From Mt. Sinai to Mt. Sion

Fred R. Coulter—June 7, 2008

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Now, we’ve been going through a series of sermons covering some objections by some ministers and other organizations concerning that they do not believe or accept that the first resurrection then is pictured by Pentecost. And so, while we may repeat some things, we need to go through and show exactly what the Bible teaches and shows concerning the Feast of Pentecost.

Now let’s also understand something that is true, which is this—Passover, Unleavened Bread and Pentecost: Now, you take those three Holy Days: the Passover, which is not a Holy Day, but the two Holy days during Unleavened Bread and Pentecost—so you actually have four days of observance; because there are eight Feasts, but there are seven Holy Days, because the Passover is a Feast, but it’s not a Holy Day. Of all of them, the most confusion comes with the Passover—and that’s understandable, because Jesus Christ was the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world. And look at all the variations concerning how to take the Passover—even within the Churches of God.

And then you look in the world, where they have the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist or the Mass—and they take it anytime they want to. So Satan has totally confused the whole issue concerning it, and the meaning of it. And that’s what Satan wants to do. If he can move you off the mark, then he can begin introducing some things which sound plausible, but then are the first steps away toward those things which lead to apostasy. And we’ve seen this through the Church over and over again.

There’s also confusion as to which day of the month, and which day of the week that Jesus was crucified; how long He was in the tomb; when He was resurrected. So if you can confuse the whole thing like that, as Satan has done, well then, you hold people in chains of darkness.

Now then, same way with the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Some do not reckon the Passover day as a separate day of Unleavened Bread, so they shorten everything by one day and start with the 14th as the first day of Unleavened Bread and end up with the end of the 20th as being the seventh day of Unleavened Bread—and cut it short. The Jews, on the other hand, what they do: they have a 15th Passover and so they keep a Feast of eight days, which ends on the 22nd.

Now then, there are some who miscount Pentecost when Passover’s on the Sabbath and they count it from the Sabbath after the Days of Unleavened Bread—and that creates confusion. And the Jews count from the day after the first Holy Day—so that causes confusion.

So, Satan does not want the knowledge of the Passover, Unleavened Bread and Pentecost as shown and taught in the Bible for people to really understand it—because these are things which teach us about:

  • why we’re here
  • why we’re called
  • how we can change
  • how we can repent
  • how we have our sins forgiven
  • how we can grow in grace and knowledge
  • how God develops, with His Spirit within us, His mind and so forth

And so that’s why there’s so much confusion.

Now, we also have seen in this series that we have gone through, that there are parallels from the Old Testament—or types—which then parallel things in the New Testament, which are anti-types.

So let’s begin in Deuteronomy 16. Let’s also understand this—and never get it out of our minds: Whenever it talks about a week in reference to counting Pentecost, it means a full week—from day one through day seven; and including day one. And it’s interesting that the word from also includes. So let’s read it here: Deuteronomy 16:10: “And you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God according to the sufficiency of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give according as the LORD your God has blessed you…. [And always count that promise. God says He’s going to provide sufficiency for you.] …And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your male servant, and your female servant, and the Levite inside your gates… [Now that’s the retired Levite] …and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, those among you, in the place which the LORD your God has chosen to place His name there. And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt. And you shall be careful to do these statutes” (vs 10-12).

Now, it’s very interesting that here in the Old Testament, we are to remember, as the children of Israel, that they were slaves in Egypt. Now let’s also understand that the New Testament teaches this: That whoever sins is a servant of sin—and Egypt is a type of sin. So, the spiritual lesson for us here, out of Deuteronomy 16, is that God brought us out of spiritual Egypt to bring us into His presence,to understand His way and become like Him.

Let’s go back to Exodus 15 and let’s see the journey of the children of Israel after God rescued them from the last throws of Satan the devil at the Red Sea; and of course, Pharaoh was inspired by Satan the devil—was a type of Satan the devil—and the armies that came after the children of Israel were types of Satan’s legions of demons that go after the people of God to try and destroy them. So they all drowned. God destroyed every one of them in the Red Sea, when He closed up the Red Sea after the children of Israel went on dry ground. And the children of Israel were all happy and thankful and praised God. They sang songs to Him. The women danced, and it was a joyous occasion. Well, that soon changed; and so we’re going to see some parallels of our lives walking toward the goal of the Kingdom of God, which is Mt. Sion—as we will see a little later. And the parallel of the children of Israel leaving Egypt and coming through the wilderness to Mt. Sinai where then they received the Ten Commandments. And we will see, a little later, that the parallel is made by Paul when he writes in the book of Hebrews.

So let’s see what happened here. Exodus 15:22: “And Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.” Well now, let’s also understand something else: The climate, at that time, in Egypt and North Africa and the Sinai Peninsula was entirely different from what it is today. It is called the wilderness because very few people lived there. And there are parts of it that were desert, but also it had an awful lot of grasslands. That’s how they were able to sustain their animals. And don’t forget that across North Africa, where there is the Sahara Desert today, that was mostly grasslands and it was the breadbasket for Rome, producing wheat. So if we keep that in mind then we can understand it’s not quite the barren harshness that we see today.

But nevertheless, there wasn’t any water. “And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah because it was bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah [which means bitter]. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, ‘What shall we drink?’” (vs 23-24).

