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Date:         Tue, 18 Jul 1995 11:03:52 +0200
Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel 
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From: Teus Benschop 
Subject:      The Scriptures opened, 40
To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP 

1. Numbers 29:40 - Moses, the faithful servant
2. Psalm 35,     - Prayer for God's help, part 3
3. Romans 1:1-4  - Paul preaches Christ's gospel

1.   Numbers 29:40 - Moses, the faithful servant

Weekly reading: Numbers 25:10 - 30:1

And  Moses told the children of Israel according to all that the  LORD
commanded Moses. (Numbers 29:40)

Moses. He was the faithful servant of the LORD. He led the people  out
of  Egypt, gave them the law, and brought them unto the borders of the
promised  land.  In  all  these things, he did  nothing  unasked.  All
things, which he did, he did them according to the words of the  LORD.
As  our  text states: "And Moses told the children of Israel according
to all that the LORD commanded Moses".
     Moses did not tell the children of Israel own inventions, but  he
delivered  them the words of the LORD. All what the Lord had commanded
him, that he had to do, so he did. As is elsewhere written: "Thus  did
Moses:  according  to all that the LORD commanded  him,  so  did  he."
(Exodus 40:16)
     What,  for  example, has Moses taught the people? He taught  them
all  the words of the Lord, and he urged them to keep these. He  said:
"Behold,  I have taught you statutes and judgements, even as the  LORD
my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to
possess it." (Deuteronomy 4:5) He didn't give only the truth,  but  he
also  insisted  on the observance thereof. Only giving  the  truth  is
well, but not enough.
     A  faithful minister, therefore, will teach the congregation  not
things  of  his  own heart, but the pure Word. He will not  teach  the
inventions  of  the scholars of this age, who deviate  from  the  just
Word, but he will teach them the Word, as the Lord has said him.  Many
people  who  claim  to  explain the Word, use but blandishments.  They
pervert  the  Word according to the will of their hearers.  Moses  did
that not, neither does any true servant so. Many servants are there in
our  times, who tell you the truth. Yes, they give you the truth,  and
think  that they are therefore good servants. Now, as we have seen  by
Moses,  telling the mere truth isn't enough. They have also  to  press
for  obedience. The Word of the Lord must become reality in our lives,
and  the  ministers must point out how that goes. The  truth  must  be
experienced  in  the heart. For the servants, to  explain  how  it  is
experienced, it is necessary that they have experienced it themselves.
If not, how can they tell you the power of the Word? How can a servant
tell you about prayer, when he cannot pray with the heart? How can  he
tell  you  about  the  power of the law, when he has  never  heard  it
thundering from Sinai, or when he never has had some like experience?
     The  Old  Testament says us that the true servants  of  the  Lord
teach  according to God's words. The New Testament commands the  same,
as  appears from Jesus' words, when He charged His disciples. He said:
"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of
the  Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching  them  to
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with
you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:19,20)
After He said that the ministers must baptise the nations in the  name
of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, He said: "Teach them
to  observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you". And  Paul,  a
very  faithful servant, said: "I have not shunned to declare unto  you
all the counsel of God." (Acts 20:27) Paul didn't dream up his letters
and  his  sermons, but He declared unto us all the counsel of God.  He
declared not more then God's counsel, but also not less.
     Let we then learn from Moses to listen only to such servants, who
bring  all  the counsel of God, suppress nothing, nor invent anything.
Listen to such servants, who are true, sent by God, and of whom it can
be  said:  He  told the congregation according to all  that  the  LORD
commanded him.

2.   Psalm 35, Prayer for God's help, part 3

(... continuing last week's issue ...)

    19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me:
    [neither] let them wink with the eye
    that hate me without a cause.
    20 For they speak not peace:
    but they devise deceitful matters
    against [them that are] quiet in the land.

They  rejoice over David, when he will stumble and fall down. That  is
why they had hid a net for him in a pit. They wink with their eyes  at
him,  giving him a nasty smile, and thinking that his time  will  come
soon.  "They  hate  me without a cause", says the  prophet.  That  has
always been so. Always the wicked hate the pious without a cause.  The
children  of  God, and the children of Satan never make  their  peace.
Always and ever, the wicked seek the destruction of the pious.
     They  speak  not  peace, but disturbance. They  devise  deceitful
matters,  for  so is their nature. They cannot get the best  by  being
true,  so  they  try it by being false. They devise deceitful  matters
against  the quiet in the land. They who are quiet in the  land,  that
are  the  peaceful people. But the wicked, as if there must always  be
disturbance, device lies against the peaceful. Whatever happens,  they
must use deceit.

