Friday Sermon | The Office of Pastor by Chris Rosebrough

RefMT15Today’s sermon is more of a lecture that comes from this year’s Reformation Montana Conference in Billings, MT. Chris Rosebrough, host of Fighting for the Faith, presents a lecture on the Office of the Pastor. If you are unfamiliar with Chris Rosebrough, I encourage you to read this older review of Chris found at the Pulpit and Pen Blog.

Does Christianity Need a Chris Rosebrough?

No. Christianity does not need Chris Rosebrough. God is self-sufficient, Gospel is complete, and Jesus needs nothing and no one. So, please forgive the question. Perhaps a better question would be, “Is there a need in the Christian church for Chris Rosebrough and the work of discernment ministries?”

Chris is best known for his program, Fighting for the Faith, on the radio network he created,Pirate Christian Radio. Chris also is the curator for the hilarious (and equally sad) Museum of Idolatry. On top of that, Chris was a speaker at the 2013 Reformation Montana Conference along with myself, James White and Phil Johnson. At RefMT2013, Chris conducted his first ‘live’ sermon review of a message ‘preached’ at Narrate Church in Helena – which if you’ve been reading the Pulpit and Pen for several years, you know I’ve addressed numerous times in the past, beginning with my assessment of their rather sacrilegious Christmas video from 2011 that they then edited, removed, re-posted unedited, and then edited again (and now it seems to have been removed from the internet altogether). You see, that’s what Chris does. He reviews sermons.

Chris begins his program each weekday by telling us his goal to “help people think biblically, think critically and help you compare what people are saying in the name of God to the Word of God.”…[Read More]

Lecture Audio

alternate link if audio won’t play: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=7115173521

Lecture Outline

Since the Church is an institution (not a movement) it has specific offices. So the question is are there folks calling themselves Pastors who are not qualified for the office of pastor?

  • Nadia Bolz-Weber. Is there any objective reason to believe she was called by God to be a pastor? She isn’t alone, there are many in the seeker-sensitive movement who have placed themselves forward as pastors, who aren’t called because they don’t meet the Biblical qualifications.
  • Articles IV and V of the Augsburg Confession (A Lutheran confession, Chris acknowledges that this isn’t a Baptist confession)
  • Ed Stetzer, Dodson, Rick Warren and Thom Rainer and the Church Growth Movement (the leader  or CEO-business model opposed to the Pastoral model)
  • Peter Drucker. He took 3 disciples, Rick Warren (Saddleback), Bill Hybels (Willow Creek), and Bob Buford (Leadership Network).
  • Plebiscite Model of church

There is a lot of historical information presented in this lecture. I suggest taking notes and/or pausing the audio and looking up what he is saying to see if it is true.

Jude 24-25 (ESV) | Doxology
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

Friday Sermon | Substitutionary Atonement by Mike Abendroth

RefMT15Today’s sermon comes from this year’s Reformation Montana Conference in Billings, MT. My wife and I had discussed attending this year’s conference. Sadly, there were several competing events for that same weekend, so we’ll have to try to catch a later conference. Mike Abendroth, host of No Compromise Radio, presents the concept of Christ’s Substitutionary Atonement as central to the Scriptures.

Pastor Mike Abendroth

Mike’s passion is preaching the Bible in a verse-by-verse fashion and training other men to do the same. He graduated from The Master’s Seminary in 1996 (M. Div.), received his doctorate in Expository Preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in May 2006 (D. Min.), and is an adjunct professor of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Pastor Mike is also the author of Jesus Christ: The Prince of Preachers (DayOne, 2007), The Sovereignty and Supremacy of King Jesus (DayOne 2011), Things that Go Bump in the Church (Harvest House, 2014) and Discovering Romans (Zondervan, 2014). He is overwhelmed at God’s grace in his salvation and for his family (Kim, Hayley, Luke, Maddie and Grace). Mike has been the Senior Pastor at Bethlehem Bible Church (BBC) in West Boylston, MA since April 1997 (ref: No Compromise Radio Host Bio)

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text

Revelation 5:1-10 (ESV) | The Scroll and the Lamb

Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.”

