Wise Timers vs Old Timers-The Generation Lost in the Wilderness

Wise Timers vs Old Timers-The Generation Lost in the Wilderness

The First Generation of Israelites experienced the horror of the Ten Plagues, crossed of the Red Sea on dry land, daily ate Manna from Heaven, and witnessed God’s Glory fall on Mount Sinai and fill the Tabernacle. In the face of all these miracles, they still constantly complained, groaned, and rebelled against God’s Prophet Moses and doubted God’s Power to be able to overtake the obstacles in the Promised Land. Their fearful hearts and lack of Faith prevented them from inheriting their share of God’s Promises.

The Israelites’ obstinacy could be seen from the very beginning, even before the First Plague began. After Moses and Aaron assembled all the elders of the Israelites and Aaron relayed everything that God had said to Moses, and Moses performed the signs God had shown him in the dessert, the people believed (ref. Exodus 4:29-30). But, after asking Pharaoh for the chance to leave for a three day journey to celebrate a feast to God in the Wilderness and Pharaoh took away the Israelite’s rations of straw to build bricks. The Israelite foremen confronted Moses and Aaron charging, “May the Lord look upon you and judge you, for you have made us a stench before Pharaoh and his officials; you have placed in their hands a sword to kill us!” (ref. Exodus 5). Despite knowing God was mighty above all human men and planned to lead the Israelites to freedom, their biggest concerns were with how they were perceived by those who were enslaving them and what these slavers could do to them.

After the Ten Plagues demonstrated God’s awesome power over all Nature and Men, Pharaoh agreed to let the Israelites go, but his pride caused him to change his mind and pursue them (ref. Exodus 14:3-9). When pinned between the encroaching Egyptian military and the banks of the sea, the Israelites sarcastically mocked “Because there were no graves in Egypt, you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you done this and taken us out of Egypt? Didn’t we tell you in Egypt, Leave us alone, so we can serve the Egyptians? It would have been better that we be slaves than die in the Wilderness,” (Exodus 14:11-12). Even after seeing God’s power during the Plagues in Egypt, they still feared the Egyptians, whose country had just been brought to its knees by the Hand of God.

God caused the Red Sea to part and the Israelites were able to astonishingly cross over on dry land before the walls of water collapsed on the charging chariots. And when Israel saw the great power that the Lord had exercised over the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and believed in Him and in His servant Moses (ref. Exodus 14:15-29). They sang songs of victory (Moses’ Song of Deliverance & The Song of Miriam) declaring God’s Greatness and Power over Egypt, but after three days wandering in the Desert of Shur without finding water, they came to Marah. The bitter waters were not palatable and the people grumbled against Moses asking “What are we to drink?” failing to remember the God who had control over the waters of the Red Sea they had just crossed. After instructing Moses to cast a nearby log into the bitter waters to sweeten them, the Lord then led them to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there by the waters (ref. Exodus 15).

After relishing the oasis at Elim, God led Israel to the Desert of Sin, where they again grumbled against Moses and Aaron, crying out “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt! There we sat by pot of meat and ate our fill of bread, but you have brought us into the desert to starve this whole assembly to death!” (ref. Exodus 16:1-3). That evening, God caused quail to cover the camp and the next morning Manna rained down from Heaven to provide them with food in the wilderness (ref. Exodus 16:3-21).

Leaving the Desert of Sin, they were led to Rephidim, but there was no water for the people there, so they contended with Moses, demanding “Give us water to drink!” When Moses asked why they fought with him and test the Lord, they grumbled “Why have you brought us out of Egypt-to make us and our children and livestock die of thirst?” Though God had provided them sweetened water at Marah and Heavenly food, they still quarreled and tested God, asking “Is the Lord amongst us or not?” God yet again provided for them through Moses striking the Rock at Horeb, from which water came for the people to drink (ref. Exodus 17:1-7).

They were then led to Mount Sinai where the Lord’s Presence caused a thick cloud to envelope the mountain, thunder and lightning overwhelmed the sky and the whole mountain shook as the Lord came down in fire (ref. Exodus 19:16-25). When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sounding of the ram’s horn, and the mountain enveloped in smoke, they trembled and stood at a distance, terrified of God’s Presence (ref. Exodus 20: 18-19) asking that Moses directly talk to God on their behalf. But, when the people saw that Moses was delayed in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and demanded that he to make them graven idols to worship.

When they finally reached the border of the Promised Land and sent out scouts to explore the region and gather a report, only two, Joshua and Caleb, gave positive reports, exclaiming “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” (ref. Numbers 13:30). But the ten negative accounts overwhelmed the people and they grumbled against Moses and Aaron, wailing “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt? We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” And the whole assembly talked about stoning Moses and Aaron (ref. Numbers 14:1-4, 10).

The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in Me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?” (Numbers 14:11-12). “Not one of them who saw My Glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me will see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it,” (v. 22-23) “Except Caleb, son of Jephunneh and Joshua, son of Nun,” (v. 30) “because [they have] a different spirit and follow me wholeheartedly” (v.24).

