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The End of All Things
"...Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent....The magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments....They cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods". Exodus 7:12.
Since serpents in scripture usually refer to Satan, who is the devil, do we suppose that Aaron's serpent was an evil serpent? Or was it a good serpent? I believe the answer lies in this verse: "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Genesis 1:31.
The serpent is one of the creatures that God had made, along with every other *creeping thing, and since it was among everything that God said was very good, there is a serpent that is good. We know also that Aaron's rod stood for very good, that is, the office of God's high priest over Israel. Therefore, we must conclude that not only Aaron's rod was good, but also the serpent that manifested everything for which it stood. *(Creeping: Heb. reme, a reptile. From H7430 râma; to glide. (Strong's Exh. Conc.).
Now, having said that, what is this all about -- rod's being transformed into serpents, and then the good serpent swallowing the evil serpents? In the natural it is hard to imagine; but when we view the event as pertaining to spiritual matters, it becomes very clear and a matter of fact. Once the Spirit removes the veil from our minds, we can see that this scenario is a type of what unfolds at the end of the ages, which has to do with the all consuming Lake of Fire that God Built that swallows all death.
There is very little difference, if any, between Aaron's serpent that swallowed the magician's serpents and the Lake of Fire that swallows up all death and everything human of the first Adam. The analogy of Aaron's good rod swallowing up the magician's evil rods speaks volumes of our present day, and the days to come, as well as the conflict of these enemies over the ages. This was one of the early incidents that marked the beginning of the end of all things evil.
*Rods in the scriptures symbolize authority, power, and rulership. They also symbolize the power of life and/or death. When we read about Moses and Aaron's rods, we often think of them as long walking sticks, and this may have been true. They might have been used for that; but we want to know what the spiritual truth of the matter is concerning rods, which is where the true value lies. For instance, Aaron's rod was a mere 3.75 feet long (2 1/2 cubits) or less. We know this; for that is how long the Ark of the Covenant was wherein his rod was kept after it had budded. A rod, or staff, of that length could be used as a walking stick, or more likely a cane; but it was much more than that. A man's rod represented everything he and his tribe were, with him being the head. It identified him and his house for who they were. Aaron's rod identified him as the supreme, spiritual authority over Israel and the whole world, and it was demonstrated when his serpent swallowed all the others. This event spoke of the beginning of the end of that particular Pharaoh; namely, **Tuthmosis I, and I am sure that the heads of his "church," his magicians, who rode upon the back of his authority also ended. His successor, Tuthmosis II, might have kept them; but the power of politics was no different then from now. When the heads of state change, so does all the house. *(Rod: "(matteh) a branch...a tribe; also a rod, whether for chastising (figuratively correction), ruling (a sceptre)...or walking (a staff; figuratively a support of life, for example bread)" (Strong's Exh. Conc.) Aaron's rod was more of a royal scepter than an aid for walking.) **(Tuthmosis, meaning: Thoth is born. Thoth means wisdom, writing, magic, and measurement of time. Sounds much like the true and living God, but Aaron's rod destroyed the deceiver.)
The end of that beast of a man over Israel, and his false prophets, was decreed that day, and that decree came to pass shortly thereafter. His kingdom was taken from him in death, but it was first weakened when his army followed Israel into the sea: "And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them." Exodus 14:28.
Exact dates of historical events are sometimes hard to ascertain; but from several accounts it seems that this Pharaoh died in 1491 BC, and according to most historians, this was when Moses left Egypt and took Israel through the sea and into the wilderness. One source of information on Tuthmosis I's death is chronicled in Aidan Dodson's book. It gives his successor's reign, Tuthmosis II, as 1491-1479 BC (Monarchs of the Nile). This would indicate that Tuthmosis I died the same year Aaron's serpent swallowed the serpents of his magicians. The event that day was not just a contest to see whose snake was bigger and meaner that the other snakes, it was a portent declaring the end of a man and 400 years of slavery and oppression. When God's purpose for him ended, his life ended.
