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Living by Faith (Vol 49) - Moses' Faith: Salvation!

Sunday English Service - 04 AUG 19


Hebrews chapter 11 verse 23 to 28. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command. 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. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

We have been studying about living by faith from Hebrews chapter 11. As you know, Hebrews chapter 11 is a very famous chapter on faith. And here, he brings in the famous and major Old Testament saints of God, and through their life shows what life of faith is like and teaches the life of faith. These people to whom he is writing are Hebrew people who have now come to believe in Christ. Living in the first century, they're experiencing some ridicule and persecution from the Jews. The Jews think that these people have made a big mistake, that they have left this grand old religion, which has a great temple, priests, high priest, sacrifices, the Ten Commandments, prophet like Moses, forefathers like Abraham, they've gone to believe in someone who hung on a cross in between two thieves and died. And they believe that He is the Lord and He is the Savior. So, they ridicule these people. And they are telling them to come back to return to Judaism. And some are even considering returning to Judaism.

So actually, the author of the book of Hebrews begins to talk about it at the end of 10th chapter where he says that, “If anyone draws back My soul shall have no pleasure in Him.” God said it seems. So, he’s discouraging them from drawing back or going back and encourages them to go forward. So, he's writing them to encourage them and to embolden them to go forward. And so, he picks on all major personalities of the Old Testament times, to show how they were all simply foreshadowing Christ, announcing Christ, expecting Christ. And so, to believe in Christ is not something to be ridiculed about. It is to believe in something that they all believe would come and that they were all expecting, and that they were all portraying through their life and through the events that happened in their life.

So, he now takes Moses. We've been dealing with Moses from verse 23 onwards. Today, I'm going to talk only about verse 28. But I read from verse 23, because we just need the context for some of the things that I'm going to say. As you know, he speaks of five things about Moses that shows Moses’ faith. Five actions of Moses that show his faith. One is, the preservation of Moses. As soon as he was born, by the faith of his parents he was preserved otherwise he would have been killed. You know the story. He was preserved by faith. Secondly, Moses identifies himself with the people of God rather than as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. When it came to identification, by faith, he identifies with the people of God. When he grew up and could think for himself and choose for himself, he identifies himself with the people of God. By faith, he does that because nobody will give up being the son of Pharaoh's daughter, nobody would want to give up the pleasures of sin. They’re so alluring and inviting, and people are drawn to it generally and nobody would give up the riches of Egypt. But he gives it up all because he wants to belong to the people of God. Even if it meant to suffer for a short time, he does not mind that because he believes that he is to be identified with the people of God.

Thirdly, we talked about separation. We talked about separation, because he separates himself from all that is part of this world. He shows himself as a different person. Separation means that he’s different from the world. That is what separation means. For a long time, many years, we thought that separation meant just changing the clothes and changing some outward looks but separation literally means being different because of the way you think about life, because of the way you now think about things. I gave the great example of Paul who thought that being a Jew, born a Hebrew, and born in the tribe of Benjamin, being a pharisee, and being an impeccable Jew, that you cannot point out any mistakes from this guy, he was a very clean Jew. All of these things were important to him. He glorified all of these qualities that he saw in himself. But when he came to know Christ, he says, “When compared to the knowledge of Christ, all these things are literally garbage,” he says, “it's nothing, it's junk. What I considered as big, now seems like it's all garbage to me,” he says.

Complete turnaround, complete different way of thinking, total revolutionary change in his mentality and mind that led to a different kind of life. In a totally different attitude now. He sees things differently now. Before, he disrespected Christ, he thought that everybody that preached Christ must be killed. Churches must be closed down. Did not respect Christ on the cross or the death on the cross. He thought that was most shameful thing that you could ever believe in and to believe in a person who hung there, you ought to be ashamed about that, he thought. But now he says, “I do not glory about anything other than the cross of Jesus Christ.” It's a complete turnaround in his thinking, re-orientation of himself, complete difference in the way he thought about things, in the way he valued things and so on. That is what separation means. All right. We talked about that.

Now, today we want to talk about salvation. Because 28th verse is about salvation. How Moses believed and received salvation for himself. Now, why does this author give such importance to Moses? Why does he bring Moses in and why does he teach about how Moses was saved? He says here, that by faith, that Moses kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest He who destroyed the firstborn should touch them. The Passover is all about Christ. The sprinkling of blood is all about believing in Jesus and the shed blood on the cross of Calvary and so on. Why does he bring Moses in here and tells us that Moses believed in all of this, and that's how he was saved? Because Moses was huge in the eyes of the Jewish people. Next to God, it was Moses. And so, they greatly respected Moses. He was the lawgiver. He’s the man that brought the Ten Commandments, received it from God, he was in the mountain with God. And God wrote it down for him on a tablet of stone and gave it to him and he brought it down. His face was so shining from being with God that he had to cover his face because people could not stand to look on him. Such was the glory.

So, they had such a lofty idea about Moses. Said that he was such a great man of God and so on. And the very fact that he brought the law and gave it to them was very important to them, because the law was the biggest thing in their life. They’re people of the law. Law was the major thing. Just the fact that they received the law, they thought, made them very special, that they got the law. They looked at themselves and said, “Has God given the Ten Commandments to any other nation in the world, to any other people in the world? He never gave any law, any Ten Commandments to anybody. But look at us, for us He gave the law, wrote it down in tablets of stone and gave it. Therefore, we must be something special.” So, they thought, “Salvation is ours. God loves us. God does not love anybody in the world. God only loves the Jews. God loves us. And therefore, God reaches out to us. All the rest of the people in the world were made for hell and we are made for heaven.” That's the kind of ultimate conclusion the wrong thinking led to. Just the fact that they had the law, they were given the law, they thought, made them so special and so special from the rest of the world.

