How Jesus Christ viewed Moses and the Levites
(Part 1) How Jesus Christ viewed Moses and the Levites (Jul 97)
1. In 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 (NKJ), St Paul wrote, "Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech--unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord."
2. Have your religious leaders ever explained to you what St. Paul was talking about when he wrote "But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away"? Probably not. In this article you will not only learn what St. Paul was talking about (expressed in terms relevant to our current world situation), you will also learn a LOT about how Jesus Christ viewed the Hebrew scriptures in general.
3. This article is a continuation of my www.onesalt.com web site article "Weeding Satanically inspired doctrines out of the teachings of the Churches." For those who haven't read that article yet, I'll briefly review some of its major points.
4. Jesus Christ's entire ministry was founded upon God's two most fundamental commandments: " You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (Matt 22:37-40 NKJ)
5. This is not as difficult as it sounds. It simply means that we should seek and follow the TRUTH relative to the commandment to LOVE our neighbors as ourselves without placing any restrictions whatsoever on the applicability of either of those two commandments. Over the centuries, most theologians have downplayed or ignored the importance of these two commandments, because they conflicted with many of their "expert" conclusions and teachings. If you examine their teachings for conformance with these two commandments (without restrictions), you can easily recognize which of their teachings are "of God" and which are "of Satan" or "Satanically inspired." This web site points out numerous examples of each.
6. My earlier articles on this web site illustrate the fact that many of the stories in the Bible were deliberately designed to have two or even three levels of interpretation. The authors had to do this in order to sneak their intended lessons past the common censorship practices of scribes who tend to support the interests of the contemporary "powers that be." You can see for yourselves by reading the articles on this web site that such censorship practices are still "a fact of life" in the United States these days, and that the CONSEQUENCES of such censorship practices have been DEADLY for millions of men, women, and children throughout the world! (Those were REAL people folks--you saw some of their faces on TV!) The conditions which led to their deaths were supposed to have been resolved by mankind 10 to 25 years ago, but such logical solutions were BLOCKED by ungodly RELIGIOUSLY PROMOTED IDOLATRY and its supporting censorship practices among our nation's news media! My August review of two of Jack Van Impe's latest videos will expose a classic example of such religiously promoted idolatry.
7. Evidently, our nation's news agencies have decided to adopt the position, "Well, it's the churches' show. Let's stand by the sidelines, continue publishing stories showing the consequences of their idolized anarchy, and see how the churches react to this new [?] interpretation of the scriptures." WAKE UP! How many MORE millions of people will be NEEDLESSLY KILLED [!] before our nation's news agencies conclude, "This waiting for our religious leaders who CLAIM to represent God but REFUSE to obey His commandments is corrupting our souls. Let's point out the fact that the Second Coming of Christ has already begun and THEN see what happens...."
8. Now that I've got THAT off my chest, let's get back to reviewing what the authors of the Genesis and Exodus describe as the original causes of this evil mess. As pointed out last month, the "third-heaven" level of interpretation is an ALLEGORICAL way of interpreting the stories in Genesis and many other parts of the Bible, but it is not just any kind of allegorical interpretation. It's an allegorical interpretation based on God's two most fundamental commandments using the symbolic scheme established by the authors of Genesis. That symbolic scheme was later used and expanded in Old and New Testament prophecies and in the parables of Jesus Christ.
9. The "second-heaven" level of interpretation is to interpret that scripture pretty-much "literally" but in way which conforms with God's two most fundamental commandments. At this level, you look in particular for the Biblically documented origins of popular beliefs which violate God's two most fundamental commandments--and then observe the bloody "fruits" which result later on as those seemingly innocent but Satanically inspired "trees of knowledge" grow and create havoc throughout this history of mankind.
10. The "first-heaven" interpretations, which are by far the most commonly published, are those which are based on criteria other than God's two most fundamental commandments (the number of such interpretations which mankind can dream up is theoretically unlimited). The authors of some of those interpretations claim that their interpretations are "literal" and that God does just about everything "supernaturally." Others use allegorical interpretations designed to make the bloody idol of national sovereignty appear to be "holy"; they define advocates of anything that resembles a "world government" to be their enemies. Still others use ungodly interpretations of the scriptures to portray the Roman Catholic Church, Jews, or Muslems as their "bad guys". If you examine their writings from the point of view of God's two most fundamental commandments, you'll see that the teachings of nearly all of our present denominations of Christianity and Judaism include SOME Satanically inspired doctrines of one form or another. It's those Satanically inspired doctrines and beliefs which need to be destroyed--not the churches or the people themselves. Our churches will have to sacrifice their own (beloved) Satanically inspired doctrines before the people of the world will be able to rely on them to take God's two most fundamental commandments SERIOUSLY!
11. Anyhow, in last month's article, we saw that even though Abraham was a holy and righteous man (willing to sacrifice his own son Isaac if God required it), he tended to have a xenophobic attitude towards foreigners. In spite of the fact that God showed him on at least two occasions that such fears were unjustified, according to the authors of Genesis, Abraham started a custom of "marrying within the family" which before long led to commonly held attitudes of racism among his descendants. It is important to note that God did NOT instruct Abraham to do that; Abraham decided that one on his own. He told his servant to put his hand under his (Abraham's) thigh and "swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell..." (Genesis 24:2-3) This is what inspired Jesus Christ to teach "I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth for it is His footstool; nor Jerusalem, for it is a city of a great King. Nor shall you swear by hour head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes', and your 'No' be 'No'. For whatever is more than these is FROM THE EVIL ONE." (Matthew 5:34-37). Notice also that Abraham promised his servant, "He will send His angel before you", but such an angel never really appeared [very subtle].
12. So, although most first-heaven interpretations tend to portray Abraham as if he were a "movie star hero" who "can do no wrong", second-heaven interpretations view Abraham as a great and holy man who was well rewarded by God, but who nevertheless made some mistakes which eventually created profoundly SERIOUS problems for his descendants. Third-heaven interpretations view Abraham as a bright but limited light (i.e. a "star" in "heaven" of mankind's perceptions of God). Abraham's "light" was limited by the restrictions he placed on his definition of neighbor--restrictions which became more stringently defined as time went on. Now let's get on with...
THE STORY OF MOSES (including the second-heaven [and third-heaven] interprtations)
13. Most Christians and Jews are familiar with the first-heaven interpretation of the story of Moses and his God-given "supernatural powers." However, it was the (often-censored) second-heaven and thrid-heaven interpretations of this story (and the stories in Genesis) which inspired most of the writings throughout the rest of the Old and New Testaments (and which ensured the survival of those stories to this day). The second-heaven iterpretation continues the story of how mankind (and the priests) strayed further and further away from the ways and Will of God. The third-heaven interpretation illustrates some lessons regarding man's relationship to government which often need to be re-learned generation after generation. It also provides a more accurate glimpse of what really happened there in Egypt.