And we can see a great parallel between Aaron's rod that swallowed all the rods of Egypt's magicians that were espoused to be the beginning of wisdom, writing, magic, and measurement of time, and the Lake of Fire that swallows, consumes, and destroys all things human; namely, the god of this earth, the beast, the dragon, the false prophet, and all the dead. Moreover, in the embodiment of the dragon, we will find the entire family of vipers whose father is the devil. We will notice four scriptures to that effect:
1) "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O*generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" Matthew 3:7. *(Generation: Grk. "gennema, offspring...". (Strong's).
2) "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" Matthew 12:34 (Scribes and Pharisees).
3) "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" Matthew 23:33. (Scribes and Pharisees).
4) "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" John 8:44 (Scribes and Pharisees).
Need we say more in order to understand that religious leaders who are not born of the Spirit of God are the offspring of the devil? Surely, it is clear that they are vipers, plain and simple.
There is another serpent that merits notice, which is contrary to those whose father is the devil. It is the fiery serpent of Moses: "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 loathes this light bread. 6And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many people of Israel died. 7Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8And 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. 9And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." Numbers 21:6-9.
This brazen serpent was fulfilled by Jesus when He was made to be an offering for our sins. "For He hath made Him to be sin (a sin offering) for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21. You see, He was made sin for us, not sinful. He was made a sin offering. He took upon Himself the sin of the whole world. He took the sin of humanity and of all the ages. He made our sinful condition His. He made our condemnation His. He tasted every pitiful thing about us, He experienced the pains of the lowest hell into which we have descended. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." Galatians 3:13. It is beyond the scope of my comprehension that He willingly descended into this quagmire of sin and took it as His own!
Truly, the wages of sin is death, and Jesus died that death, and our dear friend and co-laborer in Christ, J. Preston Eby, said this about it in Just What Do You Mean...THE JUDGMENT!:
"The debt is paid in full. Thank God, Romans 8:1 is actually true! 'There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus...' No condemnation! The word in the Greek is katakrima and speaks of an adverse sentence, to be judged against. I cannot be judged against! No judgment! 'There is therefore now no judgment to them which are in Christ Jesus.' He does not say, 'There is nothing in them that deserves judgment,' for this there is, and they see it, and own it; but it shall not be to their ruin. This one glorious truth should deliver a whole world full of believers from guilt complexes, depressions, and condemnation. There are other judgments for the believer, but in the judgment of sin and sinners the believer cannot and shall not appear. The judgment is past. It is accomplished. Jesus appeared for us. The debt is paid in full. Hallelujah!...There are three distinct judgments that must be experienced by every saint who would press forward into the fullness of sonship to God. Of these three judgments that pertain to saints, one is already past; one is continuously present; and one is yet future. In one we are judged as sinners; in one we are judged as servants; and in one we are judged as sons."
The judgment of serpents upon the people who spoke against God and Moses ended when they looked upon the brazen serpent. They were healed of the deadly bites. However, after the serpents were gone, the people began to worship the one on the pole, that is, the dead body of Jesus on cross. They worshiped the image of the creature rather than the Creator. The sad truth is, we see the same today. People of the church systems of the world worship the cross and the man of flesh more the One who rose from the dead and ascended upon high. They look to the Jesus of Galilee rather than the one from on high. That testimony is obvious; for almost every church has a huge cross hanging on the wall behind the priest or preacher. It is the first thing that is seen upon entering the room they call the sanctuary. The Roman Catholic churches have an image of a dead Jesus on the cross and her members bow their heads and make the sign of the cross over their hearts. Many "believers" wear crosses around their necks to show everyone what they are worshiping.