    21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me,
    [and] said, Aha, aha,
    our eye hath seen [it].
    22 [This] thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence:
    O Lord, be not far from me.

The  ungodly, like raging wild beasts, opened their mouth wide against
David. They wished to devour him, when they could. "They gaped upon me
[with]  their  mouths,  [as] a ravening and a roaring  lion."  (Psalms
22:13)  In  later  times,  when Jesus had said  the  truth  about  the
Pharisees,  they  were  "laying wait for him,  and  seeking  to  catch
something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him." (Luke  11:54)
Times  don't change. Whenever you try to live according to God's will,
they will rage against you.
     They  said "Aha, aha, our eye has seen it". Now we have seen  our
wish,  namely your destruction. But, fortunately, not only  their  eye
has  seen it, but also the LORD has seen it. "Thou hast seen, O LORD",
keep  not  silence. This is a great consolation for us, that the  Lord
always  sees  us. When they storm against us, the Lord sees  it.  When
they  nearly overcome us, the Lord is near to help us. When they  open
their mouth to devour us, the Lord will devour them in His wrath.

    23 Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgement,
    [even] unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
    24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness;
    and let them not rejoice over me.

David  prays for God's help. "Stir up thyself", o Lord. "Awake  to  my
judgement".  He  says "awake, o God", for when God not  helps  at  the
beginning  of  any  distress, it seems to  us  as  if  He  is  asleep.
Therefore,  "awake to my judgement", unto my cause. And he  continues,
and  asks for God's judgement over him. David is accused without cause
by his enemies. He has done nothing wrong, and his conscience is good.
That is why he dares to ask for God's righteousness. He knows that he,
because  he  has  done nothing wrong, will be acquitted.  When  he  is
summoned before God's judgement-seat, together with his enemies, he is
sure  that  he  will  be acquitted. We see what a great  help  a  good
conscience  is. It makes us dare to ask for God's righteous judgement.
When  our  conscience is bad, when we have done evil,  we  fear  God's
judgements, because we know, and our conscience assures it us, that we
will be condemned. But now, having done nothing evil, we call upon His
Name, to help us.

    25 Let them not say in their hearts,
         Ah, so would we have it:
    let them not say,
         We have swallowed him up.

The  Hebrew has "Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, our soul".  But
because  the words "our soul" would be unclear to the readers,  it  is
translated with "Ah, so would we have it".
     David, then, prays to God, that He might help in good time,  lest
his  enemies rejoice over him. They would then say: "We have swallowed
him  up". This are words of murdering enemies, who devour whoever they

    26  Let  them  be ashamed and brought to confusion  together  that
    rejoice at mine hurt:
    let  them  be  clothed  with  shame  and  dishonour  that  magnify
    [themselves] against me.

They  rejoiced at David's hurt, but now, let them fall  in  their  own
pit.  Let them be ashamed, when they see that all their guiles succeed
not.  Let  them  brought to confusion together, namely when  they  are
caught by their own nets. Let their rejoice at mine hurt be for a very
short  time.  Let  their  rejoice be as short,  as  the  crackling  of
burnings  thorns under a pot; which is for a short time. Let  them  be
clothed  with  shame and dishonour. Being clothed therewith  indicates
that  they  are  wholly covered with shame. They are  but  shame,  and
nothing more. Let now the boasters brought to dishonour.

    27  Let  them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous
    cause: yea, let them say continually,
         Let the LORD be magnified,
         which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

Here again we see a very great difference between the ungodly and  the
pious. The ungodly, as appeared from the previous verses, rejoiced  in
David's  ruin,  but  the pious shout for joy,  when  they  hear  about
David's deliverance. "Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour
my  righteous cause". A difference as between night and day.  Let  the
ungodly  vanish; we now engage in matters concerning the  pious.  They
continually say: "Let the LORD be magnified, Which has pleasure in the
prosperity  of  His  servant". The righteous are  glad.  They  rejoice
before  God:  yea, they exceedingly rejoice. Sing then, O daughter  of
Zion;  Shout,  o  Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all  the  heart,  O
daughter of Jerusalem! For the LORD has judged the righteous cause  of
David. The Lord chased off David's enemies, and has set His servant in

    28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness
    [and] of thy praise all the day long.