And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and withseven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.”

Friday Sermon | Jesus Continues to Reign by Dr. James White

AOMToday’s sermon comes from Dr. James White of Phoenix Reformed Baptist Church.

What is your picture of Jesus Christ? Have you taken notice of how our Reigning King is being represented in film and TV lately? Dr. James White looks at the Revelation of our Risen Savior as Sovereign Ruler, as Our Lord.

Sermon Audio

Jesus Continues to Reign by Dr. James White

Sermon Text

Revelation 1:12-18 (ESV)

12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.

17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

Revelation 6:15-17 (ESV)

15 Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Revelation 19:11-16 (ESV) | The Rider on a White Horse

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Have a Wonderful Weekend

I pray each of you attends church this week that faithfully preaches the Word of God, both Law and Gospel. Pray for your elders.  Pray for our leaders. Pray for repentance and forgiveness daily.

Jude 1:24-25 (ESV)  24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

OT | Bread from Heaven (Exodus 16)

Bible card Illustration published 1907  by Providence Lithograph Company

Bible card Illustration published 1907
by Providence Lithograph Company

Last week, in our Old Testament Study, we looked at the Song of Moses and how it served as a model for true worship and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Father.

As a quick review, the nation of Israel has been led out of Egypt. By the Mighty Hand of God Pharoah was utterly defeated and put to open shame before the nations as his army was utterly destroyed by God who parted the Red Sea for His people and then closed upon the Egyptian Army. In the aftermath of that destruction, the nation of Israel praised God and they sang the Song of Moses, praising God for His might work of Salvation. A song that we, too, will sing standing along the shores of the great sea of glass mingled with fire (Revelation 15), praising God for His work of Salvation.

The Provision of God

Now, Israel is truly free from the slavery of Egypt. They are separated from the house of slavery by the waters that God had used to crush the Egyptian army. Though they have been delivered out of the hands of Pharaoh and are now clearly under the protection of the One True God (who could deny His Mighty Works?) under the supervision of Moses. While we might be tempted to simply read on through as though reading a novel, stop and think about all that has happened. If this were a movie, the ending credits would have been rolling during the Song of Moses and the film would fade to black. But this isn’t a movie, these are real events in history. The biggest question probably in many minds is, “Now what?” As long as Israel is looking at the waters and the floating debris they are thinking about how awesomely God worked to rescue them from that army, but as soon as they turn around, they realize they are not in the Promised Land, they are in-fact in the wilderness. That would be daunting enough a thought if you were standing with your family, extended family, maybe even your church congregation. Do you remember how many people had left Egypt? Let’s turn back to chapter 12 for just a moment:

Exodus 12:37-39 (ESV) 37 And the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds.39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.

Woah! 600,000 men plus women, children, and a mixed multitude and livestock. Remember that livestock was what the sons of Israel noted as their profession when they were given the land of Goshen by Pharaoh in the time of Joseph. Before they were slaves, they were herdsmen.

Genesis 47:1-3 (ESV) | Jacob’s Family Settles in Goshen
47 So Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that they possess, have come from the land of Canaan. They are now inthe land of Goshen.” 2 And from among his brothers he took five men and presented them to Pharaoh. 3 Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, as our fathers were.

Now they were all on the other side of the Red Sea, in the wilderness, without provisions. They had unleavened bread, but for a people who knew no such luxuries as grocery stores, convenience stores, nor fast-food restaurants, the idea of making provisions for a long journey extend well beyond having some unleavened bread. How do the children of Israel respond? Let us turn now to Exodus 16.