There is something I've often wondered about. Perhaps you have too. If Jesus lived in this day and our government executed Him, the instruments of execution would be an electric chair, lethal injection, or the gas chamber. Prior to modern technology, it would have been by hanging or the firing squad. So the question is this: depending on the mode of execution, would Christians wear little electric chairs, hypodermic needles, or hangman's nooses around their necks; and rather than crosses on the walls of their churches, would there be electric chairs, hypodermic needles, or hangman's nooses in the place of crosses? And in the Catholic churches, would the emblems portray Jesus slumped dead in the electric chair with smoke rising heavenward from His singed body and hair in the way they have blood trickling from His wounds? Or perhaps His body would be hanging lifelessly from a hangman's noose? Morbid! You say? No more so than what is displayed in houses of "worship" today. It's just that they have glorified the cross and His death to the point that they no longer seem morbid, and easily worshiped.
People worship images they see in their minds of an old rugged cross, a dead Jesus, and/or a natural, bearded man, wearing sandals, and clad in a flowing white robe. The latter is a much nicer picture, but not even that man is to be known or worshiped. Paul made it clear that we are not to know anyone after the flesh, much less to worship such forms: "Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more." 2 Corinthians 5:16. Sadly, our Lord is very often known after the flesh and not the Spirit.
Long after Israel had left the wilderness and had kings ruling over them, they continued looking to and worshiping their cross and dead Jesus, the serpent on the pole, but king Hoshea put a stop to it:
"Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. 3And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 4He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it...He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. 2 Kings 18:1-5.
This is a mirror image of what I mentioned above. They were worshiping an image rather than the living God. Hopefully, I have not caused anyone to think that I see the cross and the death of Jesus as having no value; for they both were of unsurpassed value to the whole human race and all creation. His death was necessary for the atonement of humanity's sin. It was the point in which creation could embark on the journey of salvation. But we must understand, neither the cross nor the death of Jesus saves anyone. We can glorify them in sermons, stories, books, movies, and in our minds; but there is no salvation in either. If you do not believe me, perhaps you will believe the apostle Paul:
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." Romans 5:10. You see, by His death we were reconciled, not saved. By his death, judgment was lifted from us; but it is by His Life that we are saved!
Serpents in scripture are almost always symbols of Satan, and Satan symbolizes the spirit of man's religion. It is this spirit that has the power of death; but Aaron's serpent symbolizes something else. It is the Spirit of pure religion. We see a good serpent, and it swallows the evil serpents. The adversaries, or satans, that represent the spirits of religion all over the world, are swallowed and utterly destroyed by the pure religion from above. This is the religion whose head is from above, making it also from above. Jesus said to the religious leaders, "You are from beneath, I am from above: you are of the world, I am not of this world." John 8:23.
James said something of this Good Serpent: "Pure religion and undefiled before God is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27. Such a religion is walked out by the Life of Christ, and not by His death, the cross, or the law. This living religion is of God, and by nature, it is good. It manifests His Life and swallows everything that has the power of death, that is, the devil. The apostle Paul spoke of this in 1 Corinthians 15:54-56. "...Death is swallowed up in victory, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law."
Aaron's serpent was the power, authority, and law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, and it swallowed that which had the power and authority of the law of sin and death, which were the serpents of Egypt's magicians. And again, Moses' fiery serpent healed the sting of death and removed the judgment against the murmurers in the same manner that the death of Jesus on the cross annulled our judgment.
The significance of these rods can be seen once we understand their relationship to the houses or tribes of Israel.
The tribes of Israel were continually at odds with Moses; but on one occasion it was Korah and other leaders who took men and defied Moses. They felt that they were just as anointed and called of God as were Moses and Aaron, saying that all the congregations are holy and the Lord was among everyone of them. The men of renown of those houses were certainly foreshadows of today who usurp the authority of God's chosen of His House. If you are in question as to who these men are, the first place to look is within ourselves where such things exist and have dire needs to be dealt with. The second place to look is outwardly. All you have to do is to turn on your "Christian" TV shows; go to the great cathedrals of the world; sit in mega churches with congregations of tens of thousands, or any number of small churches as well; or visit the Vatican, temples, and synagogues, ad infinitum. It is there that you will find modern-day Korahs who challenge the Life, Light, and Liberty that is found in the Rod of God; namely, His House.
