“So Moses spoke to the children of Israel, and each of their leaders gave him a rod apiece, for each leader according to their fathers’ houses, twelve rods; and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. And Moses placed the rods before the Lord in the tabernacle of witness. Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses went into the tabernacle of witness, and behold, the rod of Aaron, of the house of Levi, had sprouted and put forth buds, had produced blossoms and yielded ripe almonds. Then Moses brought out all the rods from before the Lord to all the children of Israel; and they looked, and each man took his rod.”
Numbers 17:6-9 NKJV
We are living in a time when there are many professing to be of God, standing before congregations and establishing churches, where they say that the Lord is present and blessing. In some cases there are competing pastors, railing against each other, as to which one is the legitimate representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Reading in Numbers seventeen, this morning, I happened on the old account of the battle of the rods. Moments before the Lord had sent a plague, to punish those who had opposed God’s chosen leaders, Moses and Aaron. Even though rejected, they had charged into the gab. Between the dead and the living, interceding on the behalf the people.
The situation needed to be settled, and God had all the leaders provide rods, mantles of leadership, to prove who God had selected.
“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to the children of Israel, and get from them a rod from each father’s house, all their leaders according to their fathers’ houses—twelve rods. Write each man’s name on his rod. And you shall write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi. For there shall be one rod for the head of each father’s house. Then you shall place them in the tabernacle of meeting before the Testimony, where I meet with you. And it shall be that the rod of the man whom I choose will blossom; thus I will rid Myself of the complaints of the children of Israel, which they make against you.””
Numbers 17:1-5 NKJV
The rod of Aaron blossomed, and bore fruit.
God has placed a calling, a mantle of leadership on those He has called. The Old Testament is full of examples for the New Testament follower of Jesus, of people who have been called by God and peers show to be productive, having fulfilled their missions according to His will.
In the current times, those who have truly been called to serve the Lord are exemplified by the presence of fruit in their ministries. They teach and preach under the authority of the Scriptures, by the power of the Holy Spirit. They do not deviate from what the Lord has said in His word, and all they present can be checked.
Because of their calling and obedience, their ministries bear fruit, as souls are saved, disciples made, and there is a sense of spirituality in their lives, that can not be faked. The fruit is seen in all situations, regardless of whether there is an audience or not.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Galatians 5:22-26 NKJV
Those that follow after them have received the fruit of that ministry, and have been made disciples, having been lead to the King of Glory and His word, with no filtration throughout sinful flaws of men. They are followers of Jesus, and not of the pastor or the teacher.
In these days, rods are being placed before the Lord. Those that are of the called are budding, and those that are not, remain barren, showing fake fruit, conjured up through the hyper charismania of those who have sought to lay their own rods before the Lord.
In the coming days, weeks, months, and perhaps years, it will be clear who has the true calling of God and who does not, as the pressure of the evil one will bear down on those who truly profess Christ. Those who are true, will resist the desire to teach what is palatable, opting instead to preach the word.
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
II Timothy 4:2-4 NKJV
Those who choose to be true to God will face great opposition, but know this: the rod that you have been given is the one anointed by the Lord.
“Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.”
II Timothy 3:8-9 NKJV
“So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the Lord commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent. But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.”
Exodus 7:10-12 NKJV
The word of God, fitly preached, empowered by the Holy Spirit, will consume the false teachings inspired by the evil one, and there will be a great of move of salvation, the likes of which have never been seen before.
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