Our next Mysteries of the Bible book is
Our first topic in Exodus is…
Exodus Mystery #1 : Shekinah Glory: the Glory of God Almighty
Exodus 33:18 -23 18 Then Moses said, “Now, please show me your glory.”
19 The Lord answered, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will announce my name, the Lord, so you can hear it. I will show kindness to anyone to whom I want to show kindness, and I will show mercy to anyone to whom I want to show mercy . 20 But you cannot see my face, because no one can see me and live.
21 “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes that place, I will put you in a large crack in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take away my hand, and you will see my back. But my face must not be seen.”
In an amazing part of scripture that may have to be taken literally and not figuratively as incredible as it is to accept it, God hides Moses in the cleft of a rock and covers him with his hand as he passes by. When God removed his hand from Moses, Moses sees God’s Back. What God’s Back means is anyone’s guess, but if we take hand and back as to be understood literally as they relate to human physiology then it would indicate God has manifested himself in the form of a a man and that could mean that this is a Glorified appearance of the Lord Jesus.
One thing is certain in this passage; mere mortal flesh cannot bear witness to the power and the might of God’s Full Glory.
God also used the Pillar of Fire
and Cloud against the Egyptians
and in the process drove their chariot driven army away.
The presence of God’s Shekinah Glory was enough to convince the enemies of Israel that God was not to be tested or provoked.
Moving to the New Testament we read in John 1:18, concerning God’s Shekinah Glory, God’s fullness is the Revelation of God in his full glory. Noah asked to see God in all his Glory.
God told him no one can see God’s face which is the essence of God’s Glory. So John recounts the Exodus story once again that No One has seen God, the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
Colossians 2:9 states Jesus is the dwelling place of God’s Glory and in Christ, all the fullness of the deity lives in bodily form. This makes sense, when Jesus mentions to Philip in John 14:9, Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. So with Christ, we see the visible manifestation of God, as the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity, Jesus is the presence of God on Earth as it is in Heaven.
When we say God we include Yahweh and Jehovah, Hashem and every other name for God in the Bible, Jesus that is Yeshua, is the full embodiment of the triune nature of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Exodus 6: 2-4, And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord; And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Issac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
Lastly, the exciting promise of God’s Shekinah Glory is said best in 1 John 3:2, that when we get to Heaven, we will see both the Son and the Father in all their glory and the Shekinah will no longer be veiled.
We will not only be like the Lord, we shall see Jesus as he truly is face to face. How exciting is that beloved? Yeshua made it clear that he and the Father are one, if you have seen him you have seen the Father. You will see for yourself….someday soon. We get closer moment by moment in the twinkling of an eye, to the time of our gathering together with our Lord in the air.
If you haven’t “punched your ticket yet “, what are you waiting for? This “flight” to Heaven is only one way friend. For Yeshua is the WAY the TRUTH the LIFE. Now is the time to get right with God as no one is promised tomorrow.
Someday we will see God in his full Glory in the Glory of the New Jerusalem. Will you be there to witness this? We pray it will be yes to that question.
The next Mystery is…
Exodus Mystery # 2: The 10 Plagues of Egypt: The makings of a Strong Hand
Exodus 6 V.1 Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.
Perhaps nowhere in the Bible (except for the Book of Revelation and the books of the disciples of our Lord and Master – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) is there a section of the Bible so full of God’s Supernatural Powers on display then that of the following sections taken from the Book of Exodus.
It is here we find stories of mysterious events that baffle the mind and defy human logic as well. We are going to do our very best here as we look at the Ten Plagues of Egypt, what they meant then and what they mean to us today. The most remarkable of all miracles and examples of God’s Supernatural Powers of course is and always will be the Resurrection of the Lord,
and the parting of the Red Sea
are usually considered right up there as well. But somewhere in that category also has to be considered the 10 Plagues of Egypt.
Exodus Chapters 7 -12 cover the 10 Plagues, If you recall, God prepped Moses in advance, letting him know that he would be going in front of Pharaoh and that he would be forcing his hand little by little.
It was going to take a lot of convincing to finally get the Pharaoh to let Moses people go. Pharaoh was very stubborn and unyielding and God was planning to harden his heart, which we will look into in a little bit as to why that was the case. For God to drive the Pharaoh to the point that his own strong hand and his own will would dictate that he finally was ready to let the Israelites go free from their enslavement in Egypt would truly take an act of the supernatural.
Consequently there would be 10 plagues that God would place upon Egypt; to help persuade Pharaoh that he would want no part of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob or the Israelites for that matter. The Plagues were a combination of biblical judgments using pestilence and other natural elements such as hail, frogs, locusts, water turned blood red, darkness, and ultimately the death of the first born sons.
It had been 400 years that the Israelites had been enslaved and God raised up Moses, to deliver the children of Israel from their bondage to Egypt.
God provided Moses with some signs and wonders of God’s Supernatural Capabilities for both Pharaoh and even the Israelites to witness. These signs and wonders consisted of a staff that Moses could throw down, in order it became a vicious serpent and then just as quickly as he picked it up, a staff again.
Moses also was given the ability to turn his hand from normal to a hand revealing advanced leprosy, and then back to normal again in the blink of an eye.
There was much strife in Egypt concerning the Israelites and their enslavement to Egypt.
It had been 400 years that the Israelites had been enslaved and God raised up Moses, to deliver the children of Israel from their bondage to Egypt. Moses, never feeling quite adequate enough (with a speech impediment and a bit of an inferiority complex to boot) was a reluctant leader initially, but with the support and backing of God stamping his authority on him, Moses could have much more confidence. With his brother Aaron at his side, he could now face Pharaoh.
The signs and wonders that God equipped Moses with were spoken of in Exodus 3:20 served as a type of confirmation that showed the Israelites, that God was indeed alive, well and worthy of their worship. The other reason and the one that we will look at the most here, is the way God puts in place the Egyptian False gods (such as Ra, Horus and Isis to name a few of the more well-known names) who were highly exalted by the Egyptians and also played a significant role in influencing the enslaved Israelites.
The Israelites were especially vulnerable as they had been exposed to these false gods for many years and they in turn also had thought their own God had forsaken them during their captivity. The Israelites still believed there was a God but that he had forgotten them and they had lost their faith in him that he would ever help them break their yoke of bondage. Meanwhile the Egyptians, who were rich in their pagan beliefs, worshiped many a god, especially nature gods. There was a god of the sun, a goddess of fertility and gods of war. Of course, none of these “gods” were real, only the demon spirits behind them working hard to deceive anyone they can.
