MIME-version: 1.0
Date:         Tue, 21 May 1996 08:41:56 -0200
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, 84
To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP 

1. Judges 17:13 - Micah's illusion
2. Luke 12:4,5  - Fear God
3. John 6:33    - The Bread of God

1.  Judges 17:13 - Micah's illusion

Then said Micah,
    Now know I that the LORD will do me good,
    seeing I have a Levite to [my] priest.

Micah. Look what this man is doing, and what he has done. In verse two
of  this chapter you read that he had stolen money of his mother,  but
also  that he has restored it again to her. His mother makes a  graven
image  and a molten image of a part of that money, and these  were  in
Micah's  house. "And the man Micah had an house of gods, and  made  an
ephod,  and teraphim, and consecrated one of his sons, who became  his
priest,"  verse 5. According to verse one, Micah was of the  tribe  of
Ephraim.  Priests  should  be of the tribe  of  Levi,  but  Micah  had
consecrated  his own son - not of Levi but of Ephraim. He  had  not  a
priest according to the law, but he himself had made a priest, even of
the  wrong tribe. But what happens? There comes along a young  Levite.
Micah  invites him, and consecrates this Levite to his priest. So,  he
no  longer had a priest of the wrong tribe, but now his priest was  of
the right tribe, of Levi. When this is done, Micah speaks the words of
our  text: "Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have  a
Levite  to my priest," and no longer an Ephraimite. Micah imagines  to
have his worship put right and according to the law, because he has  a
self-made  priest  of the tribe of Levi. We have seen  how  idolatrous
Micah  was. He had a graven image, and a molten one. Yet, in spite  of
his  idolatry,  he fooled himself with this Levite.  He  made  himself
believe that his idolatry was pleasing to the Lord, because his priest
was  of the right tribe. We see how ignorant this man was. This  is  a
mirror  of the ignorance and depravation of that time. "Now  the  Lord
will  do  me  good",  said Micah. We see that this idolater  persuades
himself  of  God's  favour, when indeed He  detests  him.  Hadn't  God
forbidden  to  have  graven  and molten  images?  Why  then  is  Micah
flattering  himself? If he knew that the priest should  be  of  Levi's
tribe, how then is it possible that he was ignorant of the commandment
forbidding idolatry? It seems that this man, Micah, read the law  with
a  biased eye, and selected only those passages that pleased  him.  By
the  way, many in our times do the same as this Micah. They read those
passages they like. They contend for them. But the rest they twist, or
give  such  a  turn  to  it that it fits their own  inventions.  Micah
imagined  that  he would enjoy God's favour, and that he  would  be  a
happy  man,  and prosper. But he greatly erred. It might  be  that  he
would  prosper  for a short time, but yet the judgement  of  God  will

It  is a wise word of Solomon, and it can be applied to Micah and  all
the  present  people  mixing the worship of the Lord  with  their  own
inventions.  This  wise word is: "There is a way which  seemeth  right
unto  a  man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Prov  14:12.
Also  the prophet Isaiah speaks words for this situation. He said  "He
feedeth  on  ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him  aside,  that  he
cannot  deliver  his soul, nor say, Is there not a  lie  in  my  right
hand?" Isa 44:20. And elsewhere he says: "He that killeth an ox is  as
if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's
neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he
that  burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen
their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations,"  Isa
66:3.  It might be that Micah's priest offered, but to God it  is  not
acceptable. Killing an ox for the offering is like slaying a man.  And
sacrificing a lamb is the same for God as if you cut off a dog's neck.
Reader,  when you choose own ways, then you will be an abomination  to
God.  Once  Jesus said: "But in vain they do worship me, teaching  for
doctrines the commandments of men." Matt 15:9. Only sound doctrine  of
the  Scriptures should be taught; not hand-made commandments. And Paul
writes  of the Jews in his time, that they were very zealous  of  God,
but  not according to the truth. He wrote: "For I bear them (the Jews)
record  that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge."
Rom  10:2.  They  are  zealous enough, but it is fixed  on  the  wrong
target.  They have a great zeal of God, but the problem is that  their
zeal  is  according to the commandments of men; not according  to  the
divine  knowledge  of  the Scriptures. When you  read  the  Scriptures
through the coloured glasses of deceiving explanations, as the  Talmud
and  the  like literature, would you ever think to come to a pure  and
sound knowledge? Truly, if God will do you a favour, then He will take
away  your  traditions  of  men,  so that  you  leave  over  the  pure

The  Scriptures once were like a stream of pure water. But  afterwards
they were explained using traditions of men. These explanations are no
longer  like  a  fresh stream of pure water, but they are  like  muddy
streams of brown or black water. This is what the prophet Ezekiel once
wrote:  "And  [as for] my flock, they eat that which ye  have  trodden
with  your  feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled  with  your
feet." Ezek 34: 19. The flock drinks the water that is fouled with the
feet of the men teaching traditions. But of a truth, when Jesus comes,
He  purifies  the  waters, so that the flock may  drink  of  the  pure
fountains  of  living waters. "He that believeth  on  Me  (said  Jesus
Christ),  as  the  scripture hath said, out of his  belly  shall  flow
rivers of living water." John 7: 38.

