The Book Of Exodus Chapters 12-14
In Genesis Chapter 12, we read about the deliverance of the Israelite's from Egypt. They were told to use a bunch of hyssop and to put the blood of an unblemished lamb on the lintel over their door and on their door-posts, to escape the angel of death. That is a picture of faith applying the blood of Christ to our hearts. Hyssop was a common plant that was easily found in Egypt. faith too is very easy to find. the Israelite's left Egypt on the 14th day of the first month of their new calendar-and the Lord Jesus was crucified on the same date on which the Pharisees would crucify Jesus and chose that date to deliver the Israelite's from Egypt!
How were the Israelite's delivered? Not by their good life or their good works. God did not go checking inside each house to see ow each person there had lived during the previous 30 years. No. He only checked to see if they had faith to obey Him by putting the blood of an innocent lamb on their doors. When they dipped that hyssop into the blood and put it on their doors, they were saying, "I am not trusting in my good works or my religious activities to protect me. I am trusting in the blood of this innocent lamb. I believe therefore that the angel of death will not enter my house." That's the way of salvation. No man can boast saying, "I was saved because I lived a good life." No. The man who had lived a good life and the man who lived a bad life were both saved that night in Egypt, by the blood of the lamb that was applied to the door posts. If somebody in Israel had thought, "I lived a good life. So I don't believe God will judge me," and therefore didn't put the blood of the lamb above his door, what do you think would have happened? The angel of death would have come in and killed his eldest son as with all the other homes in Egypt.
I know that many people have taken advantage of the truth of salvation by grace through faith in the blood of Christ, and lived carelessly saying, "It doesn't matter how we live." But that does not negate the truth that salvation is still not by works of righteousness which we have done, but by Gods grace working through us as we put our faith in Him.
Ephesians 2:9 says, "Not of works, that no man may glory." But then the very next verse says that God has created us "unto good works". So the full truth is this:
We cannot be saved by any number of good works that we may do. But if our "faith" does not worketh the good works of God in us after was have become saved, that would prove that our faith was not genuine.
That's what James says: "Faith without [good] works is dead."
After putting the blood on the door, the Israelites were all commanded to eat unleavened bread that night. that is a picture of our feeding on Christ Himself, the Bread of Life. It's not enough that we trust in His blood, we must feed on His life too. "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life." (Romans 5:10)
They were also told to eat the bread in their traveling clothes-with a readiness to leave Egypt at a moment's notice. That is how we are to live in this world too- always ready to go, as soon as Jesus calls us up to meet Him. this world is not our home. We must be ready to leave at any time.
I want you to see the righteousness of God in 12:35: "And the children of Israel did as Moses had commanded: and they asked of the Egyptians vessels of silver and gold, and very much raiment." Why was that? Does god ask His children to demand money like that from unbelievers? It's certainly not right for us to do so. but it was right for those Israelites, because the Egyptians had made 600,00 Israelite men to work for them for four centuries and never paid them their wages. Now god was ensuring that they got their full wages for 430 years, before they left Egypt!! God's righteousness will catch up with everyone who has cheated others-even if it is 430 years later! No-one can escape the laws of a just God. In these little things, we see the righteousness of God in the Scriptures.
When the Israelites reached the Red Sea, they discovered that they were hemmed in on every side. Behind them the Egyptian army was pursing after them, on either side they saw huge mountains, and iin front of them was the Red Sea. There was only one direction in which they could look-UP. When we are in tight cirumstances like that, deliverance can come to us only from one place-heaven.
The Psalmist said, "I have lifted up my eyes to the mountains, from whence help shall come to me. My help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." (Psalms 121:1,2)
The Lord told Moses, "Stand and see the great wonders of the Lord, which he will do this day: for the Egyptians, whom you see now, you shall see no more for ever." (14:13-14). The Lord split open the Red Sea and the Israelite's walked across on dry land. The sea floor beneath them was not even wet-it was dry! (Exodus 14:21-23)
I Corinthians 10:2 says that their going through the sea is a picture of baptism in water. a pillar of cloud and fire also came down from heaven enveloping the Israelite's and giving them light and protecting them from their enemies. that was a picture of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire.
Those Israelite's had a 3-fold experience in their deliverance. They were redeemed by the blood of the Passover lamb, they were baptized in the Red Sea, and they were baptized in the cloud that came down from heaven. Those were their initial three experiences. And it was exactly like that for the early Christians- as described in the Acts of the Apostles. They too were redeemed by the blood of Christ, baptized in water and baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is what we as Catholics would call: a decision for Christ, a sacramental baptism, and a conformation.
Why did the pillar of cloud and fire come upon those Israelite's from heaven? It was not to give them a thrilling experience that they could testify to. No. It was to lead them to the Promised Land, where they could conquer the giants and occupy their God-given land.
Today, many seek for the baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire that began at their confirmation, and continues throughout their Christian life, merely in order to have an experience. But God's purpose is that through the Spirit's power we might enter the Promised Land of victory and conquer the giants of lust, anger, dirty thoughts, jealousy, bitterness, love of money etc. that have ruled over us for many years.
Canaan belonged to the Israelite's and not to those giants. God, who owns the whole earth, had promised it to the seed of Abraham 430 years earlier. Our body too belongs to the Lord and not to the dirty lusts that have ruled over it. Many believers have not understood the purposes of the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Confirmation). It not only gives them the increased ability to practice their faith in every aspect of their lives, it not only gives them what they need to be a witness for Christ in every situation, but it is also a way to recapture our body for the Lord-because Satan has blinded their eyes to this truth. Jesus told his apostles that through the power that they receive from the Spirit that through the power that they receive from the Spirit they would be His witnesses-not just bear witness to Him with their mouths, but BE His witnesses by their lives. (Acts 1:8). Our body is now to be a pure temple for the Holy Spirit where God can be glorified through the Spirit's power (I Corinthians 6:19-20). Satan has not blinded the eyes of believers to the truth of redemption through the blood of Christ or to the truth of baptism by water. But he has blinded most of them from understanding the one of the main purposes of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
The Egyptian army was then drowned in that Red Sea. Psalm 106:12 says that when the Israelite's saw the Egyptians dead, then they praised the Lord. The man who walks by sight can praise God only when he gets the answer to his prayer, when he sees his enemies actually drowned. But the man who walks by faith says, "Lord, Thou hast prepared a table before me against them that afflict me." (Psalms 23:5) The enemies are still there. but we sit with the Lord feasting at His table, because we know the Lord will deal with our enemies. Meanwhile, He anoints our head with oil and our cups run over with praise (Psalms23:5) To praise God after we see the answer to our prayers is easy and is an old-covenant life. The new covenant Christian praises God in faith, before he sees the answer.
Satan is still alive today, but he has been defeated. So we are not afraid of him. Neither are we afraid of his agents (of any one) who may try to harm us. They cannot touch a hair on our heads without God's permission. God may allow them to kill us perhaps. That's alright, because God allowed Satan's agents to kill Jesus, James, Peter and Paul. All the apostles were killed except John- but only when God's time for each of them had come-after each of them had finished their earthly ministry. We serve the same God and so we are not afraid.