Listen to audio above while reading transcript below (available for download in Word at www.biblestudyministriesinc.com)…
Lord, we just ask that You guide our meditation and our fellowship and unfold Christ from Your word. Thank You for every part of the Bible. Now thank You for Exodus and the balance of scripture concerning the things in Exodus. We commit our time to you now in the matchless name of the Lord Jesus. Amen
We are presently looking at the second half, the second part of the book of Exodus. The first part illustrates how the Lord saves us. It’s a picture book, an album, story, pictures of salvation in Exodus. The same way Israel was in bondage in Egypt, we were in bondage in sin, and God provided a mediator, a redeemer, and God has provided One for us. They were saved by power and by blood, illustrated by the power of the plagues and the power opening the Red Sea, illustrated by the blood of that sacrificial Passover lamb, when the blood was applied to the door. It’s just a picture.
The first part is how God saves us; by power and by blood. The second part is, now that we are saved by power and by blood, what can we expect in our lives? Exodus 13:20 all the way to the end of the book, to chapter 40, are what we call “the blessed outworkings of salvation”. Because I’m saved by power and blood, God has given at least, maybe more, I’ve seen six, pictures; the glory cloud, the song of Moses and the dance of Miriam, the manna, the quail and the water out of the rock, victory over Amelek, the whole truth of Mt. Sinai, and then He gives the great ending with the tabernacle.
Each of those pictures contain a principle. Because I’m saved by power and blood, the Shekinah glory cloud illustrates that I will be guided. That’s a picture of guidance. Because I’m saved by power and blood, He’s going to put a song in my heart. He IS my song and your song. Because I’m saved by power and blood He’s going to provide for me all the days of my life, illustrated by the quail, the manna and the water out of the rock. Because I’m saved by power and blood He’s offered me victory, illustrated by Amalek and the battle at Rephidim.
Now we come to a very important part. Because I’m saved by power and blood, Mt. Sinai, obedience, New Covenant obedience. And because I’m save by power and blood He has guaranteed to put into my heart, circumcise my heart, so I can love the Lord with all my heart, all my soul and all my strength, and all my mind. Finally it ends up with the tabernacle which is just God’s illustration of worship and union with Him. We have those wonderful pictures.
In our discussion we’ve been looking at the fourth blessed outworking of redemption which is victory, illustrated by Amalek, and we’ve been on that for a couple of weeks. I was in the process of sharing six principles of victory illustrated by that story. I’ve mentioned five of them. Let me recite them, and then we’ll move to the sixth. The first principle of victory and most basic is that victory is not a thing but a Person. He IS our Victory. The second principle is that victory is by faith. We’ve got to appropriate the Victor, and not only is the fight by faith, but the victory is by faith, as well.
The third principle we looked at is that we need to be dependent on the Lord, but God has arranged it so that we’re also dependent on one another. Aaron and Hur were propping Moses in the direction of helpless dependence, of depending upon the Lord. I need you and you need me, and we need us; we need each other to keep trusting the Lord. I called attention last time to the fact that victory in that story, Amalek attacked Israel the whole body. Sometimes we focus and say, “There’s Joshua and there’s Moses and there’s Aaron and there’s Hur,” and no doubt there’s individuals. That was his tactic, to wipe out individuals who were at the end of the line and very faint. The point is that it’s a body truth, a corporate truth. Some would say, “Well, God has called some to the hill to pray, and some to the field to fight.” God has called everyone to the hill to pray and everyone down in the valley to fight. It’s not one or the other. It’s both, and it’s a wonderful blend of faith without works is dead. That’s illustrated there.
Then we ended up with that book of remembrance. The principle that we reminded each other is that God wrote a book of remembrance because we are easily a forgetful people, and we need to be reminded. That brings us to the sixth and final principle on victory. This will begin our new material. I consider this to be the clincher principle of this entire illustration of victory. What I mean by that is, if I’ve really entered into those first five truths, then this will be the increasing experience in my life; this last principle.
There’s a depth of victory in this last principle that I believe few believers have ever plumbed, and have ever gotten to the bottom of it. I’m going to tell you up front, this last principle is so awesome. I’ve seen it, and I’m going to teach it, because I see it, but to be honest, I haven’t experienced it yet. I know it’s there, I want to experience it, I pray that God would let me experience it, but it’s so awesome. This principle also comes from Exodus 17:14, “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Write this in a book as a memorial. Recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”
By way of review I want to fill you in on Amalek a little bit. I want to home in on that expression “I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” To me it’s a curious thing that He writes a book of remembrance, that seems to say we need to remember, and in that book He says that He’s going to blot out the memory. In the book of remembrance He tells us how He’s going to blot out a certain memory.
