Coming to Mount Sinai

Fred R. Coulter—June 7, 2014

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to Day 49 in the count toward Pentecost. Today is the seventh Sabbath of the full week count. Pentecost is a very profound and most important Holy Day of God. He did important things on these days. When you look back and look at all the Holy Days of God, there are very important things that are accomplished or signified by those days. All you have to do is look at what happened with the Passover in Egypt and what happened with the Passover and death of Jesus Christ in the year that He was crucified.

Likewise with the seven weeks and then the 50th day. There are applications and meanings of it in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.

Let's read the command concerning counting the weeks; these are full weeks. The reason that we sent you the two booklets: God's Understanding For the Wave Sheaf Offering and How to Count Pentecost? is because after the Passover—which has more confusion than any other thing that Satan can deceive the world with—the next one is Pentecost, because of the profound meaning that it has. This is why we sent the two booklets to you. There are many out there seeking to change the doctrine to bring people back into the bondage of the teachings of men.

Deuteronomy 16:9: "You shall count seven weeks to yourselves…." Wherever it is 'weeks' it means seven full weeks! Isn't it interesting that when it talks about Unleavened Bread, it never says the week of Unleavened Bread. Why? Because there are parts of weeks, meaning that only once in a great while—maybe three in ten—is there a full week of Unleavened Bread, a complete week.

That's why it's not called the week of Unleavened Bread, because it's not a complete week; it's partial weeks. This year what did we have? We had the first Holy Day on a Tuesday, and the last Holy Day on a Monday; so there was not a complete week. I think in looking at it and analyzing what it really means, this is what it tells us, and this is what the Hebrew means.

"…Begin to count the seven weeks from the time you first began to put the sickle to the grain. 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 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, 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" (vs 9-11).

Today, where is the place where He has chosen? 'Wherever two or three are gathered in My name, there I am in the midst of you'! That doesn't negate having fellowship groups and small congregations. Today, that's why we have Church at Home, because it must begin in the home. Really, the way that you understand and gain the most knowledge is when you are studying at home.

Verse 12: "And you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt. And you shall be careful to do these statutes." Pentecost is tied to Passover and Unleavened Bread. It's one continuous thing until Passover. We'll see some parallels with that.

To finish off the first Unleavened Bread Feast that the children of Israel had, they crossed the Red Sea on the last Holy Day during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That was really quite a tremendous event.

  • Why didn't they remembered all the things that God had done for them?
  • Why didn't they remember all of the marvelous things that were done on behalf of God to free them?

Think about that, because I want you to think about this in parallel with what our lives are today in the world.

We know that after the destruction of all of the Egyptians—their armies and chariots; smashed them to bits—then the people rejoiced. We're just going to cover one or two of these things. But three days later it wasn't as they had figured. Likewise with us, when God first calls us, afterward sometimes it's not like we figured that it was going to be.

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. 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. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, 'What shall we drink?'" (vs 22-24). They didn't even remember the lesson of the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. When things get tough, don't blame God!Look to God for the answer! Don't blame Him for causing it!

What they did, they all got on their knees and prayed, 'O God, You just delivered us from the Red Sea, and we know that You have the power to do this, and here we have this terrible bitter water.' NO! They murmured!

Verse 25: "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 [God] proved them."

  • Do we have the testing and trial of our faith as we go along? Yes, of course!
  • Do we really believe God the way that we should? That is a decision that all of us, personally, have to make!

Look at all of the situations where people did not do that. As I've pointed out on the coming changes of doctrine—and lo, they will come—and the trials and difficulties that will come, we need to stay right with the Word of God; to prove them! {Note sermon: Guard the Doctrines of God} So, He said, 'Here is the condition.' There is always a condition when you go through everything that God has shown the children of Israel and what He has shown to us in the New Testament what we are to do. Here is the key:

Verse 26: And he said, 'If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God…" God always starts out with what He says, the voice of God we have written down for us now. There's no doubt what He said. That's why we have to believe it!

"…and will do that which is right in His sight, and will give ear to His commandments, 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" (v 26). For today think about that in relationship to the entire world. We're living in really difficult times! There is so much sickness and disease, I don't even think that anyone of us in the Church today do not have some weakness or some health problem, because of:

  • the way that the food
  • the way of the lifestyle
  • the way that people have lived
  • the way that our forefathers have lived

So, it's a difficult situation. But remember, it is God Who heals!

