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Which best represents the problem with the comment?
The parable of the wheat and the tares should be alarming to everyone; and necessary instruction. ( Matt. 13:24-30). It is said that the wheat and tares are indistinguishable from one another before they are fully ripened. It appears from this parable that God has His purposes for these two groups to remain until the end of the age. Most probably; this is testing for those who ARE true believers to ensure that they won't fall for the temptations of this world as well as false or compromised doctines as well as a lifestyle of sin. Again; our society in general doesn't seem to be finding too many newcomers to churches because of it is a novel practice; or the world is being turned upside down ( Acts 17:6) which were characteristic of the church in Apostolic times.
However; the "damnable heresies" ( 2 Peter 2:1) are increasing along with 1 Timothy 4:1-2; etc. are invading former solid denominations so that a person can have a sense of respectability and pride in church attendance that tells them what they want to hear. Part of this; of course is the result of decades of permissive society and decline of morals; both within and without the church walls; I have stated before no doubt that the destruction of marriages is what I consider to be the primary initial cause especially post World War 2 of what we see today.
A primary example here is how people look at 1 John 2:1-2 on confession of sin and forgiveness. While it is true that Christ's death took care of all sin; past and future; we still have to confess sin; and if someone has the Holy Spirit in them they cannot be content with sin ( Galatians 5:17). a LIFESTYLE of sin such as continual adultery; theft; fornication; and other actions means that ultimately we don't trust God as to His warnings such as in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 as to reaping what we sow; and don't trust Him to be in the driver's seat in our lives and our souls.
Previously; the concept has been introduced as to evidence of good or bad fruit as indicators of true or false salvation in earlier posts. The idea of self; somehow being able to adequately perform the behaviors such as illustrated in the Beatitudes on the Sermon on the Mount (i.e. be a peacemaker; meek; etc) basically demonstrates humanism in some form. I also mentioned the idea of "decisional regeneration". Often; there isn't much thought once we have "fire insurance" as it were; of such verses as 2 Corinthians 13:5 in testing ourselves to see if we are; indeed in the faith. Iron sharpening iron ( Prov. 27:17) is a way that God often uses to chastise us; which He does with all who are truly in the faith. We also should examine carefully the entire message of scripture; in this case the Beatitudes. Here it DEFINES who the meek are; those who are "despitefully used; wrongfully accused and otherwise abused" (my own rhyme giving the gist of the scripture). In the flesh we may put up with this; but expect someone to pity us; unlike what Jesus went through in Isaiah 53. To die for a friend is one thing; but for enemies is something else ( Romans 5:7-8).
The opposite also holds true; people somehow read the Gospels and think that Christ was all about bringing people together; peace and harmony. The unregenerate mind glosses over Matthew 10:34; 10:36; and the 10 times they tried to kill Jesus by various methods such as stoning and throwing him off a cliff BEFORE the cross. The last case was when Lazarus was raised from the dead when he along with Christ were in the final failed attempt at assassination. The world of course has trouble understanding the need for a bloody cross; of the fact that ALL of us are guilty for His death (at least the elect). Ultimately; to believe Christ is God (part of a triune God) has to be given by God ( Matt. 16:17).
Without God we can do nothing ( John 15:5). See also Hebrews 11:6.
The bulk of this discussion is focused on men who profess to believe as a Christian and who are seeking faith as a means to an end. This; in my opinion is far more insidious; and leads to greater judgment than the average pagan who overtly worship false gods. We have discussed Lot's wife; and of course in New Testament times we have warnings such as Hebrews 10:29 to seriously consider as well as the previous verse. We have more than the law now; we have the Bible; the written testimony of God with His redemptive plan for us.
Part of the problem; as I have pointed out a number of times is the concept of "decisional regeneration". We can follow the admonition of Romans 10:9 and attest to the veracity of John 3:16 and a few other basic verses on salvation for a number of reasons; but apart from a transformation through the Holy Spirit and God drawing a person toward repentance we are NOT saved. This concept is found in 5 scriptures as either granting or leading someone to repenetance (see 2 Tim. 2:25; Romans 2:4). Two types of sorrow are mentioned in 2 Corinthians 7:10; godly and worldly sorrow. The end result is either spiritual death or life. (compare Peter to Judas Iscariot after Gethsemene; and until His crucifixion for examples of these two types of sorrow). I would go farther though; some of us haven't even considered the consequences of our sins and how it would affect us at the end of this life; and Judgment Day. Fear of hell may not save someone without an appreciation for the Holiness of God and how we have offended our Creator; which comes in a large part after we are saved (experientially slow for some; immediate for others). But true repentance gives us some realization of our state apart from Christ along with a new heart ( Ezekiel 11:19-20).
