenant, made a false god and were singing and dancing around it. They sought the flesh and denied the Spirit. Many today who profess Christ will sing, clap and sway to Christianized “rock and roll” praise music (the foundation of which is pagan and fleshly) to honor a Jesus (who is quite different from the one described in God’s Word) while ignoring Christ’s covenant in their daily lives. Most disregard (set aside) Jesus’ covenant so they can seek self through the things they place above (before) Him (idols). Christ’s covenant is one of denying self and taking up your cross (which spells death to self) and following in submission and obedience (Mt 10:38, 16:24, Mk 8:34, 10:21, Lk 9:23, 14:27). Jesus didn’t live in the flesh and does not desire that in you either. Jesus often denied the flesh in seeking the Father. When one follows Jesus they lose their life (of self) and find new life in Him (Mt 10:39, 16:25, Mk 8:35, Lk 9:24, 17:33, Jn 12:25, Rm 8:13, 2 Cor 5:15, Gal 2:20, Eph 4:24, Col 3:2-3). This is a life of faith and love (sacrifice). They walk in His steps and not their own (Ps 119:3, 128:1, Hos 14:9, Col 2:6, 1 Jn 2:6, 2 Jn 1:6). 1 John 2:6, “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” We must put Christ first (foremost, exclusive) in all things because we keep His commandments and that includes the First Great Commandment (Mt 22:37, Mk 12:30, Lk 10:27). We have been warned: 1 Corinthians 10:7, “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Upon seeing the children of Israel seeking the flesh and greatly dishonoring God through their golden calf, Moses was overcome with righteous anger and broke the tables of God’s law before the eyes of the people (Deut 9:17) – for they were not worthy to receive them – they showed their disregard for God’s law. Exodus 32:20-24, “And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf.” Aaron (as a leader) knew better and allowed his flesh to rise up. He was caught up in the peer pressure and was in great error in what he did. Aaron seems to have had a casual attitude (impudent, make light of, glib) about the whole event. God did not view this so lightly and Moses later said: Deuteronomy 9:20-21, “And the LORD was very angry with Aaron to have destroyed him: and I prayed for Aaron also the same time. And I took your sin, the calf which ye had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount.” Dust represents what man is made from – the elements of the earth. The brook or water represents the life we have in God – given of the Lord (Ex 7:16, consider Ez 47:1-13). This water flowed from the rock of Horeb that Moses struck with the rod. Recall: 1 Corinthians 10:4, “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” Apart from the one true God, man has no life – he is just as the dust. Apart from Jesus, we quickly wither and are gathered for the fire (Jn 15:6). Man was worshipping the creation (dust fashioned as a calf), rather than the Creator. The creation has no life apart from the Creator. This was an object lesson in the truth. The golden calf had no power and was not a god – it was as the dust of the earth (creation, not Creator). The workmen made it, therefore it is not a God (Hos 8:6). The animal that the image/idol represented is also made from the dust of the earth (Gen 2:19). There is no god like power or ability in either. Man’s worship of such is vanity! Most people in the world today worship similar objects. Consider money, which is nothing more than pieces of paper or metal and perhaps just digits in a data base (computer screen, receipt, on a statement). People are consumed in their lust to possess it. They serve it; are devoted to it; it brings them joy; motivates them; rules their decisions; they value themselves and others and most everything by it; they look to it for their daily provision; they trust in its (perceived or allocated) power; and yet it is eternally worthless. Many worship people, places, or things which equates to worshipping the creation rather than the Creator. Romans 1:21-25, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Therefore, when man submits to and puts his faith, trust, hope, obedience and love in a false god, such as money, he denies the uncorruptible God and dishonors Him greatly (to man’s own loss and confusion). This act of having the people drink the gold dust water will be further considered in a later paragraph.

