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For accessing rich treasures in His Word and for edification
 
 
MESSAGE FOR THE FORTNIGHT
 





SIMILARITIES ALL THE WAY!!!

All these things happened to them as examples—as object lessons to us—to warn us against doing the same things; they were written down so that we could read about them and learn from them in these last days as the world nears its end- I Cor 10:11 (TLB)

At the very outset (of this message) I would like to state that it may surprise some (not very familiar with the chronological order of NT Books) that when Apostle Paul penned those immortal words “All Scripture is God-inspired…” (2 Tim 3:16), New Testament section of the Bible in its present form was not yet fully compiled. For instance “Books” such as John’s Gospel or for that matter the Book of Revelation had not yet been written. So what exactly did Apostle Paul have mostly in mind when he wrote those epochal (figuratively speaking) words…obviously the Jewish Scriptures (Genesis to 2 Chronicles… Note: The last book of Jewish Scriptures is not Malachi which incidentally is the last Book of Second section of Jewish Bible comprising 3 sections. For more on Jewish classification of Scriptures, one may read my article titled Sage Speak available at the following URL… http://www.jandsmministries.com/Sage_speak.asp)!!!

Whilst meditating on the afore-referred Scripture which is all about “learning from the History of the Nation of Israel”, it would serve us well of the present age to remember that the unchanging Lord we are serving is the same Lord of OT Scriptures who still blesses the obedient but sets Himself up against the proud (James 4:6 b/ 1 Peter 3:12-TLB).

While our Heavenly Father is the same unchanging One all throughout the Scriptures, do we the see similarities between the people of the Old Covenant (read the Sinai Covenant) and the ones’ of the New one especially in the matter of Lord’s dealings with them? Yes, would be an affirmative answer!!!

In this message of sub-headings beginning with the alphabet “D” (alliteration to make the message delightful has a Scriptural mandate in Eccl 12:10 wherein we would see the Preacher using “words of delight” whilst preaching!) Yours Truly endeavours to bring similarities between the “Church of the bygone Covenant” (Acts 7:38 KJV) and the Church of the existing Covenant beginning with the “principal actors’ ” of the respective covenants.

Deliverers’…



Moses and Jesus – Deu 18:18-19


Both Moses and Jesus have been used by the Almighty as “Deliverers’”. If Moses was used by the Almighty to deliver the people of Israel from the Egyptian slavery (Pharoah was an agent of the Devil) to be His own “property” (Exo 19:3-6), then our to Heavenly Father used our Saviour deliver us from the bondage to the World of Satan (represented by sin and darkness) to be His exclusive “property” too (1 Peter 2:9).

If functionally both the “main initiators” of the 2 Covenants were similar, then one would observe stark similarities with respect to other aspects of their lives too (note the words of Moses of God raising a “similar” prophet like him- Deu 18:18-20)…

S.no
Subject
Moses
Messiah
1. Mother Adopted mother of Moses with whom Moses would spend much of his childhood and youth time too was a virgin when she rescued Moses (Exo 2:1-10). Mary the mother of Jesus was a virgin at the time of Jesus’ birth (Luke 1:26-45)
2. Mortal danger As a child, faced mortal danger from Egyptian King Pharoah but was miraculously saved by the Almighty (Exo 2:1-10) As a child, faced mortal danger from the Idumean King Herod but was miraculously saved by the Heavenly Father (Matt 2:1-21)
3. Marriage Married a non-Jewish lady (Exo 2:15-21) Church the bride of Christ is also non-Jewish (Gal 3:28/ Col 3:11)
4. Miracles Performed awesome miracles Performed awesome miracles
5. Mount of transfiguration At Mount Sinai had the transfiguration experience which created fear amongst his close associates like Aaron (Exo 34:29-30) At Mount Tabor, had the transfiguration experience which created fear amongst his close associates like Peter, James and John (Mark 9:2-6)
6. Mediator Always played the fervent intercessor (Exo 32:30-32) Perpetually plays the role of passionate intercessor (John 2:1)
7. Methodology Covenant was given to first Moses in written form and then onto the Jews (Exo 24:4/ Exo 31:18/ Exo 34:1) Covenant before being “written” in the hearts of Christians as per the prophecy (Jer 31:33) was first “written down” in the heart of the Messiah (Psa 40:6-8)!!!
8. Meekness Was the meekest on Planet Earth during his time. The Hebrew word for meekness used in Numbers 12:3 is Anav which means meekness borne not out of weakness but actually a condition of someone constantly bowed down under constant pressure…like a branch weighed down by fruit. The huge burden of leadership led to this fruitful spiritual condition in Moses. Let’s remember the fact he was more “weighed down” than anyone else whilst reading Numbers 12:3 lest anyone of us misconstrue that Moses was “proud” of his humility as he himself wrote that Scripture portion.