14. Once the twelve tribes of Israel were settled in Goshen, they began to produce a small "population explosion" which disturbed a Pharaoh in Egypt who came into power after Joseph had died. Fearing that the Israelites might side with an enemy in war or otherwise "go up and out of the land", the Pharaoh decided to enslave them and force them to work on various Egyptian construction projects. But the Israelites kept multiplying physically. So the "king of Egypt" instructed the Israelite midwives to kill every (Israelite) male child that was born. They heroically refused. So when that didn't work, the Pharaoh ordered his troops to throw all male Israelite infants be into the river. When you consider that the enslaved Israelite males were a source of economic gain (workforce) for the Pharaoh, these actions failed to make economic sense. Evidently, that Pharaoh REALLY WAS afraid of the Israelites!
15. Notice how the authors of Exodus (not just Jesus or myself) clearly attribute the instigating CAUSE of the Israelites' problems to their overly rapid PHYSICAL reproduction (while marrying only among themselves). The authors of Exodus pointed out "up front" that within seven generations, a "fruit" (racism) from the "seed" of Abraham's predjudice regarding whom Isaac should marry together with a similar "fruit" (paranoia) which normally accompanies the worship of national sovereignty, led directly to the enslavement of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! Have your religious leaders ever pointed THAT out to you? It's right there in Exodus 1:7-10.
16. Around this time, a grandson of Levi named Amram married his father's sister Jochebed, a daughter of Levi (which indicates that "marrying within the family" was still commonly practiced in those days). (Exodus 16-20). Jochebed managed to hide her infant son (Moses) for three months, but when it became apparent that the infant would soon be found by Egyptian soldiers, she set him adrift in the reeds of the river in a small home-made boat which the authors of Exodus referred to as an "ark" (using the same third-heaven symbology as in Noah's "ark"). Then one of the Pharaoh's daughters found the infant and decided to raise him as her own. Moses' sister observed this and talked the Pharoah's daughter into hiring Jochebed to be the infant's "nurse". So Moses was raised as an Egyptian prince.
17. One day, Moses observed an Egyptian beating a Israelite, so he "looked this way and that way, and when he saw no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand." (Exodus 2:12) The next day, when Moses encountered two Israelite men fighting, he asked "Why are you striking your companion?" But the one who was doing the striking replied, "Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?" That was NOT the kind of response that Moses was expecting. The man he rescued the previous day must have told "everyone"! When he learned that news of this killing had reached the Pharaoh, Moses fled into the desert. There he met a Midianite (a.k.a. and Ishmaelite) named Reuel "Friend of God" (a.k.a. Jethro "Excelence") [The authors of Genesis and Exodus encouraged their listeners/readers to look beyond what people called themselves]. Not long thereafter, Moses married Jetho's daughter Zipporah and settled down for a life as a shepherd.
18. While tending his flock near Mount Horeb ("Mountain of God", a.k.a. Mount Sinai "Unknown"), the Lord (a.k.a. Angel of the Lord) appeared to him as flames in a bush which did not actually burn. [This "burning bush" is symbolically equivalent to the "tree of life" in the Garden of Eden story. Thus, it was at this point that Moses recognized the intended third-heaven interpretations of the stories in Genesis which were evidently made known to him by his mother or by Jethro (or both) ]. Through the bush the Lord told Moses to remove his sandals, because he was standing on holy ground. Then God told Moses the He had heard the Israelites' cries for help and had "come down to deliver them from the hands of the Egyptians." (Exodus 3:8) He promised to take them 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 Jebusites." Moses expressed doubts that he was qualified for the job, but God reassured Moses that He would be with him. Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me 'What is His name?', what shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you'". Then God instructed Moses to enlist the support of the elders of Israel to go and ask the Pharaoh to give the Israelites time off to take a 3-day journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord. God predicted that the Pharaoh would refuse, and said, "So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midsts; and after that he will let you go." (Exodus 3:20). He also promised that when the Israelites left Egypt, they would not leave "empty handed."
19. So rather than deal directly with "the elders of Israel", God chose instead to reveal Himself for this purpose to a man who was a Levite (a tribe cursed by Jacob), who was NOT raised as a Israelite, who did NOT "marry within the family", who was NOT even living among the Israelites, who had killed an Egyptian, and who had been rejected by his fellow Israelites when he tried to help them. [Hmmmmm....]
20. Moses expressed further doubts that the elders of Israel (or the Pharaoh for that matter) would believe that God had sent him, so God showed Moses how to demonstrate three "signs".
a) First he instructed Moses to throw his rod onto the ground, whereupon it turned into a such a fearsom snake that Moses fled from it. The first-heaven interpretation of this is that God had given Moses an ability to demonstrate "supernatural powers." [The third-heaven interpretation is that the "rod" (a.k.a. "rod of God") represents authority as in police-enfored law and order, or government. When the rod of government is "thrown upon the ground" (i.e. left in no-one's hands), it becomes subordianted to the "earth" of mankind's perceptions of popular truths which inevitably turns it into a SATANIC BEAST (anarchy) like our present "national sovereignty system".] The second-heaven interpretation is that although God may indeed have given Moses such "supernatural powers", it is Satanic to insist on seeing "supernatural signs" as a pre-condition for obeying God's commandments [HINT, HINT!]. Jesus Christ criticised the Pharisees for having such an attitude (Matthew 12:39). It is remarkable that God would allow Satan to plant that "supernatural pre-condition" seed into the "hallowed ground" that Moses was standing on. But He did. This was probably what first inspired Jesus Christ's "tares in the wheat" parable (Matthew 13:24-40). Anyhow, to convert that Satanic beast back into law and order again, God instructed Moses to "Reach out your hand and take it by its tail" (as in Genesis 2:15). Although it took some courage for Moses to do so, he did as God instructed, and IT WORKED! [God showed Moses how he could demonstrate his ability to govern the Israelites, by exerting the authority of the first of God's two most fundamental commandments.]
b) Second, God instructed Moses to put his hand "into his bosom", and when he took it out, it was "leprous, like snow". (Leprocy was a common and widely feared "incurable" disease in those days. Having leprocy was like having a death sentence.) Then God instructed Moses to put his hand "into his bosom" again, and when he took it out, it was normal. After which God said, "Then it will be. If they do not believe you, nor head the message of the first sign, then they may believe the MESSAGE of the second sign." At the second-heaven level of interpretation, if we assume that this was not simply a "magician's illusion", then an ability to cure leprocy so quickly would HAVE to be considered miraculous. Can such effects be achieved by simply applying the power of mind over living matter? Perhaps. Jesus was reported to have peformed similar cures that were considered to be miraculous at the time. [The MESSAGE of this second sign was that God showed Moses how to bring the "spiritually dead" back to life again by following a neighborly "helping hand" (i.e. the second of God's two most fundamental commandments).]
c) Third, God told Moses that if the first two signs don't work, he should take water from the river and pour it on the dry land, "the water which you took from the river will become blood on the dry land." [Throughout history, Godly teachings often produced BLOODY "fruits" when people mixed them with Satanically inspired concepts from the "earth" of mankind's perceptions of popular truths. Later on in this story, we will see that the river itself (religious teachings) will become a source of such bloody "fruits".]
