Date:         Tue, 11 Apr 1995 09:17:56 +0100
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 26
  1. Weekly reading,  Exodus 12:13, Pesach
  2. Psalm 78:51,53
  3. New Testament, Revelation 5:11-13
  1. Weekly reading,  Exodus 12:13, Pesach
  And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye [are]:
  and  when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not
  be upon you to destroy [you], when I smite the land of Egypt.
  Our  text is taken from the well-known story of the exit out of Egypt. In
  this  night,  the  LORD would  go  through  the land,  and  kill  all the
  firstborn.  He commanded that  Israel should take  a lamb,  kill it, take
  from  its blood and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door
  post  of the houses. God would send His  angel to kill all the firstborn.
  But  the  house  whereon  the  blood  was, the  angel  would  pass  over.
  Concerning this blood, our text says: "And the  blood shall be to you for
  a token  upon the houses where  ye are." It is important to  see what the
  text says. It says not that  the blood will be a token "for God", (though
  it was a token  also for Him) but it is "for you". When God had said that
  He would kill  all the firstborn, all  the firstborn of Israel  have also
  feared much. How could they be sure  that God would pass them over? Would
  He not  kill them also?  Imagine, reader, that  you are a  firstborn, and
  that God  says that  He will kill  all the  firstborn. Wouldn't  you fear
  exceedingly  much?  There  was  one  possibility  for  escape  for  those
  firstborn. When they  struck the blood of  the lamb on their  door posts.
  That was the one possibility for deliverance. But how could they  be sure
  that  this also applied to them? It was  through the token of blood. That
  token was "for you"  a sign, namely to  serve as a visible sign that  God
  would pass  over. When the firstborn of that  house became afraid that he
  would be killed that night, he could go out, and look  to the blood. Then
  his fear vanished, for it  was a sign for him. God said: "When  I see the
  blood, I  will pass over  you, and  the plague shall  not be upon  you to
  destroy you." So, how is the first-born delivered? Through the blood, and
  through nothing else.  Not because of his work, how righteous he might be
  (and ought to be). Even the greatest righteousness did not help here. The
  only point of concern was here: Is there blood on your door post?
     Further is said that God would smite  the land of Egypt. For there  is
  written in our  text: The plague  shall not be upon  you to destroy  you,
  "when I smite  the land of Egypt." In the  last night, before Israel went
  out, God would smite the land. Yes, He had already smitten it through the
  preceding  nine  plagues. But  this  plague  was the  last  and the  most
  terrible. This land of  Egypt was a house of bondage  for the Israelites.
  They were  Pharaoh's slaves,  and  had to  build  his cities.  They  were
  bondsmen. Egypt is  a sign of our  bonddage through our sins.  We live in
  this  world, that is, we live in Egypt. This world will be smitten by God
  because of its sins, great and  terrible. This world will be devoured  by
  fire, and heaven and earth will pass  away. In the first years, the world
  was destroyed by the flood of water, but now, it will be destroyed by the
  flames of fire.  This world, that is Egypt, is already being plagued with
  terrible  plagues. Everyone,  who looks  around him,  and who  knows what
  happens in the world, can be assured of it. It creaks,  for the end draws
  near.  But God, in the last night, will lead his chosen out of this world
  of sin. However, our one possibility of escape is through blood.  When we
  have the blood struck on our door posts, then God will pass over us. When
  we not have the blood, we will be destroyed with this world.