Verse 27: "And they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees. And they camped there by the waters." Well, that was a great time there. Understand the proper flow of events, of their travels coming to Mt. Sinai.

God spoke the Ten Commandments to them on the Day of Pentecost. He spoke to them when had brought them all together. God brought them to Himself. What we find is that when they got there, God called Moses to come up and talk to Him, because God had a message that He wanted Moses to tell the children of Israel. So, Moses went up there and got the message.

Exodus 19:3: "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…"'" (vs 3-4). As we come to Pentecost, we need to look back and see all the things that God has done in our lives. We need to put our lives in parallel with the children of Israel coming to God.

"…and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you unto Myself…. [they walked, but they had the protection of God as if on eagles' wings] …Now, therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed…" (vs 4-5). Again, the voice of God! That summarizes everything!

What did Jesus say when He was tempted of Satan the devil? 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God!'The voice of God!

This is why we need to study everyday and learn more of the words of God! As we go through these things let's ask ourselves individually: Am I obeying the voice of the Lord God?That's the key important thing for us, brethren! It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks;

  • it matters what God thinks
  • it matters what we do

"…and keep My covenant…" (v 5). It's not only if you obey, if you hear, but if you keep! Then when you come to keeping, then it's how do you keep.

"…then you shall be a special treasure to Me…" (v 5).

  • Isn't that what the Church of God should be to God?
  • A special treasure to God the Father and Jesus Christ?
  • That we do the things that are pleasing to God? Which we can do!

"'"…above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation"'…." (vs 5-6)—to take the Word of God to the world!

There was a time during Solomon's reign when he came close to it before he sinned. At the end-time, with the fulfillment of the inheritance to Ephraim and Manasseh—modern day Britain and American—there was a time when they came close to fulfilling it, but they never overcame the problem of Sunday-keeping.

What was the lesson of Unleavened Bread? A little leaven leavens the whole lump! So, if you have Sunday-keeping, then sooner or later everything else is going to fall. It's very interesting how all of that has occurred. Look at where we are today.

"…These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel" (v 6). So, Moses did so; he told them.

Verse 8: "And all the people answered together and said, 'All that the LORD has spoken we will do.'…." Think about that! That's what we need to do with our lives today in relationship to the Word of God. "…All that the LORD has spoken we will do…." We will see that concerning the New Covenant in just a little bit.

Then God said, 'All right, you tell the people to be ready the third day; you come up on the mountain; you get the message from Me; you tell them that on the third day that they are going to gather at the base of Mt. Sinai.' Here they are all gathered there at the base of Mt. Sinai, and on the Feast of Pentecost this great event occurred. Here's how it looked when you're on the ground looking up

Verse 16: "And it came to pass on the third day in the morning that there were thunders and lightnings… [the whole area was vibrating with sound and with lightning] …and a thick cloud upon the mountain. And the sound of the trumpet was exceedingly loud… [one trumpet blowing] …so that all the people in the camp trembled." Think of this; if you would have had an experience like this yourself personally:

  • Would you have remembered that?
  • Would you have been fearful to disobey God?
  • Would you then not have been eager and willing to obey God?

This event has never been repeated! In the New Testament, God answered the people in the Person of Jesus Christ.

"…And the sound of the trumpet was exceedingly loud so that all the people in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God. And they stood at the base of the mountain. And Mount Sinai was smoking, all of it because the LORD came down upon it in fire. And the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the sound of the trumpet sounded long, and became very strong, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice" (vs 16-19).

Moses reminded them again: Don't come up to the edge of the mountain and go through the barrier. If you do you will die!

After that message, v 24: "And the LORD said to him, 'Away! Get you down, and only you shall come up, you and Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, lest He break forth upon them.' And Moses went down to the people, and spoke to them" (vs 24-25). Then they all stood there with all this fantastic event going on, and looking up on Mt. Sinai. Then God gave the Ten Commandments.

Everything else that God gave them, in the way of the laws, statutes, judgment and everything, are all based on how you fulfill the Ten Commandments. For example, having no other gods before Him. That means all the priestly laws come under that first commandment.

