‘Mind-Blowing’ Evidence of Moses’ Journey From Egypt to Saudi Arabia REVEALED

Despite a majority of researchers questioning the accuracy of the Book of Exodus, some believe that Jews’s flight from Egypt did indeed take place – and that new evidence of this is poised to “seriously shift” the frame of discussion.

Researchers from the Doubting Thomas Research Foundation (DTRF), which investigates the historicity and evidence of Biblical accounts, say they may have found the route to the Promised Land taken by the Israelites under Moses’ leadership.

Filmmaker Ryan Mauro of the DTRF had made three trips to Saudi Arabia, which he says was part of Moses’ route.

“What I found there was simply mind-blowing. I couldn’t believe that there was all this evidence for the Exodus and hardly anyone outside this region was aware of it,” he told the Daily Star.

The Book of Exodus — the second book of the Old Testament and the Torah — provides an account of the departure of the Jews from slavery in Egypt and their journey through the wilderness.

According to the Biblical narrative, the Israelites fled the Egyptian army when Moses parted the Red Sea, with the waters later closing up again upon their pursuers. They are said to have later arrived at Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, and ended up settling in what is now Israel.

 

The location of the biblical Mount Sinai is traditionally associated with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Near the foot of the mountain, St Catherine’s Monastery was built over what’s traditionally believed to be the site of the burning bush from which God first revealed himself to Moses.

Ryan Mauro believes, however, that the real Mount of Sinai is located  over a hundred miles eastwards across the Gulf of Aqaba, which separates the Sinai Peninsula from Saudi Arabia.

“After three trips to Saudi Arabia, I’m fully convinced that the Israelites went into the ancient land of Midian when they fled slavery in Egypt.”

He also says there is evidence that Moses led his people across the Gulf of Aqaba from what is now the coastal town of Nuweiba in the east of the Sinai Peninsula, where the crossing would just be nearly 8 miles (12km) wide with a shallow depth of just 33 metres.

“It’s going to take some time to bring this alternative theory into mainstream historiography, but I believe that our work is going to seriously shift the landscape on this subject,” Mauro argued.

The mainstream scholarly consensus is that there is no archaeological evidence for the Exodus, and that the Bible represents the reflection of the Jewish people on their origins rather than details a specific moment in history.

“I would basically say to someone who’s sceptical about the Exodus to keep an open mind about the subject,” Mauro was quoted as saying. “There’s a reason why this tradition has been passed down in the three major world religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.”

“Perhaps these sceptics have doubted the historical account of the Exodus story because of a lack of evidence at the traditional site at St. Catherine’s, but what we have found appears to fit the ancient accounts.”

Late last year, his foundation released a documentary titled ‘Finding the Mountain of Moses’, which cited “undeniable archaeological evidence” of its presumed real location in Saudi Arabia.

In the film, he said he had discovered several pieces of evidence that the Exodus did occur, like a rock split by Moses and the remains of an ancient altar where the Israelites worshipped a golden calf while Moses was on top of the mountain.

“The golden calf, the split rock, Moses’ altar, the Red Sea crossing site; all of these pieces need to fit, and they fit at this site in a way that no other site does,” he added.

“We don’t necessarily believe in the same deities as the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, and Assyrians did, but we still accept the evidence that these peoples existed and that there were major events during their respective existences.”

“The accounts of the Exodus are no different, and now we have real, physical evidence that these events took place.” (Click to Source)

 
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When the Lamb of Passover Opens the Scroll

by: Gary Stearman on April 5, 2019

The first Passover is detailed in the twelfth chapter of Exodus. Its history goes back nearly 3,500 years, and its rituals are freighted with spiritual and prophetic meaning. It came on the fourteenth day of the first month – Nisan – and has been observed ever since. It features two primary aspects: First, it is referred to as “feasting for freedom.” It marks Israel’s liberation from Egypt, a type of the world system. Second, it is a prophecy, reenacted annually to preserve the hope that Israel will one day witness the establishment of the Kingdom in Israel, coming on a wave of fulfilled Bible prophecy. Each year, it concludes with a victory cry: “Next year in Jerusalem!”

But its centerpiece is perhaps the greatest archetype in Scripture: the lamb. The lamb, sacrificed and roasted in the fire during the night, foreshadows Jesus’ own arrest and illegal midnight trial, culminating in His sacrifice the next day. His function was the same as that first Passover lamb in Egypt, to bring liberation and redemption, first to Israel, then to the whole world. It represents “… the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).

It is introduced in the dramatic narrative of Exodus:
“5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6 And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. 9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. 10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire. 11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD’S passover. (Ex. 12:5-11).

That momentous night, when the blood of the lamb was applied to the doorposts of Israel, another tradition was established. The lamb’s blood was commemorated in the fruit of the vine, and the four cups of Passover. Taken in order, they symbolize: 1. Sanctification 2. Liberation 3. Redemption 4. Completion.

The commemoration of Passover is structured around the consumption of these four cups of the fruit of the vine, which is itself a symbol of our Lord: John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Passover … feasting for freedom … liberation from Egypt … establishing the Kingdom … all of these are witnessed in “The Four Cups.”

“But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matt. 26:29). This will be the final Cup: Completion.

The Lamb Steps Forward

One day, all the created beings in the heavens will watch as the Lamb of God steps forward to open a seven-sealed scroll. When He does, He will be acting as the Divine Judge, who takes in His hands a sealed indictment – that sealed scroll. What is written upon it no man knows. But it must certainly include a list of charges accrued across the ages by a depraved humanity. In the opening of its seals, the Lamb will right the wrongs of six millennia and establish peace and justice.

But why does Jesus appear in heaven as a lamb? In his work as Judge of the world, He would seem to be more accurately acting the part of the lion. And indeed, at His appearance, He is recognized by that title:
“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Rev. 5:5).

But when He actually receives the scroll, He appears as a Lamb, not a lion: “And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth” (Rev. 5:6). The Lion of the tribe of Judah is one of the most ancient of all biblical figures, going all the way back to Jacob’s prophetic blessing of his sons. He said, “Judah is a lion’s whelp …” (Gen. 49:9). Why did the Lion become the Lamb? The Bible provides an answer to this question, in the process, giving us an inside look, not only at the true meaning of sacrifice but at God’s very nature.

The Lamb is not a mere figurehead… a stiff and lifeless symbol. He loves, feels pain, longs for a relationship and expresses Himself in emotional language. What must He be thinking as He comes forward to take that fateful scroll? Surprisingly, His motives and goals are not concealed. He has, in fact, gone out of His way to make sure that humanity knows the thoughts of His very heart in detail. A bit later, we shall examine some of them. First, however, let’s look at the historical figure of the Lamb.

The symbol of the sacrificial lamb goes back to the very beginning of humanity, in the recounting of the acceptable sacrifice. Apparently, after Adam’s fall, the Lord had instructed him about what constituted an acceptable sacrifice for sin. We know this because his son Abel brought the proper sacrifice, prepared in a specific way, as described in the following Scripture:

“1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. 2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering” 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell” (Gen. 4:1-5).

The rest of the story is well known, as Cain’s jealousy grew to violent anger that led to the murder of Abel. This event might well be described as the first war in history, with Abel being recorded as the first casualty. From that time to the present, mankind has been engaged in an unending war for supremacy, or for acceptance in the sphere of power. War is man’s primary institution.

Almost forgotten in the conflict between Cain and Abel is the lamb. Its role as the atoning sacrifice is central to humanity’s survival … a prophetic archetype that runs through the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Scripture progressively reveals the submissive lamb as the way to victory over sin and evil. In fact, the lamb represents the absolute opposite of taking power and possessions by force. It is the very emblem of selfless sacrifice.

At key points in biblical history, the lamb emerges again and again as the key to the Lord’s plan of redemption. The “sacrificial lamb” has become a universal cliché. But biblically, the lamb appears at historically significant moments, to certify the relationship between God and man.

It is next seen, for example, in the covenantal transaction between the Lord and Abraham on Mount Moriah:

“7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold there and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together” (Gen. 22:7,8).

In the heart of Abraham, the sacrifice had already been accomplished. Never did Abraham tell Isaac that he was to be the sacrifice. Rather, he told his beloved son that God would provide “a lamb.”

All this happened on the mountain known as “Moriah,” which means, “appearing of Jehovah.” Thus, the Bible recognizes this as the mountain where Jehovah appeared to Abraham, and would appear again in the days of David and Solomon. This is where the Temple would be built.

The sacrifice provided by the Lord was not merely a lamb, it was a ram, trapped by its horns in thick underbrush. Abraham took it and laid it upon the altar. To him, it must have seemed a greater and fuller sacrifice than a mere lamb. In fact, it was only a foreshadowing of the greater sacrifice to come.

From this scene on Mount Moriah, we leap forward half a millennium to about 1450 B.C., and the period of the Exodus. This wonderful event centers about the blood of the lamb, which is painted upon every Israelite doorpost. This crucial identification spared Israel from the visiting angel of death. He passed over their houses, instead, inflicting death upon Egyptian homes.

But on this night – the first Passover – the lamb is more than mere sacrifice. It becomes the symbol of relationship, the common experience of the Israelites, and remains so to this day. Let’s revisit the scene in which the flesh of the lamb was roasted and quickly eaten on the night of the fourteenth day of the first month:

“5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: 6. And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 8 And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roast with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs they shall eat it” (Ex. 12:5-8).

From the first, Passover was a family institution, intended to bring Israel together around the promise of freedom in the Messianic Kingdom. To this day, its customs are annually repeated, but only the shank bone of the lamb is present on the Seder table. After the Romans razed the Temple, the sacrifice of the lamb abruptly came to a halt.

John Sees the Lamb

And of course, the reason for this is well known. The Lamb had offered Himself on that last Passover, taken with His disciples on the night of His arrest and trial. This act instituted the Lord’s Supper, in which the Lamb became the actual leader of the ancient tradition. But it must also be remembered that Jesus appeared at the beginning of His public ministry as the Lamb without blemish, just as He ended it as the Lamb sacrificed for sin.

His role is publicly announced by John the Baptist:

“26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; 27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose. 28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing. 29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:26-29).

Acting in the spirit of Elijah, John announced the appearance of the long-awaited Messiah. His public statement might have invoked many promises and historical references. But he didn’t. He simply introduced the Lamb. Priests and Levites had crossed the Jordan to question John. He denied being the great prophet promised by Moses. He also denied being either the Messiah or Elijah.