More than that, they misunderstood what the law is all about, the purpose of the law. They thought the law was given so that they can do what the law says and be justified or made righteous in the sight of God by doing the law. This is a very big mistake. See, when God gave the law, if you read that passage where the giving of the law happens, when God gave the law, He says something. He says, “Do this and you will live.” This is exactly what God said, “Do this and you’ll live.” Now, they thought, “Well, He said, ‘Do this and live,’ that must be doable then. If He said, ‘Do it and live,’ then I must be able to do it. So, I'll take it, go home and do it. And I will live and I will become righteous. God will accept me. When I live straight, when I live good, when I live righteously and do what the Ten Commandments says, God will accept me.” This is the way of salvation they thought. That was a very big mistake because when God says do this and live, He never meant that they can do this and through that find life eternal. Never.

What did He mean then? Why did He say, “Do this and you’ll live”? He said that to challenge them. He says, “Do this. Because when you do this, that's when you're going to find out that no man can do this, because of the sin that’s in man. No man will be able to fulfill what the Ten Commandments says. Therefore, no man will find eternal life. Remember that young man that came to Jesus and said, “How can I receive eternal life?”, the rich young ruler? Jesus again, goes along the line of thinking that he has. He says, “Go and do whatever the Ten Commandments say. So, he thought, “Well, that's what I've been doing. That's what I thought we should do.” It’s like a typical Jew. He thinks that he can just do the Ten Commandments and be righteous before God, “If anybody can receive eternal life, he should be able to receive eternal life.” So, when Jesus said, “Go and do what the commandment says,” he says, “From my childhood I've been doing all that the Ten Commandments says.”

Here's a very decent guy. He’s not an outright big sinner of some kind. It seems like a very godly, decent guy. He says, “From my young age I've been doing it.” But Jesus said, “No, no, you lack one thing.” But the guy is not able to see that. Jesus wanted to prove it to him. And that is why He said, “Go and sell everything that you have, and give it to the poor and then come and follow Me.” When he tries to do that, that is when he's not able to do it. He walks away because he had much possession, it says, that shows that the 10th commandment, that you shall not covet is something that he has not been able to accomplish. He may have passed in nine, he may have 90% mark and he fails because according to God, only 100% is pass.

This is tougher than NEET. NEET is nothing. This is tough. This is designed in such a way that nobody passes. That's the way God has designed it. Then how can you pass? God deliberately designed it in such a way that nobody passes. Out of the Ten Commandments, nine of them had to do with what you do and what you should not do. It either says do this, or it says don't do this. So, if you go according to that list, the first nine are no problem to decent people. People that live kind of… morally good people, nine commandments will help them see themselves as righteous and they'll say, “Oh my. I got 90%. First class.” But the 10th is where the hitch is. 10th is not about whether you've done it or not. It's not about action. Did you do it or did you not do it? The 10th is about what is in your heart.

For example, Jesus says, “You've heard that it was said in the old times, ‘Thou shalt not murder.’” And these people thought that as long as you didn't murder, you're clean. I didn't murder. How many of us have murdered here? I'm sure nobody's there. I found one time, one guy came, was a murderer actually. He was sitting in our audience and at the end of the service he met me and he said, “I've been in jail, and I've been hearing your sermons in jail on Doordarshan. That's the only channel they give us there. And we are allowed to watch your program. So, we watch your program at 10 o'clock at night, Doordarshan every day and so I got converted.” He came with a Bible in hand. He’d come in parole for something that was happening in his house. “Actually I'm in there because I murdered someone, but I am now in Christ. We gather together, we pray in the jail and so on. And God has touched my life. But when I came out this time, I faced a real problem,” he said, “I almost wanted to commit second murder.” Because he was in love with a girl and somebody was giving him problem about it and they didn't want to allow him to get married to that girl. So, he was thinking that this week he will finish that guy off.

And he came to church. He said, “I'm a child of God, and I was having all these murderous thoughts in my heart. And I wanted to do this. And on that day, I was speaking something about this. I don’t know what I preached on that day, I forgot, but it was direct to him, he said. Sometimes God works it out like that. Even yesterday, I was doing the prayer service and one lady came to me and said, “This was all for me. This is the first time I came, I'm not even a believer. Somebody told me to go here, I came. Everything done was for me. You prayed for me, you spoke about me,” and I don't even know who she is. Because God works it out like that. So, he said, “After I listened to you, I changed my mind. I'm not going to do it, sir. I'm going to go back to jail, and wait and let God take care of it.” And I prayed for him and sent him. So, I don't think anybody's like that here, now. No murderers here.

So, if it was murder, on that count everybody will be clean, will be morally upright person. But look at how Jesus interprets it. He said, “You've heard that it was said that thou shall not murder and you thought that as long as you didn't do it, you're all right. But I say to you...” He’s now interpreting. “I say to you, if you called your brother a fool you've already committed murder.” Now, how many think according to this interpretation... Now, I've never committed a murder, but I've thought about two or three people in my lifetime that are worthy of that kind of a thing because they gave me a lot of trouble, I tell you. And the only thing that held me back was I was taught in Christ from my childhood days that restrained me and I did not want to do it. Some of the things with which I was raised, are the reason that I didn't do it. But murderous thoughts were there. It is part of every person… that hatred in the heart. That is what the spirit of murder is all about.

Some time ago in Tamil Nadu they had released a film song called ‘Kolaveri’. How nicely it sold. All these songs sell well because people immediately identify with this. I always say Frank Sinatra song that said ‘I Did It My Way’, old song sold 1 million copies. A single sold 1 million copies. Can you believe that? And what is it all about? Some stupid thing about I did it my way. My way is the highway. That's the best way. You sing about God's way nobody will buy it. 5,000 copies, it’s very difficult to sell. But you talk about my way everybody likes it because everybody likes to do it their way. They're proud about their way. Their way is the right way. And they ought to do it their way, their life, their money, their thing, their future. I do it my way. Everybody identifies with that immediately. They enjoyed hearing that. They said, “Well, that's right. I did it my way.”

