2019年夏季训练 民数记结晶读经(二)

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第五周 除污秽的水

信息原文听抄请看中文特区

读经:民十九

民 19:1 耶和华对摩西、亚伦说,
民 19:2 耶和华所吩咐律法中的律例,乃是这样说,你要告诉以色列人,把一只纯全无残疾,未曾负轭的红母牛牵到你这里来。
民 19:3 你要交给祭司以利亚撒;人要把牛牵到营外,宰在他面前。
民 19:4 祭司以利亚撒要用指头蘸些牛血,向会幕前面弹七次。
民 19:5 人要在他眼前把这母牛焚烧;牛的皮、肉、血、连粪,都要焚烧。
民 19:6 祭司要把香柏木、牛膝草、朱红色线,都丢在烧牛的火中。
民 19:7 祭司要洗衣服,用水洗身,然后可以进营;但他必不洁净到晚上。
民 19:8 烧牛的人也要洗衣服,用水洗身,并且不洁净到晚上。
民 19:9 要有一个洁净的人收起母牛灰,放在营外洁净的地方,为以色列人会众留着,用以作除污秽的水;这是赎罪祭。
民 19:10 收起母牛灰的人要洗衣服,并且不洁净到晚上。这要作以色列人和寄居在他们中间的外人永远的定例。
民 19:11 触着人死尸的,就必不洁净七天。
民 19:12 那人要在第三天和第七天用这水洁净自己,就必洁净了;他若在第三天和第七天不洁净自己,就仍不洁净。
民 19:13 凡触着死人,就是触着死人身体,而不洁净自己的,就玷污了耶和华的帐幕,这人必从以色列中剪除;因为那除污秽的水没有洒在他身上,他就为不洁净,污秽还在他身上。
民 19:14 人死在帐棚里的条例乃是这样:凡进那帐棚的,和一切在帐棚里的,都必不洁净七天。
民 19:15 凡敞口的器皿,就是没有扎上盖的,也是不洁净的。
民 19:16 无论何人在田野里触着被刀杀的,或是尸首,或是人的骨头,或是坟墓,就必不洁净七天。
民 19:17 要为这不洁净的人拿些赎罪祭烧成的灰,放在器皿里,倒上活水。
民 19:18 要有一个洁净的人,拿牛膝草蘸在这水中,把水洒在帐棚上,和一切物件并帐棚内的众人身上,又洒在触着骨头,或触着被杀的,或触着自死的,或触着坟墓的那人身上。
民 19:19 第三天和第七天,洁净的人要洒水在不洁净的人身上,第七天就使他成为洁净。那人要洗衣服,用水洗澡,到晚上就洁净了。
民 19:20 但那污秽而不洁净自己的,这人要从会众中剪除,因为他玷污了耶和华的圣所;除污秽的水没有洒在他身上,他是不洁净的。
民 19:21 这要作他们永远的定例。那洒除污秽水的人要洗衣服;凡触着除污秽水的,必不洁净到晚上。
民 19:22 不洁净的人所触着的一切物就不洁净;触着这物的人必不洁净到晚上。

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纲目

壹 民数记十九章是旧约中非常特别的一章,记载除污秽的水。引用经节

贰 本章的污秽,不是指罪,乃是指死——11、13~16节:

一 死出自罪,罪是死的根——罗五12:

  1. 在神眼中死比罪更玷污人——利十一24~25,民六6~7、9。
  2. 在神眼中最可恨的是死;死亡是丑陋、可憎的,我们该憎恶死亡——6~7节。
  3. 我们所需要避免的死亡,乃是属灵的死亡——启三1~2,罗五12、14:
    1. 属灵的死亡比肉身的死亡更普遍——17节。
    2. 属灵的死亡到处都有;不仅犯罪、属世的地方,就连伦理道德最高尚的地方,也充满属灵的死亡。

二 由于民数记十一至十四章以及十六章里背叛的罪,死遍布在以色列人中间——49节:

  1. 以色列人在民数记十六章背叛神以后,受了神的审判,结果全体以色列人都在死亡的影响之下——49节。
  2. 死亡的污秽到处散布,百姓都处于不洁的光景中。
  3. 到了十九章神就要他们用红母牛的灰预备除污秽的水,使他们可用这水除去他们所受死亡的污秽。引用经节

叁 红母牛,除污秽之水的主要成分,表征救赎的基督——9节:

一 红色表征罪之肉体的样式,为着外在担负人的罪——罗八3,约一29。

二 红母牛没有残疾,表征基督虽然是在罪之肉体的样式里,却没有罪的性情——14节,来二14,四15,罗八3,林后五21。

三 母牛是纯全的,指明基督是完全的——民十九2,出十二5~6。

四 母牛未曾负轭,表征基督从未被任何人使用,特别是未被神的仇敌撒但使用,或为着他被使用——民十九2,参出十二5。

五 红母牛被牵到营外宰杀;基督是在营外,就是在耶路撒冷城外的一座小山——加略山——被钉十字架的——民十九3,来十三12~13,太二七33。

肆 被宰的红母牛被烧,祭司把“香柏木、牛膝草、朱红色线,都丢在烧牛的火中”——民十九6:

一 香柏木表征主尊贵、拔高的人性,使祂能作我们的救主——6节,参王上四33:

  1. 香柏树又高大又坚固,在圣经里是指满有荣耀的人性——歌一17。
  2. 在预表里,香柏木指明耶稣那复活、升天、得荣、尊贵的人性。
  3. 香柏木表征基督属天的人性,得荣耀的人性,和祂属天的人性生命——八9。
  4. 香柏树如何是高高地超越一切其他的树,照样基督是所有人中唯一得荣耀的人——五15,腓二9~11。
  5. 正如香柏木所表征的,基督乃是一个升到天上的人,祂的卓越和祂高贵品格的人性,远超过任何人——歌五15。

二 牛膝草是一种最微小的植物,表征主自甘卑微,成为人的样式,使祂可以就近人,成为人的救主——民十九6,王上四33,腓二7。

三 一面,主是由香柏木所预表,有最高标准的人性;另一面,祂由牛膝草所预表,自甘卑微,使祂对我们是便利的。

四 朱红色是一种暗红色,在预表上有很多含意——民十九6:

  1. 朱红色表征流血,指十字架救赎的工作——来九12、14、22,彼前一18~19。
  2. 在利未记十四章四节,朱红色表征主降卑为人,是要遵行神的旨意,流血赎罪。引用经节
  3. 朱红色表征基督为救赎我们所流的血最高的意义——民十九6。

五 尊高的基督与卑微的基督,在祂的救赎里,乃是除污秽之水的组成元素——6节。

伍 母牛灰被收起,放在营外洁净的地方,为以色列人会众留着,用以作除污秽的水——9节:

一 灰表征基督之死的结果:

  1. 在圣经里,灰表明最末后的东西——利六10。
  2. 被消减成灰就是被消减成为无有。
  3. 在民数记十九章九节,灰表征基督被减为无有——可九12。

二 母牛烧了,香柏木和牛膝草也烧了,朱红色线也烧了,要把灰收起来,放在洁净的地方;红母牛的特点就在这里。

三 在被宰、被烧之红母牛灰的预表中,可看见基督救赎永远的功效——民十九9,来九12。

四 这灰要留作除污秽的水,为着洁净罪,或作赎罪祭——民十九2、4、6、9、11~12:

  1. 如果有以色列人摸了不洁的东西,在神面前成了不洁净的人,就应该由一个洁净的人把用作除污秽的水和灰调起来,洒在这个不洁净的人身上,除去他的不洁——11~12节。
  2. 这灰的用处,是为着除去不沽,是为着预备将来被发现不洁净时使用。

五 主耶稣的工作,有一部分就像红母牛的灰一样——2、9节:

  1. 红母牛的灰,表征主的赎罪永远不更改的功效——9节:
    1. 红母牛的灰表征主替我们所完成的救赎——罗三24,弗一7。
    2. 祂的救赎乃是永不更改、永不朽坏的——来九12。
  2. 在任何时候,一个以色列人摸着了不洁净的东西,他只需要得着红母牛的灰所调成除污秽的水洒在他的身体上——民十九11~12。
  3. 主的救赎已完成了一切;祂已经有预备,为着我们将来一切的不洁和罪:
    1. 这灰专门是为着对付将来的。
    2. 红母牛的灰,表明十字架已往的工作是为着今天的用处。
    3. 只要一次有一只红母牛烧成灰,就够用一生一世。
    4. 感谢主,祂的救赎是够我们用一辈子的。

陆 民数记十九章十七节说到红母牛烧成的灰,以及放在器皿里,倒上的活水:引用经节

一 这节里的活水(即,流动的水)表征在基督复活里的圣灵——约七37~39。

二 在除污秽的水里,有基督救赎的效能,连同祂复活之灵洗净的能力。

柒 死遍布在以色列人中间,因此需要除污秽的水;每当我们被死亡玷污,就需要基督这红母牛作除污秽水的实际——民十六49,十九2、9:

一 在十九章,除污秽的水洁净并废除十六章那次大背叛所带来死亡的影响。引用经节

二 加了灰的除污秽之水,预表基督救赎的功效,借着生命的活水不断地洁净我们,好恢复我们与神的交通——约壹一7。

三 唯有基督救赎的工作,借着祂尊高而卑微的人性,凭祂的死和祂复活的灵,才能医治并洁净整个局面,除去死的不洁——民十九6、9、17。

第五周 诗歌

诗歌94首 赞美主─祂的救赎 8686双副(英116)F大调 6/8

  1. 你的救赎何等奇妙,我的恩主耶稣!未见、未闻、也未想到,你竟为我作出!你的身位奥秘、神圣,远超我所能言!你的救赎奇妙、有能,过于我所能赞!

    (副)哦,你救赎何奇妙!新造故事,何荣耀!永远丰满有功效!配得我们称道!

  2. 你在十架为我裂破,流出你水和血,为将生命分赐与我,并为赎我罪孽。你的宝血将我洗净,使我蒙神喜悦;你的生命使我重生,叫我与你联结。
  3. 你是一粒神圣麦子,结出许多子粒;我们与你同性、同质,成为你的身体。你是我们生命、内容,我们是你丰满;你借我们生活、行动,我们把你彰显。
  4. 既是身体你可定居,就是你的居所;你在我们得到倚据,我们作你寄托。满足你心、怡悦你意,也是你的配偶;同你生活、与你一体,享受你的所有。
  5. 我们在此擘饼记念,看到表记之物,心、灵不禁充满感赞,希奇你的救赎!你使我们作你身体,并你居所、配偶,我们只有一面感激,一面敬拜、歌讴!

<< 晨兴圣言 >>

晨兴喂养
  民十九13 凡触着死人,……而不洁净自己的,就玷污了耶和华的帐幕,……因为那除污秽的水没有洒在他身上,他就为不洁净……。
  罗五17  若因一人的过犯,死就借着这一人作了王,那些受洋溢之恩,并洋溢之义恩赐的,就更要借着耶稣基督一人,在生命中作王了。
  除污秽的水要洒在不洁净的人身上:那些触着死人身体的,或进了死人帐棚、在死人帐棚里的,或触着被刀杀的、或是尸首、人骨、坟墓的(民十九11~1416~20)。这是当时以色列人光景的写照。死亡的不洁遍布各处。
  民数记十九章的污秽,不是指罪,乃是指死。死出自罪,罪是死的根(罗五12)。由于背叛的罪,死遍布在以色列人中间。因此需要除污秽的水。唯有基督救赎的工作,借着祂尊高而卑微的人性,凭祂的死和祂复活的灵,才能医治并洁净整个局面(民数记生命读经,二二八至二二九页)。
信息选读
  民数记十九章说到把一只红母牛与一些别的东西一起焚烧,其灰用来作除污秽的水。阅读整章使我们能明白这里的污秽、不洁,主要是指死亡的玷污。这水是个供应,使人脱离死亡的影响和污秽。……就在十六章的背叛之后,到处都是死亡。在一天之内,一万四千七百人死亡,他们尸陈遍地。在营内许多的帐棚里都有人的死尸。人触着死尸(十九11),或人死的时候在场(18),或进入死尸所在的帐棚(14),就受到污染。以色列人整整二百万的人口,都在死亡的影响之下。他们都在污秽的光景中。因此,需要除污秽的水废掉死亡的影响和污秽(民数记生命读经,二二四至二二五页)。
  死亡是丑陋的、可憎的,所以我们需要禁戒死亡。……我们该禁戒的死亡,主要的还不是肉身的,而是属灵的。……属灵的死亡……到处都有。不仅犯罪、属世的地方,就连伦理道德最高尚的地方,也充满属灵的死亡。……按旧约的预表,罪还不如死亡那样污秽。人若犯了罪,可以立刻借着献上赎愆祭得着赦免并洁净(利五10)。但人若摸了死亡,必须等几天才得洁净。由此可见,死比罪更玷污人。然而,我们在召会生活中的人,可能认为罪是严重的,而触着死亡是平常的,不严重的。但在神眼中,触着死亡是最严重的事。
  死亡的毒素能毁坏并败坏圣徒。在罗马十四章,保罗说,我们不该因行事疏忽而拆毁神的工程(1520)。基督所救赎并拯救的圣徒,我们不该因行事疏忽而败坏他们。在主的恢复中,主已经在信徒身上作了许多恩典、救赎的工作,多年来我们一直作工建造圣徒。人不可拆毁圣徒身上基督恩典的工作,也不可败坏这些我们一直在他们身上作工以建造他们的人。看到圣徒被死亡的毒素所败坏,我们的心怎不伤痛?我们需要清明、公正、平静、温和地想一想,我们是否真的在建造基督的身体,还是不自觉地在作一些事,散布死亡的毒素,拆毁神的工程?(利未记生命读经,三七五、二三七页)。
  参读:民数记生命读经,第二十八篇;利未记生命读经,第二十二篇