Exodus 16 (ESV) | Bread from Heaven

They set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the people of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

I’m actually fairly impressed that so many people walking in the wilderness went that long (2.5 months?) on the scant provisions they had left Egypt with. Nevertheless, they burn through what little they had from Egypt and by now the Mighty Hand of God was sooo 2 months ago. Do people evolve? No, no we don’t. Our technology might, but we don’t. The whole congregation grumbled against Moses and Aaron. And what are they saying? Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full… our fallen flesh is so weak and completely turned in on itself. They would rather die in slavery with full stomachs than be free, following Moses toward the Land of Promise on an empty stomach. Not only that, but they accuse Moses and Aaron of malice, having brought all of these people into the wilderness to die of hunger. They’ve lost sight of the Promise, and long for what used to be considered comfort… in the house of slavery. In the Parable of the Sower, the children of Israel here are demonstrating the rocky soil, Matthew 13:21 (ESV)21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.” We mentioned it before when Israel thought they were going to get slaughtered by Pharaoh’s army, but now their hunger is what has them falling away, losing their faith in the Promise.

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”

So, hold on just a second… the Law has not yet been officially given. I’m not saying God hasn’t revealed His laws, or statutes, but when we currently talk about the Law, we look back to when God gives Moses the Law on the tablets of the Testimony on Mount Sinai. But in this story we have not yet reached Mount Sinai. God has issued commands and in this new command God specifies that He is testing His people, the ones He has already pulled out of Egypt, whether they will walk in His Law or not. God already knows the hearts of every person, He’s not testing for His sake, but for ours. What is the purpose of the Law? To expose sin. No one will walk in His Law until Jesus Christ comes to fulfill the Law for us. Here we see the first Law regarding the Sabbath, and it comes in reference to the provision of the Lord God. God will rain down bread from heaven, to meet their needs for the day, until the 6th day, where they will receive a double portion.

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 And the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’

13 In the evening quail came up and covered the camp, and in the morning dew lay around the camp. 14 And when the dew had gone up, there was on the face of the wilderness a fine, flake-like thing, fine as frost on the ground. 15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16 This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.’” 17 And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. 18 But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat.19 And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” 20 But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them. 21 Morning by morning they gathered it, each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.

22 On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers each. And when all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23 he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord; bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over lay aside to be kept till the morning.’” 24 So they laid it aside till the morning, as Moses commanded them, and it did not stink, and there were no worms in it. 25 Moses said, “Eat it today, fortoday is a Sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is a Sabbath, there will be none.”

The Lord will provide for His people, so that they will know that He is the Lord their God. They needed to let go of Egypt. They were free from the house of slavery, by a Mighty Hand of God, but their hearts still turned toward Egypt whenever they grumbled against the Lord. God now demonstrates His superior greatness by raining bread from heaven to meet all of their needs. Those who gathered much did not have excess and those who gathered little lacked nothing. How were they performing in their test? Not well. A stark reminder that our sinful state isn’t just a matter of a lack of effort or knowledge, it is a failure in our being, our flesh is cursed by sin, and we have fallen away from the perfection of God.

27 On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. 28 And the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws? 29 See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.” 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

Notice the wording God used in his rebuke directed at the people in verse 29, “the Lord has given you the Sabbath”. Let’s jump ahead at how Jesus responded to the Pharisees who accused Jesus and His disciples of breaking the Sabbath according to their tradition.

Mark 2:27-28 (ESV) 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

The failure of Israel to obey is foreshadowing the reality that despite the Grace and Mercy of God the Father throughout the history of Israel, man will refuse to keep His commandments and laws. With this question fresh in our minds, let’s take a peek at what Jesus said in Matthew 5:

Matthew 5:17-18 (ESV)| Christ Came to Fulfill the Law
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

The Law continues to do what it was intended to do, convict us of sin while testifying of God’s Greatness and Perfection. But Christ came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, and when He returns all will be accomplished. The keeping the Law is not the means of Salvation; it points out how lost we are. Salvation is by faith in the Promise of God. The Apostle Paul lays this out very well in Romans (particularly the first 8 chapters), but let us look at just a portion for now.

Romans 3:19-31 (ESV) | The Righteousness of God Through Faith
19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

We will jump more heavily into Hebrews and in Romans once we reach the Law given at Horeb (Mt Sinai), but for now, let us close out Exodus chapter 16.

