(Elderly ministry 22 Jan 2010)
Direction -> see plight of loved ones -> learn to lead them out -> prepare, tune yourself with cross message and preach Him as you walk
2. The Israel that came out of Egypt (Chapters 5-13)
7 “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. 8 But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and sacrifice to our God.’
-> Sending out the living springs shall definitely have darkness or persecutions from Satan first following.
20 When they left Pharaoh, they found Moses and Aaron waiting to meet them, 21 and they said, “May the LORD look upon you and judge you! You have made us a stench to Pharaoh and his officials and have put a sword in their hand to kill us.”
-> When man walks till he comes to his end, he will also still groan and complain, especially to God’s commissioned worker. Do not be deceived or hurt in your spirit if your loved ones show the unblessed side of theirs to you. The bible lists this down because it is normal that the ones that we want to pastor and love will come back and complain at us. When this happens, we must only have a correct fixed perspective, which is explained below.
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”
2 God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them. 4 I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they lived as aliens. 5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.
-> Are there problems that seem to roar at us, make our hearts weak, make our hands and legs feeble? By the blessed perspective, waste no time but interpret the problems as that the timetable has already reached for God to manifest His glory greatly!
10 Then the LORD said to Moses, 11 “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country.”
12 But Moses said to the LORD, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me, since I speak with faltering lips?”
-> In the state of “Disbelief”, immediately the bible turned to the genealogy:
13 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron about the Israelites and Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he commanded them to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.
20 Amram married his father’s sister Jochebed, who bore him Aaron and Moses. Amram lived 137 years.
26 It was this same Aaron and Moses to whom the LORD said, “Bring the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.” 27 They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt about bringing the Israelites out of Egypt. It was the same Moses and Aaron.
-> In the state of disbelief,
Firstly, restore God’s own choosing, calling and covenant.
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”
6 Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them. 7 Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.
-> In the state of disbelief,
Secondly, there is a need for the process to shame and break the head of Satan in order to drive out the disbelief.
1) The hardening of Pharaoh (7-10)
When we read the above verses, we will know why there is a need for the process to harden Pharaoh, and this is because the people of God are not ready to believe yet, or they are in the state of disbelief. If we cannot believe the word of God, there is no need to run away from God. But you must know that it is because you are unable. You must also recognize that you do not have the method to fight off the forces of the enemy, or the world.
Born again starts from the hardening of Pharaoh. There is an emphasis that Satan is bad all the way to the core.
1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD.”
It is not God Who hardened Pharaoh’s heart, but that Pharaoh’s heart is already hardened. There is a spiritual meaning when this is repeated again and again in our meetings.
Have you in your hearts thought about this,
“Can we stop learning, equipping and enjoying Christ? Can we stop meeting? Can we stop our broken and contrite spirit even though we are already so broken? I know that God loves me; so can I stay in this ‘feel good’ situation?”
We cannot! This is for the sake of shaming Satan all the way, so that it only brings out more and more need of Christ. Once saints know about relying on His already accomplished authority that sat at the right hand of God, His glory is manifested.
Now, there is a difference between sin (original) and sins (consequences of sin). When we say we want to cleanse our sins or be healed, we do not focus on removing sins, but because the guilt on the sins is there to affect and activate the original sin between us and God. It is for the sake of restoring our relationship between us and God that we cleanse our sins. The relationship between us and God is related only to original sin. This is very, very, very important. Jesus Christ can forgive all sins, but not the sin which cannot be forgiven. With this, then our message will be powerful.
The messages that belong to the world or about charity works only have two things. (1) I forgive you, I have compassion on you, because I saw that you have a bad family background; or you cannot stand up on your own now; you are greatly discouraged in the heart; you have no capital to start with, etc. (2) Yet, they must also keep on saying, “You must know that this is wrong; You cannot do this; you must stand up on your own; if you cannot help yourself, there is nobody in the world who can help you already, etc.”
If we know what is to be admonished and reprimanded (original sin and everything connected to this), and we know what is to have the most compassion, mercy and love from God, we can then deliver powerful messages to help and bless the very sheep of God. This is why Jesus Christ can see and have compassion on people as He went through the field in <Mt 9:36-38>, seeing that the sheep of God are all being harassed and helpless, all because of the forces and bondage of Satan. Satan is never to be forgiven nor given a foothold of. Remember this!!