21. Even with such "supernatural powers" [or revelations], Moses still didn't feel sufficiently qualified for the task. He complaind that he was "slow of speech and slow of tongue." Moses was no Charlton Heston. He was probably more like Albert Einstein (who was thought to be "slow of mind" by some of his teachers and peers in high school, because he would not make the easy "simplifying assumptions" which they were making). Anyhow, God told Moses to use his brother Aaron as his "spokesman", and He promised to help both of them find the words they needed to speak. So Moses obtained permission from Jethro to leave, set his wife and sons on some donkeys, and headed for Egypt.
22. Along the way, God told Moses that even after the Pharaoh witnesses the three wonders described above, God would "harden his heart" and he would refuse to let the Israelites go. So God instructed Moses, "Then you shall say to Pharaoh, 'Thus says the Lord: "Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn."'".
23. Now at this point, what you SHOULD be asking (and probably never have), is "What kind of God would (in a premeditated manner) "harden the heart" of a king and then kill the king's firstborn son--because "the king's heart was hardened"? Could it be that this was BEFORE Satan got "thrown out of heaven"?
24. Evidently, Moses had serious misgivings about this latest guidance from God. According to Exodus 4:24-26, while at an encampment, "the Lord met him and sought to kill him". It is not clear from the text whether that "him" was referring to Moses himself or to one of his sons. More likely than not, Moses was "wrestling with God" much as Jacob had done in Genesis 32:24. When Moses's wife Zipporah saw this, she took a sharp stone, circumcied her son, and cast his foreskin at Moses's feet, saying "Surely you are a husband of blood to me." So the Lord let "him" go, saying "You are a husband of blood"--because of the circumcision which reminded Moses of God's convenant with Abraham. Evidently, while living as a Midianite, Moses had neglected to heed the Israelite custom of circumcision. Now that he was heading back to his own people, it became obvious that he would have to "get with the program." Zipporah's actions in this regard, which were clearly heroic, validated her legitimacy as the wife of Moses in the eyes of God, even though she was not an Israelite. [another dig at prohibitions against "intermarriage"]
25. God told Aaron to go into the wilderness to meet his brother Moses. He met Moses on the "Mountain of God" (a.k.a. Mount Horeb) where Moses explained their mission. Then the two of them returned to consult with the elders of Israel. When Moses demonstrated the signs the Lord had taught him, the elders were impressed. They were also relieved to know that God "looked on their affliction", so they bowed their heads and worshipped.
26. On their first visit to the Pharaoh, Moses and Aaron politely presented their request to let the Israelites take a three-day journey into the wilderness to sacrifice to the Lord. As predicted, the Pharaoh refused, and to make matters worse, he instructed his task masters to make the Israelites work even harder. The Israelites complained to Aaron and Moses, "Let the Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of the Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us." Actually, that was a pretty fair assessment of the situation at that point.
27. Moses questioned the Lord about this, but God Almighty assured him that He would keep His promises to him and to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When Moses relayed such assurances to the "children of Israel", he found that they would not heed him, because of their anguish of spirit and cruel bondage. So he questioned the Lord again, expressing doubts that he was worthy of the task (at that time, Moses was 80 years old and Aaron was 83). But the Lord responded, "See I have made you as God [worthy of respect] to Pharaoh, and Aaron you brother shall be your prophet." (Exodus 7:1) The Lord instructed Moses and Aaron to go back to the Pharaoh and try again.
28. This time, Aaron threw down his (Moses'?) rod before the Pharaoh and it became a serpent. The Pharaoh called for his magicians, and they demonstrated that they could do likewise, but Aaron's rod "swallowed up their rods." [Under the national sovereighty system, governments tend to do that to one another. As Jesus promised his faithfull followers in Revelation 2:26-29, all such governments will eventaully be rulled "with a rod of iron" by a God-guided world government. So this "supernatural sign" also served as an allegorical prophecy of things to come.] But the Pharaoh remained unconvinced.
29. Plague 1: So, as instructed by the Lord, the next morning when Moses saw the Pharaoh by the water, he told the Pharaoh that as a demonstration of God's power, when the waters were struck with his rod, the waters would turn into blood. Indeed, when Aaron did just that, the waters throughout Egypt ( including streams, ponds, and vessels) turned into blood, stank, and caused the fish to die. [This "supernatural sign" revealed what the Pharaoh's own brand of "national sovereignty" had done to his nation's religious teachings.] But the Pharaoh's magicians demonstrated that they could do [or reveal] similar things, and the Pharaoh remainted unconvinced. "So all the Egyptians dug all around the river for water to drink, because they could not drink the water of the river." (Exodus 7:23) [They started looking elsewhere for their religious guidance.]
30. Plague 2: So the Lord instructed Moses to warn the Pharaoh that if he didn't let the children of Israel go, "the river shall bring forth frogs [religious doctrines?] abundantly which shall go up and come up into your house, into you bedchamber, on your bed, into the houses of your servants, on your people, into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls." So Aaron did, and they did. But again, the Pharaoh's magicians were able to do similar things. But this time the Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron back and promised to let the Israelites go sacrifice to their Lord if they would convince the Lord to take away those pesky "frogs". Moses agreed to the Pharaoh's request and cried out to the Lord concerning the frogs. The frogs "remained in the river" but died everywhere else. Then the Egyptians "gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank." But, once that threat was gone, the Pharaoh changed his mind about letting the Israelites go.
31. Plague 3: So the Lord said to Moses, "Say to Aaron, 'Stretch our your rod, and strike the dust of the land, so that it may become lice [individually observed violations of God's two most fundamental commandments] throughout all the land of Egypt.'" The Pharaoh's "magicians" were unable to match this one, so they advised the Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." [YES!] But the Pharaoh remained unconvinced, just as the Lord had predicted. Notice that the "lice" were never recalled. I guess that's why we still have them [thanks Moses].