     This blood of the killed lamb showed forth the blood of another killed
  Lamb. Jesus Christ,  the promised Messiah  was the Lamb  of God, and  was
  killed. His  shed blood will be a sign  for all who believer  in Him. Who
  have His  blood struck  on their  posts of  their heart,  will be  saved,
  likewise the Israelites in  those times were saved.  Who not believes  in
  Jesus Christ, has not His blood struck on the entrance of his  heart, and
  will be destroyed with this world. To those who fear the coming  wrath, I
  say: look if you have the blood of the Messiah struck on your posts. When
  you see that blood, God will pass over you. But when you are stiffnecked,
  when you reject Jesus,  I assure you that you will be  destroyed with the
  cursed Egyptians.  Therefore, repent from your wicked  life, strike Jesus
  blood on the posts of your door, and be saved. It is the only possibility
  of escape. Another there is not. Who rejects this one possibility, he may
  work hard as he wills, but it will not profit him. God will not pass over
  you when he sees your  hard work, but when He sees the blood  of His only
  begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Son of David according to the  flesh, and
  the Son of God according to the spirit.
     I have warned you. If you not believe, your blood be upon your head. I
  am free of it.  But if you repent, and believe, I  assure you in the Name
  of the  one God of heaven  and earth, that you  will be saved.  It is the
  last chance. Come then  unto Jesus, I pray you. Do not longer reject Him.
  Jesus Christ,  God's Son, is  the prophet  whereof Moses  spoke. "I  will
  raise them up  a Prophet from among  their brethren, like unto  thee, and
  will put my words in  his mouth; and he shall speak unto them  all that I
  shall  command him." (Deuteronomy 18:18) See  in this text, that God will
  put  His words  in the  mouth  of that  Prophet,  that is,  in Jesus  the
  Messiah. So, believe His words, which are God's. When you not believe it,
  listen: "And it  shall come to  pass, [that]  whosoever will not  hearken
  unto my  words which he shall  speak in my  name, I will  require [it] of
  him."  (Deuteronomy 18:19) When  you not listen  to Jesus Christ,  to the
  words which He speaks in God's Name, it will be required of you.
     The blood of  the Lamb of  God, killed on  Pesach, Jesus Christ,  will
  save you from eternal destruction, and will give  you an eternal heavenly
  2. Psalm 78:51,53
  And smote all  the firstborn in Egypt;  the chief of [their]  strength in
  the tabernacles of  Ham: But made his own people to  go forth like sheep,
  and  guided them  in the  wilderness like  a flock.  And  he led  them on
  safely, so that they feared not: but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
  In this Psalm of  Asaf is sung the exit out  of Egypt, the story  thereon
  following, and the great wonders God has done therein.
     God, in  His goodness,  made difference between  Israel and  Egypt. He
  smote the firstborn  in Egypt, but kept  those of Israel alive.  What was
  the  reason of this  difference? Was  Israel better then  Egypt? Were the
  Israelites  of a better race then the  Egyptians? No, both descended from
  the same Adam. Both were men,  and therefore sinners before God. But  why
  did God smite "all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of  their strength"?
  And why did He keep the firstborn of the Israelites alive? The reason lay
  not in  the people, but  in the choosing pleasure  of God. God  loved the
  fathers, and had given them His oath. Because God loved the  fathers, and
  He had sworn  them to give their  children the land of  Canaan, therefore
  God  led Israel out of the house of bondage, out of Egypt. And we do well
  when we keep  this always in our minds.  When we say that  God led us out
  because  of  any  good in  us,  we  become  proud.  Scripture teaches  us
  otherwise. We may not boast in our flesh, but when we boast, let we do it
  in God.
     God  made  difference, undeservedly.  He  smote all  the  firstborn in
  Egypt, "but made His own people to go forth like sheep." Israel is called
  here "His own people". What an honour is this! Being called the people of
  God. It is all in free grace, without any  human merits. God in His grace
  loved  Israel, and led  them out  of Egypt.  He made  them go  forth like
  sheep. We  know that sheep follow their herder.  Likewise God went before
  the nation, namely in  the cloud. The people followed Him  like sheep. We
  know  that, when we have a herdsman like God,  we will never lose our way
  (that means, when we continue after Him, and not choose our own ways).
