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Living by Faith (Vol 47) - Moses' Faith #3: Separation

Sunday English Service - 21 JUL 19

Transcript

Hebrews chapter 11 verse 24 to 26. By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. We've been teaching about the life of faith from Hebrews chapter 11. We spent a lot of time on Abraham, because there are many verses that are about Abraham here from verse 8 to 19. And then we talked about Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and so on. Then, we started talking about Moses a couple of weeks ago, starting from verse 23 all the way to 29. Another big chunk of space here in this chapter is devoted to the life of Moses and the lessons of faith that is taught from the life of Moses.

Moses is a very huge personality figure for the Jewish people. Before we get into this, today, I want you to see a couple of passages of scripture concerning Moses, so that we’ll understand what we're talking about here. We're going to talk about Moses and learn faith from him. You need to understand what kind of a person he is, and how important he is in the minds of these Hebrew people. The epistle that I just read to you is called Hebrews because it is written to Christians who were converts from Judaism. They were Hebrew Christians converted to Christianity. Therefore, it meant a lot for them to hear about Abraham and Moses and these great people.

And so, let's turn to Deuteronomy chapter 34. The last chapter of Deuteronomy ends with these words, verse 10 to 12. But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel. It is talking about the greatness of Moses really. It is saying, that if you consider all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt before Pharaoh and his people, and if you consider all the mighty power, and the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel, in splitting the Red Sea and doing so many miracles in the wilderness, and so on, when you consider what was done in Egypt to Pharaoh and his people, when you consider all that was done in the wilderness with the people of Israel, you will see that there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses whom the Lord knew face to face.

He's a very special prophet indeed. He’s greater of the greatest of all men, the Jewish people thought very highly of him. Some even thought that he’s greater than angels of God. He was given such a supreme place in their minds. When you talk about Moses, they revered his very name, and the person. He was the greatest of men in their mind. He was Israel's greatest prophet. I want to read to you just one more passage from Numbers chapter 12, where there is a passage about what a special prophet he has been before God. There is none like him. The situation here is that Miriam and Aaron, his brother and his sister, spoke against Moses, because Moses was married to an Ethiopian woman. I guess back in those days also, there was a lot of racism, based on color, and so on. So, he’s married a black woman. So, there was a lot of looking down upon Moses because he has married a woman outside of their circles and married an Ethiopian. So, they began to speak ill of him, saying, “Does God speak only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us also?” and so on. Kind of putting him down.

And so, God addresses them in verse 6. Then He said, “Hear now My words: if there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.” It says, “If there's a prophet among you, I usually speak through a vision or a dream.” “Not so with My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My house. I speak with him face to face.” “Here is a special prophet,” God says, “This is that special guy. I don't treat him like other prophets that I speak to them in dreams and visions, I speak to him face to face.” “Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant?” You know, they spoke ill of him because he’d married a black woman, because they thought the black color meant that he should be looked down upon. So, God said, “All right, you like white so much, right? So, let Me make you white all over.” So, she became completely white. It was a sickness. And some people I guess, learn lessons only then. God had to deal with racism even back there, and put that in place.

So, God reveals at that time how great Moses is, that he's a very special person in His sight, that God speaks to him face to face. He does not speak to him dark sayings. He speaks to him very plainly and very clearly. Here is a man that God loves, God respects, and He speaks to him face to face. No wonder the Hebrew people had such respect for Moses. They consider him the greatest prophet. He was the greatest lawgiver. Remember, he went up to the Mount Sinai and came back with tablets of stone with handwritten commandments of God. God had written it in tablets of stone and given it to him, and he brought it back to the people, The Ten Commandments. That makes him a very huge person in the eyes of the people. This guy went and was in the presence of God. His face was shining so much that people could not look upon him. Such was the presence of God upon him. He was the greatest historian as far as they were concerned. He wrote the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch, as we call it in the Bible, from Genesis to Deuteronomy. Moses is claimed to be the author of the first five books of the Bible.

He was considered the greatest saint because the Bible says in Numbers chapter 12 and verse 3, that passage that I just read, just a few verses before that, you were told that the man Moses was very humble, more than all the men who are on the face of the earth. He was a humble man, a great saint of God. He was a great deliverer. His deliverance is a very big subject in the Old Testament, and in the New Testament. A lot of things are revealed there through his delivery work, his liberating work, his deliverance of Israel from Egypt from the slavery was a huge act of faith. From beginning to end, there's a lot to be learned, you can see faith everywhere. That is why, when we looked at the life of Moses, it began with the faith of the parents and how faith came to him through them, and so on.

So, from the beginning of his birth all the way to the end, it was faith, and you see faith, doing so many things. Faith really helping him to live an extraordinary life. Faith helping him to live a life of faithfulness to God, living a victorious life, and faith bringing about so many miracles and great deeds which were like terror in those days. So, you see the anatomy of faith, really, part by part, every little thing about faith there in the story of the deliverance of the people of Israel from the Egyptian bondage. It's such a big theme there. And we will be looking at some of those things.

And so, the author of the book of Hebrews writing to the Hebrew Christians, takes Moses as an example of faith and begins to talk about Moses’ faith. Now, he talks about it in five sections. When we talked about Abraham, we said Abraham's faith is presented in four stages. Here, it's in five sections. The first section has to do with Moses’ parents’ faith verse 23, that they saw that he was a beautiful child. And I showed you what beautiful meant. It's not just physical beauty, they saw God's purpose, God's great call upon the child's life. There was something special about that child. The word beautiful is not like what we think, it was just good to look at. It’s much more than that. They saw greatness. They saw destiny in his face, and decided to hide him from the king's men, because they thought God had a purpose for him, and so on. So, there you see the faith of the parents of Moses.

