Faith and History - RR274G13b
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|This transcript is unedited. It was:|
|Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library|
|Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules|
|Posted by with permission.|
Oh God of our salvation for the glory of Thy name and deliver us and purge away our sins for Thy name’s sake. Let us pray.
Almighty God our heavenly Father we come into Thy presence mindful of the burden of sins that we as a people, as a nation, as a world, carry and art not mindful of Thee. Forgive us for our sins, for our despising of Thy mercies. And our unrelenting pursuit of the things of this world. By Thy grace make us a holy people in Christ. By Thy mercy use us and make us effectual unto the ends of the earth. By Thy prospering hand make us mighty in Thy service. We thank Thee for Thy mercy, for Thy grace and Your so great salvation in Jesus Christ, in His name we pray, Amen.
Our Scripture this morning is First Corinthians 10:1-5. Faith and History.
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 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. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
Paul now leaves the personal context for the historical. He goes back to Moses and the exodus. The meaning of that history he now explains saying I would not, brethren, have you ignorant. He then does something that is extremely important. He refers to our forefathers who were with Moses. This is an important fact. Because many of the Corinthian church members were not Jews, they were gentiles. It is impossible to read Paul without recognizing this fact. That again and again Paul speaks of Abraham, of Moses, of the Hebrews in the desert and in Israel as our forefathers. [00:05:02]
He meant that literally...
He meant that literally. He applied it not only to the Jewish members of the Corinthian church but the gentile members. They were gentiles but because they were at least outwardly in the covenant they must see Moses and the people of the twelve tribes as their forefathers. A true Christian is a member of the Israel of God. Paul speaks of them as members of the Israel of God in Galatians 6:16. Now this is an important fact in all Paul’s epistles. The dispensationalists make a difference between those who are of the gentiles and those who were the Jews and supposedly God has something planned even for the ungodly, which is nonsense. Jews and gentiles are heirs of the promises of God in terms of covenant faithfulness. The inheritance of all who are in the covenant of Christ is the whole of the history, the law, the promise of the covenants with Abraham and Moses. The Old Testament is our book, our history. The Christian thus belongs to a long heritage of faith, the Old Testament history. It is our history. We may have been converted only yesterday or our families may have been become Christians only in this century but Moses, Abraham, all of them, they are our forefathers. It is OUR history. All these peoples of the twelve tribes passed through the Red Sea and under the cloud. They were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, verse two says. This is an important and a startlingly statement. To be baptized into Moses, unto Moses both in the Red Sea crossing and in the guidance by the pillar and the cloud means that the gifts of God’s grace were poured out upon them and upon us! [00:09:02]
The meaning of baptized here is not immersed nor dipped...
The meaning of baptized here is not immersed nor dipped but rather saturated. God in the wilderness journey saturated the people with His grace, with His mercy and we are to see that as applying to us. God has saturated us with His mercy, with His so great salvation. The whole of the wilderness journey gave evidence to the great and radical blessings and care of the covenant. Baptism was far greater than any we as individuals will experience or have experienced. Instead of being a brief immersion or aspersion or a sprinkling it was forty years long of covenant care and grace, a saturation with it. A baptism into a remarkable relationship with God. Moreover, verse three says they did all eat the same spiritual food, manna. Their food was supernaturally provided; their privileges were remarkable, far greater than anything even the early church could dream of. Because it was forty years long, it was a continuing miracle. In addition, they did all drink Paul says with the same spiritual drink. For they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them and the rock was Christ. In Exodus Seventeen we read of a rock that provided Israel with water on occasion. In biblical typology rock means God. The only exception when rock is used other than literally is in Deuteronomy 32:31 where rock refers to the false gods, where Moses said ‘their rock is not as our rock’. So it was not the physical rock which when struck provided water that followed them but Jesus Christ, the rock of ages. Toplady knew his Deuteronomy when he wrote Rock of Ages. Thus their wilderness leader and companion was God the Son. We have therefore a remarkable history cited for Israel in the wilderness. It began with their deliverance from Egypt, then the Red Sea crossing and miracle, the manna, the water, it was a great witness to covenant faithfulness by God in amazing ways. [00:13:40]
Then comes the devastating climax...