So, when ‘Kolaveri’ came, I think everybody was identifying with it, because they got it in their heart. And this guy is singing about it. They say, “How wonderful, I also thought about it.” This is the way everybody thinks. But Jesus interprets it totally differently. Same thing about adultery, He said, “You've heard that it was said, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery, but I say unto you, if you looked at a woman with a lustful eye, you've already committed adultery with her.” Here, we’ll make claim saying that, “I've never done it.” But if you measure it by Jesus' standards, the gold standard, if what Jesus is saying is right, then I'll tell you, that is there in a lot of people. The 10th commandment is the thing where everybody gets caught. Even the best moral people, the most upright people are correct in nine but when it comes to the 10th, they're caught. They fail in the 10th and the law says in James chapter 2 verse 10, I think, it says, “If you fail in one, you fail in all.”

That's why I say it's worse than NEET. You fail in one, you fail in all. It’s very tough. “I just failed in one.” “Yeah, but you failed in all. You got to do it all over again.” That's what the law was like. It was designed for everybody to fail. Therefore, when God said, “Do it and you shall live,” He did not mean that you could do it. This is the big misunderstanding of the Jews. He did not mean that you could do it, He was challenging them, “Do it, then only you’ll find out that you're not able to do it. And when you find out that you are not able to do it, you will see that you are a sinner and there is sin inside.” And that is what is not allowing you to do what God's law says. You know that God's law is good, but you're not able to do it because of sin that is in you. There is an alien power called sin that has come into you that will not allow you to do it.

When you realize that you are caught under sin, and you are under bondage to sin, therefore, you cannot do what the commandment says. And therefore, you cannot stand righteous before God ever. It's impossible. Therefore, death sentence is hanging over you and all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. When you realize that death sentence is hanging over you because you have not been able to fulfill the law, then you will cry out for a savior. “Oh God save me. Save me. Have mercy on me.” And then God will send the Savior. To prepare them for the coming Savior, to send Jesus into this world, to prepare every heart for it, God gave the law. That's one of the purposes of the law.

The great purpose of the law is to prove man’s sin, to prove that man is a sinner, because if you tell him he won't listen. If you tell him he won't believe. To prove to him, He gave the law, that he is a sinner. And the second purpose therefore, is to lead him to Christ. When he knows that he is a sinner, then that hopelessness, that wretchedness that he feels that he cannot do what the law says, therefore, he’s condemned in the presence of Godwill drive him to believe in a savior and bring him to the Savior. That is why the law was given, but they totally misunderstood it. And they thought it was given to justify them.

Now, these Hebrew people, we read from the book of Hebrews, they grew up under that misunderstanding when they were Jews. Now, they've come to believe in Christ. Now, this author is taking Moses as an example and showing to them. “Listen. Remember, you were a Jew, you were a Hebrew, believed in the law. Law was the biggest thing for you in your life. And you thought by doing the law, you'll be justified. That's the way you thought, but it's wrong. The law was just to lead you to Christ. These Jews are now criticizing Christ, and ridiculing you thinking that you're following someone who hung on the cross. But this is the Christ, whom the whole law expects. Every sacrifice under the law was expecting Christ. God not only gave the law, side by side, He gave the sacrifices. Why? The law could not justify you. Then what will justify you? The sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God on the cross of Calvary.”

“To signify, He gave the Old Testament sacrifices. The sacrifices spoke and foretold Christ. Now that Christ has come and you believe in Christ, and your people are ridiculing you because they don't realize it, their eyes are not open, the truth is not known to them. They're making a big mistake again by not turning to Christ, and believing in Christ whom Moses expected. He Himself said, ‘God will send you another prophet like unto myself. Here, give your ear to Him. Hear what He says and do what He says’. And that Prophet has come. Moreover, the Hebrew people are big on the law, and you were a Hebrew before. You thought law will justify you. But did you know,” he says, “Moses and the entire people of Israel that came out of Egypt under Moses were all saved by the Lamb that was killed on the Passover day, and by the blood that was shed on that day. That is the thing that saved them. That speaks of the Lamb of God, and the cross of Calvary, the shed blood and how you believe it and you get saved.”

Did you know Moses himself was saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ through what Jesus did? So, he lifts the argument to another level. He says, “Your people are ridiculing Jesus. They don't understand He’s the fulfillment of all the law, He is the one that law anticipated. It is the need for Him that the law came to impress upon you. It is to lead you to Christ the law came. So, everybody should come to Christ. They're making a big mistake.” That's why he's making Moses the big subject here. I’m talking about particularly how Moses was saved not by the Ten Commandments that he carried from the mountain and came down. Here is a guy who got the handwritten tablets of Ten Commandments that God gave. And this author of the Hebrews is saying, “That didn't save him.”

And people of Israel thought, “Oh my, he is the one that got the Ten Commandments, handwritten by God. His face was shining, we couldn't stand to look upon him.” All that is fine, but that didn't save him. He was not saved by the Ten Commandments, that God wrote and gave to him. How was he saved? He was saved by faith in Jesus Christ who died on the cross, who you laugh and ridicule today. B y faith in Jesus, by the blood that was shed, he was saved. That's the message. That is what the whole thing is all about. That is why he's using Moses here. It’s a very powerful argument, if you keep in mind who he’s writing to and why he’s bringing up Moses and what the background is. See, that is where the background is very important. Who he’s writing to, why he’s writing? What is he trying to do here? He's trying to prove to them that, “You have done the right thing in believing Jesus, don't ever go back. Continue to believe in Him, stand strong in the midst of all ridicule. Put your faith in Jesus, you will never be disappointed.” This is the right thing he was trying to show. All right.

Now, once you look at verse 28 in this way, then you begin to understand how ignorant it is for some people to suppose that salvation by grace is purely a New Testament idea. A lot of people in the world think like that today, that salvation by grace is the New Testament idea, that God had other methods and means of salvation in the Old Testament. It is absolutely not true. Ever since Adam sinned, ever since the first man that put his faith in God and received the salvation even in the Old Testament times, received it only by believing in the substitutionary sacrifice, in believing in the blood that was shed, in believing in a prophetic way in the cross of Calvary and the Lamb of God that was sacrificed there.

