"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Friday, June 10, 2022

NUMBERS – From SINAI To The PROMISED LAND: Chapters 19

Contributing commentaries by pastors Sonny Islas, Albert Lopez and James Fire

Complete Study of Numbers by pastor Chuck Smith

NUMBERS 19: “RARE RED BREED For RIGHTEOUSNESS” – by James Fire
For the full message, watch it on the Facebook video!

INTRODUCTION: We’ve a rather unique sacrifice here offered under the Levitical priesthood in the Tabernacle, and later in the Temple. This chapter deals with the “red heifer” and there’s a lot of symbolism that points to Christ, as well as prophetic issues, particularly prophecies dealing with the last days prior to Christ’s return.

NUMBERS 19:1-2
1 Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 "This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD has commanded, saying: 'Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come
.

A great deal of care was employed in the choice of the heifer to be burned, much more than any other offering: not only without blemish, representing the spotless purity and sinless perfection of the Lord Jesus, but it must a completely red heifer with no other hairs of a different color; because of this rarity, they are extremely difficult to find.
FOR REAL, HOW RARE IS A RED HEIFER

The list qualifications and disqualifications:

● The cow must be, at a minimum, within its third year of life (i.e., two years plus a bit).

● It needs to be completely red. Even two hairs of a different color next to each other or three that are far apart disqualify it.

● All physical blemishes that disqualify sacrificial animals, disqualify a red heifer as well.

● Any work done with it disqualifies the cow. “Work” in this case includes even a person leaning on it or placing a garment or cloth upon it (unless this was done to only safeguard the animal itself).

● Placing a yoke on the cow, even if it doesn’t actually do any work, also disqualifies it.

● If the heifer is pregnant, or even if a male has mated with it, it is disqualified.

It’s been stated that a qualified pure bred red heifer would be born at the most, once in several generations.
When we consider the generation of all the human family as a whole, the comparison is obvious. Only one Man was born into this fallen world without sin – the LORD Jesus Christ: the only acceptable sacrifice – the “propitiation” of GOD.

This heifer was to be provided at the expense of the congregation because they were all to have a joint interest and investment in it; just as all believers have in Christ.

Commentary from Matthew Henry:

“The preparing and using of the ashes in the water of purification.
The people had complained of the strictness of the law, which forbid their coming too close to the tabernacle (NUM 17:13). In response, they’re directed to purify themselves, so they may come without fear.

I. The method of preparing these ashes, by the burning of a red heifer, with a great deal of ceremony, NUM 19:1-10.

II. The way of using them.

    1. They were designed to purify persons from the pollution contracted by a dead     body, NUM 19:11-16.

    2. They were to be put into running water (a small quantity of them), with which a person was cleansed and thus purified, NUM 19:17-22. This ceremonial purification was a type of the cleansing of the consciences of believers from the pollutions of sin: 
HEBREWS 9:13-14
13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?


“This is the GOD given appointment concerning the most solemn burning of a red heifer to ashes, the preserving of the ashes, used not for a beautifying, but a purifying effect; it offered nothing to adorn as the gospel does, but to cleanse only.

“This ministration was committed to Eleazar, not to Aaron himself, because the high priest was not to do anything to make himself ceremonially unclean (vs. 8). Because of this enormously significant and important sacrifice, it would be performed by the one who was next in line to Aaron; his son (who would eventually replace his father as the high priest of Israel).

“Likewise, the chief priests 2,000 years ago had the principal hand in the death of Christ; even Caiaphas the high priest, without even realizing it prophesied of Christ’s sacrificial atonement for the nation:
JOHN 11:50-52
50 you [don’t] consider that it’s expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish. 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.
“The sacrifice of the red heifer– had to be without blemish or defect that is, no damage must be evident on the creature it may have incurred in its life time (a blinded eye, a broken leg) and no blemish – that is no deformities from its birth (as with all sacrifices).”
Likewise our LORD wasn’t born with the spiritual defect of a sin nature; nor did He experience any blemish by committing any sin during His pure and spotless life time: “A Lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 PET 1:19).

The yoke in this case represents bondage and slavery, and in keeping with this testimony of the sinless perfection of Christ, this would be a yoke of sin. Christ never bore any sin of His own, but rather, bore the yoke of sin (in the shape of a cross) that belonged to us! He bore our sin, on Calvary, outside of Jerusalem, just as the red heifer was to be sacrificed outside of the camp:

NUMBERS 19:3
'You shall give it to Eleazar the priest, that he may take it outside the camp, and it shall be slaughtered before him
;

The heifer was to be slain as an impure thing, speaking of the insufficiency of ceremonial law to take away sin. Our Lord Jesus represented this perfectly, being made sin and a curse for us, suffered without the gate (HEB 13:12).

