Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 8
RED SEA EXPERIENCE: A PICTURE OF OUR SALVATION
Now, let’s pick up again in the Book of Exodus Chapter 14. As God has opened the Red Sea, by virtue of Moses stretching his rod over the waters, the water has opened up and the children of Israel walk through on dry land. Now, let’s come in at verse 26.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, `Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen,’ And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.”
Now, the Scripture does not indicate whether Pharaoh himself led his armies, I rather doubt it. If history is correct, Rameses the 2d was the Pharaoh at this time. Then he certainly didn’t lead his army, because historians have found what they believe is one of the mummified Pharaohs that was indeed Rameses the 2d. But whatever, the Scripture leaves us unaware of whether Pharaoh himself was drowned. God completely destroyed the whole army. And in verse 29, it makes it clear once again:
“But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.”
Again I have to discredit the movie, The Ten Commandments, because you could never run three to seven million people, with all their livestock, through that narrow channel as they showed it in the movie. And I know they did quite well, with the technology they had, but I’m again convinced, that not only did God move this whole multitude miraculously faster than the three-mile-an hour walk, but He also must have opened the Red Sea, an amazing amount of distance wide also. He would have had to. But regardless of how He did it, how much he did, we know He did it. The Scripture says so and we believe it. The picture again, as hopefully we brought out in our last lesson, was a picture of our own salvation. It is actually indicative of the burial of Christ. And coming out on the other side is resurrection. Let’s look at a verse in Romans Chapter 6. As most of you know, I don’t teach from a written format, or notes, and as these things come to mind, and as the Spirit directs, I have to stop and check them out. But you see here that Paul makes it so plain, that we too have to be identified with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Even as Israel was separated from Egypt, and went through that typical burial of the Red Sea, and though they didn’t get wet, in type it was their burial. Their death to Egypt. And they came out on the other side, even as Christ came out from the grave.
“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: (many people will disagree, but I’m convinced this is not a water baptism. Water baptism cannot do what Paul is talking about here.) that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
No baptism can give new life. Only the power of God can do that. So I am convinced, maybe contrary to the way I was taught in my earlier years, that this is Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Paul speaks of this in I Corinthians Chapter 12. I hadn’t intended to do this but I feel the Spirit is leading this way for a reason, so let’s look at this verse. In Chapter 12 is what I consider the only valid baptism for us in this Age of Grace. And it’s a baptism that human hands cannot touch; it’s a baptism that a lost person can have no part in. In water baptism, we can never be sure of a person’s salvation.
I was brought up in a congregation where candidates for baptism were examined very thoroughly, yet I’ve come to the conclusion in my later years that there is no way a group of men, or pastors, can truly determine a person’s salvation. We can hear their testimony and come to some human conclusions, but we can never look on the heart. That is something that only God Himself can do.
I’ve told my class that I don’t think it will actually happen this way, but if it were, and we get to glory, we are suddenly going to realize that a lot of people are there we didn’t think would be. And there are going to be a lot of people not there that we thought should be. We probably won’t have that kind of knowledge, but just hypothetically if that were the case, we would be surprised and disappointed. But we can’t look on the heart, only the outward veneer to reach a conclusion. But that’s not the heart. This is where the Scripture says also “Judge not!” Consequently this is the baptism that Paul refers to here in verse 12:
I Corinthians 12:12,13
“For as the body (that is this human body. In other words from head to toe, we are controlled by one central nervous system, one mind, one brain) is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body (ten fingers and toes if we are normal): so also is Christ.”
And here Paul is referring to the Body of Christ. Now, verse 13, and this may shock some people, but again I’m not changing or twisting the wording, we are going to leave it exactly where it sits.
I Corinthians 12:13
“For by one Spirit (notice that Spirit is capitalized, so it is in reference to the Holy Spirit.) are we (and remember Paul always writes to believers. What’s the next word?) all (not just a favorite few, or a special elite, but how many? All But of course that’s according to God’s determination of who is a believer, whether weak or strong, spiritual or carnal) baptized into one body,” So reading the verse again: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
Let me qualify the Body of Christ, which of course came on the scene in the New Testament, I think after Pentecost. Some people disagree with me, and that’s fine. But you search the Scriptures until you are sure you can prove me wrong. But I’m convinced that the Body of Christ didn’t necessarily begin at Pentecost, because Pentecost was strictly a Jewish holiday, with a Jewish message. When the Gospel of Grace begins to go out to both Jew and Gentile, especially at the church in Antioch, in Acts Chapter 11, where it says that the believers at Antioch were the first to be called Christians; this was about 10 years after Pentecost.