The second section has to do with Moses’ identification with the people of God. Identification. When the time came, that he should take sides between Pharaoh's household and the people of God, he makes a very proper decision, amazing decision. He refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter and makes the decision to join with the people of God and to be identified with the people of God. That is the second section, and we talked about it some last week. This week, we're going to talk about the third section, which is “a separated life”. This is something that you might have heard people talk in Christian churches about the separated life. That we Christians ought to live a separated life.

When I was growing up, I don't know if I understood it correctly, I was always very confused about it. So, I want to really preach about this today, the separated life, how a Christian must be separated from the world. He must not be like the world; he must be totally different from the world. And we'll talk about that. And verse 24, 25, 26 is about the separated life of a believer. Faith enables you to live a separated life. Then verse 28 talks about the salvation. Moses’ salvation, where he has the people observe the Passover by killing the Passover lamb and shedding its blood and smearing it on the doorpost and eating the flesh, sitting inside the house on that night in which God delivered them from the bondage of Egypt. The lamb and the blood that was shed, and all of that, spoke about Christ and His work on the cross of Calvary. Christ is our Passover - Paul says in the New Testament. So, that speaks about salvation. And we'll talk about that. And fifth section is about Moses’ deliverance, which is verse 29. Talks about how they cross the Red Sea as if it was dry land. And when the Egyptians attempted to do it, they were drowned in the same sea. Amazing how they just crossed it, just like they were crossing through a dry land. It's all great accomplishments by faith.

So, we spoke about the first two sections, now I want to talk about the separated life.

Now, all of us Christians, the scriptures demand that we forsake the world and separate ourselves from the world, not physically, but morally. You need to understand separation and what it really means. We cannot go out of this world; we cannot completely have nothing to do with this world. We live in this world, we interact with the people of the world, we have to live to a large extent in this world, work and manage in this world, but yet be different. That's what it means. It doesn't mean that we have nothing to do with this world, and nothing to do with the people of this world and so on. How are we going to win them? How are we going to tell them about the love of Jesus? How are we going to share with them about the gospel if we do like that? Separation does not mean that we establish a colony and set ourselves up and build ourselves houses and lock the gates so that we can be holy.

Bible does not talk about such separation, believe me, in America, they did such things. Some people got together and built communities and colonies because they said the world was a very bad world. “So, let's isolate ourselves from the world. We cannot be part of the world.” So, they built huge communities. I've been there, seen them, hundreds of acres. There you can buy thousand acres and so on. And they'll build communities and allow people to build houses. They go to work and come back but everything has to be done with authorization from the leader in that group, in that community, and so on. If you bought a car, you got to get his permission, and things like that. It was a community, very closed community with least bit of interaction with the world because they saw danger in interacting with the world. But the Bible does not speak about that kind of separation. The Bible does not say that God has called us to be hermits. Bible does not say that He wants us to go to a convent or a monastery and live there secluded lives, then only we can live a spiritual life and so on.

See, all these things, I think the devil has twisted and turned the truth of God's word, a wonderful truth and has made it really meaningless by diverting us from really how to separate ourselves from the world. How do we separate ourselves from the world? How do we live differently than the world? It is not by isolating ourselves and going far away from the world. It is by casting away everything that takes the place of God in our lives. What is the world about? When you look at the world, one of the things that identifies the world is that they have many idols. I'm not talking about idol worship as such; that is there. But the thing is, a lot of people have a lot of idols. Even those who do not worship idols, they have a lot of idols. When I say idols, the Bible talks about idols as anything that takes the place of God. So, a lot of people allow other things to take the place of God and that is the world. A Christian differentiates himself by never allowing other things to take the place of God. God always has the number one place in his life. And anybody and everybody that interacts with him can see that God is number one in that person's life. Whatever that takes to show that this person is showing that. That's the way he lives. God is number one in his life.

Another thing that identifies the world is sinful pleasures. They’re like the sinful type of partying and sinful type of enjoyment of life. The Bible is not against the enjoyment of life. The Bible wants us to laugh and sing and celebrate and so on. But the Bible is against sinful pleasures. The thing that identifies the world is the sinful pleasures into which they’re into much. They're always looking for a time to party. Everybody looks like they don't know anything about it. I remember back in those days, when we partied, we planned. Boy, it was like organizing a service. We got in touch with one another and we talked about what we're going to each contribute and bring and we came with such enthusiasm. We made the music ready, we made everything ready and everything was in place. It was perfectly organized because we wanted to have fun time. All the eating and drinking and everything was part of it because sinful pleasure is something that we were attracted to in the world. In the world, that was very important that you don't waste even one weekend. Make use of the opportunity. Don't waste any weekend. You party till you hurt next morning. That's the way we partied. I don't know about now. I'm sure it's like that now also. That's the world.

But it's all about sinful pleasures, where you lose control of yourself, you lose your judgment and discernment, and you live in a riotous way and do things that you ought not to be doing. That is what the world is all about. It's sinful pleasures they’re into. But a Christian separates himself from sinful pleasures. He has what is called legitimate pleasures, the good things he enjoys but not sinful things. The world is identified by evil ways in which they live. They follow evil methods, evil ways, and the Christian shuns evil ways. He does not want to follow evil ways, do evil things. Anything that displeases God, the Christian shuns it and walks away from it. The world sets its affections on things of this earth. They consider many things in this world, important and big.