Exodus 16:31-36 (ESV)

31 Now the house of Israel called its name manna. It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. 32 Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Let an omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” 33 And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar, and put an omer of manna in it, and place it before the Lord to be kept throughout your generations.” 34 As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept. 35 The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan. 36 (An omer is the tenth part of an ephah.)

I love how this reminder of what God had done for Israel, this miraculous provision doesn’t point backward to Egypt, rather, it points forward to Christ. So often we get this wrong picture in our minds that sharing a testimony involves highlighting the sin in our lives “before we were Saved”, but that only glorifies Egypt, the house of slavery. The testimony that matters, is the one that points to Christ. In closing, let us turn now to John 6, where Jesus taught us how to rightly understand what God was doing here in Exodus 16.

John 6:26-71 (ESV)26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

41 So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.

52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.

60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.

I know we took this well beyond our target word limit, but I firmly believe this was well worth it. What we feast on here is the Word of God, the Words of Life, the Testimony and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, our Savior and Our Lord. He is the mana from Heaven, who ascended back into Heaven and who is returning to take His people to the Promised Land, where we will be with Him forever, Amen.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (ESV)| The Coming of the Lord
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

May the Grace of God be with you today and forever,
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge

OT | The Song of Moses

Illustration from a Bible card published 1907  by the Providence Lithograph Company

Illustration from a Bible card published 1907
by the Providence Lithograph Company

Last week, in our Old Testament Study, we looked at the Crossing of the Red Sea. As we’ve explored many times before, this is a picture of our salvation out of the kingdom of darkness, and of the baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this foreshadowing, we see how the kingdom of darkness was put to open shame at the cross of Jesus, in the same way that Egypt was put to shame when the waters came crashing down onto the Egyptian army and they were utterly destroyed. This week we will pick up in the next chapter for a look at what true worship looks like.

Thus the Lord Saved Israel

Let us start off with a reminder of the salvation of Israel by the Mighty Hand of God.

Exodus 14:26-31 (ESV) 26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal course when the morning appeared. And as the Egyptians fled into it, the Lord threw the Egyptians into the midst of the sea. 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen; of all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea, not one of them remained. 29 But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.

This closing statement is a powerful foreshadowing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Where Moses foreshadows Jesus, the servant of the Lord, who is the Son of the Living God. Moses is not equal with Jesus, he merely foreshadows what Jesus will do, Once and For All.

Israel Worshiped the Lord God

Exodus 15:1-21 (ESV) | The Song of Moses

15 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,

“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
    the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and my song,
    and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
    my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
The Lord is a man of war;
    the Lord is his name.

“Pharaoh’s chariots and his host he cast into the sea,
    and his chosen officers were sunk in the Red Sea.
The floods covered them;
    they went down into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power,
    your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy.
In the greatness of your majesty you overthrow your adversaries;
    you send out your fury; it consumes them like stubble.
At the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up;
    the floods stood up in a heap;
    the deeps congealed in the heart of the sea.
The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake,
    I will divide the spoil, my desire shall have its fill of them.
    I will draw my sword; my hand shall destroy them.’
10 You blew with your wind; the sea covered them;
    they sank like lead in the mighty waters.

11 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?
    Who is like you, majestic in holiness,
    awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
12 You stretched out your right hand;
    the earth swallowed them.

13 You have led in your steadfast love the people whom you have redeemed;
    you have guided them by your strength to your holy abode.
14 The peoples have heard; they tremble;
    pangs have seized the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Now are the chiefs of Edom dismayed;
    trembling seizes the leaders of Moab;
    all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.
16 Terror and dread fall upon them;
    because of the greatness of your arm, they are still as a stone,
till your people, O Lord, pass by,
    till the people pass by whom you have purchased.
17 You will bring them in and plant them on your own mountain,
    the place, O Lord, which you have made for your abode,
    the sanctuary, O Lord, which your hands have established.
18 The Lord will reign forever and ever.

19 For when the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, the Lord brought back the waters of the sea upon them, but the people of Israel walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea. 20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and dancing. 21 And Miriam sang to them:

Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.”

