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Wednesday: The Resurrection of Moses — 24 Comments

  1. The notion that Jesus' death on the cross gives us salvation is central to Christianity. There is a spectrum of ideas about how and why this is. Some take the view that it is a legal requirement, while others hold that it was an act of unselfish love. And there are other views as well. I submit that God, in his wisdom has given us a variety of models to help us appreciate (if not understand) his part in our salvation.

    The very useful piece of information about today's lesson is that the effect of the cross is timeless. An event that took place in time a couple of thousand years ago is effective, not only for those who came after the event, but for anyone before the event as well. If I turn on the lights in my house, I light up the events that occur in my house after that event. I cannot throw any light on events that occurred before I switched the light on.

    Moses resurrection took place before Jesus died on the cross, effectively demonstrating that Jesus part in our salvation is not limited by time. Perhaps, the fight over Moses' body was really Satan trying to tell "Michael" that he could not raise him because it was out of time sequence. I throw that thought in as just something to think about.

    • Yes Dear Brother, the notion of time is for us not for God. Time is a big deal for men, however, for God one day can be 1000 years that is why He is eternal. 2 P.3:8

    • Maurice - one can also say that 'the effect of Christ Jesus' faith is timeless'. To me, the cross is only the symbol depicting Christ's Faithfulness against all odds, against all temptations to give up His Faith - His Faith overcoming the whiles of His Father's adversary and for both to continue with the Plan of our Salvation of mankind.
      If Lucife would have remained faithful, would not have given up his faith, would not have tempted man and so distort man's relationship with his Creator, mankind would not be in the possition we are in now.
      It was not man's fault alone, and God has compassion with His creature - man; it was a powerful angel with great authority that tempted man to doubt God.
      But Christ Jesus' Faith was victorious; He has overcome the world - John 16:26-33.

  2. Today's lesson states that "there's no doubt that Moses was a sinner". More and more I am realising how much we unfortunatley are deeply conditioned to instinctively focus on behaviour (the outward appearance) to classify people - just as God affirmed in 1 Samuel 16:7. Thus, because we see that Moses sinned, we classify or conclude that Moses must therefore be a sinner. But God doesn't appear to see things this same way.

    Consider God's reported 'appraisal' of Noah in Genesis 6:9 or Job in Job 1:1. God does not classify either of these men as sinners - even though they will likely have committed in-the-moment lapses. We will see this same viewpoint next quarter in Hebrews 11 where the sins of the faith-giants such as Abraham and David are not reported. And this is similarly consistent with Paul's wider tendency to address his letter to the "saints" in the churches - again, people who were not technically sinless at a behavioural level.

    What picture of things do we gain from consideration of these above examples? Man looks at and therefore forms opinions and judgments based on outward appearances - because that is all we can see and see most easily. But God does not suffer from our limitations and instead is able to look at the underpinning heart tendency. It appears that those whose core heart tendency is united with God's in other-benefiting rather than self-seeking, are not seen by God as sinners. Does this mean that sin is not a deeply significant issue that has huge implications that therefore need to be addressed? Absolutely not, for it was only a single sin that cause the fall of the entire human race and necessitated the Son of God going through all He had to go through to rescue that human race from the self-obliteration caused by sin/lawlessness. What it does mean is that God sees things very differently - just as He informed us (Isaiah 55:8-9) - because His viewpoint is not 'clouded' or distorted like ours (1 Corinthians 13:12 principle). For further investigation of what I am briefly outlining here consider passages such as Romans 6:14-16, John 8:34 and Galatians 5:1.

    In light of this, we can see the contrast between Satan's reference point and God's reflected in Jude 9. Satan, like humans, wrongly proposes that because Moses has sinned, Moses is therefore fundamentally a sinner and therefore precluded from salvation. But God does not share this perspective/paradigm and therefore doesn't even bother to enter into a dispute with Satan. Rather, God simply stands in the truth of full reality and dismisses Satan's allegation for what it is - baseless accusation, just like it was back in Genesis 3:1b,4.

    Once again we are given a window into how abundantly compassionate God actually is (Exodus 34:6a) - and is rightfully able to be. It is almost as if we find it too good to be true. But the more we are grown in our capacity to have our eyes opened and to see God's higher ways, the more we come to realise just how abundantly gracious and yet also truly reality-based (ie, God's wider reality) they are. Praise God we really do have 'good news' to share and live amid a world that is crumbling fast (1 John 2:17)!

