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Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel From: Teus Benschop Subject: The Scriptures opened, 50 To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP Contents ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Deuteronomy 31:16 - Israel will forsake God 2. 1 Corinthians 15:3,4 - Christ, according to the Scriptures 1. Deuteronomy 31:16 - Israel will forsake God ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Reading: Deut. 31:1-30 Deuteronomy 31:16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go [to be] among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Wayomer Adonai 'el Moshe Hincha, shochev 'im 'avoteicha; wekam ha'am hazeh, wezanah 'acharei 'alohei nechar ha'aretz, 'asher hu' va' shamah bekirbo, wa'azavani, wehefer 'et beriti 'asher karati 'ito At the end of Moses' life, the LORD foretells him what will happen. After Moses will have died, the people will forsake God. As long as Moses will live, they will follow after the true God, Who led them out of Egypt. But when Moses will die, after him they will begin to serve other gods. They will forget the God, Who delivered them out of Egypt, and they will serve the gods of the land, who did nothing for them (since they were no gods). That is, what God foresays to Moses. "Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go [to be] among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them." When God will have brought them into the promised land, the land Canaan, they will forget him. When God has helped them in the taking possession of the land, they no longer need Him, and will forget Him, forsake Him, and break His covenant. That is their thank. Though they will not say it with their mouth, yet through their deeds they say: "God, Thou have brought us into this good land. Now we no longer need Thou, so Thou may go." This is real great ingratitude. But what else can we expect of a man? Isn't mankind fallen in sin? Aren't we forgetting God always? We are all born of the same tribe, namely of the tribe of Adam. So, what good can be expected of us? As long as we need God, to give us things we wish, we will serve Him, as least, we will do as if we serve Him. But when we have our desires, we forsake God. So did Israel of old, and so do we. When we have all we wish, we don't need God. Therefore, to keep us with God, it is necessary that we are also kept in some need. We have need of need, lest we forget God, our Weldoer. Behold, Moses, you shall sleep with your fathers. But after your death, this people will rise up against Me. Formerly, they were low, and subjected themselves to Me. But after your death, Moses, they will rise up. Not against you, as they were wont to do in the desert, but even against Me. They will forsake Me, their God. Though I have done nothing but doing them well, they will yet forget Me. I have led them out the house of bondage, and have brought them into this land. Though I brought them in this land, a land flowing of milk and honey, they will forget me. Living in the midst of all pleasant things, which I have given them, they will forsake Me. Moses, instead of following me, the true God, they will go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land. Though those gods were unable to protect the former inhabitants, yet, they will serve them. The wooden gods are dead. Though these gods are hand-made, they will yet serve them, and reject the living God. In doing that, they will break the covenant. For, when the covenant was made, they promised that they would serve Me only. But they will forget Me, and break the covenant. We know that Israel has done all these things. When Moses died, they got Joshua in his place. When also Joshua died, they still had the older people, who knew of Gods deeds, and told the people thereof. But when also that old generation had passed away, they began to forget God, their Deliverer. We know that these things, which God foretold Moses, have indeed happened. Not without reason, the people live scattered throughout the whole world. And we, being children of this fathers, are of the same character. Also we are inclined to abandon God, whenever there is some prosperity, and we don't need Him. Let we then pray God, that He may deal thus with us, that we always experience our need of Him. Let we always adhere to Him, when we see that our salvation is in Him alone. Let we not flatter ourselves by saying: "We are the children of the covenant". For, our father have broken the covenant, and we are therefore born in a broken covenant, that is, we are born in no covenant at all. A broken covenant has lost its power. Only when God renews the broken covenant with us, we are again reconciled with Him. Until that time, we are like the strangers of the land, like the nations, whose gods we serve, as the text said. 2. 1 Corinthians 15:3,4 - Christ, according to the Scriptures ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 Corinthians 15:3,4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: These are the apostle Paul's words. As soon as he came to the Corinthians, what was his first work? His first work was to deliver unto them, first of all, the doctrine that Christ died for our sins. He did not stay in less important things, but instantly gave them the main point: Christ died for our sins. This is the main point of our Christian religion1. When Paul came to the Corinthians, he made this his most important work, as appears from his own words: "For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2) This was not something new, or invented. No, all this was according to the scriptures. "I delivered unto you", says he, "that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures". With scriptures here is