by Thomas Bass | Les Feldick
Before we get back to our study, let me comment on the fact that if any of you want to make copies of our video tapes, or books to pass them on to others, feel free to do so. We’re not in this for the money, but rather all we want to do is see lost people saved, and that’s the only reason we’re doing this. Many times I think, what in the world have I gotten into, because I’m still a full-time rancher with all that responsibility, but yet The Lord has given us this ministry, and so we have to use it for His glory. Now let’s get back to our study.
We will begin in Chapter 10, and we have a lot of ground to cover in the next few verses. Because Paul here is going to go way back to the Book of Exodus, and we’re going to follow him in just a moment. Paul tells us that he’s going to add a lesson now to everything he has taught since Chapter 1. The whole purpose of Paul’s letters is to teach us, not just some of the simple things, but even how all of these scriptures tie themselves together. And if there’s anything I love to do it is tie the Old and New together, because they both fit so intrinsically.
I Corinthians 10:1,2
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers (And of course Paul is speaking as a Jew) were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;(In the parting of the Red Sea, as the children of Israel left Israel.) And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;”
I always have to stop here because most of people in this Age of the Church, as soon as they see the word `baptized’ they think of water. Well even though they did have the Red Sea water parted, yet did they get wet? No. They walked through on dry ground. Well then, what’s the baptism? Let’s try to explain. The word `ecclesia’ means `a called out assembly,’ and was called the Church in the wilderness, but the nation of Israel was not baptized to become members of that ecclesia. Now let me show you what I’m talking about. Go back to the Book of Acts Chapter 7. And here Stephen is preaching this tremendous sermon to his Jewish religious leaders, and he’s gone all the way back to Abraham. He’s brought the Jewish history before them, and here beginning with verse 36, he’s referring to their forefathers who came out of Egypt under Moses.
“He brought them out, (That is the nation of Israel) after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, (it’s almost like it was in Christ’s earthly ministry. Remember Jesus had to show wonders and signs to prove to the Jewish nation that it was God’s doing, and here it’s the same way with Moses.) and in the Red sea and in the wilderness forty years.”
Now here Stephen is trying to prove to these leaders of Israel that Jesus was the Christ, so he continues on in verse:
“This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, (prophetically) A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. (In other words someone who would deliver Israel like Moses did.). This is He (Stephen says, speaking of Jesus of Nazareth) that was in the church (the ecclesia are that called-out assembly of the Children of Israel) in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: (the Law)”
Now when God called Israel out of Egypt, He brought them through a Red Sea experience which was a baptism, but without a drop of water. And they became a Church, but without any Church organization. Well it’s a matter of definitions again. The Church here is a called-out assembly, it’s not a New Testament Church. It’s Israel – in the wilderness fresh out of Egypt. And they’re also going to have a baptism that is not water baptism. Now coming back to I Corinthians for a moment. So they passed through the sea, and in that passing though the sea, going from one lifestyle of slavery under the heavy hand of the Egyptians to absolute freedom set aside as the people of God. What kind of a baptism was it? Well it sure wasn’t water, but rather they were simply placed under Moses’ leadership. They were placed under the Shekinah glory cloud that accompanied them, and it was called a baptism. So we must watch our definitions. Now in another place where baptism is used, and it never refers to water is when the disciples thought they could go and do whatever Jesus was going to do, and what did He tell them?
“But Jesus answered and said, `Ye know not what ye ask, Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with…?’”
Well what kind of a baptism was He talking about? His death, His suffering, He would be placed under all of that, and He knew the disciples couldn’t do that. But He called it a baptism. He was placed under all the ramifications of His crucifixion, His burial, and resurrection, and He called it a baptism. Here, Israel coming though the Red Sea under Moses’ leadership, and the power of the Shekinah cloud, it’s still called a baptism. And it merely meant that they were identifying with Moses and his leadership. Now let’s move on to verse 3.
I Corinthians 10:3,4
“And did all eat the same spiritual meat: And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”
Now let’s back up a couple of pages to Chapter 5 here in I Corinthians, and here Paul refers to Christ as our passover.
