On Celebrating Birthdays Including Christmas

Genesis 40:20, Pharaoh’s birthday. The is the first of three references to birthdays in the Bible. The second one is to Job’s children who were killed on, presumably, one of their birthdays (Job 1:4, 18–19).The third reference to King Herod, who had John the Baptist beheaded on his birthday (Matt 14:6–12). Because of the fact that birthdays are associated with calamity in the Bible, some people refuse to celebrate birthdays, even though there is no direct or indirect prohibition against honoring a loved one once a year on the day of their birth. 

Though I respect a person’s right to disagree with me on this issue, it is the opinion of this writer that celebrating birthdays is neither inherently evil nor a pagan thing to do. It is merely honoring and respecting a loved one on the day marking their debut into this world. What’s evil about that? “Oh, it’s a pride thing,” someone might respond. If so, then answer me this: How is honoring and showing love by telling someone that you’re glad they were born “a pride thing”?  And if it’s pride, then Continue reading

 

Submit Willingly Now or Else…

All false gods and idols will come down including the god of self! We can willingly submit to YHVH Elohim now, or be forced to so later under his hand of judgment.

Exodus 10:3, How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? The sovereign Creator ultimately demands that everyone submits to his will and purposes. Those who refuse to do so imperil themselves. The Scriptures record that YHVH held other leaders accountable for exalting themselves against him in addition to Pharaoh—for refusing to humble themselves: Nebuchanezzar (Dan 4:19ff), Belshazzar (Dan 5:22), Zedekiah (2 Chron 36:12), Lucifer (Isa 14:13ff) and Herod (Acts 12:21–23).

Furthermore, those who put their trust in false gods will come under the judgment of the one supreme and true Elohim or Mighty One of the Bible. Elohim uses men’s false gods or idols as a judgment against sinners to help them to see the futility of their idolatrous delusions and to bring them to repentance (e.g. Isa 66:4–5; Prov 10:24). As Elohim judged the false gods of Egypt one by one and brought that arrogant nation down, he will do the same in the end days with Babylon the Great and the gods or idols of this world. We see a striking parallel between the plagues YHVH brought upon Egypt and those he will bring upon the rebellious inhabitants of earth just prior to Yeshua’s second coming. For example, the seventh plague of the seventh vial is an ultimate expression of the fierceness of Elohim’s wrath upon a rebellious and still blaspheming world (Rev 16:17–21). Seventy five pound hailstones will fall from heaven and the earth will quake beneath. There will be no hiding place from Elohim’s wrath. Additional end-time plages that replicate those of Egypt include grievous sores to come upon men (Rev 16:2), the seawater and fresh water turning to blood (Rev 16:3–4), and darkness upon the earth (Rev 16:10). After this, Babylon the Great will fall (Rev 18:2), even as ancient Egypt fell under the mighty blows of YHVH’s judgment.

Psalm chapter two summarizes the rebellious arrogance of men, and their conspiracy against the Creator to keep control of their earthly kingdoms. Elohim will laugh at them from heaven and will send his Son to judge them and to break their kingdoms in pieces with a rod of iron. Kiss Messiah the Son now and worship him if you expect to escape these judgments (v. 12)!

What gods or idols do we have in our lives that we are holding on to? Each of the plagues against Egypt was a direct strike against one of the many gods of Egypt (Exod 12:12; Num 33:4). Elohim will destroy all pretenders and imposters who dare to challenge his sovereignty. The god of self is the most powerful god we will ever face!

 

What’s the Significance of Moses’ Three Miracles?

Here’s question from Jim M.

I was wondering if you knew what the sages had to say about the 3 signs Moses was given by God to authenticate his ministry. God could have chosen rainbows, butterflies, and the Hallelujah chorus to send back with Moses. Instead He chooses a poisonous snake, leprosy, and water into blood. To me these signs all speak of rebellion, sin, and death.

