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Ten Commandments (1 of 6)

Shane Willard

Page 9 of 10
The people were at the base of the mountain, and it says: “and the people saw the thunder, and the lightning, and the billows of smoke; and they heard the sound of a trumpet”. The see three things: 1) Thunder, 2) Lightning, 3) Billows of Smoke; and they hear one thing: the sound of blowing wind - the sound of a trumpet.

If you picture this in terms of: Lakah, Segullah, Mikveh, Katuba, Huppah; these people - the Katuba has just been given, and they look up, and the whole mountain covers them in smoke - Huppah.

They look up, and they ‘see thunder’ and they ‘see lightning’. How do you see thunder? You can't see thunder! I looked that word up in Strong's Concordance, and it says that the word is ‘Kole. In every other place in the Bible, it's translated 'voices' or 'languages'. It’s the same word when Moses heard the voice out of the burning bush – Kole. So they look up, and they see ‘voices’, or ‘languages’.

It says: they see thunder and lightning. The word lightning is the word "glorified fire". It's the same word for fire out of the burning bush.

The Katubah has just been handed down; they're standing there, and the whole mountain covers them in a huppah; and they look up, and they see languages inside fire. What would the languages have been saying? Will you marry me.

The Talmud (which is the ancient rabbinical commentary on this) says, that on this day in history: God proposed (it uses the word proposed) to the whole world, using 70,000 tongues of fire.

In 1857, in Rangoon, Burma, an English sociologist went there. This is before electricity, any of that, and he's studying this group of tribal people. He says: I have one question: who is your God? And these tribal people in Rangoon, Burma, in 1857 said this: we serve a God named Ywa, who proposed to us from fire in the sky - 70,000 tongues of fire - but the Israelites got scared, and they stepped back.

They said: Moses, don't have God speak to us any more, lest we die. You go figure out what God wants, and then you tell us what God wants; but don't have God speak to us any more, lest we die. God says: they didn't want to accept, because they felt unworthy.

God marries them anyway - but He institutes a feast every year. Every year, on the anniversary of this day, by law, they had to celebrate a feast. Leviticus 23, the Feast of Pentecost. At the Feast of Pentecost, everybody had to bring leavened loaves of bread. It's the only place, in the whole Bible, that they were commanded to bring loaves made with yeast. Everywhere else, it’s: unleavened bread; there: leavened bread.

So they're bringing these leavened loaves, and they would give it to the priest. The priest would wave it before God, and say: “I thank You my God, that Your unleavened life, is willing to become one, with our leavened life”. Isn't that the truth: a little leaven, leavens the whole loaf. Sometimes we make God look bad. Sometimes we're the ones that make God look bad, but God is so humble, He wants to be in us anyway.

The priest would bring the leavened loaf down, and he would break it in half; then he'd fill the leavened loaves with oil – signifying, obviously, the Holy Spirit. Then he would say: “now the day of Pentecost has fully come”.

So one day, years later, they're all in the upper room; and they would’ve been celebrating this day, because they had to; and the priest would have raised the leavened loaves, and he would have filled the leavened loaves with oil, and said: now the day of Pentecost is fully come. This time they're in the upper room - and the exact same thing that happened, on the exact same day, years before, happens again: they're standing in the upper room, and the whole place covers them in smoke - huppah - and they hear the sound of a trumpet.

They look up and they see: tongues inside fire – the same exact thing that happened at Mount Sinai; same day, anniversary of that same day! The only difference is: this time they spoke back - which is the birth of the church, the bride of Christ.