Exodus 33:7 Those Who Sought The LORD

Exodus 33:7 (KJV)
And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.

Once the tabernacle was constructed the Bible says, “that every one which sought the Lord went out” to it.

Obviously there were some who did not seek the Lord. Surely there were some who still sought after the gods they had connived Aaron into making, some who sought the gods of Egypt, some who pretended to seek God but they did it in their own way.

God gets to decide how we properly seek and worship Him. He has determined we do it in the place He ordained and the fashion He organized.

That, today, is a local, New Testament Baptist[1] Church.

[1] I am historically, doctrinally and Scripturally convinced that there is no other New Testament church.

 

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Exodus 33:7 Those Who Sought The LORD

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Exodus 31:2-5 Just Giving Thanks Today

Exodus 31:2-5 (KJV)
See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:
And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.

One of the members of our church is keenly aware that it was the Lord who gave to him the skills he possesses. He makes mention of it frequently and gives thanks for it often. In his case, those skills are remarkably similar to those of Bezaleel.

I want merely to give thanks today for that man and for each of those who labor hard using skills God has gifted to them and who faithfully provide for their families and generously give to God’s house.

 

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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Exodus 31:2-5 Just Giving Thanks Today

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Acts 22:28 Christian Liberty – We Have An Advocate

Acts 22:28 (KJV)
And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.

The Roman culture so valued liberty that to be Roman was synonymous with freedom.

  • Freedom was granted to people of various nationalities
  • Freedom could be inherited and
  • Freedom could be purchased

But liberty did not mean license. Romans were as obligated to law as anyone. The difference was that, should a conflict with the law arise, the free had a means of recourse. There was an equal obligation for the government to treat the free within the restrictions of law.

The Romans are not a great type for the Christian except for respect of this. Christians are free.

  • It is a gift paid for at great price (the blood of Jesus)
  • It is ours by birth, being born again and
  • It is ours no matter our nationality or background

But this liberty is not a license to live outside of law. We are bound to obey them that have the rule over us and we are bound to study the Word of God and obey it as we understand it.

Liberty does not mean license without consequence. God chastens His own as any father does.

What liberty does provide is an advocate. 1 John 2:1-2 (KJV)
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 22:28 Christian Liberty – We Have An Advocate

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Exodus 30:15 The Rich and The Poor

Exodus 30:15 (KJV)
The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.

In our day we believe that the rich owe it to the poor to do more than their fair share. We also tend to believe that the poor deserve to be cared for, if not by the wealthy, then at least through the state treasury.

These ideas have developed through centuries of experiences where the wealthy became more so as the impoverished starved. (During, for instance, the potato famine[1]) the royal and the wealthy developed a culture of obligatory benevolence. It isn’t that they think well of the less fortunate but that they think it an obligation of their status to reach out in some perfunctory way.

The Bible teaches no such thing. God is no respecter of persons. The Bible teaches two concepts concerning the responsibilities of the rich and poor:

Give in proportion to what you receive
The rich are not expected to give more than the poor. Each gives according to their income.

Each is equal in the eyes of God
God does not view the wealthy as any greater than the poor. Every soul is of equal worth. Each has the same access to God.

On top of these two principles is the grace of giving – giving beyond one’s means simply out of devotion.

The wealthy owe the poor nothing but to treat them with respect and to deal with them fairly. The poor deserve nothing but the same opportunities to work and earn as others.

[1] See, for instance, www.missedinhistory.com/blogs/missed-in-history-irish-potato-famine-part-1.htm

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Exodus 30:15 The Rich and The Poor

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Acts 21:4 Spiritual Gift of Discernment

Acts 21:4 (KJV)
And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

It happens frequently that I have some sort of impression about a particular decision either I or someone else is making and I have learned, by more than 30 years in the ministry, that more often than not, that impression is accurate. I believe it to be the spiritual gift of discernment. It carries no Biblical authority and I cannot make people follow my impressions. Most often I find it is more sensible not to even tell people what my impression of their decision is. Still, I have had maybe hundreds of opportunities to observe that these impressions prove true.

I see this passage in a similar light to that of my impressions. It was the Holy Spirit who gave these disciples that sense that danger awaiting Paul in Jerusalem. Out of love for Paul they expressed what the Holy Spirit told them would be the outcome of his trip. But they were not authorities over Paul’s own leading of the Spirit. Paul was responsible to follow the Spirit’s leadership in his life and not theirs.