Here are my thoughts:

Exodus 4:3, Serpent. A serpent can be a biblical metaphor for Satan or demonic powers (e.g., Gen 3:1; Luke 10:19 cp. 9:1 and Mark 16:18; Rev 12:9; 20:2). Pharaoh as ruler over Egypt (a metaphor for this world) was a type of Satan who is the ruler of this world. A rod or a staff can be a biblical metaphor for power, authority, rulership or judgment (Gen 38:18; Exod 4:17, 20; Ps 2:9; Rev 19:15). In this verse, it seems evident that YHVH was giving Moses authority over the powers of Satan and his forces. When Moses cast down his rod, it became a serpent, and Moses was immediately able to assume control over the serpent at will for the purposes of advancing YHVH’s spiritual kingdom. This seems to have been YHVH’s way of showing Moses that he was giving him supernatural authority over Pharaoh (Satan) in fulfilling his divine commission to liberate the children of Israel. The staff changing into a serpent reminds us of the authority Yeshua gave his disciples to cast out demons and to heal diseases (Luke 9:1; 10:19; Mark 16:15–18). Furthermore, YHVH instructed Moses to construct a bronze serpent and place it on a pole so that when the Israelites looked on it, they were healed of the bites of the fiery serpents (Num 21:8). The serpent represents sin, since it is Satan the serpent who introduced sin to man in the Garden of Eden, which brought upon man the curse of death. Yeshua took that curse on himself when he was lifted up on the cross of judgment as Moses lifted up the bronze serpent in the wilderness (John 3:14). Yeshua defeated Satan the serpent at the cross, even as Moses’ serpent defeated the serpents of the satanic Pharaoh’s magicians.

Exodus 4:6, Put your hand in your bosom. This second sign was to demonstrate Moses’ authority over sickness, disease and sin. Leprosy is as biblical metaphor for sin and the fact that it’s highly contagious (Lev 13–14). Only the Yeshua’s death on the cross can heal men of this spiritual disease as the Torah’s cleansing ritual for leprosy metaphorically points to (Lev 14:4–7).

Exodus 4:9, Blood on the dry land. This was the third sign or witness that YHVH gave Moses as confirmation of his divine commission. The Scripture instructs us to confirm things in the mouth of two or three witnesses (2 Cor 13:1). The Nile River and god to the Egyptians and was the source of much of Egypt’s economic wealth, since it watered that country’s crops. Bringing the judgment of death upon the Nile’s waters was a judgment against one of Egypt’s gods and its economic might.

Exodus 4:3–9, A summary. The three signs that YHVH had Moses perform to Pharaoh were merely warning shots against a wicked and unrepentant nation instructing them to submit to YHVH’s will. YHVH was telling the Egyptians that if they refused to obey his prophet, he would unleash demonic spirits, plagues of sickness and economic destruction on that nation. These are YHVH’s judgments against a nation that refuses to repent. Of course, Egypt refused to obey YHVH, and so he not only brought these judgments against Egypt, but much more, such that Egypt was totally destroyed. The same fate befalls the Mystery Babylon the Great worldwide system of the end times as we read about in the Book of Revelation.

 

Who Hardened Pharaoh’s Heart?

Exodus 4:21, I will harden Pharaoh’s heart. There is an interesting interplay in the Torah’s narrative regarding the a condition of Pharaoh’s heart. At times, it’s recorded that Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exod 7:23; 8:15, 32; 9:34), and at times, we read that Elohim hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exod 7:3, 13, 22; 8:19; 9:7, 12, 35; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 5, 8).

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Who was in control of Pharaoh’s heart? Pharaoh or Elohim? Initially, it appears that Pharaoh had some control over his heart disposition, but as time progressed, his heart became totally sold out to rebellion against YHVH. When he crossed this line, it was a point of no return for Pharaoh, and so YHVH simply used him to accomplish his purposes.

