William Andrew Dillard
KILLING MOSES —WHY?
Moses was a man of many brushes with death. He was launched in a baby float to escape the death order of Pharaoh. Later, he had to flee Egypt to avoid retribution for a crime he had committed against an Egyptian taskmaster. When he returned under a heavenly commission to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt, they often threatened to stone him for the troubles he had supposedly brought upon them. Finally, and due to another sin, God gently took his life out of this world on the peaks of Mt. Pisgah. But there was another time of great significance. An angel of the Lord met Moses in the way with the purpose of killing him! What? Why? What is this?
Read about it in Exodus 4:24-26. Moses had married Zipporah in the wilderness of Sinai, and had neglected to perform the token of the Abrahamic covenant on his son. Now, he was in the process of becoming the leader of his people, a representative of the God of heaven and earth to Pharaoh, and that in the neglect of the basic tenants of obedience to the Lord. It appears that Zipporah was none too happy about the whole ordeal, but she accomplished it, and the Lord allowed Moses to go on with his commissioned work.
This incident constitutes a biblical “Slap in the face” to so many who brush off baptism as relatively unimportant, and/or an ordinance that may be performed by anyone in any way.
Let it be noted that if it is in the Word of God, it is not unimportant.
The Hebrews in their wilderness journey have been referenced as “The church in the wilderness.” That is correct. Those folks were a saved family that grew into a nation. They yielded to the Lord their firstborn by applying the blood of the paschal lamb on their doorposts. They were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. Indeed, as most modern Baptists would say, they were a saved, baptized, called out assembly; hence, a church, although not a New Testament church.
So, the token of the covenant, the cutting away of flesh, was most important both to them and to the heavenly Father from Whom it originated. In like manner, the token of New Covenant relationship with God (burial of the fleshly man) is vitally important today.
To be sure, one may be spiritually saved, and never be baptized, but in baptism one is raised to walk in newness of life, i.e. New Covenant life, and one may never be a member of a bona fide New Testament church without it.
Finally, the Word teaches us that there were some who rejected the counsel of God against themselves, not being baptized of Him.” Luke 7:30. Moses mistake nearly cost him his life. Saved people who do not have scriptural baptism today forfeit the reward of New Covenant life both here and hereafter. Let’s learn from Moses!
William Andrew Dillard
PRESUMING ON GOD
Man’s propensity to presume on the Creator God of heaven and earth appears to know no end, at least not in this age. Spurred on by religious charlatans who prey on the ignorance of folks, the name it and claim it crowd forges onward, full steam ahead. Let’s think about that for a minute.
God has shown His mighty power in times past to accomplish purposes within His holy will for a people, place, or thing.
Here are a few of those displays of His might power aside from creation itself. He brought the mighty Egyptian nation to its knees and its military to its destruction in ways so far removed from human thinking that it stands out in the minds of modern Christians as an all time great, miraculous action. Shall we mention Joshua and the conquest of Jericho? What about Daniel in the lion’s den or the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, or Elijah on Mt. Carmel, or Peter being released from prison, or Paul in shipwreck? On and on it goes for the Lord has wrought might works to show Himself both to His people and to the heathen.
So now, the world’s religious in name only, presume that if God is the same yesterday, today, and forever as the scriptures declare, then all they have to do is call upon Him to do mighty things, and if He likes you, He will, but if he doesn’t He won’t. So, they pick out an isolated incident like that of Jabez, and without the slightest idea of what that is all about, they beseech the Lord for personal riches or popularity which they can parlay into wealth, and are perplexed that He does not answer them as they wish.
If God has done this before, and if He is the same, and if He really is no respecter of persons, why then, oh why, does He not do it again for us, they ask. It may just be that they are asking God to become a respecter of persons and do for them what He is not doing for others. Then there is the fact that they are asking amiss to consume it upon personal lusts as James points out in his epistle.
