Sunday August 5th 2012
The Letter to the Hebrews
Part Fifty Four
1). Heb 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's command. 24 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.
a). We had seen last week the credentials of Moses as a man of faith having embraced the destiny that God had set in place for him ? having his focus on that which God had said concerning Israel and his role in their deliverance ? thereby rejecting the ?passing pleasures of sin? and the ?treasures in Egypt? as he ?looked to the reward? ? looking beyond all that this world had to offer to the promises of God that are beyond value.
b). We had seen how his rejection by his brethren when he first visited them after a period of 40 years gave us a type for the rejection of Christ by His brethren at His first advent - Ac 7:24 "And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian. 25 "For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.
c). We had seen how Moses time in Midian, having fled from Egypt, provided another type of Christ, who is currently absent from the land and separated from His brethren - Ex 2:15 When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh and dwelt in the land of Midian; and he sat down by a well.
d). And it is by the well of water that Moses encounters the Gentile woman who will be his bride, providing yet another picture of the present
experience of Christ. And we might also see in Moses? positioning by the well of water, Moses? determination to remain focused on that which God had said with respect to His people Israel.
e). Moses spent another 40 years in Midian after his departure from Egypt, which scripture records that he ?endured as seeing Him who is invisible?. And here is a truly poignant picture of patient endurance born out of faith to the saving of the soul as he waited for God to fulfill His purpose for Israel and His purpose for his own life as he continued to walk by faith and not by sight.
f). And this might remind us of the watchword of the Laodicean church as recorded in - 2Pe 3:3 ? knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."
g). Christ remains at the right hand of the Father and will remain there until God the Father sends Him to receive His church in judgment ? And whether we had been born at the beginning of this dispensation or the end of it is of no moment whatsoever ? in whatever time we find ourselves and with whatever time we have we are to patiently endure, just as Moses did, as we keep focused on that which God has said awaits us in the future; focused on that which can only be seen by the eyes of faith - Heb 11:1 ? Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
h). And like Moses we should forsake ?Egypt? and not fear ?the wrath of the king?[the ruler of this age], as we daily kill the Egyptian [the man of flesh] and bury him in the sand, knowing that we are those - 1Pe 1:5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
i). And if we should like some further encouragement with regards to patiently enduring, let?s remember what the scriptures say - Ps 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth.
Isa 40:31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
La 3:25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.
j). And let?s not forget the words of the Lord to the church of Philadelphia ?Re 3:10 "Because you have kept My command to
persevere,[patiently endure] I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 "Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.
k). Our Lord will return, all Christians will be resurrected/raptured to appear at His Judgment Seat, but we have absolutely no control whatsoever over when this will be; we just have to believe, to wait on the Lord, to prepare and then wait on the Lord some more as the forces of evil seek to distract, divert and destroy us through the constant onslaught of the world, the flesh and the devil.
2). And again the experience of Moses provides us with the picture ?
Ac 7:34 "I have surely seen the oppression of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt."'
a). Within the historical context God?s purpose for Israel was certain ?
Ge 15:13 Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. 14 "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
b). And God?s role for Moses in that purpose was certain ?
Ex 3:10 "Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."
- but Moses could not make this happen, he had to wait on the Lord?s timing, hence his rejection by his brethren when he first appeared to them; rather than making things happen he could only wait, patiently endure. And the fact that his patient endurance in the land of Midian lasted 40 years is not without significance. 40 is one of five Biblical numbers that show completion [the others are 3, 7, 10, 12] and is also the number of testing or probation ? and so Moses endured patiently, keeping the faith for a complete period of time ? for the length of time that was necessary until God?s purpose was accomplished ? until Israel cried out to the God of their fathers and He ?heard their groaning?.
c). What we would see here for ourselves is patently obvious ?
Ga 6:9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
d). The next event on God?s timetable is the resurrection/rapture of the church and this has been the reality for the last 2000 years. Consequently there is nothing else for us to be looking for and nothing else for us to be waiting for; and there is absolutely nothing that we can do that will impact the
timing of this ? we just have to wait on the Lord - Heb 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." 39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
3). 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
a). Hebrews 11:28 takes us to the night of the first Passover, the night when Israel?s status as God?s firstborn son is established.
b). And although our verse says, ?By faith he?..? it was not Moses alone who kept the Passover, but the nation of Israel as a whole ? and the whole nation, including Moses, did this ?by faith? - Ex 12:28 Then the children of Israel went away and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did. 29 ? And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock.
c). The Passover speaks of the firstborn and the status of the firstborn son always speaks of rulership and at the time leading up the Passover Egypt held the ascendance depicting Gentile world power, under the governance of fallen angels, over the earth.
d). Now on the night of Passover all the firstborn were killed from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. But there was a distinction made between Egypt and Israel.
e). Each household of the children of Israel by faith killed the Passover Lamb at twilight and by faith sprinkled the blood of the lambs on the doorposts and lintels of their houses ? And in response to their faith that recorded in Exodus 12 would come to pass - Ex 12:12 'For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13 'Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
f). Israel as a nation, as God?s firstborn son, would experience a vicarious death, God accepting the death of the Passover lamb in their stead,
whereas Egypt as a nation experienced the literal death of the firstborn, there was no substitute for them.
g). Israel, dead from God?s perspective, is then buried in the Red Sea, they entered into the place of death ? and Egypt likewise is also buried in the Red Sea, entering into the place of death - Ex 14:21 ? Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
h). But it is Israel alone who experience resurrection, the firstborn son raised from the dead. Egypt, as the ruler over the earth, is entirely overthrown; Gentile world power is utterly destroyed - Ex 14:27 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. 29 But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 30 So the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.