Amalek is a different kind of enemy than Egypt was. Egypt was an enemy and Amalek is an enemy. Exodus 17:16, “The Lord has sworn that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” This is an enemy that’s not going away. If you read the record they were annihilated. They were annihilated in the days of Hezekiah. Literally, it went away. But God said that there is a principle, and Amalek is not going to go away from generation to generation. We’re going to have victory, but Amalek is going to keep showing up, and after you learn how to have victory, you better teach your children how to have victory over Amalek, and they better teach their children and they better teach their children, because Amalek will be there from generation to generation.
It’s true and it’s sometimes sadly true that many have experienced victory over Egypt, but have yet to experience victory over Amalek. Let me mention one of the chief differences between the enemy called Egypt and the enemy called Amalek. Egypt was an enemy that you could see with these eyes. You could see it and you could spell out in words and you could give a testimony, “This is the bondage I was in, and this is what God saved me from.” Exodus 14:10 illustrates, “As Pharaoh drew near the sons of Israel looked, and behold the Egyptians were marching after them. They became very frightened, so the sons of Israel cried out to the Lord.” They could see them coming. They could hear the chariots. They could hear the hooves of the horses. They knew about the swords. They could see that enemy.
On the other hand Deuteronomy 25:17, “Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers and your rear, when you were faint and weary? He did not fear God.” Amalek was different, because this is an enemy invisible. It’s not like Egypt that you could see. Israel knew when Egypt was chasing them, and then they thought, “I’m free. My enemy is not chasing me anymore. I saw them dead on the seashore.” But there was another enemy chasing them, and they didn’t know it. They did not know that they were being followed and being chased. Amalek was hiding in the bushes. He was a terrorist. It was guerilla warfare. He’s picking off people that are stragglers and are at the end, and not running with the group. Amalek was clandestine and was a pain in the rear. He was the one coming up from behind.
Israel got final victory over Egypt. Exodus 14:30&31, “Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hands of the Egyptians. 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. They believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.” That was their great victory and we talked about identification with Christ and what it means when God allows us finally to see our enemies dead on the seashore, to reckon them dead. That’s when they burst into song. Until you see your enemy dead, you’re not going to burst into song. But it’s hard to see an invisible enemy and reckon him dead. We’re called to do that, and I hope we look at a little bit how to do that, but let me apply what it means, first to the enemy that we can see, Egypt, and then to the enemy we can’t see.
Most of the time a principle, and I’m principle minded and I like principles, will illumine an application. If you have a clear principle, applications are easy. Sometimes, and I think this is one of those times, by starting with the application it actually makes the principle more clear. So, I’m going to begin with the application, so that we can really get hold of that principle. Deliverance from Egypt.
I think in this room I know those listening by mechanical means and I know in your experience you have heard testimonies of people who have been delivered from Egypt. They sound something like this, “I was a hopeless drunkard, and the Lord had mercy on me and the Lord saved me.” That was visible, because my family saw that, and my kids saw that, and my neighbors saw that; my job, my boss saw that. Clearly, deliverance from Egypt is an enemy that can be seen and I praise God that He delivered me from drunkenness.” Or another might say, “I was a pornography queen. I was a harlot.” I personally know a pornography queen. She’s been in my home, who has been gloriously delivered from Egypt. You talk about the power of the Lord. This is an amazing deliverance, and I have heard that testimony of somebody saved from an enemy that’s quite obvious. Everybody can see that. Many of us here know about a brother that was wonderfully delivered from rage, from violence, from a temper that could not be controlled. There are enemies that you can see. People, when they give testimonies, are usually testifying, “I was saved from Egypt.” They are enemies that you can see. “God, by His grace, enabled me to have a song and see them dead on the seashore. They are over and they are done.” You get the idea. A life of hypocrisy, a life of an untamed tongue; people know that and they can see that; a life of dishonesty and embezzlement and immorality, or on the other side a religious life – I saw that dead on the seashore. That’s a glorious deliverance.
