Consecration of Israel (cont.)

Consecration of Israel

Sung Psalm 51:1-7

Read Exodus 24:1-8

The people (Ex.24), priests(Lev.8) and Levites (Num.8) are in turn consecrated to God and all these events occurred at Mount Sinai.

The basis of this consecration was the blood of the covenant, shed in a unique sacrifice, signifying Christ’s (eventual) atonement. Hebrews 9:19,20 give additional details filling out the Exodus account e.g:

  1. Blood of calves and goats.
  2. Water added.
  3. Scarlet wool and hyssop (Lev.14:4,7,52. Num.19:18, Ps.51:7).
  4. Sprinkled book (and people)
  5. Sprinkled tabernacle.

Acts 8:9-25

Simon the sorcerer

Simon was a well-known Samaritan sorcerer who through wizardry deceived the people into thinking he was the power of God (perhaps even the awaited Messiah-John 4).

Sorcery is tapping into evil powers to achieve apparent or real results that are supernatural. e.g. Jannes and Jambres (Exodus 7:11,22,8:18,19, II Tim.3:8), Elymas (Acts 13:8) also Dan.2:2, Rev.18:23).

The act of simony is seeking to buy a church office or role.

Being bewitched means they believed a lie, just as Adam and Eve did and the Galatians (Gal.3:1). It is noteworthy that both false miracles and false teaching are related in this way. The ultimate example will be that of Antichrist (II Thess.2:8-10).

Simon proudly paraded his powers so as to receive acclaim.

The Samaritans listened to him and were under his spell.

We think he was able to do actual miracles which deceived the people like the Egyptians.

The people respected him because he had been plying his trade for years.

Philip, the deacon came preaching the gospel about Christ, his work and his kingdom.

The people believed the gospel in contrast to being bewitched by the lying signs of Simon. Matthew 24:24.

Simon made a profession of faith which by Peter’s analysis was fake.

Philip, using the judgment of charity accepted this and baptized him.

Simon shadowed Philip to see his works just like many Jews in Jesus’ day.

The apostles in Jerusalem sent Peter and John to Samaria to check on this new phenomenon of Samaritans being converted to check up on it.

We believe the Samaritans had received the Spirit in regeneration (I Cor.12:13) but not with signs e.g. tongues because as with Pentecost (Acts 2) and subsequently the gentiles/Cornelius (Acts 10) God wanted this new phase of kingdom expansion to be attested to publicly by witnesses .

The laying on of hands was simultaneous with the outpouring of the Spirit. C.f. Moses and Joshua (Deut.34:9).

Peter and John were not essential for the outpouring of the Spirit because the Ethiopian Eunuch in the same chapter was converted under Philip without them. But the public manifestation with signs following always occurred with apostles present who reported back to Jerusalem.

The sin of Simon is called simony meaning the act of selling church offices or roles.

Simon wanted this ability to enhance his reputation and perhaps make money.

Peter rebuked him in many ways saying his money should perish with him, that he was outside the kingdom, that his heart was not right and that he ought to repent and pray.

Peter was absolutely clear he was not converted or forgiven.

The gall of bitterness was an entrapment in bitter envy. Gall is bile/bile salts, very bitter substance that breaks down fat in our digestion (Deut.29:18, Heb.12:15, Prov.5:22, Matthew 27:34,48, Mark 15:23,36). Christ did not drink the gall/myrrh because it would have stupefied him.

The bond of iniquity was Simon’s perverse thinking of gaining popularity and fame which enslaved him (John 8:34).

Simon’s request for prayer like Esau’s with Jacob and Pharaoh with Moses was merely a token gesture to avoid the consequences of their actions.

We read no more about Simon because the Spirit has told us all we need to learn and it is likely he was reprobate.

The apostles on their way back to Jerusalem (about 40 miles or two days journey) preached in several Samaritan villages.

Next study (DV) Saturday March 16 at 8pm to look at Acts 8:26-40

 

Consecration of the People of Israel

Sung Psalm 103:3-10 note ref. to Moses

Reading Deut. 34:1-12

There were many events and commandments from God that separated the Israelites from all the other nations in Old Testament times–the ten plagues, the Passover, and the passage through the Red Sea could all be included.

Reviewing our studies over the last three years we have covered many topics pointing to this separation or consecration or holiness:

  1. The Holy Land-promised to them.
  2. The Holy Wars-fought to take the land.
  3. The Holy Times-set apart for extended times of worship e.g. the pilgrimage feasts and year of Jubilee.
  4. The Holy Laws and codes-to cover ceremonial uncleanness (Leviticus 11-15).
  5. The Holy Sacrifices-all the offerings (Leviticus 1-7)
  6. The Holy Parties (people)-Israelites, priests and Levites.
  7. The Holy Places-tabernacle and temple.

Taken together the religion of the Pentateuch which includes all of the above constitute Mosaism or the Mosaic worldview or covenant.

All Old Testament history, the wisdom literature and the prophets are based on, and presuppose the Pentateuch and included in these Mosaic writings are the future history of Israel e.g. the kingdom and the Messiah.