That is why I read the passage last week from Paul, which teaches this truth wonderfully in chapter 3 of Philippians where he says, “I thought that certain things were very important in my life. What tribe I'm from, that I'm a Hebrew, that I'm of the tribe of Benjamin, that I was a Pharisee, that I was impeccable in my character. And I took pride in that.” He's a good man, he's not partying. He's a religious man, but in his own way, he is wrong. He thought these things were so important. Of his nationality, his race, and all of those things were so important to him. The fact that he was a Pharisee and all of that was so important to him. Then when he became a Christian, he turned around completely. He says, “All these things I count as loss, as dung, as nothing, as garbage,” he says. “All these things that I thought were so great and so important, I consider them as nothing today.” Complete turnaround because he has now become a Christian.

James chapter 4. At least that one verse we need to look at, there are many other verses. But I got a lot of things to say so I'm not going to go to so many verses, but this one verse, I think, speaks for all of them. James chapter 4 verse 4. Adulterers and adulteresses! James says. Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? He’s talking about people that claim to be Christians that have friendship with the world, that love the things of the world. What things of the world? I just mentioned it. The things the world is what? Always putting many other things in the place of God, always enjoying sinful pleasures, always walking in evil ways, setting your affections on the things of the earth and consider them as very big and consider the things of God as not important. So, here, he says, “I see so many people like that,” he says. “Friendship with the world is enmity with God.” If you're living like that, he says that's friendship with the world. That you love the world more than you love God. You're more friendly with the world and its approach and its values and its way of doing things than with the things of God.

Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself as an enemy of God. So, somewhere the line has to be drawn. This is talking about a moral separation, not a physical separation, a moral separation. This is talking about very fine separation, where you live with those people, work with those people, everyday meet those people, even be friendly with those people, and be nice to those people, even serve those people in so many ways, in so many capacities, but yet be different. Yet you do not follow their ways, you do not take on their values, you do not behave like them, that you do not live like them. That is what it's talking about. It's not a simple difference in clothes.

Somebody said from 1945 I’ve been wearing white. So what? That is not the separation that the Bible is talking about. Whether you wear white or yellow or blue or what, all colors are God made. You can wear whatever. If you like white you wear white, no problem. But the thing is, that has nothing to do with separation. But the kind of separation that I was taught to think about was that kind of separation. “Show your separation by white clothes.” But that is not what the Bible is talking about. Bible is talking about much finer thing, it is talking about exercising your judgment and discernment and living in such a way in your day-to-day life, in your interaction with the people, in your life here on this earth, in such a way that glorifies God, and shows that you are not part of this world. That you’re not like this world.

It’s a very real separation, it’s not just clothes or haircut, and so on. It is a real show of who you are. That you are a child of God. You're not part of this world, that you don't have the spirit of this world, that you don't have the tendencies and the ways and the philosophies. You don't go along with those things. But yet you are effective, successful, useful person in the society. They cannot do without you because you are important. You're contributing well to the society, but you are not like the world. All right.

And Moses’ life exemplifies this kind of separated life beautifully. And the most important thing is, we always think about faith as something that does great things. It does great things, but the great things include successful Christian living also, not just miracles of splitting the Red Sea or something like that, that will come too later on, that also is there but the amazing way in which a Christian can live because he’s got faith. Faith is a power that enables us to live a superior kind of life, a kind of life that is otherwise impossible to live. So, a person who’s a separated Christian, living a separated life, in his heart he renounces the things of the world, the things that are ungodly, the things that are not pleasing to God that are part of this world, that everybody loves and seems to think they’re so important, and gives God His true place in his life.

Now, here in showing that, this author deals with three things. Last week, remember, we talked about verse 24, how Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, but identified himself with the people of God. And I took you to Jesus' teaching, where Jesus said, “If anyone wants to follow Me, let him take up his cross and come and follow Me.” And along with that, He says a few things. And we saw how Jesus dealt with three things in that wonderful passage about taking up the cross and following. He talked about what it means to take up the cross and follow. He dealt with three important issues. Life, wealth, and honor. Three things He dealt with. When you look at a person and see how he thinks about life, and what his outlook on life is, and how he lives his life, you see whether he's taken up the cross or not, and following Christ or not. When you see a person and see how he deals with wealth, and what he thinks about wealth, and how he uses his wealth, how he earns his wealth, and uses his wealth, and how he glorifies God, then you see there, whether he has taken up his cross and follows Christ or not. When you see a person dealing with position of honor in this life, and using that position in the right way, or when you see a person using it in the wrong way, you see whether the person has taken up the cross and following Christ or not.

So, taking up the cross and following Christ is having to do with those three issues, at least the three issues, three main issues. Those three broad issues cover all of life, basically. And today also, we want to cover three broad issues. In talking about separated life, again, this author deals with three broad issues. And what are they? He deals with first of all, honor. Again, honor comes here. Honor is an important issue in life. It's important to man, because God has given man honor and dignity. He has created man like that. Psalm 8 tells us that God has given him honor. So, honor is very important to man. And how does man deal with honor? It's very important to see because then you will understand whether he is a worldly person or he’s separated from the world.

The second thing that we're going to deal with is pleasures. Pleasures, things that we enjoy in this world. How does a person deal with pleasures? Third thing that we’ll deal with is wealth. Again, basically the same three things coming again in different words, basically, with the example of Moses. Moses is a perfect example of how a separated man deals with these three issues. Are there not other issues? Yes, there are other issues, but I think like I said, these three broad issues cover literally all of life. If you're right in these three issues, you're probably right in all issues, because these are three broad issues that cover all of life.