From the very first time that Moses and Aaron (his spokesman) approached the Pharaoh, it was evident that this was going to be a slow, agonizing process.
Pharaoh rebuffed Moses in Exodus 5:12 saying Who is the LORD that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.
The Lord already told Moses that he was going to make Moses appear “like a god” to Pharaoh and Aaron like a prophet. When Moses used the staff which changed to a Serpent, the Pharaoh’s magicians quickly duplicated the feat and created their own serpents.
What they did not expect was for God’s Serpent to devour their snakes. God proved that Satan is a counterfeit and can only do a pale imitation of God’s Miracles but cannot duplicate his power or majesty. Satan being the counterfeit god of this world can also perform false signs and wonders, which is a common theme that we address quite often with the Mysteries of the Bible. Satan is limited in what he can do.
Satan simply cannot match the Lord miracle for miracle or in this case plague for plague as we shall soon see. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart which was the start of the plagues and the start of God building up Pharaoh’s strong hand.
The first plague was of turning the Nile to blood and was a judgment against Apis and Isis, respectively the god and goddess of the Nile as well as Hapi, guardian of the Nile.
The second plague brought frogs from the Nile and was a judgment against Heqet, the frog headed goddess of birth.
The third plague was of gnats and was a judgment on Set, the god of the desert.
This by the way, was the first plague that the Egyptian magicians and practitioners of the dark occult arts were not able to duplicate. They could turn water into blood, they could even produce frogs and change staffs into snakes but they could not bring forth a plague of gnats.
The fourth plague, is that of flies and this was a judgment on Re and Uatchit who were both “fly like” in the way they were depicted.
Note only the Egyptians were bothered by the flies, no Israelites were targeted by God. The fifth plague was the death of livestock
and this was a judgment on the god Apis and the goddess Hathur, both who were depicted as “cattle like” Once again God protected the Israelites livestock but all the Egyptians cattle died. Slowly but surely Egypt’s economy was being ruined by all these plagues and still the Pharaoh’s heart was hardened and he would not let the Israelite people go.
The sixth plague was boils, a judgment upon several gods, Sekhnet, Sunu and Isis.
The Egyptian magicians could not even stand before Moses because of all the painful boils on their bodies. Clearly God’s Supernatural Powers were making the counterfeit false gods defenseless and powerless as well against God.
The next three plagues were the last three plagues. God spoke through Aaron and Moses and informed Pharaoh that these last few plagues would be far more severe than the six they had endured previously.
Pharaoh had hardened his heart after every plague (God was actually behind this and we will reveal why that was the case). God was using Pharaoh much like one uses a chess piece if you will. God used Pharaoh to accomplish his will and purpose with the deliverance he was going to bring to the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt and to make them fully appreciate what he was doing for them, it had to get to the type of magnification that it became, an epic event which truly glorified God’s Greatness.
God was going to rain down far more a severe punishment upon both Pharaoh and Egypt. Their plagues were designed with one specific purpose. While the previous plagues were against the Egyptian false gods, now God was going to make a statement. That statement can be found in Exodus 9:14, That there is none like me in all the Earth.
Pharaoh was told that he was indeed a “mere prop” in God’s greater plan in V.16, we find out that God put Pharaoh in the position for such a time as this in order that God could show his power and declare his name through all the Earth. God even displayed his grace by letting Pharaoh know that he better shelter his livestock and crops from what was about to come next.
For the seventh plague was hail and this was against a few pagan gods, Nut, the sky goddess, Orsis, the crop fertility god and Set, the storm god. God told Moses at this time that the Israelites would someday tell their children of what God had done in Egypt and how it was a true demonstration of God’s Infinite Power, majesty and mercy and grace.
The eighth plague came and with it locusts which again were against Nut, Orsis and Set, once again.
Gone was the harvest crops of Egypt for the year. The ninth plague was aimed at Re, the sun god. For 3 days (a significant number in the Bible) the land of Egypt was in complete darkness, only the homes of the Israelites had any light at all.
Finally the Tenth and most severe plague of all, fittingly the last plague, for it was the death of all the first born males, including the Pharaoh’s son.
This was a judgment on Isis, supposedly the protector of children. There was something unique about this last plague, for it incorporated an act of faith on behalf of the Israelites. God instructed Moses and Aaron to tell the Israelites a deep spiritual lesson (that foreshadowed the Lord’s Sacrifice and death as the Passover Lamb).
God commanded each family to take an unblemished male lamb, kill it and smear the top and sides of their doorways, with its blood.
That very same lamb needed to be roasted and eaten that very night. Even if you were an Israelite and you did not follow through with these instructions then your first born male would die as well of those of the Egyptians. For God was about to send an angel of death into Egypt and only the faith of following God’s Instructions would allow the angel to pass over your house and unto the next. Survival here had more to do with obedience to God rather then whether you were a Jew or Egyptian.
This of course is the origins of Passover or Pesach (Passover in Hebrew), the feast of unleavened bread. For the Israelites did not have time to let the bread rise they had to take unleavened bread, (that is bread without yeast) with them into the desert.
God made it very clear how he would send the death angel through the entire land of Egypt with orders to slay the firstborn male of every household.
The only protection was the blood of the lamb on the door.
When the death angel saw the blood, he would pass over that house and leave the first born untouched.
Pesach stands as a memorial of the night when God released and delivered his people out of ancient Egypt, slavery and the yoke of bondage. In 1 Corinthians 5:7, we learn that Jesus became our Passover lamb when he died in order to deliver us from the bondage of our sins.
God the Father sees us as spotless and without sin so we avoid the second death which is a spiritual death for all of eternity because of the Blood of Jesus, just like the blood of the Passover lamb protected the Israelites from the angel of death. God the Father passes his judgment on us, because of Jesus his Son’s death and sacrifice for us, thus we are written into the Book of Life or The Lamb’s Book of Remembrance as it is also known.
It’s not because we ever earned God’s forgiveness because we didn’t and couldn’t and nor do we even deserve it, because we never could deserve anything but death and damnation because of our inherent sin nature. Our own righteousness is as filthy rags to God, never forget beloved. This is about God’s Grace and God’s Grace alone. The Israelites who had faith in God’s Instructions were protected from the angel of death while every other home in Egypt experienced God’s Wrath as their first born males died.
