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Date:         Tue, 30 Jan 1996 16:18:50 +-100
Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop 
Subject:      ChrExp, The Scriptures opened, 68
To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP 

1. Exodus 14:14     - Peace! The LORD fights for you
2. Jeremiah 23:5,6  - The Lord our Righteousness
3. 2 Timothy 2:3    - Jesus Christ's soldier suffers

1.  Exodus 14:14 - Peace! The LORD fights for you

Weekly reading: Exodus 13:17 - 17:16

Exodus 14:14

The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

When  the  LORD  is for you, you need fear no longer.  When  the  LORD
fights  for you, you will be at peace. When you must do all  yourself,
then  you  are always at work. When you must fight for yourself,  then
there is no peace, and you always find yourself in danger of loss. But
when  the LORD takes up the banner, goes before you, then all  enemies
will  be scattered. Look at the Israelites. They stood before the  Red
Sea, with the Egyptians behind them. They were in danger of death.
    "The Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots  of
Pharaoh,  and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them  encamping
by  the  sea,  beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon. And when  Pharaoh
drew  nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and,  behold,
the  Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and  the
children of Israel cried out unto the LORD. And they said unto  Moses,
Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to  die
in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us
forth  out  of  Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell  thee  in
Egypt,  saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For  it
had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die
in  the wilderness. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand
still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to
day:  for  the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall  see  them
again  no  more for ever. The LORD shall fight for you, and  ye  shall
hold your peace." Exodus 14:9-14.
     When  you know that the LORD fights for you, when you are assured
of  His  protection, what a great peace will that give in your  heart!
Then  you understand the real meaning and sense of the text: The  LORD
shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. When you have  been
in danger, and saw all enemies coming around, and when you experienced
that  the LORD fought for, and when you experienced the peace in  your
heart because of that knowledge, then you no longer know the text with
your mind only, but also with your heart. The LORD fought for you, and
you  had  great peace in your heart. Then you say with David: "In  God
have  I  put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto  me".
Psalm  56:11. And in another Psalm, David tells us the same. The  LORD
was  for  him,  so whom should he fear? "The LORD is my light  and  my
salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life;  of
whom  shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1. How blessed are those that  have
the  LORD  as their Protector. How blessed are they, because  whatever
evil may happen to them, it all works out to their good. With whatever
dangers  he may be beset, he will not fear, because the Lord  is  with
him.  "Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth  the  LORD,
that delighteth greatly in his commandments. He shall not be afraid of
evil  tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart  is
established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon  his
enemies." Psalm 112:1,7,8.
     Think also of Elisha the prophet. God fought for him. The king of
Syria  sent his host to capture the prophet of Israel. He sent horses,
and  chariots, and a great host to Dothan, where Elisha was. They came
by night and compassed the city about. When Elisha's servant was risen
early,  he saw the host around the city, together with the horses  and
the chariots. This servant, as opposed to Elisha, did not trust in the
LORD.  Therefore he feared exceedingly, and said to the prophet: Alas,
my  master!  What  shall we do? But Elisha trusted in  the  LORD,  Who
fought for him. Therefore he answered his servant: "Fear not, for they
that  be  with us are more then they that be with them".  The  servant
much dreaded the enemies, but Elisha was at peace. The servant saw  no
way  of escape, but Elisha trusted in the LORD, and knew that God  had
sent  His  host  to  protect him. After God opened  the  eyes  of  the
servant,  he saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots  of
fire round about Elisha. See this history in 2 Kings 6.

The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Blessed  are those that have put their trust in the LORD. As  long  as
they rely on Him, they will have great peace within them. They will be
like  David, who did not fear the giant Goliath. And why didn't  David
fear?  Because He knew that the LORD was with him. He knew  that  "the
battle  is the LORD'S", as he said in 1 Samuel 17:47. The LORD  fought
for him, and he was at peace. And the result? A smitten giant. And the
faith  of  David was confirmed. The next time, he could look  back  on
this event, in faith, and thus his faith might be increased.

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Fear  is  a  manifest sign of unbelief, but the person with  a  living
faith,  says: The LORD is my light and my salvation. So, whom shall  I
fear?  The  LORD is the strength of my life. So, of whom  shall  I  be

2.  Jeremiah 23:5,6 - The Lord our Righteousness

Jeremiah 23:5,6

5  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.
6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and
this   is  his  name  whereby  he  shall  be  called,  THE  LORD   OUR

Here is prophesied of a righteous Branch of David. God will raise unto
the  house of David a righteous Branch, a King. This is King  Messiah.
He  will reign and prosper, and will execute judgement and justice  in
the  earth.  Under his wings, Judah and Israel will dwell safely.  But
then  we  hear  that this King, the Messiah, will have a very  special
name. He shall be called with the name "The Lord Our Righteousness".

