Awesome Hands – part 67: “You shall set bounds”


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Awesome Hands – part 67

“You shall set bounds”

October 22, 2014

 

Often times we as humans think of rules as oppressive and offensive to our NATURAL sensibilities.

However, there are many examples in scripture of the Lord settings forth His commands and rules so that we DO NOT receive the result of disobeying or ignoring His rules. All the while, the Lord knows that we will carnally always disobey His commands.

As we are going to see in this study, the Lord is going to set bounds upon the Israelites so that they do not die. As with all Old Testament types and shadows, we are hoping the Lord causes us to glean the admonitions we can gain about how to approach Him “on the mount”.

Exo 19:12  And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:
Exo 19:13  There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.

With this continuation of last week’s study, we are going to build upon the premise that the Lord has brought Israel to this point in order to separate those who with “obey His voice” from those that will not obey His voice.

For every single one of those the Lord is working with, and for all of humanity eventually in His timing, we all DISOBEY His voice by design. We can see this happening “from the beginning” of God working with humanity.

Gen 2:16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
Gen 2:17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Eve had the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life in her before she ever took a bite of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Gen 3:3  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Gen 3:4  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Gen 3:5  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Gen 3:6  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

The reason they and we are all designed this way is because God has determined this is the best way to accomplish His plan for all of us, yet this seems so contrary to what we naturally think would be the best way of going about this “plan”.

In our carnal hearts and minds, we ask why God would create a creature, hold it to standards it cannot meet, then require it die for not meeting those standards, rules and commandments.

Gen 3:7  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

The Lord’s plan is full of mercy, but we do not understand this initially and until much, much later in our spiritual lives with Him. That is because His ways are above our ways and we are “clothed in figs leaves” when we first start off in His process of salvation.

The “mountain of God” protrudes upward from the earth and so do trees, such as the “tree of life” and the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil”, but they are both still connected to the earth.

I mention the fig tree in connection with this story in Exodus 19 because we are being shown the type and shadow of God having us start off in one position/direction and then taking us in another.

We start off in the garden of Eden, but then we are sent out from the garden and given instructions on how to proceed forth on our way. You can think of this in terms of how the Lord changes our lives to walk according to His will instead of by the statutes of the law of sin working in our members.

Likewise, we now see Israel at the mount of Sinai having been brought through all they have been brought through so that the Lord can now instruct them on how to proceed with “life” and living and not death.

This all happens as we see the first sounding of a trumpet that we find in scripture, but first I want to make a few points about the fig tree and the leaves of it which Adam and eve use to cover themselves.

As far as commandments go, “Thou shall not eat of it” sounds a whole lot like “There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through” found in verse 19:13.

In truth, they represent the same thing – what God has commanded.

Jer 8:13  I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.

Joe 1:6  For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.
Joe 1:7  He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.

Hos 9:10  I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.

What is being witnessed to us in Exodus 19 is that the Lord is going to tell Israel the “commands of His voice” (commandments of His Word) knowing that they will disobey them.

This is to setup the separation of the goats from the sheep that I mentioned in the last study.

Just like the Lord tells Adam and Eve NOT to take of the fruit because they will die, the Lord is going to tell Israel what not to do knowing fully that they will disobey Him.

His thoughts are above ours and His ways are past finding out, but we can learn His instruction from these examples.

Rom 11:32  For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Rom 11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 11:34  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

Just like Adam and Eve were the beginning of the work the Lord was doing with humanity and they interacted with His commands via “trees” rising into the heavens, Israel is now dealing with His commands via a “mount” rising into the heavens.

Just as the “way” was kept to the tree of life with a flaming sword, the Lord will bring fire upon the mountain to keep His way from being tainted and this is all about the Lord setting the bounds of what we are to do or not.

Figs and fig trees represent the work which the Lord is starting with us, but which does not bare the fruit of the Spirit in us.

“The sound of a trumpet”

All of these events in our lives are signified with the “sound of a trumpet”.

Exo 19:14  And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
Exo 19:15  And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
Exo 19:16  And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

What we are seeing being lived out by the Israelites at this time is that they are being baptized in a sense, from what they knew to be and do, act and feel, to what they are going to now be risen into.

So, we see a process happening with the number three, but we also see the third day mentioned. The third day should signify to us the day of resurrection and this happens as a trumpet is being blown.

How we have all practically lived this out is that we have turning points in our lives where the Lord has made changes in our lives that we know ONLY HE could have made.

Events happen that cause us to be in distresses to call out to Him or we have something happen in our lives which cause us to once again “look unto the mountain of God” with all its thunderings, lightnings and fire. Like Israel, we initially fear all that the quaking mountain is showing us. For those who comfortably dwell in the fire, we find comfort in knowing where to go to “hear the voice of the Lord”.

These are all things that are brought about due to the process of judgment in our lives. That is why the Lord tells Moses to tell the “house of Jacob” to remember what He did to the Egyptians and remember how He bore them on eagles’ wings.

He wants us to recall how He took us in when we bear no fruit at all.

Exo 19:17  And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
Exo 19:18  And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
Exo 19:19  And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
Exo 19:20  And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

It should be easy to see that “God” is using Moses to typify what Christ’s role is to us as believers. We are welcomed by Moses / Christ to come to the altar of God.

