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103: Prophets and Nazarites

The spirit Husband and Head of Israel was the God Being who later gave up his Godhood to be made flesh as Jesus Christ.  He ruled Israel through a Judge personally called by Him, and later by a hereditary King. 

The Judge or King ruled the whole nation through hereditary tribal elders in each tribe, and a body of officials over thousands and hundreds etc, over the people. 

Separate from the Judge or King was a hereditary Priesthood with its Levitical assistants. 

These rulers and administrations including the Levites and Priests often went astray, which brought a need for warnings from God.  The question is, if the established political and religious leadership had gone astray; who was left to warn both the political and religious leaders and the people to return to God?   

This brings the office of prophet into view. 

God personally called various people to be his prophets.  The office of prophet was not hereditary nor was it limited in any way.  Both males and females could be prophets [as well as Judges]. 

God called and sent the prophets who were God’s personal emissaries sent by him to correct the rulers, the priesthood and the people, when they had gone astray; and to prophesy of events to come.  The prophets could be or might not be priests, for God called whomever God wanted, and sent them to correct the rulers and the priests and people, and turn them to God.

To prophesy is to communicate information by the direct inspiration of God, to utter forth, and declare a thing which can only be known by divine revelation;  to teach godliness, to reprove evil, to communicate messages from God to individuals and nations, to comfort the godly, to warn of correction for sin, to call men to sincere repentance; and at times to foretell what God plans to do in the future.

A true prophet is a person who passes on information not generally known or understood by men, as an agent of God. 

He or she may make predictions or reveal things which cannot be known by other means, but their primary mission was to correct the established ministry and or government when they went astray.  

Through the inspiration of God, the prophets were inspired by God to reveal the plan of God for the salvation of humanity and much was prophesied about the coming of Christ.   The prophets from Moses to Malachi wrote the scriptures for that period, which were then canonized by Ezra and confirmed through their use by Christ.

Biblically prophets were almost always sent to the religious and civil leaders to  correct and rebuke them when they had gone astray, and intermixed with their corrective warnings were promises of deliverance upon repentance through the gospel of salvation and a coming Messiah.

The example of Nathan the prophet who corrected and rebuked David is a classic example of the responsibilities of a prophet.

Generally God called out a prophet to correct the established religious hierarchy when the religious leaders of the day [the priesthood, or in modern times the Church of God groups] were so corrupted that He could no longer work with them as is the case in the called out Ekklesia today.

Prophets would also work with and support and encourage the faithful religious leaders, as they did with Paul and the New Testament apostles.

Today a prophet may reveal the meanings of scriptures not currently understood, or reveal further understanding of the scriptures which would be consistent with the scriptures, and he or she may  be sent to  instruct, comfort, encourage, rebuke, convict, and stimulate the religious [including today’s apostate Ekklesia] and civil authorities, and they may be used by God to deliver divine messages to individuals and organizations. 

In short the prophets are God’s personal messengers and representatives, to instruct, admonish, warn, correct and comfort the repentant, while revealing the way of salvation. The prophets are the means God uses to communicate with men through the direct inspiration of God.  

There will be much more about prophets in the New Testament age in the Apostles and Prophets article.  Deuteronomy 13 and Matthew 7 tell us how to discern between false and true prophets. 

A prophet who declares things in “the name of the Lord” which do not come to pass, or a person who teaches any thing contrary to the Word of God or refuses to stop teaching such error, or a person who does not practice what he teaches and willfully sins:  IS a false prophet.   

NOTE:  A person who says such and such might happen and is not proclaiming a prediction “in the name of the Lord” is speculating and trying to understand and is not a false prophet if he lives by every Word of God. 

Those teachers who consistently teach all people to wholeheartedly live by every Word of God and do so themselves, are true men of God.

Please continue the Prophets study at this link:  The Gifts of the Spirit; Prophecy

 

Nazarites

EVERYTHING in the scriptures was written for the instruction of those called into the New Covenant. 

2 Timothy 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

1 Corinthians 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Romans 15:4    For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 

Brethren, the whole of scripture was written for us today and all mankind.  The whole of scripture was for our instruction or for our example, not just the New Testament.  That includes the example of the Nazarite vow!   