So, let's go one by one, honor. Look at Hebrews chapter 11 verse 24, it says, By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. So, he refuses to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter and chooses rather to suffer affliction with the people of God. In other words, you can say it like that. He refuses to be called son of Pharaoh's daughter and identifies himself with the people of God.

Now, here you see something wonderful. You see something where he has calculated exactly what this means, he has literally sat down and worked it out as to what is better. Is it better to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter or is it better to identify with the people of God who are suffering, who are slaves now, who have nothing to show? Now, if you calculate in a worldly way, certainly you’ll take the side of Pharaoh and choose to be Pharaoh's daughter’s son. But he calculates in a different way. Let me go to the words of Jesus again, He expresses it in this way. In Matthew's gospel chapter 7, in the Sermon on the Mount, in verse 13 and 14, look at the words of Jesus. “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” 

What does He mean? I've always heard about the straight and narrow. I'm sure you have also. If you've been a Christian for any length of time, this passage is one of the famous sayings of Jesus. “Enter by the narrow gate. Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction. The way that leads to destruction is very wide. But you enter through the narrow gate, don't go through the wide gate where everybody walks in, go through the narrow gate,” He says, “because narrow is the gate, and difficult is the way that leads to life.”

Now, what is a difficulty in this Christian life? When Jesus says it's difficult, this way is difficult, to live a life for God is difficult. But don't be discouraged. Don’t think, “Jesus Himself said it's so difficult.” You need to understand what He means when He uses the word difficult. Narrow is the gate, difficult is the way which leads to life. What He means is this. When you live for God, you better be ready to get rid of things that ought to be rid of, better ready to forsake things that you need to forsake, and to limit yourself to the things that please God. He puts it in another way, in another place in Luke chapter 14 verse 31. I don't want to go there but I'll just quote it. He says, “When a king goes to war against another king, and when he knows that the other king has got 20,000 soldiers on his side, and he's got only 10,000, will he not sit down and calculate or count the cost?” He says. Anybody going to go to war with a guy with 20,000 soldiers and you got only 10,000 soldiers, will you not sit down and count the cost? Nobody does anything without counting the cost? Anything that you do, you count the cost.

So, the man will sit down and count the cost because he knows that he's in a weak position against the guy who has double the number of soldiers. So, he'll sit down and count the cost, what he's going to lose and what the damage is going to be, and how best he can handle it. Should he just go and negotiate and find a deal with him instead of going and fighting or fight him anyway with some strategy and win the battle? He’s going to count the cost and think deeply. So, when Jesus says this, He’s talking about Christian life is not a life that you live mindlessly. Some people think Christian life is an emotional life, where you come to church and when you come to church, the anointing is so great that you lose yourself and you roll and scream. And then when the service is over, and everybody says Amen, they get you up and then you comb your hair and straighten yourself out and go home. Some people have that kind of idea of Christian life or Christian service. It's not like that.

Christianity does not dismiss the mind, just like that. One of the great subjects of the New Testament is the renewal of the mind. The Bible says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Same subject, basically, he says, mentally, don't conform yourself to this world. Don't take on the values of the world and think like the world, do like the world, and act like the world, because you're thinking is what dictates action. Be transformed, don't be conformed to this world, but be transformed. It is speaking against conformity, just being like everybody else, just going with the tide, following what everybody does. “Don't do that,” he says. “Think, be renewed, in your mind.”

Now, that is what Jesus is implying here. Count the cost means think. In Christianity, you need to think about what is right, what is wrong. Christianity is not a kind of worship or a kind of thing where you leave your mind at home and just bring your emotion. Of course, we experience a lot of emotion in our worship. Our worship is so full of emotion and I hate to be in a place where there's no emotion shown. Can you imagine me just standing there like a doll and just like a robot and just uttering words of the sermon? That won't be nice. I got to have some emotion go with it. Emotion always comes with everything that we do. So, if you're singing, there is emotion, if you're worshiping there’s emotion, preaching there is an emotion. As we live our life, emotion is a real part of life. Don't become emotionless.

But do not be living by your emotion. You cannot be living by your emotion, you got to live by your thoughts, your mind, your spirit. Your mind is very important. What you think is very important, what you decide is very important. Your decisions are important, your will is important, and so on. So, Jesus is saying, “Count the cost.” Have you counted the cost of living the Christian life? That is a subject here. When you count the cost, you will find the gate is narrow. The way is a little difficult.

What difficulty was there? We said Moses is a great example. What difficulty was there for Moses? In what way was it difficult? In what way was it narrow? First of all, if he's got to follow God's will for his life and do what God has called him to do, first of all, he’s got to leave Pharaoh's palace. He's got to leave Pharaoh. There is no other choice available. Now, that I would find very difficult if I was living in the palace. Anybody that doesn't like palace life? Palace life, even if you don't sin and enjoy the pleasures of sin, palace life is wonderful because you get good food, get a good bed, you get a lot of servants doing all kinds of things for you. You live like a king, a very royal life. Who wouldn't like it? But in order to fulfill God's call in his life, you got to leave the palace. There's difficulty. Moses has to sit down and count the cost now. Does he want to follow God? Do what God has called him to do? God has made him born in this world and protected him from his birth, provided for him beautifully and wonderfully by keeping him in Pharaoh's house. That's the best place to keep him as a child because the king has ordered all the male children among the Jews to be killed. And what better place to be than the king's house? God has made perfect arrangements, done everything and kept him there.