晨兴喂养
  民十九2 ……你要告诉以色列人,把一只纯全无残疾,未曾负轭的红母牛牵到你这里来。
  罗八3 ……神,既在罪之肉体的样式里,并为着罪,差来了自己的儿子,就在肉体中定罪了罪。
  希伯来十章说,〔民十九2所提到的〕母牛是指着主耶稣说的。主耶稣用什么资格作这个祭呢?……祂没有残疾,祂未曾负轭。没有残疾是指祂的生命说的,未曾负轭是指祂的工作说的。没有残疾是生命的,未曾负轭是行为的。主耶稣在祂的生命中,在祂的身位里,是没有残疾的。祂不只没有残疾,并且在经历上是清洁的,是未曾负轭的。祂是个清洁的人,祂有清洁的经历。有许多人没有残疾,但是曾负过轭。但是主耶稣的经历是未曾负过轭的。祂没有碰过罪的事实,没有受过罪的压迫,没有受过罪的支配,没有受过罪的鼓动,祂是完全自由的。……我们不能这样说,因为我们不是自由的人,我们受过罪的压迫,受过罪的支配,受过罪的鼓动,我们不能自己作主。……唯有主耶稣对于罪是未曾负轭的(神的福音,五六五至五六六页)。
信息选读
  民十九2说到要牵来一只纯全无残疾,未曾负轭的红母牛。这母牛“无残疾”表征没有瑕疵、没有罪过。……母牛“未曾负轭”表征从未被世界、撒但、罪恶使用过。只有主耶稣是这样的一位,祂从未被任何人使用,特别是未被神的仇敌撒但使用。不像我们生下来不久,就被罪恶使用,负了罪的轭。我们得救前就是这样,负很多不同的轭;我们是被世界、撒但和罪使用过的。然而,主耶稣在作为祭物献给神之前,没有负过任何的轭。
  〔二节的〕红母牛表征主耶稣成为罪之肉体的样式,为着担负人的罪。这节里的“红”代表罪(赛一18)。因此,这里的红母牛表征主耶稣替我们成为罪(林后五21)。然而,这里的红只是在皮毛上,意即主耶稣只有罪之肉体的样式,为着担当我们的罪,却没有罪性。
  主耶稣是男性,为什么这里用母牛作预表,而不是公牛?在圣经里,男性代表客观的真理,女性代表主观的经历。譬如,亚当、亚伯拉罕、以撒这些男性,都代表客观的真理或见证;而夏娃、撒拉、利百加这些女性,都代表主观的经历或实际的应用。所以,这里的母牛所指明主耶稣的赎罪不是作为客观的道理,乃是为着主观的经历。
  民十九3说,“你要交给祭司以利亚撒;人要把牛牵到营外,宰在他面前。”这只母牛不是献在祭坛上,乃是牵到营外宰杀,也就是说不是献到神面前,乃是在被神子民弃绝的地位上被宰杀。当以色列人有了不洁,就要独居营外(参利十三46)。红母牛就是在不洁之人所在的营外被杀,为要解决他们的不洁。这预表主耶稣为了解决我们的不洁,来到我们这些不洁之人所在的地方。祂被人弃绝,也在耶路撒冷城外被钉十字架(民数记概论下册,六〇至六一页)。
  参读:民数记概论,第二十四篇;神的福音,第二十五篇


晨兴喂养
  民十九6 祭司要把香柏木、牛膝草、朱红色线,都丢在烧牛的火中。
  腓二7 反而倒空自己,取了奴仆的形状,成为人的样式。
  因信称义是客观方面、真理方面、见证方面的;顺服是主观方面、生命方面、经历方面的。在全部圣经里,召会都是用女性来代表的,因为这是主观的,是主在人身上所作的工。照样,在〔民数记十九章〕这里不用公牛而用母牛,因为这是代表主工作的另一方面,代表主的工作在我们身上的一方面。……要把这一只牛怎么作呢?要把它宰了,用指头蘸它的血,向着会幕前面弹七次。换句话说,血还是献给神的,因为血的工作总是给神的。把一只牛的血,向会幕前面弹七次,是献上给神,是为着赎罪(初信造就中册,七〇页)。
信息选读
  红母牛受死的功效是向着神的,能在神面前为人遮罪。……民十九5说,“人要在他眼前把这母牛焚烧;牛的皮、肉、血、连粪,都要焚烧。”这里的烧不同于利一9里燔祭的烧。燔祭的烧是把祭物烧成蒙神悦纳的馨香之气,而这里的烧是为着担罪,要把罪完全解决。红母牛烧过之后,就再也看不到红色,表征罪完全解决了。
  烧母牛的时候,还要配上香柏木、牛膝草、朱红色线〔民十九6〕。利十四4说到,患麻风的人得洁净时,要拿两只洁净的活鸟、香柏木、朱红色线和牛膝草来。一只鸟要宰在盛活水的瓦器上,然后要把另一只活鸟,和香柏木、朱红色线并牛膝草,一同蘸于宰在活水上之鸟的血中,在患麻风的人身上洒七次,使他得着洁净(5~7)。在利未记里,香柏木、朱红色线并牛膝草,是蘸在血里;在民数记,这些东西是和红母牛一同在火里被烧毁。
  民数记里的香柏木、牛膝草,与利未记里的香柏木、牛膝草,在预表上的意义是一样的。香柏木和牛膝草,都表征主耶稣所穿上的人性。香柏木指主耶稣人性尊高、坚实的一面;牛膝草指祂人性低微、卑微的一面。
  西一15说,主耶稣是一切受造之物的首生者。在地上的一切受造之物中,人是元首(主耶稣是受造之物,因祂成了人)。祂成了肉体,成了一个受造之物,就有分于并联于受造之物。所以,民数记十九章这里的香柏木和牛膝草,不仅表征主耶稣尊高且卑微的人性,也表征主耶稣所联于的整个受造之物(参王上四33)。
  民十九6的朱红色线重在预表罪,与利十四6里的含意不同。在利未记,朱红色线没有被烧毁,在民数记这里却是完全烧毁的。在利未记十四章,朱红色线表征主如何为赎罪受死,并且得着荣耀;但在民数记十九章这里只表征主耶稣为我们担罪,并不含后来的得荣耀。香柏木、牛膝草和朱红色线,都丢在烧牛的火中,一同被烧毁,表征所有受造之物的罪都完全烧毁了。当主耶稣死的时候,一切受造之物,以及受造之物所犯的罪,都一同了结了(民数记概论下册,六二至六四页)。
  参读:初信造就,第二十一篇