God set apart the tribe of Levi as his own, yet God also made a way for any male from any tribe to VOLUNTEER to dedicate himself to serve God as well!

The Nazarite voluntarily set himself apart to serve God! 

 

The Nazarite Vow

The Mosaic Covenant was a Marriage covenant between God and the nation of Israel.

That covenant contained a priesthood to fulfill ecclesiastical duties on behalf of the Husband for the wife; God and physical Israel.  The priesthood together with the Levites were of only one tribe by God’s direction, which means that everyone else was left out of any deep personal relationship with God.

God made provision for individuals from all tribes in Israel to dedicate themselves to serve God.  This had nothing to do with a tribe or with the priesthood.  If it was the desire of an individual from any tribe to dedicate himself  to serve God for a period of time God accepts that and has made provisions for individuals to do that. 

The word “Nazarite” comes from the Hebrew word nazir meaning “consecrated” or “separated”.   The Nazarite voluntarily set himself apart, or consecrated himself; to serve God for a specific period of time. 

Numbers 6:1  And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 6:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord:

6:3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. 6:4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.

6:5 All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head: until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow. 6:6 All the days that he separateth himself unto the Lord he shall come at no dead body. 6:7 He shall not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother, or for his sister, when they die: because the consecration of his God is upon his head.

6:8 All the days of his separation he is holy unto the Lord.

6:9 And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it.  6:10 And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles [turtle doves], or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:

NO specific time period was given for a Nazarite vow, and vows were usually made for thirty days or a period of a certain number of weeks or months.  The Nazarite vow was a voluntary act of individuals, but in two cases God called men to be Nazarites from the womb, they being Samson and John Baptist. 

Immediately we see from the command that this Nazarite vow was a vow of separation from worldliness and a vow to set oneself apart to God. 

The Nazarite vow is an instructional example and allegory of the spiritually called out, and their voluntary response and baptismal vow to serve, obey and be separated from all sin; to be set apart to holiness and to the service of our Lord!

The first requirement of the vow is to avoid all wine, grapes, raisins and alcohol.  The picture here is to separate from all alcohol and even accidental exposure from alcohol beginning in raisins. 

The wine or alcohol is representative of death as the wages of sin, as in the wine drink offering and the Passover wine represent the death of the Lamb of God to pay FOR our sin.  Abstaining from wine in the Nazarite vow meant that they were set apart to God and separated from sin. 

The intoxication brought by wine and alcohol are representative of the intoxication of personal pride, vanity or self righteousness; from which the Nazarite and the spiritually called out are to be separated unto godly humility. 

The second requirement is that the hair of the head may not be cut.  This is symbolic of a state of wife-like submission to God in all things.  As the wife is commanded to help and obey her husband, humbly submitting to him; the Nazarite hair is a symbol of total submission, humilitay and dedication to God during the period of the vow. 

The third requirement is: You shall touch no dead body.  This again represents a separation to God from sin and the wages of sin;  which is death.  Not even exposure to death was permitted to the Nazarite to teach us that the faithful will not be touched by the  second death.  

The Nazarite vow is a type and symbol of the spiritual New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31 and Ezekiel 36; and is a symbolic representation, that we who have been called to the spiritual New Covenant and have voluntarily responded with sincere repentance and a type of Nazarite commitment to “Go and sin no more;” and to avoid all sin; and we the spiritually called out are to be be separated to God to serve him alone, in dedicated zeal!  

If the Nazarite should become defiled accidently then he must atone for his defilement; just as we must sincerely repent if we should sin even accidently. 

The Nazarite must shave his head after his sin against his vow, to indicate that his special separation from sin and submission to God had ended with the defilement. 

Even as every sin of the spiritually called out separates us from God and must be sincerely repented of and atoned for, so that we can renew our relationship with God.

Numbers 6:9   And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it.

Notice here that this hair is not burned on the altar because it is not acceptable to God through defilement. 

The Eighth Day, as in circumcision on the eighth day and the Eighth Day Feast; always represents a New Beginning.  For the Nazarite who becomes unclean he must repent and remain separated from his vow to God for seven days and then he may renew his vow on the eighth day by bringing two doves – the symbol of peace and reconciliation – to the tabernacle/temple.

