Thursday, February 21, 2008

Exodus, chapter 23

1 ¶ Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

Do not lie against someone, joining with the wicked to be a false witness.

2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

Don’t follow the crowd. Just because “everyone is doing it” doesn’t mean it’s good for you to do. Large masses of people are rarely right by God’s standards. Don’t be a politician.

Job 31:34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?

3 Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.

Just because a man is poor doesn’t mean his cause is right. His cause may be wrong. We have the egalitarian idea in America that there is grace in poverty and that all wealthy people are evil. This is not always true, in spite of our experience. Unfortunately, many rich Christians are selfish pigs. But, the social status of a person has nothing to do with whether he is right or not according to God.

Just because a person is poor does not mean that he merits more respect than a person with money. Poverty sometimes is caused by laziness, a poor work ethic, and a lack of willingness to delay gratification. A poor person or a rich person has no virtue by means of their social class.

However, it is more likely, as persons, that we will have contempt for the poor over those with money so we have this warning in James.

James 2:1 ¶ My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? 6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?

4 If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

This would seem obvious but I know some people who would find this to be unfair. “Finders keepers, losers weepers.”

5 If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.

Even your enemy’s animal deserves some help. Help your enemy change a flat tire.

6 Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.

You are not to deny the poor justice. This is why things have gone so far the other way in this country, because of the unfair treatment of the poor and helpless. See Howard Zinn’s history book.

7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.

This underscores the fact that this is a reference to a theocracy with God as the head. It will be the case again in the Millennial kingdom of Christ, but for now we can make spiritual application to ourselves even though doctrinally we are in the Church Age and this doesn’t apply to us. These are God’s standards and we should remember this when making a decision.

8 And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

Someone needs to slap the fools in our government upside the head with this one. They can’t accept all of these gifts of trips and money and assume it’s not going to affect their judgment.

9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

You are not to mistreat foreigners. It doesn’t say to give them your country but you are not to abuse them.

10 ¶ And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof:
11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.

In God’s economy you work the land for six years and let it rest the seventh.

12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.

God entitles us to have at least one day per week off. We’ve been operating 24/7 since WWII and America is burned out. Our production values before WWII, as I understand it, were much higher than they are now. One reason, of course, is that we have to hire people who won’t work but another reason is that we work too much. I have also read that, even with computers, we have an average of ten hours less free time now per week than we did in 1969. These principles would do us well to remember. So, our evil corporate entities go overseas or south of the border to get people who will work for nothing and who aren’t burnt out yet and can be worked to death. The monster has used up this culture and is now threshing other cultures.

13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

Don’t talk about false gods. Don’t put them in your mind. False gods will slowly overwhelm you. False gods today like wealth, sex, and power will demand your worship.

14 Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year.
15 Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty:)
16 And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.
17 Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.

Three times shall the redeemed appear before God. Three feasts, three raptures. The Old Testament saints, the Rapture of the Church, and the Rapture of the Tribulation saints.

Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,


Proverbs 25:7 For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.


1 Corinthians 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

The first part of this verse goes with the Matthew and Proverbs reference and the second part with this;

Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.


Revelation 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

The rapture of the Jewish saints in the time of Jacob’s Trouble is spoken of in Luke 17. The two Jewish prophets who have come alive in the book of Revelation, Moses and Elijah, represent those Jewish saints in this verse.

There are many more verses that easily link up with these that open up the Bible for us. Some came up with Jesus, some will come up when Jesus calls them before the Great Tribulation, and some will come up at the end of the Great Tribulation.

These things make the Bible very simple to understand. The Bible is written in dispensational order, number one. There are three raptures which all three are part of the first resurrection in Revelation 20:5, number two. Examine the Old Testament for signs of Christ, in His first advent and His second. Look for verses that link with one of the Raptures. Three, three, three.

18 Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my sacrifice remain until the morning.

Leavened bread is a picture of false doctrine.

Matthew 16:11 How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? 12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Luke 12:1 In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

19 The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.

Proverbs 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

Why is it mentioned not to seethe a kid in his mother’s milk? The principle is that something about this is perverting. That which nourishes me, destroys me is the meaning of a Latin phrase that is popular among teens today. This is a perversion to God.

Proverbs 12:10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Animals are very important to God and, in spite of all the things permitted, such as sacrifice, that we would consider cruel, there are some basic ways of treating them that God demands.

20 ¶ Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.