I will say that in today's world; it is going to get very costly to even confess Christ; assuming; of course it is real church that we are declaring allegiance to
......But back to Bathsheba who loss her 1 st Child b/c she had a husband Uriah.....The early Chuch had a husband which was the law....Thats y Paul is saying...You are dead to the law by the body of Christ that you should be married to another and bring forth fruit unto God which is the H.G. the Child of Promise... Romans 7:4....But Bathsheba travailed a 2 nd time for the Child of Promise Solomon....My lil Children of whom i travail IN BIRTH AGAIN a 2 nd time thus a 2 nd Child which is the H.G. that Child that comes out of Christ loins.
Lot's wife never demonstrated saving faith from what scripture would indicate; at the very least desiring more to turn back to see the fate of the city doomed for destruction rather than to escape. "Righteous Lot" ( 2 Peter 2:7-8) was vexed every day; and clearly quite compromised in his dealings when he offered his daughters to the men who were trying to break down his door to commit abominations. No mention of his wife is in the scriptures; as was with Sarah; for instance in Hebrews 11.
Today in church it was discussed how Abraham was said to be the only one who was a "friend" of God ( James 2:23). Exodus 33:11 states the same of Moses as well so technically my Pastor erred. My point here I may expound on later; namely the fact that God truly spoke in a different manner to them than many others in the Bible. The friendship; in other words went both ways. The discussion also came up today in Sunday school on how He is both Master and friend. This is a mystery in itself; and forces us beyond stereotypical cultural viewpoints toward such a relationship. As for now; I will just state that Lot had to be "shoved" out of his town literally; and the angels had to put up with his ridiculous bantering about going to the nearby little town; which was promptly abandoned once Lot saw what happened and hid in the mountains. Abraham and Moses both had slow starts and their own issues; but were able to have close fellowship with the Lord as we see from Genesis 18:17 with Abraham and Exodus 32:30 where Moses acted to intercede to prevent God from destroying all of Israel. That scene is another discussion as to its theological implications.
We all should strive to be as the saints in the "hall of fame" in Hebrews 11; not stubborn like Jonah as an ox. Nonetheless these all are true believers. We CANNOT claim God's promises with an imaginary Christ or on other terms than scripture dictates and expect it to be true.
Psalm 50:21 warns of judgment coming for those who think that God is just like them; i.e. a God of their own imaginations or choosing. I have given many posts in regard to understanding correct doctrine; along with the admonition to know God not just know a lot about Him. John 6:45 explains from Isaiah 54:13 that we or "they" shall "all be taught by God."
In addition to experiential knowledge the Holy Spirit in the church age lives within every believer; in fact that implies each member of the Trinity or Triune God ( John 14:23). This has allowed us to be the Temple of God now ( 2 Cor. 6:16); which also mentions the "living God" in the verse; yet another evidence that "soul sleep" is a farce. God is not a God of the dead but the living ( Luke 20:38); which also mentions the word "all" as to who lives in Him; for all who are believers.
It is easy as believers to be one sided in this matter; and assume that the most dangerous deception is false religion (or atheism). In this; we also are ignorant of the fact that Satan wishes to steal God's Glory; hence denying the Father and Son in Spirit; but also magnifying himself as though he IS God ( 1 John 2:23; 2 Thess. 2:4). False Christs; of course are rampant as a sign of the last days. ( Matt. 24:24). This is not even the greatest danger; what is are those who are in the midst of the true believers where the Word of God is preached; somehow comforting themselves in some warped version of who Christ is to them personally. "Remember Lot's wife" is an excellent tract by Chapel Library in Pensacola which I am recommending for this theme in particular as well as for all their tracts that show the "Grace Gospel" (all of Christ; none of us basically). Scripture makes it clear the fate of Lot's wife who turned back ( Gen. 19:26). The tract makes it clear that she had unusually privileges being able to be the only married woman in Sodom who got to hear the Word of God.
