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.

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Notes on Exodus 16-18

The children of Israel are wandering into the “wilderness of Sin” which is obviously a geographical location, but I cannot escape the word “Sin” here. I get a picture of the Israelites who were just rescued from hell on Earth, yet still struggle in the wilderness of their own sins. They are found wandering, complaining, and once again wish that God had killed them in their captivity rather than allow them to live with the difficulties of being free.

I also love Moses’ response, which should ALWAYS be the response of someone who is doing what God told them to do. In Exodus 16:8, he says “what are we? Your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD.”

He beings with a humble question. “What are we?” Who do you guys think we are? Then immediately points out that Moses and Aaron are just following God’s Word, therefore, if you have a problem with it, then God is with whom you take issue.

I wish more pastors would take this line of reasoning. I wish more CHRISTIANS would. The problem, in my opinion, is that too many of us are NOT following God’s Word. Our pastors have been leading churches with more of a business model than that of divine inspiration. I know for a fact that some churches are more concerned with financial health and numerical audience growth than of allowing the Holy Spirit to guide their decisions. They have allowed themselves to be deceived that they are doing the “right thing,” but the lack of spiritual growth in their members says otherwise.

Our churches are more concerned with marketing than preaching the Truth. Christian universities are more concerned with pumping out copies of copies (a simulacra) of pastors who preach the same way (3-4 bullet points for about 40 minutes on a topical “sermon series” chosen up to a year in advance) from the same books (written by men, not the Bible) who were taught that the King James Bible is flawed and imperfect, thus, we have no access to the inspired, perfect Word of God unless we can speak and read Hebrew and a dead Greek language (Koine).

I take issue with Christians who pervert God’s Word and subvert His will. If we were all doing what we were supposed to be doing, like Moses and Aaron, then I would have no reason to murmur.

When the Israelites were starving, God provided food for them. Once again, miracle after miracle, and the children of Israel STILL couldn’t help but disobey when Moses told them not to leave their food out. It spoiled. When Moses did tell them to leave their food out, it remined fine. God preserves his bounty, so long as we follow His rules.

There is a “type of Christ” tucked away neatly in Exodus 17:6, “thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall water come out of it.” Jesus Christ is the rock, and he was beaten until blood (and actual water) came out of him.

Yet another “type of Christ” occurs in verse 12. In order for the Israelites to defeat their enemy, Moses had to keep his arms outstretched. This is a picture of Christ stretching his arms out on the cross to defeat sin.

Exodus 18 has some interesting gems in it as well.

The first of which is when Jethro (Moses’ father in-law) hears of the plagues and exodus from Egypt. He says in verse 11, “Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly he was above them.”

This is not something to overlook. Jethro clearly believes that the gods are actual beings. As I mentioned in my notes on Exodus 7-12, God challenged each of the Egyptian gods and won. Jethro says “in the thing wherein they dealt proudly” which seems to verify what I thought happened with the plagues.

The passage ends with a very dangerous proposition that happens to many Christians today. Moses was tasked with certain responsibilities. He was a prophet and military leader. However, he took it upon himself to also be a judge, rather than allow God to judge the Israelites or at least appoint judges Himself. Rather than listening to God’s counsel, Moses turned his ear to Jethro. His father in-law meant well, I am sure, but he was also just a man. Jethro advised Moses with sound human advice.

This is what we do way too often. We try to find the answers ourselves, and when we get overwhelmed we turn to our friends and family. They want to help us, but they are most likely not executing God’s wisdom. Taking their advice often leads to the same dead ends that we would have run into by doing it our own way. God wants us to listen to HIM, not our parents or best friends.

The result of Moses appointing judges, rather than allowing God to do so, slid down the slippery slope from removing God as the head of the nation to adding judges which didn’t go over well, and eventually putting kings in charge. A human king, as we see ample evidence of, is no match for the Heavenly King. Humans are full of corruption, while Christ is perfect and merciful.

Notes on Exodus 13-15

Egypt is a “type” of the world; the sinful, secular world. Thus, when God brings the children of Israel OUT of Egyptian bondage, we see a picture of salvation. Just as God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, Christ brings us out of slavery to sin.

Notice, however, the way that the Israelites react when the Egyptians (the world) catches up to them in Exodus 14:12. They say “it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”

This is an interesting correlation to the way human beings seem to react whenever a difficult situation arises. It is easier to give in to sin than to continue to struggle against it.