Despite experiencing hundreds of years of slavery while in captivity under Egypt, the Israelites kept choosing servitude over the freedom and prosperity God was trying to provide to His People. Even more so, they saw the wonders in Egypt, the Miracles in the Wilderness, and Experienced His Glory first hand and still they doubted Him and His Power. The generation was stiff-necked and hard-hearted and constantly challenged Moses whenever they came across worldly issues and failed to recognize that God had provided for them throughout their journey and would be with them as they conquered the Promised Land.

That first generation wandered through the wilderness following the Pillar of Fire by night and Cloud by day, but they never truly followed God. They never fully trusted in Him nor those He spoke through. They rebelled against Him and complained and threw tantrums like children. They were older, but lacked the Wisdom to be like Caleb and Joshua who followed Him wholeheartedly, but because they followed their own sense of direction, rather than God’s, they were lost in the Wilderness.

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

Wise Timers vs Old Timers- Korah’s Rebellion & the Songs of His Sons

Old Timers vs Wise Timers-Korah’s Rebellion & the Songs of His Sons

After the Israelites escaped from Egypt and God gave His Laws through Moses, their hearts began to harden and their ears were closed off to God and His Prophet Moses. Korah, the leader of a mutiny against Moses, quickly discovered that his faith in human understanding and reasoning was as unstable as the ground which swallowed him and his followers.

Korah was the son of Izhar, the grandson of Kohath, and the great grandson of Levi, making him the first cousin to High Priest Aaron and Prophet Moses. Since the priestly line came from his grandfather Kohath, Korah reasoned that he and his sons had just as much right to serve as High Priest as Aaron and his sons. Korah gathered “two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown…against Moses and Aaron” accusing that they were taking too much undue power for themselves. They argued that since everyone in the congregation was holy and the Lord was among them, they should all hold the same standing in the Tabernacle, charging that Aaron and Moses were raising themselves above the rest of the priestly class (ref. Numbers 16:1-3).

Moses challenged Korah and the rest of the Levites who had aligned themselves with the rebel to come back the next day with incense in their censers to see whose offering God would accept. It would be through trial by God’s standards, rather than man’s self-sanctification, that they would decide who was holy. Moses quipped back that it was they who were trying to take too much power for themselves (ref. Numbers 16:5-7).

Moses directly confronted Korah and his defiant fellow Levites, asking why they thought so little of the fact that God had separated them from the rest of the congregation of Israel and brought them near to Himself, to do the service of the Tabernacle and stand before the congregation to minister unto them. Despite the fact that God had brought them and the rest of the Levite Tribe closer to Himself than the rest of the other tribes, they still desired the Priesthood office as well so much, that they gathered themselves to defy God and those He had positioned over them (ref. Numbers 16:8-11).

The next day, Korah and his insurgents gathered at the door of the Tabernacle to challenge Moses and Aaron, and every man came with a censer filled with fire and incense. And the Glory of the Lord appeared unto all the congregation and the Lord spoke to Moses, instructing that the Israelites were to stay away from Korah and his cohorts (ref. Numbers 16:16-21) because God was about to punish them for their insurrection. And the ground under them gave way and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed them up and their houses and all the men that aligned themselves with Korah and all their goods. They all went down alive into the pit and the earth closed upon them. And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense (ref. Numbers 16:28-35).

Despite Korah’s revolt, God did not condemn his children (ref. Numbers 26:10-11; Ezekiel 18:19-20). Because they chose to listen to the Voice of their Father in Heaven instead, we see that they were given prominent roles in the Tabernacle service as well as the later Temple. They oversaw the baking in the Sanctuary, and bore the ark and the sacred furniture whenever the Tabernacle was moved.

The family’s most significant role was as the gatekeeper/porter (ref. 1 Chronicles 26:19) overseeing the entrance of the Sanctuary. Not only were they responsible for protecting the priests, they collected and distributed offerings, assisted with the slaughtering of sacrifices, and inspected both humans and sacrifices ensuring that all that entered the courtyard were ceremonially clean. While Korah wanted to be closer to God simply to attain the High Priest office, Korah’s descendants recognized through their roles as gatekeepers, that you must follow His laws before you can achieve greater intimacy and closeness with Him.

Korah’s lineage was listed among David’s mighty men (ref. 1 Chronicles 12: 1-2, 6), but not all were armed with physical weapons. When King Jehoshaphat went to war in the name of God, the Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, God of Israel, with a very loud voice. King Jehoshaphat appointed these men to stand ahead of the army as the spearhead and sing and praise the Lord as they entered battle, leading to a massive victory over the Moabites and Ammonites who killed each other in confusion (ref. 2 Chronicles 20:19-24).