Exodus 32:25-28, “And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” In scripture, nakedness always represents sin or iniquity ( Rev 16:15 ). After Adam and Eve had transgressed God’s will in Eden , they realized their nakedness and attempted to make a covering and hid from God (Gen 3:7-8). Transgressing God’s will is always to man’s shame. Those things that we do that we would not want God to know will surely find us out and be broadcast for all creation to hear. There will always be a separation from those who seek the Lord and those who seek self. God will by no means clear the guilty and thus they will perish (Ex 34:7). Exodus 32:31-35, “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.” Consider the remarkable leadership of Moses. He offers up his own eternal salvation in intercession (adjudication, arbitration) for forgiveness of the people – he bore their iniquities. God hearkened unto Moses as he stood in the breach and turned away His wrath (Ps 106:23). John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus later came and offered up His earthly life for the sins of the people. Jesus laid down His perfect life and bore the sins of the people. Isaiah 53:11, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Christ revealed His true love (demonstrated through sacrifice) for man through His actions. 1 John 3:16 , “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” Can you see how Moses was willing to lay down his life for the people? Moses revealed his love by his willingness to sacrifice his own self for God’s purposes. Exodus 32:34-35, “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.” The lord plagued (afflicts and troubles with disease that is deadly) the people because they made the calf. God was justified in this righteous judgment (did not impugn His just character, Ex 34:6-7) upon them (plague) because they had agreed to follow His statutes (Ex 19:7-8, 24:3). The Lord had specifically stated: Exodus 22:20, “He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.” They made this false god and sacrificed to it (Ex 32:4-6, 8, 34:15) after agreeing to obey God and abide by His covenant. Punishment was carried out (served) to the guilty (never the innocent). The Lord had said that if the people would keep His commandments that He would bless them: Deuteronomy 7:15, “And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.” The Egyptians were idolators and this is where the inspiration for the molten calf had come from (probably some variation of Hathor). God had delivered the children of Israel from Egypt (this wickedness) and they were suppose to have forsaken it in obedience to God’s commandments. Let us give further consideration to why Moses ground the gold calf to dust and strawed it upon the water and made the people drink it. In the book of Numbers, there is a God ordained method for determining guilt or innocence for a woman suspected of committing adultery. Making and worshipping idols is spiritual adultery against God. Moses had just been given the Lord’s ordinances (including this one) upon Mount Horeb . No doubt, this was on Moses’ mind and he applied it in his righteous anger. In God’s procedure, the woman appears before the priest, is set before the Lord and is given bitter water to drink (Num 5:12 -28). The bitter waters are composed of dust from the earth (floor of the tabernacle) and holy water (Num 5:17 ). Moses mixed the gold, which was ground to dust (elements from the earth), with the water that God provided from the rock of Horeb (holy water, Ps 78:15-16, 20, Neh 9:15 ). To determine guilt or innocence, the woman drinks the bitter water and is cursed with a plague if she is guilty, and blessed if she is innocent. Moses had given the children of Israel the bitter water and many were cursed with a plague. Many were guilty of spiritual adultery against God in violating their solemn vow to Him to keep His Commandments (have no other gods, Ex 20:3-4). Their sin was visited upon them (Ex 32:34, Dan 9:11 , 14-15). The wicked were not acquitted but procured indignation and wrath (Nah 1:2-3). Indignation is the effects of God’s anger against sinful men for their disobedience, ingratitude (lack of thankfulness for favors received) and rebellion. Ingratitude is not just unthankfulness, but also retribution (repayment, that given for good done) of evil for good. The children of Israel disobeyed and dishonored God by making an image and worshipping it after all the good the Lord had done for them. Deuteronomy 32:41, “If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.” The children of Israel ’s doings are our warning to take heed: Psalms 78:8, 10-11, “And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.” Woe to those who continue in such a path. You must ponder in your heart if you have shown ingratitute toward God in your life. Have you set up idols (images, things of priority) before God? Do you live a life of obedience and thankfulness before your Lord? Take heed lest you be due God’s indignation! A wise man will make corrections now on bended knees with the time God has given you (in longsuffering toward you, 2 Pt 3:9). A fool will ignore God’s merciful convictions (the act of convincing of transgressions or sinfulness, the act of compelling one to acknowledge one’s error) and will face great wrath at Judgment.