But truly, John was a prophet, who now prophesied the coming of the Messiah. He didn’t announce Jesus as King or prophet. Nor did he mention Jesus’ link to the royal tribe of Judah, dating back to the House of David. Instead, he simply called Him “the Lamb of God.”

Israel’s leaders had no way of mentally linking the Passover lamb to the Messiah. Even though the Old Testament symbol of the Lamb foreshadows Jesus’ finished work, the prophets had never referred to the coming Messiah as a lamb. The blood of the Lamb as a Messianic idea is clearly developed only in the New Testament.

Certainly, Isaiah referred to Him in this way, but never actually connected Him with the Passover or atonement:

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (Is. 53:7).

So, John’s announcement of the Lamb brings a new dimension to the mission of the Messiah. He comes as the personification of the atoning sacrifice, as the remedy for the sin which has crippled the world. From the very beginning, the Bible recognizes Him in this role. Now, John announces it publicly. But of course, no one understands what he is saying.

John’s prophecy at the Jordan River continues, adding a further note about the identity of the Messiah. John was born six months before Jesus, a fact probably known to Jerusalem authorities, and certainly to a number of faithful Jews. Yet he declares that Jesus came before him, adding that the Lamb is confirmed by the Holy Spirit of God, and is the very Son of God:

“30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me. 31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water. 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God” (John 1:30-34). This is the clearest possible statement of His divinity.

Jesus’ first disciples were drawn by John’s repeated statement that this was the Lamb of God. They were spiritually drawn to a great new idea, which they had no way of understanding: “35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! 36 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 37 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? 38 He saith unto them, Come and see. 39 They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. 40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother” (John 1:35-40).

What must these two have thought as they heard John’s ecstatic words? Was this really the Messiah? But John didn’t call Him that. He didn’t say, “Behold your Messiah!” In fact, he withheld the full truth. Instead of the office of the Messiah, he emphasized the role of the Messiah in redemption. John prophesied the mission that Jesus would perform, and the way that He would perform it, as the Passover sacrifice.

The two disciples mentioned here are identified in the context of John’s declaration. It is most interesting to see that they had no difficulty in connecting the concept of the Lamb with that of the Messiah:

“40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ” (John 1:40,41).

Doubtless, they didn’t fully understand the connection. In fact, Scripture tells us that when Jesus later told them that He must die and depart from them, they refused to accept the idea. He openly told them that He must “… be killed, and be raised again the third day” (Matt. 16:21). He sternly rebuked Peter, who resisted the simple truth that the Lamb must die to complete the sacrifice for sin.

But it must be remembered that for those alive at the time, Jesus’ mission was fraught with riddles.

Something Remarkable

In reviewing the biblical history of the Lamb, we find a surprising fact. The Old Testament often refers to the lamb of sacrifice. But in the New Testament, the sacrificial lamb is mentioned by name only four times outside the book of Revelation.

This title appears twice in the Gospel of John (both of which are quoted above). In these two cases, the word “Lamb” is capitalized. It is seen twice more after that, once in Acts 8:32, where Philip quotes from Isaiah 53:

“The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth.”

Again, we encounter it in 1 Peter 1:19, where Peter quotes from Exodus 12:5, naming the requirement for purity in the Passover lamb:

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

“But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Pet. 1:18,19).

In both of these cases, salvation is explained in the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb. Based upon the importance of this symbol, one would expect to see references to Jesus as the sacrificial Lamb mentioned over and over again. But they are completely absent from the epistles of Paul, James, John and Jude!

Furthermore, the letter to the Hebrews, devoted to explaining the superiority of Christ’s redemptive sacrifice to Jews still observing Temple worship, does not mention the Lamb at all! When speaking of Jesus, Hebrews typically refer to His sacrifice in statements like the following: “… but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place …” (Heb. 9:12). The Jews would have made an immediate connection with the idea of the Passover lamb, but His sacrifice is never detailed in this way.

Moreover, the first three Gospels never mention the Lamb by that name! Matthew, the Gospel that announces the King to Israel, is built around the theme of the presentation and rejection of the king.

Mark introduces Jesus as the servant. His style of factual immediacy presents the servant, who goes about His work with energy and total devotion. He is then rejected and suffers for those whom He has served.

And Luke documents Jesus’ role as Son of Man … human in every way, yet divinely incarnated. Luke emphasizes His compassion and His perfection as a human being. He is presented and rejected as the man who bore the sorrows of humanity. As one man to another, he entered the home of diminutive but wealthy Zacchaeus. Addressing this sinful tax collector at his own level, Jesus changed the way this man lived his life:

“8 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 anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:8-10).

As King, Servant and Son of Man, Jesus acts at the earthly level. While important, these roles do not address the spiritual and metaphysical truths that we see in John’s Gospel, which reveals Jesus as Deity.

It makes perfect sense, then, that since The Lamb is a spiritual sacrifice, transcending the boundaries of earth, and reaching all the way into heaven, John would introduce Him as the Lamb, “… which taketh away the sin of the world.”

The Lamb and the “Kosmos”

This phrase, from John 1:29, emphasizes the fact that the Lamb’s sacrifice reaches all the way into the heavens. The word “world” is from the Greek kosmos, which means, “the order and arrangement of the world system.” To the Greeks, this word included all that could be observed or inferred from observation. The same concept in the mind of the modern man would most probably be “universe.”

But to the student of the Bible, the New Testament concept of the kosmos includes even those things not seen. As the Apostle Paul put it in Ephesians 6:11,12:

“11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against esh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Eph. 6:11,12).

The above four levels of authority arrayed against Christians, all operate beyond the range of human vision. Yet they radically affect the daily lives of humankind. Therefore, they must be included in the definition of kosmos. The dimensions of this universe are much greater than most will admit, yet biblically, the invisible aspects of the world system are as important – if not more so – than the visible ones.

The “principalities” mentioned by Paul are called archons in the Greek language. They would be the superhuman beings generally called angels, whether faithful or fallen. But in Paul’s epistle, the reference is to the first level of evil power, including Satan, and his delegated powers. They are trans-dimensional, operating outside the natural realm of human beings, yet deeply influential in the circles of world nance, politics and religion.

The “powers” that Paul mentions are called exousia in New Testament Greek. These are delegated authorities operating beneath the first level of power just described. Yet they are still able to act on their own, even though subject to their superiors. Elsewhere, Paul describes them as powers at the angelic level. Like the first group, they are able to affect both the unseen world and our own physical world.

The third level of power – “… rulers of the darkness of this world …” – are called kosmokrators, in the original language of the New Testament. In the literature of the ancient Greeks, these are high-level rulers, on the order of an emperor, a world-lord. Yet they, too, operate outside the influence of human perception. In the well-known passage from the book of Daniel, the heavenly visitor who came to him was delayed in conflict with just such a ruler:

“12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. 13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia” (Dan. 10:12,13).

If, as we believe, it was the Lord, Himself who came to Daniel, he was forced to take a circuitous route in recognition of an existing world boundary of some sort. Apparently, the Lord allows many such zones of rule in the cosmos.

But we must also note that the phrase, “darkness of this world,” uses a different word for “world.” Here it is a translation of the Greek aion, denoting an age or period of time, probably corresponding to the period of Gentile rule that began with Nebuchadnezzar, and comes to an end under the reign of the antichrist.

Finally, Paul describes the lowest and most widespread of the trans-dimensional powers. He refers to them in general as “spiritual wickedness in high places.” A literal reading of the Greek text tells us that these are spiritual powers of evil in the heavens. They come and go on errands of mischief and malevolence, following the dictates of the evil powers above them. Their chief work is to corrupt the progress of the Gospel, and to destroy the unity and saving grace of the body of Christ.

The submission of the Lamb to the cause of redemption (His willingness to sacrifice Himself) was the mechanism that signaled the end of their system. From the moment of His sacrifice, their days were numbered.

To us, operating on the time scale of planet earth, the time from then until now seems very long, indeed. From the Lamb’s perspective, there is no doubt that the scale of perception is quite different. Cause and effect can only truly be viewed from His throne.

We can gain some idea of this viewpoint by recalling Jesus’ moment of temptation. Just prior to His public ministry, and following John’s baptism of the Lamb, Satan took Him to a place where the power and glory of the kosmos could be viewed in a single, sweeping view:

“8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Matt. 4:8,9).

Here, the Lamb is offered the kosmos, in all its glory. For Jesus to have witnessed every single kingdom and the glory of each one, it must have been necessary for Him to see past, present and future in a single glance. Furthermore, there is no location within this Earthly dimension that affords a view of the world like the one described above. Christ’s atonement was intended to reach all the way into this evil realm.

If Satan and his subjects held this kind of power, it is easy to see that no ordinary challenge could defeat them. It was necessary for the Lord to prepare a stunning offensive, with a single stroke of power that cut through the entire universe (or universes).

In effect, the Lamb’s blood sacrifice turned Satan’s own devices against him. Once dominant among heavenly creatures, He boasted of wisdom and beauty as the primary fruit of existence. But he rejected holiness, as well as the worship of God, Creator and King. It was holiness … dedication to God’s will … personified in the blood of the Lamb that overthrew him.

The world system is doomed to crash into ruins as the Lamb’s work is finally sanctified in the formality of a heavenly protocol that was devised for a signal moment in history.

The Lamb and the Book

As earlier noted, outside the Book of Revelation, the Lamb is mentioned only four times in the entire New Testament. But it is astonishing to see that in the pages of Revelation, itself, the capitalized proper noun, “Lamb,” is used twenty- six times!

This serves to emphasize a basic truth. Though consummated upon earth, the true extent of the Lamb’s sacrifice can only be perceived at the heavenly level. This brings us back to the question that we posed at the beginning of this study: Why does Jesus appear in heaven as a lamb? This question goes to the heart of the action we observe when, in Revelation, we hear a formal question voiced by an angel, who almost seems to be acting in the role of legal counsel:

“1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? 3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. 4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. 5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne” (Rev. 5:1-7).

The question posed here by the “strong angel” is an unmistakable challenge that rings through the vaults and arches of heaven like a mighty blast. It is a call to attention, commanding every being in Creation to come to full attention. A monumental legal question like this one demands an answer.