Now, he's got to leave. I come from a background where they always told me that if you have all the comforts of the world, and all these good things, suppose you're well employed, you're earning well, and doing business and all that, you got to leave all that. Yeah, because you have become a Christian now, you got to leave all that. This is the way I heard it. And I also believed it for a while. But then I started using my mind a little bit. We were using more of our emotions before. Now, I started using my mind a little bit. And God started opening my mind. I began to see that is not what it's talking about. It's not telling everybody to leave all the comforts and the good things that they have and forsake everything and so on. No. In the first place, if you think straight, just think with me, who gave Moses the palace life? God gave Moses the palace life. Moses didn't make his own arrangements. God wonderfully, marvelously, in an amazing way, brought him into the palace as a child to protect him and keep him there. God gave him a good life. God put him in that rich atmosphere. God made him wealthy. God did all those things for him. So, he’s been raised there. He's been there for 40 years now. He's been there for many years, raised as the son of Pharaoh's daughter.

What a privileged position he must have had. What great respect he must have commanded. This is honor. This honor, you don't want to let go. It's a very important honor. You don't want to live without that honor. Once you get used to that honor, it's like one of these postings, you don't want to lose it. You want to keep it because it will help you. And Moses was raised like that, because God put him in that situation. God put him in the palace, gave him all the comforts and everything.

So, all these years he has lived there, he’s had university education, he has learned in all the Egyptian wisdom, it says. He ate there lived there, studied there, was it all wrong? You mean to tell me that he's got to leave palace because God hates this palace life, this comfort and the good bed, and the good atmosphere, and all these things? That if you want to be a Christian, you got to live without it. Is that the point that it’s making? And some people make that point. I tell you, no. I even tell you that God is the one that took him into the palace, put him into that kind of life and raised him for that life. Then why does he have to leave it? Why does he have to leave palace? He has to leave the palace because he has been called to be a deliverer of the people of Israel, deliver them from the bondage of Egypt.

How can he be a deliverer sitting there? Sitting there, he can only be part of the team that tortured the people of Israel, took work from them, extracted work from them, unjustly treated them, treated them as slaves. He can only cooperate with Pharaoh and go ahead and persecute his own people. That is what he can do. Living in the palace. That is why he cannot live in the palace. That is why he cannot continue to live in the palace. There was a reason he lived in the palace because God protected him and provided for him there. To protect him, to provide for him, He put him in the palace. God saw nothing wrong in it. Now, he's got to leave palace. Why? Now, he's got to fulfill God's call in his life, he cannot sit there and do it. They’re acting against God; they're persecuting God's people. God's program is that they must come out of the land of Egypt, be delivered from the shackles and slavery. So, now he's got to do it. The only way to do it, he's got to come out.

So, let's not twist and turn this into some kind of a spiritual thing about, “Oh, you got to leave everything in order to live a Christian life.” Some people are into this thing about how a Christian has to leave everything. They understood the Bible wrong. They always talk about the rich young ruler, and they say, “Jesus said, you sell everything that you have, give it to the poor, and then come and follow Me.” The man went away sad because he had so much riches. The problem was not that he had so much riches, the riches had him. He had put riches in the place of God. He was worshipping riches. Riches were more important to him than anything in this world. That is his problem. And so, when he went away sadly, Jesus says, “It is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” And all the disciples were shocked at Jesus’ saying, “What does he mean? If you’re rich you cannot enter the kingdom of God?” And He stops and corrects them. He said, “It's very difficult for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” But then He says, “Listen, I did not mean he cannot.” You know what He says? “It is difficult for a man who trusts in riches.” He clarifies. You read it, it's in the Bible, I'm not giving you some spin. It is difficult for a person who trusts in riches to enter into the kingdom of God. It is not because you're rich you cannot enter, it is when you trust in riches, that means riches has become your god. Instead of trusting God, you trust in riches, therefore, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

A lot of people take that and say, “Oh, doesn’t Jesus say that brother, you got to give everything to the poor and come and follow Him?” You tell me one more person to whom He said that. He never said that to anybody else. He went to a man's house named Zacchaeus, he was a corrupt fellow, tax collector. As soon as Jesus walked in, something happened to this fellow. He got reformed. He got changed. Had a change of mind. So, he looked at Jesus and said, “Look, I've done all kinds of bad things, earned money the wrong way. If I've taken anything more than I should have taken from people, I’ll give it to them fourfold right now. I'll return it fourfold and half of my wealth, I will give to the poor.” So, the guy has gathered much. Half of wealth given to the poor, and then, “Whatever I've taken unjustly I’ll return fourfold. Still, he's got some more left.

Now, Jesus listened to it, didn't say anything. He said, “Salvation has now come to your house,” He said. That's the reply Jesus said. To these people that say you have to leave everything to follow Jesus and quote, the rich young ruler, they would have said, “What about the rest? You said, ‘Half I’ll give to the poor,’ what about the balance? Don't you have to give everything to the poor and then come and follow Jesus?” Jesus never bothered to ask the guy what he did with the rest of the half. Why? Because now his heart has changed. Before, money was his god, wealth was his god. He was grabbing, pulling and cheating and taking it from people with his corrupt practices. Now, he's giving. What a change? Giving fourfold, giving to the poor. There has been a true repentance, true change of heart. What more do you want? So, Jesus never bothered to ask him anything more. The Bible says that there were women who were rich from aristocratic families that followed Jesus and went along with him and supported his ministry with finances. Why didn't Jesus tell them to, “Give everything that you have to the poor and come and follow Me?” Jesus was buried in a rich man's grave, in a grave that was never used. Why didn’t he tell that rich man to go and give everything to the poor and come and follow Him?

