Notes on Exodus 36-38

Exodus 36-38 is the action of constructing the ark of the testimony/ark of the covenant/ark of the Lord/ ark of God/ holy ark/ art of thy strength/ ark of the Lord God (seven names; seven is the number of perfection. Hmm…), the tabernacle, and the various other tools and instruments that were laid out in Exodus 25-27, 30-31.

The skilled craftsmen of the twelve tribes followed God’s instructions perfectly. How often do we?

God has a plan for each of us. He has provided the instruction manual (King James Version) for our lives. If we were to follow it perfectly, we would be as holy as the ark of the Lord God. Unfortunately, we have either lost our Faith in the manual, or in the one who wrote it.

According to a 2014 Pew Research poll, about 70.6% of Americans profess to be Christians (an 8% decline over the past 7 years). 63% of the world’s Christians live in Europe or the Americas, but the number in those nations is declining. The English speaking Western world is seeing a spiritual decline, but it still overwhelmingly “Christian.”

Yet the citizens of these nations are the ones who are legalizing gay marriage, allowing transgender boys to compete in combat sports against girls, have some of the highest murder and incarceration rates, and are allowing their countries to be run by Godless perverts who would rather kill the unborn than pray in our schools.

Clearly Christianity is no longer following the letter of our instruction manual. All the ills of our society are the products of the Church giving its power to the State. We have replaced God with politicians. We have democratized our Faith.

Is it no wonder that the Holy Spirit seems to have left us? All human history would be different if the Israelites had ignored God’s instructions and not built the tabernacle or ark of the testimony. There would be no humanity had Noah ignored God’s instructions when building his ark.

For those of you who try to tell me that “translation doesn’t matter,” imagine if one of those steps had been translated incorrectly by Moses or Noah. Just one jot or tittle may have been the end of humanity.

Those Christians who were reading and living according to the King James Version were killed by the Catholics reading the Latin Vulgate. Now the modern Church has decided to throw out The Book that English speaking Christianity was built on in favor of these perverted translations based on corrupt manuscripts.

What are the results? In a nation where 71% of people are Christian, only 55% pray daily, 53% believe religion is very important, and only 50% attend a service at least once a month, and all these categories are in decline.

A nation of 71% Christians is 80% morally bankrupt. This is a verifiable fact. The more English translations there are, the fewer the number of Christians and the weaker their Faith. The correlation is there, and the relationship is significant.

Christians are no longer following the instructions. We’ve decided to build our house on sand, and a storm unlike any we have ever seen is coming.

Notes on Exodus 33-35

God is still quite angry at the children of Israel in the beginning of Exodus 33. Moses once again tries to stand in for his people to assuage God’s anger.

Notice that God gets angry. In our modern churches, we often hear only that “God is love,” which is true. God can also be anger, though his anger is only what we would call “righteous anger.” We get mad over trivial things a lot of times. We get angry when our pride is hurt or we feel embarrassed. God gets angry when His laws are violated. When we love someone, we get angriest when they do something that can lead to them being hurt. We get mad at our children for not listening, because we want to protect them from harm. This is the type of anger that God has.

God commands Moses to make two new stone tablets so that he can again copy the Ten Commandments (double inspiration!), only this time Moses requested to physically see God.

The LORD presents another dire warning. When the enemies of Israel are removed by God, the Israelites are to “destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:” (Ex. 34:13). God wants all traces of false religions and idols to be eradicated. Why? Because “thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:” (verse 14).

Notice again that God gets jealous. Yes, “God is love,” yet here He tells us that his name is Jealous. We find ourselves jealous of someone else’s success, beauty, possessions, and other trivial things. God gets jealous when he is not loved with all our hearts. He loves us so much that for us to love anything else makes him jealous. Like his anger, God’s jealousy is pure. Ours is not.

God half-grants Moses’ request to see him. The LORD passes by so that Moses can only see his back, yet the glory of God is so magnificent that Moses’ face glows. It glows so bright that it scared the children of Israel, so Moses had to put a vail over his face to cover it when addressing them.

This vail is represented by the vail in the Tabernacle and later the Temple that is designed to separate the common areas from the Holy of Holies, where the ark of the testimony and the Mercy Seat of God are found. The Jews were not meant to see God. However, when Christ was crucified, the vail was ripped in half (Matt. 27:51). We have access to God through Jesus Christ. Christ is our way of looking upon the face of God without a vail.

