1Cor 10:8 Phinehas 6/13/2010 ßą
#1. Cities of Refuge (Num 35:9-34, Gen 9:6, Heb 10:38)
#2. The Revenger of Blood, <1350>(8802) (Matt 12:49-50, 25:40, Rom 8:29, Gal 4:4-5, Heb 2:11,14, Psalm 19:14, Isa 43:14, 49:26)
#3. Recognize the FTP (Num 25:9, 1Cor 10:8, Jer 7:34, 16:9, 5:14-16, Rev 18:22-24)
Please open your Bibles to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 10:1 (2X). We are working our way slowly through chapter 10 of this Epistle to the Corinthians. God shows us here a few examples which we should heed, so that we do not fall for these sins, But if we are honest we must admit that we have already fallen for these sins in the past. Let us read in this chapter verses 1-8, 1Cor 10:1-8,
1Co 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
What was that event where 23,000 died in one day”? Well, it was an event where Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, excelled in his zeal for the Lord. That is why this sermon is titled, Phinehas Put a sticker here in 1Cor 10, and please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Numbers, Num 25:1 (2X). All the sordid stories are in the prophecy of numbers. The scene here is at the east side of the Jordan River. The children of Israel have wandered for 40 years through the wilderness, and now they are encamped at the border of the land of Moab, just before the Jordan River. They are ready to enter into the land of Canaan. The older generation that came out of Egypt from 20 years and older has died, and a new generation has grown up. But something took place which tells us that the new generation was just as rebellious as the one that has died in the wilderness. Let us read Num 25:1-18,
Nu 25:1-18 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel. Now the name of the Israelite that was slain, even that was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a chief house among the Simeonites. And the name of the Midianitish woman that was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head over a people, and of a chief house in Midian. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Vex the Midianites, and smite them: For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor’s sake.
What had taken place? Balak, the king of Moab, had hired Balaam, the soothsayer, to curse the children of Israel. But God did not want Israel to be cursed by anyone, and so God forced Balaam to pronounce blessings on Israel. But afterward, we read in Num 31 that through the counsel of Balaam the men of Israel began to commit fornication with the daughters of Moab and Midian. It was through the counsel of Balaam that this curse has come upon Israel. But it also showed that these children of Israel were no better than the rebellious generation which had just died in the wilderness. But why has God put this in the Bible? What has this to do with the Gospel? Why do we read about the details of the death of Zimri and Cozbi? Why is Phinehas made the hero of the day for killing this man and woman? Why is the reward of Phinehas for this good work given as a covenant of peace, and a covenant of an everlasting priesthood? In the historical sense this does not make sense, for the covenant of peace refers to peace with God, which is salvation, and salvation comes only by grace, and not by works. Moreover, the priesthood bestowed upon the man Phinehas and his descendants cannot be an everlasting priesthood, for the OT priesthood ceased to exist after the cross in AD 33. These are some of the questions for which we would like an answer. Please put another sticker here in Num 25, and please turn in your Bibles in the same Prophecy of Numbers to Num 35:9 (2X).
#1. Cities of Refuge (Num 35:9-34, Gen 9:6, Heb 10:38)
This is a very large subject, and I shall try to be short in my explanation of it. I shall extract from it only what I need. God commanded the children of Israel to establish in the land six cities of refuge, 3 on the west side and 3 on the east side of the Jordan River. Let us read about that here in Num 35:9-34,
Nu 35:9-34 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come over Jordan into the land of Canaan; Then ye shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you; that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares. And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment. And of these cities which ye shall give six cities shall ye have for refuge. Ye shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall ye give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge. These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither. And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him. But if he thrust him of hatred, or hurl at him by laying of wait, that he die; Or in enmity smite him with his hand, that he die: he that smote him shall surely be put to death; for he is a murderer: the revenger of blood shall slay the murderer, when he meeteth him. But if he thrust him suddenly without enmity, or have cast upon him any thing without laying of wait, Or with any stone, wherewith a man may die, seeing him not, and cast it upon him, that he die, and was not his enemy, neither sought his harm: Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood according to these judgments: And the congregation shall deliver the slayer out of the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of his refuge, whither he was fled: and he shall abide in it unto the death of the high priest, which was anointed with the holy oil. But if the slayer shall at any time come without the border of the city of his refuge, whither he was fled; And the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood: Because he should have remained in the city of his refuge until the death of the high priest: but after the death of the high priest the slayer shall return into the land of his possession. So these things shall be for a statute of judgment unto you throughout your generations in all your dwellings. Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses: but one witness shall not testify against any person to cause him to die. Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death. And ye shall take no satisfaction for him that is fled to the city of his refuge, that he should come again to dwell in the land, until the death of the priest. So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.