I hope this Lord's Day finds you, your family, and all that comment on this site well.
I want to say that I appreciate your comments very much. I read them and respond to you directly and have had discussions with you on several topics because they are likely representative of the majority view of those that post in this forum. And are, I suspect, representative of the views held today by many in the "evangelical" community and have been taught in many churches to varying degrees.
Your comments are clearly thought out and challenge my thinking and scriptural understanding as I hope mine do yours and others.
We do have a different understanding in several areas; and I believe those differences stem primarily from a difference, to some degree, in our understanding of 1) the nature of the Bible itself, and 2) how God instructs us in His Word, the Bible, to interpret what we read there.
Nothing that I say in my comments is meant to be a judgement on you personally. That is God's business, not our business, and certainly not my business. But any time any one of us are confronted with God's Word it is serious business. And I suspect we are in total agreement on that score.
I just felt the need to say this and I suspect that you have gathered that already from our discussions, which I hope will continue.
Again, God's blessings on you and your family.
The account goes on to say that anyone who refuses to be sprinkled according to this ritual remains unclean and cannot participate in religious life of the congregation. They are cut off from the people.
Perhaps this emphasis on following the way God directed to be cleansed has a few purposes: 1) for people to recognize the depth of their sinfulness that will always result in death 2) that each person needs to be cleansed from sin that comes from our sinful nature 3) that God has prescribed on way to be cleansed from touching a dead body-there is no other way for the OT Israelites 4) For us, this rite reminds us that there is only one way for us to be cleansed of our sin-not by this rite (it is a foreshadowing)but by the sacrifice of Jesus and for us dying and rising with Him to become holy, pure, and reborn spiritually.
This chapter gives God's explanation and institution of the rite of the red heifer for purification from sins.
The heifer blood of the heifer is to be sprinkled before the doorway of the tent of meeting seven times by the priest, although the priest does not slay it, nor burn it, nor collect the ashes, He is to observe this part of the preparation of the ashes for purification.
Next the whole carcass is burned completely to ashes outside of the camp. Cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet (wool) is to be thrown on the fire to be burned with the heifer. The ashes are to be collected and stored in some type of vessel to be used with running water and hyssop in the cleansing process.
After all of this is done, the priest and the one(s) who did the work are to wash themselves in water and also their clothing. They will be unclean until the evening begins.
Matthew Henry speaks of the heifer rite being a foreshadowing of the complete giving of our Lord as a sacrifice unto death for the cleansing and remission of our sins. He says that the running water may refer to the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit at conversion. I think these are fair assessments by Mr. Henry.
Whenever someone touches a dead human body or human bones or any affects touching the body, the person is considered unclean for seven days. He is to go to the priest on days 3 and seven to receive upon himself the cleansing water mixed with ashes and sprinkled upon him with a branch of hyssop. Also, all of the belongings and things inside the tent and the tent itself of the one who has died must be sprinkled with this red heifer water for cleansing from death.
Matthew Henry also mentioned that the institution of this rite specifically for contact with a dead person demonstrates that death is a result and punishment of sin. It is directly linked with sin, since sin brings death to every person that every lived.
See part 2
Sin; righteousness and judgment to come may not be the only function of the Holy Spirit but is essential. While a Word of Knowledge or Prophecy may be used to wake someone up; those filled with the Spirit and having their garments white and unspotted ( Ephesians 5:27 and other passages) who themselves are living with a healthy fear of the Lord will be noticed.
Perhaps it would be better to intentionally make people UNcomfortable by bringing them to church; it should start with ourselves when we see others who are clearly sold out to Christ that at times may put us to shame.
We know from the Word that it is the sin NATURE that is the root of all sorts of bad fruit causing behaviors (i.e. sinful actions). It seems rare today; along with the lack of fear of the Lord; "sloppy agape" as they call it for many to take seriously sin even after being genuinely saved. Discipline is needed; but of course the adage "we don't smoke; cuss; drink or dance" and other things to that affect aren't going to do anything against the power of sin. Legalism is dead by itself; along with the doing it "my way" adage. (Man all these quotes probably will get me flagged).
Lest we wake up someday in many of our churches and realize that we are a motley crew without much in common with each other and decide to call it a day and move on; often we find ourselves in the same boring pattern of worship week after week.
