"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Monday, May 17, 2021

EXODUS – GOD’s MIRACULOUS DELIVERANCE of ISRAEL FROM EGYPT – Chapter TWENTY THREE & TWENTY FOUR

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Exodus by pastor Chuck Smith 

EXODUS 23 & 24: “The FINE PRINT of the LAW” – by James Fire, Facebook video.

INTRODUCTION: What we saw in the Ten Commandments in EXODUS 20 is the template, the outline, the framework of the entire Law of GOD. What we see in subsequent chapters are in many parts, an expansion of those ten laws with greater detail.
Then there are other aspects of the Law that deals with the various feasts and ceremonial holy days, which we will get into. Also the plans delivered by GOD to Moses for the tabernacle, which is a worthy study all on its own!

EXODUS 23:1
You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness
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EXODUS 20:16  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
EXODUS 23:2-3
2 You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice. 3 You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute
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Following a crowd, you may end up doing things you wouldn’t normally do. In war time, soldiers who would normally conduct themselves in honorable fashion were caught up in the heat of the moment, followed the bad examples of others, and found themselves committing atrocious crimes against foreigners on their own soil.

Many who were involved in protesting police brutality against Blacks, were encouraged by BLM and looted and pillaged stores and destroyed property that they never expected to do. A group mentality, such as in gang members is something that Satan can manipulate.
We are to “do justly” MICAH 6:8, and not pervert justice in any dispute, nor should we favor the poor just because they are poor, but render justice for justice’s sake, according to truth.

EXODUS 23:4-5
4 If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. 5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it
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This is going a step above merely “not stealing” but actually returning property to the one that lost it. Even if it’s the property of someone you know that hates you. This falls in line with MATTHEW 5:44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

EXODUS 23:6-8
You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his dispute. 7 Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked. 8 And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous
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While we are not to show favoritism to someone just because they are poor, neither are we to take advantage of them because they are poor and defenseless. This is so often the case with oppressors who seek out the poor and intentionally take advantage of them!
PSALM 109:16
Because he
[the wicked man] did not remember to show mercy, But persecuted the poor and needy man, That he might even slay the broken in heart.

GOD’s judgment fell heavily on Israel because of the fact that the wealthier upper class victimized and oppressed the poor (ISAIAH 58):

ISAIAH 58:6
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

AMOS 5:12
12 For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right
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EXODUS 23:9
9 Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt
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The LORD Jesus admonished the people in the following:
MATTHEW 7:12
Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

DEUTERONOMY 10:17-19
17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. 18 "He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing.19 Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt
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EXODUS 23:10-11
10 Six years you shall sow your land and gather in its produce, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave, the beasts of the field may eat. In like manner you shall do with your vineyard and your olive grove
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This is the sabbath of the land; every seventh year they were to let the land rest. It was because Israel refused to do this, coupled together with the worship of false gods, that GOD brought the nation into Babylonian captivity.

During this seventh year they were to keep from manuring, plowing, tilling, and sowing, and reaping (LEV 25:3-5). And this God ordained not only for the reason here mentioned, the more comfortable provision of the poor, and for the cattle, but for other weighty reasons; as, 
1. That the heart and strength of the land might not be eaten out by continual tillage.
2. That GOD might both try, exercise, and secure the obedience of the Israelites.
3. That GOD might keep them in dependence upon Himself and give to them and all their neighbors a manifest proof of his singular and gracious providence over His people.
4. That by this kind of stewardship (not ownership!) they might be admonished that GOD alone was the Lord and Proprietary of the land: the one true “land LORD”, and they were only tenants at His will.
5. That being freed from their great labors about the land, they might have the more leisure to meditate upon God's works, and to attend upon the law, which was to be solemnly read at this time: DEUT 31:10.
"...that the poor of thy people may eat..."
Q: What had the poor to eat?
A: Not only the fruits of the vines, and olives, and other fruit trees, but also all that grew of its own accord, LEV 25:5, from those seeds which in the last reaping-time were scattered here and there, which were much more numerous now than in other years, because God gave a special blessing to the sixth year, whereby it did bring forth the fruit of three years, LEV 25:21, and in years of so great plenty men are generally more negligent in their reaping, and therefore the relics are more. In like manner thou shalt deal, i.e. thou shalt not prune nor dress them, nor gather and appropriate to thy own use what they shall produce, but shalt leave them to the poor.