Amalek is a little more subtle than that. He represents what the Bible calls, God had made provision, and there’s a section in the Bible that deals with “sins of ignorance”; sins that are there but you don’t know about them. It’s like Amalek; a hidden enemy. Leviticus 5:17, “If a person sins and does any of the things the Lord has commanded not to be done, though he is unaware, he’s still guilty, and bears His punishment.” Even though you don’t know it, even though it’s way down deep in your heart, God sees it, and so God made a provision that you could offer and special sacrifice for sins that you don’t know about. So, they not only brought a lamb for sins of Egypt, sins you could see, but they had to bring an offering for hidden sins. Numbers 15:27, “If any person sins unintentionally, he shall offer a one year old female goat for an offering.” So, there are sins in my heart, and there are sins in your heart. If God showed you what they were all at once, it would kill you. It would destroy you.
I remember when God showed my hypocrisy. I thought it was over. A dear man of God came to me and said, “If God showed you what’s really down there…” I’m thankful that He doesn’t show that. As an aside I want to say that’s the danger of morbid introspection, the idea of looking down in your and trying to see what is down there. It’s a dangerous thing to look in your heart and try to find sin. The reason I say that is because it’s so ugly and so devastating. You’ve got to see the Lord before you see your sin. David prayed, Psalm 139:23, “Search me, oh God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts, and see if there be a hurtful way in me. Lead me in the everlasting way.” I think great harm has been done by counselors who encourage you to go back and try to find those youth conflicts, and that ancestral contamination, something that had gone on years and years ago; it blocked you and you need to adjust that block and you can’t until you’ve discovered it. So go down and discover the sin and then bring it to Jesus. I have no more ability to discover the sin than I have to bring it to Jesus. I need the Holy Spirit to do that. We can’t discover our problem and we can’t solve our problem. Let God do the searching. He’s know when you are ready. When He sees you are ready, then He’ll expose that thing and you’ll have grace to deal with that thing.
When David said, “Search me, oh God,” we’re told that the Hebrew of that is, “Dig deep, oh God.” What a prayer, “Dig deep, oh God”! When he said, “See if there be any hurtful way in me, he’s not saying, “Search me and see if I’m doing things that I can be hurt by.” He’s not saying that. What’s the hurtful thing? David is praying, “Dig deep, oh God, and if there is anything in my heart that hurts you,” that’s the hurtful thing. He said, “Anything in my heart that hurts you, reveal it, because I want to live in unbroken fellowship with You.”
I’m to reckon dead the enemies I can see, but I’m also to reckon dead Amalek; blot out the memory of Amalek forever. That idea of blotting out the memory, in the Old Testament that expression “blotting out the memory” is actually a picture of death. It’s a picture of death. Psalm 31:12, “I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind. I’m like a broken vessel.” It’s a place where memories are eventually gone. Does anyone here remember their great, great, great, great grandmother? I don’t think you do, because that’s a place where memories are gone. After a while you are going to forget, even the close ones, and after a while it’s like a footprint on a seashore, and the waves are going to come in, and generations come and go.
Psalm 88:12, “Will Your wonders be made known in the darkness, Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness.” The land of forgetfulness is a picture of death, and it’s just saying, “It’s just where we forget.” When God says, “I’m going to blot out the memory, it’s another way of saying, “You can reckon them dead, too.” We’re going to see how that happens. I want to show you why I consider this the clincher principle of victory. I’m going to give you the seed, and we’ll discuss that. “I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek.” That’s the truth in seed form. What is the same truth in fully developed form? I suggest that it is in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” God has such a victory that He’s going to enable you to blot out the memory of the Egyptians and see them dead on the seashore, and blot out the memory of Amalek, the secrets.
I told you when I began to introduce this final principle, that there is a depth I think in this particular principle that maybe you’ve experienced it and you can help me, but I have not. I am one of them. It’s so awesome. I see it and it’s clear, and I’ll present it, and then may God put it in my heart and I hope He puts it in yours, because it’s just drilling down, what is meant by “no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus”! I’m going to mention four levels of forgiveness, and we’re going to go deeper and deeper and deeper. I’ve experienced the first level, no question about that. And I can rejoice. I’m in and out on the second level. I’ve tasted it, but every now and then I drop back. The third level, the last level, I’ll give it to you, and may God work it, because He wants us to walk in such a liberty that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. There may be more than four. I can’t imagine what they would be. Anyway, let me begin.