Once we realize how strange it is that we are; as it were His peculiar people we can understand how fellowship in the Spirit is supposed to work. It is easy to connect with the prettiest; smartest or most gifted orator in our congregation; or be more wrapped up in customs or even doctrinal knowledge than being in corporate worship of the LIVING God who ever lives to intercede for us ( Heb. 7:25 again).
How to minister to others based on giftings and callings comes AFTER we get beyond focusing on just our five senses.
Continuing the thought of the invisible realm (see John 20:29); we begin to understand the promises of God's protection of His saints ( Psalm 91:11; Isaiah 52:12) through the angels; we see how to correctly "bind and loose" ( Matt. 16:19); how to align more closely to what Christ is interceding in our behalf in seeking His will ( Heb. 7:25); and of course see those in bondage loosed from Satan's grip ( Luke 4:18-19) taken from Isaiah 61:1.
Those who love Him keep His commandments ( John 14:21) and originally found in Deuteronomy 7:9. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ( Proverbs 9:10 but found many other places in scripture).
For a case study; let us examine 1 Corinthians 14:22-25 where we have tongues and prophecy as applying to unbelievers in one verse then switch to believers in the next verses. This means that evidence of the power of God needs to be present AND a clear message relatable to the sinner or saint present given. In reality there cannot be a supernatural manifestation of the Spirit WITHOUT a piercing of the soul ( Hebrews 4:12) that is of course accompanied by the Gospel as the rest of the verse indicates. It also shows how a church must be corrected as He chastises all His own (found further on in Hebrews 12 verse 6).
The fact that some spiritual activity is occuring isn't evidence that God is at work; it could be demons. The fact that this was still a place where His Spirit was at work was evident in the fact that Paul's severe discipline had results; and that right quick (as the Brits like to say). This is clear from chapter 7 of 2 Corinthians. As I started off this discourse; I mentioned the Ephesians. They were threatened with total removal of their candlestick in Revelation 2. Therefore; being dead would be worse than immature; even with all the correct doctrines and outer actions; ceremonies; etc.
John 16:8 shows how the true Spirit of God works.
In a worship service; there are weapons at our disposal but if we never take them out of our holsters they are as useful as stage props. Praise clearly in the right context unlocks great victories; from the Old Testament the victory at Jericho is one great example. We are instructed in Psalms how to worship with music (and even dancing in Psalm 149 and 150). This should also hopefully help us to transcend all the barriers in our hearts so we can focus on the Word and let it have its desired effect on us as individuals and as part of the corporate Body.
Here is one example of how something can be a powerful weapon in the spiritual realm; or conversely involve "shooting ourselves in the foot". We see many "declarations" that are uttered in worship music and in certain messages by worship leaders. If it is scripturally based on God's promises; then it is used rightly; the principles of God are eternal. But when men have their own agendas; particularly when doctrinal error or some enticement to sin (such as blessing financial contributions that are motivated by filthy lucre; or relationships outside of proper marriage vows) then we can't expect God to answer with what we want. When we play games like this; making God a sort of genie in a bottle; we open ourselves up to deception and ultimately destruction. Again; as in all things there is a certain truth within all error to render greater power to the poison.
Error ultimately not only results from engaging in such practices; but it also discourages those who wish to pray for what is the Lord's will. Such can be the case when someone is moved to pray for finances; for instance for needed projects such as the missions field; who may; for example involve petitioning the Lord for opportunities to expedite the Great Commission. The blessing of true sacrificial giving may be missed because of not challenging others in the other extreme.
My previous posts have discussed the extreme of overly legalistic churches vs those who are overly emotional; in short. Within a certain context; it is often helpful when one can experience the joy of the Lord when expressed more openly in a different type of fellowship on occasion as well as those from more expressive congregants to be introduced or reestablished with fellowship in more traditional worship. There is room for correction in either case; one extreme has the warnings of the Ephesian church abandoning their first love in Revelation 2:4-5; while there are sufficient warnings not only for order as in the Corinthians church but against false doctrines and "damnable heresies" such as 2 Peter 2:1 mentions.