>From this we learn two main points:

1.  The Messiah is LORD.
2.  The Messiah is our Righteousness.

These  two points are denied in Jewish doctrine. Instead of confessing
with  Scripture that the Messiah is LORD, that deny it, and state that
He  is a mere man. And instead of confessing with the Scriptures  that
the Messiah is our Righteousness, that He pays for us in order that we
are righteous before God, they deny it, and state that nobody pays for
us. So the Jewish doctrine is unscriptural, and therefore false. Let's
reject that.

The truth is otherwise. As already said:
1.  The Messiah is LORD.
2.  The Messiah is our Righteousness.

What  does  this mean, "our Righteousness"? When we are  righteous  by
keeping  the  law,  we ourselves are our righteousness.  But  Jeremiah
teaches   us   that  not  we  ourselves,  but  the  Messiah   is   our
Righteousness.  What  does  this mean? It  means  that  we  cannot  be
righteous  in  the sight of God, but that the Messiah is righteous  in
our  stead. God looks at Christ's righteousness, and imputes  that  to
us.  Through Christ's righteousness, our unrighteous and sinful nature
is  covered; our sins are covered. Instead of looking at our sins, and
being furious about that, the LORD sees Christ's righteousness. And He
imputes  that  to  us, so that we are righteous  in  His  sight.  This
righteousness of the Messiah is then of us. With the righteousness  of
the  Messiah,  we  can  stand before God's tribunal.  Christ  is  "our
Righteousness", so that we are righteous before God.

Our  own righteousness (at least if one is so proud and blind to  name
our  sins with that name); our own righteousness is worthless. "We are
all  as  an  unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as  filthy
rags;"  Isa.  64:6. God, with His penetrating, all seeing eyes,  looks
through  us.  Nothing is hid from His holy eyes. Who will  ever  stand
before  this holy God? With our own righteousness, (that is, with  our
filthy  rags),  we never will be able to endure God's  presence.  Fire
will  devour  us,  because  His holiness, and  our  uncleanness,  have
nothing in common. Sin isn't able to stand before God's pureness.  And
our  own  righteousness is worthless, so we stand in need  of  another
righteousness. We need a perfect righteousness, to stand  before  God.
Therefore,  we  need "The LORD Our Righteousness", the  Messiah.  Only
when we are in Him, covered with His righteousness, we will be safe.

The stated truths are then, again:
1.  The Messiah is LORD.
2.  The Messiah is our Righteousness.

Anyone that denies these truths is erring greatly. He denies the Word.
Moreover, he denies the eternal truths of God. Nay, he perverts  God's
words.  Let these deniers then return to their God, and to  His  Word.
Those  who reject God's righteousness, offered to us in Christ  Jesus,
will  be  devoured by the flames of God's holiness. Any imperfect  so-
called righteousness is of no value before Him.
    People,   in   the   Name  of  God,  be  clothed   with   Christ's
righteousness, and live. Why should you die? It is still the  time  of
grace. Flee then to Jesus Christ, and be saved. "Look unto me, and  be
ye  saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is  none
else", Isaiah 45:22. The Messiah is LORD; yes, and He may justly  say:
I  am God, and there is none else. The Messiah is your LORD. Flee then
to  Him, be clothed with His righteousness, and be saved, all you ends
of the earth!
    How  long still? How long will you continue in unbelief?  Turn  to
Christ,  your God, and be saved! He is your Righteousness, if you  but
believed it. Your handmade righteousness, which differs in no  respect
from  filthy  rags, will be torn off. And then you stand naked  before
the   penetrating  eyes  of  God.  You  stand  naked,  void   of   any
righteousness. Your handmade clothes appear to be of no worth. Be then
clothed with Christ.

1.  The Messiah is LORD.
2.  The Messiah is our Righteousness.

These  are  the truths. Come then to your Messiah, before  it  is  too
late.  What? Still denying? Not accepting God's free offer in  Christ?
Still being stiff-necked? Continuing to live in your handmade rags? If
these  things are so, and you don't wish to come to Christ,  then  you
will  have your reward. There is but death outside of Christ, and that
will be your part. You are warned now.

The  days  have come, that the LORD has risen unto David  a  righteous
Branch.  This is Christ, the Son of David. He is King; He  reigns  and
prospers. He executes judgement and justice in the earth. In His days,
Judah and Israel are saved and dwell safely. With Judah and Israel are
meant the people of God. This is the name whereby Christ is called:

       T H E     L O R D     O U R     R I G H T E O U S N E S S

3.  2 Timothy 2:3 - Jesus Christ's soldier suffers

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

These  are  Paul's  words, in his letter to Timothy.  The  servant  of
Christ  leads a life that is not easy. It involves fight.  The  people
are unwilling to listen to the Gospel (at least when it is brought  in
its real force). Because they don't accept the Gospel, they always and
ever  object.  It is a struggle to tell them the truth,  because  they
always  evade,  and they have their objections ready. The  servant  of
Christ  doesn't  make much progress, if he makes any. Paul  calls  the
servants  of Christ soldiers. A good soldier of Christ will fight  for
his Master. In doing that he will experience hardness.
     "Thou  therefore  endure hardness, as a  good  soldier  of  Jesus
Christ",  says Paul. A good soldier of Christ will suffer evils,  will
experience many troubles, and will be afflicted. Because the  majority
rejects  his message, he suffers. And even the less learned Christians
reject the more unknown truths of the Word.

