Rabbi Schneider - The Ark of the Covenant: Be Sensitive to God's Spirit
The lesson is this. That if you and I are going to go all the way with God, we're going to have to trust for some supernatural things to happen in our life. I want to continue on today with the other elements that were inside the Ark of the Covenant. Remember now, we are inside the Holy of Holies, and this is the most sacred and holy spot on planet earth. God's visible presence, abode, inside the Holy of Holies over the Ark of the Covenant, between the two cherubim. The high priest could go in once a year to make atonement for the sins of the children of Israel by pouring the blood upon the altar over the Ark of the Covenant. And when he went in, the Lord would speak to him from between the two cherubim. Inside the Ark of the Covenant, in addition to Aaron's rod, beloved, was a day's worth of manna, a pot of manna.
I'm reading now from the book of Exodus, chapter number 16, verse 32 through 35. Hear the word of God. Then Moshe, then Moses said this is what the Lord has commanded. Let an omer full of it be kept throughout your generations, that they might see the bread that I fed you in the wilderness when I brought you out of the land of Egypt. And Moses said to Aaron, take a jar and put an omer full of manna in it, and place it before the Lord, to be kept throughout your generations. As the Lord commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the testimony to be kept. And the sons of Israel ate the manna 40 years until they came to an inhabited land. They ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.
And so God is reminding them how he supernaturally provided for them for 40 years while they were in the wilderness by having them save a jar full of this supernatural substance that they called manna, and they ate it every day. And as soon as they got into the promised land, there was no longer any manna on the ground. Isn't that interesting? As long as they needed a supernatural provision when they were in the wilderness, the supernatural provision came very supernaturally every day. Supernaturally, manna on the ground six days a week. On the sixth day, beloved, they took twice as much manna, because on the seventh day there was Shabbat, they were to rest, and so there was no manna on the ground the seventh day, and so they gathered twice as much on the sixth day. It was supernatural. The substance was supernatural.
And the lesson is this. That if you and I are going to go all the way with God, you know what? We're going to have to trust him for some supernatural things to happen in our life. I mean, when God appeared to Abraham and said to Abraham follow me, I want you to leave everything you know, I want you to leave your family, I want you to leave your father, I want you to leave the idols, I want you to leave what's familiar to you, I want you to leave what you've relied on, I want you to leave all your alliances, I want you to follow me, and I'm going to lead you into a land that you don't know of, it's going to be a land of milk and honey, that took a lot of faith. Abraham was exercising supernatural faith when he did that. He was believing that the Lord was going to bring him into a place supernaturally. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been able to do it.
The same is true with us. If we're going to go with the Lord and enter the promised land, along the way, beloved, we're going to have to step out on faith and believe in the Lord to do some supernatural things for us. Otherwise, we're never going to get there. If we're not willing to follow God, unless, beloved, we can plot it all out on a chart and make all the i's and t's come together, the i's dotted and the t's crossed, we're never going to get there because it takes a supernatural, it took a lot of faith for Peter to walk on the water, beloved. It took faith for those disciples to throw down that net back in the lake after they had been fishing all day and caught nothing. It takes faith in the supernatural provision of God, faith to step out, beloved, and believe that if we do, God's going to meet us, and he's going to supply our needs if we're going to obey God and go all the way with him.
If we're going to say to God, you know what, God? I'm not going to go unless I can make it all make mathematical sense first, I'm not going to follow you unless I can see that it makes worldly sense, I'm not going to go unless all the numbers add up first, beloved, we're never going to get there. We're never going to get there. But when you and I believe we have a supernatural God that's able to supply all our needs according to his riches in glory, and Messiah Yeshua Ha'Mashiach, you know what? We're going to be able to step out with God, we're going to be able to go, hallelujah, all the way with him.
I remember as a Jewish person years ago and how the Lord revealed himself to me in a dream supernaturally back in 1978. By the way, you can get the whole story in my book called Awakening to Messiah by calling the 800 number on the web site. And beloved, I remember when the Lord appeared to me. And I had to leave everything. I had to leave everything that my culture had told me was true. You see, my culture told me as a Jewish person that you can't be a Jew and believe in Jesus. To them, it was a very shameful thing. But I had to step out of familiar and believe that as I did that God was going to supernaturally bless me, because the Lord said he that leaves father or mother, brother or sister in this age will receive many more fathers and brothers and sisters in this age and also in the age to come.