Heman, the first of the three Levites appointed to lead the vocal and instrumental music of the Temple during David’s reign (ref. 1 Chronicles 6:31-33; 15:16-22), was the grandson of Prophet Samuel, both descents of Korah. The Sons of Korah are out rightly recognized for their contribution of Psalms (Psalms 42, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 84, 85, 87, & 88), which were heavily influenced by their ancestor’s infamous showdown and ultimate destruction.

The often quoted and sung Psalm 46: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” continues that “we will not fear, though the earth be removed” and when describing the Power of God, when “He uttered His voice, the Earth melted” are both obvious allusions to the earth swallowing up Korah and the rest of his rebels (ref. Psalm 46:1-2, 6).

Psalm 84 declares that “For a day in Your Courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the House of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psalm 84:10) alludes to their current office as Doorkeepers and how Korah’s family only survived by fleeing their wicked father’s home before it was consumed by the earth.

Despite God not cutting off Korah’s lineage, his family suffered for his actions and were held in association with him despite resisting his rebellion. Psalms 88 reveals that they were “counted with them that go down into the pit,” which “pushed [their] friends far from [them] and made [them] an abomination in their friend’s eyes” and the singer feels as though they are “trapped and cannot come out”.

Korah tried to establish his own definition of who and what was holy and in a great example of God’s forgiveness, He gave Korah’s sons the office of Doorkeepers of the Tabernacle, assessing whether things met God’s standard to be able to enter. In another example of irony, the unteachable Korah who hardened his heart and closed his ears to God’s Voice, had sons who would lead praises to God, and write emotionally charged songs to teach others through worship.

Korah believed that his ideas concerning the priesthood were superior to what God laid out, but his family had the wisdom to recognize that God’s logic is greater than man’s. Their willingness to leave their earthly father’s philosophies for their Heavenly Father’s Voice gave them opportunity to help others align with God’s expectations and march and move to the rhythm that He set for His People.

Are you in sync with Him and where He is leading us today?

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

Old Timers vs Wise Timers-Methuselah: Destroyed for Lack of Understanding

Old Timers vs Wise Timers-Methuselah: Destroyed for Lack of Understanding

Methuselah is renowned for being the oldest person mentioned in the Bible, living an impressive 969 years. But, despite being the son of the righteous Enoch, who was transmuted to Heaven, and the grandfather of Noah, who built the Ark to save mankind from the Flood, Methuselah was not spared.

Methuselah’s father, Enoch, is famous for being the only other person, besides Elijah, who never tasted death. “Enoch waked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Genesis 5: 24). “By Faith, Enoch was taken up that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had transfigured him: for before his transfiguration, he had this testimony, that he pleased God,” (Hebrews 11:5). Enoch also prophesied “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His Saints, to Execute Judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him” (Jude 1:14-15).

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. Enoch walked faithfully with God for another 300 years before he was transmuted at 365 years. Though Methuselah had 300 years to learn from his spiritually upright father, it is heavily implied that he perished in the flood.

Methuselah had lived 187 years when he had Noah’s father Lamech (ref. Genesis 5:25), who was 182 years old when he had Noah (ref. Genesis 5:28). Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth (Genesis 7:6), added with 187 years (Methuselah’s age at Lamech’s birth) and 182 years (Lamech’s age at Noah’s birth) totaling 696 years which was Methuselah’s age when he died, coinciding with the same year as the Flood.

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God”. God saw that the Earth and humanity was filled with violence and corruption and “so God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people for the Earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the Earth.” Noah was most likely around 500 years old when God gave him instructions on how to build the ark and “Noah did everything just as God commanded him” (ref. Genesis 6:9-22).

It is implied that it took Noah around 100 years to build the ark, so the destruction of the Earth would not have been an unexpected event. Noah’s grandfather, Methuselah, would have been aware of Noah’s construction project and would have remembered his father Enoch’s prophecy about God executing judgement upon all the ungodly for their deeds and words against Him, matching God’s explanation for why He was going to deluge the Earth with water.

Methuselah would have even had the benefit of having known the very first man, Adam, who was 687 years old when Methuselah was born, living another 243 years before passing away at 930 years old. Methuselah would have heard firsthand accounts of what the world was like before the Fall of Man and the Glory of experiencing God in such an intimate and connected manner before Sin entered the World.

Methuselah’s virtuous father, Enoch, set a perfect example of how to walk with God and in His Ways. His great ancestor Adam may have told Methuselah what the World was like during God’s Paradise and how sin caused the destruction of Man. Methuselah’s grandson, Noah, was trying to save a wicked and ungodly people filled with evil actions and words from God’s Judgement according to Enoch’s prophecy. In the face of all these advantages, Methuselah was not described as a righteous man as his grandson Noah is labeled, nor that he walked faithfully with God as his father Enoch did.

Even though Methuselah was the oldest recorded person in the Bible, he failed to gather the wisdom and knowledge about living righteously freely available to him from his surrounding family and most likely perished in the Flood. His advanced age made him old, not wise.