After   the   deliverance,  David's  tongue  shall  speak   of   God's
righteousness,  and  praise Him all the day  long.  When  God  rescued
David,  his heart became so filled with love toward God, that  he  now
praises Him all day long. During the entire day, he will speak of that
good God, Who is so righteous.
     This  is a lively picture of what happens, if God forgives  one's
sins, and frees him of the burden on his back. Who is thus freed, will
always  speak of God's righteousness. His mouth shall speak the praise
of  the LORD. He says: "let all flesh bless His holy name for ever and
ever." (Psalms 145:21)

3.   Romans 1:1-4 - Paul preaches Christ's gospel

Romans 1.

1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,
called [to be] an apostle,
separated unto the gospel of God,

This  is  the  beginning of Paul's letter to the Romans.  The  apostle
begins to declare who he is, and Who has sent him. "Paul, a servant of
Jesus  Christ". To give due weight to his teachings, the apostle  says
that he does not come in own power, but that he is sent by his Master,
Jesus Christ. He called Paul to be His servant. Nay, more, to be  even
an  apostle; that is, one who is sent out, namely to preach the gospel
to  all nations. He is "separated unto the gospel of God", namely from
his  very birth. He says, in his letter to the Galatians, that  it  is
"God,  who separated me from my mother's womb, and called [me] by  his
grace,"  (Galatians 1:15) We see, that God foreordains  His  ministers
and  apostles,  to  preach the gospel. Nothing happens  without  God's
decree and foreknowledge. When the appointed time was there, God  sent
to  the  heathens that apostle, whom he had prepared from his mother's

2 Which he had promised afore
by his prophets in the holy scriptures,

The  full  sentence  is,  including a part  of  verse  one:  "Paul  is
separated  unto the gospel of God; that gospel which He  had  promised
afore  by  His prophets in the Holy Scriptures." The Old Testament  is
indeed very full of promises of the coming gospel, namely promises  of
the Messiah. A few follow here:
- And  I  will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between  thy
  seed  and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt  bruise
  his  heel.  (Genesis 3:15) That is, God will put enmity between  the
  serpent and the woman, and between the serpent's seed, that are  the
  wicked,  and  between the woman's seed, that is Christ and  all  His
- And  in  thy  seed  shall all the nations of the earth  be  blessed;
  because  thou  hast  obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:18)  In  Abraham's
  seed, that is, in Jesus Christ, shall all nations be blessed.
- And  I  will  make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven,  and
  will  give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed  shall
  all  the  nations  of  the  earth be  blessed;  (Genesis  26:4)  The
  Israelites  will  be  as the stars of heaven in  multitude,  and  in
  Abraham's seed, that is in Christ, will the nations be blessed.
- The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between
  his  feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering  of
  the  people [be]. (Genesis 49:10) The kingdom will remain in Judah's
  tribe  until  the  Messiah, that is Shiloh, come.  The  people  will
  gather unto Him.
- The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of
  thee,  of  thy  brethren, like unto me; unto him ye  shall  hearken;
  (Deuteronomy 18:15) The LORD will raise up a Prophet,  that  is,  He
  will  raise  up  the  Messiah, Who will be from  the  midst  of  the
  Israelites. We know that Jesus was a Jew, and was born in the  midst
  of His brethren, as is foresaid here.
- And  when  thy  days  be fulfilled, and thou shalt  sleep  with  thy
  fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed  out
  of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. (2 Samuel 7:12) God
  will  set up David's seed, that is David's Son, that is the Messiah.
  His kingdom will be established.
- The LORD hath sworn [in] truth unto David; he will not turn from it;
  Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. (Psalms 132:11)
  The  LORD  has sworn unto David, that the Messiah will sit upon  his
  throne; that is, Jesus Christ sits upon David's throne now.
- In  that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious,
  and  the fruit of the earth [shall be] excellent and comely for them
  that  are  escaped of Israel. (Isaiah 4:2) That branch of the  LORD,
  that is Christ.
- Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold,  a  virgin
  shall  conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his  name  Immanuel.
  (Isaiah  7:14)  The virgin Mary conceived, and bare Jesus,  and  His
  name  was Immanuel, that is, God with us. Rightly so, for Jesus  was
  God, and He was with us.
- For  unto  us  a  child is born, unto us a son  is  given:  and  the
  government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be  called
  Wonderful,  Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father,  The
  Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6) Jesus is a child born unto us,  as  is
  known  from  the  gospels. He is Wonderful; look  to  His  wonderful
  deeds.  He  is  Counsellor, for He gives  counsel  in  distress  and
  difficulties.  He  is the mighty God. He is the everlasting  Father,
  namely  the  Author of eternity, and by Whom the  Church  and  every
  member  of  it  will be preserved forever, and have  immortal  life.
  Jesus  is  also the Prince of Peace, for he gave us peace  with  God
  through His blood.
- Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong [hand], and his arm shall
  rule  for him: behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before
  him. (Isaiah 40:10) Jesus has come, as is foresaid here, and He  has
  beaten all enemies, including satan, hell and death.
- Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto  David
  a  righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper,  and  shall
  execute  judgement and justice in the earth. (Jeremiah 23:5)  Christ
  is that righteous Branch. He is King, reigns and prospers. He govern
  His  Church;  and  all  true members of that Church  experience  His
  mighty hand. He does justice in the earth.
- In  those  days,  and  at  that time, will I  cause  the  Branch  of
  righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute  judgement
  and  righteousness in the land. (Jeremiah 33:15) In those days, that
  is,  in  the  times  Jesus  was  born,  God  caused  the  Branch  of
  righteousness to grow up unto David.
- And  I  will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed  them,
  [even]  my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be  their
  shepherd.  (Ezekiel 34:23) This servant David, that is the  Shepherd
  over the Church.
- And  David my servant [shall be] king over them; and they all  shall
  have  one  shepherd:  they shall also walk  in  my  judgements,  and
  observe  my statutes, and do them. (Ezekiel 37:24) In the  times  of
  the  Messiah, that is now, Jesus rules His people and is  King  over
  them. They form one flock, under one Shepherd.
- Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,
  to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make
  reconciliation   for   iniquity,  and  to   bring   in   everlasting
  righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint
  the  most Holy. (Daniel 9:24) Daniel has precisely foretold when the
  Messiah  would come, namely seventy weeks after he prophesied  this.
  Now, these weeks are not weeks of seven days, but are weeks of seven
  years.  Seventy times seven years after this prophecy,  the  Messiah
  came, namely Jesus Christ.