See, what I'm saying is, Jesus never said that to everybody. He said that to one man because He knew that one man had a problem. When he came to Jesus, he said, “How can I have eternal life?” Jesus said, “Go and do what the commandment says. You know the Ten Commandments. Do what it says.” You know what his reply was, “I've done everything the commandment says from my young age onwards.” That's the biggest lie. Nobody has ever done what the commandment says. Everybody has failed because the commandment was given, not so that people can successfully do it, so that people can try to do it, and realize that there is sin in them, therefore, they are unable to do it, and cry out to God for a Savior who will help them do it. That is the purpose of the law. So, no person would have possibly done it. The commandment was given as a challenge before people.

God says, “Do it and you will live.” The point is nobody will live. Everybody is a dead man, because nobody can do it. So, this man lied that from his youth, he thinks he has done it, but he has not done it. How to show that he has not done it, such people are so pharisaical, so self-righteous, they won't admit that they have something lacking. He says, “I’ve done everything.” What do you say to such a man? Do you say, “No, no, no, you haven't done anything”? No, you try to show him that there is something lacking. So, Jesus said, “There is one thing you're lacking. I'll show you what you're lacking. Go and sell everything that you have to the poor. You try to do that, then you will realize what is in you.” He tried to do that but he could not get himself to do it because he had what is called the love of money. That's the problem. The money was his god. To prove that only Jesus did it.

So, this palace life and I've heard all my life about this palace life, you got to leave all the comforts and the comfortable life and all of that. The whole Christian message has been twisted and turned into something of a sanyasi message right now. That if you want to be a true Christian, you grow a beard and have only two sets of clothing and no more, and you have nothing. And you just live a life of a hermit. Go to a monastery, lock yourself up and just fellowship with God because you are cut off from the world. That is not true. So, what is the difficulty here? He lives in Pharaoh's palace; he’s got to leave it. That's a difficulty? He's got to calculate now. Does he want to do it? Secondly, if he goes, his going away from there would mean that he's going to now act against Pharaoh and be on the side of the Jewish people who want to leave the country and go out, that would mean that he’ll become an enemy of Pharaoh who has raised him, then that would mean ingratitude for all that Pharaoh has done to him all these years in raising him and educating him and feeding him and protecting him and so on. That would be considered ingratitude. Does he want to do it? Can he make the decision to do it now? See, it’s difficult.

Christianity is full of these difficult decisions. That is what Jesus meant. People take the word difficult and make everything difficult. But what Jesus says is, “Christianity demands that you make some difficult decisions. He's got to make a decision. Do I want to leave? Do I want to look like a thankless person, after they've done so much and spared my life? Do I want to go out and fight against this Pharaoh and drown his army in the Red Sea? Do I want to do all these things against them?

Thirdly, he would have thought there are some people who already employed their logic, I'm sure you and I would employ this logic. “After all, brother, why should he leave palace because Joseph lived the entire life in palace, only 13 years he suffered first. And then he became the top guy in Egypt next to the king. And he spent his whole life living in glory. Why shouldn't I live like that? Why should I leave?” But Joseph’s call is that. That he should go there, establish himself and make a way for his family to come there and establish themselves and so on. So, God had a purpose in having him live there. He could do what God called him to do, living there in that glorious way, blessed and prosperous. But Moses cannot do it. He cannot do it, living in the palace. He’s got to come, identify with people of God and really be ready to suffer with them in order to deliver them.

Not only that, not only leaving the palace, another difficulty is, you got to go and join with the people who are slaves, who have nothing. They’re the downtrodden. You got to be a part one among them. Very difficult decision. Consider the difficulty. That's why Jesus said it’s a straight and narrow path. Some people don't realize the difficulty in living the Christian life at all. They don't see this difficulty at all. You got to make a decision. Do I want to do it? Do I want to identify with the people of God so that I may fulfill the call of God? Then you have to endure all the discomforts, hardships, and the wilderness wanderings and all of those things, then you have to become an enemy to all those people that you knew in Pharaoh's household and Pharaoh’s government. All this time they respected you and treated you with honor. Now, you lose your honor and you lose your respect.

Not only that, not only do you become an enemy to them, you become an enemy to your own people. Moses had trouble with his own people accepting him. They murmured against him; they spoke against him. One time they took a stone to even stone him. This great deliverer. His own people rebelling against him, not listening to him. Is it worth taking the trouble? Difficult decision. One difficult decision after the other. Difficulty, difficulty, difficulty, difficulty. Everybody say, “Difficulty.” Have you ever found that you had to take difficult decisions? That's what it's talking about. When Jesus said it's a difficult path, He meant that you got to employ everything that you know, make decisions in God about these things and then only you can live a successful Christian life. You cannot just float through Christian life just like that. It involves very strong, wise, timely decisions, correct decisions about certain things. Particularly about these things.

Honor is a very broad issue. And Moses makes the choice. What is his choice? The world would have laughed at it. He chooses to suffer with the people of God than to go and live as Pharaoh's daughter. If you took a vote, everyone in the world will say, “That's a wrong decision. You fool. God brought you here, put you here, gave you everything. Why do you want to lose that?” They will say. But he makes that decision. Difficult decision, but correct decision. Why? What enabled him to make the decision? Faith. See, this is the thing. The supernatural element that he had, this God-given faith, this faith that has been built through his mother's teaching of the promises of God, that God had given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, his forefathers. Mother was not feeding him just biscuits and milk. But she was feeding the promises of God every day, day by day. And he listened to it night and day. He knew how blessed he is that he is one of the recipients of the blessing of Abraham. That  his people do not have to live as slaves anywhere. No one can enslave them; they need to be delivered. He realized that he had a great mission, that he can have great success that God has called him. He’s seeing with another eye. The world doesn't understand. The world says, “Oh, you’re going to forsake the palace?” He says, “Abraham and his blessing are far better than palace and the comforts here.”