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

Manna: Meaning Behind the Miracles

Visions, Signs, Wonders & Miracles-Manna: Meaning Behind the Miracles

Manna, the Bread from Heaven, was a daily miracle the Israelites failed to truly appreciate during their time in the Wilderness. When Christ came as the Bread of Life, His own Disciples failed to recognize the significance of His most famous miracles and their prophetic symbolism.

After the Death of John the Baptist (ref. Matthew 14: 1-12), Jesus retreated in a boat to Bethsaida (ref. Luke 9:10), a fishing town on other side of the Sea of Galilee (ref. John 6:1), but was pursued by a great crowd, which arrived ahead of Him at the shoreline, waiting to be healed and taught (ref. Matthew 14:13-14; Mark 6: 31-34; Luke 9:10-11; John 6:1-2).

Seeing and being near Christ was so important to the congregation, that, rather than observing the Holy Feast in their family homes, which was typical, they were in the middle of a grazing pasture on the afternoon right before Passover, which would begin as the sun set (ref. John 6:4).

The significance and importance of observing the Passover Feast was not lost on Jesus (ref. Numbers 9:13) and He turned to Disciple Phillip asking “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” Phillip failed to recognize that Christ was testing him and his thought processes and Phillip calculated that even with six months’ worth of wages of two hundred denarii, they couldn’t even afford to feed them more than a morsel apiece (ref. Mark 6: 35-37; John 6:5-7).

A young boy, most likely a local from the Bethsaida fishing community, offered what may have been his portion of his family’s Passover meal. Because the Jewish communities had already ritually rid their homes of all flour, which had been exposed to leavening (ref. Deuteronomy 16:3-4), the bread that he presented would have been the unleavened Matzah served during the Passover meal. The fact that the bread is made out of Barley, the grain of the poor, demonstrated that the boy may have been a peasant and suffered from food insecurity, which was only more intensified by the fact that all other grain was now out of the house in preparation for Passover, so these pieces of bread and fishes he had humbly donated were the only sources of food he had.

The Sea of Galilea is home to the only fresh water sardine, a popular snack and spread in the region, and was probably one of the more plentiful fish caught and processed in the village. The Greek word “opsarion” used to describe the two small fish, implies they are not meant to act as an entrée in a meal, but serve as a savory condiment, similar to the paste Christ dipped His piece of bread in during The Last Supper a year later (ref. Matthew 26:23; John 13:26). The fact that the boy’s family could only contribute a basic condiment to their Passover meal, rather than the required lamb (Exodus 12:3), further highlighted their poverty and the relative worth of his gift.

Nevertheless, the Disciples saw the insignificant five barley unleavened loaves and two small fish as nothing compared to what was needed to feed so many hungry people, numbering around five thousand men, without counting women and children. Jesus ordered His Disciples to have them sit down in the uncultivated grassy pastures in groups of fifty before reciting the “HaMotzi” blessing which is the prayer over the unleavened Passover Matzah bread (ref. Matthew 14:19; Mark 6:41; Luke 9:16; John 6:11).

Baruch atah A-donay, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam Hamotzi lechem min haaretz.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the Universe, Who brings forth bread from the earth.

After the blessing, Christ’s Disciples distributed the bread and fish to the crowds and after they had all eaten their fill, He instructed His Disciples to gather all the leftovers which amounted to twelve hand baskets. After the miracle of multiplication of the loaves and fishes, many people sought to force Jesus to serve as their King, having recognized that He was “indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world” but still they still incorrectly believed that His Kingdom was Physical and Political rather than Spiritual.

This lack of understanding continued the next day when the crowds went to Capernaum to find Jesus, looking to receive more food. Christ chastised them for looking for food that would fade away like the Manna that their forefathers ate in the Wilderness. After declaring Himself the Bread from Heaven and the Bread of Life, and whoever ate of this bread would live forever, and that It is the Spirit that gives life because the flesh is useless, many followers left him, confused and perplexed or disappointed that Christ was promising something spiritual and intangible (ref. John 6:22-59).

While Jesus was in the Gentile district of Tyre and Sidon, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” After initially ignoring her and then being prodded by the Disciples, Christ explained that He was “sent on to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” and that “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs”. The Canaanite woman humbly replied “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” He was impressed with her answer, declaring “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed (ref. Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30).

Jesus left the district and went to the region of the Decapolis, a group of ten Roman cities to the north of Galilee, where people brought their sick and saw “the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing.” And these foreigners “praised the God of Israel” (Matthew 15: 29-31; Mark 7:31-37). After healing the sick for three days, Jesus decided that the crowds should be fed before they traveled back home.

Unlike the feeding of the multitude of 5,000 Jews, Christ followed the Roman custom of separately blessing bread and meats when He took seven loaves and blessed them before distributing them, then blessing the few small fish and sending those out afterwards. Christ again instructed His Disciples to gather up the remnants after the foreigners had had their fill of food and it filled seven large full-body (ref. Acts 9:25) woven baskets.