Satan and his fallen ones must also hear the angel’s words. Surely, they hope that no one answers the call, since they must know that if the book is unsealed, it means certain doom for them.

The book is a scroll. John carefully describes its appearance. He sees it as covered with writing on both sides. Apparently, if completely unrolled, it would be full to capacity with a list of written charges. In other words, the charges against the world system are all-inclusive, absolute and comprehensive. The scroll is a legal indictment, without loopholes or escape clauses. It seems obvious that the charges were compiled by God, Himself.

But there is a catch … a legal requirement of the first magnitude. The inscribed charges must be executed by someone who is properly qualified. Hence the question: Who is worthy?

As the angel’s loud query echoed toward silence, John observed that no created being in all the heavens seemed capable of answering the call. Note that the question is heard “in heaven,” “in earth” and “under the earth.” In every dimension of Creation, the question rings forth. Archangels stand silent and angels watch, daring not to utter a single word. The rebellious followers of the Old Serpent, angels and demons wait trembling, as their fate hangs in the balance.

At this time, the church has already been caught up, even though the Tribulation period has not yet been initiated. So, the Lord’s own people must also be watching this unfolding drama from a heavenly point of view. Imagine their great curiosity, as the final act of the drama commences.

Those of the body of Christ who studied Scripture while on earth must certainly know in advance that the Lamb will come forth to take the scroll, but they dare not speak a word. They watch in respectful silence, awaiting the coming of the great Day of the Lord, in which the Righteous Judge will finally put down all wickedness and establish His Kingdom.

They remember the words He spoke to the Jewish leaders during His ministry on earth. After healing the paralyzed man who lay helpless at the pool called Bethesda, he instructed the man to pick up his bed and walk, a violation of carrying a burden on the Sabbath.

Rather than receiving Him as Messiah, the Pharisees charged Him with sinfully and willfully breaking the Law of Moses. He answered by declaring Himself equal with God the Father in power and authority. His resounding answer to them is a statement of absolute authority: “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22).

A Legal Technicality

As the words of the strong angel fall to silence, John is struck down with the realization that no one has answered. He must be asking himself if the kingdoms of evil will win yet another battle. He begins to think that no one can answer the call. Imagine how you would feel if you thought that Satan and his followers would get o absolutely free on a legal technicality. You would be devastated. Surely, you would think to yourself, someone must be able to effectively lodge criminal charges against the followers of Satan … once and for all. Yet no one seems qualified.

Doubtless, John is waiting for someone to unseal the book and read the charges that will allow the execution of the final judgment. Apparently, some time elapses at this point. John believes that no one is qualified to do the work of judgment. He weeps bitterly at the realization that Satan’s crimes may go unpunished.

He suffers greatly until he is comforted by one of the elders who comes to inform him that the Lion of Judah has overcome the world system … the sin that has ravaged the kosmos. His action has qualified Him to receive and open the scroll.

And then, in what must be one of the greatest and most dramatic entrances of all time, the Lamb comes forth to receive the scroll from God the Father. It is true, just as Jesus told those Pharisees all those years ago, that the Father has given all power of judgment to the Son.

Thanks to John the Baptist, Christians who are alive today to read the words of Revelation will be aware of something that many of the citizens of heaven will not know at that time. We know in advance that the Lamb has done His work and will, at the proper time, step forward to open the sealed scroll. Why? Because He submitted Himself to death and purchased the freedom of those oppressed by Satan’s evil regime. He is the only One who could ever have qualified for this critical mission.

The Lamb and Our Home

As the Lamb opens the scroll, the events of the Tribulation unfold in a series of unprecedented cataclysms. Israel is sealed in the power of the Spirit, only to be persecuted by the forces of the antichrist. Israel is forced to flee into the wilderness, then is rescued. The evil powers of the world, headed by the antichrist, are overthrown. Israel rises to receive the Kingdom. The King assumes His throne.

After the Lamb is introduced in the Revelation narrative, the Lamb is mentioned by name twenty- five more times before we arrive at the end of the book. It is not the purpose of this article to detail all His activities through the Tribulation. But we should always remember that Jesus will eternally carry the title, “Lamb.”

As we have seen, He rises up in the end times as Judge. But in the future era of the New Jerusalem, the Lamb is fully identified within the Godhead. In this context, it is exciting to contemplate our eternal home, which the Lamb promised to prepare for those who would follow Him.

In Revelation, His final appearances as Lamb are absolutely enthralling:

“22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Rev. 21:22,23).

Imagine the pure light that illuminates the New Jerusalem. His living radiance transcends anything that man has seen, or can ever imagine. God’s own city will become the source of all that is pure and all that is everlasting.

“1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life,which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him” (Rev. 22:1-3).

The Lord entered this world in Bethlehem as a being of flesh and blood, without spot or blemish. The in nite became nite. Before His arrival here, He had been many things, but never the Lamb! At that moment in time, the Lamb began to exist. The Lord took upon Himself a new identity, which He retains to this day.

He is the perfect model of eternal life. The little baby born among the shepherds was the perfect Lamb. Fragile, delicate and seemingly ephemeral, he defied death, inviting us to follow in His steps and bask in his glory … forever!

He entered the world not to partake of the Passover, but to become the Passover. At the moment of sacrifice, the Lamb leaped from the finite to the infinite. And He takes us with Him! (Click to Source)

A MIRACLE HAPPENED IN THE SPRING

Nearly 4000 years ago, prophecy was partially fulfilled from the book of Exodus.

God Himself performed a miracle in the land of Egypt, freeing the children of Israel from 430 years of slavery.

He caused 10 plagues to fall on the land of Egypt and to proclaim that God is the only God over all the gods of Egypt.

10 plagues fell on the land of Egypt, but none fell on the children of Israel.

The greatest miracle  happened in the spring, and fell on the 14th day of Aviv.

A commandment is given by the Lord. You are to celebrate each year, as a permanent ordinance for all eternity.

A perfect lamb or goat one year old, without spot, wrinkle, or blemish, is to be killed at twilight on the 14th day of Aviv.

The lamb or goat is to be roasted, and eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.  Not one bone is to be broken.

Take the blood and put it on the door post of each house of the children of Israel, on the lintel and on the two sides of the door.

I will pass over each house that has the blood on the door post.

If I see no blood on the door post, I will take the life of the first born of man and cattle.

There is a wailing in the land of Egypt; Pharaoh’s first born and his servants have been taken.

The mixed multitude hurriedly leave Egypt, Israel and God fearing Egyptians obey the Lord.

As they exit Egypt, the only possessions they take are their animals, the clothes on their backs,valuables given to them by the Egyptians, and their kneading bowls with unleavened bread.

God instructs Israel to celebrate two other Holy Days in the Spring, with Passover, to show His Plan of Salvation for all the nations.

The 15th day of Aviv, called Unleavened Bread, you are to eat only bread with no leaven for 7 days.

The 17th day of Aviv, called First Fruits, you shall bring the first sheaf of the barley harvest to be waved before the Lord.

Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits were to be fulfilled at the first coming of Messiah.

1230 years after the Exodus, Jesus fulfilled the 3 Holy Days in fulfillment of the Bible.

Jesus, the Lamb of God, has His last Passover meal with His disciples at twilight of the 14th of Aviv, telling them what was going to happen to Him over the next 3 days.

Later that night, He was arrested, mocked, beaten, spit upon, and sentenced to death for being the Son of God – committing no sin.

His sentence of death was the Roman cross. This instrument of His death was foretold by the door post of Exodus – the lintel being the top of the door post and the two sides of the door .  Together, they create the sign of the cross.

He was bloodied, nailed in the hands and feet, and pierced in His side by a spear, but not one bone in His body was broken.

Jesus died at the exact time the Passover lamb was sacrificed in the Temple – at the 9th hour.

He was quickly taken off the cross, buried in a rich man’s tomb, just hours before the sun set, on the 14th of Aviv.

His body was covered with stripes.  His hands and feet, as well as His side, were pierced.  He died perfect and sinless.  This fulfillment happened on the 15th of Aviv – Unleavened Bread.

Jesus rose from the dead just as the sun had set, before the beginning of the 17th of Aviv, First Fruits.

He fulfilled this day by rising from the grave and conquering sin and death.  Jesus would become the first of many to be resurrected from the dead.

The resurrection of Jesus fulfilled the Holy Day of First Fruits.

He completed the Plan of Salvation by being the Lamb of God, perfect and spotless, who shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins.

Today, we have total forgiveness of our sins, which leads to the receiving of eternal life with Jesus.

This is the miracle that happened in the Spring!

by Bill Perkins

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Ten Plagues: The Exodus with Great Balls of Fire

POSTED : CELESTE B., DATE : 

 

 He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.

He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.

He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?

He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.  Psalm 147

Kindness and Compassion in the Tempest

The Plague of Hail is what precipitated this whole series on the Ten Plagues.  I am so thankful to have spent the time learning the faith lessons embedded within the pages addressing the plagues of Egypt.  On the last two plague animal disease and boils there was not allot of commentary.  Why does the Bible deem it necessary to narrate the devastation? If the Plagues were merely to save the Hebrews one plague could have achieved that outcome.   Some believe that the plagues were punitive.  In the Plague of Hail we actually see the kindness of God shining forth through the raging tempest. Their purpose was to be an unequivocal demonstration of God’s power. For this reason, the plagues became progressively stronger. These faith lessons were teaching Egypt the fallacy of idolatry and the reality of the Creator was the purpose in each successive wave of plague.

Moses never used the pressure of the plagues to obtain concessions from Pharaoh. The plagues’ purpose was to teach Egypt knowledge of God. Moses always removed the plague upon Pharaoh’s request, and Moses did not hold out on removing the plague until Pharaoh conceded to Moses’ requests. Moses wished that Egypt recognized God through wisdom, not coercion. What a faith lessons for us!  How often do we attempt to extract an end goal through pressuring someone through the storms in their life?  God, Moses and Aaron do not use the tactics that will become manifest in the beast system, Anti-Christ, and False Prophet instead kindness and compassion are exemplified especially in this Plague of Hail.

Pharaoh vacillated in an emotional state as the plagues unfolded-stressful pressure from each plague, to repent of his sin, to be a man of his word, but each time Pharaoh conceded to obstinacy.