When Pharaoh’s own son died, this was more than he could even stand, and with a strong hand, he finally released the Israelites. The Israelites finally had an understanding of how powerful the God of Israel really was. They now knew God had plans for them to find the Land of Milk and Honey,
the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob before them. Still even then, as they wondered the desert, many questioned and even rebelled against both Moses and Aaron’s leadership and ultimately God’s Plans.
Even Pharaoh would harden his heart one last time (again by God for his purpose)
and come for Moses and his people not to bring them back to captivity but to slay them as a form of revenge against Moses and his God.
As we look at the last fatal mistake in underestimating God’s Power, Pharaoh pushed the Israelites towards the Red Sea in what seemed like a perfect place to trap the Israelites and kill them all.
Thinking he cornered them and outsmarted them, Pharaoh was about to find out that God had one last incredible miracle he was going to introduce him to. This was a miracle of the magnitude that Pharaoh would never experience again in his lifetime. This was a miracle that scoffers and skeptics alike would scratch their heads to for time immortal, concerning God’s Power, the parting of the Red Sea.
It’s Next on Mysteries of the Bible…
Exodus Mystery #3 : Crossing the Red Sea: The Parting of the Waters
Our next mystery is very well known and it’s probably due to the popularity of the classic The Ten Commandments movie with Charlton Heston as Moses.
Of course that movie was just typical Hollywood. But what of the true biblical account? Perhaps no other Old Testament Biblical account catches the attention of its audience, the way the Parting of the Red Sea event does. In fact, more recent scientific evidence (which we will get to in just a little bit) seems to back up the Biblical account. If you think the Parting of the Red Sea is just a fable or a myth then check out what divers found at the bottom of the Red Sea for yourself.
Big Surprise? Not really, despite what some scientists claim, true scientific evidence seen through objective eyes, does not contradict what the Bible’s depiction is. In fact truth be told, it validates it, that’s right true science with the purest agenda of discovering truth, reveal The Bible is completely accurate despite what naysayers may tell you. Let’s move on shall we as we will be continuously proving the Bible’s authenticity over and over again throughout this website.
First let’s turn to the Holy Scriptures for this most epic of events. In Exodus 14: 21-22 and 26-28 we read, And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
And the Lord said unto Moses, stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place and the Egyptians fled against it and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
So as we just read, the biblical account as we understand from scripture, Moses and the Israelites are fleeing the Pharaoh’s army of chariots.
Pharaoh is convinced he has trapped the Israelites by the mouth of the Sea and they have nowhere to go. But is that really the case? That mouth of the Sea is partly in dispute as whether it is the Red Sea or the Sea of Reeds.
We do know this, Exodus 14:9 tells us, They were camping by the Sea, beside Pi-Hahiroth before Baal-Zephon.
Pi-Hahiroth was aptly named by the Israelites as it means in Hebrew “mouth of water” as the Israelites felt it looked just like that, a mouth.
Pi-Hahiroth does in fact face Mt. Tiran and it is at the intersection of two gulfs, just south of the straits of Tiran. Mt. Tiran is located on Tiran Island in Saudi Arabia and is on the opposite shore of the Red Sea.
Still others believe the location of the crossing to be in the Northern vicinity of the Gulf of Suez.
So now that we have the general area figured out or at least we have some ideas of potential locations where the actual crossing took place, let’s get back to this epic account. What is believed by both a majority of Bible scholars and those that study the Bible from a more scientific perspective is that an incredibly powerful east wind of Typhoon like proportions (or at the very least gale force winds), splits the waters in two, forming walls of water on both the right and left.
What results in this, is a dry Passage way of land for the Israelites to travel over. The Israelites make it over to the other side of the land in safety,
but when Pharaoh’s army tries to cross the exact same dry path that the Israelites did,
at God’s Command, the waters come crashing back and drown everyone in Pharaoh’s army in the process.
Trying to make sense of this account from a natural stand point makes sense but only to a point. As we will see in a minute it doesn’t take long before we see all the earmarks of a Supernatural event more so then a natural one. Some scientists believe that the biblical account in Exodus took place in the Nile Delta Region just south of the Mediterranean Sea. Below the famous Mississippi Delta is compared to the Nile Delta for a reference point most of us can relate to.
It is thought by some of these scientists that the body of water was actually more of a coastal lagoon known as the Lake of Tanis. The Bible however refers over and over again to the sea and as you know here at Mysteries of the Bible, we take the word of God literally over any and every other source. Looking at the Lake of Tanis explanation however, scientists see the body of water there as being quite shallow, only 6 ft. or so deep. Here is a pic of this Lake of Tanis below looking much more like a river than the kind of body of water that could build the enormous walls of water that the Israelites passed through.
The winds were estimated at blowing at 63mph (which is in the lower range for Hurricane like conditions) for approximately 12 hours. This would have created enough force to push the waters back enough for a land path to be created for a short duration of time.
This pathway was estimated and thought to be as large as 2 miles long and 3 miles wide so there was plenty of space for Moses to move the multitude of Israelites, their herds and livestock and their belongings.
As the Bible describes, barriers of water would form walls on both sides of the lake / sea. Then just as suddenly as it occurred, as the winds dropped quite dramatically, the waters would rush back with incredible velocity.
No one could stand such a force and would drown in an instance. Physical laws of Science and something called Fluid Dynamics seem to back up the Biblical Account. Other natural occurrences such as Tsunami’s and Hurricanes were at one time considered but the results did not match the biblical account about the splitting of the two walls of water leading to a dry pathway for the Israelites to walk on. Case in point, in Exodus 15:8 and Psalm 78:13, the flood waters are described as standing upright as a heap, which is another word for a pile or in this case, think of a mountain of water on both sides of the Sea.
So getting back to the statement we made earlier, about whether this was more of a supernatural act of God verses something more naturally explained, one thing to note here is that the wind that parted the sea was more of a supernatural phenomena then a natural one. For as strong as the winds would have needed to be to do the parting of the waters and create these walls of water, that much velocity would have made it impossible or near impossible for the Israelites to cross over the dry land.
Was this event really a Miracle of God or a completely natural act of a Supernatural God who can perform miracles at the drop of a hat and all the time? Science as we know cannot explain the supernatural acts of God and that’s why this Exodus Bible mystery will remain just that, a mystery.
