091114 Why The Severe Punishment Part 2?

Before you read this post, it is essential that you first read:

091014 Why The Severe Punishment Part 1?

Now that you have read the previous post please read this one. Consider the scripture that follows, and then proceed. But, please know that my form of writing is more conversational than what people would find in sermons. It is my desire to serve our Lord Jesus, and to share the many things that many highly knowledgeable pastors, teachers, and other brothers and sisters in Christ have brought to my attention. The things that I write are normally given to me by, what I call, “God grams;” they seem to fare well when all is said and done. Please notice that I use repetition to strengthen key points of study. As with any study of God’s Holy Word, there must be a starting point and an ending point. Of course, the starting point is Genesis 1:1 and the ending point is Revelation 22:21. I pray that I have selected the verses of scripture that give proper importance to this important subject. “Lord, please lead me.”

Leviticus 20:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them

We continue our discussion of the punishment measures that God levied on His chosen people, who were the Jews, who were the descendants of Shem, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The underlying reason for such punishment is sin. Sin is largely dismissed in our society as being mere “life style selections.” But, sin needs to be understood for what it is. It was sin that got Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden, and Jesus hung on the cross. When we consider the lifestyles that God will address as being sin, we can see that “no man is an island.” Forgiveness is available for all sins, but the results of those sins, which we often know as collateral damage, can not be undone. A murdered person can not be returned to life. An adulterous action can not be undone. A theft that has been committed will always be a theft. There are lines, that when they are crossed, can not be uncrossed. As we read in God’s Holy Word: Romans 14:23(NKJV) “for whatever is not from faith is sin.”

Exodus 1:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

1 Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came to Egypt; each man and his household came with Jacob: 2 Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; 3 Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; 4 Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 5 All those who were descendants of Jacob were seventy persons (for Joseph was in Egypt already). 6 And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation.

The family of Israel/Jacob, and its bloodline to the Savior, continues its life in Egypt. The Egyptians turn the Israelites into slave labor and treat them horribly (Ex 1:14).

Exodus 3:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

3 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. 3 Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.”
4 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!”
And he said, “Here I am.”
5 Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”
6 Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

The Angel of the Lord (the pre-existent Christ) appears to Moses. Notice that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are mentioned. Ishmael, who was the son of Abraham and Hagar, is not mentioned in the blood line of the Savior.

Exodus 3:7-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

7 And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8 So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. 9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to Me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

God chooses Moses to deliver the Israelites from the bondage of the Egyptians.

Exodus 13:17-18 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, “Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt. 21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.

Because of the severe judgements of God on Egypt, Pharaoh allows the Israelites to leave Egypt. God begins leading His people in a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire. Consider the plagues that God had caused to afflict the Egyptians, with the last plague being the death of the firstborn children of the families of Egypt.

Exodus 14:8-10, 19-29 New King James Version (NKJV)

8 And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued the children of Israel; and the children of Israel went out with boldness. 9 So the Egyptians pursued them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen and his army, and overtook them camping by the sea beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon.
10 And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord.
19 And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.
21 Then 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 into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
27 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. 29 But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

The Israelites saw how God had delivered them through the Red Sea from the pursuing army of Pharaoh. The Israelites also would be eye witnesses to the many miracles that God would use to sustain them as they wondered through the wilderness.

Exodus 15:22 New King James Version (NKJV)

Bitter Waters Made Sweet

22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.

God provided water for the Israelites. 25 So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet.

Exodus 16:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Bread from Heaven

1 And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. 2 Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3 And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

God provided food for the Israelites. 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day,

Exodus 17:1, 5-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

Water from the Rock

1 Then all the congregation of the children of Israel set out on their journey from the Wilderness of Sin, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink.

God provided water for the Israelites, again. 5 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go.6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Exodus 17:8 New King James Version (NKJV)

Victory over the Amalekites

8 Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
God gave victory to the Israelites through the leadership of Joshua. 13 So Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Exodus 19:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.