So here again, here again showing the parallel where we have to have faith and trust in God and believe Him and rely on those promises—and just like we learned from the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we’re not to gripe and cry unto God and become negative and just accuse God just because things happen to be going a little differently than we expected—or, in this case—considerably different. And just like the children of Israel could have looked at Pharaoh coming with his armies and said, ‘Lord, we trust You! Fight for us! We saw what You did to the Egyptians in Egypt and what are they?’ Now, that would have been an entirely different story. But it gives us a lesson in faith and belief and trust in God. So likewise here. Instead of complaining to God because you don’t have something, take it to God in prayer and ask Him to provide. After all, He’s the God of heaven and earth; Creator of heaven and earth; made everything that there is; and He can give whatever He desires.

And if we make our request known to God, and we love God and are obeying Him, God will grant to us, according to His will, in a miraculous way. Now, this is what He did for the children of Israel, even though they complained. So they came to Moses and said, ‘What shall we drink?’ Probably held up their canteens—not metal canteens like we know today, but the skins of animals where they filled them with water. ‘What shall we drink?’

“And he [Moses] cried to the LORD. And the LORD showed him a tree. And when he had cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a decree and a law for them, and there He proved them” (v 25). Great point in understanding; and what we need to understand which is this: God is going to test us and try us and prove us.

  • Do we love Him?
  • Do we believe Him?
  • Are we faithful to Him?

At all times, under all circumstances. And so, this is what happened here.

Now, here’s the covenant that He made with them; here’s the decree for a law. “And he said, ‘If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God… [Key thing in the Bible, always. We’re going to see this again today. Obey the voice of God! And today we have all the Word of God; and today we can obey His voice; and today we have the Holy Spirit in us to lead us!] …and will do that which is right in His sight, and will give ear to His commandments… [That is to harken, pay attention to] …and keep all His laws, I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the LORD Who heals you’…. [When we’re sick we need to go to God and ask for healing. And He is the one Who heals.] (then it says): …And they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees. And they camped there by the waters” (vs 26-27).

Then Exodus 16 shows—we’ve covered this before so we won’t go into it in detail—but this is a key, let’s read v 1: “And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came into the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month…” Now the 15th day of the second month was a seventh day, weekly Sabbath. So we have a chart, along with the series From the Red Sea to Mt. Sinai, and this shows that you can go back, right from here, if you have a fixed day of the week in the month, then you can go back and you will find that the Passover in Egypt was in the middle of the week; and you will find the sequence counting to Pentecost there and the time that they got to Mt. Sinai. So we’ll cover that a little bit later.

And here’s where they, again, complain to God: ‘All we have is this, we don’t have any food, we want some flesh.’ So God gave it to them. And the key thing that is important here, in a technical sense, is that this is the only chapter in the entirety of the Old Testament where God Himself uses, in a chronological setting, the two Hebrew words related to evening:

  1. ba erev—which shows sunset
  2. ben ha arayim—which he uses after ‘ba erev’

So here is proof in the Bible, absolute ironclad, that ‘ba erev’ sunset takes place and then ‘ben ha arayim’ follows. And isn’t it interesting how many times people get between the two evenings mixed up: From noon to sunset; from three to sunset; from one sunset to another sunset. And when God shows that it’s the time right after sunset.

Exodus 16 and 17 and 18, then we come to chapter 19 when they arrive at Mt. Sinai. So let’s come here to Exodus 19:1—and let’s see how similar this is when we come to [the] understanding of God’s way. We finally realize that the religions of the world are wrong. We finally understand that perhaps the Church, if you were a person who went to church, the church you were going to, really wasn’t following the Bible; although they use certain parts of the Bible and it sounded very good, because anyone who starts attending any church has no knowledge of the Bible whatsoever. And so it sounds good. Just like I got a letter from a man the other day, he went from pillar to post and church to church, and even in the Churches of God. And finally has found our website and his expression was: “Hooray! The Truth at last!” Because he’s tried all those things, and found out all the difficult problems and interpretations that different ministers have concerning different things.

Now let’s begin right here, Exodus 19:1: “In the third month when the children of Israel had gone forth out of the land of Egypt, on the same day… [Now, this is very interesting because this Hebrew word means on the same day of the week. Not the same day of the month. But in the third month on the same day of the week—which then is a Thursday] …they came to the wilderness of Sinai; For they had journeyed from Rephidim, and came to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness. And Israel camped there in front of the mount” (vs 1-2). Now, this becomes a historical, singular moment in time that is dramatic and profound and meaningful for the children of Israel and their relationship with God.

Verse 3: “And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel, “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings… [Now ‘eagles’ wings’ are a sign of protection. They did not fly there, but they walked there under God’s protection.] …and brought you unto Myself”’” (vs 3-4). Now that’s a pretty spectacular thing, isn’t it? To be brought to God! And that’s what repentance is all about. And that’s why God draws you. And that’s why you can only come to God the Father through Jesus Christ. God has to do it! Just like here He had to rescue the children of Israel out of Egypt and bring them to Sinai, where then He was going to make the covenant with them and make them His people.

Now let’s read it here: “‘Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed…’” (v 5). We need to understand the parallel in the New Testament where Jesus said, “The one who hears My words and practices them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house upon a rock.” So likewise the New Testament entails obeying the voice of the Lord, as well, because it’s of the words of Jesus Christ and of the inspired writings of the apostles that we have salvation. And we know that we must use the New and the Old Testaments. And the things in the Old Testament are given to us as lessons and examples so that we can learn and not do the things that the children of Israel did. So here’s a spectacular event that’s going to take place. And He required a very simple thing: “Obey My voice.” Now, that does not give any limitations as to what God is going to say. Whatever God says is what they were to obey.