32. Plague 4: So the Lord told Moses to warn the Pharaoh that if he didn't let the children of Israel go, he would send swarms of flies [rumors of impending death which feed on the spiritually "dead"] all over Egypt, except in Goshen where the Israelites lived. "I will make a difference between My people and your people." When the swarms came, the Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and told them, "Go sacrifice to your God in the land." But Moses said that it would not be right to do so in the presence of their Egyptian neighbors, because they would be sacrificing the religious teachings of the Egyptians and could end up getting stoned as a result. The Pharaoh then agreed to let them go into the wilderness, but not very far away. So Moses agreed to ask the Lord to call off the "flies", but he warned the Pharaoh not to deal deceitfully anymore regarding their request to go into the wilderness. Nevertheless, once the swarms of flies were gone, the Pharaoh changed his mind again and refused to let the Israelites go.
33. Plague 5: So the Lord instructed Moses to warn the Pharaoh that if he didn't let the Israelites go, God would send a pestilence which would kill all of the livestock in Egypt (cattle, horses, donkeys, camels, oxen, and sheep), except for those those belonging to the Israelites. The Pharaoh didn't, so God did, and "all the livestock of Egypt died." The Pharaoh sent messerngers out to see if the Israelites' livestock had died as well. They had not. Nevertheless, the Pharaoh remained unconvinced.
34. Plague 6: Then the Lord instructed Moses and Aaron to take ashes from a furnace [reminders of the deadly consequences of the Egyptian's ungodly religious teachings] and scatter the ashes "toward the heavens" [throw them at the Egyptian perceptions of their gods] in sight of the Pharaoh, which they did. The ashes became a dust [of widely held beliefs] which created "boils that break out in sores [sore, embarrassing revelations and reminders] on man and beast throughout all of the land of Egypt." Even the "magicians" where inflicted with them. [My August article on Jack Van Impe's videos illustrates a present-day example of this]. But the Pharaoh remained unconvinced. [Convincing the Pharaoh to relinquish control over the children of Israel so that they may follow God was proving to be almost as difficult as convincing our present-day religious leaders to take God's two most fundamental commandments SERIOUSLY!]
35. So the Lord instructed Moses to warn the Pharaoh, "Let My people go so that they can serve Me, for at this time I will send all my plagues to YOUR VERY HEART, and on your servants and on your people, that you may know that there is none like Me in all the earth [of mankind's perceptions of popular truths]. Now if I had stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. But indeed for this purposes I have rasied you up [made you famous], that I may show My power in you [that's YOU!], and that My name may be declared in all the earth. As yet you exalt yourself [hint, hint] against My people in that you will not let them go." (Exodus 9:13-17)
36. Plague 7: Moses warned the Pharaoh that the next plague would feature firey hail from heaven and advised the him to notify the Egyptians to bring all of their servants and livestock indoors. [Since all of the Egyptians' livestock were supposedly killed off by plague 5, you can see that there's a credibility problem with the "literal" interpretations of this story.] As predicted, the Lord inflicted a firey hail storm on the land of Egypt (except in Goshen). Those who believed and came indoors were saved, but those who remained outside were "killed" by the horrible hail storm [of scathing indictments based on God's two most fundamental commandments--like my comments regarding the conduct of our relgious leaders and news agencies at the beginnig of this article.] And again, the Pharaoh called Moses and promised to let the Israelites go but changed his mind again once the plague was over.
37. In Exodus 10:1, the Lord tells Moses, "Go in to the Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son's son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord." As mentioned before, doesn't it seem strange to you that the Lord would "harden the Pharaoh's heart" and then bring death an destruction of the Pharoah's people because the Pharaoh's "heart was hardened"? Like the accounts of "trickery" in Genesis, logical dilemmas like this are a "sign" from the authors that one should look for a third-heaven interpretation in their stories. [Any time you encounter a "logical dilemma" in dealing with human relation problems, it's a sure sign that you need to re-fromulate those problems in order to determine what is REALLY causing them.]
38. Plague 8: Then the Lord instructed Moses to warn the Pharaoh that if he didn't let the Israelites go, He would bring swams of locusts upon Egypt which would "cover the face of the earth" and eat up whatever was left over from the earlier plagues. By now, the Pharaoh's servants began complaining, "How long shall this man be a snare to us. Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not yet know that Egypt is destroyed?" So the Pharaoh called Moses and Aaron back saying, "Go, serve the Lord your God. But who are the ones that are going?" Moses responeded that all of the Israelites and their livestock would go. The Pharaoh said he would only allow the Israelite men to leave. So the Lord instructed Moses to "stretch our your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts" [terrifying spirits?] And when the locusts came, the terrified Pharoah summoned Moses and Aaron again, acted as if he had repented, and convinced Moses to ask the Lord to remove the locusts. Then a "very stong west wind" arose and blew the locusts into the Red Sea, after which the Pharaoh again decided to "unrepent."
39. It's interesting to note that during the course of the above conversation, it was the Pharaoh who said, "The Lord had better be with you when I let you and your little ones go. Beware, for evil is ahead of you." Rather hipocritical, don't you think? Yet, even today, religious leaders like Pat Robertson, Hal Lindsey, and Jack Van Impe use similar "fear of the unknown" propaganda tactics to encourage their followers to resist efforts to fix (in a Godly manner) human relations problems which they themselves helped to create!
40. Plague 9: So this time, the Lord instructed Moses (without giving the Pharaoh any prior warning) to "Stretch our your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkenss over the land of Egypt, darkenss which may even be felt." When Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, a "thick darkness" [utterly debilitating confusion] came over Egypt for three days (except in Goshen), so that the people could not even see one another. [This three days of darkness is actually prophetic. After the crucifiction, Jesus was relagated to hell for three days.] When the daylight returned, the Pharaoh called Moses and told him that the Israelites could go, but they would have to leave their lifestock behind. Moses reponsded that all the Israelites' livestock would have to go as well, so that they could sacrifice to the Lord, for they did not know what the Lord would require of them when they got there." Then the Pharaoh said, "Get away from me. Take heed to yourself and see my face no more. For in the day you see my face you shall die. And Moses said, "You have spoken well. I will never see your face again."
41. Then God informed Moses that the time had come for Him to take the lives of the firstborn of all in the land of Egypt (except for the Israelites). By now, Moses and the Israelites had gained a considerable reputation (and sympathy) throughout Egpyt, so when the Israelite men and women asked for donations of silver and gold from their (non-Israelite) neighbors in preparation for their journey, they received substantial donations as the Lord had promised. Then the Lord instructed Moses and Aaron to have the Israelites select lambs (of sheep or goats) on the 10th of the month, sacrifice them at twilight on the 14th of the month, and to smear some of the lamb's blood on the door posts of the houses in which they ate the lambs. That night they were to roast their chosen lambs in fire and eat their meat along with with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. If there were any lamb meat left over, it was to be burned in the fire. Exodus 11 then describes what they were to do until the 21st of the month. This was the origin of the Jewish celebrations of the "Feast of Unleavened Bread" and "Passover".