The Israelites were eyewitnesses to the supernatural phenomena that was caused by God on Mount Sinai, and responded with great fear and reverence.

Exodus 20:18-19 New King James Version (NKJV)

The People Afraid of God’s Presence

18 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. 19 Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

Exodus 19:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

Israel at Mount Sinai

1 In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. 2 For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain.
3 And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

God announces to Moses that His people, the Israelites, will be a special people, a holy nation. It is important to note that this special charge is being given to the descendants of Shem. Except by incidents of happenstance, the descendants of Ham and Japheth, who are the Gentile nations of the world, will have no part in the Law, feasts, and prophecies of eternal promise that God will ordain for the people of Israel, who are the Jews.

Exodus 19:18-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. 20 Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

It is interesting to know that this day in Jewish history is known as Shavuot. The Day of Pentecost is also known as Shavuot. Consider the way that God’s Holy Spirit also made Himself known on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2:1-11, as He did in this passage. God uses His power to gain the attention of people, which He did on the day that the Ten Commandments were given, and on the day when Peter preached the first gospel message of the Christian Dispensation, during the Day of Pentecost. Again, Shavuot was the same day for both events.

Exodus 20:1-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Ten Commandments

1 And God spoke all these words, saying: (in verses 2-17, God gives the Ten Commandments to Moses. They are summarized, as follows.)

Thou shalt have no other gods before me
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
Honour thy father and thy mother
Thou shalt not kill
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
Thou shalt not covet

It is important to remember that God gave the Ten Commandments only to the descendants of Shem, who are the Jews, and not to those of Ham and Japheth. The Ten Commandments do not contain a plan of salvation, but explain righteous living. Also, it is important to know that each person has a conscience, as was shown after Adam and Eve sinned, and when Cain murdered his brother, Able. Conscience relates to all descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

To sin is to act in disobedience to the known will of God. It was through the Ten Commandments that God made His will known to His Chosen People, who were the Jews. It was God’s desire for the Jews that they would live their lives in accordance with His will. God saw that the world had people who were worshiping a host of Gods. So, God said to the Jews, “don’t do that.” God saw that people were making images of Gods, and possibly of Him, so He said to the Jews, “don’t do that.” God saw that people were using His Name in ways that were improper, so He said to the Jews, “don’t do that.” It had been about 2500 years since God ordained the Seventh Day as being Holy (Genesis 2:3.) He spoke to Moses in Exodus 16:23 about the Sabbath Day, and again in this passage, both of which occurred within a short span of time of the other. God told the Jews to keep the Sabbath Day holy. Very little is said about the Sabbath Day, and how to keep it holy. This commandment does not say, “go to church.” It is important to also know that the commandment for the Sabbath Day was not given to the descendants of Ham and Japheth, who were Gentiles, in either the Old or New Testaments (See Acts 15, the council in Jerusalem). Neither was the church commanded to keep the Sabbath; Jesus is our Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4). The church that I lead, meets each Friday evening. We refer to it as a Sabbath Worship service, because we meet close to the time that the Sabbath begins. It’s okay for us to meet on the Sabbath, and it is also okay for us to not meet on the Sabbath. God wanted parents to be treated with honor, so He told the Jews, “do that.” God saw that people were killing other people, committing adultery, stealing things from other people, not telling the truth, and improperly desiring the possessions of other people, so He said to the Jews, “don’t do any of those things.” … Consider this analogy. A man went to his family doctor. He was having a lot of pain in his left arm. He moved his arm back and forth and said to the doctor, “hey Doc, it hurts when I do that.” Very quickly, the doctor said, “don’t do that!”… It is very similar to the situation that existed between God and the Israelites. God had given them a list of “do’s” and “don’t do’s.” It was very easy for the Jews to adapt the adage of the fictitious doctor to their daily life style, and “don’t do that,” or “do that,” in the situations that surrounded the positively spoken commandments. God was very clear with His words that He spoke when He told the Jews about His punishments that would occur if they would disobey His commands. Just as the man who had an arm that caused him to feel pain, if he would not obey the doc’s words, the Jews would also feel a lot of pain if they chose to not obey God’s words.

