THE LOVE OF MONEY
CONT., page 5
ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA
We see clearly evidenced by Yahweh that the body of Christ that must follow in the pattern of the crucified Savior, is in fact overcome and even ensnared by wealth and riches. Whether it be the testimony of the dead body of Christ in a rich man's tomb, or the sacrifice ram with its head caught in a thicket, or the crown of thorns on Yahshua's head, or even the weeds wrapped around Jonah's head while in the belly of the great fish, the church that man has known for 2,000 years has been ensnared by riches and wealth in direct contradiction to the teachings and example of Yahshua, as well as the example of the first Remnant followers.
Obviously this is an important enough issue that at the outset of the church in its tender beginning, two people who did not hold all things in common were immediately killed by Yahweh, just as Achan was killed after Jericho (at the tender beginning of entering the promised land) where equally everything was devoted to Yahweh, or as Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt for looking back at what she had left behind.
It is a most remarkable thing to note that tender beginnings like these are both critical and most revealing. When a work first begins, Yahweh has one dramatic and critical and seemingly very harsh event that is set forth to foreshadow and foretell what the guilt of that work will be in the long term. Quite obviously, the guilt of the church is dramatically evidenced in the judgment of Ananias and Sapphira, revealing that which would lead to its ultimate judgment.
Yahweh did not continue instantly killing people for this offense (though kingdom men have died for 2,000 years). One would thus ask the question - If it was so wrong, then why did He not continue this correction on others, equally instantly killing those who did likewise? Because this was to be a foretelling seed of the guilt of the church that would follow, a preluding garden of Eden type snapshot of the church's final judgment. Let us see another telling example of this foreshadowing of the guilt that would follow, evidenced by an initial critical capsule event.
Just as the offense of Ananias and Sapphira was seemingly a small and very isolated event, we find in Numbers 15:32-36 another like offense; but as we will see, it too was a dramatic and telling seed testimony of the guilt and judgment that would come on the head of that nation many generations later. It is an incredibly amazing thing how Yahweh uses these little testimonies as seeds or small capsules foreshadowing the larger story that is to come. (This is equally true with the little seed testimony of the garden of Eden.)
The small offense we find in Numbers took place at the very outset of the journeys of the sons of Israel, even as the event regarding Ananias and Sapphira took place at the very outset of the journeys of the church. The Israelites had come out of Egypt on Passover, arrived at Mount Sinai at Pentecost, received the Law and the instructions for the tabernacle and even built it, and then on Tabernacles, one and a half years after leaving Egypt, attempted to enter the promised land with devastating results. For every day they had spied out the promised land, they had to spend a year in the wilderness, or forty years for forty days.
This "payment" period was in itself most revealing, but the obscure event that was to take place next would in fact be the most revealing testimony regarding the fate of the sons of Israel.
When the sons of Israel failed to enter the promised land and were sorely defeated by the Amalekites and Canaanites who lived there, Yahweh then spoke to Moses. His message to him is recorded in the following thirty-one verses of Numbers 15. Then in verse 37 we read that He continued to speak to Moses, which once again continued until the end of the chapter at verse 41. But in verses 32 through 36, there is recorded a most obscure and seemingly out of place event that, as we will find, is MOST telling. Yahweh hides seemingly obscure points, set off in settings of seemingly unrelated information, as gems of truth that seemingly make little sense and are thus passed over by the reader. In such ways He thus hides His truth. But, we are now getting ready to see this account like no one has ever seen it before. Watch!
Tucked away in verses 32-36 is the obscure account of a man gathering wood on the Sabbath. He was brought to "Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation," and placed in custody because they did not know what to do with him. But, Yahweh spoke to Moses - "The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp." Thus it took place, just as they were instructed by Yahweh.
Did anything like this ever take place again among the sons of Israel? No. In fact it is such an isolated and even out of place thing, one even wonders why it was recorded, especially where it was. So why did this seemingly harsh and isolated event take place here at the outset of the history of the sons of Israel? As a capsule of the guilt and judgment that would take place later. Let us see.
Undoubtedly the greatest and most culminating judgment that ever came upon the sons of Israel was when Jerusalem was captured by Babylon, the temple was destroyed, and the people were either killed or deported. Their captivity in Babylon was for precisely seventy years. Why precisely seventy years? Yahweh is very orderly, legal, and just. Even as the sons of Israel were in the wilderness for forty years as payment for the forty days they had walked in the promised land, so the Jews were in Babylon for seventy years for an equally legal and divinely accounted reason.
In 2 Chronicles 36:20-21 we read - "And those who had escaped from the sword he (King Nebuchadnezzar) carried away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and to his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it kept Sabbath to fulfill seventy years." Thus we see that even as the sons of Israel spent forty years in the wilderness for the forty days they had walked in the promised land, here we find that the Jews were in captivity in Babylon for seventy years because they owed Yahweh seventy Sabbaths, one year for every Sabbath. Thus, the seventy years in bondage in Babylon were legally a Sabbath debt issue. And where did we see a foreshadowing capsule seed testimony of this judgment to come? When in a most isolated and seemingly harsh act, the sons of Israel stoned to death a man for gathering firewood on the Sabbath. That which would be the cause of the judgment of the head of the sons of Israel, or Jerusalem, was foreshadowed in a seemingly harsh seed testimony when the man carrying wood on the Sabbath was stoned to death. And just as Yahweh spoke that the Sabbath-breaker was to be "stoned outside the camp," this is precisely what He did to the sons of Israel. He removed them to Babylon to be judged or stoned "outside the camp" of Jerusalem! Yahweh thus foreshadowed exactly what He would do in the end to the sons of Israel.
Now, what does this tell us about the church? Even as this seemingly isolated and harsh act among the sons of Israel spoke of their guilt and fate to come, so Yahweh has equally provided a capsule testimony of that which would be the cause for judgment in the church. When zeal for Yahweh's house consumed Yahshua and He cast out the moneychangers with a scourge of cords He had made, overturning the tables, once again zeal for Yahweh's house that is made of living stones will consume Yahshua and He will cast out the moneychangers with an affliction of His own design and making, overturning their tables as well. Money in the church is the issue that will bring its judgment.
May the wise and discerning have eyes to see and the wisdom to learn and understand and act.
Remember Lot's wife, remember Achan, remember the Sabbath-breaker, and remember Ananias and Sapphira!
Continue to page 6 of The Love of Money forTHE SOLUTION
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