We know one thing; God will not hold any good thing from his elect and those that remain obedient to him.
Psalm 84:11 states No good thing will he (Yahweh) withhold from those who walk uprightly.
God came through time and time again for the Israelites, rescuing them from danger and certain death and he will do it again for his children during the time of the Great Tribulation to come, when he in his mercy will cut short the persecution of the saints by the Antichrist at the 3 ½ year mark.
The Lord will come back for a remnant, the Tribulation Saints and he will rescue them not unlike he did the Israelites who crossed the Red Sea and as God did for Noah and his family before the Flood began. We must all understand it is God’s Way that he seeks Glory for what he does, because he is Great God worthy to be praised. He doesn’t take us out of tribulation once we are in it, he takes us through it and protects us. In that way, he can be most glorified. God is also building a great work, a refiner’s fire in all of us through these tribulations and by our experiencing them, it builds our faith and trust in God. This is evident throughout the entire Bible; both Old and New Testaments. This is why Jesus says over and over again for us not to be fearful and why he tells us what is to happen in these very last days. He wants us to be prepared spiritually, mentally and even physically.
At the time of Yeshua’s return, he will come and gather up his flock that remains on the Earth as only the Good Shepherd of the flock can. Yeshua will take them to where we all will be, our Heavenly eternal home in Heaven.
Our next Mystery from the Book of Exodus…
Book of Exodus –Mystery # 4 – The Ark of the Covenant
What really happened to the Ark of the Covenant? The Ark of the Covenant may be the most speculated of all Bible Mysteries large in part to the widely watched Harrison Ford / Indiana Jones – Raiders of the Lost Ark film.
That film is pure fiction as it depicts the Ark ending up in Egypt which as we turn to the Bible for answers, we find to be an impossibility. The only part of the film that got it right is the title bearing the Lost Ark since for all intents and purposes; it is lost or is it?
As always is the case, to find the truth we search the scriptures first. Exodus 25: 10, 16, 22. And they shall make an ark of shittim wood; two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height there of. And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee. And I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
The Ark of the Covenant is the actual Ark that Moses placed the 2 Tablets containing the Ten Commandments that God had given Moses on Mount Sinai.
The Ark was a wooden chest built to the exact specifications that God requested in Exodus 25:10-22 and the construction of the Ark itself is detailed in Exodus 37:1-9. It was also speculated that Aaron’s rod (used to do many Supernatural acts of God) and other items were also eventually added to the Ark,
but it principally contained the Ten Commandments.
The last time any mention of the Ark of the Covenant can be found in the Old Testament is in 2 Chronicles 35:1-6 and 2 kings 23:21-23. The last detail we have in scripture is that King Josiah of Judah ordered the care takers of the Ark of the Covenant to return it to its rightful place, The Temple of Jerusalem.
That being said, we do know from history that 40 years later King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon captured Jerusalem
and raided the Temple as well. A number of years go by and King Nebuchadnezzar returned once more to take the remainder of the items from the Temple as well as burn it and the City down to the ground. So now comes the question that we all want to know -where is the Ark of the Covenant right now?
There are a couple of plausible choices one can make as to what happened to the Ark of the Covenant. The most obvious choice is that King Nebuchadnezzar took the Ark with him back to Babylon (modern day Iraq) and it remained there at least for a time.
Some think it’s still there, today. But is there a possibility that someone could have hidden the Ark safely away in lieu of Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion?
It wouldn’t be the first time that this has happened as during the reign of King Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, it was the Pharaoh Shishak of Egypt who raided the Temple in hopes of finding the Ark of the Covenant. It was hidden away safely in another location. Josiah asked the Levites to return the Ark to it’s rightful place, so it is clear that Shishak never managed to take possession of the Ark in the first place.
This is all detailed in (1 Kings 14:25:2 and Chronicles 12:1-12).
Now let’s jump forward all the way to the final book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation. In Revelation 11:9, we find out that the Ark of the Covenant is not on Earth anymore it is in Heaven. Then God’s Temple in Heaven was opened, and within his Temple was seen the ark of his covenant. There came flashes of lightening, rumblings, an Earthquake and a severe Hailstorm as well to follow.
There is much speculation as to whether the Ark itself was actually taken up to Heaven and preserved eternally by God or if this vision by Paul is just symbolic of the fact that God is going to forever be with his people and will commune with them forever in Heaven as represented by the Ark’s presence there. Others don’t think that this might be the exact same Ark that God instructed Moses to build in Exodus 25 and it might be another version or replica of the original. One cannot know for sure at this point. This remains a true Mystery of the Bible, that we will have to wait for God to shine the light of his truth upon.
Although not a scriptural passage but as a passing note, it is interesting to note, beloved that in 2 Maccabees (the deuterocanonical book taken from the Apocrypha), we have an account that took place just before the Babylonian Invasion involving Jeremiah. Jeremiah, following a divine revelation from God, ordered that the Tabernacle and the Ark should accompany him in his travels. Jeremiah went up Mt. Nebo (which is located in Jordan) and found a cave in which he put the Ark and he blocked up the entrance. Now this is a second hand account and again not a true Biblical account that can be validated, so it is just FYI information and cannot be substantiated either way.
Additional speculation involving the Ark includes supposed sightings (that as of this time cannot be verified) of the Ark of the Covenant on or near Mt. Nebo as well as a theory that the Ark resides in Ethiopia (of all places)
or that it was taken away to Saudi Arabia or Africa somewhere. Still another story involves the Knights Templar. All these stories are just that, stories unless proven otherwise they remain highly speculative and need to be taken with a grain of salt.
Biblical Archaeological findings must be tested against the standard of truth, the Word of God, the scriptures and if they are consistent with scripture then at least we know there is an opportunity for some form of verification hopefully. Whoever wrote 2nd Maccabees may have been right along. In Verse 2.6-8, it is mentioned that it will not be revealed of what happened to the Lost Ark of the Covenant, until the Lord himself returns and discloses these things. Perhaps it’s the Lord’s will that we don’t bother getting bogged down with such matters. This may be the reason why the Ark of the Covenant may never be found.
Perhaps we will just have to wait until that time that the Lord sees fit to one day tell us. For now, brethren, we still have much work to do in spreading the good news of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in a World growing ever much darker in disbelief and despair in these very last of days before the Lord returns..
Leviticus – Mystery # 5 Strange Fire? : When Worship is an Abomination.