EXODUS 23:12
12 Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your female servant and the stranger may be refreshed
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The Sabbath was created for man (MARK 2:27). When GOD repeats Himself, it’s because He wants us to pay close attention to what’s important to Him. Here we read once again about how we should labor six days and have a day of rest. What the Sabbath is for the Jews, Sunday in a sense has become for the church, for we rest indeed in Jesus Christ Who is our Sabbath (HEB 4:1-4) - though this is the first not the last day of the week; and rest from our own works, not attempting to justify ourselves, but believe on the One that the Father has sent.
This is the work the LORD commanded us (JOHN 6:29This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he has sent.”). In our text, GOD is concerned even over the servants and the foreigners as well as farm animals!
Rest and refreshment on the Sabbath is the objective here; likewise we find rest and refreshment in Christ!

EXODUS 23:13
13 And in all that I have said to you, be circumspect and make no mention of the name of other gods, nor let it be heard from your mouth
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The admonition here is that the children of Israel would not so much at utter the names of false gods; to not even have their names on their lips!
For us saints of GOD, the only appropriate name suitable for our lips, which should be sanctified by the Holy Spirit, is the Name that is above all names: The LORD Jesus Christ.
ROMANS 10:9
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
EXODUS 23:14-19
14 Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year: 15 You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty); 16 and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering [feast of booths] at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field. 17 Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD. 18 You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread; nor shall the fat of My sacrifice remain until morning. 19 The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk
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From David Jeremiah’s commentary:

Redemption is a theme that runs from Genesis through Revelation. For Christians, it’s about redemption from sin; for Jews it’s about redemption from slavery in Egypt. Christians have one ceremony to remember their redemption by: communion, or the Lord's Table (1 COR 11:17-34). Jews have three annual celebrations that memorialize their redemption from slavery in Egypt to a life of freedom and abundance in the Promised Land:

1. Passover (also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits): This was the first feast in the Jewish calendar year as God directed (EXOD 12:1-2), so Passover was the first feast of the year. Actually two feasts—Passover, followed by the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread—its specific purpose was to remember, for all time, God's redemption of Israel from slavery in Egypt.
2. Feast of Weeks (also called Pentecost or Harvest Feast): This was to be a celebration feast of 50 days ("penta" meaning 50) after Passover celebrating the first fruits of the wheat harvest in the spring of the year (LEV 23:15-21; DEUT 16:9-12).
3. Feast of Tabernacles (also called Feast of Booths or Feast of Ingathering): This feast, in the fall of the year, commemorated two events—the pilgrimage from Egypt to the Promised Land in Canaan and the fruitfulness of the Promised Land (LEV 23:33-43; DEUT 16:13-15). The Jews lived in rough booths during the week (almost like camping out) to remember the sparse living conditions in the 40-year journey through the wilderness.
 
All ceremonially clean and able-bodied males were required to journey to Jerusalem each year for all three feasts (note the many Jews in Jerusalem from all over the Mediterranean region for Pentecost in ACTS 2:5-11). Spaced from early spring through the fall, the three feasts were a continual reminder to Jews of God's redemption from slavery into a life of abundance.

EXODUS 23:20-22
20 Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21 Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. 22 But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries
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I believe this is no ordinary angel but The Angel of the LORD – or in other words, a Christophany – an Old Testament appearance of Jesus Christ. “Angel” could be translated
as “messenger” and certainly Jesus is The Messenger sent to us from the Father; note in vs. 21: “do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions”. No mere angel could pardon transgressions or refrain from pardoning them. Also: “My Name is in Him”. GOD is often called Yahweh or just Yah, and we know that the name of Jesus is Y’shua in Hebrew, a contraction of Yahovah-shua (GOD is Salvation).
The name of Yah is in the name Y’shua!

Also note: “obey His voice and do all that I speak” is what GOD spoke to Moses; this angel’s voice is to be obeyed, as well as what GOD speaks. These two, the Angel and GOD speak as one. Indeed, all that the Father does and says, the Son does also (JOHN 5:19 “… Jesus … said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”).

EXODUS 23:23-25
23 For My Angel will go before you and bring you in to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will cut them off. 24 You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their works; but you shall utterly overthrow them and completely break down their sacred pillars. 25 So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you
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The LORD’s Angel will lead Israel into the promised land, at that time occupied by these various tribes in and surrounding Canaan. Likewise, just as the LORD Jesus has led all of us into the kingdom of GOD by the new birth, without which no one can enter into or even see the kingdom of GOD (JOHN 3:3-5).