42. Plague 10: As predicted, that night all the firstborn of Egypt died including the firstborn of the livestock [but they were killed aready in plague 5!]. There was a great cry throughout Egypt. So the Pharoah ordered Moses and Aaron to have the Israelites pack up and leave with haste, which they did..
43. This time we can see a moral problem as well as a logical problem with the "literal" interpretration of these plagues. What kind of a God would kill innocent children like that and keep bringing Egyptian "livestock" back from the dead so that He could kill them again? It doesn't make much sense, does it? UNLESS...you read my article "HOW IT ALL BEGAN" on this web site. That article shows how (in the first chapter) the original authors of Genesis learned to recognize "spirits", and how they assigned animal names to some of them to make it easier to track them. That became the basis for the "third-heaven" level of interpretation which was recognized (and scripturally supported) by the rest of the authoris of the Bible. So, since livestock are "beasts which are raised and controlled by men", then in the third-heaven level of interpretation, they are "spirits which are raised and controlled by men." It was ungodly Egyptian "man made spirits" which God (and Moses) succeeded in "killing" for a while by exposing them to a "pestilence" of truth. But like those mythological "vampires", they tended to "come back to life again."
44. So in that case, what is the third-heaven interpretation of the "firstborn of Egypt" in this story? Well, who was the very FIRST "firstorn" in the Bible? Cain! (The "city builder") And did the Lord respect the "fruit" of the "earth" [of mankind's perceptions of popular truths] which Cain was willing to offer Him? No! And what was Abel willing sacrifice to the Lord in order to please Him? The "firstborn" of his "livestock" and the fat thereof. And did the Lord respect that? Yes. So...of all the "spirits" which the Pharaoh, his "magicians", his servants, and his people possessed, which one would they consider to be their most important, their "firstborn"? Their CREDIBILITY! The lambs' blood on the door posts of the Israelites symbolized the sacrifices of Abel--their willingness to follow God. Moses and his Godly "plagues" of truth had so utterly destoryed the credibility of the Pharaoh, the credibility of his servants, the credibility of his "magicians", and the credibility of Egyptian religious teachings in the minds of the Egyptian people, that the Pharaoh could no longer rule his country,--so he HAD let the Israelites go. [And there is no need to believe in anything "supernatural" to see how that happened!]
45. When they left Egypt, the Israelites numbered over 600,000 (not counting the children). Exodus 12:40 says, "Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years." Evidently, that's a total of 30 years from the time that Jacob's sons plundered the village of Sechem until they arrived to settle in Egypt, followed by the 400 years that the Lord told Abraham his descendants "will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them." (Genesis 15:13). The children of Israel had paid DEARLY for the sins of their fathers. Now they were about to make a fresh start!
46. Chapter 12 ends by describing some further rules regarding the observace of the Passover remembrance celebration. On one hand, "Not outsider shall eat of it" (and it will only be eaten indoors). On the other hand, if strangers wish to partake in it, they can do so, provided that all of their males are circumcised. Pershaps most significantly, "One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who sojourns among you." (Exodus 12:49) NOTE: This represents a SIGNIFICANT DEPARTURE from the Satanic assumptions of "tree of knowledge" which had been growing in the Israelites' minds since Satan planted the seed of "racial predjucide" in Abraham's mind in Genesis 14. When the Israelites left Egypt, they not only left their land behind, they also left behind the Satanically inspired attitudes which had led to their enslavement in the first place-or at least that was what Moses was hoping would happen.
47. In Exodus 13:1, God told Moses, "Sanctify to Me all of the firstborn, whatever open the womb among the children of Israel, both of man an animal; it is Mine." Later on in this chapter, after reaffirming the aforementioned rules regarding the Feast of the UnLeavened Bread, Moses explains that the owner of donkey can "redeem" its firstborn by offering a lamb in its place (as Abraham had sacrifieced a lamb in Isaac's place). And likewise, the firstborn of men could be redeemed by offering a lamb in their place. [The Levites had to make a living for themselves and their families too.]
48. Exodus 13:9 says, "It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord's law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt." This sentence lost a lot in translation. Basically, it means to keep God's two most fundamental commandments on your mind (so that it becomes like a habit), speak accordingly, and do good works with your hands accordingly. By this, people will recognize that you are "of God." Moses set out to build a whole new nation based on this precept (as he understood it at that time).
49. However, Moses soon realized that there were still quite a few ungodly concepts shared among the children of Israel that would need to be "purged out" in order for his plan to work. Rather than heading directly (northwest) toward Canaan, the Lord provided the Israelites with a "pillar of smoke" (a.k.a. "pillar of fire" at night) which led the Israelites southwest toward the Red Sea "Lest the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt." [A common experience among those who follow God's two most fundamental commandments is that new revelations or truths tend to "spin around in your mind" day and night until they become a part of you.] The Lord instructed Moses to have the people camp by the edge of the northern part of the Red Sea (a.k.a the "Sea of Reeds").
50. After the Israelites departed, the Lord "hardened the heart" of the Pharaoah again [he regained his credibility]. He amassed all of his army's chariots, [thrice-killed?] horses, and soldiers and set out to persue the the Israelites (they no doubt left an easy trail to follow). When the Israelites saw the Egyptian army approaching, they told Moses, "it would be better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness." Moses assured them that the Lord would deliver them from that threat. So the Lord instructed Moses, "lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midsts of the sea..." Then the pillar of smoke and fire (a.k.a. Angel of God) came around and stood between the Egyptians and the Israelites to protect them that night. Moses lifted his rod and stretched his hand over the waters, and an "east wind" arose which parted the waters leaving dry land for the Israelites to cross on. [Moses "pushed aside" all shared beliefs which violated the first of God's two most fundamental commandments to the left, and all shared beliefs which violated the second of God's two most fundamental commandments to the right--leaving "dry land" so that the Israelites could "start with a clean slate" as they began to seriously follow God's two most fundamental commandments.] The waters stood like a wall on either side. As the Israelites finished crossing, the Egyptian army followed, but their chariots got stuck in the mud. Then the Lord instructed Moses to stretch his hand out over the sea again [to remove the restrictions] thereby engulfing the Egyptians. By morning the entire Egytian army was drowned [lost in confusion and left spiritually dead].