Later, when Christ questioned His Disciples about the importance of these two miracles, they suspected that He was scolding them for not bringing bread for their trip. He stressed the numbers’ symbolic significance. The miracle of feeding 5,000 Jews with five fish and two loaves during Passover, which resulted in 12 hand baskets of leftovers was representative of the Jewish Pentateuch (Their five books of scripture and law) and the twelve tribes of Israel. The feeding of 4,000 Gentiles using seven loaves and a few fish represented the four corners/directions (North, South, East, West) symbolizing the rest of the World while seven was the Gentile number for completion.

Christ first came to save the House of Israel, but they were too concerned with physical matters such as food and establishing a physical political state, failing to recognize that Christ came to serve as the Bread of Life, giving eternal spiritual life. While they were foreigners, the Gentiles in the region were more receptive to Christ’s message and praised the God of Israel. But despite seeing the miracles firsthand and Christ stressing the most important symbols, His Disciples also thought Jesus was talking about foodstuffs, not realizing that He was saying that He came to provide Eternal Life to All Peoples, whether Jew or Gentile.

While we will be growing and raising food on the Campus, to nourish our bodies and those in the surrounding community, we recognize that the satisfying of people’s spiritual needs will take precedence. We pray that you will follow the wisdom of the peasant boy from Bethsaida who trusted God to provide and gave his only food so that a historic miracle could happen. If you feel urged by the Holy Spirit to give a physical gift so that miracles can flow in our Age, we hope you not only recognize what God is doing but contribute to its completion.

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

Shekinah: Wonders in the Wilderness

Visions, Signs, Wonders & Miracles-Signs of Things to Come

Though the word Shekinah does not exist in the Bible, it’s concept that God chooses sacred places to dwell and display His Glory shows up extensively in the Holy Scriptures. God’s Presence and Glory still manifests itself in spectacularly similar ways today.

As the Israelites fled Egypt, they were led by God as a pillar of cloud during the day and a pillar of fire during the night (ref. Genesis 13: 21-22). This allowed them to travel continuously, but possibly also provided cool cover against the oppressive desert heat and light for their travels through the darkness, comfort against the cold desert nights, and protection from attacks from wild animals.

When the Israelites reached the banks of the sea, they were confronted by Pharaoh and his entire chariot fleet, which had been pursuing them. As the Egyptian military marched towards the people who were pinned against the water, the Israelites cried out to Moses asking why he would lead them out of Egypt, just to die in the Wilderness. Moses was not afraid, and calmed their fears explaining that The Lord’s Salvation would be seen that day and the Egyptian military would be miraculously defeated by God’s Hand (ref. Exodus 14: 1-13)

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still!

God instructed Moses to lift his rod and stretch his hand over the sea, which caused a strong wind to divide the waters into walls on either side of the dry land, that the Israelites could safely walk across, with the pillar of fire and of cloud now trailing them and standing as a barrier between them and the Egyptian chariots throughout the night (Exodus 14: 14-20).

Despite the awesome sight of God’s Glory manifesting as a pillar of fire and cloud standing guard against them, the Egyptian military still pursued the Israelites into the midst of the sea. In the morning, He looked on the Egyptians and caused confusion in their camps, tore the wheels from their chariots, and handicapped the technologies they took their greatest pride in. They recognized that all their vehicles and weapons of war could not stand against God and shouted amongst the chaos “Let us get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt!” (ref. Exodus 14: 21-25).

But, it was too late, Moses again raised his hand and the sea collapsed upon them and “saved Israel that day out of the hands of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore… and the people feared and believed the Lord and His Servant Moses” (ref. Exodus 14: 26-31)

While they were wandering the Wilderness, they came across Mount Sinai and made camp at the base of the mountain. The Lord told Moses that he wanted Israel to be “My Kingdom of Priests and My Holy Nation” and would visit them in three days, giving them instructions to clean and consecrate themselves before God presented Himself (ref. Exodus 19: 5-11).

And on the third day, in the morning, because the Lord descended on the mountain as fire, Mount Sinai was enveloped by thunder and lightning and a thick cloud, like the smoke from a furnace. The sound of a loud trumpet pierced the air as the whole mountain shook violently, causing all the people in the camp to shudder and tremble (ref. Exodus 19:16-19). This thundering, lightning, sound of the trumpet and smoke coming from the mountain terrified the people and they stood far away, asking Moses to speak to them, fearing that if God spoke directly to them, they would die. But Moses explained that God did not intend to hurt them, but only test them so they would respect His Power and prevent them from sinning (ref. Exodus 20: 18-20).

On the first day of the first month, the Israelites erected the Tabernacle but Moses was not able to enter because a cloud covered the tent of congregation and the Glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. When God’s Presence was manifested as His Cloud of Smoke by day and Fire by night over His Tabernacle, the House of Israel took it as a sign that that was where they should stay and camp, but when the Cloud was removed from that place they were to follow it to their new location (ref. Exodus 40: 34-38).