I Corinthians 5:7
“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. (That is, he’s talking to believers) For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:”
Now we’ll see Paul pull that lesson in Exodus as the Israelites prepare to leave Egypt, not only a lesson for the Corinthians, but for us as well. But let’s stop for a moment in the Book of Romans Chapter 15. Drop down to verse 4, and Paul is writing to the Christians at Rome.
“For whatsoever things were written aforetime (back in the Old Testament) were written for our learning,….”
All those things written back there in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, etc., were written to the Jew under the Law, yet it was for our learning. And how many people today just shut their eyes to the Old Testament and think they have nothing to do with that today. The Old Testament is just a bedrock for the New Testament. You can’t understand the New unless you understand the Old. So, that’s what Paul is saying here in verse 4, that all these things were written for our learning, not our doctrine. You’re not going to find the plan of Salvation back in Exodus. You’ll find a picture of it, but you won’t find the Gospel (As we find it in I Corinthians 15:1-4) back in the Old Testament anywhere.
“…. that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
How in the world does understanding the Old Testament increase our hope? It makes it so much more believable. When you see how all this fits so beautifully, written thousands of years before by men totally unaware of the Church Age, and yet it all fits. How could it if God hadn’t been the Author of it. And so this is another one of the proof positives that this book is supernatural. Now, let’s go back to the Old Testament and see what we can put together here. Come all the way back to the Passover in Exodus Chapter 12. You’ve all known the story of the plagues in Egypt and how Israel was just being submerged in the suffering and the horrors of slavery under the Egyptian slave masters. And then finally Pharaoh told Moses not to ever come back and see him again.
“And Pharaoh said unto him, `Get thee from me, take heed to thyself, see my face no more; for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die.’ And Moses said, `Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more.’”
Then we come into Chapter 12 and God gives Moses and the nation of Israel the instructions for the Passover Lamb. They were to take it out (in verse 5 of Chapter 12) of the flock without blemish, a male, the first year, either from the sheep or the goats. And then in verse 6 they were to keep it penned up for three days until the 14th day of that month of April. And all of Israel was to have a Passover Lamb at their disposal. Now let’s go to verse 7.
“And they shall take of the blood, (of that Passover Lamb) and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.”
Now let’s turn over to the same chapter and verse 12. I think in order to make this a little more graphic, the door of their little huts (they didn’t have fancy homes there in Egypt) were to be struck with a piece of hyssop, which was like our rag weed, and the blood placed on the two door posts and on the lintel (or the head board). Now they didn’t know it but we can see that that was the outline of the Cross and certainly that’s what God had in mind. Now they were to take the blood of that lamb, strike it on the two door posts and on the lintel, as the word is used in the King James anyway, and now verse 12. What was the purpose? This was the last plague that was going to fall on Pharaoh’s Egypt and you all know the plague of the death angel.
Exodus 12:12 (This is God speaking)
“For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods (small `g’) of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.”
Now let’s look at verse 13 and here is where the lesson really comes home to you and I.
“And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”
Now when we were teaching all of this years ago, back in Exodus, I made the point and I’m going to repeat it again. As those Jewish families stood in their little huddles, and they were to stand around the kitchen table with the Passover Lamb roasted and they were to partake of it to give them strength for their journey, this is the emphasis I’ve always said: when they knew that the blood was out there on the door posts, did they shake with fear all that night? No! Why? Because by faith they knew that the blood had kept them secure. They knew by faith, and that’s the word, that with the blood on the door that the death angel would never strike them. They were safe and secure. They didn’t have to shake in their boots. Now then, we’re going to come back to Exodus in a little bit, but for now, let’s go all the way back to Romans and look what Paul says there concerning the blood. And remember, he said in I Corinthians Chapter 9 that Christ was our Passover, and so if there’s a Passover Lamb, there has to be blood, because that was the whole idea – the shedding of the lamb’s blood, that it could be stricken on the door posts. Now look in Chapter 3 of Romans and this is our ground, doctrinally. This isn’t just an example. This is the real thing. This is what we have to latch on to just like the Israelites in Egypt rested on the blood of that lamb on the door, this is what we have to rest on even as Gentiles in this Age of Grace. Starting with verse 23.