That’s where they were first called Christians. Not the Jewish believers in Jerusalem in those previous years. But when Gentiles started coming in by faith in the Gospel of the grace of God, they were now called Christians as the Scriptures says, so that’s where I feel the Body of Christ began when Paul begins to preach this message of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. And by faith and faith alone without the Law. And as men and women began to believe that, then the Holy Spirit baptized, or placed them, into the Body of Christ, the Church. Now, I asked my class the other night, as I have over the years, as I don’t care what denomination you are a part of it doesn’t make any difference, the question is still valid: is every member on your church roll a genuine born again Christian? No. Remember we are not to judge, but we know for a fact that they are not all true believers. What about the unbeliever? Are they members of the Body of Christ? No, they can’t be. They are unsaved. Only the saved go into the Body of Christ. So this is where I get the premise, that the only baptism that really counts for eternity is this one. The one that places the true believer into the Body of Christ. Let’s also look quickly at Ephesians 4. Again, Paul writing to believers says:
“There is one body, (The Body of Christ) and one Spirit, (The Holy Spirit) even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism,” How many? ONE. Do you see that?
So you can have your name on as many church rolls as you wish. But unless you are in the Body of Christ you are doomed. The Scripture makes it so plain. But if you are a child of God, you are in the Body of Christ by virtue of the placing it there by the Holy Spirit, as Paul makes it so plain. And then as members of the Body of Christ, we all maintain our individuality, we all have unique place in that Body, and yet we are all what? ONE. That’s also why, when you walk into a room full of fellow believers, are you a stranger very long? No. I’ve experienced it and I know you have. I’ve had people from far off states come into my class, and on the way out they will say, “The minute I stepped into this room I felt at home” And that is as it should be, because when you are with fellow believers there is that oneness that any other group can never experience. Now, let’s go back to Romans Chapter 6, and we’ll begin with verse 5.
“For if we have been planted….”
Do you see that? The analogy is of course, the planting of a seed. If you were to plant a kernel of wheat, and everything being appropriate, what is the first thing that seed does? It dies. And when it dies, what else happens? New life. Now the whole system of nature, and we have alluded to this many times over the past couple of years in this teaching: the whole sphere of spring time is a picture of, death, burial, and resurrection. Everything that produces a seed in the fall, and that seed falls someplace, it will die, and when everything is right, it will spring up into new life, and reproduce again. It is the same way in the spirit. We must die. Do you remember the very first command that God gave to Adam and Eve concerning the tree? “The day that thou eatest thereof, thou shall surely die.” There was no escaping. Then Ezekiel comes along many years later, and he puts it in a little different language, but it is still the same law. He says “The soul that sinneth, shall surely die.”
So, you see the human race is faced with no alternative, but that we must die because we are born in sin. And yet there is a loophole, and what’s that loophole? We can die in the person of Christ on the Cross, by identification, by faith, and by trust. When Christ died, I died. And this is what Paul is saying here in verse 5, “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death (If we can honestly believe that he died my death), we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” That is our blessed hope. We won’t live and die like a dog. And we don’t have to live and die with a prospect of an eternal doom. We can live and die with the prospect that the best is yet to come. The greatest thing that can happen to a believer is to die. In Psalm 116: 15 He tells us “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”
We don’t like to face death, for a multitude of reasons. We don’t like to leave our loved ones, and there are many more reasons, but in reality, death of a saint is what? It’s glorious. It’s on to something far better. But for those who have not experienced this identification, death is something indeed to be feared. Death is a horrible experience, because it’s not going to something better, but something worse.