晨兴喂养
  民十九9 要有一个洁净的人收起母牛灰,放在营外洁净的地方,为以色列人会众留着,用以作除污秽的水;这是赎罪祭。
  可九12 ……经上……记着,人子要受许多的苦,且被人视为无有。
  来九12 ……乃是借着祂自己的血,一次永远地进入至圣所,便得到了永远的救赎。
  民十九9的灰是红母牛烧过之后所存留下来的,表征主救赎的死在复活里的功效是永远不改变的。这个永远的功效是祂死而复活留下的;换句话说,主的救赎有永远的功效乃是在祂的复活里(参罗四25)。
  母牛的灰放在营外洁净的地方,表征主救赎的功效留在罪人所在的地方。另一面,要将赎罪的血带到会幕前,表征主的救赎在神面前的功效(民数记概论下册,六四页)。
信息选读
  在旧约里,罪人需要到神面前去献祭。但是,如果有一个人,已经献上祭,而又摸着污秽的时候,他在神面前是不洁净的,与神不能交通,那么应该怎么作呢?要为这不洁净的人,拿些红母牛的灰,放在器皿里,倒上活水,调成除污秽的水,洒在他身上,他的污秽就被除去,他的罪就得赦免。一个以色列人把牛羊带到神面前去献上赎罪祭,那是因为他知道自己有罪,但红母牛是另外一件事。……红母牛的被烧,不是为着已过的罪,红母牛的被烧,乃是为着将来的罪。
  主耶稣的工作,有一部分就像红母牛的灰一样,所有赎罪的功效都在这里面,全世界的人所有的罪都在这里面,血也在这里面。到将来,任何的时候,如果你有了污秽,你摸着了不洁净的东西,你不需要再宰一只红母牛去献给神,只要把这一只已经献上的红母牛的灰所调和的水洒在身上,就够了。换句话说,不需要主替我们再作第二次的工作了。在祂救赎的工作里,已经有预备,是为着我们将来一切的污秽,一切的罪。在祂的救赎里,都已经完全预备好了。
  灰是什么意思呢?在圣经里,灰是表明最末后的东西。牛也好,羊也好,焚烧以后的末了一个形状,就是灰。灰是最靠得住的,灰是不朽坏的。我们不能叫灰朽坏,不能叫灰消灭。
  红母牛烧成灰,就是预表主的赎罪里所包括的永远不更改的功效。主替我们作的赎罪的工作,是最靠得住的。我们不要以为山上的石头很靠得住,要知道石头也能够烧掉变作灰,灰比石头更靠得住。红母牛的灰就是预表主替我们预备了一个救赎,乃是永不更改、永不朽坏的。在任何的时候,我们都能够用它。基督徒如果不幸摸着了不洁净的东西,有了污秽,他不需要再去求主替他死,他只需要靠着那永远不坏的功效(灰),靠着取生命的活水,洒他的身体,他就洁净了。换句话说,红母牛的灰,就是表明十字架已往的工作是为着今天的用处;或者说,十字架的功用是包括将来一切的需要。这灰是专门为着对付将来的,只要一次有一只红母牛烧成灰,就够用一生一世。感谢神,主耶稣的救赎,是够我们用一辈子的。祂的死,担当了我们一切的罪(初信造就中册,七二至七三页)。
  参读:初信造就,第二十一篇;利未记生命读经,第四十二篇


晨兴喂养
  约壹一7  但我们若在光中行,如同神在光中,就彼此有交通,祂儿子耶稣的血也洗净我们一切的罪。
  约七38~39  信入我的人,就如经上所说,从他腹中要流出活水的江河来。耶稣这话是指着信入祂的人将要受的那灵说的……。
  按照民数记十九章,无论什么人摸着死,沾染了污秽,他就变作不洁的,必须把灰调在活水里,洒在他身上,他才能得洁净(11~1416~20)。活水预表圣灵。我们这些神的子民,何时沾染了污秽,就要让圣灵调着主耶稣救赎永远的功效应用在我们身上,好除去我们的污秽。这就如同约壹一7所说〔的〕。……这意思是,我们若发现自己有罪,就当取用主耶稣的血洗净我们的罪,好恢复我们和神之间的交通(民数记概论下册,六五页)。
信息选读
  民十九12说,“那人要在第三天和第七天用这水洁净自己,就必洁净了;他若在第三天和第七天不洁净自己,就仍不洁净。”这里第三天表征复活,第七天表征完成。我们若沾染了污秽,就必须在复活里让圣灵把主耶稣救赎的功效,应用在我们身上。我们沾染污秽是在旧造里,现在我们要得洁净就必须在复活里;若留在旧造里就不能得着洁净。除污秽的水要在第三天洒在不洁净的人身上,第七天他就能得洁净;这表征我们在复活里应用主耶稣救赎的功效,等到一个完全的时期,我们就得了洁净。
  按照十九章,无论是收灰的以色列人,还是洒除污秽水的人,都要变为不洁(1021)。这表征当一个弟兄沾染了污秽,我们去帮助他得洁净时,虽然我们是洁净的,但我们应该知道我们所对付的是罪污,这有可能叫我们也受到沾染;因此,在神面前该有所警戒和对付。
  十九节说,沾染污秽的人得洁净之后,还得洗衣服,用水洗澡;此外,洒除污秽水的人,也要洗衣服(21)。用水洗澡表征对付自己,洗衣服表征对付生活中一切的行为。我们每一次沾染污秽有了罪,就要在圣灵里,让圣灵把主受死的功效应用到我们身上,在神面前除去我们的污秽;我们也要重新对付自己和生活中的一切行为。不仅被洁净的人需要这么作,就是帮助人得洁净的,也要这样作。
  十四至十六节说〔到〕……人死在帐棚里,表征在神看来人在肉体里都是死的(参太八22路九60)。我们的肉身如同帐棚(林后五1),因此,凡属于我们这个人的,都是不洁净的。每一个天然的人都是“死在帐棚里”的人〔民十九14〕,他的肉身是个帐棚,而里面的那个人是死的;凡联于他、与他接触的,都是不洁的。
  十九章给我们看见,我们这些神的子民,需要一直让圣灵把基督救赎的功效,应用于我们,好叫我们得洁净。……凡在我们里面的,凡与我们有接触的,都是不洁的。我们里面的每一部分,也都是不洁的。我们要事奉神,就要一直学习让圣灵调着基督救赎的功效,洒在我们身上,叫我们得洁净(民数记概论下册,六五至六八页)。
  参读:民数记概论,第二十四篇