Micah erroneously imagined that, after he had a priest of the tribe of
Levi,  that  God  would  be favourable towards him,  despite  all  his
idolatry. Likewise many erroneously imagine that, when they  have  but
the Torah-scroll and read it, that God will favour them, and that they
serve  God.  But they forget that their traditions defile that  Torah,
like  Micah's idolatry made all his worship in vain. Therefore,  drink
of  the  pure  waters, and ask God that He will teach you through  His
Word and Spirit.

2.  Luke 12:4,5 - Fear God

And I say unto you my friends,
    Be not afraid of them that kill the body,
    and after that have no more that they can do.
    But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear:
    Fear him, which after he hath killed
    hath power to cast into hell;
    yea, I say unto you,
    Fear him.

The  people that follow Christ, live in the midst of this world.  They
try  to follow Christ, and live a godly life. The world, seeing  that,
feels  itself  condemned by their life and example. Also,  when  those
that  are  of  God,  do their duty, they warn the people  around  them
against sin, and admonish them to forsake their wicked mode of living.
This  also  enrages the world against them. When this  continues  long
enough, they begin to threaten. In the beginning, the threats are  not
so heavy, but in the course of time, they increase. Until the point is
reached  that  they threaten with death. When the situation  has  come
thus  far,  the words of Jesus our Lord and Saviour are  suitable.  He
said  to  His disciples: "Be not afraid of them that kill  the  body".
Because the disciples would be sent out to preach the gospel,  it  was
sure  that  they would undergo and suffer many threats. But disciples,
be  not afraid of them that kill the body. Much less fear them that do
nothing  more  then threatening with death. The reason  that  you  not
should fear them is, that they, after they have done that, can  do  no
more.  "Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that  have
no more that they can do". They cannot touch your soul. At least, they
cannot kill the soul. Your soul is in God's hand.

Instead of fearing those that kill the body, let me tell you Whom  you
should  fear.  Do not fear those that threaten you, but fear  Another.
They  are able to kill the body, but that is not worth the fear.  Fear
Him  that is able to kill your soul also. Or, in the words of  Christ:
"But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear Him, which after  He
has  killed,  has power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto  you,  Fear
Him". Let the fear of God fill your whole mind and soul. Let the  fear
of  God be so strong, that the fear of men disappears because of that.
When  you are in doubt and in fear about what to do, let not the  fear
of  men  guide you, but only the fear of God. When there is a fire  at
your left hand, and another one at the right, and you don't know which
direction  to  take,  let then the fear of God direct  you.  When  the
enemies lie in wait to kill your body, don't fear them. They have  not
much  power,  and  moreover, they are in God's hand.  They  cannot  do
anything  without the will of your heavenly Father. I  say  you:  fear
God.  "In  the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children
shall have a place of refuge." Prov 14:26. Once God said, through  the
mouth  of  Jeremiah:  "Fear ye not me? saith the  LORD:  will  ye  not
tremble  at my presence?" Jer 5:22. The same prophet says: "Who  would
not  fear  thee,  O  King of nations? for to thee doth  it  appertain:
forasmuch  as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all  their
kingdoms,  there is none like unto thee." Jer 10:7. I wish there  were
more  fear of the LORD instead of fear of men. People walk after other
people, because they eat out their hand. But who is there, that really
fears  God, and walk after Him? "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord,  and
glorify  thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall  come
and  worship  before thee; for thy judgements are made manifest."  Rev

3.  John 6:33 - The Bread of God

For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven,
and giveth life unto the world.

Jesus, our Lord, says of Himself that He is the Bread which comes down
from  heaven. And moreover, it is that same Bread that gives life unto
the  world. Jesus gives life unto the world. That means that the world
is  dead in itself. We all, as we are born and as we are come  in  the
world, are dead. That is why Jesus says: "I give life unto the world".
We  are dead in sins and trespasses. Anybody that thinks he has  still
some  life  in himself, or thinks that is it not such a  bad  one,  is
blind. We are dead in sins and trespasses. Jesus, however, gives  life
unto  everyone that believes in Him. Being dead, we need  to  be  born
again.  Being dead in ourselves, as we are children of Adam our  first
father,  we  need to be revived through the Spirit of God. Jesus  came
down  from heaven to give life unto the world. He is the Bread of God.
Is  there  any  one hungry? Are you hungry to the righteousness?  Then
there is good news for you. Are you hungry? Then eat of the Bread that
comes  down from heaven. Jesus is the Bread, that will alleviate  your
hunger.  "And  Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:  he  that
cometh  to  me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on  me  shall
never thirst." John 6:35.

"A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel"
Institute Practical Bible-education
Written by Teus Benschop  --  t.benschop@pobox.ruu.nl

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/so: s-open-084.txt