Exercising free will is difficult. Consider the political systems around the globe. The reason why so few nations are truly free, is because freedom is not easy. We seem to be a race bent on being ruled. It’s in our DNA. What causes conflict is that we are supposed to be ruled by GOD, not man. When we put our freedom in the hands of human leaders, they only tighten their fists and squash it.

It also amazes me just how quickly the Israelites forget how awful their bondage was. They are just a few miles away from slavery, and already want to return. Freedom is scary, and fear makes us irrational.

Another interesting note is with regards to Pharaoh’s apparent mental illness. Not only did he go back on his promise to free the Israelites several times as the plagues were ravaging his country, but in Exodus 14:5 he says “why have we done this?” It’s as if he woke from what he thought was a delusion, only to find out that the reality is that he gave up his slaves. He completely forgot the ten plagues and death of his firstborn son.

The picture here is that sin is a delusion. It makes us believe that we can ignore the pain and suffering of our actions as if we deserve no punishment. This is a fitting reminder that an entitlement culture, such as ours, is filled with selfish megalomaniacs who refuse to accept blame. The result of which is our utter destruction; just as Pharaoh’s obsession with the Israelites led to his drowning in the Red Sea.

My final observation from this passage is in Exodus 15:3. “The LORD is a man of war:”

Western Christians seem to forget that we are engaged in a spiritual battle. God is a man of war. Jesus Christ will return as a conquering King who destroys his enemies in the book of Revelation. We, as believers, are soldiers. We are to fight spiritual battles here on Earth, which is why we are directed to put on the “whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:13-17).

We are not to be whiny cowards who give up our freedom to carnal leaders. We are not supposed to battle against the Word of God by constantly trying to change it. We are not supposed to “educate” ourselves out of the warfare that is going on around us. Too many Christians would rather hole up in their ivory towers of academia trying to learn dead languages (looking at you, Koine Greek) and overthrow the perfect, inspired Word of God (the KING JAMES VERSION) causing division in our ranks. There are traitors in our midst. There are traitors in our pulpits! My beef is not with them, but with the spiritual wickedness that they represent!

The pollution of God’s Word is the removal of our primary weapon (Eph. 6:18). Without the Sword of the Spirit, we are only left with defense. No battle can be won without an offense. Those who seek to take away our Bible want us disarmed, and too many Christians today gladly throw their weapons down.

My Bible is my sword. It is purified as silver refined in a furnace seven times (Psalm 12:6). How can we expect to engage in battle when you remove our perfect, pure, refined silver swords and replace them with cheap imitations?

The Church as it stands today fears its freedom. Like the Israelites, Western Christians would rather be slaves to this world than die free in Christ. They gladly lay down swords for shackles. Fear not, for I will put on my armor AND take up arms so that I might be ready to wage war alongside Jesus Christ, for my God is a “man of war!”

Are you?

Notes on Exodus 7-12

The “ten plagues” in Exodus is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. However, the richness of the various layers found when really looking into these supernatural events is often overlooked. I am about to share some things that I found that I have either rarely or never heard from any pulpit in all my years of going to church.

My first observation is regarding the “magicians” of Egypt (Exodus 7:11) that could mimic the first few “signs and wonders” that God allowed Moses and Aaron to perform. These men were not illusionists like David Copperfield or Criss Angel. These men were given legitimate supernatural powers that were counterfeit to the power of God.

Think about the dangers that we face when we attribute a supernatural phenomenon to God only. Satan can also do things that are beyond our understanding. Many of us require “signs” in order to take a leap of faith. Not all signs are from God.

My second observation is the mention of “gods” throughout these passages. Exodus 7:1 begins with God making Moses “a god” to Pharaoh. This is a clue that the Egyptians were used to worshiping a physical being that has transcendent power, not a mere fairy tale or mythological figure. Furthermore, God will “execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt” (Exodus 12:12).

I believe that these gods were real. I believe they were physical beings with supernatural power. I believe that Nimrod and the other “mighty men” of “renown” were socializing with the Egyptians and were worshiped for their power. Once again turning to Alexander Hislop’s The Two Babylons, there is ample evidence that the Egyptian Osiris and Babylonian Nimrod were one and the same.

The plagues themselves were a challenge to the gods by The God. Let’s take them in order.

