Angelic Conflict part 130: Human history – Exo 9;15; 16; Mat 5:45; Isa 29:13-16; Job 40:1-5.
length: 64:00 - taught on Jul, 30 2013
Conflict amongst a group of people: Moses and the Exodus. Moses will be used by God to make a people (Hebrew) into a nation (Israel).
After the first five refusals, Pharaoh is at the place of no return. Each subsequent plague will only harden him more.
In the face of such power, for Pharaoh to reject God, is for him to further his own faith in his false gods and black magic. No other person in history has seen such a display, but if they did and were of his caliber, the same result of deep hardness of heart would result.
Thus Pharaoh would not bend his self-will to the will of God, even after he had discerned the omnipotent finger of God.
Pharaoh chose this and not God. It is God’s will that all men be saved. God did not make robots, but man, in His image, with personality and free will that they may live with Him in a beautiful response of love, trust, and humility, without which there cannot be anything like a relationship. And yet, so many become like this man with hardened self-wills that refuse to bend and chose a cold and lonely independence unto death rather a moment of warm submission unto life.
He would not withdraw his haughty refusal, notwithstanding the fact that he was obliged to acknowledge that it was sin against Jehovah.
Looked at from this side, the hardening was a fruit of self-will, high-mindedness, and pride which flow from fallen man.
Freedom of will is innate in man and carries the possibility of perpetual obstinate attitude towards the Creator even until death or a recognized dependence on the Creator and Savior unto life.
There can be no conscience if there is no free-will, so that would not only eliminate the power to do evil but also the power to do good.
As the freedom of the will has its fixed limits in the unconditional dependence of the finite creature upon the infinite Creator, so the sinner may resist the will of God as long as he lives. But such resistance plunges him into destruction, and is followed inevitably by death and damnation if he never believes in Christ as his Savior.
Every man is completely fallen and in dire need of God’s salvation. No man will ever scoff at Christ until the end and not be judged unto destruction.
Whoever will not be led to a saving faith in Christ through the kindness and earnestness of the gospel must inevitably perish and by his destruction serve the glory of God who in manifest holiness, righteousness and justice provided the Savior freely to the condemned sinner.
But God not only permits a man to harden himself with time; He also produces obduracy by continuing to reveal His Savior time and again in the life of the stubborn or hardhearted.
God takes no pleasure in this, but is only serving His will to be glorified.
God desires that the wicked should repent of his evil way and live, EZE 33:11.
EZE 33:11 "Say to them, 'As I live!' declares the Lord God, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live.
1TI 2:3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
1TI 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2PE 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
MAT 5:45 for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good [melts the wax and hardens the clay], and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous [causes plant growth or destructive flood].
So the influence of the divine sun of grace manifests itself in different ways upon the human heart, according to its volitional response. [clay or wax]
The responders permit the proofs of divine goodness and grace to lead them to repentance and salvation; but the impenitent harden themselves more and more against the grace of God and will be judged.
The very same manifestation of the mercy of God leads, in the case of the one, to salvation and life, and in that of the other, to judgment and death, because he hardens himself against that mercy. This is the result of the AC and the lapse or fall of mankind.
God’s furnishing of the gospel repeatedly not only hardens the heart of the impenitent, fallen man, but it also brings to light the evil inclinations, desires, and thoughts that are in their hearts.
The fallen nature of the unrepentant bakes harder and harder and becomes less susceptible to the gracious manifestations of divine love and grace as was manifest at the cross.
Therefore, hardness is under the permissive will of God even though it is the gospel that causes it. Man chose to fall and chooses to reject the gospel. Only the AC explains this adequately.
God provides the time and space for its occurrence. Only the Angelic Conflict explains the reason for this adequately.
This is what we find in the case of Pharaoh. After he had hardened his heart against the revealed will of God during the first five plagues, the hardening commenced on the part of Jehovah with the sixth miracle (EXO 9:12), when the omnipotence of God was displayed with such energy that even the Egyptian magicians were covered with the boils, and could no longer stand before Moses (EXO 9:11).
EXO 9:1 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and speak to him, 'Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews," Let My people go, that they may serve Me.
EXO 9:2 For if you refuse to let them go, and continue to hold them,
EXO 9:3 behold, the hand of the Lord will come with a very severe pestilence on your livestock which are in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the herds, and on the flocks.