This discussion; to reiterate is considering a true fellowship of worship sort of example and the various styles; preferences or modes of worship that often are commonplace and overlap; as stated in the introduction based on general parameters in scripture but as we shall see often influenced by culture in a given nation more than we may observe after being immersed in such traditions for a long time. To fast forward to the big picture let's look to the supernatural realm; specifically related to the angels and demons; under the authority of Christ and Satan and what a service is like in that dimension concurrent to our actions inside a church service on earth. The test of doctrine; for example shows how to test the spirits as to which ones proclaim Jesus has come in the flesh as opposed to those who deny it ( 1 John 4:2). That may define falsehood; but it is equally true that a church can be dead and lose its "candlestick" ( Rev. 2:5) so that as the Ephesians did; have all the right words but lose any effective power for change.
Briefly; worship must contain the truth reflecting God's character and unchanging attributes as well as express worship with all of the soul; body and mind ( Deut. 6:4-7)
The introduction concluded with a discussion on the law in scripture. I have found it refreshing that in most Reformed or Orthodox Presbyterian congregations the 10 Commandments are usually read toward the outset of a service on a weekly basis.
That would cover either a section in Deuteronomy or Exodus; and when in the order of service often elaborated on in the sermon in the New Testament as to the implications with the New Covenant of Grace. What is often missing in the services of say; a Baptist service is a call to penitence and repentance; which sometimes is inserted immediately before a Communion service. Any service which is missing such a call before that sacred event is in grave danger of sin; not warning those to come to the table in a manner worthy of such an event. Matthew 5:23 and 1 Cor. 11:27-29 should be sufficient to warn us of grave consequences of ignoring this warning. Similar admonitions can be given for Baptisms; weddings and membership vows.
Further scriptures show how those who are in authority as elders and deacons are to be sufficiently mature in their walk and conduct; and still more (especially Corinthians) give the marching orders to establish order in a service so we may go beyond being babes in our faith.
Just as the law isn't the end all of faith; rather Jesus the author and finisher thereof ( Heb. 12:2) we should of course have agape love toward one another as the preeminent thing; with phileo and other human affections flowing from that foundation.
The opposite extreme is churches which have at best sidelined and at worst abandoned doctrines of truth for another set of rules; where there is a focus on experience; emotional highs and other manifestations; or in short a creation is worshipped rather than the Creator. We can look at the Corinthians as a good example of a true church which although chaotic wasn't beyond correction; and a false church sold out to Mystery Babylon.
Introduction: There is a prescribed manner of conduct in the Scriptures which give us a basic guideline of how to conduct ourselves in public worship. The ceremonial aspects involve; more or less an invocation to prayer and beginning the service; songs of thanksgiving; a sermon; and communion on a set schedule. That and other events such as weddings; funerals; outreach; recreational activities go on more or less on a rather predictable pattern.
As to how the individual interacts with the rest of the local Body present; wherever you go there tends to be a seating and greeting pattern; a mode of discussion when approaching the Pastor; deacons and anyone else with a position; and another one for the rest of the laypersons-often dictated by the proclivities of our personalities; and mutual interests or lack thereof. Ministries tend to have a rather predictable involvement; a few individuals do the majority of service oriented projects and prayer meetings; and one or two others do most of the greeting.
A careful analysis of what is written so far will expose the fact that these activities could go on in a church where the Lord is present; to almost any other religious and perhaps non religious meeting place. The fact is; in either case we tend to familiarize ourselves with what is familiar and sort of at our comfort level. We are in danger of putting form ahead of substance; and focusing on what our natural senses dictate rather than what God is trying to say to us.
The same could be said of the law in scriptures. It is vital to drive us to Christ; as Galatians 3:24 states but never has the power to save. We love its many facets as Psalm 119 explaines in great detail because it illuminates the design of God for a peaceful society and for a manner worthy of those calling themselves citizens of heaven. It is; of course justice and mercy which Jesus excoriated the Pharisees with in Matthew 23:23 as missing.
I always am blessed by your posts. The board has been kind of spotty lately as far as robust conversations. And there have not been as many prayer requests and questions as was normally submitted. I hope this changes. I love hear from many different folks who have frequented this forum and I hope more who may be reading but not posting will also join the conversations with us.
All are welcome.
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
The True Gospel is circumscribed by the Bible alone and in its entirety and is a Gospel of Grace Alone.
We must start with the understanding that mankind by nature since Adam's sin is SPIRITUALLY DEAD, and subject to the Wrath of God and the Judgment of God because of our sins. This is our condition, apart from salvation, both in body and soul. And both our body and soul are subject to eternal death and destruction along with this sin-cursed earth.