(1) Preempt => Add Persecution => Miracle – Staff Becomes Snake
<7:2-3> Pre-empt / Pre-warn
2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt,
<7:4> Add Persecutions
4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites.
<7:10> Miracle – Staff becomes snake
10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake.
How was it that we can believe in Christ now? It is because there was a messenger of Christ Who preempted or pre-warn us before.
How can we live among people if we know that they need to hear about God, but know very clearly that their timetable to mourn and hunger for righteousness has not yet reached?
We must know God as the Director and the Actor.
God-driven method is to pre-warn, and in the process add persecutions, so that His miracles can be performed in the midst of the seemingly “impossible” process of saving Israel, and in the midst of the seemingly impossible process of saving our loved ones into the light of the gospel.
If we are able to explain to the people around us (including our loved ones) how God is with them with the works that happened, they would have an unforgettable memory of this great, loving God who never stops working to change their views when they finally surrender their lives to the living God.
(i) I have a colleague who is easily shakened and influenced in the world. He hated his character because this will mean that no girls will like him, and everyone can just bully and take advantage of him. I told him, even though his timetable is not up, that no matter if he believed or not, the truth is that there is God, and God has made His character. Till the day he understood this, his hatred of his character will be gone.
(ii) Let me give another example since you all may not understand:
Aunt Diana had told his husband before that her prayers will work. Though her husband never came to the church, he saw so naturally that God is living through her prayers. Even though his time table is not up yet, he has said that he will one day come to church.
(iii) Aunt Xie had said that Meier ever prophecised that she would lose her job easily in the past because she did not come to church, but “betrayed God” by going for a job that requires her to go on Sundays after her baptism. When she is blessed now, she exclaimed last week in great freedom and joy that God is really alive, and she thus can give thanks to God for Him answering her prayers of finding a job that does not require her to work on Sundays.
This is the reason of sending out the living springs. They may not listen, and may not accept the truth yet, but when we speak to them about the truth relevantly and appropriately in their situations so as to protect them and guide them, God’s word will never fall to the ground without any accomplishments. From then on, time and again, “miracles” will happen through our continual intercession for them, to turn their heart from stone to flesh.
(2) 9 Plaques – water becomes blood, frogs, gnats, files, livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness (Worship demons) = The demonic gods of Egypt = brings curse <–> The safety of Israel (Goshen region) – Gets Blessings
<7:14-24> Water becomes blood
20 Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood.
6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land.
17 They did this, and when Aaron stretched out his hand with the staff and struck the dust of the ground, gnats came upon men and animals. All the dust throughout the land of Egypt became gnats.
24 And the LORD did this. Dense swarms of flies poured into Pharaoh’s palace and into the houses of his officials, and throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies.
3 the hand of the LORD will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field—on your horses and donkeys and camels and on your cattle and sheep and goats.
10 So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on men and animals.
23 When Moses stretched out his staff toward the sky, the LORD sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed down to the ground. So the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt;
14 they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again.
22 So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and total darkness covered all Egypt for three days.
The curses of the front 9 plaques get more and more serious. Disbelief, or the root problem, will result in more serious problems.
9 plaques = worship demons = demonic gods of Egyptians = bring curse
Egyptians worshipped gods of the river Nile, toad goddess, god of vegetation, god of insects, god of bull and goddess of cow, sky goddess and protector of crops, god of fields and protector against locusts, god of the sun, etc. All the plaques represented that what they worshipped came back and even harm them, i.e. worshipping other ideologies actually brought curse.
<9:26> The safety of Israel (Goshen region) – Gets Blessings
26 The only place it did not hail was the land of Goshen, where the Israelites were.
-> Yet, Israel was not affected by the judgment that happened. We may be disciplined, but God’s people will never totally be destroyed.
(3) The stronghold of Satan – The harm and disasters of religion
The 9 plaques resulted in the people of God being persecuted more. Yet, it is the timetable for breaking down the Pharaoh’s (Satan’s) stronghold. Therefore, we must have hope when we preach as we live.
Religion is just like a vicious cycle:
When problem come, we try to solve that problem regardless of the truth. Yet that solution only causes the heart to harden 7 times more against the real truth. Therefore, 7 times more problems as a result of the 7 times hardening will come. And so on….