What is God informing us of here in Num 35? First of all, this is a part of the ceremonial law that God set up to rule the land in a peaceful manner. God stated in Gen 9:6, “Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man,” and this law has never been rescinded. But because of the wickedness of man and the unrighteous judgment of earthly judges who caused many murderers to live after they have been convicted of murder, our land has been greatly defiled. But God also gave this law to the nation of Israel to serve as types and figures, or as shadows and substances, of Christ and His church. We will look at this representation from two sides. The first one is this: Who does the manslayer represent who is fleeing to the city of refuge? Everyone of us who has been saved and who is being saved is represented by that manslayer, for all the elect of Christ are responsible for the death of Christ. And where do we flee to? We flee to the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not flee to a church, or to a temple, or to a city, but to the Lord Jesus, for there is no other name given among men whereby we must be saved. Only in Christ do we find safety. Thus the city of refuge is a type of Christ. And so, when we have fled to the city of refuge we do not wander outside that city, for that would represent that we draw back, and that we are wandering in the world again. God says in Heb 10:38, “But if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” And who is the Revenger of blood? It is God Himself who is the next of kin of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone who does not reside in Christ shall inherit the wrath of God for the murder of the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as for any of his other sins. And anyone who is not saved and tries to hide in the city of refuge shall be found guilty and be dragged out and be cast into the lake of fire. Please put a third sticker here in Num 35 and please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 8:43 (2X).
Now, let us look at the second representation: Who was the first murderer in history? No, it was not Cain who killed his brother Abel, it was Satan. In the Garden of Eden Satan took up residence in the serpent, because he needed an earthly body to carry out his dastardly deed. From the body of the serpent Satan spoke to the woman, and when she answered him she already lost the debate. When the human mind is debating with the incredibly sharp mind of the angel Lucifer, it is a foregone conclusion that the human mind will lose. And so she ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and she also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. He was with her all the time that she debated with the serpent. And from that moment both Adam and his wife died instantly, for God says that we were dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1), and this was also the condition of Adam and his wife the moment that they ate from the fruit of that tree. Let us now read from John 8:43-47,
Joh 8:43-47 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
The Lord Jesus said, “He was a murderer from the beginning”, which tells us that he was a murderer from the beginning of world history. His action in the Garden of Eden was the cause that we all were dead in trespasses and sins, and that we had no ability to remove ourselves from this condition of being enslaved to Satan. And all those who have not been elected unto salvation are still dead and unable to hear the words of the Lord Jesus. The Lord said in verse 43, “because ye cannot hear my word”. The Lord said in verse 46, “Why do ye not believe me?” The answer comes in verse 47, “because ye are not of God.” People who are not of the elect cannot hear the Gospel. They come into the world dead in trespasses and sins and they stay in that condition until they die, and after that follows the judgment of the last day and they will be cast into the lake of fire. But why is God judging them, for they could not help it that they were not of the elect? God judges them because they sin voluntarily. Please turn about 60 pages back to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 12:36 (2X). First the Lord identified them as a generation of vipers who being evil can only speak evil things. Then we read in Matt 12:36-37 (2X),
Mt 12:36 “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” Therefore, unsaved people are digging for themselves a deeper hole in Hell by the words that they speak. They sin voluntarily. And God shall judge every sin, even a sin as small as an idle word.