This sort of thing bleeds over into the life of nominal Christians as well. Those who do not live a true Christian life will become ill or have some tragedy occur. Then they want the church to pray for them. For what? That they might have healing? For what? So that they might continue to pile up judgment against themselves by living a life of sin and iniquity rather than serving the Lord who bought them with His precious blood?
Enough presuming on God already! It is fruitless except in an evil way. Let those who would ask of God first surrender to Him and pray for grace that they might serve Him according to His will in the short time of this pilgrimage. It is the only fitting thing to do for one Who has saved us unto himself
JANUARY 12 – GOD HAS A STRONG HAND
Exodus 13:9 “With a strong hand hath the Lord brought the out of Egypt.”
How often do we remember our life before we were saved? How often do we remember when we were saved and the relief and emotion that we experienced. Have we really considered what it took to deliver us from the bondage of sin?
Therefore when I contemplate what God has done for me through the death of His innocent Son, I realize the “…strong hand” hand of the LORD. This is the strong hand that has delivered me from death and hell. This is the strong hand of John 10:28, 29 which says says no one can pluck them out of my hand, and then re-enforces that with, “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all’ and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. Now that right there is security. Saved and secure.
With a strong hand God keeps me in the salvation of Jesus Christ. With great strength, God led Israel from the clutches of Pharoah. When the chariots were bearing down upon the people at the Red Sea, they were delivered by God’s strong hand. He opened the Red Sea and Israel crossed on dry ground. Pharoah would take advantage of this and cross the Red Sea by the same means. God, by his strong hand, caused the chariot wheels to come off. With His strong hand, he closed the Red Sea and drown the army of Pharoah.
God, with His strong hand can take us through perilous times and perilous places. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me; …:There is comfort because of the strong hand of God. We are safe in the arms of God.
JANUARY 11 – EGYPT IS DESTROYED
Exodus 10:7 – “… Knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed. ,
Why does it take the portals of death to get stiff necked people to repent? The lost at times can be so hard headed when it comes to the Lord and the lost peoples’ refusal to repent. Let me give you an example. A had been dealing with a young couple over several months. I had witnessed to them with no results. My wife and I invited them to an event in another town and we picked them up in my Dodge pickup truck It had the seat behind so they were fairly comfortable. As we left the event I began witnessing to them again. An aside, while driving down the highway at 70 miles an hour, they are not going to walk away. As I got to the end of witnessing, the young lady said, “I am mad.” What about? “My parents never told me this.” That was as far as I got that night. A later visit where I dealt with a problem that came up between husband and wife, I once again brought up the issue of salvation. I said to each – you know you are a sinner? Both answered yes. You know that if you die in this condition you will go to hell. Both replied yes. Do you know how to be saved? Both answered yes. Then why aren’t you calling upon the Lord to save you. The said to the husband, “yeah why aren’t you. They are both lost to this day. My question to them would be, “do you not know yet that you are destroying your family”
The sad reality is that it is not only the lost that are in this condition. There are those that profess to know the Lord and yet stubbornly hold on to their favorite sins, some false doctrines and other things that are contrary to God’s Word. Some know the life they should live and refuse to live that life. Men called to preach refuse to preach. Some announce the call to preach and refuse to pastor. Others will pastor but limit the call to a certain distance from their home. It is so easy to look at some one else that is saved and be critical of them. We do not see our own faults. We all to often are so pleased with ourselves we do not have time to worry about whether God is pleased with us or not.
We are to be servants to the only living God. Notice that servants said Egypt is destroyed. We as servants of God need to be bold and wise. We need to be yielded to the will of God. May we reach out to the lost to reveal to them that their lives are destroyed. May we be sensitive to the moving of God in our lives. Now go witness to some one.
REST FOR THE SOUL
William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
God provides marvelous, incomprehensible rest for the human soul for those who access it the one and only way; His way! Hebrews Chapters Three and Four speak of it in at least four angles of thought: 1) it was rejected; 2) it is presently experienced; 3) there is more of it to come; and 4) some presently come short of it.