    • Wow! What a powerful exposition! I imagine Jesus standing up and cheering! Then saying to Abba, "if they all get it like this there'll be less name-calling,less accusations and much more empathy among them! And we'll have a little heaven down there with lots more to redeem!"
      Please note that I'm not attempting to belittle sin, just for us to put more into seeing each other as God sees us. The end is near and it's that time when we very much need to gather strength from each other. Thanks Br Phil.

      Greater and more thanks to Jesus for giving us a glimpse into His love and care of us earthlings through the story of Moses.

  3. Moses' resurrection i want to believe before the cross has some fundamental basis on the resurrections after the cross.Not only Moses ressurected before the cross,but,the Bible mentions some resurrections that took place too. So, considering the bigger picture here,why does Jesus become the first fruit of resurrection when even at the point of His death on the cross some resurrection took place and those who resurrected were seen in Jerusalem?

  4. Phil, you really got to the heart of the issue with your comment by wrapping up all details involved to give us a complete picture of the subject matter.

  5. Jude verse 9 one of my favorite scriptures.
    There is time to talk. There is time to be silent.
    If Michael (Christ) himself is silent, this is teaching me do not dialogue with satan.
    Michael resurrected Moses. He came to take Moses to heaven and he did not leave the body of Moses to decay rather transfigured and brought it to heaven. Matthew 17:4
    Christ is victorious

  6. Christ says: I am the resurection and life. Anyone that comes to Me, I in no wise cast out. Well close, the text actually says: " he who believes in Me though he may die, yet he will live." John 11:25. What a wonderful story of Moses we are witnessing this week, No wonder Micheal the Archangel, God the Son wrestled with Lucifer. Satan did not want to let Moses resurection happen, thus if the accuser could prevail, the illistration of the plan of salvation, would be destroyed, Thank God, for His power. For Thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory for ever amen. Matthew 6:13. 2 Samuel 22:33.

  7. Jude 9-11
    The Message

    9-11 The Archangel Michael, who went to the mat with the Devil as they fought over the body of Moses, wouldn’t have dared level him with a blasphemous curse, but said simply, “No you don’t. God will take care of you!” But these people sneer at anything they can’t understand, and by doing whatever they feel like doing—living by animal instinct only—they participate in their own destruction. I’m fed up with them! They’ve gone down Cain’s road; they’ve been sucked into Balaam’s error by greed; they’re canceled out in Korah’s rebellion.

    Matthew 17:1-3
    The Message
    Sunlight Poured from His Face

    17 1-3 Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him

    As reading the text so us what does God do for Moses. GOD LETS HIM INTO THE TRUE PROMISED LAND! God gives Moses the ultimate reward! Moses does not get to explore the earthly symbol for heaven (the promised land), he gets to live in the real thing. He gets to live with God!

    God was not unfair or unjust.

    Look at the sequence of events for a moment. What would have been a perfect outcome for Moses, to realize the goal of his life, leading the people into Canaan, and later dying and being taken to heaven.

    If we skipped over Moses’ sin, and God just said to him, “Hey friend, I’m taking you to heaven instead of Canaan, you will like it a lot better,” would that have been fine with Moses?

  8. God through Moses taught His people practical things, but all practical things have a spiritual component to them – if applied by faith, they count toward righteousness. I do not understand Mrs. White referring to the individual ‘sin’ – i.e. ‘striking the rock twice’ -, as the sin he committed. She said: “in consequence of sin Moses had come under the power of Satan.” We all, ‘on our own merits are death’s lawful captives.’
    God’s Plan of Salvation includes everyone who believes. We all are called to action; we all need to be about our Father’s business and live our 'Life in Christ' faithfully.
    Can anyone really ‘understand the depth of the Plan of Salvation’? I can only answer the lesson question by acknowledging that I do not know the mind of God, but trust Him with all my heart that He keeps my faith in Him strong.

    Relating to what Phil’s comment brings out as a very important point – judging each other by the ‘outward appearance’. Soliciting projections, assumptions, speculations, finding fault and pointing out disobedience and shortcomings seems to be the ‘default’ study-form when looking to discover Truth conveyed through Scripture. It appears, most topics studied portray the lesson as a matter of sin and condemnation - obedience vs. disobedience, wrong vs. right, judgment vs. grace, man the sinner vs. … - God!?
    Shortcomings of the people involved are usually being highlighted, leading the student to ‘judge’ the ’sinful’ act according to the way the lesson writer depicts it, fostering a disposition of ‘being judgmental’, instead of directing the heart toward empathy with the person and seeing the Grace of God at work.