    Let  we  take an example. In that example you see one of the  many
sufferings Christ's servants are subjected to. The servant  of  Christ
begins to speak about prayer. Jesus went around on earth, praying very
often.  While working and preaching, he prayed. And at the end of  the
day, when He was very tired, he went to bed and rose up very early  to
pray.  "And  in  the morning, rising up a great while before  day,  he
(that  is  Jesus)  went out, and departed into a solitary  place,  and
there  prayed."  Mark  1:35.  Then the  servant  of  Christ  asks  the
Christian  about his prayers. Has he ever risen so early?  Or  did  he
sleep in the night? Why didn't he follow Christ's example? Is his life
of  prayer  dead? When there is no prayer, where is the new  life?  No
matter how tired Jesus was, but He always and ever prayed. And he also
taught  these things. "And he spake a parable unto them to  this  end,
that  men  ought  always to pray, and not to faint",  Luke  18:1.  Men
always ought to pray, and never to cease.
    When  the servant of Christ has taught these things, the objection
arises.  An unlearned Christian will always object against the  deeper
and  heavier parts of Christ's doctrine. So the objection is  that  we
aren't  able to pray always and ever. "What will become of our bodies?
Don't  we need our fixed times of rest? Man cannot pray in the  night,
but  when  he  does  it  on the day, that is enough."  These  are  the
objections,  and though the servant of Christ tries to explain  Jesus'
example,  and  says that we have to follow Him, it doesn't  help.  The
unlearned Christian sticks to his guns, and insists that we may  sleep
at  night. Then he begins to tell a story like "we need our rest; five
or  six hours of sleep isn't enough; you cannot persist in getting  up
every night, and praying." So, the unlearned Christian makes void  the
entire  example  of Christ. Jesus often prayed in the  night,  but  he
maintains that we need not follow that example. "That is too  extreme;
we cannot bear that; our bodies will soon be worn-out".
    The  servant  of  God  tries to explain that  we  have  to  follow
Christ's example, no matter what our fleshly minds may think. But  the
easy Christian refuses his words. Then the servant feels rejected, and
suffers because of Christ's sake. At the end he tries this one:
    Christ  "spake  a parable unto them to this end,  that  men  ought
always to pray, and not to faint", Luke 18:1. But you told a story  to
this end, that men need not always to pray, but may take rest. See the
difference between your story and Christ's one. Christ told a  parable
to this end that men ought always to pray, but you to this end that we
not  always  ought to pray. Christ's parable was to this end  that  we
should not faint in praying, but your one taught us that we make  take
rest now and then.
    But also this didn't help...

So you see in this example that a servant of Christ suffers always. At
least when he tells the truth. A false servant of Christ says to every
one  that  he is right. And he never suffers, because they agree  with
him.  But  you, be a true and honest one. Tell them the  truth.  "Thou
therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."  "Watch
thou  in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist,
make  full  proof  of thy ministry." 2 Timothy 4:5. Don't  think  that
being  a  true minister is a light work. Ministers suffer  because  of
their work, so if you don't suffer you are a false minister. You are a
wolf,  devouring  the sheep of Christ, fattening  yourself.  The  good
soldiers have the battle, not only against the sleepy name-Christians,
but  also against the evil spirits in the air; against sin within  and
out. "Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord,  nor
of  me  his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions  of  the
gospel according to the power of God", 2 Tim. 1:8.

As  a  good  soldier of Christ, suffer, endure hardness, be afflicted.
How?  In  own  strength?  I hope none thinks we  are  able  to  endure
sufferings in own power. Yet we will suffer, as a good soldier of  the
Messiah. How? We endure sufferings in the power of God. "I can do  all
things  through Christ which strengtheneth me", Philippians 4:13.  Let
we  then  lift  up our eyes, while in the midst of our sufferings  for
Christ's sake, to Jesus our Master. Let we look "unto Jesus the author
and  finisher  of our faith; who for the joy that was set  before  him
endured  the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the  right
hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2. There will be an end to  the
hardness  we endure. Look at Jesus. He endured the cross,  because  of
the joy that was set before Him. He endured the cross, knowing that it
was  but for a time. The good soldier does the same. He knows that  he
is  but  for a time on this earth. He has seen in faith the  joy  that
lies before him, and in the strength of Christ, he endures all. Yet  a
short while, and He will come.

"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
Written by Teus Benschop  --  t.benschop@pobox.ruu.nl

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-068.txt