And He says: “Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant… [So now here is a little add-on: ‘keep My covenant.’] …then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine…. [So now the 12 tribes of Israel were to have a special relationship with God, which went back to the promises given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And God is fulfilling them.] …And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation’…” (vs 5-6). So here’s the stated purpose. Here is the beginning of what you would say, a constitution. Now you can take the United States Constitution, it starts out concerning God and then God has made all men equal. And then it continues on: ‘We the people…’ So here is the Constitution or covenant that God has given to the children of Israel, and it starts out with God, and obedience and commandment-keeping and then physical blessings above all the nations of the whole earth, where God ‘created the earth and the fullness thereof.’ God says “The earth is Mine; the sea is Mine; the gold and silver is Mine; all the human beings on it are Mine; and all the beasts of the field are Mine; and all the flowers thereof.” They all belong to God because He made them! So here’s a special relationship that God was offering to the children of Israel.

“And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together… [Now, we also will see in just a little bit, that this covenant arrangement was likened to a marriage arrangement. God would be compared to the husband, and the children of Israel would be compared to the wife.] (So we have here): …And all the people answered together and said, ‘All that the LORD has spoken we will do’…. [So you look at what the marriage ceremony says and it’s very similar.] …And Moses returned the words of the people to the LORD” (vs 7-8).

And then He said, ‘Okay you get ready the third day’ (v 11 paraphrased)—which then would be, and commonly understood to be, Pentecost. And in the series, From the Red Sea to Sinai and the accompanying chart, I go through and show that that is exactly true. So then God gave them His Ten Commandments. You know them, I won’t go through all of them. And the children of Israel couldn’t stand to hear His voice, so they said, ‘Moses, you speak to God and you tell us and we will do it’ (Ex 20:19 paraphrased). So here the children of Israel could not bear a direct relationship with God. They had to have a man in between—and that man was Moses. But also it gave them, in their own carnal minds, someone they could accuse if something went wrong—which they always did. And you can study the rest of that there.

Now let’s come over to Exodus 24, and let’s see after God gave the Ten Commandments, the statutes and the judgments—and remember this: All the statutes and judgments and ordinances of God are subdivisions of His Ten Commandments. They all get their authority from the greater law of the Ten Commandments—every single one of them. And so, if you study the laws and ordinances of God, and want to do a more intent Bible study, lay out all the Ten Commandments and then write the subdivision of the statutes and ordinances, which show how to apply the Ten Commandments in different situations.

Now let’s come over to Exodus 24 because this becomes the important part of coming to Mt. Sinai. Verse 1: “And He said to Moses, ‘Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu… [So you have Aaron and his two sons] …and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship afar off.” Now just like in any wedding ceremony, any covenant, there has to be a witness. And so, these were to be the witnesses to help lead the people, to help them know and understand that, yes, it was God Who was on Mt. Sinai; and it was He Who spoke to us; and we did see Him and enter into this covenant, which then is a marriage arrangement.

God continues, v 2: “‘And Moses alone shall come near the LORD, but they shall not come near. Neither shall the people go up with him.’ And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments…” (v 3). God has full disclosure. He wants them in covenant, but:

  • He wants them to know what they are to do.
  • He wants them to know what He will do.
  • He wants them to understand that He will bless them.
  • He wants them to understand that He will correct them when they disobey.
  • He wants them to understand that just as there are blessings for obedience and loving God, there are curses for sinning and going against Him.
  • And we also need to understand, today, that these laws are living laws, just like the law of gravity—and they are in effect all of the time.

So, let’s continue on here: “And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, ‘All the words which the LORD has said, we will do’ (v 3).

Now, hold your place here because we’ll come back, and let’s come to John, the twelfth chapter. Let’s see the parallel in the New Testament. Because as we have already shown, God operates in similar ways, Old Testament and New Testament, although the difference being in the New Testament is eternal life. And eternal life, rather than physical life; spiritual blessings now, but great and awesome spiritual blessings in the resurrection.

Now, let’s pick it up here: John 12:42—now this becomes something important for us to understand. We’ll see the same thing here, only the stakes are higher. It’s  eternal life or eternal death for us. For them it was physical life or physical death—physical blessings or physical cursings. And for us it is spiritual blessings or spiritual cursings. And the ultimate of spiritual cursing is being cast into the lake of fire and you’re dead forever.

Now notice the similarity here—John 12:42: “But even so, many among the rulers believed in Him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, so that they wouldnot be put out of the synagogue… [quite a bit of politics going on here] …For they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God. Then Jesus called out and said, ‘The one who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him Who sent Me. And the one who sees Me sees Him Who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness…. [And of course, the ruler of darkness of this world is Satan the devil.] …But if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world…. [Now we’re going to see a little bit later what’s going to judge the individual.] …The one who rejects Me and does not receive My words has one who judges him; the word which I have spoken, that shall judge him in the last day…. [So you see the parallels between the Old Testament and between the New Testament.] …For I have not spoken from Myself; but the Father, Who sent Me, gave Me commandment Himself, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life. Therefore, whatever I speak, I speak exactly as the Father has told Me’” (vs 42-50).

Now let’s come back and look at this again, here in Exodus 24:3: “…all the people answered with one voice and said, ‘All the words which the LORD has said, we will do.’” Now likewise, when we are baptized we need to understand that we are saying to God, ‘Yes! I’m entering into a covenant with You. And I’m dying this symbolic death in the watery grave of baptism so that I can rise out of it and walk in newness of life and walk in Your way, with Your Spirit to lead us, and to obey Your voice and to love You with all my heart and mind and soul and being.’