NUMBERS 19:4
'and Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of its blood seven times directly in front of the tabernacle of meeting
.

Sprinkling the blood seven times (seven being the number of perfection and completion) speaks of the absolutely perfect and complete sacrifice that Jesus made for us: there is nothing lacking in His sacrifice, nothing that needs to be or can be added to His atonement.

This is why when anyone tells you:
“You received salvation in Christ by receiving His sacrifice on your behalf? Good! But you know, in order to be right with GOD – you also have to keep the Law. Or, you have to be a member of our church. It doesn’t do any good unless you’re water baptized. Some would say, you don’t know for sure you’re saved unless you speak in tongues, or you must only read the King James Version, etc.”
You can stand on Scripture alone that plainly states:
EPHESIANS 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

TITUS 3:4-7
4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life
. Other verses you can look up in your own time are: JN 20:31; ROM 3:20; 10:9-10; GAL 2:16.
And this blood was to sanctify the tabernacle or later on, the temple. In order for these to be consecrated (dedicated) to the LORD, this had to happen, this was non-negotiable. If it didn’t happen, none of the ministries that were ordained in the tabernacle could take place.
This consecration is something like the grand opening of a new business; it’s not official until the ribbon is cut.

Now we have the blood of the LAMB of GOD to consecrate and sanctify the temple. Where is the temple of this present age?
In the chairs you’re sitting on!
You – the church – the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 COR 3:17; 6:19)!

The first temple was Solomon’s; the second temple was in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah – but expanded by King Herod in the days of Jesus Christ, a project that took 46 years (JN 2:20), then there is the up and coming third temple – the fourth temple will be the Millennial Temple, and if you count the Tabernacle in the days of Moses, that’s a fifth Temple of sorts. In the New Jerusalem, the Father and Jesus Christ will be the Temple (REV 21:22), so that makes another. And the church, that makes yet another Temple, a total of seven Temples recorded in Scripture!

There’s a lot of preparation dealing with the raising up of this third temple in recent days that started shortly after Jerusalem was taken back by the Jews and made the State capital Jerusalem back in 1967 – I can remember my parents talking about this after seeing the nightly news 55 years ago.
That’s why there was such a push by the world to acknowledge Tel-Aviv and not Jerusalem as the State capital – out of fear that if Jerusalem was acknowledged, this might encourage the Jews to build their Temple and that would cause a lot of trouble with the Muslims!

And this is why there is such fervor in seeking for a legitimate red heifer, so that when the Temple is built, they can dedicate it with the blood of this sacrifice, without which, it can’t be used!
So far, all of the furnishings of the Temple like the menorah, the table of shewbread, the brazen altar, the altar of incense have all been built.
The ark of the covenant has not yet been built – some say the original one made by Moses is hidden away and will be revealed once the Jews are ready to build the Temple. Others think it has yet to be found, and are waiting for this, but when they’re ready to build and still can’t find the ark then they’ll build a replica.

The Levitical priests whose DNA confirms they are from the tribe of Levi have been trained on all of the various Old Testament Sacrifices, all of their priestly robes made, as well as the incense and anointing oils (refer to the Temple Institute).

There are rumors that the Temple building itself has been prefabbed in an undisclosed location, and will be brought on-site on the day appointed and assembled in record time. This would be similar to the original Temple in Solomon’s time: the stones, each weighing several tons were quarried off-site and brought into Jerusalem where the building was assembled.

NUMBERS 19:5-7
'Then the heifer shall be burned in his sight: its hide, its flesh, its blood, and its offal shall be burned. 6 'And the priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet thread and cast them into the midst of the fire burning the heifer. 7 'Then the priest shall wash his clothes, he shall bathe in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp; the priest shall be unclean until evening. 8 'And the one who burns it shall wash his clothes in water, bathe in water, and shall be unclean until evening. 9 'Then a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and store them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for the water of purification; it is for purifying from sin. 10 'And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. It shall be a statute forever to the children of Israel and to the stranger who dwells among them
.