EXO 9:4 But the Lord will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, so that nothing will die of all that belongs to the sons of Israel."'"
EXO 9:5 And the Lord set a definite time, saying, "Tomorrow the Lord will do this thing in the land."
EXO 9:6 So the Lord did this thing on the morrow, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the sons of Israel, not one died.
EXO 9:7 And Pharaoh sent, and behold, there was not even one of the livestock of Israel dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.
EXO 9:8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Take for yourselves handfuls of soot from a kiln, and let Moses throw it toward the sky in the sight of Pharaoh.
EXO 9:9 And it will become fine dust over all the land of Egypt, and will become boils breaking out with sores on man and beast through all the land of Egypt."
EXO 9:10 So they took soot from a kiln, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses threw it toward the sky, and it became boils breaking out with sores on man and beast.
EXO 9:11 And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians as well as on all the Egyptians.
EXO 9:12 And the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had spoken to Moses.
And yet, even after this hardening on the part of God, another opportunity was given to the wicked king to repent and change his mind, so that on two other occasions he acknowledged that his resistance was sin, and promised to submit to the will of Jehovah (EXO 9:27 ff., 10:16 ff.).
EXO 9:27 Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "I have sinned this time; the Lord is the righteous one, and I and my people are the wicked ones.
EXO 9:28 Make supplication to the Lord, for there has been enough of God's thunder and hail; and I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer."
EXO 9:29 And Moses said to him, "As soon as I go out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be hail no longer, that you may know that the earth is the Lord's.
EXO 9:30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God."
EXO 9:31 (Now the flax and the barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud.
EXO 9:32 But the wheat and the spelt were not ruined, for they ripen late.)
EXO 9:33 So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread out his hands to the Lord; and the thunder and the hail ceased, and rain no longer poured on the earth.
EXO 9:34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunder had ceased, he sinned again and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
EXO 9:35 And Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he did not let the sons of Israel go, just as the Lord had spoken through Moses.
But when at length, even after the seventh plague, he broke his promise to let Israel go, and hardened his heart again as soon as the plague was removed (9:34-35), Jehovah so hardened Pharaoh's heart that he not only did not let Israel go, but threatened Moses with death if he ever came into his presence again (10:20,27-28).
The hardening was now completed so that he necessarily fell a victim to judgment; though the very first stroke of judgment in the slaying of the first-born was an admonition to consider and return.
And it was not till after he had rejected the mercy displayed in this judgment, and manifested a defiant spirit once more, in spite of the words with which he had given Moses and Aaron permission to depart, "Go, and bless me also" (12:31-32), that God completely hardened his heart, so that he pursued the Israelites with an army, and was overtaken by the judgment of utter destruction.
This destruction occurs at the Red Sea, which Israel crossed some days after the exodus from Egypt. On the other side Israel faces a series of challenges that require faith in Jehovah.
We transition from the opposition by a pagan ruler and people under religion (C2) to the opposition by the people of God against other people of God under arrogant self-absorption (C1).
You might relate this to a change in opposition from cosmic 2, religion, to an opposition from cosmic 1, arrogant self-absorption.
Cosmic 1 was the attitude of satan at his fall while cosmic 2 was his invention to draw mankind to himself, after his fall and the fall of man.
There is no way of knowing who is a believer out of these two million people, but I think we can assume that a great majority of them are, and yet the majority oppose the few who in faith desire to follow God to the Promised Land no matter what.
If following God was devoid of problems and full of materialism then everyone would do it, but most by means of lip-service and not genuine faith.
ISA 29:13 Then the Lord said, "Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
ISA 29:14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous; And the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, And the discernment of their discerning men shall be concealed."
ISA 29:15 Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the Lord, And whose deeds are done in a dark place, And they say, "Who sees us?" or "Who knows us?"
ISA 29:16 You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made should say to its maker, "He did not make me"; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, "He has no understanding"?
The wheat and the tares must grow together in human history as the tares fear, pretend, devour, and oppose God’s wheat. God allows it, but provides surpassing power to His wheat to overcome it. The question that returns to the believer time and time again is, “Do you want to glorify God or do you want a life of no problems?”