Now, back here to Exodus 24:4: “And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar at the base of the mountain and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel who offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of bullocks to the LORD. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the ears of the people. And they said, ‘All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.’ And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you concerning all these words’” (vs 4-8). Now, same way with us. Our sins are forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ. And that’s why it talks about the sprinkling of the blood that speaks of better things than that of Abel—which we’ll see a little later.

So what happened after this? “And Moses went up, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. And they saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone…” (vs 9-10). So they were looking through that. They saw the similitude of God. God wanted these men to be there: Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, as well as Moses, and the 70 elders of Israel to be confirming witnesses of this covenant between God and the people. That yes, the people were here and yes, God was up there on Mt. Sinai, and yes, we did see Him.

Now, let’s look at something very, very important here, because this relates to the Sea of Glass as we have already covered, but I just want to emphasized it here. “…a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the heavens in clearness…. [That is a sea of glass. And God put it there. He walked on it. They could see Him, so that there would be no doubt that it was God!] …And upon the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay his hands. Also they saw God, and ate and drank” (vs 10-11). Now since this is a marriage covenant, which took place shortly after receiving the Ten Commandments—which were given on Pentecost. Here we have a parallel between the covenant with God—which was a marriage covenant; and a spiritual fulfillment—which we’ll see later in the New Testament—having to do with the marriage of the Lamb and His bride. And there is a ‘wedding supper.’ So this was a type. The marriage of the Lamb and the Church is the anti-type.

So this is what is exciting about the Bible. What is in the Old Testament is amplified in the New. What is the letter of the law in the Old Testament is now the spirit of the law in the New Testament. But it all gets down to the same basic premise: “If you will, indeed, obey My voice.” Exactly the same thing.

Now let’s continue on: After they had wandered 40 years in the wilderness because of the sins that they had. We won’t review any of those, I’ll let you do all of that reading. But that is really a good example for us, that we don’t sin after the way that they sinned. And all of them have to do, as we’ll see a little bit later, that some of the very same sins that happened in the Churches of God.

All right, let’s come to Deuteronomy 4:10—So Moses is saying that he wants them: “‘To remember the day that you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, when the LORD said to me, “Gather the people to Me, and I will make them hear My words so that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and they may teach their children.” And you came near and stood at the bottom of the mountain. And the mountain burned with fire up to the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness. And the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the voice of the words, but saw no likeness, only a voice. And He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, even the ten commandments…. [Now, this verifies what I explained earlier: all the statutes and judgments and ordinances and lesser laws come from the Ten Commandments and are subdivisions of it.] … And He wrote them on two tablets of stone” (vs 10-13).

Now, let’s come down here to v 32—let’s see what God encouraged them to do. Let’s see how fantastic this was for the children of Israel. And with it I want you draw another parallel: that if this was so awesome and fantastic with them, what God has done with us to draw us near Him; and what God has done with us to give us His Spirit so that He can dwell in us. So let’s look at it, beginning in v 32: “For ask now of the days past which were before you, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and from the one end of the heavens to the other end of the heavens, where there has been any thing as great as this… [coming to Mt. Sinai and hearing God speak!] …or has been heard any thing like it. Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire as you have heard and live? Or has any god attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation by trials, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a outstretched arm, and by great awe-inspiring terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?” (vs 32-34).

Now let’s also understand something, too. Let’s look at the parallels which are going to happen at the end. All of the same signs and wonders that God used to display to the children of Israel in preparing them to bring them out of the land of Egypt, God is going to bring upon this world so that the world can see and so that we can see and know that God is doing awesome things, and is bringing the first resurrection and we’re going to be a part of it! And that’s why we are to love God and have a passion and have a zeal for God! It’s greater than this.

Now, v 35: “It was shown to you so that you might know that the LORD is God, andthere is none other beside Him. He made you hear His voice out of heaven so that He might teach you. And He showed you His great fire upon the earth. And you heard His words out of the midst of the fire. And because He loved your fathers… [Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And isn’t that the same thing upon which the New Covenant promises are based? To Abraham, Isaac and to Jacob? Yes, indeed!] …because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their seed after them, and brought you out in His sight with His great power out of Egypt…” (vs 35-37). So that’s really quite something!

Let’s come over here to Deuteronomy, the fifth chapter. He reiterates again, the Ten Commandments. And he also reiterates the same thing: how great it was that God talked with them. Now, Deuteronomy 5:28—Now today, if we will hear His voice—that’s what Paul wrote: Today if we will hear His voice, harden not your heart—as they did in the wilderness. “And the LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me. And the LORD said to me, ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They have well said all that they have spoken…. [They were well-intentioned.] …Oh, that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (vs 28-29). See, today we have the heart to love and obey God, because of the New Covenant. They never had that opportunity—never had it at all.

Let’s come here to Deuteronomy 7:7—and here’s what we need to do: “The LORD did not set His love upon you nor choose you because you were more in number than any people, for you were the fewest of all people.” [Likewise with us. God didn’t call us because we’re great, mucky-mucks in the world. He didn’t call us because we have talents and abilities. Why would He depend upon talents and abilities that we may think we have when God can make stones speak, jackasses talk, and Balaam—who was paid to curse to bless? So we need to understand that. God hasn’t called us because we have some great inherent thing that God Himself needed!