The first level is freedom from penalty; no condemnation to those in Christ. Jesus took my sin, He paid my debt, He took the penalty. Brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen, I am not going to hell when I die. I’m going to heaven. I’m saved and I have no doubt. There is no condemnation in my heart concerning the penalty. I am free from that, absolutely free, and I know it. That’s one level. Free from penalty. The second level is a little more complete, and I guess more marvelous; no guilt, no condemnation. I’m not only free from the penalty, but God says that I’m not guilty. I’m justified. You’ve heard the expression, “Just as if I’d never sinned”. Well, that just gives you a clean slate. He’s forgiven me. It’s better than that. You don’t have a clean slate. On that clean slate you have the righteousness of Christ. So, it’s not only just as if I never sinned, it’s just as if I’d always been Jesus, because you have His righteousness now. I’ve tasted some of that; no guilt. I can say, “I know I’ve sinned, I’m not going to hell, He’s paid the penalty.” I’ve asked the Lord to give me the pastlessness of a newborn babe. That’s how free I want to be; no condemnation. But I admit that sometimes Amalek sneaks up and I get on some stupid guilt trip. I listen to the conscience that should have been annihilated, and I believe it. I’ve tasted no guilt, but I know I’m to live under no condemnation. He took my penalty and He also freed me from guilt. It’s a wonderful truth, and I admit from my own self, sometimes I go back and forth on that. I rest on what is true upon the Lord. He quickly brings me out of that.
But there’s a step, the next two levels, as I said, I’ll present them, and I pray that God would make it mine. Let me mention this third level of no condemnation. It’s a truth I love and I worship God for it. I know it’s true. I know that’s how God sees me. I teach it and I preach it, and I long to walk in it. It’s expressed in Zephaniah 3:9, “Then I will give to the people purified lips that all of them may call on the name of the Lord.” He’s talking about the end times, in that day, when it’s finally over. Purified lips; I get that, but it’s what follows that in verse 9, “In that day you will feel no shame, because of all your deeds by which you have rebelled against Me.” Do you get the power of that? In that day you’ll feel no shame because of all the ways you rebelled against Me. It’s one thing to be free from the penalty, it’s another thing to be free from the guilt, but I can’t picture myself standing up, giving a testimony, “I was a liar, I was a hypocrite, and I have no guilt, and I’m not ashamed of that.” I haven’t got that. That’s a forgiveness that I have not tasted.
I look back and I am ashamed of some of things I’ve said, I’ve done or left undone or unsaid. But there’s a depth of no condemnation that says that I’ve no penalty, no guilt, and no shame. I’m horribly ashamed when I look back. Don’t answer. Any of you that free? No condemnation in Christ? That you can look back at your past life, the sins that He’s forgiven, and say, “I remember doing them and I’m not ashamed.” That’s a possibility, and He wants that. You know how I like expressing myself in poetry. This is an illustration that I have not reached that level….
For sin that made my Savior bleed
I hang my head in shame.
But for the cleansing that I need,
That precious blood I claim
I’m still ashamed. But even here we haven’t come to the bottom of no condemnation in Christ, no penalty, no guilt, no shame. Exodus 17:14, “I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” Even if I could be free from the penalty and free from the guilt, and if God would work in it that I’m not even ashamed of all of the dumb things I’ve done, is it possible to be so free that I don’t even remember the memory of Amalek? “I don’t even remember that I’ve done anything.” That’s how free He wants you, “No condemnation.” That’s the victory He’s offering.
I know that’s true in the Lord. Hebrews 8:12, “I will be merciful to their iniquities and I will remember their sins no more.” I hope you are not among those who think that God forgives and forgets. He does not forget. He can’t forget. That would be charging Him with infirmity. He cannot forget, but He can will not to remember. That’s different. He’s not forgetting. He’s choosing never to bring it up, to will not to remember. So, God sees me that free, and that’s the victory He wants for each one of us, “There is therefore now no condemnation, no penalty, no guilt, no shame, no memory of any sin, any pollution.” That’s an illustration of Amalek.
Let me mention them all. He’s the Victor. Faith claims that Victory. We help each other claim that Victory in Christ. We are all involved; the entire body. We need to be reminded over and over again about how to claim that Victory. His Victory is so complete, it utterly blots out the memory of Amalek, from generation to generation. May God give us that kind of Victory!
We now come to what we are calling the 5th outworking of redemption. Please pray for me as we go through this. This is a life of holiness and obedience, new covenant obedience, illustrated by Mt. Sinai. I told you that when we arrived at Rephidim there were two Rephidim stories that were preparing us for Mt. Sinai; the turning the water, from the rock, the water that flowed, and then the victory over Amalek. That was preparation. Here they are going to meet the Lord, and they’re going to see Him at Mt. Sinai in a way that they’ve never seen Him before. I mentioned this amazing meeting in lesson #31. This is lesson #34, so if you can go back in your mind to April 14, then you know all of this. Anyway, I want to revisit an observation that I made in that lesson, and that will begin to prepare us. I would actually like to take another week or two to prepare us to look at Mt. Sinai, and you’ll see why as we get into that.