Moses directs Pharaoh to an analog: God is the source of both nature, and man: God has been compassionate to you, (flexible crops) but at a certain point, this kindness will no longer be extended.  When sin is matured, (stiff crops) there is no turning back, and you will snap as do stiff crops.”

This was Moses’ message to Pharaoh. Man sins by nature, and therefore, God affords man opportunities to correct his ways. But once sin captivates the whole personality and values of any given man or people, God will destroy that person or people. This plague was a warning to Pharaoh – in the form of an analogy.

Man feels he may sin and repent later, but there may not be a later. The opportunity to repent is a Divine gift, and must be seized when presented, lest we lose the chance. There is a point of no return. This is an extremely timely message as we wade deeper into the events of the Revelation and prophecy. 

We learn of the compassion of God on His creations: on mankind. God allows man time to exert his free will to bring himself in line with truth. “Those who He loves, God rebukes”. The plagues were an attempt to remove Egypt’s false ideas, enabling them to embrace God’s absolute truths.

As the lashes of judgment are felt upon our backs let us remember that this is God’s kindness and compassion towards us.  We are firmly in the hand of God’s iron crucible that will burn away the dross of our lives as He prepares us for eternity with Him.

Verse 16 clearly states that, I have let you Pharaoh endure so that you might see My strength and glory.  As we are beset with the troubles of prophecy coming to pass let us see His strength and glory in those dark hours.

Stretch our your Hand Heavenward

Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire ran down to the earth. And the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt.  Exodus 9:23

Our Plague of Hail takes place ‘Eth’ was Memphis in the 18th Dynasty of Egypt.  Eth’ has Messianic implications that one can find in the original Hebrew including the first sentence of the Bible.  It means the Beginning and the End, Aleph and Tav, Alpha and Omega.

Stretch your hand towards heaven (firmament not heaven literally)…

He gave over their cattle also to the hailstones And their herds to bolts of lightning.  Psalm 78:48

The Egyptians ignored the warning for the cattle be brought in from the field to a place of shelter.  Once warned the decree was extended; hail would come down also upon man and beast in the field.  The Hebrew text indicates that more than one kind of hail would be active against them.

In many of the plagues God had Aaron stretch forth his hand, but in this Plague of Hail God instructed Moses to stretch forth his hand.

Extend your hand to heaven, unleash My power…  Here is yet another faith lesson for us!  At the bidding of the Lord we must extend our hand, as He directs and extends His hand.  Through that connection the very powers of creation can be released.  We need to remember this in the days to come.

Confrontation

God commanded Moshe to arise early to confront Pharaoh at his place of worship, the Nile. The plague of hail was the first plague, of the third group of plagues in Egypt. This third group included plagues taking effect in the heavens or air: hail, locusts (via the wind), and darkness. Previously God addressed the god’s of the waters and the gods of the lands.  God wished to demonstrate His omnipotence in all areas of the universe.

The Egyptian gods of the heavens were mocked by the inability to stop the raging hail sent by the true God of the heavens. Thus, Nut-the sky goddessIsis-the goddess of life, and Seth-the protector of the crops were affected.” It appears as though the Eternal One was going toe-to-toe with demonic powers and principalities in His plan of redemption for the Hebrew people.

By subjugating all the forces in nature God demonstrated how totally useless the forces of nature were in defense of those who believed in them.

Pharaoh’s heels were dug in and he still believe other gods controlled the earth and him at times so this time I will send all My plagues so that you will know that there is none like Me in all the earth. 

Because you still exalt yourself above My people….You (Pharaoh) are growing haughty in your heart against letting the Hebrews go.  Therefore, at this time- precise hour- I will cause a heavy hail such as had not been seen in Egypt.

As we meander through the verses on the Plague of Hail we should be reminded that in the Old Testament the punishment for idolatry was stoning.  How can an entire idolatrous nation be stoned simultaneously?  Through a Plague of Hail.

Plagues against the Heart

The bible describes this Plague of Hail sent by God as a direct result of the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart, which had prevented him from obeying God.

For this time I will send all my wonders to your heart, and in your servants and in your people, in order that you shall know that there is none like Me in all the land.  Exodus 9:14

This plague was an educational tool. Some Egyptians did fear God through His education via the plagues. But those who did not give heart to the matter is to teach us that there are none that didn’t fear, but only those who deny realityDidn’t give heart, means that in order to oppose God’s absolute truths, they had to shut their hearts and mindsfrom any investigation. It is not the absence of fear, but a more primary block: they denied any investigation into the plagues.

God warned Pharaoh that He was about to send all My plagues against your heart.

This Plague of Hail is a wonder, is a supernatural event, all subsequent plagues – commencing with this hail – will have new effect. That those who fear God and His Word will be protected while those who do not fear God and His Word will be harmed. 

Snare

The Lord sent thunder and hail …Moshe having informed Pharaoh that tomorrow at this time I will causeto rain down, was specified by a line on the wall.  Naturally, the Egyptians would carefully attend to the exact instant of the arrival of the plague so that they could discredit him.

The Laws of Nature dictate that it takes a few moments for hail to leave the clouds and to reach the ground, even as, it also takes time for thunder to be heard below and for lightning to be seen the instant it leaves its origin.

Thunder is produced first at intersection before electrical discharge.  Lightning is always registered by the visual sense before the aural sense is triggered.   Lag times would be exploited by the Egyptians because neither thunder, nor hail, will reach the ground at a set time.

Here a great miracle took place!  Within the same instant of thunder and hail leaving the clouds, Legend says, that they arrived below with lightning-like speed, so that instead of the natural pattern, whereby the lightning is detected before the thunder-here the thunder, since it was produced first and observed prior to the lightning.

The usual lag time between the speed of light and the speed of sound was suspended.  Consequently, the verse says, the Lord sent the hail.  It does not say that the Lord caused the hail to rain down i.e. to rain down naturally, since it did not travel as natural rain.  By affecting this miracle God provided for the arrival, first of all, of the thunder and hail; and only then did then a fire passed down upon the earth i.e. the fire of lightning.

It was however, necessary to invoke this great wonder only during the initial moments, in order to assure Moshe’s prediction.  It would not have been possible for the thunder and the hail to move at their natural velocities and yet arrive in time.  Subsequent to these initial moments, then, the verse accents the thundering and the hail reaching the ground naturally. Once the miraculous intervention had come to an end the Lord caused hail to rain down upon the land of Egypt. It came down naturally, with a time delay that accorded with the laws of gravity and the laws of motion.

Components of Hail

Within this plague are embedded many components:  huge hailstones, fire burning within each stone v 24, deafening thunder, flaming lightning v 23Psalm 105:23, and heavy rainstorms.  Any one of these would be considered a plague. 

In the Bible all is sometimes used to mean most or a great amount.  It can also refer too many of the components of this plague that are mentioned above.  In a normal year, each, in-and-of-itself would be considered a plague.

God begins to drill down that He alone is Master of the four foundational elements:

  • Thunder represents air,
  • Hail represents water,
  • Flames are the fire,
  • Ground is the earth.

God reverses the order to show His mastery over the world.  This plague unites all the elements to demonstrate that there is no one like Me in the land.  The Egyptians were forced to witness that the forces of nature that they believed were their defense, were useless to all those who believed in them. 

This is a compound miracle.  It is not the typical nature of fire to shoot downward but to rise.  Fire and water are opposites but here they join to serve God, functioning in unison.   

Hastily Assemble the Remnant

Send therefore hastily (haez) means to flee or gather V 19

The Plague of Livestock disease only killed the cattle in the field. Exodus 9:3 Those in shelters did not perish, but in accordance with God’s Will, He allowed a remnant to escape here and also referenced in Ezekiel 9:8.  God warns them to gather the livestock into a fortified location (haez-strong) against the elements.  Pharaoh was warned that while this plague was meant to strike outdoor plants and vegetation (grass of the field), any man or cattle in the field at the time would be stricken by hail.  God’s mercy is great, Therefore, He instruct sinners in the way Psalm 25:8  We often attribute to the strong men advising humanity of their coming actions when they are but mere clay in the hand of the Master to Whom we really should be ascribe these warning to God’s great mercy of instructional warning.

We see that from the beginning God promises with subtle hints of a remnant.  At least in this account, that remnant is hastily assembled.

Perfect Supernatural Storm


“Behold, about this time tomorrow, I will send a very heavy hail, such as has not been seen in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. “Now therefore send, bring your livestock and whatever you have in the field to safety Every man and beast that is found in the field and is not brought home, when the hail comes down on them, will die.”‘” The one among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the LORD made his servants and his livestock flee into the houses…    Exodus 9:18-33

The Legends of the Jews describe the supernatural super-storm:

Your fathers and grandfathers have never seen the likes of it. Because the hail was not in a natural order, nothing like this has ever occurred before.  From before the inception of Egypt as a nation, because of the sins of the fathers, surely there was no reason for such hail to come.

The hail was very strange because of the absence of precipitation in Egypt.  There are other places in the world that naturally hails.  The world had never seen the likes of such a plague and certainly not in Egypt where this kind of meteorological phenomenon was totally unknown.  At the time of the Plague of Hail dew was about the only precipitation that rains upon Egypt.  V18

and the fire went earthward…In Egypt, where there is hardly any precipitation, this hail signified a major change in the environment.  It proved to the Egyptians just this mere signal from above, could jeopardize Egypt’s existence.  Initially, the announcement predicted only hail.  However, the plague also featured a flaming fire amid the hail.  This unusual and dramatic lightning in the midst of the hail further emphasized the cosmic significance of the event.  V23 

Typically, fire and water do not mix.  Commentaries vary on this flaming fiery hail.    One says, the hail was transparent and filled with fire, like a pomegranate whose seeds are visible within.  Thus, the fire appeared as a source and generator of the rain and hail.  While another, compares the hail to a lamp with a flame burning above the layers of the water and oil.  Here, the water is but a support for the oil which feeds the fire.  V24

Alternatively, it can mean My plagues, as in, this last set of three plagues: hail, locusts, darkness.  The word all encompassing catastrophic and long-term effects on the climate, food supply, and atmosphere of Egypt that brought about these last three plagues.  These changes caused the Egyptians to become sick, some with heart disease, and weakened them for a long time after this plague indicating that it did have a cosmic element such as what we will see revisited upon the earth during the Grand Solar Minimum.

Meanwhile, a simultaneous major natural disaster more than 400 miles away, is now also thought to be an aggravating complexity, amplifying the plagues of hail, locusts and darkness to Egypt.