晨兴喂养
  罗三24 但因神的恩典,借着在基督耶稣里的救赎,就白白地得称义。
  弗一7 我们在这蒙爱者里面,借着祂的血,照着神恩典的丰富,得蒙救赎,就是过犯得以赦免。
  来九12 并且不是借着山羊和牛犊的血,乃是借着祂自己的血,一次永远地进入至圣所,便得到了永远的救赎。
  全世界各种的物质,到最末了就成为灰。我不是从化学方面来看,我是从人方面来看,物质的最末了一步就是灰。……一个东西变到底了,再也不能变下去了,就是灰。
  现在这一只母牛,一切都烧了。我们要特别注意的就是血。在这灰里面,有皮、有血、有肉,意思就是在这灰里面有基督的赎罪,和赎罪的永远功效。基督在神面前是一直有效力的,祂已经烧成灰了。祂流血的工作是永远有效力的。在这里,血已经成功作灰。赎罪的工作已经成功了;纯红的母牛,就是主耶稣救赎的工作,已经变成灰了(神的福音,五六八页)。
信息选读
  从民十九11起,告诉我们这灰的用法。……九节告诉我们什么是除污秽的水:“要有一个洁净的人收起母牛灰,放在营外洁净的地方,为以色列人会众留着,用以作除污秽的水;这是赎罪祭。”这里说的污秽是指摸了死尸的污秽。为什么摸死尸是污秽的呢?死是罪的凭据,没有罪就没有死,有死就证明有罪。死尸就是罪作了工,罪作工的结局就是叫人死。所以在旧约里,麻风预表可得医治的罪,死尸预表不能医治的罪。人死在罪恶过犯之中,人在肉体中死了,他就是死尸。主耶稣说这样的人乃是死人。祂说,让死人埋葬他们的死人(太八22)。你接触死人,你与世界来往,你与世界有交情,你活在世人中间,你就是摸着死尸。你摸着死尸,难免不受传染。你摸着死尸,你就污秽了。基督徒就是因为与世界接触的缘故,所以犯罪失败了。在这时候,这灰就有用处。
  这里说,把这灰(就是十字架的工作)和活水调在一起(民十九17),就成功作除污秽的水。活水是指着圣灵说的。以色列人在路上的时候,有一次击打磐石,就有活水流出来(出十七6)。林前十4说,这磐石就是基督,所以活水就是指自基督流出来的东西,就是圣灵。把这活水调作除污秽的水,意思就是有圣灵的能力,加在我们身上。没有圣灵的工作,主耶稣的工作就白作了。光有母牛犊的灰,而没有活水,就没有用处。有了主耶稣的工作,再需要圣灵来,二者相调,才能使我们得着洁净。不是主耶稣再来死一次,乃是应用主耶稣那一次工作的效力来洁净。纯红母牛的灰代表主耶稣十字架的工作,永远常存不变的效力;是那个效力洁净我们。因为主耶稣死了,祂死的效力存到永远;现在借着圣灵,把那效力应用在我们身上。我们每一次犯罪,不需要再牵一只牛到神面前来。二千年前主耶稣那一次工作的效力,一直继续到今天。凭着那灰,我们就能得着洁净(神的福音,五六九至五七一页)。
  参读:神的福音,第二十五篇
GENERAL SUBJECT: Crystallization-Study of Number (2)
<< WEEK 5 >>
The Water for Impurity
Scripture Reading: Num. 19
Ⅰ Numbers 19, a very special chapter in the Old Testament, is a record concerning the water for impurity.
Ⅱ The impurity in this chapter does not refer to sin but to death—vv. 11, 13-16:
A Death issues from sin, and sin is the root of death—Rom. 5:12:
1 Death is more defiling in the eyes of God than sin—Lev. 11:24-25; Num. 6:6-7, 9.
2 The most hateful thing in the eyes of God is death; death is an ugly, abominable thing, and we should detest it—vv. 6-7.
3 The death that we need to avoid is spiritual death—Rev. 3:1-2; Rom. 5:12, 14:
a Spiritual death is more prevailing on earth than physical death—v. 17.
b Spiritual death is everywhere; not only sinful, worldly places but even the most moral, ethical places are full of spiritual death.
B From the sin of rebellion in Numbers 11 through 14 and in chapter 16, death became prevailing among the children of Israel—v. 49:
1 After the rebellion of the children of Israel in Numbers 16 and as a result of God’s judgment, the entire population of Israel was under the effect of death—v. 49.
2 The filthiness of death had spread everywhere, and the people were in a situation of impurity.
3 In chapter 19 God told them to prepare the water for impurity with the ashes of a red heifer so that they might use the water to remove the filthiness of death with which they had been affected.
Ⅲ The red heifer, the principal component of the water for impurity, signifies the redeeming Christ—v. 9:
A The color red signifies the likeness of the flesh of sin, which is for the bearing of man’s sin outwardly—Rom. 8:3; John 1:29.
B The red heifer was without defect; this signifies that although Christ was in the likeness of the flesh of sin, He did not have the sinful nature—v. 14; Heb. 2:14; 4:15; Rom. 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:21.
C That the heifer was without blemish indicates that Christ was perfect—Num. 19:2; Exo. 12:5-6.
D The heifer having never been under a yoke signifies that Christ was never used by anyone, especially by or for God’s enemy, Satan—Num. 19:2; cf. Exo. 12:5.
E The red heifer was brought outside the camp and slaughtered; Christ was crucified outside the camp, on Calvary, a small mount outside the city of Jerusalem—Num. 19:3; Heb. 13:12-13; Matt. 27:33.
Ⅳ The slain red heifer was burned, and the priest took”cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet strands, and cast them into the midst of the burning of the heifer”—Num. 19:6:
A Cedar wood signifies the honorable and uplifted humanity of the Lord, which enables Him to be our Savior—v. 6; cf. 1 Kings 4:33:
1 In the Bible a cedar, a tall and strong tree, refers to a humanity that is filled with glory—S. S. 1:17.
2 Cedar, in typology, indicates the resurrected, ascended, glorified, and honored humanity of Jesus.
3 Cedar wood signifies Christ’s heavenly humanity, His glorified humanity, and His heavenly human life—8:9.
4 Just as the cedar tree far transcends over all other trees, Christ is the only glorified man among all men—5:15; Phil. 2:9-11.
5 As signified by cedar, Christ is a person who has ascended into heaven and whose excellency and uplifted and noble humanity transcend all others—S. S. 5:15.
B Hyssop, which is among the smallest of plants, signifies that the Lord was willing to be lowly, becoming in the likeness of men, so that He might be near to man and become man’s Savior—Num. 19:6; 1 Kings 4:33; Phil. 2:7.
C On the one hand, the Lord has the highest standard of humanity, as typified by cedar wood; on the other hand, He was willing to become lowly so that He might be available to us, as typified by hyssop.
D Scarlet, a dark red color, implies much in typology—Num. 19:6:
1 The color scarlet signifies the shedding of blood, referring to the redeeming work of the cross—Heb. 9:12, 14, 22; 1 Pet. 1:18-19.
2 In Leviticus 14:4 scarlet signifies that the Lord lowered Himself to become a man that He might do the will of God and shed His blood for our redemption.
3 Scarlet signifies the blood of Christ shed for our redemption in its highest significance—Num. 19:6.
E The high and dignified Christ and the lowly and humbled Christ in His redemption were elements for the composition of the water for impurity—v. 6.
Ⅴ The ashes of the heifer were gathered up and placed outside the camp in a clean place to be kept for the assembly of the children of Israel as water for impurity—v. 9:
A Ashes signify the result of Christ’s death:
1 In the Bible ashes signify something in its final form—Lev. 6:10.
2 To be reduced to ashes is to be reduced to nothing.
3 In Numbers 19:9 ashes signify Christ reduced to nothing—Mark 9:12.
B After the cedar, the hyssop, and the scarlet strands were burned with the heifer, the ashes were gathered up and kept in a clean place; this is what makes the red heifer unique.
C The eternal efficacy of Christ’s redemption can be seen in the type of the ashes of the red heifer that was slaughtered and burned—Num. 19:9; Heb. 9:12.
D These ashes were kept for the water for impurity; it was a purification of sin, or a sin offering—Num. 19:2, 4, 6, 9, 11-12:
1 If an Israelite touched something unclean and became unclean before God, a clean person could mix the water for impurity with the ashes and sprinkle it on the unclean person; this would remove the person’s uncleanness—vv. 11-12.
2 The ashes were used to remove uncleanness; they were prepared for the future and would be used when uncleanness was detected at a later time.
E One aspect of the work of the Lord Jesus is like that of the ashes of the red heifer—vv. 2, 9:
1 The ashes of the red heifer signify the eternal and unchanging efficacy of the Lord’s redemption—v. 9:
a The ashes of the red heifer signify the Lord’s redemption, which He has accomplished for us—Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1:7.
b His redemption is forever unchanging and incorruptible—Heb. 9:12.
2 Whenever an Israelite touched something unclean, he needed only to have the ashes of the red heifer mixed with the water for impurity and to have it sprinkled on his body—Num. 19:11-12.
3 The Lord’s redemption has accomplished everything; He made provision for all our future uncleanness and future sins:
a The ashes are specifically for the future.
b The ashes of the red heifer tell us that the past work of the cross is applicable for our use today.
c The red heifer has been burned once for all, and its ashes are enough to cover our entire life.
d We thank the Lord that His redemption is sufficient for our whole life.
Ⅵ Numbers 19:17 speaks of the burning of the red heifer and the running water that was added to the ashes in a vessel:
A The running (literally, living) water in Numbers 19:17 signifies the Holy Spirit in the resurrection of Christ—John 7:37-39.
B In the water for impurity, there is the efficacy of Christ’s redemption with the washing power of the Spirit of His resurrection.
Ⅶ Because death was prevailing among the children of Israel, there was the need for the water for impurity, and whenever we are defiled by death, we need Christ as the reality of the red heifer for the water for impurity—Num. 16:49; 19:2, 9:
A In Numbers 19 the water for impurity cleansed away and annulled the effect of death that came from the great rebellion in chapter 16.
B The water for impurity, to which the ashes were added, typifies the efficacy of Christ’s redemption, which continually cleanses us by the living water of life in order to restore our fellowship with God—1 John 1:7.
C Only the working of Christ’s redemption, through His dignified and humbled humanity, with His death and the Spirit of His resurrection, could heal and cleanse the situation from the uncleanness of death—Num. 19:6, 9, 17.
 