Without retaliation, would intercede for the very ones’ who would look down upon him or persecute him. (Numbers 12:1-13/ Numbers 14:1-19)
Was the meekest on Planet Earth in His generation. The Greek word for Praus used in Matt 11:29 also means “bowed down fruitful condition” wrought by heavy responsibilities. The constant realisation of responsibility of becoming “sin itself” for Mankind would weigh heavily on the Saviour’s shoulders from Eternity onwards (Rev 13:8/ John 12:27)!!!

Without retaliation, would intercede for the very ones’ who would look down upon him or persecute him. (Matt 11:29/ Luke 23:34)
9. Mass tragedy (Deu 18:18-20) Those who wouldn’t listen to Moses’ words on occupying Canaan died en masse in the Wilderness journey barring two men (Numbers 13-14/ Numbers 26:64-65) Those Jews who wouldn’t accept the words of Christ that He is the Saviour (John 14:6) perished en masse in the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem (Acts 3:22-23). Those Christians who wouldn’t walk as per the Holy instructions of Christ too would perish (1 Cor 11:30).
10. Mount of Death Atop Mount Nebo - Deu 34:1-5 Atop Mount Calvary - Matt 27:33-35
11. Massacre Used by the Almighty to bury the army of the first World super power in the Red Sea-the army of Egypt (Exo 14:26-28) Would be used by the Almighty to slaughter the army of the final super power at Armageddon…army of Anti-Christ (Rev 19:11-21)

Note: The 7 heads of the Red Dragon –Satan-depict 7 World powers* which are inimical to God’s people- Rev 12:3

*Egypt, Assyrians, Babylonians, Medo-Persians, Greeks, Romans and the Revived Roman Empire (Anti-Christ)


Of course, so many similarities aside, one ought not to forget the fact that Messiah the Son of God (never failing even once in the obedience front- Heb 4:15) is greater than the great Servant of God (Moses- Heb 3:3-5 - who would falter once in the face of severe provocation- Numbers 20:2-13)!!!

Depth…



The depth of relationship of Almighty God had with the Jews in the Old dispensation and we Christians have with Christ in the New One can best be envisaged by pondering on the following Scriptures of OT and NT Respectively…

“…for he who harms you sticks his finger in Jehovah’s eye!”- Zech 2:8

“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”- Acts 9:4

Anyone fiddling with God’s covenanted people would be fiddling with the Almighty Himself (Deu 32:10/ Psa 17:8/ Esther 6:13). The Lord who is the head of the “body of believers’” (Col 1:18) would feel both the joys and pain brought forth upon His “body” by ones’ outside that “body”.

Destination…



Deu 11:11-12                        John 7:37-38


The people of Israel who would be settled in the “Promised Land” (virtually a foretaste of Heaven- Deu 11:11-12) would in due time through their anointed Servants of God come to know that there is a better “permanent Heavenly home” awaiting the righteous (Psalm 23:6/ Eccl 12:7, 14/ Daniel 12:2) and that their physical “Promised Land” is not be viewed as the “be all and end all” of their “spiritual walk with God”. The Blessed land of “milk and honey” for the Jews would in a way only foreshadow the glorious Heavenly Home.