6:10 And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles [Turtle Doves], or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:

One was a sin offering to atone for his sin, and the other was a burnt offering to show that his dedicated zeal to serve God with all his being is renewed. 

Brethren, the Nazarite was a type of the spiritually called out and we HAVE SINNED becoming unclean through turning aside from our dedicated zeal for God’s Word, into the sin of idolatry, following men into sin. 

We NEED to sincerely repent and regain our dedicated zeal to be set apart from all uncleanness of sin; to be set apart to the holiness of keeping the whole Word of God with Christ-like zeal!

6:11 And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day.

The Nazarite was to consecrate himself to renew his vow and start again to keep the days of his vow.  

We of the spiritually called out must sincerely repent and re-consecrate ourselves to separation from all uncleanness and sin;, and to be set apart to holiness and to our Mighty God! 

Only our baptismal vow, is forever and not simply for a set limited time!   

6:12 And he shall consecrate unto the Lord the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled.

Even so if the spiritually called out defile our separation unto holiness with any sin; we become separated from God; and all the law keeping and goodness that went before is nullified and forgotten by God.  Think about that when you are tempted to knowingly sin. 

Those who say that a little willful sin is ok, Jesus understands how hard it can be and he will close his eyes to it:  Are LIARS and THIEVES;  Out to destroy you from your sanctification to God to gain followers after themselves! 

Isaiah 59:1   Behold, the Lord‘s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:  59:2  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Ezekiel 3:20   Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Now God speaks of the end of the vow of a physical Nazarite, which vow could be for only a certain number of days or months; while the spiritual New Covenant baptismal vow is forever, in this world and the next. 

When the physical Nazarite’s vow ended, he was brought to the door, the entrance, of the tabernacle; where he was to offer a burnt offering symbolizing his wholehearted service to God; a sin offering showing that all his sins were covered by the sacrifice of Lamb of God; and a peace offering showing that God accepted him. 

These three sacrifices represent: His sins being covered and his wholehearted service and obedience to the whole Word of God, which is what we committed to at baptism;  and that if we complete our baptismal vow to “Go and sin no more, our sins will be removed by the atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God; and we shall be accepted by God the Father into an eternal relationship with HIM!  

Numbers 6:13 And this is the law of the Nazarite, when the days of his separation are fulfilled: he shall be brought unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: 6:14  And he shall offer his offering unto the Lord, one he lamb of the first year without blemish for a burnt offering, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish for a sin offering, and one ram without blemish for peace offerings,

Other unleavened bread shall also be brought besides the meat [unleavened bread] offering connected to the sacrifices. Unleavened bread pictures purity from all sin and uncleanness, and the oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit; given only to those who keep their vows [including our baptismal vow] to obey the whole Word of God in dedicated zeal. 

The pouring out of the wine with the sacrifices pictures the pouring out of the blood of the Lamb of God,  applied to the sincerely repentant and wholeheartedly passionately obedient who are set apart from all sin to the service of Almighty God by their Nazarite or baptismal vow.

6:15 And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of fine [unleavened] flour mingled with oil, and wafers of unleavened bread anointed with oil, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings.

The priest presenting the sacrifices to God in the tabernacle, represents our spiritual High Priest presenting us and mediating for us to God the Father on behalf of the faithful overcoming called out, of the spiritual New Covenant.

6:16 And the priest shall bring them before the Lord, and shall offer his sin offering, and his burnt offering: 6:17 And he shall offer the ram for a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the Lord, with the basket of unleavened bread: the priest shall offer also his meat offering, and his drink offering.

The hair shall be shaved and placed in the fire.  The hair represented the Nazarite’s faithful humble wholehearted submission to God and was a holy thing to God if the vow is fulfilled; therefore at the end of the fully fulfilled physical vow it was shaved off so it could be placed in the holy fire of the altar and the smoke of the burning hair could ascend up to God the Father; being symbolic of the submissive faithful service of the Nazarite coming before God for his acceptance.