Let us consider in general what the children of Israel did in the wilderness that provoked God to such anger (wrath). Psalms 78:40-42, “How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy (ingratitude).” They did not completely cast away or forsake their old lives (wickedness, transgressions, self centeredness, idolatry, etc.) in Egypt by bringing aspects of it along with them (mindset, idols, self seeking, disobedience). How many who “profess Christ” today, do the same? The people whined, complained and showed little trust in God when they were inconvenienced in the flesh (trouble, difficulties, suffering, denial, sacrifice, lack). Today, how many who claim Jesus do the same? The children of Israel made a solemn vow to obey God’s laws as spoken by God and in His presence (sealed in blood), and then began to disobey and break God’s laws almost immediately. They didn’t seem to understand the seriousness (we’re only human, everybody’s doing it, we all sin, God loves me, God understands, etc.). How many who have made a serious promise to Jesus and have made Him Lord also disregard or treat casually and flippantly (frivolously, superficially, facetiously, dismissively). His covenant of faith (sealed in His blood) and reveal their contempt and insincerity? How many do not take Christ’s covenant seriously because they have always been taught that Jesus is so ready to forgive (as in turning the head the other way) and this forgiveness just about equates with license for most desires (lusts, temptations)? How many do things they know to be wrong with the thought of asking forgiveness later (after the fact)? The Hebrews had no appreciation of God’s provision of bread (manna) and were unthankful (Ps 78:17-31, 106:14-15, Neh 9:20 ). How many are thankful today and content which such things as they have or whatever God may add (God’s provision which will most likely not be what the flesh desires)? The people wanted to indulge (pander to, coddle, strengthen, spoil) their flesh, so they made a god and danced, sang and feasted before it. How many today want to serve a God who allows them to live in the flesh and caters to them (bless me, serve me, heal me, rescue me, etc.)? How many who profess Jesus have actually re-created Him to their liking through the twisting of scripture (or ignorance of the scripture) and their own sentiments (strong heartfelt opinions)? The people actually wanted to return to Egypt from which they had been delivered. How many who say they love Jesus live more in Egypt (the world, for self) than under God’s authority? How many think you can live in Egypt (for self) and still serve God (2 Cor 6:17 , Rev 18:4)? How many people today who are very religious, find after an honest and sincere examination of the heart, that they love the world and the darkness ( Egypt ) more than God as evidence through their thoughts, sentiments and daily actions? 1 John 2:15-17, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” To love the world is spiritual adultery against God. Take heed that you not drink of bitter waters. How many diligently read God’s Word daily and apply it to their lives (live it, doers of the Word, Js 1:22 ) and thus KNOW the Lord whom they claim to serve? Luke 11:28 , “But he (Jesus) said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Perhaps you have created your own Jesus, who most likely serves you? The children of Israel did not want to deny themselves, submit to God, follow, trust, be thankful, obey, sacrifice, or have a heart of love for God. They were full of unbelief. Perhaps this describes many today if they are honest and sincere in examining their hearts and lives? The strong message here is that many who profess Christ need to remember their first love whom they have left. Jesus says, regarding your religiosity and disregard: Revelation 2:4, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” They need to remember the vow (solemn promise as in a marriage covenant) they made to submit to, love, honor and obey Jesus. Many need to have a contrite heart (repentance and grieving over transgressions) and forsake their unfaithfulness (unbelief, spiritual adultery, wickedness, iniquity, rebellion, idolatry, worldliness, etc.) and return to their first Love with all due remorse (godly sorrow – 2 Cor 7:10 , regret, shame, repentance – Mt 4:17 ) over their actions. Christ’s covenant of love must be treated with sincerity and genuineness and must govern your very life and all your actions. You must now live in faith daily and follow in the steps of your Lord. Pray that the Lord will fill you with His Holy Spirit – then be led as you walk (Lk 11:13 , Rm 8:14 , 1 Jn 2:6).