Note that the heifer is to be completely consumed – no portion was to go to the priests at all. This speaks of the all-consuming passion with which our LORD approached the Cross with, and His sole objective of saving souls, cleansing us from all our sin!

HEBREWS 9:19
For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,

PSALM 51:7
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

JOHN 19:28-30
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!" 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
The priest was to cast cedarwood, hyssop, and scarlet thread into the fire, which interestingly enough were used in the cleansing of lepers (LEV 14:6-7), these ashes were mingled with the ashes of the heifer for this purification. This speaks eloquently of our spiritual leprosy and the only thing that can bring healing, the blood of the LAMB!

Jesus (Yeshua) is the Messiah (link Sunday teaching by pastor Sonny): which means He is King, Prophet, Priest and Sacrifice.

In Israel kings were to be chosen from the tribe of Judah according to (GEN 49:10); the priesthood of Israel was to be chosen from the tribe of Levi (EXOD 28:1-3; NUM 3:12,45).
The royal line and priestly line were to be kept separate.
There are instances where two kings of Israel tried to minister in the priestly office and they got into a lot of trouble: King Saul lost the throne in 1 SAM 13:8-14; King Uzziah became a leper in 2 CHRON 26:16-21!

Yet we have this event with Abraham and Melchizedek (GEN 14)– who is described as a priest of GOD, but also a king (of Salem), and he is a type or model of Jesus the Messiah (HEB 7:1-2; PS 110), Who is also a King and a priest, as well as Prophet and Sacrifice.

Who else is a king and a priest in the Bible? The church of Jesus Christ, all the members of the body of Christ, and in the kingdom to come we shall reign with Christ! REV 1:6; 5:10; 2:27.

The ashes of the heifer were to be carefully gathered up by the hand of a clean person and preserved for the use of the congregation (NUM 19:9), but not only for that generation, but for posterity; for the ashes of this one heifer would be sufficient for as many vessels of water as the people of Israel would need for many ages.
The Jews say that this one served until the captivity, nearly 1000 years, and that there was never another heifer burned until Ezra's time!

NUMBERS 19:11-13
11 'He who touches the dead body of anyone shall be unclean seven days. 12 'He shall purify himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day; then he will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not be clean. 13 'Whoever touches the body of anyone who has died, and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of the LORD. That person shall be cut off from Israel. He shall be unclean, because the water of purification was not sprinkled on him; his uncleanness is still on him
.

Levitically speaking, just as Hebrews were considered unclean if they touched a dead body, so we of the New Testament are not to have fellowship with – ‘contact with’ – the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (rebuke) them (EPH 5:11).

The purifying of oneself after having touched a dead body is representative of repentance and washing away of sin.
Those who neglected to purify themselves, using this prescribed method is not just considered unclean and has to remain separate from the congregation a certain number of days – no, they are cut off from the nation of Israel!
This is very, very serious!

About as serious as those whose names are not written in the Book of Life: such unrepentant souls not covered by the blood of the LAMB are cut off from the living and will experience the second death for all eternity! REVELATION 20:14-15

NUMBERS 19:14-16
14 'This is the law when a man dies in a tent: All who come into the tent and all who are in the tent shall be unclean seven days; 15 'and every open vessel, which has no cover fastened on it, is unclean. 16 'Whoever in the open field touches one who is slain by a sword or who has died, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.

NUMBERS 19:17-18
'And for an unclean person they shall take some of the ashes of the heifer burnt for purification from sin and running water shall be put on them in a vessel. 'A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, sprinkle it on the tent, on all the vessels, on the persons who were there, or on the one who touched a bone, the slain, the dead, or a grave.

NUMBERS 19:19-20
19 'The clean person shall sprinkle the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, wash his clothes, and bathe in water; and at evening he shall be clean. 20 'But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself, that person shall be cut off from among the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the LORD. The water of purification has not been sprinkled on him; he is unclean
.

Remember that this procedure was instituted by GOD so that the people, if declared unclean, had a way of being purified so they could come to the tabernacle. When certain Hebrews decided on their own that they were worthy enough, what happened? Some were swallowed up by the earth, others were torched by the holy fire of GOD, others were plagued with pestilence – all told, they died by the tens of thousands because of their lack of reverential obedience!

NUMBERS 19:21-22
21 'It shall be a perpetual statute for them. He who sprinkles the water of purification shall wash his clothes; and he who touches the water of purification shall be unclean until evening. 22 'Whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean; and the person who touches it shall be unclean until evening.'

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