We now return to Paul's letter to the Romans.

3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord,
which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

When  the  previous verses are repeated, the text goes thus:  Paul  is
God's  servant,  a minister of the gospel of God. It is  that  gospel,
which  He  had promised afore, by His prophets, in the Holy Scriptures
of  the Old Testament. Paul is a minister of that gospel, namely  that
concerning  God's Son Jesus Christ, Who is our Lord. Jesus Christ  was
made of the seed of David according to the flesh.
     We  know  that  Jesus was born of Mary, the  virgin,  who  was  a
daughter  of  David. Now, since Jesus' Father was God  in  heaven,  He
could not be a Son of David through His Father. Yet, Christ was a Man,
consisting of body and soul. Whence, then, did He have His  body,  His
flesh? He took it out the virgin Mary, one of David's descendants.  In
this way, Christ was a Son of David, according to the flesh.

4  And declared [to be] the Son of God with power,
according to the spirit of holiness,
by the resurrection from the dead:

Christ  declared to be the Son of God. How appeared  it  that  He  was
God's  Son? Because He stood up from the dead. Now, to be a  conqueror
of  death,  that shows that He is God Himself. When He would  be  only
Man,  he could not have overcome death. But now, He is the Son of God,
and had the spirit of holiness, that is, He had the Holy Spirit.

Since God sent Paul to us, let we then listen. Let we no longer harden
our hearts, but obey God. Let we listen to God, Who speaks by His true
servants, like Paul was. Listen not to the false servants, who are not
called,  who  but preach for money. The false ministers flatter  their
audience,  but let we forsake them. The true ministers, as  Paul,  can
tell you of their calling. They knew when God called them to serve Him
in  the  ministry  of  the Word. They tell you  of  Christ,  the  only
Redeemer,  Who  reconciles us with God. Listen to the  true  servants,
nay,  to God Himself, Who preaches you the Messiah. When you are among
the audience of such a true minister, you will experience the power of
God's  Words in your heart. Though there stands a common  man  in  the
pulpit, it will appear to you as if God Himself stood there. The mouth
speaking  there  is no longer the mouth of that man,  but  it  becomes
God's  mouth. His mouth is a two-edged sharp sword, which cuts through
your inward parts. "For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful,  and
sharper  than  any  two-edged sword, piercing  even  to  the  dividing
asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and  [is]  a
discerner  of  the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews  4:12)
Have you ever heard such a minister, reader? No? Then it becomes time,
that you seek a true, called servant, one like Paul; a true servant of
our Lord.

Teus Benschop  |  t.benschop@pobox.ruu.nl  |  editor of the list Chr-Exp

           "A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel"

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