One of the biggest volcanic eruptions in human history occurred when Thera, a volcano that was part of the Mediterranean islands of Santorini, just north of Crete, exploded around 3,500 year ago, spewing billions of tons of volcanic ash into the atmosphere at this same time.

Not to denigrate the wonders of God but to illuminate how the Laws of Nature may have worked in tandem with God’s wonders, Nadine von Blohm, from the Institute for Atmospheric Physics in Germany, has been conducting experiments on how hailstorms form and believes that the volcanic ash could have clashed with thunderstorms above Egypt to produce dramatic hail storms.

God Smites with New Species

When one is in the middle of instructional judgment it is difficult to contemplate upon the goodness of God.  God loves His creation.  God pitied the Egyptians and their cattle and yet they did not take His mercy to heart.   V 25

And hail struck…the hail smote.  From the ancient pages of the text and legends we discover that during the first few moments there had ensured a new species of hail that was propagated at the speed of lightning, followed by normally moving hail that took a definite time interval to reach the ground.

Had there been only this normal type of hail, many human lives would have been saved, since the people would have taken cover in caves or behind boulders or in tents as soon as they saw the tell-tale lightning bolts that usually precede the onset of thunder and rain and hail. But the initial onslaught was anything but normal hail.

Only in our day and time can we appreciate the words a new species of hail.  We live in a day and age where engineers are tearing apart God’s creation and engineering it into a new species.  The following is an excerpt from a government document that has since been purged from the internet.  First let us peek at a few of the Bibliography notations which are very informative:

Fred Hoyle, N.C. Wickramasinghe: Diseases from Space. J.M. Dent, 1979.

Chandra Wickramasinghe: Cosmic dragons: life and death on our planet. 2001

Ruprecht Jaenicke: “Abundance of cellular material and proteins in the atmosphere“.

WD Hamilton and TM Lenton: “Spora and Gaia: how microbes fly with their clouds“. Ethology Ecology & Evolution, 1998

Ruprecht Jaenicke, Sabine Matthias-Maser and Sabrine Bruber: “Omnipresence of biological material in the atmosphere”Environ. Chem, 2007

Most Active Ice Nucleators are Biological!

The most active ice nucleators are biological in origin, declare Christner, et al. in their paper recently published in Science(February 29, 2008). “This is important because the formation of ice in clouds is required for snow and most rainfall. Dust and soot particles can serve as ice nuclei, but biological ice nuclei are capable of catalyzing freezing at much warmer temperatures”, the researchers explain. In other words, a mechanism exists whereby snowflakes and other precipitation can form when cloud temperatures in the troposphere are relatively warm. What do Christner, et al., mean by “biological”?

By “biological” Christner, et al., mean “proteins or protenaceous compounds“. (11-13)

Three schools of thought exist on the origin of biological ice-nucleators in the troposphere. The first school, exemplified by researcher David Sands, theorizes that biological ice nucleators originate on Earth as part of what he calls the “bio-precipitation cycle”, i.e., biological ice nucleators are carried up from the Earth. “Bacteria form little groups on the surface of plants. Wind then sweeps the bacteria into the atmosphere, and ice crystals form around them. Water clumps on to the crystals, making them bigger and bigger. The ice crystals turn into rain and fall to the ground. When precipitation occurs, then, the bacteria have the opportunity to make it back down to the ground. If even one bacterium lands on a plant, it can multiply and form groups, thus causing the cycle to repeat to itself.” Sands adds, “We think if (the bacteria) couldn’t cause ice to form, they couldn’t get back down to the ground. As long as it rains, the bacteria grow”.

Schnell and Vali also belong to the first school of thought. In the early and mid-1970s, they noted, “Much of the natural ice nuclei found at the earth’s surface may be of biogenic origin, and the abundance of these nuclei was found to have a clear correlation with climate. Some tentative values were also given for the efflux of nuclei from the surface to the air.  Data were presented which point to regional variations in the concentrations of atmospheric ice nuclei with the pattern of variation paralleling the availability of nuclei at the surface. The correlation between these two patterns suggests that perhaps a dominant fraction of natural atmospheric ice nuclei originates from biological materials”.

The second school of thought exemplified by Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe is that biological ice-nucleator bacteria and other biologic entities in the troposphere and stratosphere come from space. Wickramasinghe notes, “Interstellar dust grains populate the vast open spaces between stars of the Milky Way, showing up as a cosmic fog, dense enough in many directions to blot out the light of distant stars. Remarkably these dust grains can be shown to be of a size that would be typical for a bacterium, a micrometer, or less”.   In addition, he notes, cometary organic molecules arrive [to Earth] plentifully, at an average rate of several tones per day and that investigators have confirmed the existence of microorganisms in the stratosphere. The bacteria, viruses and other organisms reach the troposphere from the stratosphere through a process of sedimentation, he conjectures.

The third school of thought relating to the microbiology of the atmosphere suggests the existence of at least two contemporaneous populations of organisms. One population consists of common Earth bacteria, viruses, and fungi that are carried on a relatively regular basis by phenomena such as blue lightning and fire-associated storms into the atmosphere. The second population consists of bacteria that are of non-terrestrial origin (from space).

Some Implications of Biometeorology

The role of microorganisms in meteorological phenomena and in atmospheric processes has implications for human and veterinary medicine, agriculture, and the effect of the biosphere on climate change. For example, in human, animal, and plant medicine, bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the bioprecipitation cycle may be pathogens that use the cycle to disperse from one place to another. Interestingly, Sir James Murray, MD, published on November 24, 1847, his observations on the potato murrain (fungus) that caused the potato crop failure in Ireland in 1847. He attributed the potato crop failure to electrical agency and excess moisture in the air and clouds. “During the last season,” he wrote, “the clouds were charged with excessive electricity, and yet there was little or no thunder to draw off that excess form the atmosphere. In the damp and variable autumn this surcharge of electrical matter was attracted by the moist, succulent, and pointed leaves of the potato”.

Hoyle and Wickramasinghe are ardent proponents of the theory that diseases that infect humans, animals, and plants originate in space, including the SARS epidemic of 2002-2003. Some of their ideas follow below:

The injection from space of evolved microorganisms that have well-attested terrestrial affinities raises the possibility that pathogenic bacteria and viruses might also be introduced. The annals of medical history detail many examples of plagues and pestilences that can be attributed to space incident microbes in this way. New epidemic diseases have a record of abrupt entrances from time to time, and equally abrupt retreats. The patterns of spread of these disease, as charted by historians, are often difficult to explain simply on the basis of endemic infective agents. Historical epidemics such as the plague of Athens and the plague of Justinian come to mind.”

“In more recent times the influenza pandemic of 1917-1918 bears all the hallmarks of a space incident component: ‘The influenza pandemic of 1918 occurred in three waves. The first appeared in the winter and spring of 1917-1918.  The lethal second wave involved almost the entire world over a very short time.  Its epidemiologic behavior was most unusual. Although person-to-person spread occurred in local areas, the disease appeared on the same day in widely separated parts of the world on the one hand, but, on the other, took days to weeks to spread relatively short distances.”

“Also well documented is that, in the winter of 1918, the disease appeared suddenly in the frozen wastes of Alaska, in villages that had been isolated for several months. Mathematical modeling of epidemics such as the one described invariably involves the ad hoc introduction of many unproven hypotheses—for example, that of the superspreader. In situations where proven infectivity is limited only to close contact, a superspreader is someone who can, on occasion, simultaneously infect a large number of susceptible individuals, thus causing the sporadic emergence of new clusters of disease. The recognition of a possible vertical input of external origin in conspicuously missing in such explanations.” (18-22)

“With respect to the SARS outbreak, a prima facie case for a possible space incidence can already be made. First, the virus is unexpectedly novel, and appeared without warning in mainland China. A small amount of the culprit virus introduced into the stratosphere could make a first tentative fall out East of the great mountain range of the Himalayas, where the stratosphere is thinnest, followed by sporadic deposits in neighboring areas. If the virus is only minimally infective, as it seems to be, the subsequent course of its global progress will depend on stratospheric transport and mixing, leading to a fall out continuing seasonally over a few years. Although all reasonable attempts to contain the infective spread of SARS should be continued, we should remain vigilant for the appearance of new foci (unconnected with infective contacts or with China) almost anywhere on the planet. New cases might continue to appear until the stratospheric supply of the causative agent becomes exhausted.”

Supernatural Hail

There was hail…Although the rain and hail now continued to come down at a normal velocity, requiring a definite span of time to reach the ground, while the associated fire-possibly ionized particles or ball lightning, moved at greater speed, and should therefore have reached the ground ahead of the hail, the narrative stresses to the contrary.  That there was fire flashing amidst the hail and this phenomenal blend of hail and fire came down at the speed of hail, both arriving simultaneously.

Lightning…Just imagine the worse lightning storm that you have witnessed-fire flashing, striking the ground, streaming to the ground,  See Psalms 78:48105:52148:8.

Flashing…This fiery hail includes: fire darting, fire jumping, deadly fire, self-contained fire (fire that grasped itself.  The fire was self-contained within the hailstorm otherwise it would have caused the hail to melt), fire holding itself or in essence cleaving to hail, lightning flashes in quick succession, incessant fire, mass of fire, forked lightning, some say this hail included a meteor shower.  The imagery is very similar to the vision of the Divine Chariot that is flashing fire and brilliance surrounding it in Ezekiel 1:4.  In the Plague of Hail the fire within the hailstones and sparks radiated from it and shone.

Supernatural, God’s thunder. At the command the supernatural thunder of God ceased but reappeared at Mount Sinai at the giving of the Torah.  V9:28

The first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up.  Revelation 8:7

Mingled, very grievous hail such as the likes had never been seen in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.  Mingled, in this context means catching hold of itself like a chain, which I find extremely provocative as the hybrid Blockchain comes online in an arid environment similar to Egypt.  Coincidence?  V24

When a subject noun is repeated in Scripture such as: ‘hail, hail’ it does not mean the same thing. Oftentimes, it refers to two distinct and different things, in this case hail. 

In my research on Geo-Engineering a Biblical Approach I discovered that Legend has it that the hailstones were 100 pounds in size traveling at lightning-speed carries enormous power, impacting like bullets propelled out of the barrel of a gun, which are lethal no matter how small they happen to be.  These pellets of hail therefore killed instantaneously, any man or beast they happened to strike.  Hail falling at a normal speed is not dangerous enough to cause a great loss of human life.