Leviticus 10:1-2 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire there in, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
Strange Fire…what is it really? Why was it such a bad thing that God literally killed Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, right there on the spot?
Let’s examine this scripture passage together as we take a look at strange fire on this edition of Mysteries of the Bible. Before we get ahead of ourselves or build up unrealistic expectations we are not “going to blow the lid off of what strange fire is.” No one has been able to and the reason is simple, it’s not made known in scripture as to what strange fire is exactly but there are some reasonable speculations and they make some sense in context of the selected scriptures as we reference them. So if your ready let’s take a closer look at strange fire in context with God’s Holy Word, the Bible.
Case in point, one such speculation is that strange fire is some type of ritualistic ceremony that was conducted in some forbidden manner, perhaps contrary to the Word of God, to the degree that is greatly displeased and offended the Lord God. Incense has always been a vital part of the Holy Worship of God.
In Exodus 30:9 we are warned of the use of strange incense in the burnt offering ceremony and this gives us a clue that perhaps the strange fire has something to do with strange incense after all Nadab and Abihu got the fire started and then they added the incense after that. The word strange in the Hebrew text is zuwr and means “profane” as in foreign and not belonging or out of place. Did Nadab and Abihu use strange incense in their ceremony instead of the special incense that was to be prepared for the offering, as commanded by God? If so, this was an obedience issue, something God was very strict with the Jews about.
Still another speculation is that perhaps Nadab and Abihu were drunk.
In Leviticus 10:9 warns that priests need to be clean and must not give way to strong drink for that is unclean and unholy. The only thing we can be certain of in this mysterious bible passage is that the punishment was swift and complete.
After the strange fire occurred, a more holy and righteous fire came forth from God the Almighty. It was an all-consuming fire that dispensed of Nadab and Abihu immediately.
Does this ring a bell or sound familiar to you? It should, for we have a similar account in the New Testament in the Book of Acts. In this account, we have Anaias and Sapphrim dying immediately after lying to God. Quick sudden deaths like these served as a “sobering” act upon all who witnessed it or were told about it. Think of the storyline in this specific instance. We know from reading Leviticus 8-9 that the first Tabernacle had been erected and per God’s Instructions, Aaron was offering up a good number of sacrifices.
Then one day, Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu come along and offered up “strange (unauthorized, foreign and profane) fire”. God at once rejected their sacrifice and was so offended by their actions, he had the two devoured in an instant with holy righteous all-consuming fire.
We know one thing here that both Nadab and Abihu had to have great disregard for God’s Holiness to disobey God’s Specific Orders on how to conduct a proper offering to him. They must have had either little respect or not enough fear of God as they were apparently careless and irreverent towards God. God made an example of these two young men, to show all the other priests that they needed to take the offering very seriously and to do it with solemn reverence towards God. God always cares about the condition of one’s heart in all matters. Remember how God rejected Cain’s offering but accepted Abel’s offering instead?
It is so important that we learn today from this, that we do nothing in an irreverent fashion like Nadab and Abihu, whether it is taking communion, praying for forgiveness and seeking repentance in times of spiritual renewal or even praying during times of spiritual warfare. So today, if one is in service to the Lord and apparently making offerings to God but doing them half-heartedly or all for show God will expose the falseness and deception. It comes down to being obedient to God rather then mere rituals and going through the motions of practices of sacrifice.
God always has cared and always will care about what’s in the inside of us and not the outside. God wants us to be in service to him because we choose to do so freely out of love and thankfulness and gratitude and because we want to reciprocate out of love for God and not because we feel obliged to do so. God does not want us to make offerings to him that are done in a less then honoring manner. If they are done so in an irreverent fashion, then they will be met with resistance by the power of God. In fact such worship as this is indeed an abomination to God! So beware of Strange Fire beloved. Some of this “strange fire” is going on in some of the so called “churches” of today where they are not worshiping the one true God, they are instead worshiping demons and Satan with their false praise and doctrines of demons and lying signs and wonders. You can discern the deception by the fact there is a lack of order and an emphasis on chaos and we know who heads up chaos, don’t we? None other then Satan, that’s right. Does the following look like the work of the Lord? Absolutely not!
We must not become like the World who is obsessed with Satan and the Occult. They mock God in plain sight in front of those lacking discernment of both at Satan’s work and the very times we live in.
In some of “the false church” today, indeed strange occult like practices are taking place that just have no biblical basis in scripture.
God condemns these practices today much like he did in Nadab and Abihu’s time. God might not strike anyone down with his fire per say but he will seek justice, honor and he demands respect and reverence. There will be a penalty for such irreverence to the Holy One and fire is always involved when it comes to God, whether it be the refiner’s fire God uses to chastise his children and cleanse them from sin or the fire of Hell waiting those who openly rebel against God and choose to never repent of sin.
God knows our hearts, when we give, when we worship, when we pray, when we read the Word of God, when we take communion, God knows if we are sincere. If we aren’t maybe we are dealing with some type of strange fire, as well Lastly, Jesus said the heart of man is desperately wicked and who could know it? Psalm 51:7 states that God seeks those who come to him in humility, ready to sanctify their pride and lay before him humble and contrite hearts grieving for sin against the God of Love.
Put aside all that is superficial beloved and all that is secondary in nature and come to God with a clean heart so that any “strange fire” in your life is abandoned and extinguished before God’s throne of Grace and Mercy.
Leviticus -Mystery # 6 : In High Places
Leviticus 26:30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.
Powerful words indeed from the Word of God about those who seek to worship false gods in high places. The high places are mentioned over and over again especially in the Books of First and Second Chronicles as well as Numbers and the stories of the Kings. So what is the big deal about high places anyways?
In and around Ancient Israel the high places were places of worship on elevated pieces of ground or raised alters for that matter on low land, such as a valley. Originally meant to be for idol worship, especially concerning the Moabites and their traditions, these Pagan shrines included an alter as well as sacred objects such as a stone pillar or a wooden pole.
Of course it needs to be said that not all high places were places of idol worship in fact many major events orchestrated by God happened in high places, such as Abraham preparing to sacrifice his son Issac in an act of ultimate obedience, as well as the 10 commandments were delivered by God on Mt. Sinai, of course a high place. No one can forget the Lord and the sermon on the Mount. However tragically, high places were often devoted to pagan shrines and that is what we will focus on the most in this edition of MOB, because there is a life lesson here to be learned about the dangers of Idol worship and idolatry. Some of these high places are still in tact in fact and some of the high places you may not even know are in fact high places.