Leviticus 23:1-44 (Scriptures of fulfillment follow each feast description)

Feasts of the Lord

1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.

The Sabbath

3 ‘Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. (Hebrews 3,4)

The Passover and Unleavened Bread

4 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times. 5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the Lord’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the Lord; seven days you must eat unleavened bread. 7 On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it. 8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord for seven days. The seventh day shall be a holy convocation; you shall do no customary work on it.’”(Passover, 1 Corinthians 5:7; Unleavened Bread, 1 Corinthians 5:8)

The Feast of First fruits

9 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 10 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give to you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted on your behalf; on the day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And you shall offer on that day, when you wave the sheaf, a male lamb of the first year, without blemish, as a burnt offering to the Lord. 13 Its grain offering shall be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering made by fire to the Lord, for a sweet aroma; and its drink offering shall be of wine, one-fourth of a hin. 14 You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.(1 Corinthians 15:23)

The Feast of Weeks

15 ‘And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed.16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord. 17 You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven.They are the first fruits to the Lord. 18 And you shall offer with the bread seven lambs of the first year, without blemish, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be as a burnt offering to the Lord, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the Lord. 19 Then you shall sacrifice one kid of the goats as a sin offering, and two male lambs of the first year as a sacrifice of a peace offering.20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest. 21 And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you. You shall do no customary work on it. It shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
22 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor shall you gather any gleaning from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the Lord your God.’” (Acts 1:5; 2:4)

The Feast of Trumpets

23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. 25 You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.’” (Matthew 24:31)

The Day of Atonement

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. 28 And you shall do no work on that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make atonement for you before the Lord your God. 29 For any person who is not afflicted in soul on that same day shall be cut off from his people. 30 And any person who does any work on that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people. 31 You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath.” (Romans 11:26)

The Feast of Tabernacles

33 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.
37 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day— 38 besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the Lord.
39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. 40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’”
44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord. (Zechariah 14:16-19)

Leviticus 23 (NKJV) (Notice that the Feasts Of The Lord were given by God to the children of Israel, who are the Jews. The feasts were not given to the descendants of Ham or Japheth, who were Gentile nations. Therefore, the feasts were not given to the Gentiles or the Church of today. It is important to also know that each of the Feasts Of The Lord were fulfilled in Jesus. A list of scriptures, that tells of each feast being fulfilled in Christ, follows the description of each feast. When the apostles fulfilled the Great Commission of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8), their goal was to share the message of salvation by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). They did not have a reason to teach the law to their Gentile converts, who were coming from paganism to saving faith in Christ. The council at Jerusalem (Acts 15) discussed the situation of the Gentiles. Jews who were coming to saving faith in Christ, were told of the need for them to have “saving faith in Christ.” There was no message of salvation in the Law, or in the Feasts. The message of the new birth is not an invention of the Christian Church. It was stated by Jeremiah and Ezekiel, affirmed by Jesus, and restated by the Apostle Paul (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:24-29; John 3:3-8; 2 Corinthians 5:17). The message of the new birth, or the birth from above, was very simple: ” you must be born again,” John 3:3, 5. The law and feasts of the Jews were designed to lead the Jews to accept Jesus as Messiah. The church that I lead studies the law and the feasts for the same reason.

John 4:22 New King James Version (NKJV)

22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.
Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman and told her a great truth that goes back to the choice of God to bring the Savior (Jesus) to the world through the blood line of the Jews.

Deuteronomy 7:1-8 New King James Version (NKJV)

A Chosen People

1 When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, 2 and when the Lord your God delivers them over to you, you shall conquer them and utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. 3 Nor shall you make marriages with them. You shall not give your daughter to their son, nor take their daughter for your son. 4 For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the Lord will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly. 5 But thus you shall deal with them: you shall destroy their altars, and break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images, and burn their carved images with fire.
6 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. 7 The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; 8 but because the Lord loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

The reason that God chose the Jews to have the blood line to bring about the Savior is very simple; it was His choice. God loved the whole world (John 3:16), but he chose the blood line of Shem to bring the Savior, Jesus, into the world. God loved the descendants of Ham and Japheth, but he chose Shem’s descendants for the important task of providing “the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Leviticus 11:44-45 New King James Version (NKJV)

44 For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. 45 For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

Leviticus 19:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.