As the Israelites escaped out of Egypt, God not only gave them direction, but actively delivered them comfort and protection as a pillar of smoke providing them shade from the scorching sun and as a pillar of fire granting them light in the darkness, warmth from the cold, and security from the beasts of the desert. When Pharaoh continued to pursue them, God even manifested Himself between the charging military and His People, creating a barrier so they could not harm the Israelites.

The fleeing Israelites were not prepared to confront the pursuing Egyptian chariots, but it was God’s intention that they rely on Him to provide protection against the World’s fiercest military force. God’s Power to bring the most powerful nation to its knees had been demonstrated throughout the Ten Plagues and God broke their plans, their spirits, and their weaponry to further cement the fact that no one can hurt those under His Providence.

The same great displays of Glory which are meant to stand as a testament to God’s enemies that He is All-Powerful, serve as a reminder to His People that we are to love and respect Him and not sin against Him.

We must also be sensitive to His Presence and constantly mindful of where and how His Power is manifesting. Even if we are comfortable where we are currently, we must move to where He is directing us if we desire to experience the fullness of His Blessings and Glory.

God’s Glory provides guidance and protection to His People, vengeance against those who wish to do us evil, reminds us of why we lovingly serve him, and leads us throughout our travels to continue to do His Will. We are excited to see how He will manifest and show His Glory.

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

Visions, Signs, Wonders & Miracles-Signs of Things to Come

Visions, Signs, Wonders & Miracles-Signs of Things to Come

The signs God gave to Moses through the Burning Bush, and later to the Israelites, were forerunners to the Ten Plagues and freedom from slavery in Egypt. Likewise, God sends signs to prepare His Followers, before He begins to move.

While Moses was tending his father-in-law, Jethro’s flocks on the far side of the wilderness, Moses came across Horeb, the Mountain of God, where he first saw the renowned Burning Bush. But, desert shrubs that had caught on fire due to the extreme heat was not a rare occurrence in that region. The fact that the bush was not consumed, despite being engulfed by flames, was such a curious and strange sight, that Moses chose to investigate it.

As Moses approached closer, God called out to him from within the bush, imploring him to take off his sandals as he was standing on holy ground. After introducing Himself as “the God of your father, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob”, Moses hid his face, terrified to look at God. The Lord explained how He had heard the Israelites pleas and prayers and was preparing to take them out of Egypt and bring them to the Promised Land, and Moses was going to lead this mission.

Moses had spent the past forty years tending sheep in the land of Midian, which had humbled him from the man who took justice into his own hands and murdered an Egyptian slave driver who was beating a fellow Hebrew (ref. Exodus 2: 11-12). Even after fleeing Egypt, Moses valiantly came to the rescue of the priest of Midian’s daughters, when they had been chased away from the well by some rough shepherds. Once a champion for the Hebrews and those in distress, Moses questioned “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11).

God explained that He would be with Moses when he confronted Pharaoh, and established that when the people had been brought out of Egypt, that they would worship God on the mountain. This would be the sign to Moses that it was God who had sent him.

Though Moses had received a sign of God through the burning bush, he doubted whether the Israelite people would trust his story, asking “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?

The Lord instructed Moses to throw the staff in his hand on the ground, which became a snake that Moses ran away from. The Lord further instructed Moses to reach out his hand and take the snake by the tail, and it turned back into a staff in his hand. “This,” God illuminated, “is so they will believe that the Lord, the God of their Fathers-Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-had appeared to you.

Moses was further directed to place his hand into his cloak and when he took it out, the skin had become leprous and white as snow. God told Moses to place his hand in his cloak again, and after pulling his hand out, it was restored.

God informed Moses that if the people did not believe him or “hearken the voice of the first sign”, they would “believe the voice of the latter sign”.

If they would still not believe after these first two signs, then Moses was to take water from the river and pour it upon dry land and the water would become blood.

Moses still did not feel as though he was qualified for such an important role and cried out “I am not eloquent; but am slow of speech and slow of tongue. Please pardon your servant and send someone else.

Though His anger was kindled against Moses, God allowed for Moses’ brother Aaron to serve as his spokesman. God told Aaron to go into the wilderness to meet Moses at the Mount of God, where Moses told Aaron everything the Lord had instructed him to say and all the signs he was to do. They gathered all the elders of the Children of Israel together and Aaron spoke the words God had revealed to Moses and performed the signs and they believed (ref. Exodus 4).

God often decides to present His Signs through those who seem unworthy due to their low status, past mistakes, or lack of natural abilities. Moses was slow of speech, a murderer, and now a lowly shepherd, who had fallen from the heights of an Egyptian prince. But these obstacles perfectly direct people towards God rather than the messenger.