51. Chapter 15 starts out with a "Song of Moses" which gleefully celebrates the demise of the entire Egyptian army. I suspect that this was added to the text of Exodus long after the original story was written, but it does pretty well illustrate the way people typically feel after being freed from a life-threatening situation. Nevertheless, let's accept it as written and see where the dark side of this takes us... Notice that this is the first place in the Bible where the Lord is described as a "man of war".
52. After they traveled into the wilderness of Shur [following God's two most fundamental commandments] for about 3 days, they arrived at a place which they called Marah, because the "waters there were too bitter to drink" [Evidently, they decided that this purging of unglody concepts was too difficult and embarrassing. Besides, they couldn't agree among themselves as to what consituted neighborly conduct]. So [after rejecting the pure teachings of God], the Israelites began to murmer against Moses again saying, "What shall we drink?" [what SHOULD we believe?]. Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord "showed him a tree" [of knowledge based on a concept of statutes and ordinances] which, when he cast it into those "waters" [teachings from God] made them more "sweet". Then God promised, "If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statues, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egytpians. For I am the Lord who heals you." However, by the time they arrived at Elim, there were tweleve "wells of water" [a different set of teachings for each tribe--based on differing statues and ordinaces.] and seventy palm trees [of knowledge?], so they camped there by the waters.
53. It's important to note that this "bitter waters" sub-story adds very little to the story of Moses when it is interpreted literally, but it adds A LOT to the story when it is interpreted allegorically. This is one of many sub-stories in the scriptures which were included specifically for the purpose of supporting the third-heaven (allegorical) level of interpretation.
54. Then, as they proceeded into the "Wilderness of Sin" on their way to Mt. Sinai, the Israelites began to murmer against Moses again, complaining that they had "nothing to eat" (they still had their livestock with them). Keep in mind that the Israelites had no "organized religion" at this point, and there were no Egyptian authorities around to help maintain law and order. So 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, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily." So the Lord provied them with flocks of "quails" to eat in the evening and "bread from heaven" for them to eat during the day. The authors of Exodus hinted that there is a third-heaven interpretation to this story by having the Israelites refer to the "bread from heaven" as "manna", which literally means "What is it?" They WANTED their readers to ask that question and to seek an answer to it, which is excatly what Jesus did.
55. In the 6th chapter of the book of John, after "feeding bread to the five thousand", some people from that crowd followed Jesus to Capernaum where Jesus said to them,
John 6:26-40: "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always." And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
John 6:41-59: The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'?" Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?" Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man [believe and follow the first commandment] and drink His blood [believe and follow the second commandment], you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven--not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever." [spiritually, at least] These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
56. There you have it folks! A third-heaven (allegorical) interpretation of the "manna from heaven" story from the mouth of Jesus Christ! Notice that Jesus differentiates between His manna [continual living guidance from a living God] and the manna which Moses was providing to the children of Israel [written rules which would often become stale as time passed or even "melt" when exposed to the "Light of Day." (Exodus 16:20-21). "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead."
57. Then the Israelites traveled further through the "Winderness of Sin" according to the commandment of the Lord and camped near Rephidim, where they could find no water for the people to drink. So they demanded of Moses, "Give us water that we may drink." To which Moses replied, " Why do you contend with me? Why do you tempt the Lord?" The people continued to murmer against Moses, so Mosed cried out to the Lord, " What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me!". 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. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock of Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." So Moses just that did in the sight of the elders of Israel. He called the name of the place Messah ("temptation") and Meribah ("strife"), because of the contention of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, "Is the Lord among us or not?" (Exodus 17:1-7)
St Paul's third-heaven interpretation of this was: "Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ." (1 Cor 10:1-4)
58. The second half of Exodus Chapter 17 presents another third-heaven sub-story. The first heaven interpretation is that non-Israelite tribal leader called Amalek (presumably of the Amalekites who were descendants of Esau) picked a fight with (or began to plunder) some Israelites in Rephidim. Moses commissioned Joshua ("one whose help is Yahweh" ) to recruit some Israelites to serve as soldiers and to go fight Amalek and his people. Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of a hill where they discovered that when Moses raised his hands (one of which had the "rod of God" in it), the battle went more favorably for the Israelites, and that when he let his hand down, the battle began to turn against the Israelites. When Moses' hands god tired, Aaron and Hur found a rock for Moses to sit on and they each did what the could to help support Moses's hands until sunset. "So Joshua defeated (discomfitted) Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.' And Moses built an alter and called its name The-Lord-Is-My-Banner, for he said, 'Because the Lord has sworn: the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.'"
59. If you interpret this sub-story literally, then "The Lord" would have to be considered a liar! The very existence of this sub-story has preserved the remembrance of Amalek for at least 3 thousand years! [The authors of Exodus were having fun with this one--poking fun at those who recognize only the "literal" interpretations of their stories]. Apparently, Moses was beginning to lose faith in the "supernatural powers" [or spiritual power] of his "rod of God" and "hand of God." In this sub-story, rather than using the "rod of God" to "smite" the Amalekites as he did the Egyptians, Moses decided to rely on human hands to stop them. He used the "rod of God" as a symbol (or "banner") to encourage Joshua's soldiers to fight harder. [He used the "rod of God" as if it were an idol, which he found to be very tiring.] It is also evident at this point that Moses was keeping some kind of journal ("the book") to record what was happening. (written in hyrogliphics?)
60. In Chapter 18, sometime after the Israelites arrived at "the mountain of God", Moses's was visited by his father-in-law Jethro, Moses's wife Zipporah, and their two sons Gershom ("I am a stranger in a foreign land") and Eliezer ("The God of my father was my help and delivered me from the sword of Pharoah"). Moses told Jethro all that had happened, and they rejoiced in the glory of the Lord. Soon Aaron and the elders of Israel joined them in offering a burnt sacrifice to God.
61. The next day, Moses "sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning to evening." When Jethro asked Moses why he as doing this, Moses replied, " Because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statues of God and His laws." (Very few people were literate in those days.) Jethro convinced Moses that he was attempting to do a far greater task than any one person could handle. Instead, he advised, Moses should "Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring their difficulties to God". [i.e. act as an intercessor between God and the Israelites]. He should teach the "statutes and laws" of God to the people to "show them the way they must walk and the works they must do." Moreover, he should "select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thouseands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you." [i.e. Jethro recommended the establishment of a bureaucracy of religiously inspired civil judges.] And Moses made it so.
62. In the third month after leaving Egypt, the Israelites arrived at Mt. Sinai in the "Wilderness of Sinai" where God told Moses, "Thus you shall say to the to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I bore you on eagles' wings [?] and brought you to Myself. 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. And you shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation..." (Exodus 19:4-6) Moses conveyed this message to the elders of Israel who responded, "All that the Lord has spoken we will do."