     Commonly,  a herder leads  his flock on the  good pasture. God however
  did otherwise. He did not lead  them to a good  pasture, but to the  sea,
  and  afterwards in the  wilderness. He gave  His flock no  grass, but led
  them in the stony and sandy desert. But a common herder cannot make grass
  himself  and give it to his  sheep. God however was  not a common herder,
  but One who  made heaven and earth. Was it too difficult  for Him to make
  food for the  people in the wilderness?  I think no; for  God does always
  so.  "He  causeth the  grass to  grow for  the cattle,  and herb  for the
  service of man: that he may  bring forth food out of the earth;"  (Psalms
  104:14) For  God, Who always gives  us the food out of the  earth, it was
  well possible to give  them not food out of the  earth in the desert (for
  there  commonly grows nothing),  but this time  out of heaven.  And so He
  did. He was such a good Herdsman, that He gave them the food from heaven,
  namely the manna. And what was the reaction of the people thereon? Though
  the food was of high quality, "the people spake against God,  and against
  Moses,  Wherefore  have ye  brought  us up  out of  Egypt  to die  in the
  wilderness? for there  is no bread, neither  is there any water;  and our
  soul  loatheth this  light bread."  (Numbers 21:5)  Look, that  was their
  thankfulness for God extraordinary cares  for them: Our soul loathes this
  light bread. A wonder that God not loathed them at the same moment!
     How did the people feel under such a good Herdsman? Our text  gives us
  the answer.  God "led  them on  safely, so  that they  feared not".  They
  believed in God,  and knew that he  would lead them safely,  even through
  the greatest dangers. They went  through the sea, through the wilderness,
  and through the  enemies, but God led them safely.  Therefore they feared
  not, for  their trust was not  put on their  own strengths, but  on God's
  power. They  were led  like sheep, and  we know  the sheep  cannot defend
  themselves against wolves  and bears. The herdsman  will defend them. And
  so God did.  He did it  so well,  that they feared  not. David, in  later
  times, was also  a herder. He  smote the lion  and the bear; God  however
  smote the whole land of  Egypt, and the whole heir of Pharaoh in  the Red
  Sea. David could  not make grass  for his herd, but  God made bread  from
  heaven, and  gave it to them, besides meat  on sometimes. David could not
  make  water, but God  made water flowing  out the  rock. David was  but a
  temporal herdsmen, but  God is eternal. He even now leads us like a herd,
  and we  will do well  when we follow  Him like sheep.  He is such  a good
  herd, that we, when we follow after Him, will never fear in eternity. And
  when we  fear, it is a  clear sign that we have left  God's footsteps, of
  that we no  longer trust in Him. But  when we believe in  God and His Son
  Jesus Christ,  it is also  said of us:  "He shall  not be afraid  of evil
  tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD." (Psalms 112:7)
     Another difference, whereof our texts makes mention of, is that Israel
  went through  the sea safely,  but the Egyptians  not. When Israel  stood
  before the sea,  and their enemies, the Egyptians  were behind them, they
  feared exceedingly much. They  cried, and Moses called  upon the Name  of
  God. Then God said that they had to go forward, for  He would make a path
  through the sea.  This path was not made  for the Egyptians, but  for the
  Israelites  only. And we  see herein  that God makes  a way out,  even in
  situations wherein  we see no  possibility of deliverance.  When all ways
  are shut, and we expect to be killed through our enemies, God will make a
  way out whereof we had never heard, nor expected such a deliverance. This
  way,  however, was not  for the Egyptians.  Nevertheless the  went on it.
  They took the wonder which God had done for His people. And the result of
  that cheek? Our text says it: "the sea overwhelmed their enemies." Israel
  went safely  through the sea, but  the enemies were  overwhelmed and thus
  killed.  And in the same way it will  go now. When God gives us a way out
  of our need, and the enemies take the same way, they will be overwhelmed.