“For all (every human being) have sinned, and come short of the glory of God:”
Every human being in his natural state is separated from God because he’s fallen short. He can’t meet God’s standards. But we’re not left with the dilemma of hopelessness. You move on into verse 24, that even though all have sinned,
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption (or the buying back) that is in Christ Jesus.”
Now remember, all of scripture is always teaching that whole idea of something that was owned and was lost. For example, the nation was God’s Covenant people but because of the brother’s sin, where did Joseph end up? Down in Egypt. While Joseph was down in Egypt and the other brethren were in rebellion, God lost his chosen people. He’d lost control of them. So what is He going to have to do? He’s going to have to buy them back! And that’s what the book of Exodus is all about. It’s a book of redemption. And how did He buy them back? Through the blood of the Passover Lamb. Now, it’s the same way with us today. God lost us when Adam fell. And so He’s going to have the redeem us. How does He redeem us? With blood. It’s the only thing that God can use to purchase mankind’s redemption. Now let’s look at verse 25:
“Whom (speaking of Christ Jesus in verse 24) God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood,…..”
You don’t hear that much anymore do you? But there is only one way to experience the redemption of verse 24 and that is putting your faith in the blood of Christ. Now do you see why Paul took us back to the Passover night in Egypt? It’s the same setting. Just as sure as that Jewish family in Egypt was safe and the death angel couldn’t touch the first-born because of the blood out there on the door, so also for you and I who have had the blood of Christ applied, nothing can touch us! Nothing! Now, let’s look at Romans Chapter 8. Let’s go down to verse 37.
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that love us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Why? Because we’re under the blood. And nobody, no power on earth or heaven, can take us from under that blood protection. As surely as the Israelites were saved in Egypt, we’re saved today. What a beautiful security. We saw this even when we taught the flood, and God gave instructions to build that old ark. He was going to make it of wood and it was going to have to be up there in the raging sea for almost a year, so what did God instruct Noah to do to seal the ark so that it wouldn’t leak? Use pitch, which was a tar. I pointed out back there in that lesson in Genesis the same Hebrew word for `pitch’ was also the Hebrew word for atonement! It’s the same Hebrew word. So what did the pitch between the boards of that old ark really amount to? The sealing effect. It was the atoning effect. Just as sure as the blood seals out judgment and it can never touch us, the pitch sealed out the waters of the flood.
And so this is all the way through Scripture, that we are secure, not because of anything we do, or anything we deserve, but simply because we’ve placed our faith in the blood of Christ. Of course, it doesn’t stop there because we also place our faith in His resurrection, in the fact that He arose from the dead. Now come back to Corinthians for just a moment. This is after they came out of Egypt, out of the Red Sea experience, and were separated unto God. They are out in the desert. And all these millions of people there. I’m so tickled whenever I read an article like the one in the Jerusalem Post here a while back. A writer used the same numbers that I’ve used for years concerning the Children of Israel coming out of Egypt, 3 – 7 million. That’s unbelievable, I know it is, but that’s how many it must have been. Here they were out in the desert and out there there is usually no water. And they got thirsty. Whatever livestock they had, that always raises questions for me too. Why were they hungry for meat when they had all those sheep, cattle and goats. And their livestock were getting thirsty and the Israelites were thirsty. And so what did they do? They come up to Moses, Let’s go back to Exodus about Chapter 17, verse 2.
“Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, (they were just irritating him. Almost screaming at him.) and said, `Give us water that we may drink.’ And Moses said unto them, `Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?’ And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, `Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?’ And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, `What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.’ And the Lord said unto Moses, `Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, (remember back in Egypt it turned into blood) take in thine hand and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; (Horeb is the same as Mt. Sinai) and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.’ And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.”
And how much water did they get? They got enough for all the Israelites and all their cattle and there was enough left over that the neighbors started fighting for it.