Morning Nourishment
  Num. 19:13 Whoever touches a dead person,…and does not purify himself, defiles the tabernacle of Jehovah…. Because the water for impurity was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean…

  Rom. 5:17 For if, by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

  The water for impurity was to be sprinkled upon the unclean persons: those who touched a dead body, or came into a tent or were already in a tent in which a man died, or touched one who had been slain with a sword, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave (Num. 19:11-14, 16-20). This is a picture of the situation of the children of Israel at that time. The uncleanness of death was everywhere.

  The impurity in [Numbers 19] does not refer to sin but to death. Death comes out of sin, and sin is the root of death (Rom. 5:12). From the sin of rebellion, death became prevailing among the children of Israel. Thus, there was the need for the water for impurity. Only the working of Christ’s redemption, through His dignified and humbled humanity, with His death and the Spirit of His resurrection, could heal and cleanse the situation. (Life-study of Numbers, p. 206)
Today’s Reading
  In [Numbers 19] a heifer is burned with other items, and the ashes are used to make a water for impurity. By reading the whole chapter we can understand that the impurity, the uncleanness, refers mainly to the filthiness of death. This water is a provision to get rid of the effect and impurity of death. Immediately after the rebellion in chapter 16, death was everywhere. In one day 14,700 people died, and their carcasses lay everywhere. In many of the tents in the camp, there were dead bodies. A man became contaminated by touching a dead body (19:11), by being present when a person died (v. 18), or by entering the tent where a dead body had been (v. 14). The entire population of two million Israelites was under the effect of death. They were all in a situation of impurity. Thus, there was the need for the water for impurity to annul the effect and impurity of death. (Life-study of Numbers, p. 203)

  Death is an ugly, abominable thing. Therefore, we need to abstain from death….The death from which we should abstain is not mainly physical death but spiritual death….Spiritual death is everywhere. Not only sinful, worldly places but even the most moral, ethical places are full of spiritual death. According to the typology in the Old Testament, sin is not as dirty as death. If one sinned, he could be forgiven and cleansed immediately by offering a trespass offering (Lev. 5:10). But if one touched death, he had to wait a few days to become clean. From this we can see that death is more defiling than sin. However, we in the church life may think that sin is serious but that touching death is common and not serious. But in the eyes of God to touch death is the most serious thing.

  The poison of death can damage and destroy the saints. In Romans 14 Paul says that we should not destroy the work of God by doing things carelessly (vv. 15, 20). Christ has redeemed and saved the saints, and we should not destroy them by acting carelessly. The Lord has done a lot of gracious, redemptive work on the saints in the Lord’s recovery, and for years we have been working to build up the saints. No one should destroy the gracious work of Christ on the saints. No one should destroy those on whom we have been working for their building up. Would not our hearts be hurt to see the saints destroyed by the poison of death? We need to be sober, fair, calm, and kind to consider whether we are really building up the Body of Christ or unconsciously doing something to destroy God’s work by spreading the poison of death. (Life-study of Leviticus, pp. 321-322, 198-199)

  Further Reading: Life-study of Numbers, msg. 28; Life-study of Leviticus, msg. 22
 


Morning Nourishment
  Num. 19:2 …Tell the children of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which is no blemish and upon which a yoke has never come.

  Rom. 8:3 …God, sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh.

  Hebrews 10 indicates that this red heifer [mentioned in Numbers 19:2] refers to the Lord Jesus. What are the Lord Jesus’ qualifications to become this sacrifice?…This sacrifice was to be without spot [defect] and without blemish and was never to have come under a yoke. Being without spot and blemish refers to His life. Never having come under a yoke refers to His work. In life He is without blemishes. In work He has never been under a yoke. In His life and person, the Lord Jesus is without spot and blemish. Not only is He without blemish, but also in His experience He is clean, that is, He has never been under a yoke. He is a clean man, and He has a clean experience. Many people are without blemish, but they have been yoked. But in His experience, the Lord Jesus was never yoked. He never touched the things of sin. He was never oppressed by sin or dominated by sin. He was never provoked to sin. He is completely free. Tonight we cannot say this for ourselves, for we are not free people. We have been oppressed by sin and have been dominated by sin. We have been provoked by sin and are not our own masters…. Only the Lord Jesus has never been put under the yoke of sin. (CWWN, vol. 29,”The Gospel of God (2),” pp. 480-481)
Today’s Reading
  Numbers 19:2 says that an Israelite needed to bring a red heifer”without defect,” in which was no blemish and upon which a yoke had never come. The heifer being without defect signifies being without blemish or sin….The heifer having never been under a yoke signifies having never been used by the world, Satan, or sin. Only the Lord Jesus has never been used by anyone, especially by God’s enemy, Satan. Unlike Him, we have been used by sin and have borne the yoke of sin from the time we were born. Before we were saved, we bore many kinds of yokes; we were used by the world, Satan, and sin. However, prior to being offered as a sacrifice to God, the Lord Jesus had never borne any yoke.

  The red heifer [mentioned in Numbers 19:2] signifies the Lord Jesus who came in the likeness of the flesh of sin in order to bear man’s sins. In verse 2 the color red represents sin (Isa. 1:18). Thus, the red heifer signifies the Lord being made sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21). However, the color red was only on the skin and hair, signifying that the Lord had only the likeness of the flesh of sin for bearing our sins and did not have the sinful nature.

  Since the Lord Jesus was a male, why is a heifer, not an ox, used here as a type of the Lord? In the Bible the male represents objective truth, whereas the female represents subjective experience. For example, males, such as Adam, Abraham, and Isaac, represent certain objective truths or testimonies; whereas females, such as Eve, Sarah, and Rebecca, represent the corresponding subjective experiences or practical applications. Hence, the Lord’s redemption, as signified by the heifer, is not a matter of objective doctrine but a matter of subjective experience.