They are going to remain at Mt. Sinai for about a year. According to Exodus 19:1 it’s the third month, “The third month after the sons of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that very day they came to the wilderness of Sinai.” They are three months out of Egypt. If you take their experience as a picture of ours, they are three months old in the Lord. That’s pretty young. There are babes in Christ, and they have to discover the Lord the same way we have to discover the Lord. I knew nothing when I was three months old in Christ. In fact I think some of you heard my testimony. The first seven years of my Christian life I was just beginning to know Him. In a sense that’s still true. I’m still a toddler and so are you. He’s infinite, so we’re going to know Him forever. We’re always only beginning to know Him.
This meeting at Sinai was going to be a big deal. They were sort of excited on the low level of earth. Their experience of the Lord up to this point had been quite positive. They saw the negative side, but that was all against Egypt, and now as they are preparing to meet God, they are quite excited. They were eye witnesses of those plagues that God sent to humble the Egyptians and to soften Pharaoh’s heart. They were exempted from many of those plagues. They left Egypt quite wealthy, actually, and they remember well that dreadful night when the angel of death passed over and spared those who had applied the blood to the lentil on the doorpost. What a God! And then after that He began to guide them, a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He opened a path for them miraculously through the Red Sea. They turned around and they saw their enemy dead on the seashore. Here is a God that guided them and provided for them and fought for them and fed them. This was a God but He was behind the scenes. They didn’t see Him. They experienced wonderful things, but in a sense He was a stranger to them. They didn’t know God in a personal way. They never met Him face to face. I want to give this as a background to prepare our heart. We can’t just read this Sinai experience “la, la, la”.
Imagine in your own life if there was someone, a stranger, who began to do wonderful things for you, and began to pay all your bills, and pay your rent, deliver you from all of your enemies, make you quite wealthy, guide you, comfort you, over and over again, week after week, month after month He did this for you. Then you got word, “At such and such a time and such and such a place the one who has been your benefactor, who has been doing all these good things, wants to meet you face to face. If I didn’t have Bible light, I think I’d be quite excited and I’d anticipate that day. I’d be discussing with my Lillian, “How can we thank Him? What words can we use? What clothes should I wear to make sure everything is coordinated?” You’d be on your best behavior. You wouldn’t want to make a mistake. You are going to meet this one who has been so kind to you.
Well, the day finally comes for the people of Israel. It started out well. When they got there God said to Moses, “Come up here; I’ve got to talk to you,” and then told the people. Here’s what he said, Exodus 19:3, “Moses went up to God, and the Lord called him from the mountain saying, ‘Thus shall you say to the house of Jacob, tell the sons of Israel, “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on eagle’s wings and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you’ll obey My voice and keep my covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine. You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” These are the words you shall speak to the sons of Israel.’” Isn’t that a great word? Wow!
So, it was glorious and Moses went down and said, “God told me to tell you that He’s the One that brought you ought of Egypt, He’s the One that took you on eagle’s wings, He wants you to be His possession, He’s the King of the earth, He wants you to be a special kind of people, a kingdom of priests to Him.” They were pretty excited, “We’re going to meet Him, finally after all this time.” How else could they respond? Verse 7, “Moses came and called the elders of the people and sat before them all these words that the Lord commanded him. All the people answered together and said, ‘All the Lord has spoken we will do,’ and Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord.” So far, so good.
At this point everything changed. Their excitement was very quickly turned to shock. This One who had been so kind, all of a sudden He appears in a different way. Let me show you step by step. The first command is in Exodus 19:10&11, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go to the people, consecrate them today. Tomorrow let them wash their garments and let them be ready for the third day. On the third day the Lord will come down from Mt. Sinai in the sight of all the people.” So, Moses came down and he said, “Alright, here’s the word, ‘Consecrate yourselves, even you married people, stay apart for three days, wash all your clothes. Don’t you dare come with a garment that hasn’t been washed.’” Verses 12&13, “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 be put to death. No hand shall touch Him. He shall surely be stoned or shot through, whether beast or man, he shall not live. When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they shall come to the mountain.’” Try to enter into this now, “After you wash all your clothes, sanctify yourselves,” and then Moses drew a line around the front of the mountain and said, “Now, don’t cross that line. If you cross that line you’re dead and you better tie up your dog because if the dog goes over the line the dog is dead. You better watch your sheep and your herds. If you have a cat, any animal that crosses that line is dead. Are you still excited to meet Him?