What does it mean that the fire was flaming within the hail? Specifically, was it flaming within each hailstone, or was it flaming within the hailstorm as a whole (so between the pieces of hail)?

One commentator notes it was “a miracle within a miracle: the fire and the hail mixed

Malbim understands that it was flaming (fireballs) within the storm as a whole.

Saadya Gaon who renders meant “inside of” b’soch does mean “inside of” and the only question is whether the fire was inside the individual hailstones or inside of the hailstorm. Looking at Psalm 105:the word can either mean ‘inside of’ or ‘among’.

Midrashic interpretation was that each hailstone had fire within it.

R’ Aryeh Kaplan translates instead as “hailstorm”, and one other tweak: “fire” means lightning. We thus have a phenomenon that ever-so-slightly bends the laws of nature, rather than breaks them.

Others say:  sounds like it’s clinging to the hail which sounds like it’s within (or at least touching) hailstones rather than just within the hailstorm.

Accordingly, the verse records that the hail struck throughout the land of Egyptboth man and beast, referring to the hail that struck immediately.  It was followed by the natural hail which smote every grass and broke every tree in the field, the verse conveying that while that hail was sufficiently forceful to affect the vegetation, it could not kill living creatures.

Ipuwer Papyrus Account

The Ipuwer Papyrus is an ancient document that provides a possible independent record of the ten plagues in Egypt. It describes a great disaster that took place in ancient Egypt. The oldest copy dates to around 1400 BC, placing it close to the time of the Exodus (circa 1446 BC). The Ipuwer Papyrus is the sole surviving manuscript of an ancient Egyptian poem officially designated as Papyrus Leiden I-344. The poem is known as “The Admonitions of Ipuwer.” A new edition is available now entitled “The Dialogue of Ipuwer and the Lord of All.” Dutchman Giovanni Anastasi purchased the Ipuwer Papyrus in 1828, and it is now housed in Leiden, the Netherlands, at the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities, the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden.

The seventh plague (hail and fire). This hail was unlike any that had been seen before. It was accompanied by a fire which ran along the ground, and everything left out in the open was devastated by the hail and fire. Again, the children of Israel were miraculously protected, and no hail damaged anything in their lands.

The Ipuwer Papyrus says, “Forsooth, gates, columns and walls are consumed by fire” (2:10). “Lower Egypt weeps. . . . The entire palace is without its revenues. To it belong [by right] wheat and barley, geese and fish” (10:3–6).

“Forsooth, grain has perished on every side” (6:3). “Forsooth, that has perished which was yesterday seen. The land is left over to its weariness like the cutting of flax” (5:12).

Plague of Hail Continues

Tomorrow we will finish the account of the Plague of Hail and compare it to prophetic climatic events on earth and the heavenlies.  Until then, be blessed.  (Click to Source)

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Should Christians Participate in the Passover Seder?

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By Michael L. Brown / Townhall.com

Two rabbis argue that Christians should not participate in the Seder, the traditional
Jewish Passover meal. Rabbis Yehiel E. Poupko and David Sandmel, in a call for respect
between the faiths, urge Christians not to engage in their own version of a Passover
Seder, especially if it is led by a Messianic Jew (a Jewish believer in Jesus).

First, they argue, the Seder meal as it is celebrated today contains elements that
were not known in Jesus’ day. So, whatever Passover meal Jesus ate at the Last Supper,
it was not the same as the traditional Seder, which developed in later centuries.

Second, the rabbis feel that Christians conducting their own Passover Seders turn
something that is sacred to Judaism into a Christian event. They suggest that if Christians
want to explore the meaning of the Seder, they should seek an invitation to a traditional
Seder where they can learn as a guest. Or ask the local rabbi to instruct them in the Seder’s meaning. But this sacred meal must not be co-opted by Christians.

How should we Christ-followers respond?

I would first ask a question: How many Christians or churches have their own
Passover Seders? My guess is that almost all are held in conjunction with
Messianic Jews. And that, I believe, is the real rub for these rabbis.
It is common at this time of the year for Jewish believers in Jesus to host special
church events with titles like, “Messiah in the Passover Seder.” During these
presentations, which can draw many hundreds of people, the teaching will
point to Jesus/Yeshua, the Lamb of God, as the centerpiece of the Passover.

He is the One who paved the way for a deliverance even greater than the Exodus
from Egypt. He is the One whose blood redeems us from God’s judgment. He is
the Passover Lamb! So, during the meal, the participants look back to the Exodus,
they look back to the Cross, and they celebrate the Jewish roots of their faith.

“But,” someone responds, “that’s what these rabbis protest. Jesus didn’t celebrate the same meal, and it’s wrong to transform Jewish traditions into a platform for preaching the Christian message.”

Actually, as a Messianic Jew myself— I have engaged in serious, academic
dialogue with my Jewish community for the last 45+ years—I understand this
objection. How would we feel if Muslims celebrated Communion but saw in it
a prophecy of Mohammed, co-opting something sacred to us? But here the
comparison breaks down.

Muslims do not believe in the crucifixion of Jesus, whereas we do believe in the
Passover celebration, beginning with the Exodus and culminating in Messiah’s
resurrection. Jesus did celebrate a traditional (for His day) Jewish meal at
the Last Supper. (Remember: Jesus was called rabbi—not reverend—and the
Passover Lamb: 1 Corinthians 5:7.)

Before they accepted Jesus, many Messianic Jews grew up celebrating the
Seder. Once they came to faith, the Seder took on much more meaning. That’s why
they celebrate Passover in their congregations, and why they teach the Seder’s
meaning at churches. To them, it’s all about redemption, deliverance, the
faithfulness of God and His promises to Israel, and all about Jesus the Messiah.

Why shouldn’t they celebrate it and teach other Believers the beauty and
meaning of the Seder from their unique, Messianic Jewish perspective? And
why shouldn’t Christians learn more about the Jewish roots of their faith?

The stain of anti-Semitism has polluted Church history for centuries; the more
Christians appreciate the Jewish roots of their faith, the less likely this ugly
plague will resurface. Mitch Glaser and Darrell Bock, both Jewish believers in Jesus, answered the rabbis’ argument. They noted correctly that the question of whether or not
Jesus celebrated a Passover Seder by today’s standards is moot. He observed the Passover in the same way as any other first-century Jew. The Seder can draw Jews and Christians closer together rather than driving another wedge between our faith communities.

What concerns them is when Christians do not identify with the Jewish people and the Jewish background of their faith. Moreover, they write, “we simply cannot rob Christians of their heritage in Jesus—especially the events of theLast Supper, which was clearly a type of Passover celebration.”

While Christians remember this Last Supper every time we take Holy Communion, only in the context of the Passover meal do we understand the roots of that momentous meal: Jesus died as our Passover Lamb. As Jews around the world gather for Passover, they have no reason to be disturbed by Christian celebrations of Passover. Rather, I encourage them to ask the questions: Why is this meal important to Christians too? Might
they have some insight?  (Click to Source)

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Torah Portion – B’shalach – After he had let go – Freedom Faith Tests – January 27, 2018

B’shalach – After he had let go

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Exodus 13:17-17:16
Judges 4:4-5:31 (A); 5:1-31 (S)

“Freedom Faith Tests”

by Mark Huey

Some of the details, about the miraculous deliverance of Ancient Israel from Egyptian servitude, are recorded in this week’s Torah portion, B’shalach. It includes particular attention to the ongoing struggles that the liberated nation will have to endure, as the Lord desired His chosen people to replace the burdens of slavery to other people, with a wholehearted dependence upon Him. However, as recorded in this parashah, what God wanted for Israel regarding its principal mission—to be a light, illuminating the existence and blessings available to all from the One True Creator God to humankind at large (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6)—would not come without considerable reorientation of priorities. After all, the propensity of the carnal nature, primarily focused upon self interests and self-preservation, is now released from the oppression of physical bondage to make choices about not only what to do and think, but also who or what to worship and serve. With the goal of the Holy One to possess a holy nation of priests, which will faithfully follow His ways (Exodus 19:5-6), a testing of faith commences, as perceived freedom unleashes the free will of human beings to make choices.

In our Torah reading, the incredible contrast between faithfully following the presence of God in the pillar of fire and cloud—after a phenomenal deliverance with the inclination to simply survive—actually begins with a mention of Joseph’s deathbed desire (Genesis 50:24-25), to have his remains taken back to Canaan rather than be interred in Egypt. Such was the example established and fostered by Joseph, that for the forty-year sojourn of Ancient Israel in the wilderness, the bones of Joseph were finally laid to rest in the plot of land purchased by Jacob in Shechem, shortly after the Israelites ultimately came into the Promised Land (Joshua 24:32). While much can be said about the faith of Joseph, who was used by God to preserve the nascent nation, the fact that he only had vivid dreams early in his life to primarily draw upon for faith—versus the visible appearance of God’s presence in a pillar of fire and cloud for the liberated Israelites to witness—is a stark reminder that God alone will dispense, to different individuals, a certain measure of faith (Romans 12:3). As B’shalach records,

“Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, ‘The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’ Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt. Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, ‘God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you.’ Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness. The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people” (Exodus 13:17-22).

From the onset of our reading, everyone of us should consider the critical admonitions found in the opening statements of the Epistle of James, as the half-brother of the Lord described the unique relationship between joy, trials, wisdom, and faith:

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (James 1:2-8).

It should be noted that after the initial encampment at Succoth (Exodus 12:7), Moses then followed the cloud and relocated the people to the wilderness at Etham (Exodus 13:20), before being told to reestablish camp at Baal-zephon, where they were hemmed in by the sea. It was here, between Migdol and the sea, that the Lord was going to execute a dramatic judgment on the furious Egyptians—who now were up in arms, in hot pursuit, with horses and chariots bearing down on the relatively defenseless Israelites. With their escape restricted by the seemingly impenetrable sea, the frightened Israelites immediately and perhaps justifiably—because of the dire, life-threatening circumstances—began to complain to Moses. But the Lord had a plan to show His power and majesty, not only to the mortified Israelites, but to all who would eventually learn about His defeat of the mighty Egyptian Pharaoh:

“Now the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Tell the sons of Israel to turn back and camp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea; you shall camp in front of Baal-zephon, opposite it, by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the sons of Israel, “They are wandering aimlessly in the land; the wilderness has shut them in.” Thus I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.’ And they did so. When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, ‘What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?’ So he made his chariot ready and took his people with him; and he took six hundred select chariots, and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he chased after the sons of Israel as the sons of Israel were going out boldly. Then the Egyptians chased after them with all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and they overtook them camping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon. As Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD. Then they said to Moses, ‘Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, “Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians”? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.’ But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.’ Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. Then the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen’” (Exodus 14:1-18).