Albert Barnes expresses the same understanding when he writes:
“…In solving this difficulty, we may remark:
(1) That it is evident that the Holy Spirit is meant, and that Luke means to say that this was spoken by His inspiration. The Holy Spirit was bestowed on Christians at that time in large measures, and many appear to have been under his inspiring guidance.
(2) It was not understood by Paul as a positive command that he should not go up to Jerusalem; for had it been, it would not have been disobeyed. He evidently understood it as expressive of their earnest wish that he should not go, as apprising him of danger, and as a kind expression in regard to his own welfare and safety.”

 

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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 21:4 Spiritual Gift of Discernment

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Acts 20:16 Our Spirit and the Holy Spirit

Acts 20:16 (KJV)
For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.

Acts 20:22 (KJV)
And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there:

We witness in this chapter the marvelous melding of man’s will and God’s:

  • Paul was “bound in the spirit” to go to Jerusalem therefore
  • Paul had determined to do it before Pentecost

I note that “spirit” is lower case. The reference appears to be of his own spirit. He had to go because his spirit seemed forced to go.

But it is difficult to distinguish between the spirit and the Spirit. Paul could have easily been bound in his spirit because he believed himself to be bound by the Holy Spirit to go to Jerusalem. (The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit.[1])

We ought not determine we will do a thing unless we are certain it is the leading of the Holy Spirit. Once led of the Spirit we ought then to be determined to obey regardless of cost or consequence.

[1] Romans 8:16

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 20:16 Our Spirit and the Holy Spirit

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Exodus 25:17 An Appropriate Picture of Jesus

Exodus 25:17 (KJV)
And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.

I was struck with the term mercy seat. It is here called “a mercy seat” as if it was something that Moses would have been already familiar with. Not “the mercy seat” but “a mercy seat.”

The phrase means something like “a propitiatory covering.” Think satisfying. The law, the authority, the experiences both good and bad are all covered by something magnificent and beautiful.

It is a seat. That implies rest. Being satisfied, God’s judgment rests. He is no longer in a position to strike out against enemies but in a seated position to hear from His friends.

The mercy seat is an appropriate picture of Jesus.

  • He satisfied God’s righteousness
  • He covered man’s wickedness and
  • He invites us into God’s presence

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Exodus 25:17 An Appropriate Picture of Jesus

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Acts 19:1-2 Observations and Questions

Acts 19:1-2 (KJV)
And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

I think it was Torrey who speculated that Paul questioned that these disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost because there were only twelve of them. Torrey fell into the same trap as most in that he equated numbers with the presence of God’s power. This idea has, in my opinion, created the environment of worldly compromise we see in churches today.

The more common error springing from this passage is that of the Pentecostals and Charismatics. They see this passage as instructing them to urge people who do not speak in tongues to be filled with the Holy Ghost.

The two errors are similar in that they both look for some outward evidence of an inward work. I believe the lesson of the passage is much more basic. Paul approached a group of professing believers and asked them questions to determine how he might most effectively help them.

The ministry ought to be about taking people from where they are spiritually to somewhere else. Whether it was the heathen philosophers of Athens or these would-be believers in Ephesus, Paul made observations and asked questions so that he might best determine how to preach to them and to help them spiritually.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 19:1-2 Observations and Questions

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Exodus 23:32-33 The DownFall of This Generation’s Believers

Exodus 23:32-33 (KJV)
Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.
They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.

God makes a promise in this passage we ought to pay close attention to. The promise is that if we compromise with the worldview of the lost, it will be a snare to us.

  • It’s not a threat
  • It’s not a danger
  • It’s not even a real potential

It is a promise. If we entertain the ideas of the unsaved, spiritual or otherwise, it will trap us. We will sin against God (or else the compromise itself is the sin) and do us in.

The downfall of this generation of believers has been our friendship with the world.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Exodus 23:32-33 The DownFall of This Generation’s Believers

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Acts 18:14-17 No Business In Church Business

Acts 18:14-17 (KJV)
And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you:
But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such matters.
And he drave them from the judgment seat.
Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things.

Gallio demonstrated both a strength and a weakness in his handling of this conflict.

He was absolutely correct that his authority did not extend into things that had to do with the Word of God and a believer’s understanding and practice of it. Some much evil has been committed because of this very thing. Government has no business in church business.

On the other hand, Gallio had every reason to intervene in the beating of Sosthenes. No religious entity has authority to punish an individual or to coerce them in spiritual matters. Faith is a matter of the heart and the spirit. Religion has authority to persuade through ideas – the preaching of truth as they understand it. It has no authority over the body.

Government ought not judge over doctrine and practice but must judge over the rights and protections of individuals.

 

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3900 earlier Daily Visits with God visit http://bit.ly/18XDiAs. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 18:14-17 No Business In Church Business

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