Take for example, Abel. He brought a sacrifice, shed the blood and got accepted by God. Cain’s was not accepted. Why? Because Abel’s was a sacrifice that portrayed Christ and His death on the cross. He came on the basis of shed blood, as substitutionary sacrifice. Someone took his place, died in his place, took his death, which is the punishment for sin so that he may live. This is what he portrayed. That's how he was saved. Saved by grace, by faith in that. The Bible says Noah found grace in the sight of God. Noah was not a great saint or something. He was not saved because he was so good. No. He was saved by grace, he’s just a man like all other men. He had his own problems, but he was saved by grace.

The Bible talks about Abraham. Abraham was not a perfect man. You know his imperfections. We have dealt with the story. But God justified him and considered him righteous. And Paul talks about it in the New Testament. He says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness. And now the children of Israel and Moses, were delivered from the bondage of Egypt and from Pharaoh's power, by the Lamb that was sacrificed on the Passover night, which signified Christ and His death on the cross. So, it’s wrong to think that in the Old Testament there were other means of salvation, that God saved some other way. And that in the New Testament, grace has come. It is not true. Even in the Old Testament, it was grace. Anybody that received anything from God, it was by the grace of God. All right, that's one thing at the outset you must understand.

Another thing that you understand is that, verse 28 must not be looked at alone by itself. That's why I read to you from verse 23. All that happened from verse 23 to 27, comes as a package with 28. This is a description or a portrayal of how salvation happens, how a man is saved, how salvation works. How is a man saved? Just like the experience of Moses.

How was he saved? He was raised by his parents. The parents taught him the Word of God, taught him who he is, taught him the covenant that God had with Abraham, and how that he's born into that family. It is part of the Abraham's covenant. So, he was raised in the knowledge of God. And when he grew up, when he could decide his own faith, when he could make decisions on his own, when he grew up to be a young man, he had to make several decisions. And you can see the influence of the parents’ teaching in his decisions.

The first decision he makes is that he refuses to be called son of Pharaoh's daughter. Rather, he would be identified with the people of God. Who would give up the position of son of Pharaoh's daughter? Nobody would want to give it up. It is such a high position. Number one superpower in the world in those days was Egypt, and he is the grandson. He’s considered the grandson of that family, of that king. But he says, “No, no, no. Being the grandson of Abraham is greater. Abraham's blessing is greater than this king. And I don't want to be identified with this king. I want to be identified with Abraham and his children.” So, he chooses that.

There is a definite thing that is happening in his heart. This is how salvation happens. Whenever salvation comes to a person, see even yourself, you consider that, when you turned to God, it was not just that you went to some church and gave your name and got dipped in water. That is not how salvation happens. Salvation happens as a work in the heart first. Something happens in the heart. There is a turning away from sins to God, turning away from the world to God, turning away from anything that is opposed to God to God. There is a turning around that happens mentally in the thoughts, therefore, a turning around in the way you live. That is what happened to Moses. Something is telling him, “Don't identify with the Pharaoh’s daughter. Identify with the people of God.”

And then he refused the pleasures of sin. Did not want to participate in the pleasures of sin. Now, that is something that nobody would want to give up. It is so alluring, so inviting. Everybody likes that because of our sinful nature since Adam sinned. We all have the sinful nature in us therefore we are drawn to sin. I always say we have to have tuition for our own Tamil. If you're a Tamilian you need tuition for Tamil. In Tamil, people say, “Tamil is the most difficult to understand.” They say, “I can't speak Tamil. Tamil is very difficult.” They had to have tuition for Tamil. You see some children for all subjects they have tuition. Have you ever seen a child go for tuition for sin? It comes so naturally because it is part of the makeup, fallen creature. Ever since Adam, sin has become a part of our life. It comes so naturally. By nature, we sin and we are drawn to sin. We're attracted to sin. So, if a person says no to sin and does not want to go with sin, that means the Spirit of God has got a hold of him. In his heart, something is happening. There is a turning around in his heart. That is what the Bible calls repentance.

When Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God, Mark chapter 1 verse 15 says, He came preaching the kingdom of God saying, “Repent and believe.” So, it's not straight away belief in something, it is first repent. That means turn around. Turn from your ways, turn from your wishes, turn from your will, turn from living your own way, turn to God, turn from sins. Turn from all that the world that is opposed to God is doing, the world that is an enemy of God is doing, turn to God. That's repentance. Repentance is literally turning something that happens in your mind. In Tamil, it's beautiful word. Manam thirumbuthal. That means, the mind turns from going a certain way, thinking a certain way, thinking big of certain things to thinking big of certain other things.

Paul says, “I thought about my race, my belonging to the group of Pharisees, and how that I'm impeccable according to the law and all, that's big thing, but now, ever since I came to know Christ, I think those things are junk, it’s garbage, compared to the knowledge of Christ.” Totally revolutionary thinking. Has it happened to us? If you notice, that's how salvation happens. It's a package you see, it is not straight away believing in something and just enrolling in some church or something like that. That is not what true conversion is all about. Conversion is about a change of mind. This, nobody can make happen. If I wanted to make it happen in you, I cannot make it happen in you. If I could, I wish I could make it happen in you and I will make it happen in everybody. But I cannot make it happen in anybody. I don't have the power to make conversion happen in anybody. Only God can make it happen. Only God can do it.

Psalmist says, “Turn us O Lord, and we will turn to you.” Unless God turns us, it will never happen. So, this is how conversion takes place. A person is attracted to God. He could be going somewhere. I've seen some young people on Tuesday nights they'll come and sit here in our service and hear and so on. They have not even really come to believe in Christ, but they're attracted to this. And they'll come and sit and they'll hear. And I can tell this. On Tuesday nights, you could be doing any number of things, an evening is an evening and you want to go here and there and enjoy yourself. There's plenty of things to do. But this young man is sitting here. Why? Because the heart has turned from the world, from all the attractions in the world. He’s attracted to God, attracted to Christ, attracted to the things of Christ, something happening in the heart. And I have seen such people then later give their life to Christ and come and become real followers of Christ because something happens in their heart really.