#2. The Revenger of Blood, <1350>(8802) (Matt 12:49-50, 25:40, Rom 8:29, Gal 4:4-5, Heb 2:11,14, Psalm 19:14, Isa 43:14, 49:26)
And so, Satan is the manslayer. He has killed us. Now he is searching for his city of refuge, but he finds none. And who is our Revenger of blood? Who is our next of kin and able to take on Satan? The Lord Jesus Christ is our next of kin. We have abundant evidence that we are His brethren. Listen to this:
Mt 12:49-50 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
Mt 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Ro 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Ga 4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Heb 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Heb 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil
Please turn again to the Prophecy of Numbers, Num 35:12 (2X). What is the word <1350>(8802) that I mentioned in the outline? You see, we have to ask, “What did God say here in Num 35?”
You see the word Avenger, in Verse 12, and the word Revenger, in verses 19, 21, 24, 25, and 27, are all the same word. In English it is a noun, but in Hebrew it is a verb. The verb is Strong’s number <1350> and the parsings of that verb in this chapter is the number (8802). This verb number <1350> occurs 104 times in the O.T. But if we want to look for perfect references that truly can be compared to these verses in Num 35, then we would only select those verses where the verb <1350> occurs only with the same parsings (8802). I have counted at least 45 times where this combination <1350>(8802) occurs. And if we know what this word <1350>(8802) means, then we also know who the Revenger of Blood is. But we can only have a Revenger if he is also a near Kinsman of us. That is why the Lord Jesus Christ took on our flesh and blood, so that He could be our near Kinsman, so that he could be our Redeemer and die on the Cross for us. In fact, another passage where the word <1350>(8802) appears is in Ps 19:14 “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my rock, and my Redeemer <1350>(8802).”We have read or heard these verses many times. Now we see that the word <1350>(8802) does not only mean Kinsman, but it also means Redeemer. The Lord Jesus Christ is our Kinsman-Redeemer who redeemed us by paying the full price for our sins, which is the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, and by dying for us on the Cross. For whom did the Lord Jesus Christ suffer and die on the Cross? Was it for the sins of everyone in the whole world? If that is what you always have believed, you believed wrong. The Lord Jesus is not a pitiful slave who wants to save you, but he cannot save you if you do not want it. He is not your slave; He is God almighty who performs what He wills, and who saves whom He wants to save. In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ is not only our Kinsman-Redeemer. He is also the Avenger on our enemies, and He certainly did not suffer and die for them. Listen to what God says in Isa 43:14, “Thus saith the LORD, your Redeemer <1350> (8802), the Holy One of Israel; For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and have brought down all their nobles, and the Chaldeans, whose cry is in the ships.” Isa 49:26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer <1350>(8802), the mighty One of Jacob. So you see that the word <1350>(8802) also means Avenger, which implies Christ as the Judge. The Lord Jesus Christ pleads our cause and He takes vengeance on all those that oppress us. Now, when we read in Num 35 about “The Revenger of blood”, we know who God has in mind. It is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Kinsman-Redeemer-Avenger. He is our Avenger on Satan.
Please turn again to the Prophecy of Num 25:7 (2X). Now we have to interpret the event where Phinehas is piercing the man and the woman. This too is a historical parable. It was historically true, but the value that God attaches to it makes it a historical parable. First of all we have to determine the time in history for which God shows us this historical parable. It will be at a time when fornication is occurring at an all time high, for the sons of Israel were fornicating with the daughters of Moab and Midian. It will be at a time when apostacy is occurring at an all time high in the church, for this rebellion was occurring only in the nation of Israel, which stood for the representation of the kingdom of God on this earth. It was at a time when Israel was just about to cross the Jordan River, or just about to enter their Promised Land, which means that it will be near the end of time, when Christ shall make an end of Antichrist and of Satan. And so, all the signs are pointing this picture: Phinehas piercing the man and the woman in one stroke with his javelin is a picture of Christ piercing Antichrist and the apostate church in one stroke at the end of time. It shows us Christ as the Avenger on the harlot Babylon of Rev 17, and Christ as the Avenger on the beast, Antichrist, and thereby destroying all the works of Satan, in Rev 19.
