Sin, Salvation and the Bronze Serpent

Numbers 21: The Process of Overcoming­—From Sin to Victory and Salvation!

21:4–9, The bronze serpent on the pole is a prophetic picture of salvation at the cross of Yeshua from the sting of death brought on by sin (1 Cor 15:55–57). This is a picture of the believer’s initial salvation.

21522498

21:10–22:1, Here is a recounting of the Israelites’ wilderness trek before entering the Promised Land. It was a time of testing, refining, building of faith, and learning obedience for the Israelites. This is a picture of the spiritual walk of the believer through the wilderness of this physical life.

21:14–35, While crossing the wilderness, the Israelites had to fight and overcome the enemy—that is, those who would keep them from fulfilling their YHVH-ordained destiny to possess the land and inheritance he had promised them. First comes the fighting and overcoming, followed by the victories. The life of the believer is one of spiritual struggle, as well, against the world, the flesh and the devil. (See Rom 7:14–25; 2 Cor 10:3–5; Eph 6:10–18.)

21:10, 14–18, Here we read how Israel was refreshed with water from the rock. Isaiah speaks about the wells of salvation (Isa 12:3). There is a springing up of joy and praise (verse 17) that comes as victory is experienced, and as YHVH makes rivers to flow out of seemingly dry and barren situations (verse 18). We, too, are called to come to the rivers of salvation, the river of life and to become ourselves a river of life to all those with whom we come into contact (John 7:37–39). Yeshua is the source of that living water; he is the spiritual Rock and source of water that never runs dry (John 4:10, 13–14; 1 Cor 10:4).

Numbers 21:4–9, Fiery serpent. The fiery serpents were a righteous judgment Elohim brought upon Israel for murmuring and unbelief. Israel had “sharpened their tongues like a serpent” (Ps 140:3) and “their throat [was] an open sepulcher; with their tongues have … used deceit; the poison of asps [was] under their lips” (Rom 3:13). All this was directed at Elohim and Moses. They reaped what they had sown. Elohim loosed fiery serpents upon the Israelites to bite and sting to death the unbelieving murmurers.

The wilderness Elohim led them through was full of fiery serpents and scorpions (Deut 8:15), yet this is the only account in the Torah of these creatures ever attacking Israel. YHVH had protected them to this point, and this one time he pulled back his hand of providential protection and grace allowing them to experience the due recompense of their sinful actions. How often has our merciful Father withheld the just desserts of our faithless, rebellious and abominable action against him and gracefully protected us from the full consequences of our sin? If we fail to hear his soft voice of correction he will deal more harshly with us until our attention is gained (Ps 32:8–9). All he has to do is withdraw his hand of protection that restrains the judgments we all deserve and the “fiery serpents” will likewise attack us. Do you remember what happened to Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts is an example of this (Acts 5:1–11)? Job experienced a similar situation as well.

Israel’s Murmuring. Israel complained for lack of food and water. In unbelief they concluded and confessed (literally prophesied upon themselves a curse) that they would die in the wilderness. Elohim gave them the fulfillment of their faithless delusions—serpents to sting them and leave them physiologically in a parched and burning condition. (The poison of these snakes actually leaves the victim burning with a fiery pain in his body and a desperately dry and thirsty condition [See Adam Clarke’s Commentary, vol. 1, p. 684]). This occurred with the quail also. They complained with their mouths and lusted for meat and Elohim gave them so much quail that it “came out of their nostrils” (Num 11:20). Many were struck dead in judgment. What is the lesson of this story? That for which we lust or that which we fear will come upon us, for Elohim allows those very things to rise up, attack us and judge us. Why? So that the false gods of our hearts will be exposed and we will, as a result, see the error of our ways, repent and turn back to obedient faith to the one true Elohim. Few understand this method of operation of Elohim, but the Scriptures reveals this as one of the ways he deals with his people to help them to grow up spiritually.