This incredible miracle of deliverance, ably dramatized with some cinematic license in the 1956 classic film, The Ten Commandments, is now described in gruesome detail. So for those who have perhaps been conditioned by such a portrayal of the events, upon reading the following account, one can only imagine how this might affect the minds and hearts of those who witnessed and participated in the Exodus in person:

“The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. At the morning watch, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from Israel, for the LORD is fighting for them against the Egyptians.’ Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.’ So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. When Israel saw the great power which the LORD had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses” (Exodus 14:19-31).

One would think that this extraordinary miracle would be received with the awe and fear of the Lord, and a great respect for Moses, as recorded. This resulted in Moses’ effusive song of praise and worship—which gave all glory to the Lord for His actions of salvation—and should be read for not only its wonderful description of the events, but how it will be, in the future, sung by the saints as a reminder of the power and glory of the Majesty on High (Revelation 15:3). So many other encouraging songs are derived from these words, but note that as a result of this disaster for the Egyptian army, the other powers of the region were to be terrified:

“Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and said, ‘I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; the horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea. The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him. The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is His name.Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; and the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea. The deeps cover them; they went down into the depths like a stone. Your right hand, O LORD, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy. And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You; You send forth Your burning anger, and it consumes them as chaff. At the blast of Your nostrils the waters were piled up, the flowing waters stood up like a heap; the deeps were congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be gratified against them; I will draw out my sword, my hand will destroy them.” You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; they sank like lead in the mighty waters. Who is like You among the gods, O LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders? You stretched out Your right hand, the earth swallowed them. In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed; in Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation. The peoples have heard, they tremble; anguish has gripped the inhabitants of Philistia. Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed; the leaders of Moab, trembling grips them; all the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away. Terror and dread fall upon them; by the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone; until Your people pass over, O LORD, until the people pass over whom You have purchased. You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, the place, O LORD, which You have made for Your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established. The LORD shall reign forever and ever.’ For the horses of Pharaoh with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, and the LORD brought back the waters of the sea on them, but the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea. Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took the timbrel in her hand, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dancing. Miriam answered them, ‘Sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; the horse and his rider He has hurled into the sea’” (Exodus 15:1-21).

Nevertheless, despite the horse and the riders consumed by the waves of the sea, the march toward Canaan continued in the wilderness of Shur, with an immediate need for water for the people and their livestock. This caused a physical crisis that elicited some more grumbling from the Israelites—because the basic need for survival was being tested—and the natural inclination, regardless of the recent events—took precedence in the hearts of the delivered people:

“Then Moses led 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. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, ‘What shall we drink?’ Then he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. And He said, ‘If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer.’ Then they came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the waters” (Exodus 15:22-27).

After the water came forth to alleviate the need for hydrated sustenance, Moses noted the testing, by stating the demand upon the Israelites to heed the voice of the Lord, to do what was right in His sight, give ear to His commandments, and keep His statutes.

Needless to say, with the provision of water at Elim, the congregation of Israel continued to complain, because the memories of Egypt and the relatively available foodstuffs that they were accustomed to, were no longer at hand. Complaints became rampant, but once again the Lord was testing Israel with hunger pains, in order to execute another miracle that came in the form of manna from Heaven and an abundant supply of quail in the evening. But the test was not necessarily consuming the manna and quail, but instead, perhaps, in the confidence that was required to follow the direction of the Lord to gather manna for only six days, taking a Sabbath rest on the seventh day—a pattern that would require belief and adherence to His commands:

“Then they set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt. The whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The sons of Israel said to them, ‘Would that we had died by the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.’ Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will 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 or not they will walk in My instruction. 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 sons of Israel, ‘At evening you will know that the LORD has brought you out of the land of Egypt; and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, for He hears your grumblings against the LORD; and what are we, that you grumble against us?’ Moses said, ‘This will happen when the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the LORD hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the LORD.’ Then Moses said to Aaron, ‘Say to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, “Come near before the LORD, for He has heard your grumblings.”’ It came about as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘I have heard the grumblings of the sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, “At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God.”’ So it came about at evening that the quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew evaporated, behold, on the surface of the wilderness there was a fine flake-like thing, fine as the frost on the ground. When the sons 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 which the LORD has given you to eat. This is what the LORD has commanded, “Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent.”’ The sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little. When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered as much as he should eat. Moses said to them, ‘Let no man leave any of it until morning.’ But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them” (Exodus 16:1-20).

Suffice it to say, the Lord heard the grumbling complaints, and made provision. As the people gathered the manna on the appropriate mornings, it is noted that such daily bread was to be eaten each day, or it would become foul and inedible. In a sign that He was personally interested in the minute details of everyone receiving the proper amount—everyone, regardless of the amount they gathered—had just enough to be satisfied. But once again, we see that the main focus was on God’s people having faith to observe His Sabbath, rather than simply receiving provision:

“They gathered it morning by morning, every man as much as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt. Now on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, then he said to them, ‘This is what the LORD meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.’ So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul nor was there any worm in it” (Exodus 16:21-24).

The pattern, of taking a Sabbath rest, is an integral part of developing faith in the Holy One of Israel, and it was the primary reason that the Almighty used this basic example to compel the Ancient Israelites to trust in Him for His provision. As is noted in the following excerpt, despite some period of adjustment to the way the manna was to be gathered and consumed, it is notable that for the forty-year sojourn, the Lord provided manna to His people. For, perhaps just as Abraham had to be tested centuries earlier when the Lord provided a ram as a substitute for the sacrificial offering of Isaac (Genesis 22:4), the Israelites needed to learn that their God was the Provider in all things, including basic nutrition:

“Moses said, ‘Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none.’ It came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none. Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions? See, the LORD has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.’ So the people rested on the seventh day. The house of Israel named it manna, and it was like coriander seed, white, and its taste was like wafers with honey. Then Moses said, ‘This is what the LORD has commanded, “Let an omerful of it be kept throughout your generations, that they may see the bread that I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.”’ Moses said to Aaron, ‘Take a jar and put an omerful of manna in it, and place it before the LORD to be kept throughout your generations.’ As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the Testimony, to be kept. The sons of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. (Now an omer is a tenth of an ephah.)” (Exodus 16:25-36).

As B’shalach prepares to close, with Israel relocating to the wilderness of Sin and the encampment at Rephidim, the challenge of a lack of water, once again surfaced. Naturally, this generated resentment and quarreling with Moses, because, despite the previous provisions, and the witness of the pillar of fire and cloud, a lack of faith continued. This time, the Lord instructed Moses to strike at the rock at Horeb, which resulted in a gushing forth of water, slaking the parched lips of the Israelites. But once again, the people were found to be establishing a pattern of grumbling, complaining, and even quarrelling to the point of threatening the life of Moses. The lack of faith in the presence and provision of the Holy One, was becoming quite troubling:

“Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, ‘Give us water that we may drink.’ And Moses said to them, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?’ But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, ‘Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?’ So Moses cried out to the LORD, saying, ‘What shall I do to this people? A little more and they will stone me.’ Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.’ And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. He named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the LORD, saying, ‘Is the LORD among us, or not?’” (Exodus 17:1-7).

Finally, with the incomprehensible question looming as to whether the Lord was among Israel, He allowed for yet another example of His love for His people as the dreaded Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:2-3) threatened to destroy them militarily. Given the precise instructions on how Moses was to station himself on the top of the hill, with his hands and staff extended to prevail over the warring Amalekites, his personal need to have assistance from Aaron and Hur was noted, as faithful Joshua led the counterattack:

“Then Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.’ Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set. So Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write this in a book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.’ Moses built an altar and named it The LORD is My Banner; and he said, ‘The LORD has sworn; the LORD will have war against Amalek from generation to generation’” (Exodus 17:8-16).

It is here in these concluding remarks, that a key, identifying title for the Holy One is mentioned. ADONAI nissi reminded not only the Israelites then—but Messiah followers today—that He is indeed a powerful banner of victory over His own people. Furthermore is the reminder that the descendants of Esau, through Amalek’s line (Genesis 36:12), would be perpetually at war with the saints down through the generations, despite the command to eliminate them given in this memorial account.

As our Torah reading closes, there is a stark reminder that the Almighty has and will continue to use tests to challenge the faith and perseverance of those who have ostensibly been freed from the bondage of sin, but may still be struggling with the inclinations of the flesh. May each of us learn from what we have read, and by faith be able to overcome the trials and tests of life, in order to accomplish all of the good works that the Father has foreordained for each and everyone of His chosen children.

“Shema Yisrael” – Yitro (Jethro) – Torah Scope – JANUARY 17, 2014

After considering what has thus far transpired in the Book of Exodus, this week’s Torah portion, Yitro, involves one of the most memorable scenes outside of the deliverance from Egypt. It is in this reading where the Lord visits Mount Sinai and delivers the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19:1-20:17). The Ancient Israelites were deathly afraid of what was taking place, and so Moses has to explain what the intention of this awesome scene is intended to mean for them:

“Then they said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.’ Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin’” (Exodus 20:20).

Here at the bottom of Mount Sinai, the people of Israel actually hear the voice of the Lord. One would think that this would be a blessed event, but from the reaction recorded, we read that the people were absolutely terrified by the Voice:

“All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance…So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was. Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven”’” (Exodus 20:18, 21-22).

Prior to this time since the Exodus from Egypt, the Lord had chosen to communicate to Israel through His intermediary Moses. For the most part, the Israelites were quite content with this means of communication. After all, a considerable amount of the information that came to them from Moses was very encouraging. Consider some of earlier statements from Moses just prior to the Divine declaration of the Ten Commandments:

“‘“Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.’ So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the Lordhad commanded him. All the people answered together and said, ‘All that theLord has spoken we will do!’ And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord” (Exodus 19:5-8).