So I had to believe that by stepping out and following the Lord, even though in a very real sense it meant losing my family, I had to believe that God was going to be supplying me what he wanted for me and that it was going to be even more abundant. And I bless my earthly family today, but I had to trust God and obey him. And so it is today that if you and I are going to go where we need to go to experience the depths of God's grace, we're going to have to believe that God will supply supernatural manna in your life, that as you follow him, whatever you have need of, beloved, he will supply to you. Even as the children of Israel followed him and they had need of food because there was no natural food where they were going, God supplied it, so you, too, as you follow the Lord, if you're in his will, whatever you need, he's going to supernaturally supply.
Now, it's interesting that once the children of Israel actually got into the land of Canaan, once they actually got into the promised land, get this, the supernatural manna stopped. 40 years in the wilderness, it was there every week. But once they into the land of Canaan, bam, it stopped. Why? Because there wasn't the need for it anymore. Remember, God was bringing them into a land of milk and honey. They were able to survive by the natural, by the natural elements of the land, by the natural produce of the land, by the natural farmland there. And so God will give us the supernatural answer when the supernatural answer is required, but a lot of times he meets our needs, beloved, through the natural world, but the natural world is also his supernatural supply because it's him that causes the crops to come forth from the earth, it's him that causes the fruit to spring forth out of the trees. It's all the Lord.
It's also interesting as we think about this phenomenon that it was only when the children of Israel were in the wilderness, only when they were in their pain in the wilderness that they could visibly see the fire over the tabernacle by night and the cloud by day. And that teaches us too, beloved that a lot of times it's when we're in the most pain and we're going through a wilderness experience in life that the glory of God is most clearly seen and felt in our lives. So again, we're talking about the Ark of the Covenant, and we're talking about the most holy spot on earth and what God is teaching us there, to walk with him.
And we looked last week at Aaron's rod, and we talked about the fact that Aaron's rod symbolizes recognizing that our God is a God of order, and our God of order works through authority. And if we're going to be able to truly live with his blessed covering and glory over our life, we're going to need to trust him enough to submit to authority. And by submitting to authority, what that means is we're not just saying Lord, I submit to your authority, but we're recognizing that his authority is on the earth, so we learn how to relate to those on the earth that are in authority and show them the type of respect that's fitting, with the understanding that the authority that they have comes from the Lord. And we talked about that last week.
We need to learn how to humble ourselves, beloved, and walk in respect and submission to authority, not as menpleasers, but doing it unto God, even as Yeshua, when Yeshua was before Pilate and Pilate said don't you know I've got the power to crucify you? And Yeshua said you would have no power over me unless it had been given to you from above. And so Yeshua recognized that the only authority that Pilate had was the authority that God had given him. And remember when the apostle Paul was up against the high priest, and he began to be disrespectful to the high priest, and they said don't you realize that this is the high priest, and Paul apologized. He said I did not realize he was the high priest, because he understood respect for authority. There's authority, beloved, in every realm of life. And when authority breaks down, there's chaos in society.
If we don't have authority in our families, if the husband of the home is not exercising a godly, loving authority over his family, then the home will suffer for that. And if a teacher doesn't exercise a loving authority in the classroom, there's going to be chaos in the classroom. Where there's no authority in governments, chaos reigns on the streets. And the same is true in the kingdom of God. There must be order and there must be authority and respect for authority if God's kingdom is to be established on earth as it is, hallelujah, in heaven. And then we also see, beloved, inside the Ark of the Covenant the most sacred object of all, beloved, the two tablets, listen now, that had been written on, get this now, by the finger of God, Exodus chapter 19 and chapter 20. All the other commandments, beloved, listen to this, in the Old Testament, in the Hebrew Bible, all the other commandments were given to us by God.