Then he gives up the riches of Egypt because he thinks suffering with the people of God is greater riches than the riches of Egypt. He was not attracted by that because it was opposed to God. Pleasures of sin is opposed to God. He was not into things that were opposed to God. So, he turns around and then only as a result of this turning and the work that is happening in the heart, then he believes in the Passover and observes the Passover.

Now, let's look at the Passover itself and see what it's all about. See, observing the Passover is an act of faith. Why do I say that? At first sight it may appear to many that this particular act of observing the Passover is far less remarkable than some of the other things that we have already seen, like Abraham going and sacrificing his son, it’s a greater act of faith you may think. But it is not. You'll see in a moment that it's not such an easy thing. Observing the Passover is not such an easy thing. What Moses did on that night in observing the Passover and asking the people to observe the Passover is beyond all human reason. No human reason will agree to it and accept it. It’s beyond all carnal wisdom. It happened because there was faith in the heart of Moses. Moses really believed and this is what faith does.

Just think about what happened that night on which they observed the Passover. God's judgment has been poured out already nine times. Remember the nine plagues that came upon the land of Egypt. Nine times God poured out His judgment on Egypt. I mean, from anything from the river turning into blood, to all kinds of things happening, horrible things nine times. At the end of the ninth time, that Pharaoh was sick and tired of this whole ordeal, he still hardens his heart, does not want to let the people go. And he warns Moses, he said, “Don't ever come before my face. If you ever appear before my face, I'm going to kill you,” he says after the ninth time. And Moses looks at him and says, “You said the right thing. I will not come before you. But I tell you one thing, one day soon, in just a few days, your officers are going to come to me and they will bow before me and beg me to leave the country with my people. Until then I will wait and I will leave only after they beg me to go,” he says. And he announces the 10th mighty plague that is going to happen, that is the death of all the firstborn in all of Egypt, man and animals from the child in the king's house, to the child of a lady that lives down in the street. Every house will have death.

Now, I can see some people's face turning like, “My God, God does all this. God is going to kill all the firstborn? How unjust?” No, God is always just. You say this is unjust, but what do you think about that same Pharaoh ordering that all children born to Israelites, male children be killed? Nobody says anything about that. They say, “How can God do this?” I say, how can Pharaoh do that? The Bible says God is not mocked, be not deceived. Whatsoever a man shall sow, that he will also reap. And I'll tell you, every wrongdoing, every injustice that is done, will meet with God's justice. God will pay back one day. If not today, tomorrow, it will surely happen. No injustice will be overlooked. I guarantee you; God is a God of justice.

God is looking at Pharaoh literally through this plague and saying, “You killed.” He says, “Israel is my firstborn.” Look at how God said, I don't have the time to read it, “Israel is my firstborn, and you killed my firstborn. Now, you experience that in every house in your country. You experience that,” He says. Moses announces that this is going to happen. And then Moses is supposed to go and tell the people of God what they're supposed to do in preparation for the Passover. It’s elaborate preparation. And look at what people are going to say. People are going to look at him and say, “Listen, you tried nine times.” You got to imagine the situation. “You tried nine times, man. Nine times it didn't work out. That guy is not budging. Nine times you tried; you did everything possible. You turned the whole River Nile into blood. What more do you want? But after that, the guy endured all that, eight more plagues like that. And he still stands strong, and he's persecuting us more, because he hates us more because of you bringing all these plagues and all that. How do you believe that what you have done nine times did not work and what you're going to do 10th time is going to work?”

“Why would the 10th one work? Just the shedding of blood and sprinkling the blood on the doorpost is going to work? You mean to say that Pharaoh's going to look at it and going to believe that that's going to kill all the firstborn and be afraid of it and send us all out? How can you believe that the 10th one is going to work? Nine times you have failed. Nine things didn't work, why should the mere sprinkling of the blood have such a remarkable effect? Plus, you tell us that we're going to leave that night when Passover happens. We need to make preparation to leave. We need to pack up and load up and leave. We got a lot of stuff to take with us all our animals and all the other stuff and you're telling us to go find a lamb and keep it for three days and then on the fourth day sacrifice that lamb as a Passover sacrifice and all that? At the time that you're trying to leave, do we need all these detailed workings of all these things?”

Anybody with any intelligence will dislike this whole idea of observing the Passover. It is opposed to human understanding and human reasoning. It's like God told them to go around Jericho for seven days and the seventh day seven times. You just ask, if you had an opinion poll among the Israelites, I mean, I don't think you would have gotten even one vote on your side. Any structural engineer you called and said, “Is the wall going to fall?” They say, “No, it’s not going to fall. How will it fall if you went seven days and on the seventh day seven times? What are you going to do? Just shout? You think the wall is going to fall down when you shout?” We're going to talk about it in a couple of weeks. The Bible says, by faith the walls of Jericho fell. By faith it fell. The power of faith made it fall. Human reasoning cannot understand it. Human mind cannot comprehend it. So, I don't think anybody would have gladly accepted this. But Moses believed it.

See, that's what faith is all about. Faith, when it comes from the word of God... I want to really get into this in the next series. When you begin to have a relationship with God and totally trust God, and you come to a conclusion that God is absolutely good, there is not one ounce of evil in Him, and that whatever He says He will do, that He never fails. Not one word will fall to the ground. When you completely trust Him, when you completely trust His goodness, when you completely trust His word, by your relationship with Him, you come to a point where you totally abandon yourself on Him and completely trust Him. The whole world will say, “No, it won't work.” Thousands of voices will speak and say, “No, it won't work.” But you will believe that it will work. Everybody will say, “Nine times it didn't work, how will it work 10th time?” You will say, “Nine times it didn't work, 10th time it'll work.”