Try to see what is happening here. This is an amazing thing. The third day arrives, the day of the meeting, and there was a beautiful sunrise and three little birds chirping. Verse 16, “It came about on the third day when it was morning that there was thunder, lightning flashes, a thick cloud upon the mountain, a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.” This is the day of meeting and you have your best clothes on and they are all clean and you have all your animals penned up. You are going to meet God. Thunder, lightning, flashes, thick clouds, a loud sound, and everyone is trembling. You are going to meet your benefactor, the One who loves you, who wants you to be His people, who wants you to be a kingdom of priests.
This is a different view, a view that they never had before. Verse 17, “And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God. They stood at the foot of the mountain.” The Holy Spirit adds to the scene, verse 18&19, “Mt. Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire. It’s smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace. The whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet sounded louder and louder Moses spoke and God answered Him with thunder.” The New Testament adds this description of that event, Hebrews 12:18, “You’ve not come to a mountain that can be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, to a blast of a trumpet, the sounds of words which sounds were such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them, for they could not bear the command that even if the beasts touches the mountain it will be stone. So terrible was the sight, that Moses said, ‘I am full of fear and trembling.’” We read it, “Oh, they got to Sinai…” This is a tremendous thing!
I want you to follow the back and forth between God and the people. Exodus 19:20, “The Lord came down on Mt. Sinai to the top of the mountain and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain. Moses went up.” Don’t forget this guy is over eighty years old, and he’s got to climb this mountain. He’ll eventually have gone up more than fifteen times and down. Exodus 19:21, “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down and warn the people that they do not break through to the Lord to gaze and many of them perish.’” God said, “Come on up here, Moses.” Moses went up and God says to go down and tell them. Moses is going to argue with God. He says, “No need for that. I’ve already told them.” Verse 23, “Moses said to the Lord, ‘The people cannot come up to Mt. Sinai. You warned us by saying, ‘Set bounds about the mountain and consecrate it.’” God responds in verse 24, “And the Lord said to him, ‘Go down and come up again, you and Aaron with you. Do not let the priests and the people break through to come to the Lord, or He will break forth upon them.’ Moses went down to the people and told them.” God says, “Come on up here,” and then he comes up and then God says, “Go down and tell the people.” He said to go down and then come back. So Moses is back and forth, back and forth, and he’s trembling according to the New Testament.
What happens next? God spoke all these words saying, “I’m the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” I’ve done the donkey work; you can check on it. Now Moses is down. He’s not talking from the mountain. He’s down with the people, and God identifies Himself, Exodus 20:2, “I’m the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt out of the house of slavery.” If you read that, He gives the Ten Commandments. You need to understand, we’re going to see Moses go up and God is going to write it with His finger the Ten Commandments, but that didn’t happen yet. God is speaking the Ten Commandments audibly, out loud before there is ever commandments written on stone. What did the people hear?
Exodus 20:18, “The people perceived the thunder and lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, the mountain smoking. When the people saw it they trembled and stood at a distance.” They are backing off. We see something like that in the New Testament. On the Damascus Road when the Apostle Paul the Lord’s greatest enemy became the Lord’s greatest friend. He gives his testimony years later in Acts 22:6, “It happened when I was on my way approaching Damascus, about noontime a very bright light flashed from heaven all around me and I fell to the ground. I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene whom you are persecuting.’ Those who were with me saw the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking.” Only Saul understood the voice.
Just before the cross our Lord Jesus called out to the Father, John 12:28, “Father, glorify Thy name. Then a voice came out of heaven, ‘I’ve both glorified it and will glorify it again.’ So then the crowd of people that stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered. Others were saying that an angel spoke to them.” They didn’t get it. They heard thunder. The Lord came down with Moses, before it was written on stone, and gave the Ten Commandments, and they never heard it. They just heard thunder. They didn’t hear it, that “Thou shalt not have any other gods before you.” He said it and he said it to all the people but they didn’t get it. It was then that they cried out, Exodus 20:19, “They said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we’ll listen. Let not God speak to us or we’ll die.’” This is a great day. You are going to meet your benefactor, and now they say, “No way. We don’t want to meet Him. We are terrified. You go. Way deep in their heart they were saying, “The only way we could ever meet Him is through a mediator.” This is in the seed, and we’ll develop that as we go along, but their hearts are saying, “There’s no way I can face this God apart from a mediator.”
