Numbers Class 02 the order of service and purity

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Information about Numbers Class 02 the order of service and purity
Spiritual

Published on June 18, 2014

Author: vinebrancher

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The order of the Tribes of Israel and the ministry of the priests and Levites

Study of the book of Numbers Class 2 The order of the Tribes

Study of Numbers – Chapter 2 The order of the Tribes  God is a God of order. In all of his manifestations, God is organized and harmonious, and he allows no disorganization among his people.  Everyone of the children of Israel shall camp by his own standard, beside the emblems of his father's house; they shall camp some distance from the tabernacle of meeting. Numbers 2:2

Study of Numbers – Chapter 2 The order of the Tribes  There are three important points in the organization of the tribes that also point to the order of the church today. 1. Obedience to God’s commands 2. Look to the tabernacle as the center 3. The organization of the tribes

Study of Numbers – Chapter 2 The order of the Tribes 1. Obedience to God’s command (2:1)  When the children of Israel set up or broke camp, God gave them no option according to their own preferences; they had to obey the arrangement that he determined.  We must know our place and our function within the body. As long as we don’t understand our place and our function, we will continually remain unsatisfied.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 2 The order of the Tribes 2. Everyone looked to the tabernacle as center (2:2)  All the armies of other nations camped facing outward towards their enemies, but the Army of Israel camped with their backs to the enemy. Everyone camped facing the tabernacle, revealing that Christ is the center.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 2 The order of the Tribes  We must all look to Christ, since God does not consider what we are able to do for him, but whether our heart is inclined to him or not.  Although we are an army possessing an enemy, we do not live for war, nor do we concern ourselves with the enemy; but we live looking towards Christ as the center.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 2 The order of the Tribes 3. The organization (2:2-34)  The 12 tribes were divided into four groups of three tribes each, thus forming four armies. Each tribe had its own insignia, with the colors of the 12 stones on the priestly ephod which represented the 12 tribes.  Each group of three tribes also had a standard or flag which belonged to the tribe that led the group.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 2 The order of the Tribes  There were four armies:  The standard of Judah was represented by Issachar and Zebulon.  The standard of Reuben was represented by Simeon and Gad.  The standard of Ephraim was represented by Manasses and Benjamin.  The standard of Dan was represented by Asher and Naphtali.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 2 The order of the Tribes  The Jewish tradition determined that  The standard of Reuben had a figure of a man,  That of Judah a lion,  That of Ephraim a bull  That of Dan an Eagle.  These four armies camped around the tabernacle each one occupying a specific position around it.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites  The 12 tribes of Israel camped around the tabernacle like an army prepared for battle.  The army represents the aspect of spiritual war and authority. The ministry of the Levites represents the service of God’s house.  When we refer to the service of the Levites, we are including the priests, since they also belonged to the tribe of Levi.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites  On one hand, the Levites were especially chosen and called by God; on the other hand, the Levites voluntarily presented themselves to God.  When the Israelites worshiped the Golden calf, only the Levites oppose them and remained true to the Lord, and according to the word of Moses they killed the rebels (Exodus 32:26-28). They were faithful to God at that moment, therefore God chose them to be responsible for the work of the priesthood.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites  The priests were separated from among the Levites to serve the Lord. They were anointed to receive the authority delegated by God. They correspond to and represent the elders of the church today.  In the Old Testament, priests and Levites served in God’s house. In the New Testament elders and deacons serve.  The service of the tabernacle was divided into two aspects: the service of the priests and the general service of the Levites.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites 1. The ministry of the priests a. The table of showbread  The table of showbread points to the ministry of supplying the people with food and life.  The table of showbread occupies a very important place in the life of the church, pointing to the table of fellowship and spiritual bread that must be set each time that we meet.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites  The Lord Jesus is the bread of life. He was the grain of wheat that fell into the earth and died in order to become our nourishment. In order to become our food and nourishment, he had to be ground and baked as the bread that descended from heaven.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites b. The candlestick  The primary function of an elder or leader is to feed the people with life. Then they must bring the Word of God to light in the understanding of the people. The lampstand is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, the function of the priests was to kindle the fire and never allow the oil to cease.  We, the leaders, have been called to pour oil on the congregation, in order to keep the lamp lit. This also points to the manifestation of the power of God in the midst of his people.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites c. The altar of incense  The primary function of the leader is to pray. He should spend his time in prayer and the meditation of the Word. Incense represents prayer. But it is not prayer according to our own preferences, but moved by the Holy Spirit within us.  The Holy Spirit wants to pray in us through our own spirit.  We must pray according to God’s heart and not according to natural and human desires.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites d. The service in the outer court  The ministry of the priest was not limited to the holy place, but also included the outer court. In the outer court the priest offered the sacrifices that the people of Israel brough to them. This shows us that the function of the minister is to heflp the sinner have an experience with the cross, introducing him into God’s presence.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites  The main difference between the work of the Levites and that of the priests is that the Levites were in charge of the material things of the tabernacle and the priests were responsible for the spiritual activities.  Both are important for the normal development of the body of Christ, those who minister to God and those who minister to the people.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites 3. The ministry of the Levites The Levites served Aaron the priest.  And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they may serve him. And they shall attend to his needs and the needs of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of meeting, to do the work of the tabernacle. Also they shall attend to all the furnishings of the tabernacle of meeting, and to the needs of the children of Israel, to do the work of the tabernacle. Numbers 3:5-8