No, God has called us, v 8: “But because the LORD loved you and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of bondage from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Therefore, know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God Who keeps covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations…. [And if a generation is 25 years, that’s 25,000 years! That’s well beyond the history of the world, as we know it today, right? Yes!] …And he repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slow to repay him who hates Him. He will repay him to his face. You shall therefore keep the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which I command you today to do them. And it shall come to pass, if you hearken to these judgments to keep and practice them, then the LORD your God shall keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers” (vs 8-12). Compare that with the New Covenant.

“And He will love you and bless you and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb, and the fruit of your land, your grain, and your wine, and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the flocks of your sheep, in the land which He swore to your fathers to give you. You shall be blessed above all people” (vs 13-14). That’s something!

Now, we’re going to see what this means spiritually with the New Covenant. We’re going to do a little more history, and then we’re going to go to the New Testament.

Part 2

Now let’s continue on with the narrative from Mt. Sinai to Mt. Sion. After David repented of numbering the children of Israel—and that brought about the death of 70,000 of the children of Israel because of the sin of the leader, which is very instructive, which is this: When the leaders sin, the people pay for it, as well. Now, when he repented, and he saw the angel ready to strike even more of the children of Israel, he came to the place that was later called, Mt. Zion—Sion is spelled S-i-o-n. And on Mt. Zion is where he made the first offering that stayed the hand of God from the plague that began when he numbered the children of Israel, when he really didn’t need to number them. And that was the threshing floor of Ornan. And it was at this location that Solomon later built the temple. And so, when Solomon came in, succeeded David—prior to David’s death—David gave him all the plans, that the Lord inspired him to do, for building the temple, because no one’s going to build anything for God unless it’s according to the specifications that God gives.

And that’s why in Ezekiel 40—just as an aside—that has to do with the description of the second temple based upon the first temple, and it has nothing to do with the Millennial temple. Now last year at the Feast of Tabernacles for one of the sermons I gave, What Will the Millennial Temple Be Like?—and it’s not going to be Ezekiel 40 onward to the end of the book of Ezekiel.

So Solomon built the temple. And he reigned over all the country, all the kingdoms from the River Euphrates to the Nile River, and he was tremendous in what he did. God blessed him and the power of God came into the temple. Let’s read it here in 1-Kings 8:10. They had a tremendous ceremony. All of Israel was gathered there. All the leading officials of the kingdom were there. The armies were there. The priests were there. The Levites were there. And they brought the tabernacle from Gibeon down to Jerusalem—not the Ark, the tabernacle—because the Ark was in David’s house. So they brought the Ark from David’s house up and put it in the temple in the Holy of Holies; and they brought all of the things of the tabernacle down to the temple. And I’m sure they took the tabernacle all folded up and put it into a vault under the temple. And that’s just a little conjecture, it doesn’t say what they actually did with it, but I presume that’s what they would do. So they brought it all up and they had the sacrifices.

1-Kings 8:10: “And it came to pass when the priests had come out of the Holy of Holies, the cloud filled the house of the LORD…. [So there it is: worship in Jerusalem at Mt. Zion, because that’s the place where God chose to put His name. And all people would come to worship there. And this was such a tremendous thing that happened.] …And the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD. And Solomon said, ‘The LORD said that He would dwell in the thick darkness. I have surely built an exalted house for You, a settled place for You to abide in forever.’ And the king turned his face around and blessed all the congregation of Israel. And all the congregation of Israel stood” (vs 10-14). And then he gave his prayer—gave a recital of what happened to the children of Israel and how they came there. Then they had the Feast of Dedication. They had the Feast of Tabernacles shortly after that—which we’ve covered during the time of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Now, let’s come to the book of Luke in the New Testament, and let’s begin here, as we continue our journey from Mt. Sinai to Mt. Sion. Now the intermediate is Mt. Zion. Now later when Christ returns, He’s yet going to choose Mt. Zion for His temple which will be during the Millennium. And then, when New Jerusalem comes to the earth, it says there’s no need of a temple anymore. So, it’s quite a fantastic thing when we understand it.

Now, let’s come here to the book of Luke and let’s see concerning Jesus, and let’s understand something, and here is a great principle that we need to realize, which is this: When there is a prophecy spoken that is going to be fulfilled, absolutely for sure, as God says, it is in the perfect, completed sense. Now we will see that with this blessing that was given to Jesus.

Now, let’s pick it up here in Luke 2:25: “And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and reverent, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. Now it had been divinely communicated to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the little child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, He also received Him [Jesus] into his arms, and blessed God, and said… [Now notice this tremendous prayer of thanksgiving and prophecy by Simeon.] …‘Now You may let your servant depart in peace, O Master, according to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation… [Now, what was he holding? The baby, Jesus. But the fact that He was there in the flesh, and born, was a guarantee that the salvation of God would come to all of mankind. So as far as God is concerned, it was as good as done. And so, he inspired Simeon to say, ‘I have seen Your salvation’—as a completed fact, when hadn’t really even started, but with the birth of Jesus. So we need to understand how God views some of these things. And especially later when we get to the book of Revelation. So we know exactly what is going on and the projection of the prophecy and what it’s telling us.] …my eyes have seen Your salvation, Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples; A light for the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel’” (vs 25-32).