My, how we take this for granted. Because of Christ’s death, we have so many privileges that even God’s chosen people who were freed from Egyptian bondage and supernaturally conquered dozens of powerful armies to come into the land of milk and honey did not have. We have unfettered access to God. We have eternal security in our salvation. We need not be concerned with works, but merely Faith. All we must do is believe in Christ and accept his gift of eternal salvation. It is a process so simple that even a child can do it.

What do we do with this gift? Squander it without caring or horde it to ourselves. Once we become Christians, we sit on our precious gift as if no one else deserves it. Our friends, family, co-workers, and children must go elsewhere to seek salvation, when we could tell them about it ourselves.

This is an amazing phenomenon when you really think about it. It would be like your parents giving you a Porsche and offering to give everyone you know a Porsche as well, but you keep driving your Ford Focus around as to not draw attention to your gift. Meanwhile, your parents are sitting on hundreds of beautiful luxury cars desiring to give them away. All you have to do is let people know where to go, and you all could have the same awesome cars for free, but you keep that a secret.

When we sit on our Christianity, we are ensuring that everyone around us is going to Hell. We could be the seeds of their salvation, but we’d rather them spend eternity in Hell than potentially embarrass ourselves for a few minutes. I am as guilty as anyone of this.

Don’t you think it is time to change that?

Notes on Exodus 30-32

While Moses went up on the mountain to receive the tablet of testimonies, the Israelites started freaking out (Exodus 32). This happens to us all the time. We are waiting on God, and His answer seems to be taking too long for our liking. What do we do? We forget about Him and decide to put other “gods” before him (thus, breaking the first and second commandments).

God does things on His time. Who do we think we are to question that?

God knew what they were doing, and he was prepared to wipe them all out and start the whole Abrahamic line over with Moses. However, Moses intervened on their behalf, as Christ interceded for us. We deserve to die for ignoring our Savior, just as those Israelites should have been destroyed for their sins. Thankfully, Jesus Christ paid for those sins with his life.

When Moses came down from the mountain, the noise from the ungodly acts committed by the Israelites made Joshua think they were under attack. This was not a “joyful noise.” Moses finally put his eyes on their actions, and was so full of anger that he literally broke the Ten Commandments.

Moses confronts Aaron, and the priest did what we all do. He told Moses that he took some gold, threw it into a fire, and “there came out this calf” (Ex. 32:24). He didn’t admit that he’s the one who crafted it, but it just kind of happened.

How often do we do this? We refuse our personal responsibility and blame a circumstance instead. “This isn’t what it looks like.” “I have a sickness.” “Alcoholism is a disease.” “I was abused as a child.” “My parents hate me.” “I was too drunk.” “One thing led to another.” “Her outfit made me do it.”

YOU are responsible for your actions. YOU are the one who makes the choice. Only on the rarest occasions do we find ourselves “at the wrong place, at the wrong time.” If you drink, stay away from bars. If you cannot resist sexual temptation, stay away from dance or strip clubs. If you have difficulty with self-destructive behavior, then don’t put yourself in those sorts of triggering situations.

These poor sinners were naked while dancing and shouting (verse 25). The implication is that there was some serious sexual sin happening at this event. It was a wild party with naked people dancing, probably grinding up on each other, having a “good time.”

Verse 25 says “for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies.” I imagine that if Instagram was a thing, there would be pictures posted on social media, just as the modern Christian cannot seem to help but publicly display their drunken, half naked posts from night clubs or pool parties.

The modern Christian feels no shame among their enemies. That is a problem.

Moses then asked God to blot his name out of the book of life, rather than blot the names of the Israelites who remained loyal to God after the drunken orgy was finished. It is incredible that Moses would risk such a thing for his people. Would you do this for your friends or family?

John 15:13 says “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Would you be willing not just to die, but to give up your eternity for others?

Of course, God being the perfect judge, refuses the offer. In verse 33 He says “Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.” This is where knowledge and understanding of dispensationalism comes in. Any Christian reading this verse may very well believe it is possible to lose salvation. However, this verse applies to a dispensation, or time, that pre-dates Christ’s crucifixion.

The Old Testament method of salvation was of Faith AND works. This is why they were required to offer sacrifices at the tabernacle. Christians have the luxury of eternal security. Jesus Christ removed works from the equation when he suffered and shed his blood for us. His blood is our atonement for sins. He paid our debt.

Unfortunately, we so often take this gift for granted. We treat Christ like a rich relative who bailed us out when at our worst moment, whom we repay by never calling or seeing again until we find ourselves in trouble once again. We want a one-sided relationship with God. One in which only we benefit.