     Reader, will you not put your trust in such a God? Know  then that you
  will be utterly unable to do so, though it is your duty to do it. Look to
  Israel  of old.  They trusted  God sometimes,  namely  after He  had done
  great, and extraordinary  wonders before their eyes.  And even then, they
  often despised  Him as  their Welldoer.  So, when  God does  not a  great
  wonder in your life, how will you trust in Him? Yes, I know, you will say
  that you believe in God. And partly,  you may be right; but words are not
  enough. Real  belief must be  seen in your  life, namely in  a renouncing
  from all  evil, even the  little. As long  as you try  to do that  in own
  strength, you will  fail. You  need a  wonder in  your life.  You need  a
  renewed heart, which only God can give you. "A new heart also will I give
  you, and  a new spirit will  I put within  you: and I will  take away the
  stony heart out  of your flesh, and  I will give you  an heart of flesh."
  (Ezekiel 36:26)  When God has  given you  a new heart,  and a  new spirit
  within you,  and when He has  taken away your stony heart,  and has given
  you one of flesh, then you will be able to put your trust in Him. He will
  do  so to His chosen. He will give His chosen people a new heart, and the
  belief in the Messiah, Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God. Christ is killed as
  the Lamb of Pesach, given by God. He is killed on Pesach, when the people
  remembered their exit out  of Egypt. I command you in  the Name of God to
  believe in Him, and to do repentance.  When you not do so, you  belong to
  the  Egyptians,  and will  be  overwhelmed by  the  sea,  and be  drowned
  therein. The world is divided  in two groups of people. The one  group is
  called the spiritual Israel; namely those who put their trust in  God and
  Jesus Christ, the Lamb  of God. The second group is  called the spiritual
  Egypt, consisting of  the unbelievers, who are fattened up for the day of
  slaughter. To  which group  do you belong?  To Israel?  Then you  will go
  through the deserts  of this life. Do  you belong to the  Egyptians? Then
  you may have  the temporal benefits of this life,  but you will be killed
  in the  Red Sea.  Check therefore,  to which  group you  belong. Do  that
  speedily, before it is too late. Repent, and believe in Christ Jesus, the
  Lamb of God, Who shed His blood for His chosen.
  3. New Testament, Revelation 5:11-13
  And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne
  and  the beasts and the  elders: and the number  of them was ten thousand
  times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice,
  Worthy is  the Lamb  that was  slain to  receive power,  and riches,  and
  wisdom,  and strength,  and honour,  and glory,  and blessing.  And every
  creature  which is in heaven, and on the  earth, and under the earth, and
  such as  are  in the  sea, and  all that  are  in them,  heard I  saying,
  Blessing,  and honour, and  glory, and power, [be]  unto him that sitteth
  upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
  John, the  apostle, had a vision of the  things which happened in heaven.
  These things were revealed to him, like  in the Old Testament, there were
  things revealed to the prophets of that time.
     He saw a vision, and beheld, he saw something. What did he see? He saw
  a throne,  four beasts,  and elders.  And behold,  in the  midst of  that
  throne,  and of the four beasts,  and of the elders,  there stood a Lamb.
  That Lamb stood there as  it had been slain. In old times, this  Lamb was
  foreshadowed by the  lamb of Pesach. That  lamb was slain by  the people,
  and  its blood was,  in Egypt, struck  on the  door posts. Later  on, the
  Messiah  came into the  world. He fulfilled  the shadows of  that lamb of
  Pesach, and was slain. His  blood was not struck  on the door posts,  but
  had a like function. Everybody, on  whom that blood was sprinkled through
  the belief,  was saved from  the angel  of destruction.  In other  words,
  everybody who believed  in Jesus was saved  from eternal destruction. And
  now, the apostle John saw the same Lamb, but in heaven. It stood there as
  it had been slain.
     When John continued  to look in that vision, he saw  more and more. He
  saw, and also heard the voice of many angels round about the throne. They
  stood also round about the Lamb, which seemed to be slain. Jesus, the Son
  of God stood  there, in heaven,  and all the angels  gave honour to  Him.