Let’s talk about worship. There has been worship throughout time since the Creation, but here we see man singing a song of praise and worship to the Lord for who He is and what He has done. Take a moment to scan back through the song to see if in any place the children of Israel were singing about what they will do, can do, are about to do, or any victory they’ve secured as a result of their being the chosen ones of God. What are the “I” portions? I will sing to, I will praise, and I will exalt Him. This is the model for the praise and worship that flows from knowing you are redeemed, that you have been brought through the waters into the kingdom of Heaven by the Hand of God and His servant, Jesus Christ. When the song declares the Lord to be their strength notice they don’t complete that thought by declaring their strength; rather, they praise God for what He did by His might, by His strength. The itemized praise here is specific to the wondrous deeds of the Lord, and we should do likewise. Actually, we will do likewise. Let’s turn for a moment to the Book of Revelation.

Revelation 15 (ESV) | The Seven Angels with Seven Plagues

15 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.

And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and amazing are your deeds,
    O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
    O King of the nations!
Who will not fear, O Lord,
    and glorify your name?
For you alone are holy.
    All nations will come
    and worship you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven was opened, and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes around their chests. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever, and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

The Word of God is absolutely wonderful. Notice the setting of the vision, in verse 2 we see that the singing multitude is standing beside the sea of glass. In the Exodus account, they were on the shores of the Red Sea, witnesses to the victory secured by God. Here, in Revelation 15, these standing here are those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God. Notice this song is also the song of the Lamb, Jesus, our Passover Lamb, sacrificed for our redemption. This song is condensed, but remains the same song, the song of Salvation. A song sung to the Lord God by His children.

Now, this passage in Revelation moves on immediately to the seven angels with the seven plagues coming out of the sanctuary of the tent of witness. We have yet to see the earthly copy of this sanctuary, but notice that no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished. These plagues are judgment about to be poured out onto the earth, onto those who have received the mark of the beast, and when they fall on the people, the people will curse God and will not repent of their sin (Revelation 16). Let’s go back to Exodus 15 to see how it closes out.

I Am the Lord Your Healer

Exodus 15:22-27 (ESV) | Bitter Water Made Sweet

22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24 And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.

Without delving too heavily into man-made eschatological doctrines, I think the close parallel between Revelation 15 and Exodus 15 is significant, and serves as an encouragement to Believers. The plagues being poured out on the earth, whether the saints have already been wiped out (by persecution) or whether they remain on the earth, will not suffer from these plagues, for the Lord is our Healer. If your eye keeps fixating on the “if you diligently listen…” remember that by faith we put away our old selves and rest in the Righteousness of Christ. He fulfilled the Law and bore the full wrath of God at the cross in our place. Therefore, this serves as a promise, a hope, sealed by God the Holy Spirit for all who believe in Christ. With this thought firmly in our minds, let us close out this topic with a visit to the Book of Deuteronomy. Here, Moses had recorded the Law given to him by God, and Joshua has been designated to succeed Moses and lead Israel into the Promised Land (in this way, Joshua foreshadows Jesus, too).