63. Then the Lord instructed Moses to santify the people, let them wash their clothes, and to assemble them before Mount Sinai on the third day with strict instructions (under penalty of death) not to actually touch the mountain. Moses did as he was instrcuted, but added "Be ready for the thrid day, do not come near your wives". (Exodus 18:15) When the people assembled on the third day, they saw smoke and fire come down upon the montain, and the whole moutain quaked greatly [a volcanic eruption?] When the "blast of a trumpet" sounded louder and louder, God told Moses to climb up the mountain. Then, while on the mountain, God told Moses to go back and warn the people again not to touch the mountain, "lest they break through, gaze at the Lord, and many of them perish. And let the priests who come near the Lord sanctify themselves, lest I break out against them." [Lest the Lord break through the first-heaven interpretations and "expose their nakedness" with second-heaven and third-heaven observations] Moses responded that the people won't come up the mountain, because they were warned not to. Then the Lord said to Moses, "Away! Get down and then come up, you and Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest He break out against them." So Moses went down to the people and spoke with them. (Exodus 19:21-25)
[This seems rather strange, doesn't it? Why would the Creator be so afraid to be seen by anyone but Moses and Aaron?]
64. Chapter 20 begins, "And God spoke all these words saying..." (the "Ten Commandments" as we presently know them). As they witnessed these words coming from the trumpetting thunder and lightening, the people stood afar off and said to Moses, "You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die." [What? That's not the way it was portrayed in the Charlton Heston movie! (The Ten Commandments)] But Moses assured the people, "DO NOT FEAR; for God has come to test you; and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin." So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near to "thick darkness" where God was. (Exodus 20:18-21).
[Why is God hiding in a "thick darkness"?]
65. The rest of Exodus 20 through chapter 23 contain specific laws and guidance which, according to the authors of Exodus, God told Moses to tell the children of Israel (as opposed to telling them directly as He had done with the Ten Commandments]. These additional laws and guidance are often referred to as the "Mosaic Laws" or "Laws of Moses". In September, we'll examine these more specific laws (as well as those in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) in my article "How Jesus Christ viewed Moses and the Levites (Part II)." In the meantime, let's continue with the narrative portions of Exodus.
66. In Chapter 24, when Moses returned to the Israelites and read them all these new laws which he had recorded in "the Book of the Covenant", they responded "All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient." And Moses sprinkled blood on the book and the people and said, "Behold, the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words."
67. Then Moses went up the mountain again, accompanied part of the way by Aaron, Nedab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. They seemed to be walking on a "paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity. [Moses' laws made perfect sense to them] But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and the ate and drank" [The felt like they could "see God" without dying, because they accepted and believed in Moses' laws]. But then God told Moses to go up further and promised to give him tablets of stone for use as a teaching aid. So Moses put Aaron and Hur in charge, took Joshua (a stone cutter) with him, and told the rest of them to wait for his return. A cloud covered the montain, and on the seventh day, the Lord summoned Moses into the cloud. It was forty days and forty nights before the children of Israel saw Moses again.
68. While in that cloud, the Lord gave Moses detailed instructions regarding how offerings should be made for for the sanctuary, how an ark should be made for the stone tablets, how a tabernacle and its furnishngs should be built, how the priests should be dressed, special instructions for Aaron and his sons, etc. Finally, the Lord gave Moses two "tablets of the Testimony; tables of stone, written with the finger of God." (Exodus chapters 25 through 31)
69. Meanwhile, back at the camp, the Israelites grew restless. Without Moses there to lead them, they began returning to their old ways. They asked Aaron to "make us gods to go before us." And Arraon, who had personnally participated in or (at least witnessed) nearly every one of Moses "supernatural signs", somehow AGREED to make an IDOL for them to worship! Aaron collected gold jewelry from the people, melted it down, and fashioned a golden calf for them. Then they said, "This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt." [as if they had bought their way out with money] Then Aaron built an alter for the idol and began planning a really big party (a "feast to the Lord") for the next day.
70. The Lord was not pleased. He told Moses, "Go, Get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them...I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people [unwilling to be guided by God]. Now therefore let Me alone that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make you a great nation." But Moses pleaded, " Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, 'He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from your fierce wrath and relent from this harm to Your people'..." So the Lord relented from the harm that he said he would do to his people [God is always willing to bargain when you appeal to his two most fundamental commandments].
71. On his way down the mountain, Moses met Joshua (who must have been very patient in those days). Joshua said he thought he heard noises of war in the camp, but Moses responded that it was just singing that they were hearing. When Moses saw the idol worhsipping going on in the camp, he became so enraged that the threw down the two stone tablets which God had given him so that they broke at the foot of the mountain [he broke the law]. "Then he took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, ground it to a power, and scattered it on the water, and made the children of Israel drink it." Moses asked asked Aaron, "What did this people do to you that you have brought so great a sin upon them?" Aaron responed, "Do not let the anger of my lord become hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. For they said to me, 'Make us gods that shall go before us; as for Moses...we do not know what has become of him.' And I said to them, 'whoever has any gold, let them break it off.' So they gave it to me, and I cast it into the fire, and this calf came out." [Aaron lied]
72. Exod 32:25-29: Now when Moses saw that the people were unrestrained (for Aaron had not restrained them, to their shame among their enemies), then Moses stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, "Whoever is on the LORD'S side, come to me." And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him. And he said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: [not really, it was thus says Moses] 'Let every man put his sword [of truth] on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.'" So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell [became humbled] that day. Then Moses said, "Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD, that He may bestow on you a blessing this day, for every man has opposed his son and his brother."
73. The second-heaven iterpretation of this is that this incident was REALLY Satanic! It was the first of what became a long Biblically recorded history of deadly persecutions (by human hands) based solely on differences in religious beliefs. What if Moses were an American and he organizaed the slaughter of three thousand fellow Americans, advocating "let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor"? We would put him on trial, convict him, and condemn him to death like we did with Timothy McVeigh! Right? And what happened to the commandment "thou shalt not kill"? The authors of one well known Biblical commentary (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown) interpreted this incident literally and concluded that the "blessing which their father Levi had lost (Genesis 34:25) was restored to the tribe through the nobel conduct of his descendants on this occasion." [Now THAT is sick!]