To continue to prepare our hearts for this experience at Sinai I want to show you the great misconception. The great misconception that they had at Mt. Sinai and that has continued to this day. What conclusion did they draw? Exodus 19:8, “And all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do.’ Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord.” Exodus 20:19, “Then they said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself. We’ll listen. Let not God speak to us, or we’ll die.’” Exodus 24:3, “Moses came down and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances, and all the people answered with one voice and said, ‘All the words the Lord has spoken we will do.’” Verse 7, “He took the book of the covenant, read it in the hearing of the people, and they said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do. We will be obedient.’”
The misconception was that God had given them the law so that they, if they were good people and obeyed, they could have a fellowship with God. Joshua faced the same attitude of the people many years later. Joshua 24:16, “The people answered and said, ‘Far be it from us that we would forsake the Lord to serve other gods, for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage, and who did these great signs in our sight and preserved us through all the way through which we went among the people and through the midst of those we passed. And the Lord drove out from before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. We will serve the Lord.” Joshua responded, “Joshua said to the people, ‘You will not be able to serve the Lord. He is a holy God. He’s a jealous God.’” The misconception is that God gave the law so that I will obey it, and if I obey it I can have a sweet fellowship with Him. Joshua said, “The only problem with that is you can’t obey.”
That misconception was held by the Jews, and in fact is still held today. Romans 10:4, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. I testify about them. They have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge, not knowing about God’s righteousness, seeking to establish their own. They did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, to everyone who believes.” No problem with the law. Romans 7:12, “The law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” The problem, Romans 8:3, “For what the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did…” The problem is here; the flesh. It’s not the law. The law is perfect, as we’re going to see. Galatians 2:16, “Knowing a man is not justified by the works of the law, but through faith in Christ Jesus. Even we who have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ, not by the works of the law. By the works of the law no flesh will be justified.” No circumcised flesh or uncircumcised flesh.
I want to do one more thing before we wrap up. Again, we’re not ready for Sinai, and you’ll see why. God has given 59 chapters for this one year, and so it’s going to take some background to get into this. I want to stand back and want to show you God’s salvation first as a plan, but you know better. Salvation is a Person. It’s not a plan. I want to show you first salvation first as a plan. I don’t want to get lost in academics but I want to show you that God’s plan of salvation is the same from age to age. It’s a dangerous thing for somebody to think, “I can be saved by good works,” and some say it’s a mixture and not just law; it’s law plus His mercy, that He’ll have mercy on me. I’ll do my best and if I make mistakes He’ll cover that up. You might be surprised to know that there are those who actually believe that God has more than one plan of salvation.
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of dispensational theology. I was introduced to that as a student at Moody Bible Institute. Thankfully, present dispensationalists have backed off some of the early ideas of the dispensationalists. One of them you might recall, C. I Scofield, and the Scofield Bible. They have the new Scofield Bible. I agree more with the new Scofield than the old. I do have a problem, because after he died they changed his notes. I don’t think that’s right. I think he was wrong, but he had a right to be wrong. I think they just kept the name Scofield because it was so popular. They could sell Bibles. But the new Scofield is not Scofield at all. Anyway, he had a note in John 1:17, in the old Scofield, “As a dispensation, grace begins with the death and resurrection of Christ. The point of testing is no longer legal obedience as a condition of salvation, but acceptance or rejection of Christ.” So, he says the point of testing is no longer legal obedience as a condition of salvation. Scofield believed that the Old Testament Jews were not saved like you’re saved. They were saved by works. It was a matter of obedience to the Lord.
Dispensationalists today try to defend him and say that’s not what he meant. I think that shouldn’t be what he wrote. At least he was careless when he wrote it. I’m not trying to condemn Scofield or I’m not trying to acquit him either. I just am nervous about the statement he made as a safeguard of thinking that God has more than one plan of salvation. Dispensational teaching teaches that God changes his methods from age to age and generation to generation. They get big on the covenants, starting a covenant with Adam and one with Noah and one with Abraham and then one with Moses and one with David, and so on. Some dispensationalists say there are seven, some say four, some say four to eight, and some say two dispensations.