God demonstrated His unlimited Creativity and Power through His Signs to Moses. God took a typical event and made it extraordinary as seen with the burning bush not being consumed by the flames. God’s signs can be terrifying and cause terror in observers’ hearts as Moses ran from his staff which had been transformed into a snake. God’s signs can even affect his messengers and their lives, but God will restore them if it gives Him Glory as demonstrated with Moses’ hand becoming leprous and then being healed. God can bend the rules of nature in any way He desires as seen through the ultimatum sign of the water cast on land being turned into blood.

God understands that many people need multiple signs before they will believe and provides accordingly. Pharaoh would later require ten plagues to truly recognize God’s Greatness and most of the Pharisees and Sadducees ignored and overlook hundreds if not thousands of Christ’s miracles.

Because He is eternal, He even provides signs for us to look forward to, just like the future signal to Moses that God had sent him, when the Israelites would worship on the same mount after they had been freed from Egypt.

While God spoke directly to Moses, it was through the Voice of His Signs, that God spoke to His People.

Though we are often excitedly waiting for miracles, God always provides precursors through His Signs to let us know what to expect. The signs to the Israelites were meant to prepare the hearts and mind of His People to know that God had heard their prayers and was fulfilling His Promise to bring them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. We are grateful for the signs God has already provided us regarding the future Campus, and are carefully watching for His future signs as He prepares His People to do His Will

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator

Holy Spirit & Spiritual Gifts: Baptized by Water & Fire

Holy Spirit & Spiritual Gifts: Baptized by Water & Fire

While the impartation of the Holy Spirit was an uncommon event in the Old Testament, reserved for those fulfilling a specific role to accomplish His Will, God told His Prophets of an Age when His Spirit would come upon all Mankind.

John the Baptist had been told by God, that He would recognize the Messiah when he saw the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him. While John baptized with water, Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire (ref. Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1: 32-33).

Nicodemus, a Pharisee and ruler of the Jews, recognized that Christ’s ability to teach and perform miracles came from God, but failed to understand what was required to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Christ explained that it was impossible, except a man be born again through both the baptism of water and of the Holy Spirit (ref. John 3:1-6). After this confrontation with Nicodemus, Christ took His Disciples to Judea and they began baptizing.

Though the Apostles had already been baptized in water by John (ref. John 1:35-37, 3:23) and walked with Christ for years during His Ministry, it was not until after His Crucifixion and Resurrection that they had the opportunity to baptized with the Holy Spirit (ref. Acts 1:4-5). A few days after Christ’s Ascension, His Disciples were all gathered together during the required Feast of Pentecost, when suddenly there came from Heaven a violent rushing wind and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in Tongues.

The tens of thousands of men which came from all over the known world to Jerusalem to attend Pentecost were amazed and astounded that they heard their foreign languages being spoken by the newly Spirit-filled Disciples. Peter explained that this was the fulfillment of Joel’s Prophecy (ref. Joel 2:28-29) that God would pour out His Spirit on All Flesh; that sons and daughters would begin to prophesy, old men would dream dreams, and young men would see visions, and that even the male and female slaves would also prophesy (ref. Acts 2:6-18).

When the people listening to Peter recognized that they had witnessed or been party to Christ’s torture and crucifixion, when they had all gathered in Jerusalem to observe the Passover, they were overcome with a great mourning and distress over their actions and sought to receive the Spirit of Grace and Mercy God had promised the House of David and the city of Jerusalem (ref. Zechariah 12:10). Peter explained that they must “Repent, and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and they would receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit”.

Though God promised that He would first pour out His Spirit and Blessing upon Jacob’s offspring (ref. Isaiah 44:1-3), which was fulfilled with the 3,000 circumcised converts at Pentecost, this baptism by Fire and the Holy Spirit was not limited to the Jews. Later, while Peter was preaching to a large group of Gentiles informing them that the Gospel would now be preached to all nations, the Holy Spirit came upon all who heard his message and they too began to speak in foreign tongues and praising the name of the Lord before being baptized by water.

Paul resounded the need for both the baptisms of water and fire/Holy Spirit when he came across some of John the Baptist’s disciples. They were only aware of the Baptism of Repentance that John taught, but Paul insisted they be baptized in the Name of Lord Jesus and when he laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them and they began to speak in tongues and prophesy.

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul stressed the fact that just as Christ’s Spiritual Kingdom was made up of peoples of many different nations, both Jew and Gentile, members of the Body of Christ would also operate in many different giftings as well. But it was by one Spirit that they were all baptized when they received their spiritual gifts and from this same Spirit they all drank of.

This baptism by both water and fire not only ensures our Eternal Life in Heaven, but also bestows us with at least one spiritual gift to develop and use during our physical time on Earth.

Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator


Holy Spirit & Spiritual Gifts-The Second Civil War & The Righteous Rebel

Holy Spirit & Spiritual Gifts: The Second Civil War & The Righteous Rebel

The Old Testament has many instances of the Holy Spirit coming upon great, honorable men of God with positions such as prophets, judges, kings, architects, & high priests. But, the Holy Spirit also chose a traitor to his family, his tribe, and his king.