Did you know that by this definition, the Washington Monument in Washington DC is a Masonic based phallic symbol representing fertility and points to the sky? It’s a high place and a major idol as well. Let’s take a look at the evidence of why it is a monument to Satan then anything else.
It is an obelisk, a phallic symbol related to the Egyptian sun god, Ra. Check out the striking similarities.
This obelisk is the exact size of King Nebuchadnezzar’s golden Image and each side of the monument is, you guessed it, 666 inches long.
How is that for a coincidence? With God there are no coincidences, although this definitely has nothing to do with God, it has much more to do with his enemy, Satan. When you consider that the Pentagon is in the center of a pentagram and the pentagram fits perfectly inside the Pentagon, you start seeing clearly that the capitol of the US was built by Freemasons. There are way too many indicators as you can see below that prove this.
Guess who else has an obelisk? You might not be surprised to hear, that it is the Vatican. This should come as a surprise to no one.
There is no doubt that these occult inspired monuments will all play a much larger role once the Antichrist comes forth and assumes power, and by the looks of things it won’t be long now before that happens. The signs are all there pointing for his soon appearance on the Worlds Stage.
The Israelites often provoked God’s Anger and wrath by worshiping Molech and building high places for Baal.
Even King Solomon with his wonderful tribute to God with his Temple in Jerusalem gave way to the seduction of idolatry, through the influence of his foreign wives.
The temptation was too irresistible for him. He gave way to idolatrous high places as well and even worshipped the pagan gods with his wives.
Because of this, God was angry enough to strip the kingdom away from Solomon, in order to punish the idolterer. The Israelites were sacrificing in the pagan high places and Solomon joined them.
The Lord spoke to Solomon in a dream at Gibeon and Solomon returned to Jerusalem, trying to repent of his sin by offering proper burnt offerings to the Lord. Solomon continued to struggle with following God’s Way as well as that of the pagans for some time to come. It seemed as if he was contaminated with an unclean spirit in part, despite some restraint and some level of discernment provided by God.
God will not occupy where there is a non-repentant heart, so eventually God would leave Solomon to his own devices.
High places were not always for Idol worship, there were also high places for proper worship to God. Abraham then known as Abram built alters in Shechem and Hebron, even before the alters were called high places.
Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son at one of these alters.
This very site is also said to be the same location where the Temple of Jerusalem was built. Jacob set up a stone pillar to be dedicated to the Lord at Bethel and Joshua considered this as a high place of worship.
The Prophet Samuel visited the high places regularly.
The high places were also commonly used as part of Canaanite Idol Worship and extended into the period of the Prophet Elijah. According to scripture, there was but one high place that God allowed sacrifice to take place.
And that was the Temple in Jerusalem according to 2 Chronicles 3: 1, God commanded that all other high places be destroyed and sure enough King Josiah did just that. He destroyed them in 2 Kings 22-23.
Listen to these emphatic words from the Book of Numbers about the necessity to destroy the high places.
Numbers 33:52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places.
When the Israelites did as God requested and destroyed these high places as King Josiah did, God blessed the Israelites and they prospered greatly and were safe and protected from their enemies and most of all were free from those that would put them in captivity as slaves. However more often than not, the Israelites imitated the heathens and attempted to worship Jehovah in the same high places that Molech and Baal were being worshiped. The problem was the high places were spiritually contaminated and not pure or clean (not consecrated) they were sites linked to idolatry and God being 100% pure and untainted could never mix the profane and the unholy with that which is righteous and pure. The paganism of these high places was an abomination and a stench to God’s nostrils. No matter how much the Israelites tried, God would not accept the sacrifices made at these contaminated high places.
What God really wanted of the Israelites, was for them to worship him in spirit and in truth and to follow his very concise commandments about how to worship him exclusively in the Temple of Jerusalem, the only place suitable that God would allow for such worship to be conducted.
The Prophets warned the people to tear down the high places and to stay away from them. During the time of Judges, the high places were tolerated as compromise was made to God’s Orders. Both in Samuel’s time and in David’s time, there were high places frequenting the Kingdom of Israel and abominations were conducted by the thousands.
Someday in the not too distant future, the Antichrist will perform the Abomination of Desolation and commit the ultimate act of treason against God in a high place and fulfill Bible prophecy.
Mark 13: 14 reads, But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains.
We will not get into this verse right now as we will go over the Book of Revelation down the road with a fine tooth comb including this very interesting verse. This though is a warning for Israel and the Jews living there and will also be a warning for the tribulation saints (those alive on the Earth that will still choose to worship God during the Great Tribulation despite facing intense persecution and most likely death at the hands of the Antichrist). When they see Antichrist declaring himself to be God in the Temple of Jerusalem, then know Prophetic scripture has been revealed.
What of your high places today? If you are not right with God rest assured you have high places stored somewhere deep inside you, things that are keeping you from getting right with God, whether it be sin, guilt, fear, anger, lust as in adultery or pornography or something else that you have replaced God with in your life.
Perhaps it’s a graven image; perhaps it’s a hobby that has become more than a passing fancy. Whatever it is, God wants you to tear down that shrine, even it is a shrine built to your favorite sports team, movie stars, pop and rock and hip hop bands, whatever it is, let is go. It is interfering with your relationship with God if you have made that your God, this is Idolatry beloved and God will have none of it! If “another god” is what you worship, be honest with yourself about confessing this sin, repent and get right with the Lord, now. He’s coming very soon! Yeshua is at the door of your heart knocking to come in. Let him in beloved.
The list of what can entrap us in our sins and bondages goes on and on. Anything that stands in the way of giving God your 100% devotion and attention is a high place beloved, anything.
Tear the high places down before they interfere with your worship of the one true God, the God of Israel, Yeshua Jesus, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. There is no high place in your life, whether it is the lust of money, a sexual sin or something else that you’re holding unto or secretly coveting or worshiping that is worth the eternal separation from God.
Repent and get right with God today. Tear down the high places in your life, so that you can freely worship God properly, in a way that gives God the glory forever and sets you free from condemnation and guilt.
Our first Mystery in the Book of Numbers is…
Mystery # 7 : Return of the Nephilim…large, violent and evil cannabalistic Giants, soon to be seen again?