That's the power of faith. Have you ever experienced that? I've experienced it in my life. The power of faith, it's amazing. It's a supernatural power. When it gets into you and you believe that God can do it, when you believe that God is good, when you believe that God is faithful, when you believe that God never lies, when you believe that God's word, if He has spoken it, He has the power to fulfill it, when you believe God, absolutely, you become a different person. You're not impressed by the voices of this world and voices of reasoning. I don't demean reasoning. We need to use reasoning a lot of times. But faith, many times, goes beyond the reasonings. And when you totally trust in God and believe in God and totally without an ounce of doubt, you're convinced that God will do what He says, that's faith, my friend. That's why you need to meditate upon the goodness of God, the faithfulness of God. That's why you need to meditate upon the power of God that He can do what He says. That's why you need to meditate upon all the character and the nature of God.

Hopefully, that's what we'll do next series. When you get into that, and when you meditate, when you think about God's goodness, and who He is and how great He is, that nothing is impossible for Him then the whole world... See, the world does not understand that because they have not been meditating on God. They've been meditating on their problems. You think all the people of Israel were meditating on God? No. You think all these people under Moses were thinking about God's faithfulness and goodness, and all that? No. Very few might have. But Moses was. Moses has a real sense of God's call, God's mission. He has faith. He knows what God can do. He knows that nothing is impossible with God. Why can't God do it? Why didn't He do it nine times? Nine opportunities God didn't do it. Well, I don't know, we ought to ask Him. Maybe He's got an agenda. God did have an agenda.

The Bible says God hardened the heart of Pharaoh. Why? So that He can show Himself mighty, the Bible says. More and more He hardened his heart because the more He hardened his heart, the more tough he looked. It looked like nobody could change his mind, and nothing could change his mind. And then God showed what He could do. He could have done it the first time, but they would not have realized how great God is. He waited for nine times to happen. And in the 10th time they did. See all of this, we don't realize. We always say, “Why didn't God do it the first time itself, brother? that saved a lot of problem.” Well, God is trying to show forth His power, His might, who He is, and what He can do. How will He show forth? He hardens his heart to that level until everybody thinks it's totally impossible. Nine times it's happened, the guy would not let go. 10th time, do you think it will happen? God says, “You watch Me. I'll do it this time. You will see that it is nothing for Me to do it. I'm going to take this Pharaoh's army and drown them in the sea. You watch what great thing I will do. I will do much more than what you have ever thought about. You will not just leave Egypt but you will never see these Egyptians again. They'll never be able to pursue you. I will show you mighty power.”

See, we don't understand, we don't foresee all these things. We don't understand all these things. So, we're always saying, “Why didn't God do it the first time? The second time He could have done it.” As if we are all wise ones. God says, “Wait, the 10th time is the best. He becomes hardened and he thinks he's great.” He starts with an insult to God. When Moses goes and says, “Let my people go.” He says, “Who’s God? Who's your God? I don't know Him. I'm a famous person, but your God, He’s unknown. I don't know Him. I don't have to hear what He says, and I don't have to obey what your God says. Tell your God to get lost.” That's the way he talks. God is going to show him who He is. He is going to know God like he has never known God ever before. God is working up to that. Hello.

If you think that God has not done anything to you, why God has not done this, God has not done that, I'll tell you, my friend, don't ever do that. Continue to feed yourself on the goodness of God, the faithfulness of God, the greatness of God, the power of God, and all of that. Don't ever fall back and say, “Well, God didn't do, what did God do to me?” No, no, no. Continue to fill yourself with the thoughts about God's goodness, God's power, God's greatness and watch out, at the most appropriate time, in the right way to glorify Himself and to magnify His power, God is waiting. And God will show Himself great in your life. When you think that it's absolutely impossible, that's when He shows that nothing is impossible to Him. Amen? Are you there today? That's faith.

So, think about Moses and what he went through that night. Questions about failure nine times and the consciousness of his own failure before the people nine times surely stood fresh before his mind. But his confidence that he had in God was not ordinary, something supernatural. He has been understanding who God is and what God can do. To human mind, it looks impossible but to a mind of faith, it looks very possible. See, this is what faith is like. I want you to get a sense of what faith is like. Faith is not like what the Hollywood people describe, leap in the dark or something like that, no, no. That you don't know what's going to happen, you jump anyway. That's the way they describe faith. No, no, no. Faith is knowing for sure that God will do what He says. Faith is having light, faith is seeing, faith is knowing, faith is certainty, faith is assurance, faith is evidence. That's the way the Bible teaches about it. All right.

So, just meditate on what faith is. I get excited, I feel like I'm going to take off when I talk about faith, because that is real. When it gets into you, it does something to you. It raises your level; it takes you very far. It makes things impossible possible. So, he tells the people, and I believe that the way he told the people, the people started doing what he said, because they could see faith written all over his face. In his voice, he was sure, he was certain that God is going to do it. So, they will go home and pack, get ready, and they go get the lamb and all that. But the Passover lamb is a type of Christ. You read about the Passover in Exodus chapter 12. Let me just point out a few things. Just quickly, let me list a few things. In the Christian teaching, there is a teaching about types. In the Old Testament, through types the New Testament truths are revealed. The Old Testament talks about Jesus in types. It's called typology. And it's very interesting. In chapter 12, way back in Moses’ time, Jesus is revealed in the Passover lamb.

Let me just quickly list some things. John Owen, the great preacher of old times, 300 years ago he lived and wrote and taught, he lists these things. Let me list them for you and give them to you. In chapter 12 of Exodus in verse 3, we read, Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying... The Lord is telling Moses, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.’ For every household, you must take a lamb, he says. The word lamb became very famous after that. Throughout the Old Testament, lambs were sacrificed but when it came to the New Testament, in John chapter 1 verse 29, we see that Jesus was walking down the road and John the Baptist sees Jesus going down the road. And he identifies Him, he says, “Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” So what John is saying is, “Hey, I know about that lamb.” He didn’t have the New Testament back then, he had only the Old Testament. He said, “I've read about this lamb. This is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.”