Furthermore, we are in bondage to sin and Satan to whom God has given the authority to rule over this world, all of course under the ultimate authority of God Himself.
But despite this terrible situation, by God's Mercy and to demonstrate His Glory, God, before the foundation of this world, chose a people for Himself to save and to be with Him eternally in New Heavens and a New Earth. These are the Elect of God. We don't know how God made that choice but we know it was not based upon any worthiness in any one of us.
To accomplish this, the penalty required by the Law of God, for every dirty rotten sin of every one of His Elect was full paid by God Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is, God in the person of Christ actually DIED and was then RESURRECTED to life again. Our minds cannot fully grasp this but we know it is a fact because God declares it in the Bible.
Then at some point in their life God applies that salvation to each and every one of His Elect in raising their Spiritually Dead soul to Spiritual Life by giving them a brand new Resurrected Soul which, in itself, cannot sin. 1 John 3:9. This is why when a believers body dies he goes to be with Christ in heaven in his soul existence.
Then at the Last Day God completes their salvation by giving them their Resurrected Spiritual Body which now, in a complete personality, will live and reign with Christ in New Heavens and New Earth eternally. 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15
Cont in part 2
Vs. 14 tells the Levites that everything in Israel that is devoted (set apart-given over to the LORD be) is yours. All firstborn from the womb belong to the LORD, but firstborn humans are to be redeemed for a set price that is given to the Levites. The firstborn of the livestock cannot be redeemed and are to be used for sacrifices and offerings. They are to sprinkle the blood on the altar and burn their fat to the LORD. The meat can be eaten by the Levites. This meat is set aside for the all in the families of Levites as their regular share, thus bringing sustenance and a regular source of meat to these Israelites called to serve in the tabernacle.
The LORD tells Aaron that he will not have any share in the land as an inheritance because the LORD is his inheritance. This is a lovely gracious gift. The LORD is our inheritance, our portion, our satisfaction. We can have many things in this life and world, but to have the LORD as one's inheritance is the greatest thing! If we have HIm, everything else will be added to us as we need it.
The Levites are given all the tithes as their inheritance in return for their work they do serving in the Tent of Meeting.The Levites are to give Aaron and the priest a tenth of the tithe they receive and this tenth must be the best and holiest part of everything
given to them.
By living according to these regulations the Levites and priests will keep the tithes and offerings of the Israelites holy and they will not die of defiling the holy offerings given to them by the Israelites.
These ordinances ensure that the Levites and priests and their families are properly provided for. There should be no greed to have more than they truly need and to receive all tithes and offerings reverently because they are first of all given to the LORD and then the LORD gives them to the Levites.
After all the ways God brought death and judgment on the people who were rebellious and unbelieving, He should be taken seriously.
In this chapter the LORD explains parameters of serving in the priesthood (only descendants of Aaron) and tabernacle service (only Levites).
After making it clear whom God had chosen for these positions of service by having Aaron's rod bud, Through Moses, the LORD sets down the rules for serving in these positions. No one is to "cross the line", so to speak, by taking on any priestly work that is not assigned to them by the LORD under threat of death and no one, likewise, is to perform the tabernacle service of the Levites who is not a descendant of Levi, under threat of death. These servants were set apart as belonging wholly unto the LORD and therefore hallowed. People of the other tribes were to respect them, give the tithes to them, bring to the priests any and every offering, gift, or sacrifice. The general congregation was to provide for the Levites since the Levites could not possess any land or produce any means of support outside of the duties of priesthood and tabernacle. The Levites themselves were to give a tenth of what they received unto the LORD and not use it for themselves. They could only eat of the foods provided by the tithe if they were ceremonially clean. Sometimes they ate of the offering only within the tent of meeting and other offerings they could eat with non-Levites who were ceremonially clean.
The Levites were to be humble, grateful, and content with what was provided to them by the LORD through the giving of the tithe by the congregation. After all, they were to receive the best of the produce of the land, flocks, vineyards. Since they could not have an inheritance of land like the other tribes, they must have resided in or near the tent of meeting when it was set up in the promised land or lived in the cities dedicated to the Levites. They could not just live anywhere they chose. They were subject to the regulations God had placed on them as spiritual servants of God and the people.
see part 2
I believe one of the biggest cons is the idea that some people are born with an extra proclivity to a sin and therefore automatically tied to their identity. If you dare to question their perceived identity in that sin then you are a fill-in-the-blank derogatory name and you are the problem.