By the time of Jesus’ birth, there was a zealous religious sect namely the Pharisees who would subscribe to the “Doctrine of After-line” their key supportive Scriptural declaration (repetitive one at that) for their spiritual ideological stand (besides other Scripture portions mentioned above) being “gathered unto their ancestors” (Genesis 25:8/ Genesis 35:29/ Judges 2:10). Though by and large, many of this ilk had become hypocritical during Jesus’ Ministry, several including one gent named Saul (sic) would become Christians’ later on (Acts 6:7, Acts 15:5, Acts 23:6).

Ditto with the Christians! Though we may not physically see the future Heavenly home, the “mini-heaven” the good Lord has placed in our hearts (the perpetual peace and joy of the Holy Spirit- Romans 14:7, Eph 1:13-14, John 7:37-38) supplying the needed strength to overcome trials (1 Peter 1:6-8) foreshadows the “real heaven” we would enjoy one day (Romans 8:18-25).

Difficulties @ next door…



A careful scrutiny of the first Epistle of Apostle Peter would reveal that our Heavenly Father in His Sovereign wisdom permits “prickly neighbourhood” of 5 categories in the lives Christians. Besetting difficulties in the form of unsaved neighbours, unsaved Government, unsaved boss, unsaved family members and unsaved former friends always surround us (1 Peter 2:12-23/ 1 Peter 3:1-5/ 1 Peter 4:4-TLB) in order we live a greater God-dependent life drawing from His infinite spiritual strength, even whilst being transformed into Christ-like image (Romans 5:3-4/ James 1:2-3, 2 Cor 3:18). Enduring those “thorny” conditions is what cross-bearing (being at the receiving end of injustice/lies) all about. Perceiving the utility of these conditions, Sadhu Sundar Singh wisely observed “Cross bears those who bear the Cross”.

And our OT counterparts? Well, they could “count” on their difficult neighbours to make them (Philistines, surviving Canaanites…and hmmmm…even their hostile“cousins” too across River Jordan) live a more God-dependent life (Judges 2:21-23)!!! While on the paramount subject of “God-dependence” let it be said that is and will always be the original purpose of God-man relationship. Adam was created for it but he “declared” his independence and paid a heavy price (Genesis 3).

At this point, it would serve us well to distinguish the pain wrought by tribulation (suffering being righteous) and retribution (read punishment-suffering being a sinner). While both kinds’ of pain have a common refining effect (Mal 3:3), we ought to prefer only the one associated with tribulation, for cross-bearing is indispensable in a Christian’s life (Rom 5:3-4).

Discipline…



Any Christian worth his honesty salt would testify that whenever he went astray the concerned Heavenly Father would discipline him by using his “hostile” immediate next door “neighbors” (any 1 of the 5 categories mentioned above). In retrospect, a Christian would always thank the Lord for the “benefits of chastening” (Heb 12:5-11)!!!

What about our Jewish counterparts? Was anything different? No way!!!The Book of Judges bears witness to the fact as to how the good Lord would use the “antagonistic neigbours” umpteen times to put the errant Jews back on the “right track” (Judges 2:11-18/ Psa 119:71-72 TLB).

It would also serve us well to note at this juncture that there has always been escalating order in punishments reserved for the Jews and Christians. Jews despite being chastened by the good Lord (by using the adverse neighbours) would not lose out on their Promised Land. The highest punishment (again aimed at their spiritual benefit) of losing the “Promised Land” itself would come eventually only on they exhibiting stubbornness to remain in sin. Ditto with the Christians! The eventual punishment of losing out on the “joyous presence of the Holy Spirit” is reserved only for those who become insensitive to “smaller punishments”.