Salvation. Israel repented and received salvation from the sting of death by looking upward toward the brass or bronze (bronze representing judgment) serpent on the pole. Of course, no less than Yeshua himself reveals to us that this serpent is a pictures himself dying on the tree as a sin offering and source of our salvation (John 3:14 and 12:32).

Even the Jewish sages admit that the serpent did not heal the afflicted Israelites, but looking upward unto heaven granted them salvation and healing. (See Wisdom 16:4–12)

Parallels between the bronze serpent and Yeshua:

Both the serpent and Messiah were lifted up on a pole.

Israel was to look up to the brass serpent to be healed physically; sinners are to look up to Messiah to be saved.

YHVH provided salvation from the sting of death from no other source but the serpent. Similarly, there is salvation in no other name but Yeshua (Acts 4:12).

If the Israelites looked at bronze serpent they were healed and lived; if sinful man looks at Messiah he will live.

Both the serpent and the cross are merely symbols of Elohim’s grace and mercy. They simply point one to YHVH in heaven who heals those who believe him and have faith in him.

A Type of the Devil. The Bible calls the devil a great red dragon or serpent (Rev 12:3) whose venom inflames men’s sinful passions through his fiery darts aimed at humans (Eph 6:16). Fiery serpent is the Hebrew word saraph the plural of which is seraphim, which is a type of an angelic, flaming spirit (Heb 1:7). Though physical snakes bit the Israelites, this is nevertheless a picture of Satan, the fallen angelic being who is now the serpent and enemy of both YHVH and man.

For Our Example. Israel experienced these things for our examples (1 Cor 10:1–12). What they went through and how they reacted to various situations is literally a mirror held up for our benefit for us to see ourselves as we really are, so that we will not repeat their mistakes. We owe them a debt of gratitude, for we are able to gain spiritually by their experience if we will lean from their mistakes by not repeating them.

 

Communion and the Power to Live a Torah-Obedient Life

1 Corinthians 11:23, This is my body. We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Yeshua (Heb 10:10).When we eat the bread of communion, we are “eating” Yeshua who is the incarnate and Living Torah Word of Elohim (John 1:14). We are announcing that Yeshua is the spiritual bread of life from heaven that leads to eternal life (John 6:48–51), and we are announcing our desire to live by the totality of his Word (Matt 4:4).

Communion 5805991

The bread symbolizing the body of Yeshua was unleavened, which is a picture of Yeshua’s sinless life. By eating this bread, we declare our faith in his sinless life by which he was able to pay for our sins. We also declare our identification with his sinlessness as an example for us to follow.

Yeshua took the unleavened bread and broke it signifying our deliverance from our sin nature by the breaking or death of his sinless body. The unleavened bread broken during the Passover meal speaks of our deliverance from the power of sin by the death of our old man. The rite of baptism is a picture of this (Rom 6:4–13). This paves the way for us to live a sanctified (sin-free) life.

We become unleavened or sinless (known as sanctification) because Yeshua our Passover Lamb was sacrificed for us (1 Cor 5:7). Our body of sin died with Yeshua when we were baptized making us unleavened (or sanctified, Rom 6:6). Let us therefore live in accordance with the new man, or new spiritual creation we have become through Yeshua (1 Cor 5:8; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 2:20). When we eat the unleavened bread at the communion part of the Passover service, we remember that we are sanctified by grace and that the power of sin(or Torahlessness, see 1 John 3:4 cp. John 14:15) has been broken in our lives.

In the first Passover, the children of Israel were delivered from the penalty of their sins by the blood of the lamb on the door. But when they ate the unleavened bread, this speaks of their being delivered from their slavery to sin and oppression in Egypt. They were now to leave Egypt (a spiritual picture of the old man and life) and go toward the Promised Land (a spiritual picture of the new man) taking with them, on their knees, the dough of the unleavened bread. This illustrates the fact that they were to walk in the newness of a spiritually unleavened or sanctified life. When we eat the bread of communion, we memorialize the events surrounding the Exodus, and recognize the present reality of freedom from sin in our own lives.