God spoke them to Moses, and Moses wrote them down. But the 10 Commandments, called the 10 words in Hebrew, the Lord actually spoke them out loud at Sinai, that a million Jews trembled when they heard his voice, a million Israelites trembled when they heard his voice, possibly up to 3 million. And they said they were so terrified they said Moses, tell him to stop speaking. The Lord himself spoke the 10 words. He spoke the 10 Commandments out loud, and the people trembled as he spoke them. Tradition tells us it sounded like it was in 70 different languages at the same time it was so powerful, such a thunderous Word came. God not only spoke these out loud, but listen, he himself wrote them down, listen, on the tablets of stone with his own finger. God himself wrote them down with his own finger. And they were placed inside the Ark of the Covenant, beloved, as a reminder of who God is and of his covenant with the children of Israel.
And as Gentile believers, you've been grafted into the commonwealth of Israel, and these 10 Commandments, beloved, have application for your life today. They're not just about legalism, beloved. They reflect the nature and the character of God. So that when the Lord says I am God that brought you out of the land of Egypt, this is not just the word of a harsh lawgiver, but this is the word of the Lord to the people that he loves, and he's saying to them this is why you should obey me, this is why you should follow me, this is why you need to listen to what I'm saying to you, because I'm the God that loves you so much that I brought you out of the land of Egypt. And then the Lord tells them to have no other gods before him. Beloved, that's not the God of a harsh lawgiver that has no application for the New Testament believer. That same principle is true for our life today.
If we want to walk in victory in our life, if we want Messiah Yeshua to reign in our life, we need to have no other gods, hallelujah, before him. And I'll be teaching on the 10 Commandments at a future date, so I'm not going to go into a lot of detail now, because I plan on doing a whole series on the 10 Commandments and looking at them as a path for spiritual ascension in the believer's life. Not practicing them out of legalism, but understanding that they reflect the nature of God and the person of God, and as we learn how to apply them to ourselves in the spirit as New Testament believers, it causes us to arise, beloved, in the spirit and gain victory over darkness in our life. So inside the Ark of the Covenant were the 10 Commandments, hallelujah, themselves.
Now, I spoke earlier about the fact that between the two cherubim, the Spirit of God visibly was manifest. And when the high priest would go in there once a year, God would speak to the high priest out of his visible manifest presence that was between the two cherubim. I also spoke about the fact that in Matthew 27, verse 50 and 51 that when Yeshua breathed his last on the Cross and said it's finished, that, that veil that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was supernaturally ripped in two. And in fact, the Talmud, which was written by Jewish people that do not believe in Jesus, the Talmud itself verifies that a generation before the destruction of the temple, which took place in 70 AD, so a generation before the destruction of the temple would have been in 30 AD, approximately the same time that Yeshua died, that veil was ripped in two.
So we have both the New Testament verifying the fact that the veil was ripped in two, as well as outside non-Christian sources verifying that, that veil was ripped in two. And what God is telling us in this is that now access has been made into his presence to experience his presence and to hear his voice not just for the high priest that went into the Holy of Holies once a year, beloved, but for all God's people that come to him through Messiah Yeshua, it is finished, access has been made. We see the fulfillment of this taking place in the book of Acts chapter 2. We look in Acts chapter 2. These were a bunch of Jewish people, beloved, gathered together in Jerusalem. The Bible says there that the Day of Pentecost had come.
Now, many of us today don't realize that Pentecost is not first quote a Christian holiday, but Pentecost has its origin in Leviticus 23. It's called Shavuot. Shavu'ot is the Hebrew name for the Greek Pentecost. It's the same exact holiday. When they were gathered together in Acts chapter 2, beloved, they weren't expecting the Spirit of God to fall. When it says the Day of Pentecost had come, they were just there, beloved, gathered because they'd already been celebrating this holiday for 1500 years, since the time that God gave it to the children of Israel at Mount Sinai. It was the day that they came to remember how the Lord had revealed himself to them at Mount Sinai 1500 years earlier.
So here they are in Acts chapter 2, the Day of Pentecost or Shavu'ot had come. They're thinking as Jewish people how 1500 years ago, the God of Israel, the Mighty One of Jacob, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, El Shaddai, had revealed himself to them as Yahweh at Mount Sinai and given them the 10 Commandments, writing his law on the tablets of stone and how the whole mountain was quaking with fire and glory. And there they are remembering this day, and suddenly, beloved, the God of Israel visits them afresh and anew. And this time, rather than writing his law on the tablets of stone, he comes into the room with glory, hallelujah, and the room is shaking, but this time he does for them what he prophesied in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and he writes his law, beloved, inside their hearts, and he fills them with his Spirit.