1. Water into blood- Hapi is the Nile River god. Turning the water into blood then taking a full week to have it disperse would be a direct challenge. Notice that the first plague is turning water into blood. Christ’s first public miracle was turning water into wine, a type of blood.

2. Frogs- Heket is a goddess of fertility who was depicted as a frog or woman with a frog’s head.

3. Lice- Geb is the god of the earth, and the sands of the earth were turned into lice.

4. Flies- This does not have a great Egyptian correlation, but Baal-zebub was the “lord of the flies” and has often been aligned with Satan. There is a good chance that the Egyptians were aware of his existence, though I am not sure by what name.

5. Cattle- Hathor, Amon, and Ra are probably the most well-known cattle gods in Egyptian mythology, and there are even more.

6. Boils- Isis is a healing goddess, yet she could not heal these boils.

7. Hail- Nut is the goddess of the sky, but she could not stop the hail. The addition of fire was God’s way of making sure that no one thought this was a natural disaster.

8. Locusts- Osiris (Nimrod) is god of vegetation and crops. This was his challenge to stop, but he failed. Also note that Exodus 10:14 says that “before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.” These were supernatural locusts, just like the ones in Revelation 9 that accompany Abaddon (which means destruction), whose name is Apollyon in Greek. Sound like Apollo? Apollo was, of course, Nimrod. Is it a coincidence that Osiris and Apollo are linked together by this one plague? I think not.

9. Darkness- Ra is the most powerful god in Egypt. He is the god of the sun (just like Apollo in Greece and Rome – who is Nimrod). Horus (son of Osiris who is Osiris reborn – just as Nimrod was reborn as his own son) is also associated with the sun. This is another of God’s direct challenges to Nimrod, and the Babylonian was found wanting.

10. Death of the firstborn- Anubis, god of the dead, and Osiris, giver of life and god of the underworld, could not stop this plague. Both Anubis and Osiris can be traced as Nimrod. Pharaoh, worshiped as a god, was powerless.

So there we have it. God Almighty challenged and defeated a number of Egyptian gods and goddesses to show himself the ultimate authority.

I have some additional observations that I just had to look into.

First of all, the angel sent to kill the firstborn was called “the destroyer” (Exodus 12:23). Abaddon (see above) means “place of destruction” in Hebrew and Apollyon means “the destroyer” in Greek. Thus, Apollyon who would be revealed as Antichrist may very well be the Angel of Death that swept over Egypt.

Revelation 6:8 says, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

This fourth “horseman of the apocalypse” is also Antichrist. Antichrist is Death. Antichrist is the Angel of Death. Anubis is god of the dead. Nimrod is Anubis. Nimrod is Apollo. Nimrod is Apollyon. Nimrod is Antichrist.

I believe there is ample evidence that Nimrod is one of the “men of renown” who were half-fallen angel/half-human hybrid beings worshiped as a god in many cultures around the globe. He has many names including Apollo, Osiris, Apollyon, Abaddon, the man of sin and son of perdition (II Thess. 2:3), Judas Iscariot (son of perdition John 17:12), and Antichrist.

This “angel” or whatever creature Nimrod was could also have been the Angel of Death (Apollyon – the destroyer) here in Exodus 12.

Finally, to end on a more positive note, the “Passover lamb” that was sacrificed is clearly an allusion to Jesus Christ. The lamb was spotless, that is, blameless; innocent. It was male. It was killed. The placement of the blood on the sides of the doorpost and above are a perfect mirror of Christ’s wounds. Notice the command to “strike it” (the blood) on the posts (Exodus 12:7), denoting violence rather than a calm, smooth placement. It was not to be “sodden at all with water (verse 9)” just as Christ refused water at the crucifixion. The remains were roasted with fire, just as Christ took our sins to Hell. After all this, God’s judgement will “pass over” the homes that are marked with blood, just as we are covered in and saved by the blood of Jesus Christ.

The book of Exodus is a record of events than pre-date Christ by over 1,400 years. The odds of this scene being reproduced so accurately this far in advance are infinitesimal. It is impossible, but it happened.

Notes on Exodus 4-6

The skepticism and hesitation to be obedient expressed by Moses in Exodus 4-6 is telling of the human condition.

1. We always doubt God. Here is Moses talking to a bush that burns but is not consumed, and he STILL argues with God about doing what he is told. He uses the excuse that we all make when it comes to telling others about God and Jesus Christ. “They won’t listen to me anyway.”

