LOOK TO JESUS FOR SALVATION
Subtitle: But Understand That Merely Looking At Him Will Not Get The Job Done!
Well, to put it mildly--they messed up and God judged them on the spot! Suddenly the camp was filled with poisonous snakes, thousands suffered their "fiery" bite (Num.21:6) and "much people of Israel died." The trauma of that incident taught them that God is longsuffering (Ex.34:6 and Num.14:18), but there is a limit to His patience:
"Therefore 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" Numbers 21:7 (KJV).
God answered Moses' prayer, but He did not remove the snakes. Rather than taking away the cause, He told Moses to provide a cure! The remedy involved making a replica, or model, of the poisonous snake and putting it up on a pole in the middle of the camp, so that all who had been bitten could "look upon it" and live! Moses complied with God's command and made one of brass (a symbol in the Bible of judgment upon sin). He then mounted it on a pole and lifted it up where everyone in the camp could see it clearly.
How long do you suppose it took Moses to make that snake? If it involved melting down the brass and shaping it (which was likely), a minimum of several hours would have been required. People were dying all over the camp and many more were being bitten. Time was of the essence and precious lives were at stake! Moses worked at his task and when it was done the emblem was hoisted up, making the cure available to all. But even though the narrative does not tell us how many actually survived by looking upon the serpent, it does say "much people of Israel died." And I believe there were four different types of victims present that day--all of whom were in the same predicament.
(1) There were those who died before and during the time Moses was constructing the symbol--God's Sovereign justice was swift and without remedy where they were concerned. (2) Many died by refusing to look at the snake because they considered such a solution to be ridiculous. (3) While others looked and died in spite of having done so. But how was that possible? Did not God say that all who "looketh upon it shall live" (Num.21:8)? Yes, but when we analyze verse 9 carefully we find that they, unlike those of group (4)--to whom the verse refers--looked at Him, but not with the eyes of faith:
"And Moses made a serpent of bronze and put it on a pole, and if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of bronze [attentively, expectantly, with a steady and absorbing gaze], he lived" Numbers 21:9 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified).
The word translated "looked" ("beheld" in the KJV) is the Hebrew word "nabat"-- Hebrew 5027, Strong’s Concordance-- naw-bat'; a primitive root; to scan, i.e. look intently at; by implication to regard with pleasure, favor or care :- (cause to) behold, consider, look (down), regard, have respect, see. (emphasis mine).
So we must understand there was a tremendous difference between seeing it--merely looking at it--versus gazing upon it with a heartfelt expectatation of being cured. And the importance of this incident cannot be fully appreciated until we recognize that it served as a "type" of which the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was the "antitype," or fulfillment. That connection was established by the Lord when He said the following:
"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" John 3:14-15 (KJV, emphasis mine).
When Jesus Christ was crucified and "lifted up" on a cross made of wood, the reality was that of God's judgment (brass) upon sin (the serpent)--portrayed in symbol centuries earlier when God provided the children of Israel with a remedy. The undiluted wrath of God against sin was poured out upon His own Son when He was placed on that cross to die a sacrificial death. At that awesome and awful point in time, the sinless and perfect Son of God literally became the essence of sin and took upon Himself the punishment we all deserve:
'For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness]" 2 Cor. 5:21 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified).
Every human has been "bitten" by the sting of sin and that is why it was necessary for Jesus to be lifted up and suffer so that we might look to Him and live.
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)
But we must not think that a casual glance--a shallow "it can't hurt to try it" look that is void of faith--will get the job done. To obtain salvation through the shed blood of Jesus one must give Him their undivided attention and look to Him expecting forgiveness. And we must note from the preceding verse in Hebrews that He is both the author and finisher of saving faith. From beginning to end, faith has its origin in Jesus Christ and He gives it to whomever--and to the degree--He chooses.
"For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him" Romans 12:3 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified, emphasis mine).
So my question to you is twofold: (1) Have you looked to Him? And (2) Did it do any good? Tragically, millions continue to behold Him in a superstitious manner--looking upon Him as a good luck charm to save them from hell. But only a relative few look to Him and upon Him to receive eternal life.
"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" Matthew 7:14 (KJV, emphasis mine).
If you looked to Him by faith to provide the antidote for the venom of the fiery serpent of sin, the Holy Spirit of God now resides within you and His presence is proof of the cure. So are you sure He is really there? Your salvation depends upon it and if there is any doubt--I urge you to read our "Salvation Page" at www.cuttingedge.org/salvation.html and pay particular attention to the 12 "tests" at the very beginning. A born-again child of God should be able to answer "yes" to all 12--at least to some degree. While it is true that some of them become more evident as one grows in grace and knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18), all apply to the genuine believer.
"Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" Isaiah 45:22 (KJV)
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
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