Anyway, I was taught that God had two plans of salvation, and not only that, but two kinds of salvation. IN other words, they say that salvation for the church begins at Pentecost and will end at the rapture. Anybody living then becomes part of the church if they get saved. So, if the Jews get saved from the Pentecost to the rapture, then they become part of the church. But if they are before that, they have no part in the church. And if there are those who get saved during the tribulation after the rapture, or in the millennium, then they have no part in the church. They say that Christ loved the church and gave His life for it, but one dispensationalist said, “The Lamb belongs to the church. They have the King.” What do you think about something like that? Those from Adam to Pentecost are not part of the church, and not part of the bride and are not born again and they never have the indwelling Holy Spirit and they will never experience intimate union with Christ. Only the church gets that. They separate the church and the Jews, and they say they’ll never come together, even in eternity. They say there’s a difference between the bride of Christ and the wife of God, the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God, the earthly people and the heavenly people.
The late Vernon McGee following Darby who was a rigid dispensationalist, said that the Old Testament Jews may be given a privilege to visit us in the New Jerusalem, but they can never live with us. They will be the earthly people forever on the earth. We are the heavenly people in heaven. We get the blessing and they don’t. All of that to say that’s not a change in method. You can’t be a Christian and study the Bible and not believe there are not dispensations. There are, but this is not a change in His method. This is a change in His character, to have two salvations, two people, Jewish people and then heavenly people. In every age and dispensation nothing but a perfect sacrifice could ever satisfy and holy God. I’m going to show you through time how the Bible rejects that idea. It’s always Acts 4:12, “There is salvation in no one else. There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.” That’s true now and that was true then.
To understand God’s unchanging heart we need to understand the eternity of the cross. 1 Peter 1:19, “Knowing you were not redeemed with perishable things, like silver and gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless; the blood of Christ. He was foreknown before the foundation of the earth.” Revelations 13:8, “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth.” There’s a two fold truth. Christ died. When did He die? In eternity past, in the mind, heart, will, purposes of God; the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth, and He died in time. The fact that He died in eternity past was the guarantee that He’s going to die in history, and He’s going to die in time. It’s not a contradiction. Don’t feel sorry for Old Testament saints.
I look at Enoch and Joseph and Daniel and I’m telling you, they didn’t have less. Moses saw the reproach of Christ. Abraham saw the day of Christ. Isaiah saw Christ high and lifted up, and it’s called the “church in the wilderness”. Now some would not go as far as I would go, but I have no problem saying Old Testament saints were born again and that they were filled with the Spirit, and I don’t see anything in difference whatsoever. Some say the Spirit went on them and for us it’s in them. That’s because they don’t read 1 Peter which says, “The Spirit of God which was in them.” The point is all God’s people in every age and every dispensation are one people.
John 1:17, “The law was given by Moses.” Let me wrap this up by saying that they say the law, Moses, that God gave the law and grace; grace came from Christ. In the Old Testament it law and now it’s grace; they were saved by obedience and we’re saved by grace. What they forget is the Law, the Old Covenant—grace the New Covenant—there was another covenant, and it’s called The Everlasting Covenant. They lived at the time of the Law, but they never lived under the Law. They lived under the Everlasting Covenant, “I will love you with an everlasting love.” God gave Abraham an everlasting covenant. God said through Samuel to David in the book of Samuel, “God has given me an everlasting covenant.” That why they were saved. David lived at the time of the Law and he sinned. You know the sin with Bethsheba, and his sin by proxy of murder, a terrible sin. Wouldn’t you think that living at the time of the Law he’d bring a lamb? He didn’t bring a lamb. He said, “Sacrifice and offering Thou didst not desire.” What was He talking about? Read your Bible. He said, “The sacrifices of God are a broken and a contrite heart.” Where did He learn that? The Everlasting Covenant.
Why do we need a New Covenant when we have the Everlasting Covenant? The New Covenant is the full explanation of the Everlasting Covenant. It’s all grace, from the beginning to the end. There’s one way of salvation, there’s one people, and it’s Christ, Christ, Christ. It’s grace, grace, grace, grace, and all the way through it’s grace. It’s always been grace and God doesn’t have two plans of salvation. That, to show their misconception. It’s going to come to a climax at the golden calf. They said, “We’ll keep it. We’ll obey. We’ll do it.” Let’s see how that worked out when we get there. There’s one other very important introduction I want to give. Lord willing we’ll do that next week.
Lord Jesus, thank You that all You know You’ve inspired Romans 8:1 to mean, “There’s therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ.” Enable us to have that kind of victory. Thank You that You have fulfilled the Law and that You are the end of the Law for everyone that believes. Lord, work these things in our heart we pray. In Jesus name. Amen