Moses was the pre-eminent Old Testament character having unique face to face revelation from encounters with God (over prolonged periods), of his own Messiah (Deut.18:18, Heb.11:24-29), who performed incomparable works and miracles and was Israel’s mediator and called by God “my servant”.

 

The Lord is My Shepherd

 

Verse 1. The Lord [is] my shepherd,…. This is to be understood of Jehovah the Son, to whom it is most frequently ascribed, Genesis 49:24. This office he was called and appointed to by his Father, and which through his condescending grace he undertook to execute, and for which he is abundantly qualified; being omniscient, and so knows all his sheep and their maladies, where to find them, what is their case, and what is to be done for them; and being omnipotent, he can do everything proper for them; and having all power in heaven and in earth, can protect, defend, and save them; and all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge being in him, he can guide and direct them in the best manner; wherefore he is called the great shepherd, and the chief shepherd, and the good shepherd. David calls him “my shepherd”; Christ having a right unto him, as he has to all the sheep of God, by virtue of his Father’s gift, his own purchase, and the power of his grace; and as owning him as such, and yielding subjection to him, following him as the sheep of Christ do wheresoever he goes; and also as expressing our faith in him, affection for him, and joy because of him: and from thence comfortably concludes,

I shall not want; not any temporal good thing, as none of Christ’s sheep do, that he in his wisdom sees proper and convenient for them; nor any spiritual good things, since a fulness of them is in him, out of which all their wants are supplied; they cannot want food, for by him they go in and out and find pasture; in him their bread is given them, where they have enough and to spare, and their waters are sure unto them; nor clothing, for he is the Lord their righteousness, and they are clothed with the robe of his righteousness; nor rest, for he is their resting place, in whom they find rest for their souls, and are by him led to waters of rest, as in Psalm 23:2: the sheep are in his hands, out of which none can pluck them, and therefore shall not perish, but have everlasting life, John 10:27.

<!–Psalms 23:2

–> Verse 2. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,…. Or “pastures of tender grass” ; this is one part of the shepherd’s work, and which is performed by Christ, Ezekiel 34:14; by these “green pastures” may be meant the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises, where there is delicious feeding; likewise the fulness of grace in Christ, from whence grace for grace is received; also the flesh and blood, righteousness and sacrifice, of Christ, which faith is led unto and lives upon, and is refreshed and invigorated by; to which may be added the doctrines of the Gospel, with which Christ’s under-shepherds feed his lambs and sheep, there being in them milk for babes and meat for strong men; and likewise the ordinances of the Gospel, the goodness and fatness of the Lord’s house, the feast of fat things, and breasts of consolation: here Christ’s sheep are made to “lie down,” denoting their satiety and fulness; they having in these green pastures what is satisfying and replenishing; as also their rest and safety, these being sure dwellings and quiet resting places, even in the noon of temptation and persecution; see Song of Solomon 1:7;
he leadeth me beside the still waters, or “waters of rest and quietness”; not to rapid torrents, which by reason of the noise they make, and the swiftness of their motion, the sheep are frightened, and not able to drink of them; but to still waters, pure and clear, and motionless, or that go softly, like the waters of Shiloah, Isaiah 8:6; and the “leading” to them is in a gentle way, easily, as they are able to bear it; so Jacob led his flock, Genesis 33:14; and Christ leads his, Isaiah 40:11; by these “still waters” may be designed the everlasting love of God, which is like a river, the streams whereof make glad the hearts of his people; these are the waters of the sanctuary, which rise to the ankles, knees, and loins, and are as a broad river to swim in; the pure river of water of life Christ leads his sheep to, and gives them to drink freely of: also communion with God, which the saints pant after, as the hart pants after the water brooks, and Christ gives access unto; moreover he himself is the fountain of gardens, and well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon; and the graces of his Spirit are also as rivers of living water, all which he makes his people partakers of; to which may be added, that the Scriptures, and the truths of the Gospel, are like still, quiet, and refreshing waters to them, and are the waters to which those that are athirst are invited to come, Isaiah 55:1; and in the immortal state Christ will still be a shepherd, and will feed his people, and lead them to fountains of living water, where they shall solace themselves for ever, and shall know no more sorrow and sighing, Revelation 7:17.

Adapted from John Gill’s commentary

Order and authority in church

 

Order and authority in church

I Corinthians 11 is about ordinances which are the sacraments, ceremonies, government, and doctrines of the church that are delivered  to the church from  Jesus Christ through the apostles. The ground of all Paul’s instruction is God’s original creation of Adam and Eve. Where Genesis 2 is denied as history, very soon the order of authority will be overturned in the church especially in the form of having women office-bearers. Marriage, the creation ordinance, is the basis of human society. The society that destroys marriage destroys itself. The structure of authority in marriage and in the church is the same: the headship of the male.

What threatened this order in Corinth was woman removing their veils. The veil was the social symbol of married status and being under authority. The apostle is not specifying head coverings for today! Headship is authority in love. Male and female are equally the objects of grace in Christ (Gal.3:28). A body with two heads is a monstrosity. The married woman’s good in marriage is found in the way of subjection. The husband should examine his headship of his wife over against Christ’s headship of the church and after repenting of his sins consciously pattern himself after Christ’s grace, love, sacrifice (authority over), and tender love for his dear wife, the church. If the wife is under her husband in marriage, she cannot rule him in the offices of the church.