Let us look at these aspects in some detail. The name Zimri means “celebrated”. Antichrist is greatly celebrated, for we read in Rev 13:7, “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. ”The woman’s name was Cozbi, which means “deceitful”. Indeed the church will be very deceitful at the end of time, for she tries to hide that she has in fact become the harlot Babylon who is under the curse of God. The name Phinehas means “Oracle.” This tells us that Christ is not personally going to pierce the beast and the church, but by the words of His mouth He will strike both of them through their heart. We read in 2Thess 2:8, “whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” In other words, Phinehas has become a type of Christ, for he turned away the wrath of God from the children of Israel. Therefore it shall be to him and to his seed after him the covenant of an everlasting priesthood. What does this mean in a time when the Aaronic priesthood was still in full swing? It means then that normally the priesthood shifts from father to son, but for the generations of Phinehas his priesthood will be like the priesthood of the order of Melchizedek. And so, should we conclude that there is another line of priests after the order of Phinehas? No. This line after the order of Phinehas is actually the same one as that after the order of Melchizedek, for Phinehas represents the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the only one who has an everlasting priesthood, for He is the only one who presently is our great High Priest. Moreover, the precise wording of the reward of Phinehas must be stated correctly. Num 25:11 states, “Phinehas hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel while he was zealous with my zeal among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy”. God says, “with my zeal among them”, for it was Christ who with God’s zeal executed this judgment on Zimri and Cozbi, as the judgment on the man Antichrist and the woman Babylon.
#3. Recognize the FTP (Num 25:9, 1Cor 10:8, Jer 7:34, 16:9, 5:14-16, Rev 18:22-24)
Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Jeremiah, Jer 7:34 (2X). What is the purpose of God for bringing up the killing of 23,000 Israelites in the plague at Shittim, east of the Jordan? The purpose was to warn us of the signs of the end of time, and to write this up in such a way that the critics of the Bible may have some ammunition. In Num 25:9 God says that the total number of those that died in the plague were 24,000. But in 1Cor 10:8 God says that those that died in the plague the first day were 23,000. And so, those two statements complement each other very well. Moreover, when we turn to Jer 7:34 we learn of the warning signs of the great apostacy in the Final Tribulation Period. God says in Jer 7:34, “Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.” God spoke here of Jerusalem and Judah, which were going to be overrun by the kingdom of Babylon. And God repeated this message in Jer 16:9 (2X). Perhaps you would like to turn there, Jer 16:9 (2X). And there we read,
Jer 16:9 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.
What has been going on? The northern kingdom of Israel had already been swallowed up by the kingdom of Assyria 100 years earlier. But now the southern kingdom of Judah was going to be overrun by the kingdom of Babylon. Please turn in the Prophecy of Jeremiah to Jer 5:14. And there we read,
Jer 5:14-16, Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them. Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.”
The nation of Babylon is the nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.” God is referring to the tongue speakers of our days. This is the nation that will overrun the church, and then the church will become like Babylon. And remarkably, God speaks about the church as Babylon in Rev 17, where the church is called, “Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots”. Please turn now to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 18:22 (2X). And so, what is the sequence we have gone through? We saw from Jer 7:34, and Jer 16:9, judgment on Judah and Jerusalem, which was swallowed up by Babylon. But then in Rev 17 and Rev 18 we see that the church has become Babylon. In other words, the destruction of Judah and Jerusalem in 587 BC was a picture of the destruction of the church in our days. And how will it be destroyed? It will be destroyed by a nation whose tongue they shall not understand. We read in Rev 18:22-24,
Re 18:22-24 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
And the words in Rev 18:23 are remarkably similar to the words in Jer 7:34 and Jer 16:9.
God is warning us that the tongue speakers are the ones who will convert the church to become like Babylon. And for this we must give Him thanks, for now we know that we are close to the end.
AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.