BEHOLD, BELIEVE, AND BE SAVED
God gave us the Old Testament to live by, in the light of the New Testament:
(Luke 4:4)And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written,
That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. God also gave
us the Old Testament to learn from:
(Romans 15:4) For whatsoever things were written aforetime
were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Of the Old Testament we can say that it is a book of History, Science, Astronomy, Sociology,
Psychology, Human relations, Romance, Philosophy, Personal money management, Health and hygiene, Theology and especially Christology.
This Book testifies of Jesus! Jesus said: (John 5:39) Search the scriptures;
for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. We know that Jesus was talking
about the book of today's scripture reading, for Numbers was written by Moses, and Jesus said, (John 5:46) For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
The Old Testament testifies of Jesus in two primary ways:
2. Pictures - we call these
This is one of the clearest types of Jesus and His salvation in the Old Testament!
It is not imagined. It is not invented. Is it not even implied. Rather, it is identified by Jesus Himself
as a type: (John 3:14-16) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness,
even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God
so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting
There are four things that a person must
know in order to be saved, and today we will see all four of them in this passage in Numbers.
I. (Our) REBELLION
(against God) (Numbers 21:5) And the people spake against God, and against
Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any
water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. (Romans 3:23)
1. It was a common rebellion - "the people"
2. It was concentrated
A. Against God
B. Against Moses, God's man
3. It was contemptuous (Open disrespect
or willful disobedience of
A. "our soul loatheth this light
II. (God’s) RETRIBUTION (sent because of our rebellion) (Numbers 21:6) And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. (Romans
6:23) (Revelation 20:14-15) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
1. It was punishment
A. All sin will be paid for.
1. Either by the blood of Jesus Christ
or by hell fire.
2. No sin will enter into the kingdom
2. It was painful
3. It was peremptory (Putting an end to all debate or action.)
III. (God’s) REMEDY
(for our rebellion) (Numbers 21:8) And
the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that
is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) For I delivered unto you
first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried,
and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1. A reptile - a serpent, representing Satan and sin
2. A raising up (Jh. 12:32) And I, if I be lifted up from
the earth, will draw all
men unto me.
3. A representation
A. The serpent - the curse of sin on Christ
B. The pole - the cross of the Savior
IV. (God’s) REQUIREMENT
(for our salvation) (Numbers 21:8) (John 3:14-15) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth
in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (Revelation 20:15) And whosoever was not found
written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. The requirement to look was compared to the
requirement to believe today: Christ died for every sinner, but not every sinner will be saved: Only those written in
the Lamb’s book of life. Because eternal life is a GIFT, and a gift must be received:
(Romans 6:23) (Rom. 10:9,10,& 13)
The requirement today to receive the gift is faith: (Acts 16:29-31)
1. The serpent was required to be LIFTED
A. Jesus said- and I, if I be lifted up (Jh.12:32)
2. The sinner was required to LOOK
A. Today - a look of faith (Isa. 45:22)
3. The Savior was required to give His LIFE (Jh. 3:16)
A. That we might have life.
I saw a bumper sticker, drive carefully the life you save may be your own. That is the wisdom of men in a nutshell.
“What God says, on the other hand, is “the life you save is the life you lose.” In
other words, the life you clutch, hoard, guard, and play safe with is in the end a life worth little to anybody, including
yourself: and only a life given away for love’s sake is a life worth living. To bring his point home, God shows us a
man who gave his life away to the extent of dying a national disgrace without a penny in the bank or a friend to his name.
In terms of men’s wisdom, he was a perfect fool, and anybody who thinks he can follow him without making something like
the same kind of fool of himself is laboring under not a cross but a delusion.