If you would take each commandment, write it down on a separate piece of paper and then go ahead and have another section concerning agricultural laws. Then you put all of the Ten Commandments and put the subdivision under it.

For example: Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it Holy. Then take all of the other Scriptures that show how to keep it, how they broke it, etc.; same way with the idols. That will be a very in-depth study for you to accomplish. I think you'll get a great deal out of it. What a colossal fulfillment of the Feast of Pentecost. God speaking to His people in person, and giving them the greatest thing that He could give them: His Ten Commandments!

All of the promises that God gave to them, but as we will see, they were lacking one most important thing. How did the children of Israel act when they heard that?

Exodus 20:18: "And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. And when the people saw, they trembled and stood afar off. And they said to Moses, 'You speak with us, and we will hear….'" (vs 18-19).

Understand something very important, right here: Whenever you say something to God—they were saying it to Moses, but it was to God—God is going to hold you accountable! Think of that with our Declaration of Independence[transcriber's correction] for the United States of America. We are "…endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights… life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…" God is holding us accountable! God held them accountable!

"'…But let not God speak with us, lest we die.'…. [Moses tried to encourage them] …And Moses said to the people, 'Do not fear…'" (v 19-20)—this is God! They didn't!

After that, God told Moses to come up and 'I'll give you some judgments and statutes and laws. He went up there and we have Exo. 21-22; you read all of those and those are all very good laws. If we had those today, think how much better it would be! But we don't have it! Then Moses came down and told the children of Israel what they should do.

Again, after giving all the statutes and judgments that God gave, then we have this, Exodus 23:22: "But if you shall indeed obey His voice… [again and again and again] …and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and a foe to your foes." How is that working out today? Not very good! In rejecting God, we make God our enemy!

Verse 24, concerning the Canaanites that God was going to cutoff: "You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them. And you shall not do according to their works. But you shall surely tear them down, and surely you shall smash their standing images." No idols at all throughout the land.

Verse 25: "And you shall serve the LORD your God, and He shall bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you." Look at the nation today; how is that going for us? Not very well!

After getting all of these, let's see what Moses did. God does nothing that is not written down! He doesn't speak something out into the universe and expect you to obey it. God knew that He wouldn't be there in the presence that He was in with them at Mt. Sinai in the future. He had Moses right them down, and then God Himself wrote the Ten Commandments on the tables of stone. God doesn't leave anything to chance, or anything to the thoughts and interpretations of men.

Exodus 24:1: "And He said to Moses, 'Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship afar off.'"

What you find here is something very interesting that happens many times in the Bible. You have a summary of what is going to happen before it occurs. These are pre-instructions before the carrying out of actions. So, this is what God told them:

Verse 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…." (vs 2-3). Notice how well intended the people are:

"…And all the people answered with one voice and said, 'All the words which the LORD has said, we will do'" (v 3). Think of that in our lives. Think about how we love God and serve Him, and do the things that we need to do.

So there's no misunderstanding, v 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" (vs 4-6). Remember: there is no covenant without the sacrifice and the shedding of blood!

That's why Jesus came as the sacrifice and His shed blood. That's why you are conjoined in baptism into His death. That becomes your sacrifice, symbolic of a guarantee that you will be raised from the dead—if you're faithful and obey—and symbolic of the guarantee that if you don't, you will likewise die! You need to think on that.

Verse 7: "And he took the Book of the Covenant, and read in the ears of the people…." They heard everything! Moses first spoke it to them—what God told him—then he wrote it down. And you can be sure, as he was writing it down God was making sure that he wrote everything correctly. You can be guaranteed that Moses would not dare do anything contrary to what God had said.

"…And they [the people] said, 'All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.'" (v 7).

  • Did we not say that when we were baptized? Yes, indeed!
  • Has life been a little different than you may have supposed it would be when you were baptized? Yes, indeed!
  • Does that change your covenant agreement with God? No!

Let's see what else Moses did with it, v 8: "And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, 'Behold the blood of the covenant… [the blood of the New Covenant is that of Jesus Christ] …which the LORD has made with you concerning all these words.' 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 wasunder His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the heavens in clearness" (vs 8-10). There's the Sea of Glass! We'll see the Sea of Glass in the book of Revelation, and the resurrection. They have great, profound meaning for us, too. Here they came up and looked up and saw God! Moses alone went up and talked to God.