    Why is that? Why is the focus of so many lessons slanted toward elevating/studying the ‘bad act committed’, focusing on the fallen state/negative instead of Salvation and redemption of people? This teaching-style, in my opinion, focuses/entices the learner to judge the ‘outward appearance’ as seen in the wrongful act committed by other’s fallen state; instead, one could focus on God’s work of Salvation by Grace, a spiritual work being done in the believer’s heart and life as verified by Scripture.

    Often, the final lesson-question attempts to elevate the mind again when asking to find the right path; it does this, though, by having first lead to judge the person who committed the ‘wrong act/sin’, and not by highlighting/elevating/showing God’s Grace at work in the hearts of all believers.
    All of us who study the Scriptures to learn spiritual Truth, need to learn the ‘Full/Whole Truth’. Like Phil said: “Praise God we really do have ‘good news’ to share …”!

    • Moses seemed to be claiming God's place when he said 'must we." By saying "we" he was making himself equal to God in a sense. That is what Satan was doing in Isaiah 14. Though I don't think it was as premediated or as deliberate as Lucifer. Honestly I never thought of it that way before, but I can see the author's view.

    • Jack - when you read Numb.20:6-10KJV you will understand this passage better. It clearly reads that the *we* in Moses saying - "must *we* fetch you water out of this rock" - referes to Aaron and himself. God called both to the door of the tabernacle, instructed both of them to gather the assembly together, and speak 'ye' unto the rock - v.8.
      We will never know what God might have given Moses to tell the people should he have spoken to the rock instead of hitting it with the rod.
      Personally, I like to think that the Father might have used that occasion to teach about the coming spiritual Rock providing Living water, Christ Jesus - the Rock of our Salvation.

    • Hi Jack

      In answer to your question, it is necessary to understand what 'sin' fundamentally is. Sin is not fundamentally a wrong act or behaviour - though sin manifests in wrong acts and behaviour as 'fruit'.

      Sin is 'defined', or more accurately characterised, as "lawlessness" (1 John 3:4 anomia in the Greek). Anomia means to be outside of or apart from - that is not in harmony with - law. This is where it is really important to understand what law is at is most foundational point - and Ellen White does a brilliant unpacking of this in Desire of Ages pgs 19-22. We are not talking about the 10 commandments here - we are talking about what underpins even the 10 commandments. Ellen shows how there are only one of two possible orientations a person can have towards life and living: other-focussed, other-benefiting Agape love vs self-seeking. This other-focussed, other-benefiting Agape love orientation appears to be the law of life for earth and heaven - and even for God's own existence and being! Give some thought as to what this is actually saying - other-focussed, other-benefiting Agape love is the only viable law of life for all life everywhere, even for God. Why? Because this is the only orientation that is actually capable of supporting and sustaining life. Again why? Because it gives or contributes to life, as opposed to taking or detracting from life*.

      Imagine living in a place where everyone looks out for everyone else's best interests and everyone contributes to providing whatever is needed. Contrast this with living within an environment where everyone is looking out for themselves and is taking to meet their own needs. That is a place that would descend into anarchy - it would be non-viable. There have been plenty of movies made around this theme, illustrating the chaos and destruction that comes under lawlessness - that is, under self-seeking.

      If I have a self-seeking orientation as my heart's desire - either permanently or a momentary lapse - all my attitudes, thoughts and behaviours are going to be a reflection of that core orientation. And that is going to be my core problem. When Moses was reacting to the Israelites as per his speech to them, was he reflecting other-focussed, other-benefiting Agape love towards them - or was he reflecting from a momentary lapse into frustration that they weren't giving him (a self-seeking orientation) a break?

      When Lucifer was asserting that he was going to be like the Most High, was he motivated to pursue this because of other-focussed, other-benefiting Agape love - or because of pride and ego (a self-seeking orientation)?

      Does this help answer your question? And does it also help you see what any and all sin fundamentally boils down to - adopting a self-seeking orientation that then results in self-seeking attitudes, thoughts and behaviours that are all destructive because they take from life and others? And can you see that such an orientation can only destroy - it can never constructively add to life? If you can understand this and you find it to be true (Acts 17:11), please share it with others who are interested. It makes a world of difference as to how we then view and understand everything within scripture.

      * I find that all natural and moral laws that are associated with constructive life and living share these same core dynamics - that is, contributing to the true benefit of others via facilitating beneficial, life-enhancing order vs chaos. I would therefore propose that this is further evidence that the law of other-focussed, other-benefiting love is the most foundational law upon which all other laws rest and share in that same core nature.