You go back and read the prophecies in Isaiah concerning the Gentiles. “And Joseph and His mother wondered at the things that were being spoken concerning Him [Jesus]. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, His mother, ‘Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising up of many in Israel… [showing what was going to happen to Him; actually, a prophecy of the crucifixion, as we will see here.] …and for a sign that shall be spoken against… [the whole world rejected Him.] …(And you also… [speaking to the little child] …a sword shall go through your own soul) in order that the imaginations of many hearts may be revealed’” (vs 33-35). Now that’s quite a prophecy. And imagine, this is just upon seeing the baby Jesus.

Now Luke brings out other facts here, which are important for us to have. But I want to come to Luke, the fourth chapter. And we want to tie this in now with the Day of Pentecost. And also that’s known as the Day of the Weeks or the Feast of the Weeks, as it is called in the Old Testament.

Now let’s come here to Luke 4:14—this is after His temptation with the devil [transcriber’s correction], and so forth. We won’t go through all of that. “Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee; and word about Him went out into the entire country around. And He taught in their synagogues, and was glorified by all. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and according to His custom, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day… [This ‘Sabbath day’ in the Greek is a special day. It is called the Day of the Weeks. So this has to be Pentecost in the synagogue.] …and stood up to read…. [and here’s what He read]: …And there was given Him the book of the prophet Isaiah; and when He had unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; for this reason, He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal those who are brokenhearted, to proclaim pardon to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth in deliverance those who have been crushed, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’ And after rolling up the scroll and delivering it to the attendant, He sat down; and the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him… [because when He read and taught it was with authority.] …Then He began to say to them, ‘Today, this scripture is being fulfilled… [That’s what it means in the Greek: it is being fulfilled] …in your ears’” (vs 14-21).

Now after all the signs and wonders that they had leading up to the birth of Jesus—all the circumstances of it, all the things surrounding John the Baptist, who was to come and prepare the way before Him; and all of the things involved in it; and all the priests and the Levites knew that it was time for Messiah to come. They knew that He would be born in Bethlehem. And so, when these things came out the people should have been ready to receive them, but just like the children of Israel of old they weren’t.

“And all bore witness to Him and were amazed at the words of grace that were coming out of His mouth; and they said, ‘Is not this the son of Joseph?’…. [Yeah, we know him.] …And He said to them, ‘Surely, you will say this parable to Me: “Physician, heal Yourself! Whatever we have heard being done in Capernaum, do also here in Your own country.”’ But He said, ‘Truly I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his own country…. [And it just seems to work that way, doesn’t it? Then He tells them what happened in the days of Elijah and Elisha] …For in truth, I say to you, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up for three years and six months, and there was great famine upon all the land; And Elijah was not sent to any of them, but only to a widow in Sarepta, a city of Sidonia. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them were cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian’” (vs 22-27).

Now then, all of their carnality came out! Because they were expecting Him to say, ‘Oh, you’re lovely people, you’re the children of Israel. Come everything’s going to be fine. Now I’m going to join with all of the Scribes and Pharisees down here and we’re going to go down at the temple and we’re going to get rid of Pilate and we’re going to get rid of the Romans.’ And they would have all cheered and gathered around. But they didn’t like this message. “Now all in the synagogue who heard these things were filled with indignation” (v 28). They were angry!

Just like I read something very interesting. There was a Scriptural contest in Israel and this girl who won it happened to be a Messianic Jew, and she won! And the Orthodox Rabbis were: ‘How dare her! She should not even be here!’ So they’re going to make a rule: You believe in Jesus and you’re a Jew, you can’t come and participate. So we have the same hostility today as back then. Notice what they did: “And they rose up and cast Him out of the city, and led Him to the edge of the mountain on which their city was built, in order to throw Him down headlong…” (v 29).  Nice, loving, Christian people, huh? Yes, it sounds like what’s going on over there in the unholy land today—mistakenly called Israel. He went on and avoided them.

Now let’s see what happened here. Let’s see what happened when He came to the temple. Let’s come here to John, the second chapter. That’s why Satan took Him to a high pinnacle of the temple and said ‘Jump down, because God’s going to save You.’ And if He would have done that, all the priests and the Pharisees and everyone would have come around and said, ‘Oh, yes, You must be the Messiah! You are here to save us!—according to our terms, what we want. NO! God is going to save people according to His terms, the way that He wants: repentance and baptism and so forth.

Now let’s come here to John 2:13: “Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money exchangers sitting there; And after making a scourge of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with both the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money exchangers, and overturned the tables. And to those who were selling the doves, He said, ‘Take these things out of here! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise’…. [That’s far different than what they expected when the Messiah would come.] …Then His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘The zeal of Your house has eaten Me up.’ As a result, the Jews answered and said to Him, ‘What sign do You show to us, seeing that You do these things?’ Jesus answered and said to them… [He gave them something they couldn’t handle] …‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up’…. [What an egomaniac statement.] ...Then the Jews said, ‘This temple was forty-six years in building, and You will raise it up in three days?’ But He spoke concerning the temple of His body…. [They had no understanding.] … Therefore, when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scriptures, and the word that Jesus had spoken. Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed on His name, as they observed the miracles that He was doing. But Jesus did not entrust Himself to them, because He knew all men… [That is, He knew the inner-workings of the carnal mind, and the evil that was there.] …And He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man” (vs 13-25). The evil, carnal mind.