Desert…



The Jewish “Church” (Acts 7:38) when it kept plunging headlong into sin (despite warnings from diligent Prophets), was finally handed over to the very hands it was liberated from…Satanic agents’ (liberated from World super power Egypt). Continual disobedience resulted in these painful consequences…

    a) Israel (comprising 10 ten tribes) being handed over into the hands of Super power Assyrians (Satanic agent- Rev 13:1) in 722 BC - 2 Kings 17:4-7 -and then

    b) Judah comprising 2 tribes being handed over into the hands of World ruler…the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (at least initially a Satanic agent till his great reformation subsequently- Dan 4) in 586 BC (2 Chro 36:12-15)


to be taken “out of the Promised Land”. This is allegorically compared to going to a “Desert” so that value of blessings enjoyed whilst living in the fertile Promised Land (in the presence of the Lord) in their absence is properly appreciated, repentance wrought, forgiveness sought and “the Promised Land” reclaimed with rekindled love for the Lord (Hosea 2:14-15).

When a Christian too plunges headlong into sin, having lost his “first-love” for the Lord, the final terrible punishment (albeit administered with an aim directed at his eventual spiritual recovery - Mal 3:3) as he becomes insensitive to “smaller punishments” would well be around the corner…of being handed over into the very hands (of Satan) from which he was rescued (1 Cor 5:5/ 1 Tim 1:18-20). Without an ounce of the Holy Spirit (living waters would stop gushing in his spirit), it would be a horrific, excruciating experience of spiritual agony with the “leanness of the soul” (Psa 106:15) adding to the virtual “hell-like” spiritual condition. It is in these exacerbating conditions on realising the value of “virtual Heaven on Earth” (wrought by the presence of the Holy Spirit) that his love for the Lord would be rekindled and his life would turn the corner for good (2 Cor 2:6-8). Having gone through it once in my life, ideally I wouldn’t want even my worst enemies to go through the same though in retrospect it needs to be admitted that a Christian at the end of it all emerges out of it as a more “well-rounded” one…of being more empathetic to other Christians going through the Desert experience!!!

Draw…



Having compared ourselves to our OT counterparts all along…how about now hitting a related loop line of “methodology” to win our Jewish “friends” to the Lord. In a way do not we owe our salvation to them (John 4:22-23? The best way to say “thanks” would be to lead them to “Messiah-oriented” Salvation!!!

We can draw them to Christ by making them “plain jealous” in an exercise borne out of love and respect!!! Seems confusing? Let me explain. In our interactions let them notice the “X” factor (the perpetual joy and peace of the indwelling Holy Spirit) which distinguishes us from them. Is it not said in the Scriptures too that our Heavenly Father also uses the “jealousy” factor to draw them to their Messiah (Rom 11:11)? Whilst for them “Kingdom of God” is an “expectation” (which the Messiah would usher in one day), we need to tell them prayerfully (that the Holy Spirit would convict them) with love both through our lip and life that for us it is already an “experience” courtesy the same Messiah who has placed His Spirit within us (Rom 14:17)!!!

Delight…



In conclusion, all I would like to say Dear Friends is let’s always delight in the Lord (Psa 37:4) even while preserving with perseverance our right relationship with the One who loves us the most (Phil 2:12-13). Nothing quite like being the Jews during King David reign which besides constituting the “Golden age” of Jewish spiritual history was also pointer of the coming Millennial age when during David’s son (Messiah) rule on Planet Earth “God’s will would be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” for most of the time. The Christian equivalent being the “ideal settings” that could be seen in the Early Jerusalem Church (Acts 2:37 - Acts 5) or the one in Antioch (Acts 11:19-30/ Acts 13:1-3/ Acts 14:24-27/ Acts 15:22-35) which too were a pointer to the near-perfect conditions which would prevail during the Millennial age (Rev 20:1-6)!!! Even while being in 2019, let’s endeavour to be in those conditions “in spirit”. Nothing quite like, spiritual travel “back in time”!!!



Yours in His service,


(Suresh Manoharan)