Leviticus 20:26 New King James Version (NKJV)

26 And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy, and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be Mine.

God spoke to the Jews through Moses, and not to any other group of people. The descendants of Ham and Japheth were left out of this conversation. Because God decided that “the ultimate King Of Righteousness”(Hebrews 7) would come from the Jewish blood line, He also wanted the Jews to be a righteous people to bring about such a righteous “King.” He wanted His people to be the examples of holiness to the world, and to be “just like Him.” Because God chose the Jews to be his special and holy people, He also gave them standards of conduct, with severe consequences for disobedience. The Jews were going to be the standard bearers of righteousness. It was God’s desire for His chosen people to be examples of the Messiah, the Savior, the Redeemer, the King of Righteousness, who would be given to our world through the blood line of Shem, Abraham (the Hebrew), and the Jews.

Leviticus 20:9-16 New King James Version (NKJV)

9 ‘For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. He has cursed his father or his mother. His blood shall be upon him.
10 ‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.11 The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. 12 If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed perversion. Their blood shall be upon them. 13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. 14 If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is wickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you. 15 If a man mates with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. 16 If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them.

The punishments that we read in the above passage of scripture do not relate to any group of people, other than Old Testament Jews.

We might ask why God would demand such severe measurements of punishment. We might also ask why such punishment would only be demanded of the Jews. It is very simple. Consider all of the things that we have read, from the departure of Shem from the ark, to this point in time. The Jews had first hand knowledge of all of the things that God had done to protect them and to provide their needs. They saw the Red Sea being divided, so they could escape from the army of Pharaoh. They also saw how the sea closed and drowned their pursuers. They saw the pillar of could and pillar of fire leading them in the wilderness. They received the food and water that God had provided for them when they had none. They saw Joshua leading the Jews to victory over the Amalekites. They saw the first born of each Jewish family arise to life, while, on the same morning the first born of each Egyptian family died. The chosen people of God saw many other things that should have prepared them to live obediently to God’s commands of righteousness. The 613 Torah Commandments are specific in identifying righteous day to day lifestyle actions and motives. There is no plan of salvation in the Torah, but there is a rule for individual righteous lifestyles.

1 Peter 1:15-16 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.

God spoke to the Jews through Moses. The Holy Spirit spoke through Peter to those who knew Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The message is the same for both groups of people. “Be holy.” What it is that God spoke through Moses and Peter is very simple. In essence, He said, ” you are supposed to be like Me,” so “I want you to live your daily lives like Me.” Or, more simply stated, God said, “be just like Me, as much as you are able to do so, while in your mortal bodies.”Also, God was saying, “be like my Son Jesus.”

1 Peter 2:21-22 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Christ Is Our Example

21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;

Let’s go back to the situation of the Jews, and the Ten Commandments, the Law, the feasts, being given only to them, and not to the descendants of Ham and Japheth. We might ask about Jesus, and how He treated to such things. The following verse is one of many that attest to the righteousness of Jesus, in that He led a sinless life. There are many other verses that state the same truth.

Let’s consider Jesus, as He viewed the Law, and His relation to it.

Matthew 5:17-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

As we see in verse seventeen, Jesus said that He came to fulfill the Law. He also said that such a completion would not take place until “all is accomplished.” We can see that accomplishment taking place in the following passage.

John 19:25-30 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

25 Therefore the soldiers did these things. But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus then saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to His mouth. 30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

We can see that when Jesus was on the cross, and immediately before He died, when He said “it is finished,” all was accomplished,” (as it relates to the fulfilling of the law by Jesus.) But, consider what Jesus had said about specific commandments of the Law.