Here, the Lord communicates a fairly simple if/then formula for Israel to become a holy nation of priests. It conveys the mission of what they are to do as intermediaries between the Creator and the rest of the Earth. It should have been something very hopeful to those who really were ready to enter into God’s purpose and no longer be slaves at the behest of Egypt.

The Israelites had just witnessed a great deliverance from the Egyptians and had only been in the desert several months. The Lord was fighting their battles. Their basic daily nourishment was provided for by the morning arrival of manna. They were probably feeling pretty confident about their relationship with Him. Without much hesitation, upon hearing what God was calling them to do, they responded to the proposal with these affirming words:

“All the people answered together and said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do!’ And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord” (Exodus 19:8).

Remarkably, the Scriptures record that all of the people agreed to do all that the Lord had spoken. This was apparently a sincere response. But little did the Ancient Israelites understand the magnitude of their commitment. At this point in the narrative, we see their response to the Lord, but not a huge amount of instruction on what it means to specifically follow and obey Him is given. As you can imagine, the Lord is already putting in motion a monumental event that will test the hearts of the Israelites, and ascertain whether they can really honor this pledge of obedience:

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.’ Then Moses told the words of the people to the Lord” (Exodus 19:9).

The Lord is going to accomplish two objectives by letting His people hear His voice. First, He will let them understand more about His holiness, and how they must consecrate themselves in order to even hear His voice. Secondly, He is going to solidify Moses’ position as their intermediary before Him. Moses comes back to the people and gives them instructions on how to consecrate themselves, before the Holy One will speak to them (Exodus 19:10-17). A period of separation commences, as physical actions start preparing Israel for hearing the voice of the Lord:

“The Lord also said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, “Beware that you do not go up on the mountain or touch the border of it; whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death”…So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people, and they washed their garments. He said to the people, ‘Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman’” (Exodus 19:10-12, 14-15).

The people begin to prepare for hearing the voice of God. Looming in the distance was a dark cloud over Mount Sinai. The people could see, and possibly even feel, the presence of the Lord. They began to cleanse themselves and did not have sexual relations for several days. Limits were set around the base of the mountain. People were told not to touch it for fear of death. Each of these actions was preparing Israel for a profound event. By performing these required things, the hearts of the Ancient Israelites were being focused on the opportunity to hear the actual voice of the Creator.

On the morning of the third day, there was thunder, lightning, a thick cloud, and the blast of a piercing shofar. The moment for God to speak was approaching:

“Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder” (Exodus 19:18-19).

It is difficult to imagine how frightening this must have been for the Ancient Israelites. The noise of the shofar was increasing in intensity. The top of Mount Sinai was engulfed in fire and smoke. As they stood there, the whole mountain shook violently. The people thought they were going to die. After all, it had been much easier to listen to the requirements of the Lord when Moses came back and reported his conversations with Him. At this juncture, Israel was fully engaged in hearing the actual voice of God—and then the Lord declares the Ten Words. Can you imagine how petrified the people were when these commands came forth? The intensity of the fear is recorded after the commands are declared.

With fear and trepidation the people immediately wanted to go back to the former way of communing with the Most High (Exodus 19:20). Apparently, the voice of God was so powerful that the people believed they were going to die. Even after they were consecrated before Him, the Israelites were convinced that they would rather have Moses as their mediator. The fear was that intense!

Interestingly, Moses immediately tells the Israelites that the Lord is using this event to test them: “God has come only in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may be ever with you, so that you do not go astray” (Exodus19:20, NJPS). A holy fear should be instilled in them so that they would not sin and rebel against Him. God is very serious about His people not sinning—something that even until today has not changed!

How about today? Is there something we should be learning from the experiences of the Ancient Israelites? How should we be approaching the Lord?

The author of Hebrews refers to the events we have been considering in the past few Torah readings, imploring how Believers in Yeshua are to take seriously the Divine work of God. His admonition is to not let Believers’ hearts be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, and remember the examples of the past when God’s people have had to be severely punished for their disloyalty to Him:

“Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, where your fathers tried Me by testing Me, and saw My works for forty years. Therefore I was angry with this generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they did not know My ways’; as I swore in My wrath, “They shall not enter My rest”’ [Psalm 95:7-11]. Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Messiah, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end, while it is said, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as when they provoked Me’ [Psalm 95:7-8]. For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:7-19).

In this passage, the author of Hebrews reminds his audience that the generation which came out of Egypt hardened their hearts instead of listening to God’s voice. By hardening their hearts, they did not know the ways of the Lord. In fact, because of their disobedience, they were not allowed to enter into the rest of the Promised Land because of their unbelief. Within his argument is the implication that if such severe punishment was enacted upon these people in Israel’s past, how much more severe punishment can be guaranteed those who deny the more recent (for the First Century C.E.) andeven more serious deliverance via the Messiah’s sacrifice?

We need to remember that according to the words of Yeshua Himself, the ability to hear the voice of the Holy One is something fully accessible to His followers. Today, in this post-resurrection era, we have the privilege of hearing the voice of the Most High. Instead of exclusively having to rely on others to listen to Him for us, we should be striving to listen to the voice of the Holy One ourselves. Remember that our Heavenly Father has sent His Son Yeshua to be the Good Shepherd over His people:

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd…My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:14-16, 27-28).

We know that in this passage Yeshua called Himself the Good Shepherd, and His flock were the people who would hear His voice. Are you part of His flock?Are you hearing the Lord’s voice and obeying Him? If you are, then you should be comforted by your desire to please Him. But if you are not hearing His voice and obeying Him—conforming your life to the example left by the Messiah—perhaps you need to cry out to the Lord for mercy. As the author of Hebrews reminds us concerning the ancient encounter at Mount Sinai, there is a different mountain that we should now be approaching—one even more awesome and profound—as awesome and profound as Mount Sinai enveloped in smoke surely was:

“For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. For they could not bear the command, ‘If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned.’ And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, ‘I am full of fear and trembling’ [Exodus 19:12-13]. But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and [congregation] of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Yeshua, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned themon earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven” (Hebrews 12:18-25).

Here, the warning is to seek Yeshua as the Mediator of the New Covenant. We are reminded that we should not refuse His voice (cf. Hebrews 3:3). If so, the consequences for Believers today are even worse than those from the Exodus generation: You will not enter His eternal rest! So without any hesitation, dear brothers and sisters, remember: hear and obey. Shema Yisrael!

Click to http://outreachisrael.net/torahscope/2013-2014/02_exodus/05_yitro.html

Torah Commentary – Va’era “And I appeared” – Shadows of Yesterday, Substance of Today

Torah Commentary


Va’era “And I appeared”
Exodus 6:2-9:35
Ezekiel 28:25-29:21
Romans 9:14-17
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1tissot_the_rod_of_aaron_devours_the_other_rodsShadows of Yesterday, Substance of Today

Egypt was the greatest and most awesome nation that had ever existed. They had wealth, power, and military stature. No country would have dared to come against the might of Egypt in the days of their glory. But all this would change the day that God opened his appointment book and proclaimed that a new day for His people was about to begin.

What Pharaoh and the people of Egypt never understood was the reason they had been blessed and where those blessings had come from. They had attributed their greatness to the blessings of the god of the Nile River, the god of frogs, the god of this or that object or creature. They failed to see that the blessings they had enjoyed had come from the God of the Hebrews. Egypt had merely been the place He had chosen for His purposes.

The day came when the true God, the God of Israel, chose to reveal Himself to the Pharaoh and to all of Egypt. Each time one of their sacred gods fell, they were given a choice. They could choose to continue worshipping the false gods of their making or turn to the one true God. With each plague the choice was given, and with each plague the choice was made. In the end, Egypt would be but a memory, a memory of another culture who did not understand that their purpose was never about them, but it was all about Him and His people.

As I read through the plagues which came upon Egypt, I do so with mixed emotions. There is a sense of excitement, knowing that just as surely as HaShem brought his people out of a pagan land, a pagan system, and back to Himself, He can and indeed is doing so again in our day. To read about the first exodus in light of the fact that we are seeing the birth pangs of the second and greater exodus sends chills up my spine. However, I also feel a sense of sorrow. It is a sorrow which Moses also possibly felt. Moses was not only a major part of freeing his family from slavery. He also witnessed the destruction of a land he had called home for the first forty years of his life, the country where he grew up. Moses had helped to build the society and culture he was now seeing destroyed before his eyes. In this, I am sure he felt great sorrow.

For over two hundred years America has been a great country. I guess some could say it has been the greatest country that has ever existed in six thousand years of history. It is a nation once based upon scripture and the knowledge of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It has been a homeland for both physical and spiritual descendants of the patriarchs. America was once known for her moral convictions, which were based on the Ten Commandments. America was known for her efforts to preach the gospel to the four corners of the earth.

Yes, America has been a great country, but somewhere in the journey, America, just as did Egypt, has forgotten her purpose and forgotten her God. Because of this fact, the excitement of the days we live in are tempered with the sorrow of watching a land and country that many of us have called home fall to the same destiny as Egypt of old.

The sorrow of the death of the past must however give way to the excitement and thrill of the inheritance which has been promised. For the Hebrews in Egypt, most never grasped the fact that the events they were seeing before their eyes were events destined to take them home. In fact, they had forgotten that Egypt was not home; it was not their inheritance. Egypt was only a place for them to multiply and grow stronger. Israel was home! Israel was their inheritance!

Today, the system of Egypt is not limited to a country, but rather has spread to the complete world which is falling apart before our eyes. It is not the gods of frogs and rivers, but rather the gods of pagan worship, materialism, power, or worship of the creation and not the Creator, which are being destroyed one by one. For those who have eyes to see, we understand that it is God who is arising. It is He who is destroying the false gods of the world. It is He who is preparing to take His people from the four corners of the earth where He has driven them and return them to their home, their inheritance.

The words of Exodus 6:8 were spoken to the Hebrews of Moses’ day. And they are being spoken to the people of Israel today. They are words calling His people home, calling us to our inheritance. Let us not make the mistakes of the Hebrews then and not realize what God is doing. Let us not be so firmly tied to our own Egypt’s that we fail to see and hear His plans being proclaimed in our midst. Instead, let us embrace with great excitement the walk of exodus being revealed to us. Let us listen to the call. Let us realize we’re also headed home. But let us never take joy in the plagues of judgment which are upon a world which has refused to turn from their gods and to the True God.

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