Exodus 33:1-6, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite: Unto a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in the midst of thee; for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way. And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned: and no man did put on him his ornaments. For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel , Ye are a stiffnecked people: I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee. And the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by the mount Horeb .” The Lord was longsuffering and forgiving to fulfill His promise, but the people had a froward heart (Ps 78:38-39). They did not want to lovingly and freely do what was required. They begrudgingly followed God even after all the miracles and provisions. Psalms 78:36-37, “Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.” God did not want to be in the midst of such a stiff-necked people. The Lord said if He came amidst the people He would destroy them due to their insolence (disrespect, impertinence). The ornaments are those things that embellish (to make more beautiful, earrings, jewelry, nice clothes) man – to exalt (bring attention upon one’s self). The people were to mourn and lament their pitiful condition before God. Most of their ornaments most likely had images or inscriptions of idols (they came from Egypt ). God had warned them: Ezekiel 20:7-8, “Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt : I am the LORD your God. But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt : then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt .” Exodus 33:7, “And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.” The people’s hearts were not right before God. The Lord had Moses set His place of dwelling (tabernacle) far away from the camp. Those who loved the Lord must “come out” of the rebellion and transgression against God, in order to serve Him. This represents the church, which is the ekklesia, meaning: “called out ones” – those redeemed. You must leave the camp and be separate. Those who “come out” of the wickedness to serve the Lord will be a reproach to those who do not (Gal 4:29 , 1 Tim 4:10 ). In the book of Exodus, God gives His method for consecrating (to set apart, sanctify, or make holy) the priest. Aaron and his sons are told to kill a bullock before the Lord and take the blood of the bullock and put it upon the horns and beside the bottom of the altar (Ex 29:10-14). The body of the bullock was to be burnt outside the camp for a sin offering (Ex 29:14, Lev 4:11 -12, 21, 16:27 ). Hebrews 13:11-13, “For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.” Jesus became a reproach for our sakes. Jesus is our High Priest (Heb 2:17 , 3:1). Hebrews 7:27 , “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” Jesus offered His own blood to God in the heavenlies: Hebrews 9:22 , “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.” We now become a reproach by follow Christ, in the eyes of a rebellious world whose hearts are not upon God. We “come out” of the world (form the church, Christ’s body) and walk in faith as led by the Spirit. Those “in the camp” are seeking the flesh. Those who “come out” are seeking God.

Exodus 33:8-11, “And it came to pass, when Moses went out unto the tabernacle, that all the people rose up, and stood every man at his tent door, and looked after Moses, until he was gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, as Moses entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the LORD talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door. And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.” Moses had a close relationship with God due to his faith and obedience to God. Moses grieved over the evil all around him and went out from it to seek God (outside the camp to the tabernacle). Speaking face to face as to a friend is about as close at it gets. Those who follow Christ are given this same opportunity to have close relationship with God (through the Spirit). Like Moses, this relationship is based upon obedience and faith. John 14:21 , “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” AND John 14:23 , “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Jesus knows those who are His by name (Jn 10:3, Mt 10:32 , Rev 3:5)! God desires that we surrender to Him in love and have that close relationship. The people recognized God’s presence, but worshipped from afar. This people had mostly been self seeking, stiffnecked and rebellious (disobedient) to God. Many people in the world today are religious. They recognize God’s presence, but do not know Him. They worship from afar due to their own disobedience, transgressions and rebellion. They want to have a form of worship, but just do not want to go outside the camp (they love the darkness, Jn 3:19 ). Oh, that they would truly surrender and have that close personal relationship. There will always be a remnant with a real heart for God. Joshua was just such a man. We can see his surrender and love for God through his actions. He departed not out of the tabernacle (God’s presence). Joshua (put God before him) served the Lord all the day long. God used Joshua to lead the armies of Israel in defeating the Amalek (Ex 17:9-14). Joshua waited for Moses at the foot of Horeb (he wanted to be in God’s presence) when Moses talked with God. This young man was one of the two who brought back a good report from having scouted out the Promised Land (Num 14:6-10). He trusted in God to deliver it into the hands of the people (Num 14:9). God later put Joshua in Moses place (authority to lead the people) and he led the children of Israel into the Promised Land and all the nations fell before him – none could stand (Num 27:15-23, Duet 31:7, 14, 23, 34:9). Joshua and Caleb were the only two of all their generation (of hundreds of thousands) that had come out of Egypt , that were allowed to enter into the Promised Land (Num 32:11-12). The only reason was because of their trust and faith in God. The Lord also used Joshua to help divide the land to the tribes of Israel (Num 34:17). Joshua made the famous statement: Joshua 24:15, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” God was with Joshua because Joshua was totally dedicated/devoted to God. This is definitely a message for us today. You cannot be too zealous and fanatical in serving the Lord. You cannot love and obey God too much. We must put the Lord before our eyes every day and in all our actions. The Lord must become your life such that there is no other. Who will you and your house serve? Some will serve the gods of the land (such as our examples of television and money). Some will lose all (Mt 10:39 , 16:25 , Mk 8:35 , Lk 9:24 , 17:33 , Jn 12:25 ) and follow Christ (Mt 16:24 , Mk 8:34 , 10:21 , 9:23 , Jn 12:26 ) and these will not be disappointed (1 Cor 2:9).



Exodus 33:12-17, “And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.” The Lord had told Moses that He would not go up with the children of Israel to the Promised Land due to their siff-necked rebellion, disobedience and lack of faith. The Lord was going to send an angel instead (Ex 32:34). Moses appealed to the Lord and God hearkened to him in this matter (due to his faith and obedience to God) and decided to go up with the children of Israel . Moses was a true leader in that he led through example (1 Pt 5:3). Because of his righteous relationship with God (i.e. if I have found grace in thy sight) he was able to be an advocate (one who pleads the cause of another) for the people (i.e. we know we have found grace in that thou goest with us). However, notice that Moses’ intercession was based upon God’s will and purposes, to lead the people to God and not away (i.e. we shall be separated from all other people upon the face of the earth unto God). Intercession is mediation between two parties at variance with the purpose of reconciliation – entreaty for another. Moses would not have been able to intercede for the people had they refused to yield to God. When Jesus established the second covenant, He became our advocate before the Father who provides intercession (1 Jn 2:1). Romans 8:34, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” AND Hebrews 7:22 , 24-25, “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” The Holy Spirit whom the Father has given through Christ also provides intercession for those who follow. Romans 8:26-27, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities (faults, weaknesses): for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Notice that the intercession is based upon the will of God. We must understand this: reconciliation between God and man is only accomplished on God’s terms and not man’s. Ephesians 1:11-12, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” Christ and the Spirit will intercede for those who desire to forsake their evil and surrender to God’s authority on God’s terms. The Lord’s intercession is to bring you to the Father in accordance with His will. The Lord’s intercession will never be to keep you in your sin or allow you to take a path away from the Father (your own path, Gal 1:4, Mt 1:21, Jn 1:29, Acts 3:26, 1 Jn 3:5). If you want to remain in darkness, then reconciliation is not possible for you. If you want to reconcile on your terms, then reconciliation is not possible for you. The intercession is for those with a contrite heart who surrender to God on the Lord’s terms. For those who seek their own will and yet ask for continual forgiveness with no real evidence of change, beware, God is not mocked (Gal 6:7)!