Mark 12:28-31 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Scribes: Which Is the First Commandment of All?

28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’This is the first commandment.
31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other
commandment greater than these.”

As was common, great trickery was used by the scribes and Pharisees in their attempts to degrade the person of Jesus. In this passage we see that Jesus was asked to name the greatest commandment. That would have easy for Jesus to do; after all, He wrote them! But, instead of doing a memorization of the ten commandments, and picking out one of them, He made a simple statement. He said that the greatest commandment was to “love God, totally.” Then, He added something that wasn’t asked of Him, and wasn’t written along with “the ten.” He added a commandment, by saying that “we should love our neighbor as ourselves.”

Do we keep the ten commandments? Of course we do. We even keep the Sabbath holy by being born again, thereby letting Jesus be our Sabbath rest. But, there is no salvation in the works that we do. Still, there is great credibility shown in our lifestyles by being faithful to the commandments of God. By believing in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have satisfied every requirement that God has placed on us. If we have been born again, we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. If we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have been born again, and have been granted eternal life with Jesus by having our born again spirit indwelling the Spirit of Father, Son, Holy Spirit (John 3:3; John 3:16-18, ).

Let’s consider the matter of the Sabbath as it relates to today’s day to day life. As it relates to worship, either we worship on the Sabbath, or we don’t, with the time frame being from Friday at sunset until Saturday at sunset. If we adhere to such a regiment of worship, there can be no exceptions, absolutely no exceptions. Let’s also consider the aspect of work. As it relates to work, either there is no work allowed on the Sabbath, or is there is not. If we say that no work is allowed on the Sabbath, “no work” can be permitted during the hours of sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday. If we adhere to such a regiment of “no work,” there can be no exceptions, no exceptions. I won’t go into all of the examples, because I think that the obvious is very obvious. But, God has given us a verse of scripture that is important for us to remember.

Mark 2:27 New King James Version (NKJV)

27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
God knows that not all airliners can stop flying between the hours of Friday at sunset until Saturday at sunset. God also knows that all police officers and military personnel can not be off the job each Friday at sunset until Saturday at sunset. God knows that not all hospitals can be closed from each Friday at sunset until Saturday at sunset. God knows that critically ill people can not be in a formal place of worship during the hours of Friday at sunset, until Saturday at sunset. Jesus doesn’t wear a Rolex. Consider what Jesus thinks is important about our relationship with him.

John 17:3 New King James Version (NKJV)

3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Philippians 3:10 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

God desires an intimate relationship with His people. Such a relationship is one that is not of doing, but of intimacy. God desires us to have a personal relationship with Him that is based on what He has done for us, and not on one that we are not able to achieve by our own actions.

Hebrews 4:3, 9, 10 New King James Version (NKJV)

3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:“So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Now, what do we say about the severe forms of punishment that we find written in God’s Holy Word, in Leviticus 20:9-16? They were prescribed by God for a specific people, who were the Jews. It was prescribed for a specific reason, which was to prepare the Jews to be a people of righteousness who would model a coming Messiah, who is Jesus. It was prescribed for a specific time in history, which ended with the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. Consider the Jews. Do they still offer animal sacrifices?

Leviticus 4:35 New King James Version (NKJV)

35 He shall remove all its fat, as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offering. Then the priest shall burn it on the altar, according to the offerings made by fire to the Lord. So the priest shall make atonement for his sin that he has committed, and it shall be forgiven him.

Consider the Spirit of the living God, and how any of us may be brought into His Presence.

Ezekiel 43:1-5 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Temple, the Lord’s Dwelling Place

1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. 2 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. 3 It was like the appearance of the vision which I saw—like the vision which I saw when I came to destroy the city. The visions were like the vision which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face. 4 And the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east. 5 The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

Let’s consider the holiness of God as we go to Him in worship through the leading of Paul Wilbur.

Let The Weight Of Your Glory Fall // For Your Name Is Holy

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