So, people have used this to justify homosexuality, transsexual activity, even pedophilia. It's absolutely disgusting and I have no doubt this trend will continue if not unchallenged. We also see people of certain skin colors let off the hook for violent crimes because they assume they are disadvantaged and somehow can't help themselves. I have no doubt they will continue to push to get you to accept any additional perversion and sin they come up with, getting darker and more sinister each time. Now they're corrupting kids into their desired perversions which is hard to imagine the depth of evil.
People can have temptations in a certain area stronger than other temptations, but no one's identity is that sin. That is a lie. That is from satan. He has deceived many. Satan is not love. Upholding God's morals and values IS love, not the opposite which the world claims. Nearly everything the world says is a lie.
The LORD commanded that each tribal leader present to Moses the rod/staff of the leader with the name of the leader written or carved on it. Then these rods were laid out before the LORD in the tabernacle. The LORD said that He will cause the rod to bud of the tribe He had designated as the tribe to lead this nation. Overnight the rod of Aaron (tribe of Levi) leafed, budded, and produced almonds. All the other rods remained the same as they had been when placed before the LORD. The LORD did this to settle the matter for the nation definitively by this miracle in order to stop the grumbling against Moses and Aaron that so displeased Him and brought His judgment on so many among the people.
Moses showed the rods to the congregation, proving that Aaron's rod had indeed budded miraculously. Each tribal leader took his own rod. The LORD ordered that Aaron's rod would be set back in front of the Testimony (Ark of the Covenant) to serve as a perpetual memorial of this miracle that showed God's will for the leadership of the nation. the LORD said that this placement of the rod of Aaron as a memorial will stop the grumbling of the people against His chosen leaders, Aaron and Moses so that they will not die due to continuing to grumble.
After this the Israelites cried out that anyone who came near the tabernacle will die. They said that they were lost. They asked if they will die.
Although the LORD did not say this would happen, the people were in dread for their lives. Perhaps they felt conviction of sin. Maybe they feared the LORD at last. Surely they were concerned for themselves more than praising or honoring the LORD after such a wonderful miracle that showed forth God's grace that Aaron's rod would be a reminder, not an object for condemnation.
Notice how obedient Moses was to all that the LORD asked of him. He listened to YHWH without argument and was swift to carry out the instructions regardless of results.
Then the LORD told Moses to tell Eleazer, son of Aaron, to collect all of the censors that the 250 had used and forge them into plates to cover the altar, for since they were offered before the LORD, they were hallowed. These were to serve as a memorial to the people to remind them that no one but the seed of Aaron is to come near to offer incense to Him, exhorting them to not be like Korah and his company.
But the next day, the people began again to murmur against Moses and Aaron. (It seems they are stubborn and unteachable). They said that Moses and Aaron had killed the people of the LORD. They had not honor for the LORD, but were interested more in self-preservation. Once again the glory of the LORD appeared at the tabernacle and the LORD said to Moses and Aaron to get away from these people so He can consume them. They provoked the LORD again without fear. God sent a plague among the people and many were dying. Moses told Aaron to go and take a censor and stand in the middle of the people burning incense in the censor as an atonement for the people. He stood between those who had died and those who were alive and the plague was stayed at that point where Aaron stood. Over 14,000 people died of the plague that day because of the influence of Korah and the rebelliousness of those who questioned and murmured against Moses and Aaron.
How stiff-necked these people were. Before their very eyes they experienced God's judgment and they still were set against Him. God knows the hearts of all and He was right to decide that those people will die in the wilderness for their rebelliousness and unbelief in Him. The people were not concerned about provoking God with their sin, perhaps because they knew they were going to die in the wilderness, as God had said. They had a sense of hopelessness that caused them to not care about their future. They were bound up with sin and refused all the mercy and grace offered to them.
So, Moses set the stage for the "proving". The following day all of those rebelling with Korah were to bring censors with fire to burn incense before the LORD along with Aaron. And so they did the next day. Korah also called all of the congregation to meet with them to oppose Aaron and Moses at the door of the tabernacle
When everyone was assembled, the glory of the LORD appeared to all the congregation. He spoke to Moses and Aaron telling them to separate themselves from the congregation because He wished to consume them (destroy). But, again, Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the LORD and interceded for the people. So the LORD told them to tell the congregation to go to the tents of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. So Moses, Aaron, and the 70 elders went to the tents of Dathan and Abiram. Then they spoke to the congregation, telling them to depart from the tents of these wicked men, touch nothing of theirs, lest you be consumed by their sins.