Exodus 33:18-23, “And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” Herein lies the sovereignty (dominion, power, rule) of God. Romans 9:13-18, “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” Esau chose his flesh over God and greatly dishonored Him. Esau had complete disregard for the precious promise of God and was willing to trade it for a momentary fleshly comfort (one meal). Esau’s casual approach in sacrificing the promise of God for something trivial (one meal) showed his love of self and hatred toward God and the Lord’s purposes. Most people seek self everyday with little regard for God in their lives. Pharaoh was rebellious, prideful, arrogant and haughty and rejected God’s authority in favor of his own. God chose to have no mercy on either. 2 Peter 3:17, “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.” Moses could not look upon the face of God and live, so the Lord passes by and lets him see His back. This is a continuing of the close and personal relationship (fellowship) that Moses has with God. Exodus 34:1-8, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai (Horeb), and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount. And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai (Horeb), as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.” Moses had handled the abomination of the golden calf well and the Lord was going to write again His Law on tables of stone. Notice how Moses always does as the Lord commands him. This is how we are to be; the Lord says and we must willingly do. The Lord passed by Moses and not only allowed Moses to catch a glimpse, but revealed His precious nature. The book of Deuteronomy adds, “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. (Deut 5:9-10).” We can conclude that God is merciful, gracious, longsuffering and forgiving of those who submit to Him in love and truth and keep His commandments. The Lord will by no means clear the guilty which are those who disregard His will and thereby hate Him – they disobey. This same righteous judgment applies to Christ’s covenant. If we walk in faith and keep His commandments, then we have live in Christ. If we obey our own will then we do not have life.

Exodus 34:9-11, “And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance. And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the LORD: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee. Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.” Those who surrender to God’s will shall surely be sustained by God. Is not the Creator of all the earth able to care for those who are called by His name (Ps 34:22, 36:7)? This is the nature of faith. We must overcome the strong will of the flesh and thereby trust and hope in God for all of our needs. Often the Lord will delay His provision to test our hearts and resolve – we must wait upon the Lord (Ps 37:9, 123:2, Is 40:31). Patience is an element of faith and a denial of the will of the flesh. The Lord’s provision may further deny the flesh when it comes. The children of Israel realized this when God sent manna. They wanted to indulge in bread and flesh to the full, but God sent leanness to the flesh. Many today seek God for indulgences (gratification of lusts or appetite, not to restrain or oppose) for the flesh, but the Lord would never strengthen (enhance) that which opposes Him. The Lord tells us to trust in Him and He will do great marvels (Ps 2:12, 5:11, 7:1, 9:10, 16:1, 17:7, 18:2, 18:30, 20:7, 25:2, 56:4, 11, 64:10, 73:28, 91:2, 115:11, Pv 3:5, Is 26:4). Notice that God does not require us to do anything unless specifically directed. We must follow and obey, not formulate and direct. The former is faith toward God and the latter is the will of the flesh. Exodus 34:12-17, “Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.” The Lord is clearly establishing that we are to submit to Him alone. You are to love and obey the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul and strength (Deut 6:5, 10:12-13, 11:1, 8, 13, 22, 13:3-4, 18, 15:5, 18:3, 19:9, 27:10, 28:9, 13-15, 29:9-15, 30:2, 8, 10, 16, 20). You cannot have any other interest above God. This includes those things that you give your heart; time and attention; devotion and interest; thought; actions; trust and confidence; resources; and hope to. The Lord then gave Moses various ordinances for the people to observe. Exodus 34:27, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel .”