After that He didn't give them one thing concerning the priesthood until after they all agreed. They all agreed, so you have all of the laws that are given for the priesthood: Exo. 25 thru the building the tabernacle; having all of that done, and then the tabernacle being setup. That's quite a thing! It took a long time to do it.

Let's come to the end of the journey as we would see it with the children of Israel before they started to go into the 'promised land.' After all the trials, after all the rebellions, after everything that God had done, after all of those who were 20-years-old and older had died in the wilderness because of their rebellion; they rebelled against God ten or eleven major times, and didn't believe Him! We have to ask the same thing in our lives:

  • Do we really, really today believe God?
  • Do we really, really believe the words of Christ?

I think it would be good for everyone to read through and study the book of Deuteronomy and pick out all of the important things that really stand out in the way of instructions from God that apply to us today; especially Deut. 8.

The children of Israel are ready to go in and possess the land. Moses is giving this whole written testimony to the children of Israel before they go in:

Deuteronomy 4:1: "And now, O Israel, hearken to the statutes and to the judgments which I teach you, in order to do them, so that you may live and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers gives to you."

Our goal is eternal life! Do you really, really, really want eternal life? This is important as we discuss the coming doctrinal changes that are going to happen in the Churches of God:

Verse 2: "You shall not add to the word, which I command you; neither shall you take away from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you. Your eyes have seen… [they experienced] …what the LORD did because of Baal Peor. For the LORD your God has destroyed from among you all the men that followed Baal Peor" (vs 2-3). Quite a witness!

After telling them how obedience to God would make them great and wise, and the other nations would look to them, wanting to know why they were so great. Then Moses gives a warning:

Verse 9: "Only take heed to yourself and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things, which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. But teach them to your children, and your children's children, 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'" (vs 9-10).

Verse 12: "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…." (vs 12-13).

Some people come there, 'Yes, good carnal thinking. We know how to interpret the Bible; only the Ten Commandments.' All right, if you're so smart:

  • How do you do it in this case?
  • How do you do it in that case?
  • How do you do it in the other case?
  • Where does this apply?
  • Where does it not apply?

That's why all the statutes and judgments. Just because it says Ten Commandments here, it doesn't mean that is all. What follows that God gave is how you do it.

After warning them not to serve other gods, etc., v 29: "But if… [let's apply this to ourselves] …you shall seek the LORD your God… [if you go into captivity or sin against Him and do things that are not right] …from there, you shall find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul." That's what we need to do, brethren, spiritually!

Let me tell you this: When people start slacking up on keeping the Sabbath, and if they don't repent and change, they drift a little more. The truth is, spiritual things do not stay in a physical mind. They must be constantly renewed spiritually, just like the physical body. Every cell in our body is renewed, replenished, replaced with new ones all our life long.

Likewise spiritually, we need to have our minds replenished with:

  • God's Spirit
  • God's cleansing
  • God's building
  • God's molding
  • God creating His character in our lives

Verse 30: "When you are in trouble and when all these things have come upon you in the latter days… [and we are there] …then you shall return to the LORD your God and shall be obedient to His voice, for the LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not forsake you, nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers, which He swore to them" (vs 30-31). God is merciful, faithful, kind, forgiving and loving. That's why we need to seek Him, seek His Spirit, seek His Word!

Verse 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, or has been heard anything like it."

Think what it's going to be like when we teach the world—after we're resurrected and are spirit beings—has there ever been the like of that? If you think this was a great thing, wait until we cover Pentecost tomorrow. Wait and be faithful so that you will be in the first resurrection! That is going to be so much greater than what God did at Mt. Sinai.

Here again, Moses rehearsed everything for them, v 33: "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 an 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 33-34). What do you think Christ is going to do while we're on the Sea of Glass? Every one of these things that I just read to you, but to the whole world!

Verse 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] …therefore, He chose their seed after them, and brought you out in His sight with His great power out of Egypt" (vs 35-37). Then He's going to deliver all the land to them.

Verse 39: "Therefore, know this day and fix it in your heart that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath. There is none other." Then Moses said to keep the commandments!

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There's so much here in the book of Deuteronomy; that's way I suggested that you study and read the whole book.