1 Corinthians 11:25, My blood. By the blood of Yeshua we are redeemed, liberated or released from the bondage of sin (Matt 26:28; Rom 3:25; Eph 1:17; Col 1:14; Heb 9:22; 1 Pet 1:18; Rev 5:9) and from sin’s death penalty claim on us (Rom 6:23; Ezek 18:4) brought on by our disobedience to YHVH’s instructions in righteousness, the Torah (which defines sin, 1 John 3:4). His blood also sanctifies (or separates, Heb 9:13–14; 13:12) us from past sin (Rom 3:25) or Torahlessness allowing us to become a new spiritual creation before YHVH (2 Cor 5:17; Gal 2:20) in order to become a pure and special people who are zealous for good works (Tit 23:14), who will serve YHVH in righteousness, which is the good works of the Torah (Ps 119:172).

 

New Video: Why Use the Hebrew Names of Elohim?

Why use the Hebrew names for Elohim? Short answer: Because the Bible, the Word of Elohim tells us to do so. Men in their “wisdom” always have “better ideas” about things than to follow the simple commands of Elohim. Both the mainstream church and mainstream Judaism are guilty of adhering to doctrines and traditions of men by which the Word of Elohim has been made of none-effect. The is definitely true with regard to their non-use of the biblical Hebrew names of Elohim.

This video addresses the following issues: What’s the big deal with the Hebrew names of Elohim as found in the Bible? Should we be using them? What’s wrong with the pagan name substitutes for Elohim that are found in our English Bibles? How is the resurgence of the use of the Hebrew names among Bible believers worldwide a fulfillment of biblical prophecy? What do the Scriptures say about the importance of using the Hebrew names for Elohim? This video answers these questions and much more.

 

The Importance of Using the Biblical Names of Elohim

The Scriptures clearly teach us that YHVH wants his people to use his Hebrew names and titles (e.g., YHVH, Yah, El, Elohim, Adonai and Yeshua). If not, than why is “YHVH,” the personal name of the biblical deity, found in the Tanakh (or Old Testament) almost 7000 times?

YHVH

Despite the proliferation of the name YHVH in the Bible, men are not to use his name carelessly as the third commandments teaches us (Exod 20:7).

The problem is that YHVH’s people have forgotten YHVH’s Hebrew names and worshipped pagan gods instead (Ps 44:20; Jer 23:27). Interesting, it’s a fact that most of our common English substitutes for the Hebrew names of Elohim derive from the names of pagan deities (e.g., God, Lord, Holy, Christ, Jesus). At the same time, the Scriptures prophesy that YHVH’s name will be restored and used again (Jer 23:6; 31:23; Ezek 39:7).

Interestingly, Satan’s name has never been changed down through the millennia from one language to another. The names of significant Hebrew biblical personalities along with Greek and Roman notable historical figures remain essentially unchanged to our day. However, the Hebrew names of Elohim and his Messiah not only have been changed, but often masked under the names of pre-exisiting pagan deities. Doesn’t this sound like a satanic conspiracy to hide the true identity of the Elohim of the Bible? It’s time for the YHVH’s people to stop acquiescing to these demonic plots begin using the true Hebrew names of Elohim.

In biblical times, YHVH’s name was so precious to his people that the Israelites used it respectfully as a common greeting (Ruth 2:4; Ps 129:8; Jer 31:23).

In the future, the Hebrew name YHVH will be applied to Yeshua at his second coming (Ps 118:26; Matt 23:39). Why shouldn’t his people start using it once again?

The prohibition of the rabbinic Jews about using Elohim’s Hebrew names is not Continue reading

 

What Is leprosy and what were its causes?

Leviticus 14:3, Plague of leprosy. Some of the English translations of this scripture verse use the word leprosy for the skin disease described in these passages. This is a mistranslation. A better translation would be infectious skin disease.