Male headship is of God, established in Eden. Remember Christ too, is under authority. A church that  does not observe this structure of authority cannot glorify God (and does not love God!) Women are not “to wear the pants.” A woman who does this does not walk in love with her husband or in the church, this is an affront to God and the angels. When a woman holds office in the church, Christ is dishonoured, God rebelled against and she is obnoxious. Paul says her head should be shaved as the outward sign of her shocking rebellion. Paul faults the men. Lack of headship in the home. WHERE IS THE HEADSHIP OF THE MALES? Paul finally speaks against contentiousness.  Knowledge and love of the truth is  making God all in all, and this keeps you from being contentious where you make yourself central.

Adapted from “Walking in the way of love” a commentary on I Corinthians by Nathan Langerak.

Available here:  CPRC bookshop

Drink Offering (final)

Drink Offering

Sung Psalm 116:9-19

Reading Numbers 15:1-12

Note that the wine of the drink offering was poured out twice daily after the daily burnt offering and the meal offering. It was also poured out after any and every burnt offering on the occasions outlined in v3 namely annual pilgrimage feast days, a vow or freewill offering, and again after and along with the meal offering. Further-more it was also offered with the peace offering (v8). The difference here is that this sacrifice after the burning of the fat and innards, was eaten signifying fellowship with God.

To summarise what all these offerings typify: As we already said, the burnt offering is the accomplishment of atonement for sin by the complete and perfect sacrifice of the consecrated Christ, burnt up under God’s wrath for us, bringing justification, sanctification and ultimately glorification by his Holy Spirit. As a result, his people offer themselves as meal offerings with joy (drink offering) as they too consecrate themselves to his service.

When were these daily burnt offerings first offered? Answer-Mt. Sinai (Exodus 29:38). The meal and drink offerings offered simultaneously and described in Leviticus 1-7 were also offered with the daily burnt offering but not the other “ordinary” burnt offerings till they had access to more wine and flour in the promised land (Lev.23:10ff, Numbers 15:2)

We guess that the drink offering was poured over the burnt offering and the meal offering, while they were being consumed and none was ever drunk by the people or priests. The drink offering was never offered after the sin or trespass offering perhaps because these were for specific sins requiring confession and reparation.

The fact that the meal offering and drink offering always accompanied the daily burnt offering means that for the Christian there is no real joy without Christ and consecration to him.

In Psalm 116: 13 in connection with Leviticus 7:16 David offers a peace offering, and vows to thank God for his salvation (deliverance from his enemies), witnessing publicly among God’s people and not for pride or ostentation (c.f. Matthew 6:5)

Acts 8:1-8

 

Acts 8:1-8

  1. Stephen dies and is buried (v2).
  2. Saul consenting to Stephen’s death meant he wanted it, actively assisted in it (guarding the clothes) and actually took some pleasure in it.
  3. The Jewish leaders (Sanhedrin) led the persecution of the church.
  4. Saul went door to door imprisoning those who confessed being believers, no doubt treating them badly, breaking up families and imprisoning many.
  5. Though young Saul had authority.
  6. The persecution of Jewish believers was a local religious matter of no import to the Roman authorities (see also Gallio’s reaction in Acts 18:15).
  7. As a result of the persecution many of the Christians went throughout Judea and Samaria.
  8. This fulfilled part two of the great commission of Acts 1:8 after Jerusalem.
  9. Preachers (the seventy?) and witnessing believers were spread abroad making known the gospel.
  10. The apostles remained in Jerusalem initially in obedience to Acts 1:4 but later to care for the church there.

 

  1. Samaria, the city was in the centre of the northern region of the promised land called Samaria. Excavations there have uncovered the palaces of King Omri and King Ahab including their ivory palaces and Egyptian idols (I Kings 22:39, Amos 3:15, 6:1,4).

 

  1. The Samaritans had the Pentateuch and revered Moses, some as a Messiah yet to return (John 4). They offered sacrifices and worshipped on Mt. Gerizim. They were descendants of people brought from Babylon (II Kings 17:24) and local Jews, therefore mixed race and despised by the Jews.

 

  1. Philip was one of the initial seven deacons (Acts 6) and an evangelist (apostolic helper with miraculous gifting). He was married and had four daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:8,9) and lived in Caesarea Philippi.

 

  1. He preached Christ, his glories and the kingdom of heaven.

 

  1. Philip performed miracles to authenticate his message and no doubt in opposition to Simon’s fake and Satanic ones. They included the instantaneous healing of soul/mind and body from crippling disease.

 

  1. The people studiously listened to Philip’s preaching because of the miracles and many were saved bringing spiritual joy to the city. Perhaps a number of previous converts from Jesus ministry (John 4) were involved.

 

Next study (DV) Acts 8:9-24 (or even 40) Saturday February 23rd 8pm