In Deuteronomy 18:15 we have a prophecy of Christ. A promise from God: "The LORD your God will raise up unto you a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brethren, One like me [Moses]. To Him you shall hearken, according to all that you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, so that I do not die.' [Isn't it interesting, first person singular: me.] …And the LORD said to me, 'They have spoken well what they have spoken.'" (vs 15-17). They were well intentioned.

So, God says what He will do, v 18: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, One like you, and will put My words in His mouth. And He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him." Did not Jesus say that He said what the Father told Him to say? That He did what the Father commanded Him to do? Yes!

Verse 19: "And it shall come to pass, whatever man will not hearken to My words which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him…. [think about all the false prophets that have been, even today]: …But the prophet who shall presume to speak a word in My name which I have not commanded him to speak or who shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die" (vs 19-20). Quite a thing!

Let's identify this because it's important. There is a false prophet among us who preaches quite a bit of Truth, but claims that he himself is 'that prophet.' And, lo and behold, people believe him and follow him! Isn't that amazing? Do they have their Bibles right in front of them? Yes, they do!

Let's read what Peter said, speaking of Jesus Christ. He told them that they crucified Him; they killed the Author of life.

Acts 3:15: "And you killed the Author of life Whom God has raised from the dead, whereof we are witnesses." The message is much more powerful. They didn't want to hear the voice of God. They wanted to hear a man, so God sent Jesus Christ as a man, born of the virgin Mary, to preach His words to them.

  • Does that take away from the words of God? No!He spoke only the words of God!
  • What does this prove?
    • Whether it's the voice of God
    • Whether it's the voice of Christ
    • Whether it is the written Word of God

We are all accountable to God—correct? Yes!

After that, v 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…" (vs 17-19). Rather than go through all the trials and troubles like the children of Israel did on their journey to Mt. Sinai.

"…in order that your sins may be blotted out, so that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord… [to each one of us individually spiritually] …and that He may send Him Who was before proclaimed to you Jesus Christ" (vs 19-20). Send Him back to the earth, and that's been the continuous message from that day to this; it's going to happen!

Verse 21: "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…. [said it twice] …For Moses truly said to the fathers, 'A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up to you from among your brethren, like me; Him shall you hear in all things that He shall say to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be destroyed from among the people.' Now indeed, all the prophets from Samuel and those who followed, as many as prophesied, also proclaimed these days. You are the children of the prophets and of the covenant that God Himself appointed to our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' Unto you first has God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you in turning each of you from your wickedness" (vs 21-26). Jesus Christ is that Prophet! No other man!

Luke 4—Here is Jesus, as a man, and He came to Nazareth to the synagogue. That's the one that He attended every Sabbath as He was growing up with Mary, Joseph and His brothers and sisters as they came along. This is on the Day of Pentecost, the day of the weeks. That's what it means in the Greek when it says the Sabbath Day. In the Faithful Version of the Bible you will find a footnote on it why that is so.

Luke 4:16: "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 and stood up to 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" (vs 16-17). This is referring to that Prophet.
Verse 18: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; for this reason, He has anointed Me…" Notice what He's telling them, and how direct and profound this is. But the question is: Will they listen to Him? Remember, their ancestors said, 'Moses, you speak to us, we'll listen to a man.' So, God said, 'All right, I'm going to send you a man. He comes, stands up, quotes the Scriptures and says:

"…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" (vs 18-19).

The beginning of the preaching of the Gospel that year began on the Day of Atonement 26A.D., which was a Jubilee year. Jesus began His ministry by defeating Satan the devil, by overcoming him first by fasting 40 days and 40 nights.

Sidebar: In the book Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly he never once mentioned Satan the devil!

Verse 20: "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." That was such an astounding thing to say, that it was, as He said of Himself, Me! The whole synagogue got on their knees, prayed to God in thanksgiving, raising their arms to God, telling Him, 'Thank You, Lord, for fulfilling Your Word and for sending us that Prophet.' NO! They did the same thing they did back in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy.

Verse 21: "Then He began to say to them, 'Today… [the Feast of Pentecost] …this Scripture is being… [present tense passive] …fulfilled in your ears.'" And they all ran and embraced Him, hugged Him and kissed Him and said 'what wonderful words. After all these centuries, You're finally here.' NO!