Therefore, we must understand why religion just cannot make it? This is because there is no essence of dying.
There is a need for the blood, that man should die to Adam, to all his past ideology, history and goodness as all of these are of no use but in fact, harmful because these are all in the fall of man. Then we will be able to understand the gospel.
God used the 10th plaque to let Israel understand the need for Christ’s blood.
2) Passover (Chapter 12)
(1) Unleavened Bread (Set Apart From the World), the Circumcised (Turn To God), the shedding of the blood of the Lamb (Die and resurrect)
In preparation of the Passover, Israel has to turn to God. The hearer, including us, have to recognize “the end of man” himself.
<12:18> Unleavened Bread (Set Apart From the World)
18 In the first month you are to eat bread made without yeast, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day.
<12:44,48> the Circumcised (Turn to God)
44 Any slave you have bought may eat of it after you have circumcised him,
48 “An alien living among you who wants to celebrate the LORD’s Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat of it.
<12:21-22> the shedding of the blood of the Lamb (Die and resurrect)
21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb.
22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning.
The bread they eat is different from what the world always eats for they are set apart from the world and all the ideology that is in it. This is the reason for God to command them to eat unleavened bread.
If our life still holds on to some of our own motives, contents and feelings when we turn to God, then Satan still binds us through that channel. This arena cannot hear Holy Spirit. No Holy Spirit’s conviction will be received as wisdom.
When people meet with problems, they would not hear that God has a good plan to bless them. This is because there will be totally no conviction to glorify God by using the problem as a witness to all in the church by suffering loss.
Therefore, we must die to and resurrect from our numbness because our own original motives, contents and feelings for following the Lord actually belong to the world.
** We must leave nothing behind. **
There must be ONLY shedding of blood of the Lamb.
(2) Kill all the firstborn in Egypt
29 At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well.
This symbolizes Christ’s death, the Firstborn of all believers to die to all of what we hold. This is also shown by Issac, the precious son of Abraham.
This is the actual glory of the Passover.
(3) Receive the property of Egypt
36 The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.
The blessed ones must immediately restore the fact that all his friends, parents, school, etc are created for him. This is called “abundant and wholesome blessings” after born again. Therefore, we should not be affected by the environment.
3) Remember (12:24-27) = Holy Communion <Lk 22:19> = blood, meat = receive salvation
26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’
This is the meaning of the Holy Communion. We must remember and judge everything in our life from here.
The blood and meat of Jesus Christ becomes our blood, hands, mouth, legs, and all activities. One has received salvation when he is willing to live remembering this and judging everything from here.
Remembering to use promise is to use the root of how we are being born again to judge all things always.
How shall we see, and live our lives out?
4) Sacrifice firstborn (Chapter 13) = Belong to Jehovah = All of you are mine (living sacrifice)
2 “Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal.”
This is the act of doing, submitting and sacrificing.
There will be corresponding spontaneous witness in his heart that he belongs to Jehovah, “I am created by Him, in Him, and for Him.”
Choosing between God and the world would no longer be difficult when the firstborn is sacrificed. This is the meaning of <Ro 12:1-2> Testing and approving.
It would become easy to give up the soccer match, taste food that is less tasty, if I have already confirmed that my firstborn belongs to Jehovah and since I have already confirmed that all of ours are God’s. It would be easy to stand up quickly from being emotionally hurt or be tempted.
= God loves me, and I love and like Him. (My Jesus, I love Thee, for Thou Art Mine).
When God says that all of ours are His, It means that God loves us.
With such a perspective, we can then have counteraction.
=> Emphasis on the first two main points
If one does not know regeneration, hearing messages to “be set apart from the world” will bring him pressure.
Shock #1 of Paul
“Systematically” from a contrite and broken spirit of his grave mistake in thinking that he has been right all along when in fact he has actually kicked against the goads about who Jesus Christ is.
Shock #2 of Paul
If Christ has called him despite his extreme wrongs of not knowing Emmanuel, there would be much more assurances he can receive on regeneration, sanctification and transformation!
The correct spirit says, “I should have died. Why should I live? Lord, fill me and take over my life, even the broken spirit that may cause me to feel miserable.”
The timetable of the church will depend on how much of the beauty we can see in our born-again life so that it manifests wholly into all our lifestyle and fields.