The Hebrews, brought out of Egypt, rejected God’s rest through unbelief. This is not to say they were lost people, but they did not exercise ongoing faith in God and His way for them. Thus did they give up grace for law, and as a people never knew the great rest for the soul offered through the medium of faith in God’s Word and ways.
That rest is a current reality for those of God’s people who are submissive to Him in discipleship; who learn the blessed joys of the Word, and commit themselves to that knowledge. This is spoken of as one ceasing from his own labor, spiritually, and depending entirely on the labor of God Who has also ceased from His, because the works were finished from the foundation of the world (casting down of the cosmos). Understanding the symmetry, harmony and unity of the eternal Word is their priceless possession and ultimate possibility of rest for the soul.
Additionally, there is more of it to come as verse nine forthrightly states. When faith becomes sight and hope becomes reality, there will be total, undisturbed rest in all of the ongoing activities. Doubtless this is a reference to the coming millennial reign of Christ Jesus and the ensuing heaven age.
But the sad reality is that there are those who have believed in Jesus, but have stopped short of being a committed, learning disciple. This causes them to be uncertain in spiritual matters, and fodder for the glib, but erroneous preachments of an endless line of charlatans. Such a state of life as this is the devil’s playground, leading one from one heresy to another while all the time living in uncertainty about who they really are, and how God views them as being saved or lost.
The biblically taught reaction to this scenario is stated in 4:1. “Let us fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.” To fear is not to be always in that state, but it is motivational to receive and to share the great truths of the Word, and the hope that lies in in the heart of God’s covenant people.
Author: Wiiliam Andrew Dillard
Several decades ago I was sitting in my doctor’s waiting room when a mother with two small boys came in. All attention was riveted on one boy who had a fishing lure with grab hook in it in his mouth with two of the hoods penetrating his lip and jaw. Later I learned that his story was this: “My brother and I were playing fishing and it was my turn to be the fish!” Painful? Oh yes! A little humorous? Indeed! Needless to say hooks in his jaw rendered him totally ready for medical help.
Perhaps the illustration is a little crude, but in Ezekiel 38:4, God says of Gog, the chief prince of Mesheck and Tubal that He would put hooks into his jaws to bring him forth, an exceeding great army. Moreover, in verse 16 God says that it is He Who brings Gog down against His people in the end time of the age, so that God may be sanctified by the nations; that they might know Him.
This is so reminiscent of what God did in Egypt in the days of the Hebrew Exodus. It was God Who hardened the heart of Pharaoh that the plagues might continue upon the Egyptians, and that He might be acknowledged by them that He is GOD! The world may choose to ignore God, but He will be sanctified in them. He is the Creator whether the world wants to acknowledge that or not. The day comes when they will do so to the man.
It is interesting to note that some of the greatest military and political minds that are given to strategy now acknowledge Putin as the meanest, most resolved, headstrong, and powerful leaders in the world, stopping at nothing to get what he wants. In recent days, the world has stood by while his forces simply marched in and claimed Crimea of the Ukraine. The prediction now is that he will not stop there since there is no resolve among the nations to seriously challenge him. They see him taking all of Ukraine eventually, and then for some reason that is not presently clear, most likely political, he will make his move on Israel. The sea merchants and young lions (western nations) will say, “Are you come down to take a spoil….. verse 13. Perhaps, they will once again threaten to close his western bank accounts! But is this to be lamented? Let Christians be biblically literate and wise. God Himself is doing this. He is putting hooks in the jaws of Gog. He will be sanctified of the heathen. Some bible scholars see this as a pre-Armageddon battle. Others think it is Armageddon. It is difficult to see this as clearly as one would like, but the greater picture shines through powerfully. Nations have forgotten and ignored the very idea of the Creator God. In time, He will put hooks in the jaws of Gog, and He will be sanctified of the heathen. The wise realize they do not know all things, and they are very slow to make definitive predictions or judgments. Rather they keep these things in their heart and ponder them as they coalesce the wonders of the Holy Word.
“Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold,” Deuteronomy 17:17.