Verse 22: "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?'" Look, He's just a man! Well, that's what your ancestors asked for!

Verse 23: "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. 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'" (vs 23-25). Where did He send Elijah? To a Gentile widow in Phoenicia! Her son died and Elijah raised him up.

Then Jesus told them v 27: "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 [general]." All the synagogue repented. NO! They reacted the same way their forefathers did to the Word of God. Their forefathers said, 'Send us a man! Moses, we'll listen to you.' NO! Same way today:

  • Do we hear the words of God?
  • Do we really love God?
  • Do we really want to obey Him?
  • Do we really want to keep His commandments?
  • Do we really want to love and serve Him?
  • Do we really?
  • Do we really want eternal life?

or

  • Do we just want things to go pleasant in this physical life and that will be sufficient?

Just as the stakes were high when Jesus came, so likewise they are high for us today; even higher because we have the full Word of God.

Notice what they did, v 28: "Now, all in the synagogue who heard these things were filled with indignation. 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; but He passed safely through their midst and departed" (vs 28-30)—just gave them all blindness of eyes so they couldn't find Him, and He just walked away. Quite a thing!

Now let's see how they received Jesus. When Jesus came up to the temple He came in unannounced; they didn't know Who He was. However, God prophesied that He would come. They didn't have enough sense to understand that what He did was to get their attention,

  • because He was that Prophet
  • because He was the Son of God
  • because He was God manifested in the flesh

They had their temple, their system, the establishment, and everything was to be run according to their rules, which they had long mutated from the true words of God.

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'" (vs 13-16).

Stop and think on that statement; not only of what it meant to them there—they should have all gotten on their knees and repented. No, they did not do that. Just like today, how about all of these churches that merchandize people for money, and preach lies, myths and 'truths? It is called 'Christianity' in this world. On the Trinity Broadcasting system, they will not allow anyone on there who preaches prophecy and doom and gloom of the end. But send your money for happiness and goodness! It is going to come: sadness, depravation and destruction!

Verse 17: "Then His disciples remembered that it was written, 'The zeal of Your house has eaten Me up.'" They remembered that after the fact!

Verse 18: "As a result, the Jews answered and said to Him, 'What sign do You show to us, seeing that You do these things?'" Jesus just showed them one by turning over all the tables, telling them that His Father had sent Him to His Father's house to do this, because they had desecrated it with all their merchandizing, traditions and profiteering.

Verse 19: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' Then the Jews said, 'This temple was forty-six years in building, and You will raise it up in three days?'…. [they didn't understand it] …But He spoke concerning the temple of His body" (vs 19-21). And later His disciples remembered that.

John 4 becomes a very important chapter for us to understand. All the way through Jesus teaches us:

  • how we need to worship God
  • how we need to keep the commandments of God
  • how we need to love God

This is talking to the woman at the well in Samaria, and He told her that she did not have a husband, 'you've had five husbands.' How did He know that? Just by looking at her! Think on that for a minute! Can anyone fool God whatsoever at any time? After saying that, the woman responded

John 4:19: "The woman said to Him, 'Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, but you say that the place where it is obligatory to worship is in Jerusalem.'" (vs 19-20). Yes, everybody has their 'religion.' Yes, indeed, a place to worship!

Verse 21: "Jesus said to 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'" (vs 21-22). Here is the key, and this is what it is all about concerning counting to Pentecost and Pentecost and the Holy Spirit, and this is how our worship of God needs to be:

Verse 23: "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship…" Stop and think about what He's saying, Those in Samaria were not the true worshipers; they were the false worshipers. Who will the true worshipers be? Those who have the Holy Spirit of God! Those who are called, chosen and faithful!

"…the Father in Spirit and in Truth; for the Father is indeed seeking those who worship Him in this manner" (v 23). That's what God wants! This is a tremendous thing for us to realize: how we need to come to God, how we need to approach God. Take the things that we have read from the Old Testament; that if we are diligent, apply ourselves and are zealous that God will hear us! Here's why:

  • we're not dealing with a temple
  • we're not dealing with men
  • we're not dealing with priests
  • We are dealing with God the Father and Jesus Christ!

Yes, we all come together on the Sabbath when there are enough people to get together, because today we're very scattered because of all of the sins of men.