See, we have failed to teach our children and our people in a positive way about the things of God. We only taught them about difficulty. I remember going to some youth meetings, they'll say, “Are you ready to suffer for Christ?” So, I was always there in the front. I remember very often they said, “Are you ready to die for Jesus?” In those days, there was nobody trying to kill us. But nevertheless, they said, “Are you ready to die for Jesus?” I was one of the first ones I will be there, “Yeah, I'm ready to die.” But then I found out that it's easy to die, it's very difficult to live. If I have to die, I can just die today and be gone. I'll be with God. But if I got to live for many more years, every day it involves very strong decisions. Every day it involves me thinking, every day it involves me praying, gets me into praying, gets me into going to the word, examining the word, knowing the will of God, knowing the mind of God, the plan of God, the purpose of God. Very difficult decisions. Not very easy at all. But God helps.

How many of you believe God helps? So far, He has helped. And He will help. That's the only hope. Sometimes you think you don't know what to do but that's when God comes through because He knows that you don't know. True faith in a person works in that way. Don't think of faith as just producing some miracle, where lame walk. That is there. But the thing is, true faith also does this. It helps you live for God in a solid way, make the right decisions for God. Amen. That’s the difference between true conversion and false conversion. We don't believe in false conversions. In Tamil they say  matham maatram. I don't believe in that; we don't preach that. We don't want that. We don't want anybody changing religions and all that. We are wanting radical total change, not just a name change, not just a religion change, not just a dress change, not just a haircut change, we want total change in and out, complete change. So that whatever you thought is big yesterday, now looks like garbage to you today, because you have a new insight, because God is making you see things in his own light, in his wisdom. You see things by faith that you do not just go by what you can see with these eyes, but you go by the eyes of faith, because faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith is always looking at things that are not seen. And you're walking by those things that you don't see. But you believe strongly. The things that are seen are always attracting. It says, “This is better, that is better. Look here, look over there.” But faith is always looking at God and His promises, walking by the promises of God. Amen. Secondly, pleasures. Now, Christians have been generally against pleasures, the kind of Christians that we were, the background that I came from. We were, as young people, for some time our parents were very busy. There was a man who was another pastor under whose control we were for many hours a day sometimes. And I remember that guy will beat you on your back. You’ll just sit down and won't be able to get out. What was the problem? What did we do wrong? Smile. His slogan in life is, ‘Don't laugh.’ So, when he came there we used to tell, “Don't laugh. Don't laugh is coming. Don't laugh.” And he looked very serious and we’ll also look very serious. He believed that Christians ought to be serious, no laughing. You cannot as young people just sit around, talk and laugh. We were nine kids. We always had fun. We just joke and have fun and laugh, and, and so on. But that guy, you got to be quiet. Left and right, he'll hit you. In the name of Jesus, all this was happening.

So, I've been through things, thank God I'm delivered. That I can smile today and have fun today. I remember, when I first started out, I had a youth meeting, I was a youth at one time, believe me or not. And I had a youth meeting and I invited all the college students. This place was full with young people. I was just starting out ministry here. And they all came and I printed a handbill that said, “Come and have fun.” And you should see… one preacher came fighting with me. He said, “How can you say, ‘Have fun’? What is this? Is this some kind of circus you're conducting? Is this some kind of party you’re having? You can't have fun? Tell them to come prayerfully and seriously and come fasting and so on. Just couldn't understand what this was all about. But this has been the trend, pleasures. Anything that's enjoyable is forbidden. You can’t enjoy your food, you cannot enjoy your clothing, you cannot enjoy anything. No circus, nothing. But we did it all secretly. I guarantee you that.

Nothing. Not even radio. No radio, TV was not there. Everything was the devil. The devil is in it. But the Bible is not talking against pleasures. It’s talking about pleasures of sin versus legitimate pleasures. That's the way Bible presents it. God has given a tongue not to just lap up food. A tongue to really taste. Some people can put the food in their mouth and exactly tell you what all spices are there. You’re sitting here, I know. They're so good at detecting all the fine things that are there. Eyes are not just to see, not just for sight, but just to enjoy what you see. God has made eyes like that. So many wonderful colors that appear so beautifully. God is gracious. He wants you to have some legitimate fun. God has not just made ears to hear but ears to hear the nuances of sound and music, so that you can appreciate.

You can train yourself to hear fine music, enjoy it. God wants that enjoyment. God is for that enjoyment. God made you for that enjoyment. Remember, I talked to you about dominion, dignity and delight. God is for delight. Man was created to have delight through all the things that are created. And everything created is meant to give delight to man. That's how God created it. Now, you cannot go against nature. So, the choice must be made between sinful pleasures and regular good things. And Moses, always, even though he lived in the palace, sinful pleasures were plenty all over the place. He could see it everywhere. He never went for sinful pleasures. Moses stayed with God. What a mother he had that raised him. And what great teaching she has given is amazing to me, that he could live in an atmosphere like that, where sinful pleasures are abounding everywhere, in plenty everywhere, yet this guy is not tempted to go that way. He was full of consciousness about who he is, that he's a Hebrew, that he's one of the people of God, that he's not a son of Pharaoh's daughter, that he's a son of Abraham.