So the people backed off from the tents of Dathan and Abiram, but surrounded the tents. Dathan and Abiram came out of their tents with their wives, sons, and children. Moses confronts them saying, "Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me tp do all of these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind." He goes on to say that if these men die in a way common to men, then they will know that the LORD had not appointed Moses. But if the LORD does something new by opening up the earth and swallowing them (a prophecy) then the people will know that these men have provoked God and are against God's choice of Moses and Aaron.
Just as he ended speaking this, the ground opened up around Dathan and Abiram and their families and all were engulfed by the hole and fell in alive and perished. All of the congregation fled from this place fearing that if they stayed they may be swallowed up, too. Then God sent out a fire from Himself and consumed the 250 men who offered incense.
cont. to pt. 4
Moses did not argue with them, rather, he simply said that the LORD will reveal the ones He has appointed over the congregation.
Then he prophetically explained the test that will show God's choice. Each of the 250 leaders along with Korah and his buddies were to take golden censors used to burn incense to the LORD and God will show who is the ones selected to be holy, anointed, and appointed to lead.
Then Moses chastises Korah the Levite, turning Korah's words back upon him (ye take too much upon you, ye son of Levi) and goes on to say that Korah should not deem his service in the tabernacle to be a small matter by God's choice of the Levites. Korah was not satisfied with the role chosen for him in the service to the LORD and in ministry to the people, he desired to be a priest, which he was not a son of Aaron to be so. He was questioning how God appointed priests. He coveted what was not his to have. Then Moses tells them that he and his company are gathered against the LORD and disrespect Aaron by murmuring against him. Moses, as a good leader, pointed out their sinfulness, because it was seriously wicked.
Next, Moses calls up Dathan and Abiram to present themselves before him. They refused to come to Moses. They charged that Moses had brought them out of a land of milk and honey (Egypt) to kill them min the wilderness and Moses has made himself prince over them. How they deflect away from their own sin of unbelief that sealed their judgment to die in the wilderness and not enter into the land of promise. They blame Moses instead of repenting and letting their hearts be transformed by God.
Moses was very grieved and spoke to the LORD asking Him to not accept any offering from these leaders. Moses speaks that he has not done anything to harm these men, and that was true. He had stood in the gap multiple times for the people interceding for them with the LORD. He refused to walk away from the calling God had placed upon him. ..cont.
In this chapter we read of the rebellion fostered by Korah (a Levite) and a few other associates, Dathan, Abiram, and On (from the tribe of Reuben). These men were questioning among themselves the legitimacy of Moses and Aaron as leaders of the nation. They stirred up dissent among the leaders among the tribes (250 men) to question why Aaron was the only one who could burn incense to the LORD as the High Priest. They spoke to Aaron and Moses, saying they take too much upon themselves as leaders and, since ALL of the people of Israel's congregation were holy and the Lord is amongst them, why do you (Moses and Aaron) lift themselves above all the others.
Interesting, none of these men were present when God called Moses from the burning bush or when God sent Aaron to Moses and spoke to both of them, appointing them both as leaders of the people of Israel, giving them the authority and power to lead the people out of the bondage of Egypt, go against the Pharaoh, and be the go-between between the LORD and the people.
Yet, these rebels thought that they knew better that Moses and Aaron how to run things. They did not esteem the wisdom of the LORD in choosing Moses and Aaron. These rebels were puffed up with pride and thought more of themselves than they ought to have. Moses was the meekest among men. They were unduly arrogant. They were willing to contend with Moses and Aaron, which was , in essence, contending with the LORD.
Moses' response to this incident was to fall on his face before them. He was a humble servant. He was also a prophet. In this instance he spoke to Korah and the others with him saying, "Even tomorrow the LORD will shew who are His; and who is holy;
and will cause him (the one set apart for holy service) to come near unto Him (the LORD); even him whom He hath chosen will He cause to come near to Him." Instead of arguing with the rebels or exerting any authority over them, cont. to pt. 2