Here's what it needs to be, v 24: "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must… [obligatory to] worship in…" worship in this manner. God is seeking those who worship Him in this way. God had His seven spirits that He sends out throughout all the earth, looking for those who are seeking Him. If we seek Him with all our heart, soul, mind and being, we will find Him.

But then do we worship Him in "…Spirit and in Truth' (v 24). Look at all of the things that we have today to fill and occupy our minds with, and to distract us from loving, serving and worshiping God. Think of that; that's quite a thing! We need to understand that!

Let's realize and here is a key important thing to understand: If we get focused purely on prophecy, we're going to miss the point. Prophecy is, indeed, interesting. Prophecy is, indeed, true. To understand it we must, but we need something greater than that! That's why Jesus brought all the disciples together before he ascended for the final time into heaven:

Acts 1:3: "To whom also, by many infallible proofs, He presented Himself alive after He had suffered, being seen by them for forty days, and speaking the things concerning the Kingdom of God. And while they were assembled with Him, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem but to 'await the promise of the Father, which,' He said, 'you have heard of Me'" (vs 3-4). We have that promise of the Father now.

Verse 5: "'For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit after not many days.'…. [just ten days later] …So then, when they were assembled together, they asked Him, saying, 'Lord, will You restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?'" (vs 5-6). Looking at prophecy to be fulfilled, rather than understanding what God wanted done.

Verse 7: "And He said to them, 'It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has placed in His own authority.'" That's why we can understand certain prophecies according to the Holy Days. How they work out, exactly when they will work out, we don't know!

We need not get all obsessed with prophecies. We need to keep it in proper perspective; we need to keep watching so that we don't get caught in prophetic traps and leave God. But the focus is:

  • spiritual
  • God's Spirit
  • that we be filled with the Spirit of God and worship God in Spirit and in Truth

That is the important thing!

Verse 8: "But you yourselves shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…"

Sidebar: As we talked about some of the changes of doctrine and mixed up doctrines that people think they have discovered things: I got a paper saying that the Holy Spirit is a person, and that person is Jesus. Yet, right here in the Bible we have the appendices about the Holy Spirit of God. We have at least two booklets about the Holy Spirit of God. We have a whole series of sermons: How to Use God's Holy Spirit.

It just shows you that today we must combat the 12-minute attention span created by watching television. We want everything summarized. We want to understand it our way, and you lose all the Truth! That's what's happened in the Church.

"…and you shall be My witnesses, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the ends of the earth" (v 8). Then He was taken up into heaven; disappeared out of their sight.

Verse 9: "And after saying these things, as they were looking at Him, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. Now, while they were gazing intently up into heaven as He was going up, two men in white apparel suddenly stood by them, Who also said, 'You men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into heaven? This same Jesus, Who was taken up from you into heaven, shall come in exactly the same manner as you have seen Him go into heaven'" (vs 9-11).

Then they went to Jerusalem and we will cover tomorrow—Day of Pentecost—that they received the Holy Spirit.

Now let's look at some parallels of the children of Israel coming to Mt. Sinai in relationship to the New Testament Church. Christ is in heaven at the right hand of God. He is conducting everything that is transpiring on the earth to fulfill all the prophecies, to be with His people wherever they are on the earth. He is

  • our High Priest
  • our Mediator
  • our Sacrifice

It is His shed blood that forgives our sins. It is the power of the Spirit that comes from God the Father and Jesus Christ to us so that we can worship God in Spirit and in Truth!

This is very important for us to realize, because living in this world we need every day: repentance, the cleansing of our mind and be zealously seeking God and Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:14: "Having, therefore, a great High Priest… [greater than the temple that was there; greater than what the children of Israel had] …Who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, we should hold fast the confession of our faith." What age do we live in? The lukewarm age! It's cool; the Laodicean age. Hold fast our profession!

Verse 15: "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… [in Spirit and in Truth and repentance] …so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (vs 15-16).

Remember that Pentecost and the counting of the weeks, Day 40 and Day 50 all have to do with our spiritual relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Our relationship with God is made possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. The begettal of God the Father, and the second part of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ together so that we have the mind of Christ and that we are the begotten children of God the Father.