The Old Testament lambs were signifying Jesus, were speaking about Jesus. Secondly, the lamb was to be taken from the flock of the sheep, verse 5. It says, Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. All right. So, they must be taken from the sheepfold. Now, Hebrews chapter 2 and verse 14 to 17 says this, because taken from the sheepfold means that it must come from other sheep, or other goats. It must be one of the other sheep and other goats. So, chapter 2 and verse 14 of Hebrews says, Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. 

You understand what he's saying? He’s saying, “Because we had flesh, blood and bone body and because He wanted to redeem us and save us, He took on a flesh and blood body.” Why did He take on the flesh and blood body? So that He may die otherwise He cannot die, God cannot die. Jesus, the Son of God, who exists from all eternity cannot simply die. He has to come in human body in order to die. And He has to die in order to save us. He needs to come as a lamb in order to save us. So, He took on a human body with flesh and blood and came down. That's what he's saying. So that He may destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. So, He was one among us, was one of the human beings, taken from among the human beings, He became like us.

Thirdly, the lamb that was taken was to be shut up separately from the sheepfold. Verse 6 says, Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. So, you take it from the sheepfold, keep it separately. And that talks about how Jesus, even though He was one of the human beings, belonging to the human race, became like one of us. Nevertheless, He was separate from sinners. He was blameless, He was without blemish, He was without sin, and He was separate from sinners. That expression is used in Hebrews chapter 7 verse 26. Even though He’s part of the human race, He is separate from sinners.

Next, the lamb was to be without blemish. Chapter 12 verse 5 of Exodus tells us that lamb was to be without blemish. Not one blemish must be there. 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 19, says that Jesus Christ was such a lamb. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. Exact description. Next, the lamb was to be slain in the way that they were told to slay it, and Christ was slain. And it is by being slain that He could do something for us, by being killed that He could do for us. And Jesus is described in Revelation 13:8 as a Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. That means God before the world's foundation was laid, before man was ever created, before the world was ever created, God had decided that Jesus would be sacrificed as the lamb, that He will be slain as the lamb. Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Next, that Lamb that was so slain was to be a sacrifice. It was the sacrifice of Lord's Passover. Verse 27 of chapter 12 of Exodus says that it is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord. That's how it is described. So, it was a sacrifice. And the next, seventhly, the lamb slain must be roasted and eaten. Some specific instruction. And it actually says, Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire— verse 9 says, its head with its legs and its entrails. Why not boil it in water? Why roast? Because it signified how when Jesus died on the cross of Calvary, the wrath of God was poured out upon Him like fire. The fire of God's wrath was poured out upon Him. He was literally roasted on the cross of Calvary, and it is upon that Christ we believe.

And then in verse 46 of chapter 12 of Exodus we read, that not a bone of him shall be broken, not a bone of that lamb shall be broken. It was told. Amazing how it all aligns up. You wonder why these small details. They were told not one bone of that Passover lamb can be broken. You know why? Because John chapter 19 verse 33 to 36 says that when Jesus was hanging on the cross, they came and broke the bones of the thieves next to Him, and they tried to break His bones, came to Him and found that He was already dead. Therefore, they did not break His bones. Bone was not broken.

And finally, all of that flesh must be eaten. In verse 9 of Exodus chapter 12 says, everything must be eaten. Its head with its legs and its entrails. Everything must be eaten. The whole thing. In John chapter 6 there is an interesting passage after feeding the 5,000 with five loaves and two fish, Jesus says, “I am the bread of life come from heaven.” Talks about Him as the bread of life. And then he talks about believing in Him, “You believe in Me. And if you believe in Me, and you came and I gave you bread, and you've come because you ate yesterday, but you believe in Me, I'm the bread of life. Don't strive for that which perishes, I'm the bread of life.” And then He goes on talking about how they must believe in Him. Then He says something very strange. He says, “Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you will not have eternal life. Those who don't eat My flesh and drink My blood, have no life in them, no eternal life in them. But if you do eat My flesh and drink My blood, I will raise such a person on the last day.”

Everybody got so upset and people left. Everybody left it seems. They thought, “This guy has gone crazy. He’s talking cannibalism now. Eat His flesh and drink His blood, what kind of a thing it is, what kind of a teaching it is.” And Jesus looks at the disciples remaining there. He says, “Do you also want to leave?” And Peter, I don't think he understood also. Peter said, “Lord, where shall we go? For you have the words of life. We're not going. We're sticking with you. We’ll understand later.” What was Jesus saying? Now, we read it and we can understand. He was talking about believing in Him, believing all of the work of the cross of Calvary, how His flesh, the body will be broken. His wounds will be healing wounds. How His blood was shed and the blood will wash away our sins. So, what He's talking about is, “I am the bread of life. I'm going to be broken on the cross of Calvary. My wounds will bring healing to you, and My blood will wash you from your sins and make you whole. So, you must believe all of which is done in the cross of Calvary. All the things done through My flesh and My blood on the cross of Calvary. My flesh is bruised and its wounds are healing wounds and My blood washes your sins away. Believe it all.”

Talking about believing in Jesus and His death on the cross, how His wounds heal and His blood is to wash away our sins. If you believe it, you will have eternal life. That's what He's talking about. These people misunderstood what He was saying. Now, couple of things to really notice here. One of the things is, when death happened in Egypt, death happened in every house, sometimes we say death happened in all Egyptian houses, but not in Israeli houses. True. But I would say death happened in every house. Why? In the Israeli house, nobody died because a lamb died in their place. There was a substitute. That is the message. What is the message there for us? What is the difference between us and people of the world?

Now, some people when they come into the church, they think we are just a holy people and they're just all sinners and unworthy people, that's why they're out there, and we are here. Wrong. We were also unworthy people. We were also sinners. All are sinners and come short of the glory of God. Then what is so special about us? We have a substitute for us, a lamb for us. Jesus died for us and we have put our faith in Christ, we have come to know Him. That's the only difference. It's not that they are bad and we are good. It's the grace of God that has made the difference. It is the cross of Calvary that has made the difference. We are in no way better than people out there in the world. But God has been merciful to us. Now, the wages of sin is death. But we are not dead. We are living for Him. We are full of eternal life.