Then, when God decides he won’t help us anymore, we blame HIM for it. We pass this hatred to our children so that we rob them of what could have been a great relationship. I know there are members of my own family who were saved as children or teenagers and refuse to allow their own children to go to church. They will go to Heaven regardless of turning from Christ, because of eternal security, while they do all they can to ensure their kids will go to Hell.

It is a case of spiritual child abuse, and we watch this happen without acting against it. If I saw a family member beating or molesting a child, I would have child protective services there in an instant. Yet, I am silent when these kids are spiritually abused.

Shame on us. Shame on me.

Notes on Exodus 28-29

Exodus 28-29 are seemingly monotonous chapters that describe the garments of priests and some rules on sacrificing animals. However, there are some interesting nuggets found within these passages.

1. Suiting up for the priesthood is similar to putting on the “whole armor of God” denoting that the priest was going to spiritual battle just as an army of soldiers would enter into physical battle. There are specific undergarments, a headdress, and a breastplate with shoulder pieces. The breastplate of Aaron was incredibly beautiful. It was made from gold and covered in precious gemstones.

I noticed that the gemstones in the breastplate, according to Exodus 28:17-20 (sardius, topaz, carbuncle, emerald, sapphire, diamond, ligure, agate, amethyst, beryl, onyx, and jasper) resemble the stones covering Satan, the anointed cherub (sardius, topaz, carbuncle, emerald, sapphire, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, and gold) in Ezekiel 28. Notice Exodus 28 and Ezekiel 28. Interesting.

2. The priest was to stand out from the crowd. These garments were incredibly ornate, and all the priests had a variation of it, though the HIGH priest’s garment was the most beautiful.

This is something we have lost in our churches. Some may call it “legalistic” to desire a pastor to wear a suit and tie, but there is something refreshing about seeing a pastor wear the nicest possible attire, rather than jeans and a polo shirt. A jacket and tie cannot compare with a golden, gem encrusted ephod, but it would be nice for a pastor to dress like they are entering the house of God, rather than an International House of Pancakes.

3. What in the world is the Urim and Thummim? The Bible is incredibly vague in their origin and use. Notice there is no command to make them, unlike all the other pieces of the priestly garment. They were just…there, and put in the breastplate near the heart. Urim (light) and Thummim (perfection) seems to act as an oracle of sorts and is related to God’s judgment (Exodus 28:30). Numbers 27:21 provides additional evidence for the priest, “who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim.”

The judgment of Urim? The Urim is not a person, and the greatest judge is God. 1 Samuel 28:6 gives a little more clarity, “And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.”

It seems that God uses the Urim and Thummim to communicate His judgment. It is sort of like a Ouija board or Magic 8 Ball that only God could communicate to the priests through. I have never in all my life heard a preacher broach the subject of this supernatural device.

4. Consecration of the holy garments using blood. This is a perfect picture of our sanctification through the blood of Christ.

As beautiful and ornate as these priestly garments were, they could not be considered holy until they were covered by the blood of a sacrifice. Even the most moral and wonderful human being cannot be considered holy until covered by the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the ultimate sacrifice.

You can be a “good person” though the Bible says that “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10), but “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

We must accept Christ’s gift of salvation paid for with his blood upon the cross. This is represented by a seemingly mundane ritual performed by Israelite priests 1400 years before Christ lay down his life.

Notes on Exodus 25-27

The “ark of the covenant” or ark of the testimony (Exodus 25:16) is one of the most amazing artifacts ever built by man. This 5x3x3 ft. box holds a pot of manna, the Tables of the Law (ten commandments), and Aaron’s rod that represent how God feeds the unsaved, convicts the unsaved, and provided the risen Savior.

The ark was placed in the Tabernacle, a portable place of worship that would be erected whenever the Israelites set up camp. The design of the Tabernacle would eventually be reproduced in a more solid form when Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem. Of course, the Temple was destroyed twice, and the Muslim Dome of the Rock sits in the rightful place of the Temple. Eventually the Dome of the Rock will be removed and the Temple will be rebuilt so that the ark of the testimony can be returned to its home.

There is some interesting numerology in these passages. There are three metals, three colors, and three animals used to make the Tabernacle. This is a representation of the holy trinity. The altar is 5 cubits wide and 5 cubits long. There are 5 bars that ran horizontally around the Tabernacle, and there were 5 pillars on the front end of the Tabernacle. 5 is the number of death throughout the Bible.