Hebrews 10:15: "And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after He had previously said, 'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord: 'I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds; and their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again'" (vs 15-17). That's a fantastic thing to understand, brethren! That's our relationship with God. That's why we have the understanding that God gives to us, because:

  • we love God
  • we keep His commandments
  • we are diligently seeking Him
  • we are diligently seeking His Word
  • we are remaining faithful and true to the words of God
  • we are faithful and true to what God is doing
  • we ourselves are not rebellious, fighting God, and trying to seek our own will

but:

  • letting God mold us
  • letting God create in us
  • letting God work in us

through Jesus Christ!

Verse 18: "Now, where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices for sin. Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true Holiest by the blood of Jesus" (vs 18-19).

Remember how the covenant with Israel was sanctified with blood; the covenant with us was sanctified with the blood of Jesus Christ. That gives us confidence that we are able to have direct contact with God the Father and Jesus Christ in heaven above spiritually.

Verse 20: "By a new and living way… [that's what it is] …which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh)." Think of the fantastic and wonderful blessing—greater than all the signs, greater than all the wonders, greater than all the destruction that God brought upon the Egyptians and the enemies of Israel—to have direct access to God the Father through His Spirit; direct access to Jesus Christ as our High Priest and Sacrifice.

Verse 21: "And having a great High Priest over the house of God, let us approach God with a true heart, with full conviction of faith… [absolutely believing in God; trusting in His Word; looking to Him] …our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water…. [through baptism] …Let us hold fast without wavering… [don't let any of these false doctrines and false apostles fool you] …to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful" (vs 21-23). We need to understand that.

Heb. 12[transcriber's correction] is a parallel going back to when the children of Israel came to Mt. Sinai. Let's understand the relationship that God has given us.

Hebrews 12:18: "For you have not come to the mount 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')" (vs 18-21). However, think on this:

  • think on what God has done for us
  • think on the great privilege of having the Spirit of God and keeping the Sabbath and Holy Days of God
  • think on loving God
  • think on what God bestows upon us

so that we can do this. And this is where we come and pray every day:

Verse 22: "But you have come to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem… [which God is going to bring to this earth] …and to an innumerable company of angels; to the joyous festival gathering… [that's tomorrow, the resurrection] …and to the Church of the Firstborn…" (vs 22-23). That's what we are. Jesus was the Firstborn from among the dead, and we are the Congregation of the Firstborn—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" (v 23). When we die, our spirit goes back to God. He stores that wherever He stores that. Those are all of those who have lived faithfully and died in the faith. That spirit that comes from us when we die and goes back to God has no thinking, no functioning, because that spirit will not work unless it is in a mind and in a body. When we are resurrected, we will have a new mind and a new body. In the meantime, they are stored there awaiting the resurrection.

Verse 24: "And to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant; and to sprinkling of the blood of ratification, proclaiming superior things than that of Abel…. [then Paul gives a warning; this is something that we need to be aware of]: …Beware that you do not refuse to hear Him Who is speaking!…." (vs 24-25). We need to beware that it is not according to our own thoughts!

Tomorrow we are going to see another journey coming to this Mt. Sion; another journey coming to this City of God, which will first be manifested like it was in Exo. 24 with the Sea of Glass; and that is the resurrection of the saints from the dead!

Scriptural References:

  • Deuteronomy 16:9-12
  • Exodus 15:22-27
  • Exodus 19:3-6, 8, 16-19, 24-25
  • Exodus 20:18-20
  • Exodus 23:22, 24-25
  • Exodus 24:1-10
  • Deuteronomy 4:1-3, 9-10, 12-13, 29-37, 39
  • Deuteronomy 18:15-20
  • Acts 3:15, 17-26
  • Luke 4:16-25, 27-30
  • John 2:13-21
  • John 4:19-24
  • Acts 1:3-11
  • Hebrews 4:14-16
  • Hebrews 10:15-23
  • Hebrews 12:18-25

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 21; 22; 25
  • Deuteronomy 8

Also referenced:

  • Book: Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly
  • Booklets:
    • Count to Pentecost by Fred R. Coulter
    • Understanding God's Command for the Wave Sheaf by Dwight Blevins
  • Sermon: Guard the Doctrines of God
  • Sermon Series: How to Use God's Holy Spirit

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 5-13-14
Corrected: 5/22/14

BOOKS