Mime-Version: 1.0 Date: Tue, 20 Feb 1996 16:47:28 +-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, 71 To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP Contents ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. Exodus 25:20 - The cherubim looking at the seat of mercy 2. Isaiah 51:6 - Heaven and earth shall vanish away 3. James 4:4 - The world's friend = God's enemy 1. Exodus 25:20 - The cherubim looking at the seat of mercy ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Weekly reading: Exodus 25 - 27:19 Exodus 25:20 And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. There were, in the tabernacle, two angels, or cherubim, on the seat of mercy. They covered the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces were bowed down, looking one to another, and looking to the seat of mercy. This is according to the command God gave Moses: "And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold ... and thou shalt make two cherubims of gold ... in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof." Exod. 25:17-19. The cherubim sat at the two ends of the mercy seat, on the ark of the testimony, and looked one to another, and toward the mercy seat. God had said to Moses that He would meet him from above the mercy seat. That was the place where God spoke with Moses, His servant. "And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony," Exod. 25:22. Later on, we indeed read that God did so. From between these two cherubim, God answered Moses, as you read in Numbers 7:89, "And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him." The mercy seat was the cover of the ark. In the ark were the two tables of stone, containing the Ten Commandments. So, the law was in the ark, and the mercy seat above it. "And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee", Exod. 25:21. We see that the mercy seat covered the ark. That seat of mercy covered the law that was in that ark. It was an example of Christ, Who covers the law. Christ has subjected Himself under the law, that He might obey it perfectly, and save us from the curse of that law. The mercy seat covered the law. Likewise Christ covers the law, that we might be freed from its curse. The cherubim were desirous to look into the matters regarding God's mercy. For, how great a mystery is it: God's mercy! God sent His Own Son, to save lost sinners. What a great mystery! God send Christ, His beloved Son, to save enemies. If He had sent Christ to save friends, then it would be a great mercy, but now, saving enemies instead of friends, that enlarges God's mercy. Those that are outside of Christ, are under the law's curse, but those that are in Christ, are protected against the law. Christ reconciled them with God. Those that are in Christ, through faith, are saved. If you are still living at your own risk, trying to satisfy God by keeping the law (an impossible work for you), then you are under the curse. God does not accept your work, because it is defiled. He only accepts Christ's perfect work, but that is not for you since you don't believe in Christ. Come then to Him, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! Don't harden your hearts, as Pharaoh did, and perished. But come to Christ, the Mediator, and be saved. Don't refuse to obey God, as the people did in the desert, and perished. But come to Jesus Christ, and be saved. Be not like your fathers, that refused to believe in Christ, and perished. Come to Christ, and live. He is better then the mercy seat, covering the law. 2. Isaiah 51:6 - Heaven and earth shall vanish away ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. Lift up your eyes up to the heavens. Nice blue, not? But they will vanish away like smoke. Look also at the earth. How beautiful is the nature! But it will wax old like a garment, and will vanish, together with the heavens. All what you now see will be changed in future, at the end of the world. All people that dwell in the earth will die. However there are some things that will remain forever. Though heaven and earth will vanish away like smoke, yet "My salvation shall be forever", and not only that, but also "My righteousness shall not be abolished", said the LORD. While these things are so, let we then forsake both heaven and earth, because they all will come to their end. Instead of trusting in this heaven and this earth, let we become partakers of God's salvation, because that will remain for ever and ever. Yes, all will come to its end, but God's righteousness will continue always. If we were clothed, not with our own righteousness, but with the righteousness of the LORD, then we would be safe. Our own righteousness is of this earth, and will perish together with this black ground. But God's righteousness is eternal, and will always be there. A difference between God and the creation is, that God is eternal, and the creatures temporal. Further, the creation shall vanish away, but God will stand forever. Yet another difference is that God has created all these, and that He also will bring them to their end. "Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail", Heb. 1:10-12. When will all these things happen? When will the earth perish, together with the heavens? When will they all wax old as a garment? When will they be folded up as a vesture, and be changed? When will it become public for everybody, that Thou, O God, will be the same, and that every other thing will vanish? As Jesus said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away", Matth. 