“Knowing this, that our old man (we taught the Book of Romans in this class, but someday we’ll get there again. But when Paul speaks of the old man, or the old nature, then he is talking about the old Adam that we are born with. Remember, last lesson we taught in Ephesians Chapter 2, that we who were dead in trespasses and sins, have now been made alive. Well, how were we dead in trespasses and sins? In the old Adam that we are born with. Now, back to verse 6) is crucified with him (what does crucifixion do? It kills, doesn’t it. And when we are crucified with Christ, then God, in so many words kills the old Adam. He puts him out of commission.), that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
“For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
Several years ago I had some judges in my classes, and it was always interesting to bring up an analogy of this. What if they had in their court room, someone who is about to be convicted of a hideous crime, and all the evidence was against him. And they were about ready to turn it over to a jury, and he looks guilty for sure. But just before it happens the old boy dies. I then asked one of the judges, “Now what happens?” The case is closed, it’s over. You can’t try a dead man. You can’t do any kind of business with a dead person. This is the analogy that Paul is driving. If our old Adam is dead, can you any longer deal with him? No. That’s the whole idea. He is dead. In other words, those of us who have let old Adam be crucified, we are now dead to the desires of that old Adam. Again, that’s the power of God. You don’t work for something like that. This is all part of His saving salvation.
“Now if we be dead with Christ (that is by identification with the crucifixion), we believe that we shall also live with him:”
And that is why the resurrection is fundamental to our faith. I’ve had several people tell me that they have had a Sunday School teacher or preacher, who could certainly preach about Christ’s earthly ministry and about his crucifixion, but they had trouble with His resurrection. What about those people? According to Scripture, if they can’t believe all of it, then they are lost. We have to believe that Christ rose physically, spiritually, literally, from the dead. And He is alive evermore.
“For in that he died, he died unto sin once:….”
In other words, to rid of that old Adam; How many times? One. The Book of Hebrews tells us over and over, that this Christ died once, and that it satisfies all eternity. Now let’s turn back to Exodus. We find now as the Egyptians are floating up on the sea shore, the Israelites look back at the view, and I don’t want this to sound morbid, but what’s the first few words in Chapter 15.
“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD,….”
Now, this is the song of Moses. And we won’t take time to read through it, but I would like for you to read it in your spare time, because I think it is rather important. When you get to the Book of Revelation, and we get into the eternal state, we will sing the song of Moses. The song of redemption, that the battles are over, and we have now attained that to which God has been bringing us all along. Now verse 22:
“So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur (Moses is leading that multitude down toward Mount Sinai); and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.”
Now, that is a dilemma, isn’t it? That many million people, and livestock, and to have no water.
“And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter:….”
It was totally undrinkable. The first thing I like to point out to new believers, whether they be young or old, is in just a little while after they have had their salvation experience, they will run into a bitter experience. It is just the way God works. We are never saved to walk a rose petal pathway. We will have trials and difficulties just like Israel did. Israel comes now down into that forbidding desert, and God doesn’t just give them a basket of roses. They are going to go through some very trying times. And here is the first one. They are thirsty, and their livestock are bellowing for water. And when they do find some, it’s a bitter disappointment; it’s not fit to drink. Now read on:
“And the people murmured against Moses, saying, `What shall we drink?’ And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet:…”
An article that I had read on this said Moses found a branch out there in the desert, and threw it into the water, and through some chemical reaction the water became fit to drink. They lose the whole thought. The tree throughout all Scripture, points to only one tree. What is it? The Cross. There is a reason why the Cross is referred to as a tree. It’s because back in the Book of Deuteronomy it says “cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree.” And so the Cross was the place of curse. It was where God literally poured out his wrath upon our Passover Lamb. When they come to the place of a bitter experience, there is only one remedy. And what is it? The Cross. This is what God wants us to do, whether we have been a Christian for years, or new believers. When a trial or tribulation comes, where do we go? The foot of the Cross. That is where everything begins and ends for us today. If we try to bypass the Cross, we are just as hopeless as these Jews were in Egypt.
And also in our experience, if we can just learn, that when tribulations and disappointments, and sorrows come, we should just race to the foot of the Cross, because that is where everything has been satisfied. Now after that bitter experience made sweet, Moses again leads them, with the cloud, and pillar of fire, and he brings them now to an oasis. And here is a question I can’t answer, and I guess every class has asked it. What is involved here in the twelve wells of water, and the seventy palm trees? I’m sure there is something involved, but whatever, I think it epitomized a place of rest and a satisfaction of their thirst.
“And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.”
I think that most believers are aware of the expression, “a mountain top experience.” Something that has just thrilled you. But you don’t accomplish much on a mountain top do you? It’s a beautiful place, you can see the view. But where does the work have to be done? Down in the valley. So in the Christian experience, you may have a mountain top experience, but don’t try to stay there. You must get down to the dirt and grime in the valley, where you will have the trials, tribulations, and disappointments.