He’s conscious about God's call on his life, aware of the fact that he's a child of God. What an amazing lesson. Mothers can learn from this. What an amazing teaching that lady must have given to him that in that atmosphere, he grew and he went to college. Now, today, we are afraid to even send our children to college somewhere because colleges are full of evil stuff. They always say, “Oh, there's drugs there. There's this there.” But in his day, it must have been very similar. But Moses came out very well. Yeah, he gained the wisdom of the universities and all that, but he was never changed basically. He was a child of God and was established in that. That fact never left him; it was ingrained in him so strongly. Pleasures of sin never attracted him. So, he ate well, lived well, enjoyed life there, but never got into the wrong things. He understood the pleasures of sin are only for a season, temporary. Pleasures of sin are very temporary for a few minutes, a few hours, for a few days the pleasure lasts. But for the rest of your life on this earth as well as in eternity, it is pain.

You heard the famous story about how a fellow had a dream about going to hell. And they arrived there and was like a five-star hotel, all air conditioned. He said, “My goodness, all the preachers lied to me saying hell is bad. It is burning with fire.” So, he said, “Can I have a tour of hell?” So, they took him on a tour. Everybody was partying, drinking, eating, having fun. And he thought, “My goodness, I want to make sure I come to hell.” So, he woke up and made a decision that he’ll live in such a way that he’ll go to hell. So, he died one day and went to hell and he arrived, and it was only fire and agony and screaming people. He said “Hey, you brought me to a different place. Last time I came it was like a five-star hotel. Everything was nice. What happened?” They told him it seems, “You came as a tourist last time. We show a different section for tourists. This is for PR holders. Permanent residents. Welcome. This is what you will have for the rest of your life.”

But the thing is, you don't have to wait to go to hell one day. Hell is right here. Many people are in living hell. Many people's lives are hell. Their family life is like hell. As a pastor, I've heard people say that, “My home is like hell. There is such darkness, such fear, such agony, such pain. It's like hell. I'm going through hell every day.” The pleasures of sin produce hell in this life, bring hell right down to the house now in people's lives today. Moses realized. What a great wisdom? Difficult decision, especially when you have pleasures of sin on the one side. Nobody can say no to it. It’s pleasures, nice things, very good enjoyment. Who would say no to it? But then suffering with the people of God, which one do you want? Who would choose suffering than pleasures of sin? Everybody will choose pleasures of sin. Moses chose suffering with the people of God because he knew pleasures were for a season but then suffering for the rest of eternity. The sufferings were only for a season, but pleasures will last forever more. In Your presence there is pleasure forever more, the Bible says. Amen.

Difficult decision, very difficult decision, but he made it. Finally, the wealth. I'll just say one thing about this and close. Wealth. There are three words here I want you to notice. When it talks about him refusing to be the son of Pharaoh's daughter, the word refused is used. He refused. To refuse something is relatively easy. What I want to show is there is a gradual increase in depth in his life. He refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. That was a relatively easier decision. He just said, “No, I don't want to be Pharaoh's daughter, I want to be Abraham's son.” And the next thing is, instead of enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season, he chose rather... The Bible says the word chose. He chose to suffer affliction with the people of God. Everybody say, “Chose.” So, first word is ‘refuse’, then the next word is ‘chose’. Now, choosing is a little more difficult. Refusing is just saying no. Choosing between two very difficult things. One is pleasures of sin, which is very attractive, the other is suffering, which nobody wants. Very difficult decision. But he chose. He was getting deeper. He was able to make deeper decisions, think very clearly.

The third word is found in verse 26. It is the word ‘esteemed’. He esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. On the one hand, there is the treasures of Egypt, and the other hand, there is the reproach of Christ. Which is greater? You ask the people of the world, they'll say, “Well, treasures of Egypt certainly is greater.” But Moses is saying, “No, I don't want the treasures of Egypt because my mother taught me about the blessing of Abraham. The treasures of Egypt will get me good food, good clothing, good bed and all that. But if they close down the palace, everything is over one day. I won't be able to go out and get good food, good everything on my own. But the blessing of Abraham is an empowerment. It is bestowed upon me as a child of Abraham. The promise is for me and for all of God's children. The blessing of God empowers me to not be the tail but be the head, but be above and not be beneath. The blessing of Abraham causes me to rise above my difficulties, rise above my problems. You can take me to Somalia and put me there, I will prosper because the blessing of Abraham gives me the power to rise from all my problems.”

He had a nice way of thinking about things. People would have said, “What? This fellow forsakes the treasures of Egypt.” That’s the richest country in the world at that time, superpower. But there is something richer and bigger. Sometimes, I think we fail to convey to our children and our people in a very positive way this message. If Moses had not heard about the blessing of Abraham, and all that it involved, he would not have left the treasures of Egypt. Treasures of Egypt would seem bigger for anybody. But reproach of Christ seems greater riches to Moses. Why? Because his mother constantly taught him about the Abrahamic blessing, the blessing of Abraham, the promises God has given to Abraham, and therefore, he chose something greater. He was not a fool. He chose something much more long-lasting, much more sure, that lasts forever.

What do you choose today? Every day you face this difficulty. Christianity is about facing difficult decisions, making the decisions which put you ahead all the time and takes you on the path to success. May God give us the wisdom to make the right decisions and to do the right things and to live as a mighty testimony for Him in this world. Amen.

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