meant the books of the Old Testament. According to the doctrine taught therein, Christ would die for our sins. Some places may prove that. A very powerful place is the one in Isaiah 53. There we read that "he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter", that "he was cut off out of the land of the living", that "his grave with the wicked" was made, and that He was "with the rich in his death". (Isaiah 53:7-9) Further, we read there, that all these things came not upon his for his own transgressions, but for ours. Again, read some passages. For whose sins was He stricken? "For the transgression of my people was he stricken", we read in vs. 8. Also "he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth", vs. 9. But His death was for our sins, as the prophet said, that "his soul was an offering for sin", vs. 10. It appears from this, that Paul spoke the truth, when he said "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures". Another thing, which Paul taught as soon as he came to the Corinthians, is, that Christ was buried, and that He rose again the third day, according to the scriptures. You see, that Paul dares state nothing without standing on the firm ground of the Old Testament. All what he said and wrote was "according to the Scriptures". Christ was buried, according to the Scriptures. We have already seen, that they made "his grave with the wicked". (Isaiah 53:9) In another place also, we read that His soul would not be left in hell, or in the grave. "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." (Psalms 16:10) When His soul will not be left in hell or in the grave, that means that it has once been in it. It is then clear, that Scripture teaches that Christ would be buried. Paul also teaches, on the basis of the same Scriptures, that Christ would rise again the third day. We have of course the facts. These things have happened. But we also have the prophecies thereof. The same words, we just read, may prove this. When it is said in Psalms 16:10, that His soul would not be left in hell or in the grave, it appears that He would rise again. That was the only way wherein could be fulfilled, that His soul would not be left therein. Also in Jonah, who has been three days in the belly of the fish, and then came to light again, we have an example of Christ. "As Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:40) The term "three days and three nights" needs some explanation. When is said that Christ was three days and three nights in the grave, does that mean that He has lain there three full days, and three full nights? This question can easily be answered, when we look to the use of that term, "three days and three nights", in other places. First, we find such an expression in 1 Samuel 30:12,13. And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights. And David said unto him, To whom [belongest] thou? and whence art thou? And he said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days agone I fell sick. What is here translated with "three days ago, I fell sick", is literally in Hebrew "I fell sick, the third day". When we take the day, whereon he says this, as the first day, then he fell sick the third day. What we find here is a servant, who fell sick the third day. Let's for the sake of explanation assume that it is Wednesday today. Wednesday is then that first day. Tuesday, a day back, is the second day, and Monday, that is the third day. On Monday, he fell sick, and on Wednesday, he was found through David. So, he has been sick two nights, one full day (Tuesday) and two parts of days (Monday and Wednesday). Yet, he says that he has eaten and drunk nothing for three days and three nights. In reality, he has but eaten nothing for two night, but he says three. He has but eaten nothing during one full day, but he says three. We see from this the Hebrew mode of speaking. When one says, "three days and three nights", it may mean "one full day and two partial days, and two nights". Let we also examine another place, to see what the expression "three days and three nights" may mean. We turn to the book of Esther, chapter 4:16 and two verses further, 5:1. Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which [is] not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. (Esther 4:16) Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on [her] royal [apparel], and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. (Esther 5:1) Before Esther went in unto the king, she asked that the Jews in Shushan would "neither eat nor drink three days, night or day". She asked that on the first day, and on the third day, she went to the king. So, also here, the expression means the same as what we have seen in the book of Samuel. "Three days and three nights" means here "two partial days, one full day, and two nights". With this knowledge in mind, let we turn to the phrase in Matthew. "As Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:40) In fact, Jesus has been but two partial days in the grave, one full day, and two nights. But, like we found in Samuel and Esther, that span of time is expressed with "three days and three nights". Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; He was buried according to the Scriptures, and He rose again the third day, according to the same Scriptures. Jesus Christ is the Saviour of all that believe in Him, that they might not perish, but have everlasting life. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Teus Benschop -- firstname.lastname@example.org Listowner of email@example.com "A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel" Institute Practical Bible-education Web: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/ipb-e/ipbe-home.html ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-050.txt .