  Numbers 19:3 says,”You shall give it to Eleazar the priest, and someone shall bring it outside the camp and slaughter it in his presence.” This heifer was not offered on the altar but brought outside the camp and slaughtered there, indicating that the heifer was not offered before God but was slaughtered in a position rejected by God’s people. When an Israelite became unclean, he needed to dwell alone outside the camp (cf. Lev. 13:46). The red heifer was slaughtered outside the camp where unclean people were, in order to deal with their uncleanness. This signifies that in order to deal with our uncleanness, the Lord Jesus came to the place where we were. He was rejected by men and was also crucified outside the city of Jerusalem. (CWWL, 1960, vol. 1,”Synopsis of Numbers,” pp. 292-293)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1960, vol. 1,”Synopsis of Numbers,” ch. 24; CWWN, vol. 29,”The Gospel of God (2),” ch. 25
 


Morning Nourishment
  Num. 19:6 And the priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet strands, and cast them into the midst of the burning of the heifer.

  Phil. 2:7 But emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming in the likeness of men.

  Justification by faith is objective; it has to do with truth and testimony. Obedience is subjective; it has to do with life and experience. Throughout the Bible the church is symbolized by females, because the church is subjective, being related to the Lord’s work in man. A heifer is used here in Numbers 19 instead of a bull because it represents another aspect of the Lord’s work—His work toward man. What happened to the heifer? It was slaughtered, and its blood was taken and sprinkled seven times directly in front of the Tent of Meeting. In other words, the blood was offered to God because the work of the blood is always for God. The heifer’s blood was sprinkled seven times in front of the Tent of Meeting, signifying that it was for God and for the redemption of sin. (CWWN vol. 49,”Messages for Building Up New Believers (2),” p. 325)
Today’s Reading
  The efficacy of the red heifer’s death was toward God and was able to make propitiation before God for man’s sins. Numbers 19:5 says,”The heifer shall be burned in his sight; its skin and its flesh and its blood, with its dung, shall be burned.” This is different from the burning of the burnt offering in Leviticus 1:9. The burnt offering was to produce a fragrance that was acceptable to God, whereas the burning of the heifer was for the bearing of sins and for dealing with sins completely. After the red heifer was burned, the color red was no longer seen, which signifies that sins have been fully dealt with.

  While the red heifer was being burned, cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet strands were cast into its midst [Num. 19:6]. Leviticus 14:4, which speaks of the cleansing of a leper, using two clean birds, also mentions cedar wood, scarlet strands, and hyssop. One of the birds was to be slaughtered in an earthen vessel over running water. The living bird, with the cedar wood, the scarlet strands, and the hyssop, was to be dipped in the blood of the first bird, which was then sprinkled on the leper seven times in order for him to be cleansed (vv. 5-7). In Leviticus cedar wood, scarlet strands, and hyssop were dipped in blood; in Numbers these things were burned in fire with the heifer.

  Cedar wood and hyssop have the same spiritual significance in Numbers as they do in Leviticus. Both cedar wood and hyssop signify the humanity that the Lord Jesus put on. Cedar wood signifies the dignified and solid aspect of the Lord’s humanity, whereas hyssop signifies the lowly and humble aspect of His humanity.

  Colossians 1:15 says that the Lord Jesus is the Firstborn of all creation. Man is the head of all the creatures on earth. The Lord Jesus is a creature because He became a man. He became flesh, a creature, and thus partook of and was joined to creation. Therefore, in Numbers 19 the cedar wood and hyssop signify not only the Lord’s dignified and humble humanity but also the entire creation to which the Lord Jesus has been joined (cf. 1 Kings 4:33).

  The scarlet strands in Numbers 19:6 are mainly a type of sins, making them different from the scarlet strands in Leviticus 14:6. In Leviticus the scarlet strands were not burned, but in Numbers they were completely burned. In Leviticus the scarlet strands signify how the Lord Jesus died for the redemption from sins and was glorified, but in Numbers 19 the scarlet strands signify only the Lord’s bearing our sins, not His glorification after His death on the cross. The cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet strands were cast into the midst of the burning of the heifer to be burned together, signifying that the sins of all creation were completely eliminated. When the Lord Jesus died, all creation and the sins committed by the creation were terminated together. (CWWL, 1960, vol. 1,”Synopsis of Numbers,” pp. 293-294)

  Further Reading: CWWN, vol. 49,”Messages for Building Up New Believers (2),” ch. 21
 


Morning Nourishment
  Num. 19:9 And a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and place them outside the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the assembly of the children of Israel as water for impurity; it is a sin offering.

  Mark 9:12 …It is written of the Son of Man that He should suffer many things and be counted as nothing.

  Heb. 9:12 …Through His own blood, entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, obtaining an eternal redemption.

  In Numbers 19:9 the ashes refer to the remains of the red heifer, signifying that the Lord’s redeeming death in resurrection is eternally efficacious. This eternal efficacy is what remains after the Lord’s death and resurrection; in other words, the eternal efficacy of the Lord’s redemption is in His resurrection (cf. Rom. 4:25).

  The ashes of the heifer being placed outside the camp in a clean place signifies that the efficacy of the Lord’s redemption remains in the place of sinners, whereas the redeeming blood being brought to the front of the Tent of Meeting signifies the efficacy of the Lord’s redemption before God. (CWWL, 1960, vol. 1,”Synopsis of Numbers,” p. 295)
Today’s Reading
  In the Old Testament, sinners needed to offer up sacrifices to the Lord. If a person had offered up a sacrifice and then touched something unclean, he would become unclean again before God and could no longer fellowship with Him. What did he have to do? Another person would take some ashes of the red heifer on this person’s behalf, put them in a vessel, pour in living water, mix it into the water for impurity, and sprinkle it on his body. The man’s uncleanness would then be removed and his sin forgiven. When an Israelite brought a bull or a lamb to the Lord and offered it up as a sin offering, he did it because of some known sin. But the red heifer was related to another matter….The burning of the red heifer was not for past sins but for future transgressions.

  One aspect of the Lord’s work is like that of the ashes of the red heifer. The efficacy of redemption is signified by the ashes. The sins of the whole world are in it, and the blood is also in it. Whenever a man becomes unclean or has touched some unclean things, he does not need to kill another red heifer and offer it to God. He only needs to take the ashes of the red heifer that was offered once and mix them with water and sprinkle them on the body. In other words, there is no need for the Lord to do anything a second time. His redemption accomplished everything. He made provision for all of our future uncleanness and future sins.

  What do the ashes signify? In the Bible, ashes signify something in its final form. Whether a bull or a lamb, its final form after being burned is ashes. Ashes are very stable; they do not corrupt into something else. We cannot corrupt or destroy ashes.