i). It is here then, on the eastern shore, that Israel, raised to newness of life is confirmed as God?s firstborn son and is confirmed as the nation granted the privilege to hold the scepter of rulership and sings the victor?s song.
j). And according to our verse in Hebrews 11 the whole nation of Israel entered the Red Sea, by faith - 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
k). They had believed that which God had said to them through Moses His servant - Ex 14:13 And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 "The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."
l). Now, here is something shockingly important for us to realize ? the nation of Israel ?kept the Passover?, by faith; and they ?passed through the Red Sea?, by faith and this faith is faith equated with faith to the salvation of the soul.
m). Israel?s faith here then must be seen in the same context as that of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, but here is the shocking thing ? despite demonstrating soul saving faith, faith that is commended by God, this whole generation, save those under 20 years of age and Caleb and Joshua perished in the wilderness and did not enter the land and did not receive their inheritance - Heb 3:17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
n). And according to that which we have seen in Hebrews Chapter 3 it was ?unbelief? that brought about their overthrow. They had transitioned from having faith to the saving of the soul to drawing back to perdition.
o). Look what the scripture says of us with respect to this ?
Ro 11:19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.
p). Now, although these words are addressed to all Christians throughout this dispensation and we might readily focus on the state of the Laodicean church which surrounds us we must ?not be haughty, but fear?, for we are by no means exempt from the possibility of throwing away all that God has promised us.
4). So, before we go on to look at the typology presented in Hebrews 11:29-30 we need to pause and consider some things as they apply to us, because the scripture plainly says with respect to the example of Israel that we are studying here - 1Co 10:6 ? Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play." 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
a). That which we see in the night of the Passover and the passage through the Red Sea with the accompanying overthrow of the Egyptians forms a type of the experience of the Christian with respect to eternal salvation and baptism.
b). 1Co 5:7b?..For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.
Christ, our Passover Lamb, died in our place and we received this free gift, by faith ? now from God?s perspective we died and having died we needed to be buried, which is exactly what takes place as we plunge beneath the baptismal waters ? as we emerge from the place of death, just as Israel coming out of the Red Sea, we are raised to newness of life with our old man, the Egyptian in us all, remaining dead on the sea shore - Ro 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
c). As with Israel, so with us; from this point onwards our march is in one direction to one purpose, an inheritance in the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ? this land for us being a heavenly land, the Kingdom of the Heavens and a journey that can only be made in the Spirit ? never in the flesh.
d). And just as Moses spent 40 years in Pharaoh?s palace and 40 years in Midian and Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness, so the course of our Christian life, no matter whether terminated by physical death or rapture, is a complete period of time of testing to prove the genuineness of our faith, of waiting to prove our patient endurance, of instruction that we might be adopted as firstborn sons.
e). You see, as with Israel, so our Passover is inextricably connected with the status of the firstborn son and rulership - 2Ti 2:11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
f). As we know all too well, God has provided for us everything that is needed for us to be successful in our race of the faith - 2Pe 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
- and in this sense the rights of a firstborn son of God are ours to lose ? something that has been the subject of the 4 warnings we have seen thus far
in the Book of Hebrews, warnings that are brought to their completion in the 5th and final warning that we shall study fully when we get to Chapter 12 ?
Heb 12:15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; 16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. 17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
5). During the course of this dispensation the focus for our enemy has broadened so as to encompass not only Israel but also the church, those who would set their sights on a position of rulership in the coming Kingdom of Christ. There has to be a new order of rulers both in the heavens and on the earth and if Satan and his angels could prevent either of these new orders of rulers from attaining their position so his rule within Man?s day on the earth would continue.
a). All this to say that which the scripture puts most succinctly ?
1Pe 5:8 ? Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
b). And as we have seen many times in this scripture, there is just one way for us to gain the victory - that is by resisting him ?steadfast in the faith?
1Jo 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.
c). At the risk of being redundant ? the only way to victory is through patient endurance, remaining steadfast in the faith.
d). Now, as that first generation of Israel to come out of Egypt did not enter in because of unbelief we can clearly see that they did not remain steadfast in the faith and consequently did not overcome the world.
e). Look at what we see recorded here in - Ex 17:1 ? Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the LORD, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Therefore the people contended with Moses, and said, "Give us water, that we may drink." And Moses said to them, "Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the LORD?" 3 And the people thirsted there for water, and the people complained against Moses, and said, "Why is it you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?"?????7 So he called the name of
the place Massah and Meribah, because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, "Is the LORD among us or not?" 8 ? Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
f). The Amalekites were the descendants of Esau?s grandson, Amalek, through his son Eliphaz by Timna the concubine and from a typical standpoint, through their association with Esau, they represent the man of flesh ? but what I would especially like us to note here is that before ?Amalek came and fought with Israel?, Israel had complained against and contended with Moses, God really; even though they had come to this place, ?Rephidim?, ?according to the commandment of the Lord?.
g). Did God know that they would need water when they got there? Had God brought them to Rephidim to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?
h). Such a thought is ridiculous giving God?s stated purpose for the nation ? all they needed to do was to wait on the Lord and He would provide.
i). And I would suggest that there is a direct connection between Israel?s actions and the attack of the Amalekites ? but the details of this will have to wait for next time ? if the Lord is willing.