Long before the nation of Israel requested and received its first king, God prescribed the qualifications for the king. God told the people of Israel that once they had occupied the Promised Land and had begun to enjoy living there, they would desire a king to rule over them. God allowed for that provision, but with a few caveats. Their king must be an Israelite, he must not acquire too many horses, he must not lead the nation back to a dependence on Egypt, he must not have more than one wife and he must not become too obsessed with wealth.
At first glance, these seem to be odd qualifications, don’t they? Upon further inspection, however, we can see that the negative kingly qualities God spoke against are the same qualities that existed in every king of the surrounding nations. What did God want for the leaders of His people? He wanted them to be distinct from the world so that the light of His glory could shine more brightly.
How did David stack up against the other kings? He started humble but ultimately caved in to the temptations of power, prominence and wealth. He was still a man after God’s own heart, but imagine how much greater God’s glory would have shined had David been able to resist the temptations of lust, money and power.
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you resist the temptations of this world so that God’s glory can shine through you today?
“And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever,” Exodus 12:17.
Perhaps the Israelites in bondage could not fully understand it at the time, but when God instituted the Feast of Unleavened Bread, He was setting up a picture of the body of Jesus Christ. Leaven is fermented dough and nearly always represents sin or decay in the Bible. A feast that focused on unleavened bread served as a reminder of the purity of heart God requires.
When churches observe the Lord’s Supper today, they use unleavened bread, just as Jesus used when He instituted the Lord’s Supper, which symbolizes the perfect, sinless body of Jesus. “Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body” (Matt. 26:26).
The picture continues further when we realize how we behave as the body of Christ today when we serve God through a church. As we serve the world around us in love, we become the hands and feet of Jesus. The only way a church can represent Christ truthfully is to maintain a standard of health and holiness within the church through a unified pursuit of Christ and accountability to that commitment. That is why Paul tells the church in Corinth to enjoy the fellowship of the church by walking in “sincerity and truth” (1 Cor. 5:8).
JUST A THOUGHT
Will you walk in sincerity and truth today?
“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt,” Exodus 12:13.
When it was time for God to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, He established a way for the people to always memorialize their deliverance by instituting the Lord’s Passover. Each household was to shed the blood of a lamb that was without blemish and paint the blood on the doorposts of the home. Then, the lamb was to be roasted and eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs by everyone in the home, as they stood, ready to evacuate Egypt. That night, God preserved the firstborn of every home who had observed the Passover and delivered the Israelites from bondage.
Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover. He became what the Passover represented, God’s salvation through the shed blood of an innocent Lamb. After Christ was crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended into Heaven, the apostle Paul looked back to what Jesus had done and said, “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us” (1 Cor. 5:7). Just as God could not withhold His punishment from a home in Egypt on which the blood of the lamb was not painted, so God cannot pardon a person who has not been cleansed by the blood of Jesus. It is impossible for God to forgive a person’s sins if he has not, in faith, been cleansed by the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7).
JUST A THOUGHT
Have you been cleansed by the blood of Jesus?
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
A rocket exploded in an open area near an Arab village in Gush Etzion around 2:15 p.m. as sirens wailed in Jerusalem during another barrage of rockets and missiles unleashed by Hamas.
The missile exploded in an open area, and no one was injured. Minutes before the sirens rang out, an AFP correspondent in Gaza City reported hearing the loud report of an outgoing rocket.
The attack was claimed by Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which said it had fired “an M75 rocket at the occupied city of Jerusalem.”
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who spent the past two days in Egypt, had been scheduled to hold talks in Jerusalem with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman shortly after noon.
At least one missile was aimed at Jerusalem last week and reportedly exploded in an open area next to an Arab village in Gush Etzion, located south of the capital.
Shortly earlier on Tuesday, three rockets hit a kibbutz, critically wounding at least one person. The early warning siren system did not operate, and there are fears that several young people, possibly children, are trapped in debris.
A Grad missile demolished a Be’er Sheva home. A woman in the house took cover in the reinforced shelter in the house and escaped injury.