      • I understand that our Creator God's character is love. (1 John 4:8) And He designed that all of His creation to operate on the principle of self-renouncing love or other-centered love, as you put it. (I would not like to put conditions on God's existence because that is beyond our comprehension.) Thus any effort to advance self at the expense of the rest of God's creation is out of harmony with God's Law and thus sin. (See also Romans 13:10)

        • Thanks for your input Inge and your word of caution.

          In the spirit of iron sharpening iron (Proverbs 27:17), from my perspective it would be a misunderstanding of what I have written to conclude that I am putting conditions on God's existence. I am merely referring to Ellen White's statement that "...the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which “seeketh not her own” has its source in the heart of God..."

          We know from the evidence of thousands of years under the Great Controversy that (a) the only life that is viable is the one based upon this law, and we also know that (b) God is not arbitrary. Both of these points have been directly challenged by Satan's via his allegations against God. While you are correct that we cannot entirely comprehend God's existence, I find that there is enough information to support the idea that God is more rather than less likely to be in harmony with the way He creates life to operate - particularly with respect to the underpinning principle of self-renouncing love. Why does God live in harmony with self-renouncing love (because He certainly doesn't live out of harmony with it) - His immutable law? What makes that law immutable - is it merely because God said it was? Is it God's personal choice to be in harmony with His immutable law for no reason (arbitrary) - or is it God's personal choice for a reason (non-arbitrary)? These are questions we have sufficient evidence to ask and answer.

          To say that God is in harmony with all that is good and not in harmony with anything that is evil or lawless is not automatically synonymous with putting conditions on God's existence in the way we might think it might be. Neither do I believe we are treading recklessly where we aren't meant to contemplate. Provided we seek to grow in our knowing and understanding God from a position of reverential respect and submission, I find that God wants to progressively reveal more to our understanding that, in turn, draws us closer and closer in our walk with Him and in our desire to share Him with others (as per Jeremiah 9:23,24). My love for God and others leads me to want to understand Him and His Ways more and more. And understanding Him and His Ways more and more, also in turn, deepens my love for Him and for others. All of this is to His glory, not mine.

          • Peace, Brother Phil! In the same spirit, I agree with all you wrote earlier as well as in this comment, except this, which sounds like God being subject to a law outside Himself:

            other-benefiting Agape love is the only viable law of life for all life everywhere, even for God.

            You are always so careful to parse words precisely, and in this case, your words appear to suggest that God is subject to a law outside Himself for existence.

            That is why I countered that God created all that is to operate in accordance with this law of other-benefiting love. It is an outflow of His character of love - in contrast to God's existence being dependent on a pre-existing law. I'm sure you didn't mean it that way, but if you are going to be careful with words, this matters.

            It seems to me that Ellen White's words say it better than all your words and mine combined:

            In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which “seeketh not her own” has its source in the heart of God; and that in the meek and lowly One is manifested the character of Him who dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto. (Desire of Ages, p. 19

            Could it be possible that many words obfuscate what would be clearer with fewer words? It seems to me that, when it comes to God's nature and existence, reverence demands that we keep silent on what He has not revealed.

            • Thanks again Inge.

              I do note your concerns.

              I interact a lot with people who don't have a relationship with God because they don't trust God. And they raise points along the lines of, 'If God created absolutely everything, then He is responsible for creating evil or at least the capacity for evil?' I need to be able to discuss and explore their concerns with them in an authentic manner and this is why I try to understand the points that I raise across my comments. I do understand what you are saying, but I can't really answer concerns of such people by telling them that reverence demands that we keep silent on what has not been revealed. If I were to do this, I would risk reinforcing the authoritarian and arbitrary view of God that people already hold. But if I acknowledge the validity of their questions and then explore those questions in a respectful and 'reverential' manner, I find this is well received.

        • Hi Inge,
          Thank you, I also believe that God is love and His Law is based on His heart of love, the Law - His Principles of Life - do not exist apart from Him. There is nothing with which to compare the character of the Father other than His own Partners in the Trinity because they are One.
          Yes, He created all life to flourish only when in harmony with His Principles, however sadly we have seen since the Fall that those who live based on their own choices and desires, apart from God, seem to flourish because the majority of humans are self-centered and reward similar natures, everything is a competition to see who is the winner. It is only in the New Heaven and Earth that all will exhibit the Fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faitfulness, meakness, charity.


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