74. Contrary to what Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown where thinking, the Levites had now done same kind of thing to their OWN people that their namesake "father" had done to the men of Sechem! And it was Aaron's fault (a Levite)! This incident was so shameful that the authors of that Charlton Heston movie chose instead to make it look those people had been "done in" by an earthquake. [Actually, that movie interpretation was not so far off the mark, for the thrid-heaven interpretation.] Why do you suppose the authors of Exodus chose to include this shameful indicent in their story of Moses? Was Moses simply "assuming full responsibility" for a band of Levites who went on a murderous rampage? [Read on]
75. The next day, Moses returned to the Lord and said, "Oh, these people have sinned a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold. Yet now, if You will forgive their sin-but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which you have written." And the Lord responded, "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot out of My book...on the day that I visit for punishment, I will visit punishment on them for their sin." So the Lord plagued the people because of what they did with the calf that Aaron made. (Exodus 32:34)
76. Then the Lord told Moses to take the Israelites to the land of Cannan, "And I will send My Angel before you, and I will drive out the Canaanite and the Amorite and the Hitite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey, for I will not go up in your midsts, lest I consume you on the way, for you are a stiff-necked people." So Moses returned to his people and told them the Lord regarded them as a "stiff-necked people" and that He could come into their midsts in a moment and consume them. The people mourned at these tidings. Then, as Jacob had done following his sons' shamefull actions at Sechem, Moses told the people to strip themselves of all of their ornaments and leave them behind. So all was not right with them as they headed for Canaan.
77. From then on, Moses maintained a special tabernacle tent pitched far outside of the Israelite encampments. The people would rise and worship when they saw Moses go out to the tabernacle, and they could see a pillar of cloud standing at its door. Joshua served as a caretaker for the tabernacle. Inside, according to the authors of Exodus, the Lord would "speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend." (Exodus 33:11) . But further on in Chapter 33, after Moses convinced the Lord to travel with the people (even if not in their midsts), he asked the Lord, "Please, show me your Glory." So in the following paragraph (which may have been added later on to resolve a confusion) the Lord responded:
78. Exod 33:19-23 "I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." And the LORD said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock [God's two most fundamental commandments]. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back [results, fruits]; but My face shall not be seen."
79. So the expression "face to face" was not meant to be taken literally, for God is an eternal Spirit (of truth and love). If you know what to look for, you can see the goodness of his works everywhere, and THAT is the glory of the Lord! Nevertheless, it's important to note that the Lord did not choose to fully reveal Himself to Moses that day [He had something to hide--remember Jesus's parable about the tares in the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30)? THAT's how Jesus viewed this evolving situation! And THAT'S how the authors of Genesis and Exodus INTENDED for this evolving situation be be (ultimately) viewed!
80. Then the Lord instructed Moses to cut two tablets like the ones which he had broken and bring them back up the mountain with him (and come alone). There, at Moses's request, the Lord reaffirmed his covenant with the people of Israel and promised to do some more marvels for them. He warned that the people of Israel should not make covenants with the inhabitants of the land where they were going, "lest they be a snare in your midsts. But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images." [Uh oh, another "tare in the wheat",--that can hardly be considered neighborly conduct.]
81. Then the Lord goes on , "(for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God) lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they play the harlot with their gods and make sacrifice to their gods, and one of them invites you and you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters play the harlot with their gods and make your sons play the harlot with their gods. You shall make no molded gods for yourselves." (Exodus 34:14-17)
82. So Abraham's old predudice against "intermarriage" was beginning to "sprout" again. Were these instructions added because the Levites feared that they would lose followers to the "religious competition" in the new land? Perhaps. Nevertheless, there are very GOOD (Godly) reasons why men should follow the one and only "living God" (a Spirit) rather than making "moulded gods" to follow. Consider how many hundreds of millions of people have been killed over the years by people whose real "god" was "national sovereignty."
83. So Moses remained on the mountain receiving guidance and instructions from the Lord for forty days and forty nights (again), during which time he "ate no bread and drank no water." And the Lord wrote the words of His covenant, theTen Commandments, on the two new tablets of stone.
84. When Moses returned to his people with those two tablets, his face shown so brightly that the people were afraid to get near him. Moses first convinced the elders and then the rest of the people to come and listen to what the Lord had told him on Mount Sinai. After that, Moses put a veil on his face. He would take the veil off when speaking to the Lord in the tabernacle. When he came out, he would speak to the children of Israel whatever he had been commanded. Whenever the people saw Moses's face being to shine, he would put the veil on his face again and go to the tabernacle to talk with the Lord. As I quoted from St. Paul at the beginning of this article,
"Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech--unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 (NKJ)
85. The now quite elderly Moses had given up trying to teach the "Spirit of the Law" directly to his people. Instead he gave them temporal laws derived while he himself followed that Spirit, knowing full well that many of those laws would eventually become obsolete. As the authors of Genesis had done, Moses hid the real "Spirit of the Law" behind a "veil" of first-heaven-level stories and teachings! THIS was the POINT which Moses and the authors of Exodus were hoping would be recognized some day regarding that veil! [And with Jesus Christ they succeeded!]
86. The rest of the chapters in Exodus describe how the Israelites implemented the instructions which the Lord had given Moses regarding the building of an elaborate tabernacle and its furnishings, the ark for the tablets, the priestly robes, etc. Once the new tabernacle was set up, the glory of the Lord would filled it like a cloud. When the cloud lifted, they would pack up and proceed on their journey. Otherwise, they would remain encamped.
87. In 1 Corinthians 13:8-13, St. Paul wrote, "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
88. Literal interpretations of the stories in the Bible are fine for children and easy to portray on movie screens. But as St. Paul said, "when I became a man, I put away childish things." To REALLY understand the Bible, you MUST understand the second-heaven and third-heaven levels of interpretation as well. These hidden but deliberately built-in levels of interpretation are what have given the Bible its "Life"--it's relevance to the concerns of everyone. Without those two levels of interpretation, stories like "Moses and His Supernatural Powers" would have had about as much impact on the course of human events as "The Adventures of Hercules." At yet it is these two levels of interpretation that are most often censored, even in today's world.
89. As you can see, it's not that difficult to read and interpret the Hebrew scriptures in a way that conforms with God's two most fundamental commandments, as Jesus did. You have a choice. 1) You can read and interpret the Bible as it was originally written (inspired by God's two most fundamental commandments) recognizing the originally intended second-heaven and third-heaven levels of interpretations that were carefully woven into those stories, or 2) you can accept Satanically inspired "literal" interpretations such as those preached by Jack Van Impe, Hal Lindsey, Pat Robertson, and others. The first approach will lead to everlasting peace on earth (when it is finally taken seriously); the second approach is likely to lead the world into a "glorious war" in the Middle East that will end up causing the physical deaths of half of the world's population (according to Jack Van Impe).
IT'S YOUR CHOICE!
90. I'll try to get Part II of this article published by the end of September 1997.
(one grain of salt)
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Last modified on Friday, May 03, 2002