The ark is covered in gold and requires wooden poles passed through golden hoops along its side as a means to carry it, for if you touch the ark, you will die (Numbers 4:15).

On the lid of the ark is the mercy seat, where Jesus Christ is supposed to sit, but Antichrist will sit there during the tribulation marking the “abomination of desolation” that brings about the worst plagues and judgments from God in recorded human history to that point.

Surrounding the mercy seat are four “cherubim.” These angels are interesting creatures. First of all, Satan is the “anointed cherub” (Ezekiel 28:14) who was covered by “every precious stone” (Ez. 28:13). Cherubim have four wings (Ez. 1:6); two for flying (Ez. 1:11) and two for covering their bodies (Ez. 1:23). They also have cloven hoof feet like a calf (Ez. 1:7).

Notice that other than having feet with hooves, the standard depictions of Satan with a red suit and pitchfork are way off. He would give off light that shines through every precious stone. Imagine how beautiful and colorful this would be.

Cherubim, apparently the highest order of angels, would be appropriate for guarding the mercy seat. They also guarded the garden of Eden with flaming swords after Adam and Eve were kicked out of paradise (Gen. 3:24) and are the pilots of whatever UFO craft Ezekiel described in his vision (Ez. 1:15-25).

Cherubim also have four faces; a human, lion, ox, and eagle (Ez. 1:10). Each of these animals are represented by the four gospels, Matthew- Man, Mark- Lion, Luke- Ox, and John- Eagle. Each of the gospels represents a different perspective of Jesus Christ: Matthew- the man, Mark- the King, Luke- the sacrifice, and John- the divinity.

I would love to hear an explanation of how Moses’ description of the ark and Ezekiel’s description of cherubim could be so in-line with the descriptions of Christ found in the four Gospels written hundreds of years apart (Moses 1400BC; Ezekiel 575BC; Gospels by 70AD), by six different men with such high accuracy that can be rationalized without admitting some sort of supernatural influence.

The Bible is true. It validates itself throughout Scripture, and has been historically verified over and over for centuries. Science and archaeology fail to debunk any truth in the Bible, but only serve to reinforce it. If the history of the Bible is true, then the future will be as well.

Something is coming to Israel. Somehow the Dome of the Rock will be destroyed so the Temple can be rebuilt. The ark of the covenant will return to its rightful place, and the Antichrist will sit on the mercy seat bringing about the tribulation. This will happen. So will the seals, the trumpets and angels who bring about the wrath of God wiping out a majority of the Earth’s population. Those who are left behind will have to survive fiery hail, locusts with scorpion tails, great earthquakes, war, disease, famine, water turning to blood, and the sun getting ten times hotter.

This can be avoided, of course, by simply accepting the gift that God handed us through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Accept Jesus into your heart today, because the truth of Antichrist and the “end times” may begin at any moment.

Are you saved?

Notes on Exodus 22-24

In the middle of giving laws against stealing, having pre-marital sex, oppressing strangers, and lending money with high interest, Exodus 22: 18 says “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” What an odd placement for such an odd topic.

Verse 17 is about paying a dowry of virgins to someone who sleeps with an unmarried woman and can’t have permission from the father to marry. Verse 19 is about having sex with animals. Verse 18 is about capital punishment for witches.

Verse 28 says “Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.” This is an interesting verse given the political climate we find ourselves in during the last few decades. America has become increasingly divided, and most of the division springs from our Presidents and Congress. Yet, the Bible tells us not to curse these rulers. Why? Because cursing the ruler, we curse ourselves by proxy. I don’t WANT any President to fail, because that means my country will fail.

We should not revile (criticize) the gods, because that is God’s job. He will take care of the gods and rulers of this world. It’s not our job to wish them harm.

Exodus 23: 2 says “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil;” which is exactly what we continually find ourselves doing. We succumb to peer pressure because we have a pressing desire to be well liked and part of a social group. We find ourselves voting for a certain political party because we identify with a label, rather than with our individual beliefs. This verse is a challenge to Marxist Communism.

Verse 8 also has some great wisdom. “And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.” When you take money from someone, you owe them. We feel we must either pay them back with money or favors. We see this not only in politics, where corruption is part of the game, but in our churches.

The Church has become too focused on taking “gifts.” They pervert the Words of God because they seek additional gifts that go beyond the normal tithes and offerings. “Gifts” are how church buildings are paid for; how church plants are paid for. Gifts can also come to mean “tax breaks.” In order to remain tax-exempt, churches refuse to speak against homosexuality, Islam, transgenderism, alcoholism, and putting half-naked pictures up on social media sites.