The Lord next required Moses to come back up to Mount Horeb . Exodus 34:28, “And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.” Deuteronomy 10:1-4, “At that time the LORD said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount, and make thee an ark of wood. And I will write on the tables the words that were in the first tables which thou brakest, and thou shalt put them in the ark. And I made an ark of shittim wood, and hewed two tables of stone like unto the first, and went up into the mount, having the two tables in mine hand. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.” Deuteronomy 10:5, “And I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark which I had made; and there they be, as the LORD commanded me.” Exodus 34:29-35, “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him (God). And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai. 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 (God).” Not only had Moses not eaten or drank during his time in God’s presence, but God’s glory reflected off of him. You cannot be in God’s presence without being changed in some way (transformed). The intensity of Moses face shining added credence (credibility, authority, acceptance) to the commandments that were being delivered to the people, but there was more... Consider what Paul said: 2 Corinthians 3:13-18, “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. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” This vail also equates to the foreskin covering the heart. The vail or foreskin must be removed (or circumcised) so that we may fully love the Lord with all our hearts. When we surrender to Christ and obey with heart, we are led of His Spirit and conformed to His image. The vail over Moses' face also equates to the vail which separated the holy from the most holy in the tabernacle. Beyond the vail is the presence of God (who is light). Through Christ that vail has been removed (rent, Mt 27:51, Mk 15:38 , Lk 23:45 ) such that we can now be reconciled to God and come into His presence. Jesus once took two disciples and went up to a high mountain in the presence of God (and talked with Moses and Elias, Mt 17:1-9, Mk 9:2-10): Matthew 17:2, “And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” The Father expressed His pleasure in His beloved Son Jesus and told his disciples to “hear Him” (Lk 9:35 , Mk 9:7) The disciples were fell on their face and were sore afraid. This event added further credence to what Jesus spoke. We must look into His glorious face and love with all our hearts.



God redeemed His people from the land of Egypt . He called them out to Himself in the wilderness. Egypt was a place which catered to the flesh (even though burdens and bondages resulted). The waste howling wilderness was a place of great lack concerning the things of the flesh. No man could have survived it irregardless of his self-sufficiency or resourcefulness, let alone over one million souls. There was no food, there was no water – it was utterly desolate. God’s purpose was that His people would learn to trust in Him for their every need, which He was more than capable of providing. The conditions (terrain, environment) were intentionally set (by design) such that no one could survive apart from faith and trust in God. Rather than placing trust and obedience in God and seeking His purposes, the people thought only of self and situation. Such unbelief could only result in death. The key to survival in the wilderness was found in surrender and obedience to the Lord God – this faith produced life. Those who sought the things of the flesh had their carcasses drop along the way. Trust and hope in those things apart from God only produces death. This allegory is a picture of the two ways that Jesus described. Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Egypt (i.e. the world) is the broad way that leadeth to destruction. Those who seek the way of the flesh (their way, ye shall be as gods) transgress God’s will and the Lord has said, “thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:17 ). Most follow the ways of Egypt (rebellion and transgression to God’s will, idolatry, iniquity, self seeking, pride, etc.) because it is the fallen nature of man (Satan’s nature). Men are irresistibly drawn to the broad way in seeking self will. Those living in the flesh will be blinded to the narrow path – they do not know its there. Jesus said you must be “born again” (given God’s nature) to even see the kingdom of God (Jn 3:3). The narrow way represents the path that leads to God. This is the wilderness that is intentionally designed to destroy the flesh (its lusts, will). No man would ever choose such a rugged inhospitable (hostile, forbidding, bleak, harsh, desolate) path – few travel it. One must literally be “called out” of Egypt by God. John 6:44 , “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day (also Jn 6:65).” This path cannot under any circumstances be traversed through the ability of the flesh. The only way one will survive to the end of this path is to “follow” in obedience the direction of another (Jesus). The Spirit will navigate (steer, plot the course, lead, guide, maneuver) through all the obstacles, difficulties, and lack to arrive successfully at the end. We obediently follow. Along the way the Spirit destroys the ideals of Egypt and all self centerness such that we arrive at the end of the path as surrendered and obedient to God’s will – suitable for the Master’s use.

[Note: Liberty To The Captives does not agree with the author's statement: "Speaking with tongues is exclusive of the filling of the Holy Spirit." See 1 Cor. 12:29-30. There are many passages in the Bible where people were filled with the Holy Spirit but no mention is made of tongues.]

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