This is a beautiful verse for the Christian. The Angel of the Lord is Jesus Christ as I have explained in the Revelation commentary, quite thoroughly. Before He lived as a man on earth He appeared from Genesis to Malachi in the form of an Angel, which is an appearance of someone and, for all practical purposes is that person. Imagine a hologram that can act, someone being projected somewhere else. Read the explanation in the Revelation commentary on Angels.

21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him.

Here’s a strange thing. God’s name is in this Angel, even more evidence of who the Angel is, the appearance of God. Christians should not go around advertising slogans that apply only to him because he’s been bought by Christ’s blood. Christians often give unsaved people the wrong impression and usually because they don’t really love God more than themselves.

22 But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.

The Old Testament is based on works. Do all that I speak. An Old Testament righteous person could obey God completely and claim health, wealth, and revenge from God while a New Testament Christian who has more freedom cannot demand or expect from God the “deal” he would have had under the Law. For instance, God does not respect or honor worldly fame or riches and anything that man holds in high esteem. You can be totally faithful to Christ and go broke, get sick, and die. If you are looking for a business bargain don’t come to Christ under grace.

The intention of the law of Moses was a theocracy with God as the king of the nation. The intention of the grace of Christ is the Lord Jesus Christ as your king, the king of your life, and it is about Him. Under the Law of Moses you expected to be justified by keeping the Law but under the covenant of grace you will be justified by your faith in Christ and, more importantly, His response to it. Their enemies were physical tribes and peoples while your enemies aren’t the queers, the abortionists, etc. but your own sins. Among those sins is apathy in the soul condition of lost people. The Old Testament Law given to Moses was a physical kingdom ruled by a spiritual one. The New Testament rule was to have a spiritual life ruled by a spiritual being, denying the power of the physical over your mind and heart.

23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.

By your obedience to Christ in repentance and by your faithfulness, God will drive your sins from before you, renew your heart and give you a bold witness for Him.

24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

Destroy the idols in your life. Eliminate them. Television, alcohol, sexual perversion, sports, drugs, hunting, lying, gossip, self deception, a lack of mercy, self righteousness. Do not bow down to THEIR gods.

Interesting verse;

Numbers 33:52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places:

Watch out for their pictures. Think on that.

25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.
26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil.

Under grace you can’t claim these guarantees. One of the biggest faith killers in the “Christian” community today is preachers who can’t rightly divide the word of truth and have their flocks claiming promises given under the Law of Moses given by THE King over a physical KINGDOM while they live in a dispensation where the kingdom is inside, not outside, of the believers.

Christ honors the spirit, and the soul’s longing for Him. The flesh is dying. If you are serving your body today, you are running errands for a corpse. The kingdoms of the world are operationally run by Satan. He is the god of this world. Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. Flesh and blood can’t inherit it. How anyone with any common sense can’t see that what God offered to Moses and the Jews is very different than what Christ has offered the entire world amazes me.

27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee.
28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.

Believe this literally. God uses the physical world as He uses people to do His will as He uses weather and natural events.

29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.
30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

Too quick and easy a victory over sin brings demoniac attacks that are overwhelming in return. Do not be frustrated if God takes away your sins gradually and like the sea over the flooded world of Noah asswaging back and forth until they recede. Some sins, when removed, can leave a void that the devils will fill quicker than you can. God’s way is smarter than yours.

Those Christians who have been “good” people all their lives don’t really understand this. Only we who have had prison, violent pornography, and misery from sin can really see the value of this.

31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.

God promised them natural boundaries and a fixed location. Unlike the ideas of many early American thinkers, America is not now nor ever will be a New Israel. I have a sermon given in Congress in 1857 that shows that the prevailing thought of the political religionists was that America was the Promised Land and our struggles were for God’s earthly kingdom, physically here. That’s how you get that blasphemous “hymn”, the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

And judging from the current political contests we are more interested in electing a messiah than a president. Our politicians seem to think that they are more Old Testament Levitical priests rather than simply corrupt scoundrels feeding at the public trough.

32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.

By spiritualizing this for Christians to whom it does not apply doctrinally, as we are not called to invade anywhere, we realize that we are not to make a covenant with false religions or to compromise with our sins. We must be separate lest they pollute our faith, which has happened. The modern Christian mixes the worship of God with the worship of the state, of money, of comfort, and of the corporate empire of greed. Come out of them.

33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.

He’s warning them of the truth they will face. You can’t mix true worship with idolatry.

Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

2Corinthians 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

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