Appealing to the audience for more gifts often takes the place of the Holy Spirit. Certain topics become taboo from the pulpit.

In Verse 23, God warns the Israelites against making any “covenant” with the wrongful inhabitants of the Holy Land. While our leaders continually seek a peace resolution between Israel and the Palestinians, God told them not to do it. Is it no wonder that such an accord continually proves so difficult?

One final note, is that the ten commandments were written in Exodus 20, yet Moses does not obtain the famous stone tablets until the end of chapter 31. Those would be broken, and new tablets were made.

Thus, the ten commandments that the Hebrew Bible is translated from is a copy (the Masoretic text) of a copy (original book of Exodus) of a copy (remade tablets) of a copy (original tablets) of an “inspired document” (the original commandments in chapter 20).

Anyone who does not believe the Scripture can be doubly inspired has been deceived.

Notes on Exodus 19-21

The Ten Commandments. Almost everyone is aware of them, so I will not spend time discussing each of them. However, I will expand on some.

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing. . .” I have a fascination with the concept of images. Images have power that is totally non-rational. Think about a photograph of a loved one. If that loved one were to pass away or if the relationship ends, the image of the person becomes something supernatural to us. How many of us would lose our minds if someone threw an image of a dead child or parent into a fire? The image is not the person. It is only a symbol.

The same can be said of religious imagery. There was a famous controversy over an “art” project called “Piss Christ” in which a cheap plastic cross was placed in a jar of urine. The message the artist wanted to portray was that it was just a piece of plastic in human urine. Christians everywhere were outraged because the cross (or at least the image of it) is a sacred symbol representing Christ.

That plastic had very little intrinsic value, but we imbue the image with power and importance. Think about the absurdity of it. Jesus Christ was literally tortured and murdered, but rose from the grave. Christ is not a cross. Christ is not cheap plastic. Christ was not in that jar. Yet the commandment is to NOT make any graven image or any LIKENESS. That includes plastic crosses, crucifixes, paintings, photographs, or any form of visible representation of something real that may lead us to worship the object rather than the subject.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;” This verse is typically brought up whenever some old timer wants to make you feel bad for using bad language. This verse is not a condemnation of “swearing” as most swear words are arbitrarily socially constructed. Jesus Christ and God are names of God, thus should not be used when cursing. However, the “f word” and many other swear words are mere euphemisms of other words that society has somehow deemed as offensive. The only difference for some is contextual. “Ass” is in The Bible when it refers to a donkey. It is profane to use it when talking of a person’s hindquarters. The societal pressure is so great that I have seen pastors use “donkey” whenever “ass” shows up in Scripture.

Society should never trump Scripture. Such is the power of our socialization.

Furthermore, taking the Lord’s name in vain transcends language. When you call yourself a Christian and post a half-naked photograph (an image) on Instagram, you are taking God’s name in vain. When you call yourself a Christian and get wasted at a party, you are taking the Lord’s name in vain. When you smoke marijuana, get tattoos, get fat, have pre or extra-marital sex you are defiling the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:15-20); you are taking the Lord’s name in vain.

Exodus 21:22-25 is an interesting passage, in that it deals with the loss of a child by some sort of external physical trauma. Some read this as abortion. Some as miscarriage. I have read interpretations that this verse shows that the destruction of the unborn is not murder, for the penalty for murder is death. The penalty in this case is as light as the woman’s husband wishes. The stipulation is “if any mischief follow” (verse 23) then death is the punishment.

Here is my interpretation (in parentheses): “If men strive (argue/fight), and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her (miscarriage, stillborn, premature birth), and yet no mischief follow (the mother and premature baby survive): he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine (it’s up to the husband to determine if it was an accident, manslaughter, or murder); and he shall pay as the judges determine (the courts have the final say. And if any mischief follow (if the mother or child dies or are permanently wounded), then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

You see, “her fruit depart from her” does not necessarily mean that the baby dies. This is why a murder charge is not a definitive punishment. A woman who is 8 or 9 months pregnant may go into labor because of stress or physical trauma, and the baby’s life may very well be viable outside of the womb. If there are complications, however, the punishment becomes more severe.

Anyone reading this verse as abortion, I think, is wrong. Notice that the focus is hurting a woman with child, not hurting the child directly. Anyone reading this as miscarriage is only partially right in that it COULD be a miscarriage, thought that’s not the only possibility.