So here He comes to the temple on Mt. Zion, the same area in which the first temple was built by Solomon. And this then was rebuilt under the prophet Haggai and Zerubbabel and Joshua, the high priest. Later dedicated and then Ezra came and that temple stood until 46 years before Jesus came, when Herod—who was half Edomite/half Jew decided that, after killing some Jews, he better atone for it. So what he did, he started modernizing and updating the temple to make into a beautiful, kind of after the Greek style more than it should have been. So that’s where we are with this.

Now, let’s come over here to John, the fourth chapter, and we’re going to read something very interesting concerning the worship of God, which then tells us how we are worshipping God today, and Mt. Sion, in heaven above, which Christ is going to bring with Him when He returns. So let’s come here to John 4:9: “Therefore, the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is itthat You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, to giveYou water to drink? For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.’” They hated them. That’s why He gave the parable of ‘who is your neighbor?’ And it wasn’t the priest and it wasn’t the Levite that was the neighbor to help the one who had been robbed, wounded and left dying beside the road; but a Samaritan. And that’s just like going before Orthodox Jews today and say ‘Unless you believe in Jesus you’re going to die.’ Gnashing of teeth! So she was astounded for the Jews do not associate with Samaritans.

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you had known the gift of God, and Who it is that said to you, “Give Me some water to drink,” you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water’…. [She didn’t understand that.] …The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing with which to draw water, and the well is deep; how then do You have the living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob… [And that’s what the Samaritans did. They claimed Jacob and that they were descendants of the children of Israel, but they weren’t. They were brought in after the children of the ten tribes of the children of Israel were carried out, they were brought in by the Babylonians and Assyrians to take over that area and live there.] …who gave us the well, and drank from it, and his sons, and his cattle?’” (vs 10-12).

“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; rather, the water that I will give him shall become a fountain of water within him, springing up into everlasting life’” (v 13-14). And that water is the Holy Spirit. Where we find there in John 7:7 where Jesus said that those who believe in Him, ‘out of their bellies shall flow rivers of living water’—of the Holy Spirit.

“The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I will not thirst or need to come here to draw water.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband and come back here.’ The woman answered and said, ‘I do not have a husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You have spoken well in saying, “I do not have a husband”; For you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband. This you have spoken truly.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet…. [Now she gets religious.] …Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, but you say [you Jew] that the place where it is obligatory to worship is in Jerusalem’” (vs 15-20). That was true at that time.

“Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father” (v 21). Because God was going to destroy the temple. Get rid of it. And the Jews were going to go into captivity, never to build the temple again. So now, with the coming of Jesus, we worship God the Father—as we will see here in just a minute—in spirit and in truth toward His throne in heaven above, which is Mt. Sion.

Now He tells her: ““Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. You do not know what you worship. We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews…. [And it was. It came from Him (Jesus) Who was born of the house of Judah, the tribe of David.] …But the hour is coming, and now is… [And here is the key]: …when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is indeed seeking those who worship Him in this manner…. [Far different. No sacrifices, no animals, no temple between you and God, with His Spirit directly. But in spirit and in truth!That He’s prophesying then of the conversion that the true worshippers will have.] …God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth’” (vs 21-24).

That kind of put the woman back: “The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming, Who is called Christ; when He comes, He will tell us all things.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I Who speak to you am He’” (vs 25-26). Isn’t that something? God is spirit and those who worship Him must—meaning they are obligated—to worship Him ‘in spirit and in truth!’ That’s the keynote. That’s the foundation for the New Testament, and also has to do with our worship of God today.

Then Jesus said something about the work that He had to finish, to do (34) and then v 35: “Do not say that there are yet four months and then the harvest comes…. [So this has to be around Pentecost time] …I say to you, look around. Lift up your eyes and see the fields, for they are already white to harvest.” And Pentecost is a harvest feast as we have seen, and we’ll reiterate that again tomorrow. But, we need to get Mt. Sion before we can get to Pentecost.

Now let’s come to Acts, the first chapter. Let’s see what Jesus told the disciples. We’ve covered this before, so I’ll just summarize it here, and that is He told them they would be imbued with power from on high, of the Holy Spirit—after ten days, a short time after that He told them, which was ten days because they had seen Him for forty days after He was resurrected, and then they chose a replacement for Judas, who fell. Then we have chapter two, which is the fulfilling of the Day of Pentecost, which we will cover tomorrow.

Let’s come here to Acts 3, and let’s pick something up here that’s important for us to understand in our relationship to God and getting from Mt. Sinai to Mt. Sion. Now, after they healed the man, Peter and John told the crowd that gathered around that they had done it by the name of Jesus Christ. And he also reminded them that they had killed the Author of life Whom God raised from the dead. Now, Acts 3:17: “And now, brethren, I realize that you acted in ignorance, as did your rulers also; But what God had before announced by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He has accordingly fulfilled. Therefore, repent and be converted in order that your sins may be blotted out, so that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; And that He may send Him Who was before proclaimed to you, Jesus Christ… [Now, that’s a prophecy of the return of Jesus Christ, but it is also an immediate understanding that the Spirit of Christ will come to them if they repent. So it has dual application here.] …Whom the heaven must indeed receive until the times of restoration of all things, of which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began” (vs 17-21). So there is this time that is coming. Where it is going to be, they’re worshipping God in spirit and in truth.

Now let’s come to the book of Hebrews. In the new Bible it’s in a different place than it was in your King James Bible, so you have to have a little heads-up on it. I’m preaching to you out of the new Bible here, and I’ve been preaching out of it for some time and I find it very good for reading and so forth. Now let’s come to Hebrews, the fourth chapter, about worshipping God in spirit and in truth, and that we worship toward God in heaven above, where Jesus is at the right hand of God, as we just read here a minute ago.