And so we're talking now, one again, about the visible manifest presence of God that was between the two cherubim and how the high priest would go in, and that God would speak to him from between the two cherubim once a year on Yom Kippur, but that when Yeshua died on the cross, that veil that separated mankind from the Lord's manifest presence, from his voice, how that veil was ripped in two. And they were seeing in Acts chapter 2, the fulfillment of it all came when God now poured out his Spirit on all flesh, everyone that believed in him, showing that it's just not the high priest that can experience the Lord once a year, but it's God's people that he has made his very own children, and in so doing he poured out his Spirit, beloved, on our lives. So in Acts chapter 2, those people are so overwhelmed, those Israelites, those Jews were so overwhelmed by the power of God's Spirit on them that some thought, what's wrong with these guys? They were stumbling around, and it was obvious that they were under the power of something, that no one could tell what power they were under, but the demonstration of it was obvious.
And Peter stood up and said these men are not drunk. The way that they're acting is not because they're drunk. They're not under the influence of wine or alcohol. But what you're seeing, he said, is what was prophesied in the prophet Joel, Joel chapter 2. In the last days, saith the Lord, I will pour forth my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. And we are living in the days, beloved, where the veil that separates the Holy of Holies, beloved, it's torn, it's open. You and I as believers now, we can have the Spirit of God filling us so that we can hear the Lord speaking to us. Remember Yeshua said my sheep hear my voice. Does that mean you're going to be audibly hearing the voice of the Lord all the time? No. But it means that as you make Jesus the Lord of your life, as you get so serious about him that he becomes the most important thing to you, that as you make becoming obedient to him the number one aspiration and discipline of your life, the Lord is going to teach you, beloved, by his Spirit, how to discern his voice, his will.
And I'm not saying it's all going to be audible. A lot of times, you're going to begin to become sensitive, beloved, to the feeling inside you, which is his Spirit. The Spirit of God is within us. And you know, a lot of times the Spirit of God is speaking to us from within, either giving us a check in our spirit or a release of peace in our spirit. But because we're not in touch with him inside, we just push right ahead and do our own thing and drive doors down that the Lord is putting up and getting ourselves into trouble. But as we, beloved, learn to learn how to wait on God and be still before God and bring ourself under the subjection of his Spirit and under obedience and under his authority and we learn how to wait on his Spirit and be sensitive to him, beloved, we're going to begin to hear more and more what he's doing. We're going to be able to perceive his will. We're going to have a spirit of wisdom and revelation, hallelujah, in the knowledge of him.
See, the Bible tells us as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. We need to learn how to be led by the Spirit of God. Even as the children of Israel, beloved, were led in the wilderness by the pillar of fire that abode over the tabernacle by night and the divine glory cloud by day, even as they were led by the pillar and the cloud, you and I need to learn how to be led by God's Spirit, who indwells us today. We read in numbers chapters 9 through 11 that whenever the fire and the glory cloud abode over the tabernacle, the children of Israel stayed in that spot for as long as the fire and the cloud stayed on that spot. But the Bible says that the pillar of fire and the glory cloud that abode over the tabernacle, they would eventually lift.
Sometimes it was two days, sometimes it was two months, sometimes it was a year. But inevitably, the fire and the cloud eventually lifted and began to move. And whenever the fire and the cloud lifted, whether it was in the morning or the afternoon or the night, the children of Israel had to pick up camp and they had to follow the fire, and they had to follow the cloud to wherever the fire and the cloud led them to. And so it is in our life today, beloved. The fire and the cloud, the Holy Spirit has come inside our life, and if you and I are going to get to the promised land, if we're going to enter into the abundance of God's grace, we're going to have to learn how to be led by the fire and the cloud, we're going to have to learn how to be led by God's Spirit even as the children of Israel were being trained how to be led by God's Spirit in the wilderness by the fire and the cloud.