Another thing is, none of the people of Israel on that day could have been saved any other way, other than by putting their faith in what Moses said, by way of the observance of the Passover. They could not have been saved in any other way. They were told to shed the blood, sprinkle the blood on the doorpost, sit inside the house and eat the meat and completely eat it. Then only the Angel of Death will pass over them. If somebody said, “That doesn't look like a good idea. I am a son of Abraham, man. I am a blessed person. If anybody is supposed to get blessing, I'm supposed to get blessing. So, I'll walk around on the streets because I'm a son of Abraham.” No, you would have been dead if you walked around the streets. You got to sprinkle the blood, come under the blood and be protected by the blood. Abraham's son is not a qualification for salvation. Hello.

Paul says that very clearly, “Just because you think you're Abraham's sons that doesn't mean you will get saved. Everybody is a sinner. Salvation is only through Jesus Christ. You got to trust in the blood.” No, he didn't say, “When the Angel of Death comes, he’ll see if you're Abraham's son and pass over you.” No. he says, “When the Angel of Death comes, he will see if the blood is on the door, and then he will pass over you.” That's the only way. If someone chose to believe in their good works and say, “Well, so far, I've been only doing good. I've never done anything evil. God knows how good I am. I'm better than the man across the street, man who lives as my neighbor. I'm far better than them and God knows surely, and God will save me.” That person would have been dead that day if he believed on that.

You can be good, you can be bad, you still need the blood. You need to sit inside, shed the blood, sprinkle the blood, believe in that lamb, and the blood of the lamb and its ability to save you. If someone said, “Well, I fast two days a week and attend all kinds of all-night prayers. Therefore, God should have mercy on me. God knows how many all-night prayers I’ve been to, and how many fastings I've had.” Well, that person would have been dead if he put his faith in fasting and all-night prayer. Fasting is good, prayer is good but it doesn't bring salvation. After you're saved, you can fast and pray. But it doesn't bring salvation. How does salvation come? Only by faith in Christ. If I can just fast my way to salvation, then why preach Christ? No, my fasting is not going to save me, my praying is not going to save me. It is Christ who saves me. I can cry out to God and do all kinds of things but I got to put my faith in the blood of Jesus, in the fact that Christ died on the cross to save me. Then only He’ll save me.

All this is conveyed through this. This author conveys it perfectly. The author of the book of Hebrews shows them that this is what the entire thing under Moses was doing. It was portraying Christ, the cross, the sacrifice of Passover. “Christ is our Passover,” Paul says. The Old Testament is speaking about that. And Hebrew people, first century, they were ridiculing the Christians who became Christians from Judaism, because they did not understand all these things. They did not understand that the whole thing anticipated Christ, foretold Christ, it was all a type of Christ. Christ was the anticipated one. In fact, they should all come and believe in Christ, but they didn't understand it.

Finally, the sprinkling of the blood, the blood is not enough if you shed it, but you had to sprinkle it on the doorpost, it says. As New Testament Christians, how do we sprinkle it today? Revelation chapter 12 verse 11, gives us the idea of how we must sprinkle it today. Today, we live after the blood has been shed. Just the blood has been shed is not enough. You got to put your faith in Christ. The sprinkling has to do with the application, how you take it, how you believe it. You know, the blood of Christ has been shed, but a lot of people don't apply it, don't know how to apply the blood of Jesus to their situation? How do you apply it? Verse 12:11 Revelation, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. How did they overcome the Devil? By the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.

Three things are involved in this overcoming: the blood, the word, the testimony. Everybody say, the blood, the word, testimony. Three things. How do you put them together? How do you overcome Satan using the blood, the word, and the testimony? How you do it is, you go to the word and find out what the Word says that the blood of Jesus has done for you and confess it, testify about it. So, when you take what the Word of God says about what the blood of Jesus has done, and testify about it, that is how you overcome. Today, lot of overcoming needs to be done by the believers. You overcome how? By the blood of the lamb and the word of the testimony. Have you ever seen how some people overcome the devil, overcome situations, overcome problems by the blood of the Lamb?

When I was a young man, I used to see my grandmother always say, in Tamil Yesuvin ratham jeyam. It was kind of funny to me. I thought, what is she talking about? Why did she say? It's like a slogan she used to say Yesuvin ratham jeyam. All the time. I didn't understand for a long time. But then one day I found that her hip section, it looked like somebody has taken a knife and cut her five or six times, about seven inches long. It's coming apart. She was old in her 80s. We thought she was dying because couldn't explain how it happened. It was like a knife went through her, just splitting completely. And she wouldn't want to go to a doctor. So, we couldn't do anything about it. And she would take oil every day and put it on that and say, Yesuvin ratham jeyam, Yesuvin ratham jeyam. And she was so weak, so worn out, looked like dying. All of a sudden, she perked up, everything dried up, it all became clean, and she was fine. Then only as a young man I thought about it, I said, “Boy, I've been making fun of this Yesuvin ratham jeyam.”

But there is power in this blood of Jesus. It does something. She believed fully that the body of Jesus was broken for her, that His wounds are healing wounds, that by her confession of what the Bible says the blood has done for her, she was appropriating, she was sprinkling in her heart by faith and appropriating the blessing and the benefit that has come to her through that and took it like that. And I tell you, a lot of people say sometimes, “I'm afraid. I'm this, I'm that. I got filled with fear and so on.” How about opening your mouth and speaking out loud and saying, “Yesuvin ratham jeyam”? It is not to be done lightly. It is not to be done without understanding. But if you put your faith in Jesus, the cross, the blood that was shed and the body that was broken, that it is for you, and believe it and speak it and confess it, I'll tell you, that benefit will be yours. That benefit will be yours because it is all by grace and through faith.

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