After the Holy Spirit abandoned King Saul, but before David could claim his rightful place as King of Israel, the country spit in two, between the Northern Kingdom, which supported the Benjamite Saul of Gibeah, and the Southern Kingdom of Judah, the family tribe of David of Bethlehem.

A similar civil war had erupted during the time of the Judges.

A Levite had a concubine, who had been unfaithful, and fled to her father’s house in the town of Bethlehem in Judah. Four months later, the Levite went to bring his concubine back home and during their journey, decided to rest in the Benjamite city of Gibeah. The Levite and his concubine were provided shelter by a local man from the same region (Mount Ephraim) that the Levite was from, but, during the night, a group of men stormed the house demanding that the Levite be turned over so they could sexually assault him! Instead, his unfaithful concubine was given to the mob, who abused her throughout the night. She was found at the door’s threshold the next morning and the Levite took her body home and cut it into twelve pieces, which were sent to the twelve tribes of Israel (ref. Judges 19).

Men throughout the country rose up against the City of Gibeah, demanding that the men who had committed the treachery be brought out to be executed, but the Benjamites refused and instead made war against the other tribes of Israel. After two major losses, the men of Israel enacted a plan that tricked and routed the Benjamite soldiers who were defending the city. After Gibeah was burned to the ground, the Israelite soldiers went through the Benjamite territory, wiping out the towns and cities which had not stood up against their fellow Benjamites to enact justice.

In the end, only six-hundred Benjamite men survived.

Since no Benjamite women were left, the town of Jabesh-Gilead, which had refused to send men to fight against the City of Gibeah, was destroyed and Gadite maidens were given to the surviving Benjamites as wives. It was from these six-hundred spared Benjamites and their Gadite wives that Saul claimed his heritage(ref. Judges 20).

After David’s many victories following the defeat of Goliath the Philistine giant, King Saul became jealous of the nation’s love for David. Recognizing that his political power was threatened, Saul repeatedly attacked and had his men chase after David, forcing him to flee the country and seek refuge amongst the Philistines whom he’d previously warred against.

During his banishment to Ziklag, a Judean city on the edge of Philistine territory, David and his men prepared to fight alongside the Philistines to launch attacks against Saul’s army, but the town was raided by the Amalekites. After tracking down the raiders and getting the prisoners and goods that were stolen back and looting the attacker’s encampment, David divided the spoils of war amongst all the men, rather than just those who had fought, and sent gifts to the towns throughout Judah which had previously provided them food, water, and shelter when they had been pursued by Saul.

These gifts and heroic acts earned David much support amongst his fellow tribesmen within the region of Judah. But his most important support came from outside his tribal ties.

After hearing stories of his exploits and recognizing that David was the rightful king of Israel, military men began to defect to David’s side. But these men were not the societal outcasts and criminals which David’s army was currently composed of, but skilled men of war. They were “brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions, and they were as swift as gazelles in the mountains”. They were “armed with bows and were able to shoot arrows and sling bows using either their right or left hand”, who’s weakest member could challenge one hundred men singlehandedly. These men forded the overflowing Jordan River during the flooding season and their presence sent all who looked upon them fleeing in terror.

While these men were great fighters and military commanders, the most impressive aspect about them was the fact that they came from the tribes of Benjamin and Gad. These men who joined David were from the same tribes that the current King Saul hailed from, and were among the warriors who had previously helped King Saul in battle and were even relatives of him. Their Benjamite and Gadite forefathers did not rise against the evil men of Gibeah, Saul’s hometown, who had done unbelievable evil to the concubine from Bethlehem, David’s birthplace, but these men chose to align themselves with the Lord.

When David saw the group approaching his stronghold and inquired of their intentions, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Amasai, the Chief of the Thirty who declared “We are yours, David! We are with you, son of Jesse! Success, success to you, and success to those who help you, for your God will help you.” This heroic act and prophetic word manifested in the Nation of Israel’s heart being moved and hundreds of thousands of men from all the other tribes gathered to turn Saul’s kingdom over to David, as the Lord had said.

Amasai, the Chief of the Thirty, whom the Spirit of the Lord came upon, was the first to pledge allegiance to David, but in doing so, he also marked himself a traitor to his relative Saul, abandoned his Tribe of Benjamin, and committed treason against the crown. But unlike their forefathers who put their bloodline, heritage, and regional and political alliances as their top priority, Amasai and the Benjamites and Gadites who joined David chose to desert their previous ranks to fight on behalf of God’s Will.

We need to be brave and not allow tradition, regional, religious, and political affiliations, cloud and misdirect our spiritual walks. As members of His Spiritual Kingdom, we must always discern and orient ourselves to ensure we are fighting to advance the cause of Christ. The institutions of men’s design will fall and fail so as wise Spirit-filled followers we should place Him as King of our lives.


Prepared by, Kent Simpson, Apostolic Prophet & Eric Sepulveda, PMT Administrator