Here we have a repeat of the 2nd and 3rd Commandments: You shall have no other gods before me and also: You shall not make any images to bow down to and serve. The LORD gives the very clear command to “overthrow…and completely break down their sacred pillars”. They were to destroy all false gods wherever they were found in pagan Canaan.

So, we see here the two phases of the new believer symbolized by the children of Israel entering into the land, representing the new life in Christ and then Israel destroying all of the idols and false gods representing the sanctifying life in Christ. It wasn’t enough that Israel entered into the land, they had to cleanse the land of all false gods, everything that was an abomination in the sight of GOD. We saints of the New Testament aren’t finished with our race when we become saved, that’s when the starting gun goes off! And we are to yield to the Spirit of GOD and live by His power in sanctification – growing in purity and godliness.

This sanctification process brings blessings and victories into our lives as we become more and more like our LORD Jesus, just as blessings and victories came upon Israel and the LORD gradually drove out all of Israel’s enemies out of Canaan land:

EXODUS 23:26-33
26 No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. 27 I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28 And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you. 29 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beast of the field become too numerous for you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land. 31 And I will set your bounds from the Red Sea to the sea, Philistia, and from the desert to the River. For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. 32 You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. 33 They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you
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It’s when we live in carnality, when we aren’t pursuing GOD and desiring sanctification and obeying the LORD in practical application of GOD’s truth, when we live partly in the kingdom of GOD and partly in the kingdom of darkness – this fallen world, that we are snared, caught by Satan, and suffer frustration and defeat.

EXODUS 24:1-3
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. 2 Moses alone shall come near to the LORD; but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him." 3 Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, "All the words which the LORD has spoken we will do.

Once again we notice that Moses alone is allowed to come bear to the LORD – no one else is – as stated previously, here Moses is a type of Christ our Intercessor and Mediator between GOD and the people.

EXODUS 24:4-5
4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD. And he rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 And he sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LORD
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Burnt offerings in the Old Testament were sacrifices made for sin; anytime a Hebrew committed sins, they were obligated to bring a burnt offering where an animal (a male) was slain on the Hebrew’s behalf. As a result of sins being covered over by the blood of the sacrifice, there was peace once again between GOD and the Hebrew, and so a peace offering can then be made, expressing GOD’s satisfaction of the burnt offering, and can partake of fellowship.  

THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE PEACE OFFERING TO THE BURNT OFFERING AND THE MEAL OFFERING (Note: TTUF does not necessarily agree with all of the teachings of Watchman Nee and, or Watchman Lee).
ROMANS 5:10
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

COLOSSIANS1:21-22
And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight
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EXODUS 24:6-8
6 And Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he threw against the altar. 7 Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient." 8 And Moses took the blood and threw it upon the people, and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words
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This is the Mosaic Covenant, which the apostle Paul stated in:

GALATIANS 3:11-12
11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for 'the just shall live by faith'. 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but "the man who does them shall live by them.

The blessings for obedience to the Law of Moses are listed in DEUT 28 and the curses for disobedience in the latter half of Ch. 28 and in DEUT 29. But the Law couldn’t provide salvation because no one other than Christ can “live by them” and obey it perfectly, and the Holy GOD Who gave the Law demands perfect holiness: something impossible for us.
ROMANS 8:3
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
EXODUS 24:9-10
9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness
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Jacob saw GOD and his life was preserved (GEN 32:30) and yet in EXOD 33:20, the LORD tells Moses no one can see Him and live. Here it states that “they saw the GOD of Israel”. So what’s the story here? Notice what took place just prior to this event: the people were covered over with the sacrificial blood (vs. 8) and it’s by the blood of Christ we can enter into GOD’s presence and not fear.
So the sacrifice here speaks of the future sacrifice of the Lamb of GOD Who takes away the sin of the world, and where this sacrifice is accepted by faith, there is no need to fear destruction! Just as we see in the following verse: GOD didn’t stretch forth His hand to smite in judgment, even though these people, to some degree, “saw the GOD of Israel” and had fellowship with Him.

EXODUS 24:11-18
11 And He did not lay His hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God and ate and drank. 12 The LORD said to Moses, Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tables of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction. 13 So Moses rose with his servant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14 And he said to the elders, Tarry here for us, until we come to you again; and, behold, Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a cause, let him go to them.
15 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16 The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days; and on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18 And Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

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