We are a kingdom of priests, a holy nation to God, and He is telling us that He wants us to “hear” the voice of His trumpet in our lives.

The question then is what does the trumpet signify to us? The trumpet signifies that we are going to “meet God”. It signifies that God is preparing for us to “hear His voice”.

This all correlates to us being told WE ARE ABOUT TO DIE, but that does not necessarily mean physical death.

In this story, we are going to see the physical threat of death given to those that would approach the mount and are instructed not to. However, we are being given these types and shadows to tell us what happens to us when we “hear a trumpet”.

How we experience this trumpet in our lives is going to represent resurrection to us, but before one can “rise” forth from resurrection one must “fall” or die.

Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Col 2:11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Col 2:12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Col 2:13  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

In this story of the Israelites, we see that the Lord is transitioning them from one part of their walk with Him to the next more intimate steps of their walk with Him. He is going to change things for them, but the obvious question is why?

I mentioned the fig tree earlier to connect all of this together with Adam and Eve and Jesus Christ.

Jesus was in the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit in the form of the “tree of life”. The “covering” that was mentioned with Adam and Eve is that they covered themselves with fig leaves. Here in Exodus the Lord instructs the people to wash their clothes before approaching Him, but that represents us putting on Christ Jesus.

In order to bring home the types and shadows of the things the Lord is using me to point out in this study, I am going to mention another time that a fig tree is mentioned in order to try and connect these types together for you.

Mar 11:12  And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
Mar 11:13  And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
Mar 11:14  And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

Another accounting of this story gives more details:

Mat 21:18  Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.
Mat 21:19  And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
Mat 21:20  And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
Mat 21:21  Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.
Mat 21:22  And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

What then does this story of the fig tree, fig leaves, the garden of Eden and the mountain of God have to do with one another? The answer is Faith, and there is only one True Faith.

It may seem like an odd conclusion, but the Lord wants us to BELIEVE Him and His Words. He wants us to believe that His commandments are for our good and will bring about good, but He always wants to empower us.

How can we be empowered? Listen to Jesus’ words again as this story is told in Mark:

Mar 11:20  And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.
Mar 11:21  And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.
Mar 11:22  And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
Mar 11:23  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Mar 11:24  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Mar 11:25  And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Mar 11:26  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

What the Lord wants us all to know with this story in Exodus is that He has a plan. He has a plan that includes you DYING to the things of this world.

When we face the choice of eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil we know that eating of its fruits produces DEATH. There is no benefit for the new man from those things which bear no spiritual FRUIT.

That is why Jesus connects Faith with why He cursed the fig tree. The fig tree is you and I when we have no fruit. How can we have fruit at all when the fruit we want is the fruit of the spirit and NOT the fruit which comes and goes seasonally with the tendencies and desires of the flesh?

Mat 21:21  Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

When we realize all of this and that the things of this world are going no place fast, we are to believe and “doubt not” that we can tell the fig tree in our lives to wither up and die. Do you believe this?

The faith we are to have is not faith that the work will be ours but that our Father has told us that if we BELIEVE Him, believe He is Faithful to us, then He will work the “death of death” in our lives.

Look at the correlations between what happens at the mount of Sinai and what happens “at the day of pentacost”, the day when “3000” are added to the church.

Luk 21:25  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
Luk 21:26  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Luk 21:27  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Luk 21:28  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Luk 21:29  And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
Luk 21:30  When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
Luk 21:31  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
Luk 21:32  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

“The kingdom of God is at hand” when you see these things come to pass.

Exo 19:21  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.
Exo 19:22  And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.
Exo 19:23  And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.
Exo 19:24  And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.
Exo 19:25  So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.

As a “kingdom of priests”, a “holy nation,” and a “peculiar people” the Lord tells us to set ourselves aside for Him, to sanctify ourselves for Him.

When we connect the types and shadows together which have been mentioned today, we will see that the Lord is indeed instructing us that when we “keep His commandments”, we are able to approach Him, but when we do not sanctify ourselves and obey His voice, we will perish.

We keep His commandments by “keeping the Faith” in our daily lives.

Rev 14:10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Rev 14:11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
Rev 14:12  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Rev 14:13  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

Oftentimes I find that it is easy to remember that the patience of saints is to keep the commandments of God, but just as equally important is the second part of that admonition and patience…Keeping the FAITH of Jesus!

Jesus went through a lot, saw a lot, and was persecuted by the flesh He was born into and by the flesh others were born into.

The cold hard Truth of our lives is that we will always be pressed upon on all sides by the cares of this world. We will be tempted into sin by the things we see, think and feel.

However our walk is one to come to the mountain of God, and in that walk, it is He alone who sends that FIERY CLOUD, the lightning, thunder and clashing to let us know He is in control.

With those things we are told we can “look up”, look towards the heavens and:

Mar 11:24  Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Mar 11:25  And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Mar 11:26  But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

We are all, all of humanity, in a sinking boat that has no chance of recovery. We are all being caused to do the will of God while in this boat.

What we, as those being separated out by God, need to focus on is that we are being resurrected into newness of life which includes keeping all of this in the forefront of our minds each and every day.

Pray for those who persecute and despitefully use you. Thank the Lord for His mercy in showing and telling you what this life is all about. That is your calling; that is what you have been chosen for, and we must keep the Faith and be filled with it “until the end”.


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