Deuteronomy 31:30 (ESV) | The Song of Moses

30 Then Moses spoke the words of this song until they were finished, in the ears of all the assembly of Israel:

Deuteronomy 32 (ESV)
32 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak,
and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
2 May my teaching drop as the rain,
my speech distill as the dew,
like gentle rain upon the tender grass,
and like showers upon the herb.
For I will proclaim the name of the Lord;
    ascribe greatness to our God!
4 “The Rock, his work is perfect,
    for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
    just and upright is he.
5 They have dealt corruptly with him;
they are no longer his children because they are blemished;
they are a crooked and twisted generation.
6 Do you thus repay the Lord,
you foolish and senseless people?
Is not he your father, who created you,
    who made you and established you?
7 Remember the days of old;
consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you,
your elders, and they will tell you.
8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders of the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of God.
9 But the Lord’s portion is his people,
Jacob his allotted heritage.
10 “He found him in a desert land,
and in the howling waste of the wilderness;
he encircled him, he cared for him,
he kept him as the apple of his eye.
11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
that flutters over its young,
spreading out its wings, catching them,
bearing them on its pinions,
12 the Lord alone guided him,
no foreign god was with him.
13 He made him ride on the high places of the land,
and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
and oil out of the flinty rock.
14 Curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,
with fat of lambs,
rams of Bashan and goats,
with the very finest of the wheat—
and you drank foaming wine made from the blood of the grape.
15 “But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked;
you grew fat, stout, and sleek;
then he forsook God who made him
and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
16 They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods;
with abominations they provoked him to anger.
17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods,
to gods they had never known,
to new gods that had come recently,
whom your fathers had never dreaded.
18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you,
    and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19 “The Lord saw it and spurned them,
because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.
20 And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them;
I will see what their end will be,
for they are a perverse generation,
children in whom is no faithfulness.
21 They have made me jealous with what is no god;
they have provoked me to anger with their idols.
So I will make them jealous with those who are no people;
I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
22 For a fire is kindled by my anger,
and it burns to the depths of Sheol,
devours the earth and its increase,
and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.
23 “‘And I will heap disasters upon them;
I will spend my arrows on them;
24 they shall be wasted with hunger,
and devoured by plague
and poisonous pestilence;
I will send the teeth of beasts against them,
with the venom of things that crawl in the dust.
25 Outdoors the sword shall bereave,
and indoors terror,
for young man and woman alike,
the nursing child with the man of gray hairs.
26 I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces;
I will wipe them from human memory,”
27 had I not feared provocation by the enemy,
lest their adversaries should misunderstand,
lest they should say, “Our hand is triumphant,
    it was not the Lord who did all this.”’
28 “For they are a nation void of counsel,
and there is no understanding in them.
29 If they were wise, they would understand this;
they would discern their latter end!
30 How could one have chased a thousand,
and two have put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
and the Lord had given them up?
31 For their rock is not as our Rock;
our enemies are by themselves.
32 For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah;
their grapes are grapes of poison;
their clusters are bitter;
33 their wine is the poison of serpents
and the cruel venom of asps.
34 “‘Is not this laid up in store with me,
sealed up in my treasuries?
35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense,
    for the time when their foot shall slip;
for the day of their calamity is at hand,
    and their doom comes swiftly.’
36 For the Lord will vindicate his people
    and have compassion on his servants,
when he sees that their power is gone
    and there is none remaining, bond or free.
37 Then he will say, ‘Where are their gods,
the rock in which they took refuge,
38 who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offering?
Let them rise up and help you;
let them be your protection!
39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he,
    and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
    I wound and I heal;
    and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven
    and swear, As I live forever,
41 if I sharpen my flashing sword
    and my hand takes hold on judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
    and will repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
    and my sword shall devour flesh—
with the blood of the slain and the captives,
    from the long-haired heads of the enemy.’
43 “Rejoice with him, O heavens;
    bow down to him, all gods,
for he avenges the blood of his children
    and takes vengeance on his adversaries.
He repays those who hate him
    and cleanses his people’s land.”
44 Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun. 45 And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. 47 For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

When we read these words through the lens of the New Testament, we see all the more the Greatness of our God and the beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Though Israel may have understood that Moses was speaking of the contrast of the children of Israel and those who inhabited the land of Canaan, but we know that this speaks to something greater, it speaks of those in the kingdom of darkness and we who are born-again, into the Kingdom of Heaven. We may revisit this again soon, because there is so much going in here, but for now, may I recommend reading through Romans 1, how Paul describes the sin of the world, and how Moses speaks here in verses 5 and 6. I also found it interesting how verses 26 and 27 give a different perspective on the “why” God didn’t just eradicate man for his sin… so that His enemies will not falsely claim their own victory over God’s children. Soli Deo Gloria also applies to God’s Grace in that even when He is righteous and just to exterminate all of Creation for sin, His grace serves His glory greater. All praise be the God the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and to His Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Jude 1:24-25 (ESV) | Doxology

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

May the Grace of God be with you today and always,
In Christ Jesus,
Jorge