Then comes the devastating climax. Verse five tells us that with many of them God was not well pleased for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now Paul understates the case. His understatement is a superb one. All knew the history; all knew that only Joshua and Caleb entered the Promised Land, Moses was allowed to see it from a distance before his death. No one else of the people who left Egypt as mature men were able to see the Promised Land. God sentenced to death an entire generation for their unbelief. Paul is not citing this merely for historical purposes but in grim earnestness. If Israel was contemptuous of its privileges and paid a price for it how much more if the church now is contemptuous having the witness of Christ’s atonement? They have seen much more plainly and openly the purposes of God. They have seen the central act of history. How dare they despise it, and then how dare they despise the fact of a journey? In Hebrews we are clearly told that even as Israel had an exodus so we too have an exodus. We have to move out of this world of sin, create the Promised Land according to the purpose s of God. And the ultimate Promised Land is the new heavens and the new earth. But there is a problem, it has plagued the church over and over again throughout the centuries and is very much with us now. We can turn that problem, apocalypse now, we want the end now, haven’t we suffered enough God, give us the new heavens and earth now, rapture us, whatever you do, deliver us, we want apocalypse now. [00:17:51]
Well, this is a view very common in the church...
Well, this is a view very common in the church. Also often common among humanists. I recall when the United Nations was first organized and had its original meeting shortly after the end of the war in San Francisco the apocalypse now kind of mentality was very prominent among intellectuals, among professors at the University. A ticket to the U.N. meetings, organizing meetings was highly counted as a rare privilege, a privilege to be present at the birth of a new world order, in fact I recall at least one professor who in two weeks spent all his time learning Russian so he could follow the discussions, he knew all the other major languages. That’s the organization of the United Nations. Apocalypse now, that’s the new world order whether it’s the humanistic one or that dream of the rapture now, people. To be a part of the final order is a heady privilege and a deadly temptation. Israel succumbed readily to that although warned by Amos that the Lord God could supplant them as the chosen people. He could easily raise up the Ethiopians and make them his chosen people. The church has been guilty of this e vil of apocalypse now and European and American churches have been prone to it. But God can readily and easily supplant them with Asian and African Christians. Not out of any merit on the part of any of these peoples but by His sovereign grace. The finality is not with Israel nor with the church but with the triune God and His kingdom. To read the New Testament and its message of finality in terms of ourselves, our hopes, our feeling of apocalypse now, we want the end result now is wrong. Our faith must be Christ centered not church centered. Paul gives the example of the presumption of Israel to warn against the presumption of the Corinthians and others. Israel was barely into the wilderness before its arrogant demands on God were made and the church was still close to the cross, close to the time of the resurrection, when the Corinthians made their unconcern with God’s law, their concern with their ways very evident. [00:22:13]
The price of sin is always blindness among other things...
The price of sin is always blindness among other things. In verse four Jesus Christ is called that spiritual rock which followed them. Well, all Israel shared equally in the providential care, all Israel received the manna and the water. Their reaction however was very different. We face again the mystery of human responsibility and divine predestination. We must affirm both in order to believe and to understand the faith. God determines all things and yet man is still responsible. A mystery! But so is much of the world. To make it an easy thing to understand is to make it a denial of the faith. We cannot say it is true because we understand it but we believe because God has so ordained it and declared it. And therefore let God be true and every man a liar. Let us pray.
Our Father we thank Thee for this Thy word. We thank Thee that Thou hast brought us into to the covenant and made us the heirs of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Sons and daughters of Moses, the true Israel of God. Give us hearing ears that we may hear, obedient hearts that we may obey and feet ever ready to move in Thy service. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Are there any questions now about our lesson? [00:25:28]
Remember as you think of this text Paul begins by saying...
Remember as you think of this text Paul begins by saying I would not have that ye should be ignorant. We are ignorant, Paul says, if we do not see Moses as our forefather. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as our fathers in the faith. As Christians we are members of the covenant and therefore people who are within all the blessings and promises, promised from Genesis through Revelation. So these few verses of Paul’s like others comprisable to it are very important in that they from start to finish a denial of dispensationalist type of thinking. They are clearly emphatic on the continuity of the Bible, the continuity of the patriarchs, the law and the prophets with us. So that we are all of us to see ourselves as Israelites in the faith. Yes?
[Man speaking] Is the term Judeo-Christian ever appropriate or is it more misleading then helpful?
[Rushdoony] It is a misleading term. The term Hebrew-Christian would be more accurate because the term Judeo means what exists today which is simply Phariseeism. The orthodox Jewish groups are heirs of the Pharisees, just as the liberal ones are heirs of the Sadducees. But the basic inheritance is Phariseeism. Now, a good case can be made for the high intellectual quality of Phariseeism but it’s still wrong and Hebrew-Christian, fine, because it speaks of our continuity with the Old Testament. If there are no further questions let us conclude with prayer. [00:29:11]
Our Father Thy word is truth...
Our Father Thy word is truth. Teach us to live, move and have our being in Thee. To be saturated with Thy word, to be commanded by Thy spirit, to be ever instant in Thy service. And now go in peace, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always, Amen.