Hebrews 4:14: “Having therefore a great High Priest, Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith. For we do not have a high priest who cannot empathize with our weaknesses, but one Who was tempted in all things according to the likeness of our own temptations; yet He was without sin. Therefore, we should come with boldness to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (vs 14-16). So this is where we come to worship God.

Let’s see how Paul explains it here in Hebrews, the twelfth chapter—and makes the comparison between Mt. Sinai and Mt. Sion, which is in heaven above. So let’s pick it up here in Hebrews 12:18: “For you have not come to the mount [Mt. Sinai] that could be touched and that burned with fire, nor to gloominess, and fearful darkness, and the whirlwind; And to the sound of the trumpet, and to the voice of the words, which those who heard, begged that the word not be spoken directly to them. (For they could not endure what was being commanded: ‘And if even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned, or shot through with an arrow’; And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am greatly afraid and trembling”.) But you have come to Mount Sion… [So when we come to worship God in spirit and in truth, in prayer or in studying the Word of God, as God gives us understanding of it, we have come to Mt. Sion, which is in heaven above.] …and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem…[which we know is coming to the earth] …and to an innumerable company of angels; To the joyous festival gathering… [and that is in reference to a Pentecost resurrection where we’re resurrected and meet Christ in the air!In the clouds!] …and to the church of the firstborn… [and also the firstfruits, as we will see tomorrow.] …registered in the book of life in heaven; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of the just who have been perfected” (vs 18-23). And that means that they died in the faith. And now God has that spirit which was in their physical brains, and that spirit must now have a spirit brain which it will be put into at the resurrection. It is not an immortal soul that has a separate consciousness because it is the Spirit that gives life, and when the body is dead, the Spirit then—though it has recorded everything of you and your life and your Christian growth, and all that you are and what will be resurrected—it is basically inert. And when you have been resurrected and given a spirit body then all of that will come back to life.

Now notice—let’s continue on here: “But you have come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem; and to an innumerable company of angels; To the joyous festival gathering; and to the church of the firstborn, registered in the book of life in heaven; and to God, the Judge of all; and to the spirits of the just who have been perfected; And to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant; and to sprinkling of the blood of ratification, proclaiming superior things than that of Abel” (vs 22-24). So this is the scene. This is what Paul describes when we come to worship God.

Now let’s also understand something. Let’s come here to Revelation 4, and let’s see John’s description of the throne of God, which is called Mt. Sion, in heaven above. And the activity that goes on around there and then how, we will see tomorrow, then relates to the return of Jesus Christ and the first resurrection.

Let’s pick it up here in Revelation 4:1: “After these things… [This is after the seven churches] …I looked, and behold, a door opened in heaven; and the first voice that I heard was as if a trumpet were speaking with me, saying, ‘Come up here, and I will show you the things that must take place after these things.’ And immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one was sitting on the throne. And He Who was sitting was in appearance like a jasper stone and a sardius stone; and a rainbow was around the throne, like an emerald in its appearance…. [Great and fantastic beauty. What a spectacular vision that John had been given to actually see where the third heaven, what it was like, where God the Father and Jesus Christ are. And this is to give us encouragement to know that when we pray and we say, ‘Our Father in heaven above, and Jesus at Your right hand,’ this is where we are praying to. Tremendous to know and understand that.] …And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments; and they had on their heads golden crowns. And proceeding from the thronewere lightnings and thunders and voices; and seven lamps of fire, which are the seven Spirits of God, were burning before the throne. And before the throne was a sea of glass, like crystal” (vs 1-6).

Now the argument has been, which we have read, ‘Well, they don’t need a sea of glass because if you’re a spirit being you can just kind of sit out there in space.’ Well, why then does God have a sea of glass under His throne?

“And around the throne and over the throne were four living creatures, full of eyes before and behind; And the first living creature was like a lion, and the second living creature was like a bull, and the third living creature had the face of a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. And each of the four living creatures had six wings respectively; and around and within they were full of eyes; and day and night they cease not saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was, and Who is, and Who is to come’” (vs 6-8). This is the Mt. Sion that we are coming to.

Now, as we are going to see tomorrow, when the resurrection takes place there is going to be a sea of glass so we can meet Christ in the air. Now, I’ve covered that in a series of sermons leading up to this day and Pentecost, but we are going to see it. And then we will see how directly, beginning in Revelation 5, that God begins to intervene in world affairs. And then we are going to see what it’s going to be like with the return of Jesus Christ from that point to the resurrection.

So ya’all come back tomorrow and we’ll finish the rest of the story!


Scripture References:

  • Deuteronomy 16:10-12
  • Exodus 15:22-27
  • Exodus 16:1
  • Exodus 19:1-8
  • Exodus 24:1-3
  • John 12:42-50
  • Exodus 24:3-11
  • Deuteronomy 4:10-13, 32-37
  • Deuteronomy 5:28-29
  • Deuteronomy 7:7-14
  • 1 Kings 8:10-14
  • Luke 2:25-32
  • Luke 4:14-29
  • John 2:13-25
  • John 4:9-26, 34-35
  • Acts 3:17-21
  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • Hebrews 12:17-24
  • Revelation 4:1-8

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Ezekiel 40
  • Acts 1 & 2
  • Revelation 5

Also referenced:

  • Sermon series: From the Red Sea to Sinai
  • What Will the Millennium Temple Be Like?

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