Aaron's rod represents not only the Life of the Royal Priesthood, and the authority of the High Priest, but also the house of Levi. Knowing this should help us to understand that when the scriptures speak of his rod, or the rods of the other tribes, that they are speaking also of their houses. And when it says something of the house of Levi, etc, it speaks synonymously of the tribe. For instance:
"Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men: 2And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, *two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: 3And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? 4And when Moses heard it, he fell upon his face: 5And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will show who are his, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him." Numbers 16:1-5. *(Two hundred: insufficiency fifty: jubilee, deliverance (Number in Scripture, E.W. Bullinger). Hence, even 250 rebellious men of renown against two of God's chosen are insufficient to gain their coveted jubilee.)
"Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the HOUSE of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man's name upon his rod. 3And thou shalt write Aaron's name upon the *rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers. 4And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you. 5And it shall come to pass, that the man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom...And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers' houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. 7And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness. *(Aaron's rod, destroys serpents. The name of Jesus upon Levi's rod gives that authority to His Church.)
"And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the ROD of Aaron for the HOUSE of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. 9And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod. 10And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not." Numbers 17:2-3,10.
There are a couple of verses in Luke and Matthew that relate to the fulfillment of this rod being the only head over the house of Levi and all of Israel: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:32-33.
Jesus, like the rod of Aaron that was laid before the ark of the covenant, was raised from the dead, budded, bloomed, and brought forth fruit after His own kind.
And , "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, 18Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles." Matthew 12:17-18.
After the judgment seat of Christ redeems and saves the house of Israel, then the Gentiles will be judged and saved. This living rod of Aaron will swallow every pseudo rod of Egypt as it rises in life and authority over all. The house of that Rod is now seen as a greater house, which you are! "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9. To emphasize the power of this verse, let us note the meaning of five words:
Now, to read the verse with this understanding: "You are a chosen family, his nation, a royal priesthood of kings by nature, a sovereign foundation of power. You are a holy race, a tribe of no earthly linage. You are a special, purchased acquisition of great wealth that is shut up and hidden for a time, of which your Father wraps around Himself. You are preserved and saved unto the appointed time of His purpose when, as one body of the Sons of your Father, you will show forth the excellence of this glorious, royal treasure. This is all from Him who has called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."
You are a peculiar people, like Moses, Abraham, Joseph, David, and Elijah, you are shut up, sealed, and reserved on the backside of the desert. You are an acquisition of high value, and He is making you around Himself, arraying Himself with the priceless jewels of His Kingdom. But He is not doing it in the open for the whole world to see.
He clothes Himself with dark pavilions and thick clouds, hiding Himself for a season. Oh, but when the hour comes, each pavilion joined together as one, the true mansion and city of God, will descend from the heavens for all to see. The clouds of people that once hid Him will part and rain His glory upon every soul. No longer will the Peculiar Ones be held back from a world which anxiously awaits their glorious appearing. Yet, for a little time they will wait while the Weaver's shuttle pounds, compacts, and joins them all together as His flaming robe of righteousness.
You are also the household of God, Ephesians 2:19; the temple of God, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:16, Ephesians 2:21). You are God's building. 1 Corinthians 3:9. You are, therefore, the spiritual fulfillment of the royal priesthood over the house of Levi, the rod of the High Priest, God's family, and His name, Aaron, meaning Light, is written upon you! By nature you are who you are, and not of works. There is no boasting in this House that is marked with a Life that consumes every vestige of death and evil in the Lake of Fire, even as Aaron's good serpent swallowed all of Egypt's evil serpents! And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are!
Elwin R. Roach
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