24:35. All these things will happen in the last day. In that day, we will see that heaven and earth are temporal, but that God's words will be eternal. When will this be? "Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only", said Jesus in verse 36. The heavens and the earth, which are now, by God's word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men. These ungodly say, when they are warned for the coming day of judgement: "But the prophets have always threatened with that, and it never has come. All remains the same. They have always said that once there would be the last day, to judge between the quick and the dead, but we have never seen it." The ungodly conclude, because it has not happened until now, that it will happen never. They flatter themselves in their sins, because they falsely conclude that the day of settlement will never come. One might ask: How is it possible that the earth still stands, while Christ said "I come hastily"? Peter answers this: "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day", 2 Peter 3:8. God's counting of years is not ours. One day in our estimation is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance", 2 Peter 3:9. That is why the earth still stands. God is not willing that any should perish, and therefore He gives them time to repentance. He is longsuffering over us, giving us time to seek Him, and live. But if we don't use that time, and waste it in our own lusts and pleasures, then our day will come. A terrible day. Repent therefore. When will that day come? Christ said that none knows it, except the Father. When will the day come? "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up", 2 Pet. 3:10. So, all these things are temporal, and they are still standing for our benefit, that we might live unto God, and convert. "Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?" 2 Peter 3:11,12. When that great day is there, you will see the following: "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire", Rev. 20:11-15. The heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished, said God. Both heaven and earth will vanish away, but God will remains for ever and ever the same. He will remain forever, for He said: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty", Rev. 1:8. "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last", Rev. 22:13. God will, while all the rest perishes, remain the same. "Jesus Christ [is] the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever", Heb. 13:8. Both heaven and earth will vanish, because they are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of the ungodly. And then? God will remain the same forever. And then? He will make a new heaven and a new earth. The old ones are passed away, and He will make new ones. John says: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." Rev. 21:1-6. Because these things are so, it is high time for the ungodly men to convert and believe in the only Name given under the heaven to be saved. And because these things are so, (the present heaven and earth pass away, but the new heaven and earth come), how diligently ought we to be in a holy conversation, beloved. Many walk according to their own imaginations, having their belly as their god. But you, let your conversation be in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. 3. James 4:4 - The world's friend = God's enemy ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Who are the adulterers? And who are the adulteresses? In human life, adulterers are people that, though they have promised to give their love to their husband or wife, give it to somebody else. They break the bond of marriage. These are the adulterers and the adulteresses in human life. Also in spiritual life there are such people. They have promised, in their baptism, or in their confession, to love God and Christ only. But they love the world instead of Christ, and therefore break the spiritual bond of marriage with Christ. They promised to love Him, but they break their promise. These are the spiritual adulterers. Christ was their bridegroom, and they were bound to love Him. But they love the world. "Ye adulterers and adulteresses!" The apostle gives such worldly men that name to point out the better the ugliness of this sin. Forsaking Christ their Redeemer, and loving the world instead, is a terrible sin. It is either Christ, or the world. Not both. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon", Matth. 6:24. Ye adulterers! And ye adulteresses! Ye breakers of the marriage! "Know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?" It is a question: Know you not...? That is, "I am rather sure that you know it. You know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God. You well know it, and yet you are the friends of the world". The friendship of the world, that is the friendship with the worldly and unbelieving people, to follow them in the evil things, and to please them therein. The friendship of the world, that also means to seek for the worldly things and its pleasures, with the negligence of the Christian religion. Ye adulterers, lovers of the world, lovers of the flesh, and pleasers of the worldly sinners! Know you not that these things are enmity with God? Therefore, when you are a friend of the world, then you at the same moment are an enemy of God. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him", 1 John 2:15. The love of the world is enmity of God. It cannot go with the love, service and friendship of God, but it makes Him your Enemy. "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be", Rom. 8:7. The unbridled lusts and the pleasures of the flesh are utterly to be condemned. They are from this world, not from God. He who gives himself to the pleasures of this world, divorces himself from God. He is an adulterer, breaking the band of that holy and spiritual marriage. He promised to love God, but instead of that, he loves the world. Loving God, and loving the world cannot and will never go together. The world's love is enmity of God. "Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God", said James. And that is true. Worldly-mindedness is enmity to God. He who sets his heart on the things of this world, withdraws his heart from his God. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Ye adulterers! It's time to repent. You breakers of the bond of marriage! How long will you continue loving the world? When will you return to your God? With your mouth you profess to be a Christian, but with your hands and feet you deny it. How long still? Repent therefore, and return to your former husband, to Christ. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. It is high time to become an enemy of the world, and to forsake all its deceiving pleasures. Return to God, and humble yourselves in His sight. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- firstname.lastname@example.org "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 -- email@example.com ---------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-071.txt .