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites  The Levites were the priest’s helpers in God’s service in the tabernacle.  Aaron was not able to fulfill all of the responsibilities that he had, therefore God gave him the Levites to help him.  There was an order among the Levites but not a hierarchy. All the Levites were equal with differing responsibilities.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites  In the Old Testament there were priests and Levites, but in the New Testament there are elders and deacons. They are not a special class separated in a hierarchy. They have responsibilities and exercise authority but they are all brothers.  In Numbers 3:10 we read that Aaron and his sons should dedicate themselves to the priesthood. With the Levites helping them, the priests could dedicate themselves to burning incense and teaching the people.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites  We also read in chapter 3 that the Levites are of God. Every firstborn belongs to God. But after the rebellion of the people of Israel at Mount Sinai, when they worshiped the golden calf, God chose the Levites to take the place of the firstborn of Israel.  Therefore they would serve God as Levites, belong to him and have the right of the firstborn.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites  First, God had them count how many children there were to determine how many firstborn sons were among them. The Levites counted 22,000, but the number of firstborn sons in Israel was 22,273.  There were an extra 273 that would have to be redeemed. Therefore it was necessary to have more Levites. This indicates that in the Lord service, there will always be more positions than candidates, in other words, there is always a place for those who want to serve.

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites  The distribution of the service of the Levites was organized according to the natural division of the sons of Levi. Levi had three sons:  Gershon  Kohath and  Merari

Study of Numbers – Chapters 3 & 4 The service of the priests and Levites  The sons of Gerson were responsible for taking care of the exterior parts of the tabernacle and were also watchmen.  The sons of Kohath were responsible for caring for the sacred vessels. Moses and Aaron were descendents of Kohath (3:27-32).  The sons of Merari were responsible for the general maintenance of the tabernacle (3:36-37).

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp  The order of the book of Numbers is coherent and clear. First, comes the organization of the army, next, the preparation of the service of the ministers and last, the purification of the congregation.  Before the people would begin their march and follow the cloud, there was yet a need to deal with impurity.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp  God’s sanctuary is holy and his service and his army is also holy. We must not allow the world to participate in our service nor in our army.  If the impure participate in our service, the whole service will be contaminated and cause problems. If the impure participate in the army, then it will never be able to conquer the enemy. The camp of Israel corresponds today to the church and just as every impure person should be removed from the camp of Israel, today we cannot tolerate impure people in the life of the church (1 Corinthians 5:13)

