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Deuteronomy--Moses' first speech, Part 14

Jun 29, 2012

Moses continues his speech in Deut. 3:23,

(23) I also pleaded with the Lord at that time, saying, (24) "O Lord God, Thou hast begun to show Thy servant Thy greatness and Thy strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Thine? (25) Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon."

Moses was not allowed to enter Canaan. Numbers 20:11, 12 says,

(11) Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank. (12) But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."

There are many lessons to be learned from this. First of all, Moses and Aaron--along with a whole generation of Israelites who died in the wilderness--lost the inheritance, but did not lose their salvation. They had been justified through the Passover Lamb and even filled with the Spirit through Pentecost (at Horeb). Yet they became types of those Church leaders today who would not be allowed to lead their congregations or denominations into the fullness of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Secondly, take note that even when Moses was disobedient, the miracle of producing water from the rock occurred as if they had been obedient. This is perhaps the best explanation of Matt. 7:21-23,

(21) Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. (22) Many will say to Me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?" (23) And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness" [anomia].

Jesus prophesied that many would believe on Him even to the point of performing many miracles, and yet they, like Moses, would not "enter the kingdom of heaven," because they practiced lawlessness. That is, like Moses, they used the authority of God in a way that was not consistent with the word and character of Jesus Christ.

Being obedient is a requirement to be an overcomer. Even Moses himself could not avoid the consequences of lawless behavior.

Keep in mind also that there are layers of application to be considered. As a symbol of the Old Covenant, Moses was not to enter the Promised Land, lest men would interpret this to mean that one might fulfill the Old Covenant sufficiently to receive the inheritance. It was necessary in the divine plan that Moses--as a type--be excluded. Yet insofar as his personal relationship with God is concerned, I have no doubt that he was indeed an overcomer and will be among those raised in the first resurrection.

A third lesson to be gleaned from this is the manner of sin that disqualified Moses from entering the Promised Land. The first time that he struck the rock (Ex. 17:6) was an act of obedience. The second time, it was an act of disobedience. Striking the rock prophesied of Christ's intent to come to earth and be "struck." He came to die on the cross. When Moses struck the rock on that first occasion, he prophesied truly.

The second time, however, he was supposed to speak to the rock, because it prophesied of Christ's second appearance. In that second appearance, Christ would not have to die again, for that would imply that His earlier death was insufficient. But Moses struck it, not once but twice, thus prophesying falsely and breaking the prophetic type.

His disobedience probably remained unrecognized among the people, because the people saw only the miracle of water and assumed that all was well among their leaders. After all, had not God condoned Moses' actions by another great miracle? Was that miracle not identical to the one performed nearly 40 years earlier?

We see throughout Scripture that men's actions in the past have great influence on succeeding generations. Adam's sin affected all mankind. Abraham's faith made him a father of a multitude. Israel's refusal to hear God's voice at Mount Horeb closed the ears of their descendants to hearing the rest of the law, and so to this day the Church memorizes the Ten Commandments but knows little about the rest of the law.

Moses' act of disobedience established another form of blindness that still prevails in the Church today. It prevents Christians from understanding the purpose of the second appearance of Christ.

What is that purpose?

The two comings of Christ are prophesied in the two doves in Leviticus 14 and again in the two goats in Leviticus 16. In each case, the first was to be killed, while the second was to be released alive.

The two doves were for the cleansing of leprosy, which is a prophetic type of mortality (a slow but sure death). The first dove was to be killed, and the second was to be dipped in the blood of the first dove before being released into the open field (Lev. 14:6, 7). Christ came as the first dove to be killed, but in His second appearance, His robe is dipped in blood (Rev. 19:13). The "field" is the world (Matt. 13:38) into which He must come again.

The two goats were given to deal with sin. The first goat was killed to atone for sin--that is, it covered sin, allowing us to enjoy an imputed righteousness. The second goat pictured the complete removal of sin, as the live goat was led into the wilderness where no man dwelt (Lev. 16:21, 22). This goat is necessary to actually perfect us, whereas the first only gave us a positional righteousness.

In the story of Jonah we are given the witness of the prophets. Jonah means "dove," and he received two callings to preach the Gospel to the city of Nineveh. After his first call, he ran the other direction and thus became a type of Christ in His first appearance (Matt. 12:40). Jonah was three days in the belly of the whale to prophesy Christ's death and resurrection. Then Jonah received His second call (Jonah 3:1) and became the prophetic type for the second "dove" picturing Christ's second coming.

In that second appearance, the word of God is preached with boldness, and the enemies of God are converted (Jonah 3:5). Jonah did not understand this, because he could not escape the blindness brought about by Moses' disobedience in striking the rock the second time. Likewise also, the Church has preached Christ crucified, raised, and ascended, but they do not believe that God will actually save His enemies. In fact, like Jonah, they often contend with us on this point, insisting upon the utter destruction of "Nineveh."

Finally, in the book of Acts there are two main occasions where we see the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The first is in Acts 2:1-4, which is familiar to most Christians. The second, however, is little known. It is found in Acts 4:31, where we read, "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness."

This prophesies of the second great outpouring of the Spirit that will fulfill the prophetic type established by Jonah when Nineveh was converted. It overlays the prophecies of Moses in regard to the second dove and the second goat. Yet this is little understood, because the Church, like Moses, is still striking the rock. They cannot seem to get past the Passover message of the cross and give Christians an understanding of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Moses' disobedience caused long-term damage to the Church. That is what disqualified him from entering Canaan.


This is the fourteenth part of a series titled "Moses' First Speech." To view all parts, click the link below.

Moses' First Speech


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Category: God's Law

Dr. Stephen Jones


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