  The ashes of the red heifer signify the eternal and unchanging efficacy of the Lord’s redemption. The redemption which our Lord accomplished for us is most stable. Do not think that rocks on mountains are stable. Even rocks can be burned into ashes. Ashes are more stable than rocks. The ashes of the red heifer signify the Lord’s redemption which He has prepared for us. It is forever unchanging and incorruptible. We may apply it any time. If a Christian touches something unclean by accident and there is uncleanness in him, he does not have to ask the Lord to die for him again. He only needs to trust in the eternal and incorruptible efficacy of the ashes and to sprinkle his body with the water of life, and he will be clean. In other words, the ashes of the red heifer tell us that the past work of the cross is applicable for our use today. We also can say that the effectiveness of the cross covers all the needs we will ever have in the future. These ashes are specifically for the future. Only one red heifer needs to be burned, and it only needs to be burned once. Its ashes are enough to cover one’s whole life. Thank the Lord that His redemption is sufficient for our whole life. His death has taken away all our sins. (CWWN, vol. 49,”Messages for Building Up New Believers (2),” pp. 326-328)

  Further Reading: CWWN, vol. 49,”Messages for Building Up New Believers (2),” ch. 21; Life-study of Leviticus, msg. 42
 


Morning Nourishment
  1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin.

  John 7:38-39 He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. But this He said concerning the Spirit…

  According to Numbers 19, whoever touched death or was defiled and thus became unclean needed to be sprinkled by the ashes mixed with running water in order to be clean (vv. 11-14, 16-20). The running water typifies the Holy Spirit. Whenever we, the people of God, are defiled, we need to allow the Holy Spirit, who is compounded with the eternal efficacy of the Lord’s redemption, to be applied to us in order to remove our uncleanness. This corresponds to 1 John 1:7….This means that if we realize that we have sinned, we should take the blood of the Lord Jesus in order to wash away our sins for the purpose of restoring the fellowship between God and us. (CWWL, 1960, vol. 1,”Synopsis of Numbers,” p. 295)
Today’s Reading
  Numbers 19:12 says,”He shall purify himself with it on the third day and on the seventh day, and then he shall be clean; but if he does not purify himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he shall not be clean.” Here the third day signifies resurrection, and the seventh day signifies completion. If we are defiled, we need to be in resurrection in order to allow the Holy Spirit to apply the efficacy of the Lord’s redemption to us. Defilement is related to the old creation. Hence, in order for us to be purified, we must be in resurrection; if we remain in the old creation, we cannot be purified. On the third day the water for impurity was sprinkled, and on the seventh day the unclean person became clean. This signifies that after we apply the efficacy of the Lord’s redemption in resurrection, we will become clean according to the time of completion.

  According to Numbers 19, both the Israelite who gathered the ashes and he who sprinkled the water for impurity became unclean (vv. 10, 21). This signifies that when we help a defiled brother to be purified, although we may be clean, we should realize that we are dealing with sin. Since it is possible for us to be defiled, we should be warned and deal with this matter before God.

  Numbers 19:19 says that when the defiled person was purified, he needed to wash his clothes and bathe himself in water. Moreover, the person who sprinkled the water for impurity also had to wash his clothes (v. 21). Bathing in water signifies dealing with oneself, and washing one’s clothes signifies dealing with the entirety of one’s conduct. Whenever we are defiled and commit a sin, we should be in the Holy Spirit and allow the Spirit to apply the efficacy of the Lord’s death to us in order to remove our defilement before God. We should also have a fresh dealing with ourselves and with the entirety of our conduct. This must be done not only by the person who needs to be purified but also by those who help him to be purified.

  [In verses 14 through 16] a man dying in a tent signifies that in God’s eyes all men are dead in the flesh (cf. Matt. 8:22; Luke 9:60). Our physical body is like a tabernacle (2 Cor. 5:1), and everything that belongs to us is unclean. Every natural man is a man who”dies in a tent” [Num. 19:14]; his physical body is a tent, and the one who is in the tent is dead. Thus, everything that is joined to a natural man and is in contact with him is unclean.

  Chapter 19 reveals that we, the people of God, should continually allow the Holy Spirit to apply the efficacy of Christ’s redemption to us so that we may be purified… Whatever is in us and whatever comes in contact with us is unclean. Every part of our inner being is also unclean. In order for us to serve God, we should continually learn to allow the Holy Spirit, who has been compounded with the efficacy of Christ’s redemption, to be sprinkled on us so that we may be purified. (CWWL, 1960, vol. 1,”Synopsis of Numbers,” pp. 295-297)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1960, vol. 1,”Synopsis of Numbers,” ch. 24
 


Morning Nourishment
  Rom. 3:24 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

  Eph. 1:7 In [the Beloved] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of offenses, according to the riches of His grace.

  Heb. 9:12 And not through the blood of goats and calves but through His own blood, entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, obtaining an eternal redemption.

  Ashes are the final state of everything in the world. I am not referring to the facts of chemistry, but to our everyday experience…. When something has reached its very end, and cannot be changed to something else anymore, it is ashes.

  Everything of the heifer is burned. Note particularly the blood. In these ashes are the skin, the flesh, and the blood. This means that in these ashes are the redemption of Christ and the eternal efficacy of His redemption. Christ is eternally efficacious before God. He has become the ashes. The shedding of His blood is eternally efficacious. Even the blood has become ashes. The work of redemption is finished. The red heifer portrays the Lord’s redemptive work, and this work has now become ashes. (CWWN, vol. 29,”The Gospel of God (2),” p. 483)
Today’s Reading
  From Numbers 19:11 on we are told about the function of the ashes….Verse 9 tells us about this water for impurity.”And a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and place them outside the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the assembly of the children of Israel as water for impurity; it is a sin offering.” The impurity spoken of refers to the impurity of touching a dead body. Why is touching a dead body considered an impurity? It is because death is the evidence of sin. Without sin there would be no death. Therefore, where there is death, there is also sin. A dead body means that sin has done its work. The result of the work of sin is death. For this reason, the Old Testament uses leprosy as a symbol of curable sin and a dead body as a symbol of incurable sin. When a man is dead in sin and trespasses and therefore dead in his flesh, he is a dead body. The Lord Jesus talked about these dead ones. He said to let the dead bury the dead (Matt. 8:22). If you touch these dead ones, if you have intercourse with the world, if you build up a friendship with it, and if you have your living among it, you are touching dead bodies. If you touch dead bodies, you will surely be infected and defiled with impurities. When Christians sin and fail through touching the world, the ashes are needed.

  The ashes are the work of the cross. They are put into the living water (Num. 19:17) and become the water for impurity. The living water typifies the Holy Spirit. Once while the children of Israel journeyed, they struck the rock and out came living water (Exo. 17:6). First Corinthians 10:4 says that the rock was Christ. Hence, the living water refers to what flows forth from Christ, which is the Holy Spirit. Taking the living water and making it the water for impurity means that there is the need for the power of the Holy Spirit to be upon us. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, the work of the Lord will be in vain. If there are only the ashes of the red heifer without the living water, they will not be of much use. With the work of the Lord Jesus, there is still the need of the Holy Spirit. Only by the mixing together of the two will we be purified and cleansed. The Lord Jesus does not have to die again. We merely apply the efficacy of the one-time work of the Lord for our cleansing. The ashes of the red heifer represent the eternal and immutable efficacy of the Lord’s work on the cross. It is this efficacy that is cleansing us. Because the Lord Jesus has died, the efficacy of His ashes becomes eternal, and by the Holy Spirit He is now applying this efficacy to us.

  Every time we sin, we do not have to bring a bull to God again. The efficacy of the Lord’s work two thousand years ago continues until today. By those ashes we are cleansed. (CWWN, vol. 29,”The Gospel of God (2),” pp. 484-485)

  Further Reading: CWWN, vol. 29,”The Gospel of God (2),” ch. 25

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