Paul discusses the sovereignty of Elohim with regard to the free will of men in Romans 9:15–18. YHVH can save who he wishes (Mark 10:26–27 cp. Rom 9:18) and condemn who he wishes (Rom 9:18, 22).

It is true that YHVH loves the whole world (John 3:16) and is not willing that any should perish, but desires all to be saved (2 Pet 3:9). He has made the wicked for the day of his judgment (Job 21:30; Rom 9:22). However, YHVH sets before humans two paths: life and death. All have the freedom and ability to choose the path of righteousness, leading to life, or wickedness leading to death (Deut 30:15–20).

When Pharaoh chose the path of wickedness and death and hardened his heart to go in that direction, YHVH simply complied with the dictates of the king’s heart and used him accordingly for his sovereign purposes.

In the Exodus record relating to the condition of Pharaoh’s heart, we see that initially sometimes Pharaoh hardened his own heart, and sometimes it was YHVH who did it. In the end, however, it was YHVH who exclusively hardened Pharaoh’s heart. This is because by this time, Pharaoh had already predetermined to harden his heart, and YHVH was simply manipulating Pharaoh according to his sovereign purposes. YHVH had not violated Pharaoh’s freedom of choice, but was playing along with the choices Pharaoh and already made.

 

A Song for Yeshua…Take That Pharaoh!

I’ve posted this comment before, but it’s such good stuff in Exodus 15 that I can’t help myself. We gotta share it again. I like scripture passage because it points so convincingly in a prophetic way to Yeshua the Messiah, who is our Savior, and who will deliver his people again from their enemies even as he did our forefathers from Pharaoh. So enjoy!

Exodus 15:1, This song. This Song of Moses may be more aptly titled, “The Song of the Redemption,” for it is a song about our Heavenly Redeemer, as we shall now discover.

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I will sing. Will this Song of Moses be sung again in the future? In Revelation 15:3, we see that the glorified bride of Yeshua will be singing the Song of Moses. Why is she singing this joyous song? Because YHVH has delivered her from his judgments of wrath that he is pouring out upon a wicked end times world. These same redeemed Israelites are those whom YHVH has brought out of Babylon the Great as part of the second exodus of redeemed Israelites from the nations where they have been long scattered and spiritually enslaved. The Song of Moses here (in Rev 15:3) also relates to the Song of the Lamb. As we shall see next, the Song of Moses in Exodus 15 does relate to Yeshua the Lamb.

Exodus 15:2, The LORD [Heb. Yah]. Yah is the shortened form of YHVH. The verse goes on to say about this same Yah “that he has become my salvation [Heb. Yeshua].” It literally says that YHVH has become Yeshua! This is yet another Tanakh (OT) prophecy confirming the deity of Yeshua.

I will praise him. The KJV translates this phrase as “I will prepare him a habitation.” The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach has, “I will build him a sanctuary.” Couple this with verse 17, which speaks of “the sanctuary [Heb. miqdash],” which YHVH has made for his dwelling, and we have a solid reference to the Tabernacle of Moses, which YHVH instructed the Israelites to build, so that he could dwell among them (Exod 25:8), and commune with them (verse 22). What’s more, everything in the tabernacle pointed to Yeshua, the salvation of YHVH, and to his death on the cross to redeem man from sin and bring him into close communion with the Father in heaven!

Exodus 15:6,12, Your right hand. Three times this phrase is found in the Song of Moses. Who is the outstretched arm or YHVH? It is Yeshua (Isa 53:1 cp. Isa 52:10; 40:10; Ezek 20:34–35) who is presently at the right hand of Elohim (e.g., Rom 8:34; Col 3:1; etc.).

Exodus 15:12, The earth swallowed them. Even as the earth (or seas) swallowed up Pharaoh (a picture of Satan) who was attempting to destroy YHVH redeemed people, the earth will come to the rescue of the end times saints who have fled into the wilderness after leaving the Babylon the Great world system (Rev 12:16).