2. We must witness a “sign” to believe. A burning bush was not enough. Moses also threw down his shepherd’s rod and watched it turn into a serpent. He grabbed it by its tail and watched it return to a rod in his hand. Still not good enough, God had to turn Moses’ flesh into a leprosy covered hand, then cure him of the disease.

3. We refuse to be uncomfortable. Even after all the signs, Moses STILL remains hesitant. He begins to make excuses about how poor of a speaker He is. God, speaking from a burning bush, who just turned a rod into a serpent, and gave and healed Moses a leprous hand, continues to argue with a reluctant Moses. As if the Almighty who could do all these things could not help Moses with his speech.

Is this not what we do when we are called to do something we don’t necessarily want to do? We make excuse after excuse, and no “sign” is ever good enough for us. We continue to hesitate and beat around the bush. This avoidance of duty is not limited to Moses, it pops up several times throughout God’s Word.

4. We still don’t do what we were told. Even after ALL THIS, Moses violated the Abrahamic covenant by not circumcising his son, and botched the message that God gave him for Pharaoh. Moses was supposed to say “Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.”

Moses and Aaron instead said “Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” The result was the anger of Pharaoh that led to the increase of labor for the Hebrews in captivity. They were no longer given straw, but had to find their own and still keep up their pace of brick making.

Moses had the inspired Word of God given to him, but changed the words anyway. The result was a near catastrophe. Have we learned this lesson yet? Many of our translations change the Words of God. The result is a lack of Spiritual motivation in the Western world unseen since just before Christ’s resurrection. The growth rate of global Christianity has slowed to a crawl. The salvation rate in our churches has become minimal. In fact, there is a decline in Christian religiosity in the United States over the last three decades that is unrivaled in our nation’s history.

The result of the Church’s constant skepticism toward God, the incessant need for signs as “proof”, refusing to be uncomfortable and risking alienation of our friends and family when standing up for our principles, making excuses for why we cannot stand for what is right and true, and continuing to avoid doing what we are told to do is the demise of Western Christianity.

Nietzsche famously said, “God is dead, and we have killed him.” Christians get up in arms about the first half of that statement, but conveniently ignore the rest. The sentiment is that we, the Church; the Western world, have killed the very idea of God. If we are upset that the Holy Spirit is leaving America, we must acknowledge that Christians are the ones running Him off.

God is not dead, but He has removed His blessing, and it is ALL OUR FAULT!

Notes on Exodus 1-3

Although Joseph had a great relationship with Pharaoh, both were now dead. The new Pharaoh had no positive relationship with the children of Israel and his Hitleresque fear of Hebrew population growth and power (Exodus 1:9) led to the first great genocide of the Israelites (Exodus 1:16).

We once again see the battle between the Hamitic (Egyptian) and Semitic (Jewish) people. Notice that the Hamites were supposed to be servants, but they violated the terms of their curse by enslaving the Hebrews. This makes God’s retaliation on them even more justifiable.

Notice the second ark (Exodus 2:3) that Moses floated down the river in. The first ark contained the eight people who would replenish the Earth after the great flood. This second ark contained the man who would free the Israelites from the grasp of a genocidal dictator. The third ark would contain God’s written law and will serve as God’s throne in the end times.

All three of these arks are missing today, though the ark of the covenant (the third one) will resurface soon. The space between the cherubim is where the Antichrist will declare himself Messiah and the second half of the tribulation will begin. This is known as the “abomination of desolation” (Daniel 9:27; Matt. 24:15).

When Moses killed an Egyptian, he fled to the land of Moab (named for one of Lot’s sons born of incest) where he married the daughter of a Midianite priest. Moses, from the priestly line of Levi, was called to be a religious leader.

Moses was confronted by God in the burning bush which was located on “holy ground.” This is a great picture of how God can take something which is cursed (the ground in Gen. 3:17) and make it holy (Ex. 3:5). If the Almighty God can remove a curse from the ground and make it holy, then He can most certainly do the same for a person who accepts Christ into their heart.

The King James Version makes an interesting statement with their capitalization of the phrase “I AM THAT I AM” in Ex. 3:14 (many other versions do as well, but the MEV does not). In the same verse, capitalized again is “I AM.” When you combine these with the capitalized word in Exodus 3:15, 6:3 and the final words that are all caps in Revelation 19:16, we get “I AM THAT I AM, I AM LORD JEHOVAH, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”