21486272

The Jewish sages teach that the skin disease described here is a supernaturally caused ailment that falls only on Israelites who are actually living in the land of Israel. They also teach that this is YHVH’s way of identifying the evil sins of gossip and slander (along with haughtiness, selfishness and jealousy) before this sin spreads throughout the land engulfing it like a forest fire from hell. (Read James 3:5–6!) This may explain why Miriam while wandering in the wilderness outside of Israel contracted this skin disease.

The disease would cause the sinner’s face to resemble a red flag for all to see. An afflicted person would be forced to live outside the camp until repentance along with atonement and purification rituals had occurred, and all this occurred under the watchful eye of a priest.

As you read this, you may be wiping your brow with a sigh of relief thankful that Continue reading

 

The Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Wavesheaf Offering and the Resurrection of Yeshua

Chag HaMatzot (The Feast of Unleavened Bread): An Overview

Chag HaMatzot or the Feast of Unleavened Bread is the second annual festival on YHVH’s biblical calendar, and occurs on the fifteenth day of the month of the Abib, which is the day immediately following Passover (or Pesach, Lev 23:5–8). Because both of these feasts (Exod 34:25; Lev 23:2, 6) occur back-to-back, the Jews often refer to Passover and Unleavened Bread simply as Passover Week or some similar term that places the main emphasis on the Passover. But it must be noted that, though related, these two festivals are separate in meaning and purpose. Passover pictures Israel coming out of Egypt. Upon separating from Egypt, YHVH (the LORD) then commanded the Israelites to put all leavened food products out of their houses and to eat unleavened bread (flat bread) for seven days, hence the origins of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Additionally, the first and seventh days of this week-long event are Sabbaths, and YHVH commanded his people to hold a set-apart convocation (or gathering) on these Sabbaths.

What, you may ask, is the purpose of putting leavening out of one’s home and eating unleavened bread products such as matzoh for one week? This seems like a curious request by YHVH of his people. Not surprisingly, the Creator of the universe has a reason for everything. The spiritual implications are enlightening and highly relevant to the disciples of Yeshua. In commanding his people to de-leaven their homes and lives, YHVH is teaching us an object lesson that applies to us as much today as to the Israelites of long ago.

Eating unleavened bread for seven days is a memorial, remembrance or reminder (Exod 13:6–9) of our coming out of our own spiritual Egypt. But how did unleavened bread enter into this picture? The Torah tells us that the Israelites left Egypt early in Continue reading

 

The Legal Symbolism of Blood

Leviticus 7:26, Not eat any blood. YHVH revealed in the Torah that the life of flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11). Therefore, the blood symbolizes the whole life of the living being. This is why the blood being poured upon the altar made atonement for the souls of men (Lev 17:11), since it represented and pointed to the shedding of Yeshua’s blood when he sacrificed his life on the cross in atoning for men’s sins.

Blood stains

Respecting the blood is necessary not only because it symbolizes the sanctity of the life of man who was made in the Creator’s image (Gen 1:26 cp. 9:6), but more importantly, because of the blood of Elohim’s Son that was shed for man’s redemption (Lev 17:11). For one to eat the blood showed disdain for what the blood typifies. In times past, such a violation resulted in the punishment of being banished from the nation of Israel.

The blood was to be reserved for the sacrificial service where it was used symbolically to represent Yeshua’s shedding his blood on the cross.

The blood of a lamb was put on the door posts to protect men from YHVH’s judgment against sin (Exod 12:7,13). Moses sprinkled the blood of oxen on the people symbolizing their coming into covenantal relationship with YHVH (Exod 24:5–8).

Additionally, the blood of sacrificed animals was sprinkled throughout the tabernacle, on Aaron and his sons, and all around the altar to sanctify it.

All these acts and uses of the blood were illustrative of the unrestricted cleansing power of the blood of Yeshua, which is why YHVH expected his people to treat the blood with a reverence. Those who didn’t evidenced a heart of indifference for the set-apart or kadosh things of Elohim—an intolerable offence in the Creator’s eyes.