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp  There were three types of people that were considered unclean (5:2).  Lepers,  Those who had a discharge and  The unclean person for having touched a corpse.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp 1. The Leper Leprosy in the Bible, is a type of sin:  It first occurs in the blood (in the person’s nature)  It manifests itself in many ways  It is incurable humanly speaking  It numbs the senses  It slowly destroys its victims

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp Leviticus 13 and 14 presents the seven types or forms of leprosy. a. Leprosy in the skin (Leviticus 13:2)  this is the primary type and appears on the surface of the skin. It is fairly easy to discover, and once it is detected, it must be treated in order not to progress. Sin always begins in a superficial manner, but if we don’t treat it, we will become disfigured by the leprosy.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp b. Leprosy in the flesh (Leviticus 13:10)  The second type is more serious, it is a leprosy that occurs underneath the skin. This shows us that it has already penetrated the flesh; it is something more profound. Leprosy in the flesh is called chronic leprosy. Leprosy advances to the point that it becomes chronic, a much more serious situation than leprosy of the skin.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp c. Leprosy from a boil 13:18  This is the leprosy that arises from wounds that have not been treated. One day it will become leprous. Wounds and hurts become ideal opportunities for the leprosy of sin. Some people allow themselves to be hurt. On the outside they look fine, but on the inside there is a wound that becomes a door to sin.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp d. Leprosy from a burn (Leviticus 13:24-16)  Leprosy appears in a person who resents discipline and correction. The burn symbolizes someone who has received rebuke or correction for their sin, but did not react well and became resentful. This also represents false repentance.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp e. Leprosy of the head or beard (Leviticus 13:29)  In the Word of God, the head symbolizes glory (1 Corinthians 11:3). Therefore, to have a sore on the head means to have problems with subjection to authority resisting the common spirit of the local church.  The principal part of the head are the thoughts, therefore, to have leprosy on the head also means that the leprosy has penetrated the thoughts and the victime will offer theological excuses for his sin.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp  But leprosy can also appear in the beard. Also in God’s Word the beard respresents dignity (2 Samuel 10:4). When for some wrong reason we begin to claim honor and demand respect and praise, this is leprosy of the beard. Leprosy of the beard means to consider yourself importante and seek to be recognized and praised by others.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp f. Leprosy in garments (Leviticus 13:47-48)  Leprosy is a symbol of sin, thus we can see that even clothing can be contaminated by sin.  To have leprosy in a garment means that the leprosy has become indecent or scandalous.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp g. Leprous houses (Leviticus 14:33-57)  This is the most serious type of leprosy, before it was individual, but now it has spread to the whole family or to the whole local congregation.  In the New Testament a church is compared to a house (Ephesians 2:19-22). The members are the stones that the house is made up of (1 Peter 2:5). Leprosy that invades a house simbolizes sin trying to take over an entire church.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp b) Dealing with discharges  Discharges are things that flow out of people. Some discharges are natural and others are not. Man accepts normal discharges and rejects abnormal ones. God however, considers all types of discharge as unclean since they proceed from natural man.  Many people serve God through natural means, natural opinions, methods and personal feelings rather than the direction of the Spirit.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp  Such things compromise God’s work. Aparentely, discharges are not as serious as leprosy, but nevertheless, they are impure in God’s eyes.  Everything done according to human strength and understanding is of the flesh, and therefore rejected by God.  People who have a discharge represent those that walk according to the flesh and natural senses. Such people cannot please God (Romans 8:8).

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp c) The uncleanliness of death  God abhors death. Death is everything that has the capacity to produce numbness in our spirit.  Worldly music is death, television is death, worldly magazines are death and the cinema is death. When these scenes enter our mind, they cause us to lose interest in spiritual things, through prayer, through God’s Word and through church meetings.

Study of Numbers – Chapter 5 The purity of the camp  But the greatest expression of death are the negative words that are spoken in the midst of the church. Normally a word should motivate and edify the members, but instead, negative words of death are released resulting in a numbed and insensitive spirit.  Things pertaining to death are not considered necessarily sinful, but they must be rejected, because they cause insensitivity in our spirit.

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