If you recall, we covered back in the Book of Genesis the sons of God and even quoted a scripture passage from the Book of Numbers. That passage we feel here at the Mysteries of the Bible Team has great significance, to the degree we felt we couldn’t pass up on going into a bit more detail as we go through the Book of Numbers with you.
Let’s start with this most amazing verse from Numbers 13: 32 – 33, And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, though which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the Sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. It’s not just the Bible where we hear the stories of giants, for there are many stories that have been passed down from generation to generation of both native aboriginals around the World including aboriginal natives in Peru and other countries of giant cannibalistic giants who stalked them and devoured them at will. Even the stories of the Titans from Greek mythology shows that around the World Giants have been part of culture real or imagined.
So back to the Bible, what do we know from the feature scripture alone? The people of the land were giants. We know they are not the same giants however from Noah’s time as the flood took care of them according to scripture. Deuteronomy 2 10-11 confirms that the Anakims were in fact giants.
The Emims dwelt therein in times past, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakims. Which also were accounted giants, as the Anakims; but the Moabites call them Emims. Let’s take a closer look into this.
The Hebrew translation from Deuteronomy, Rephaim means giants. The name of these very large people can literally also mean “terrible ones.” The Rephaim were a mighty people with tall stature and who lived exclusively in Canaan.
The Rephaim and the tribes of Zuzim and the Emim all teamed together in battles going all the way back to the Book of Genesis (Genesis 14:5).
So here were the Israelites attempting to approach the Promised Land that God told first Abraham about and then Moses after, to enter into, after the Exodus from Egypt. The problem was some 12 appointed spies that went ahead of the Nomadic Israelites to scout the land of Canaan (which they had to pass through),
came back reporting that there were giants in the land. In fact the land was filled with giants, ferocious, mean and evil warrior giants at that. They were everywhere in the land of Canaan.
Some of these giants were the Rephaim, some were the Zuzim, some the Emim and yes, some were the Anakim (the Sons of Anak). One of the Rephaim, Og, according to Deuteronomy 3:11 stood as high as 13 feet, according to the dimensions of his bed. The bed was also six feet wide, so he was an absolute giant of a man with six toes to go along with his gigantic frame.
Perhaps he was a humanoid, maybe they all were, it’s hard to say. More on that in a few moments.
It is estimated that most of the giants ranged from anywhere from 7 feet tall to 10 feet tall, making some NBA players look like small people in some cases. There have been exaggerated reports on the web stating that some of the Nephilim were as tall as 30 feet. There are no biblical scriptures to back that up. Not even Goliath was most likely that tall.
We do know that Ham, one of the sons of Noah, is the father of Canaan. God ended up cursing Canaan for a sin his father Ham had committed against Noah. Could the curse be part of this genetic giant breed of Nephilim that was exclusively in Canaan and nowhere else? We can’t know for sure from scripture, but it’s interesting speculation nevertheless.
Matthew 24:37 states As were the days of Noah so will be the coming of the Son of Man. This is almost the key verse in the whole Bible for some Bible Prophecy Guru’s.
They just love to analyze what the verse means and some believe that the coming of the Lord has to exactly replicate that of Noah’s Days. The scripture does not say this however; it says that there are distinctive similarities between the two times. Nothing more can be read into it. The belief that the Nephilim will once again reappear during Jesus return as they did during Noah’s time, is not in the scriptures.
It’s being read in between the lines of the verses. There is no biblical merit to draw this conclusion from.
However there has been great speculation by some who study Biblical Prophecy that the Nephilim have been maintained in some type of comatose state in sleep chambers in secret underground bases / remote caves, etc. and they will be awakened sometime during the Great Tribulation to wreck havoc on the Earth. Interesting stuff, but impossible to back up with scriptural reference.
There even have been stories told that the US army overseas has already encountered some of these Nephilim and had to kill one that was set to attack them. How can we know if any of these stories are even true? Unfortunately it may not be until the Nephilim literally come out of the abyss and we see them for ourselves. No one will want to be standing in their path when that happens.
What we do know however is that the World is filled with wickedness much like in Noah’s time or soon will be by the way things are spiraling quickly downward (watch the evening news, read the paper). Has the Planet ever been more wicked the it is today or what it is shaping up to become?
What we also know is that there are very evil demonic forces and strongholds creating all sorts of genetic mayhem of monstrous proportions and twisted if not blasphemous alchemy (the basis for the occult & sorcery).
What of the so called benign ones, the E.T’s and the grays that the likes of all the various “aliens” that Hollywood Sci-Fi Movies loves to showcase?
These are nothing more then demons masquerading as benevolent aliens. Their intentions are really evil as they live to deceive and ultimately destroy anyone that comes in their path. They kidnap
and torture humans as well as do horrible experiments and operations on them. Story after story after story for many years now about women who were abducted by these so called “benign peaceful Aliens” include quite often the stealing of the fetus in the women’s womb and taking the sperm of men to conduct their horrendous DNA nightmare experiments.
As crazy as it may sound, we honestly believe it is really happening and frequently, beloved.
Demons are everywhere – they pose as Ghosts,
familiar spirits pretending to be departed loved ones, they are entrenched in everything from secret occultic societies,
the Movie Industry
and Music industry
and yes, they have even invaded the Church (the giving over of the doctrines of demons as the Bible puts it).
Perhaps their greatest disguise though is that of the “alien space brothers” that is pretending to be benign friendly outer space Martians who only want to help us and save us from ourselves.
They will tell you that they know best for they will tell you that they created you.
That makes them your “gods” but the Lord God Almighty said he will have no other gods before him.
It wouldn’t shock anyone who reads and comprehends where we are from a Biblical sense that Giants could yet appear again on the Earth in these last days. More of a sure bet however, is the return of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ to the Earth at the appointed time, that we can say with the greatest of confidence.
Do you know him? Are you written into the Book of Life by God’s Grace and Mercy? Let us know if you would like to learn how to know him and how he can provide you with the only true salvation that will keep you from entering the literal gates of hell. It’s God’s Will that none should perish.
Coming up..our next Mystery from the Book of Numbers…
Mystery #8 …The Bronze Serpent and the Son of God
Numbers Ch.21: 8-9 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that everyone that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
This is the biblical account of a time when the Lord was long suffering over the constant complaining of the Israelites. Practically from the time they left Egypt, they complained about a lack of food and water and they were continuously murmuring against the Lord and Moses’ leadership.