  John saw also  the four beasts and  the elders, standing round  about the
  throne  and the  Lamb of  God. How  much of  them did  John see?  It were
  exceedingly much  angels,  namely ten  thousand times  ten thousand,  and
  thousands of thousands.  In other words, a huge number of angels gave the
  due honour to Jesus, the slain Lamb of God. The Messiah had finished  His
  task on earth,  namely to bring mankind back to  God. Not the whole human
  race, but  all those who believed in  Him. The human race  had (and still
  has)  the habit  to try to  make itself  pleasant in the  eyes of  God by
  accomplishing much work. They  knew not (and still  know not) that  their
  works were defiled  by their wicked nature.  But Jesus came to  bring the
  chosen  people back unto  God, and He  reconciled them with  Him. All the
  human works  failed, but Jesus finished His reconciling task. He was also
  God, and thus God reconciled mankind with Himself. The believers, who are
  called "the seed of Israel", will be justified in the LORD. They will not
  glory in their own works, but only in the LORD. Who gloried in own works,
  does not belong to God's Israel. For there is written: "In the LORD shall
  all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." (Isaiah 45:25) The
  seed of Israel will glory in the LORD, and be justified, not by their own
  works, but by God.
     The apostle  John saw in his vision, that  all the millions of angels,
  and the beasts and the elders gave honour to the Lamb of God, with a loud
  voice. They  said: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, to
  receive riches, to receive wisdom,  and strength, and honour. He receives
  glory and  blessing for ever and ever. Jesus, the  Son of God, being God,
  receives all honour due to Him. Not only the angels, beasts and elders in
  heaven  gave all the glory to  God, but also the  whole earth. John heard
  that  every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and even under
  the earth, yes,  also in the sea;--yes,  all that are therein  heard John
  saying: Blessing  and honour, and glory, and power  be unto Him that sits
  upon the throne, namely God the Father, and unto the Lamb, namely God the
  Son, for ever and ever.
     That  will be the work of the saved in heaven. Always, they give glory
  unto God, who  saved them. And there  is no better fulfilling  of the law
  than  this. The law said  that we have to  give all honour  unto God. But
  only  the saved do  it as  it ought. The  people on  earth give  glory to
  themselves, but who  is saved, is able to give all honour to God. You can
  work as hard as you  will, but you will never be able to  give due honour
  to God. Those,  who are pulled out  the pit of the  world, will give  all
  honour to God, who saved them. They  are saved, before the world vanishes
  away.  They are  saved from  this  cursed world,  which groans  under the
  burden of our sins. Who lays his ear to listen, always hears the sighs of
  the earth, of the beasts thereon, and of the people on it. The  burden of
  our sins is too heavy  to bear for us. But God will save,  and has saved,
  the elect. He took the unbearable load of their sins from their back, and
  they were accepted  as children of God.  Therefore, they say with  a loud
  voice: Worthy is  the Lamb that was  slain to receive power,  and riches,
  and wisdom, and strength, and honour,  and glory, and blessing. And every
  creature which is in heaven,  and on the earth, and under the  earth, and
  such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, will say: Blessing, and
  honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sits upon the  throne, and
  unto  the Lamb for ever  and ever. Who is  still working, will be utterly
  unable  to give the  due honour to  God. The work  is too  hard. When the
  Israelites were in Egypt, they sighed under  the burden of their slavery.
  Through that  hard work, and great  distress, they were unable  to praise
  God. That is, they were unable to  do the law. But after they  were saved
  from Egypt, they sang  a new song. Likewise we, as  long we work in  this
  world, we  will not  be able  to love  God. But  no sooner  are we  saved
  through Jesus, our Lord, or we will give all praise, honour, blessing and
  glory to God and the Lamb.
     Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament
              Editor: Teus Benschop  -
                      No copyrights on this publication
            Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands
     End of The Scriptures opened, 26

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-026.txt