The Lord also had to deal with the Israelites not listening to his decree on how to properly conduct worship and in fact put to death two of the sons of Aaron for conducting a ceremony with “strange fire” (which was most likely the inappropriate worship of pagan and / or idol deities). We just covered this in a recent MOB.
The Lord’s Wrath came upon the Israelites and so the Lord sent them a plague of poisonous, viscous serpents that bit and killed many of them.
It is interesting to note that despite the Israelites failed attempts to repent of their disbelief and lack of faith in God, even with Moses praying on their behalf,
God does not take away the snakes. Instead the Lord tells Moses to build a pole with a Serpent perched on top of it. Moses made a Serpent out of brass. Most scholars believe that the Israelites took the pole with them wherever they traveled and camped.
Once again the Supernatural power of God was displayed for all to see, as those who were bitten by the serpents looked upon the Serpent Pole and were miraculously healed of the poisonous bite.
2 Kings 18:4 depicts a time in the future when that very same serpent on a pole would be worshipped,
leading King Hezekiah to ultimately destroy it.
As King Hezekiah begins his rule over the land of Judah we read in the scriptural passage of 2 kings 18:4, He removed the high places, and broke the images, and cut down the groves, and broke in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it and he called it Nehushtan.
Nehushtan in Hebrew means “piece of brass” and is usually reserved for a sacred object such as the brass snake as ordered by God. Today we find that people are again worshiping the snake on the pole as it is seen not in just pagan religions but as well even in the medical field. Let’s take a look at some of the places where we see this image coming up.
We find the true significance of what the Brazen Serpent really means in the Book of John in the New Testament which reads in John 3:14, As Moses lifted up the Serpent in the wilderness, even so the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John makes it clear, this Brazen Serpent is indeed a symbol or object that represents an aspect of Christ as indicated by the passage above from the Book of John.
The pole most likely had a crossbeam in order to support the snake structure, making it like a cross. Not only do we have the cross but we also have the essence of what the cross means to us, faith and a symbol of life eternal.
Jews of that time period, through ancient Jewish texts including the Talmud indicated that it was not seeing the actual Brazen Serpent that healed the Israelites, it was their faith in God (Hashem in Hebrew) that caused them to be healed.
This further solidifies John’s statement about faith in Yeshua, (Jesus). Once again the Old and New Testaments are joined together in the symmetry of Theology. As we look at the Book of Numbers, we see a pattern developing. First, we have the 12 spies (delegated from the 12 tribes of Israel) coming back with a sensational report about the land of Canaan and that there were in fact ferocious giants in the land.
This caused an uproar of dissent in the Israelites. Now in this instant, we see the Israelites (stiff necked as they are) failing in their faith once again. They were murmuring and complaining and no matter how many times they had sinned this sin and how many times God had to show them the error of their ways, they sinned exactly the same sin again and again.
God wanted the Israelites to develop a deep and sincere faith in him not a temporal faith where when things are good who needs God. Then when tragedy comes, that’s when the prayers come out. That is not the type of faith God is seeking from us beloved. He won’t make us love him; we have to freely want to love him because he first loved us. What gave them life again was God’s Love and faith, simple faith gave them life just as it does when we turn to God and have faith that he is our one and only salvation.
We all need to look to the Brazen Serpent (in this case the Cross of Christ where he took on the sins of the World and specifically your sins and mine) at one time or another as Jesus died to give us life and life more abundantly.
our next Mystery is…
Mystery # 9 : Balak & Balaam : God Wars
Numbers 22:27-28, 32-33 And when the ass saw the angel of the Lord, she fell down under Balaam: and Balaam’s anger was kindled, and he smote the ass with a staff. And the Lord opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam what have I done unto thee that thou hast smitten me these three times. And the Angel of the Lord said unto him, wherefore hast thou smitten thine ass these three times? Behold, I went out to with stand thee, because thy way is perverse before me: And the ass saw me, and turned from me these three times: unless she had turned from me, surely now also I had slain thee, and saved her alive.
We have some of the accounts depicted above, but as the story goes, Balaam was basically up to no good in the Lord’s Perspective. He was enticed by Balak to join him in rising up against Balak’s sworn enemies, the Israelites. So Balaam proceeded to travel the very long distance to where Balak was,
in order to comply with his wishes. Along the way, the Angel of the Lord is sent by God to intervene and block Balaam’s way in order to prevent him from making the trip to go see Balak.
With a sword in his hand (much like the Angel with a sword in his hand blocked the way of Adam and Eve when they were banished from the Garden of Eden),
on three occasions the angel of the Lord blocks Balaam’s path, but it is only the donkey that reacts and resists the angel of the Lord.
Balaam wants to continue on and in anger with the donkey for resisting his wishes to proceed, he beats it on all 3 occasions. It was Balaam’s stubbornness and sin in having his way that blinded him from the fact that God was sending him a signal that he didn’t want him to go any further.
So there was Balaam beating a poor donkey that had more sense then he did, not once, not twice, but three times, in forcing it back on the road.
On the third occasion, the donkey not only resisted, he opened his mouth and spoke! It was at this time, that Balaam finally realizes the Lord’s Intentions for him. Balaam offers to go back but the Lord has something else planned for Balaam. He wants him to go back with the Moabite officials that he was travelling with, to go see Balak but to only speak the words that the Lord would have him speak, and nothing else.
Much to Balak’s disappointment and anger after Balaam’s arrival,
Balaam follows the Lord’s Instructions and praises and blesses Israel
and even addresses a Messianic Prophecy in Numbers 24:19 about a much greater Prophet to come (not John the Baptist but the Lord Jesus Christ/ Yeshua Ha Mashiach). We include this part of scripture not so much because it is a mystery as it really should come as no surprise that God would choose to make a Donkey talk in order to get someone’s attention.
It is actually everyday stuff for the Lord to do supernatural activities that we call miracles and to the sceptics to unbelievable to conceive. We cannot comprehend the things of God in a World built upon empirical observation so much so that the metaphysical realm remains a complete mystery to us. The time will come when the secrets of the Universe will be revealed to us and we will have the Mind of Christ (once perfected). For the World a talking donkey is nothing but foolishness.
Long before Shrek had his talking donkey friend or Francis the talking mule hit the TV sets back in the 50’s, there was God’s version of a talking donkey, done in a far more poignant fashion, that remains to this day just one more testimony to God’s majesty and awesomeness that God can use anyone or anything to showcase his Glory.