6:18 And the Nazarite shall shave the head of his separation at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall take the hair of the head of his separation, and put it in the fire which is under the sacrifice of the peace offerings. 6:19 And the priest shall take the sodden shoulder of the ram, and one unleavened cake out of the basket, and one unleavened wafer, and shall put them upon the hands of the Nazarite, after the hair of his separation is shaven:

The priest waving these things before God; represents how our spiritual High Priest Jesus Christ intercedes for us  before God the Father in heaven.  

6:20 And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine. 6:21  This is the law of the Nazarite who hath vowed, and of his offering unto the Lord for his separation, beside that that his hand shall get: according to the vow which he vowed, so he must do after the law of his separation.

God now tells Moses how to bless the faithful in Israel. 

This is the blessing that will come upon all Israel when all are called into the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31 at the coming of Messiah.  It is also the blessing with which the faithful of spiritual Israel are to be blessed.

6:22 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 6:23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,

6:24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: 6:25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 6:26  The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.  6:27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.

May all the faithful overcomers who are filled with dedicated service and zealous obedience to the whole Word of God, be so blessed by peace with God! 

May they always be in full UNITY with God and at peace with Almighty God; that God’s name would be upon them and that they would be the true people of God our Beloved Father! 

The Nazarite vow is an instructional example and allegory of the spiritually called out, and their voluntary response and baptismal vow to serve, obey and and live by every Word of God, to be separated from all sin and to be set apart to holiness and to the service of our LORD!

The Nazarite vow was an allegory of the baptismal vow of the New Covenant.  Taking such a vow is entirely appropriate for those in the New Covenant, however there is no temple at which to offer the appointed sacrifices.   I fully expect that when the millennial temple is built and in operation, the Nazarite vow’s will once again be made. 

Do not make a Nazarite vow today; as there is no temple to offer the appointed sacrifices. 

  • Nevertheless remember that the Nazarite vow is an example of our baptismal commitment:  to avoid the intoxicating wine of pride, vanity and self righteousness
  • The Nazarite let his hair grow as a sign of submissive humility, just as we are to be humble and submissive before God, like a loving wife before her beloved husband, 
  • The Nazarite was to avoid all sin, uncleanness and death, as an example for us that we must also avoid all sin and uncleanness, in order to avoid eternal death and receive the gift of eternal life.  As the Nazarite was to remain untainted by death, the faithful called out will never be tainted by the second death. 

 

Brethren, the spiritually called out to the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31, who voluntarily accept that calling and make a baptismal commitment; are to be separated from sin through the power of the Holy Spirit of God.

They are called out to be set apart from sin and death; they are called out to be set apart unto holiness and godliness through sincere repentance, a baptismal commitment to “Go and sin no more,” and the removal of sin by the application of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, and the empowerment of Christ living in them by the agency of the Holy Spirit.

As the Nazarite was dedicated to God; the spiritually called out are to be wholeheartedly dedicated to serve God!

As the Nazarite was separated from sin and exposure to death; the spiritually called out are to be separated from all sin, and in the resurrection will receive the gift of eternal LIFE!

As the Nazarite was set apart unto holiness and purity from even an association with sin and death, the called out are set apart unto holiness and purity from even the appearance of sin!

1 Thessalonians 5:21   Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

 

Samson the Bad Example

Samson was called to be a Judge [ruler over the nation] by God to deliver Israel from the sin that brought the Philistine troubles to Israel Judges 13:1.  Samson was called by God to be a godly ruler like Moses or Joshua, and lead the nation back to godliness, Samson was also called like Saul to be an example for us that even God’s called out and God’s consecrated  religious leaders can go astray.

Samson was troubled by weaknesses for strange women; as the called out today are troubled by the same weakness in the spiritual context of desiring strange doctrine and strange idols of men; and in following the doctrines of Jezebel instead of remaining separated form sin and set apart in zeal for the Husband of our baptismal commitment.  

 

John Baptist the Good Example

John Baptist was required to be a Nazarite from the womb and remained faithful to the end, just as all those called out to God who voluntarily respond to that call with a baptismal vow of commitment to set themselves apart to live by every Word of God must remail aithful forever!

We will now go on to lessons on the Priesthood, the Prophets,  the Civil Administrative system and the Temple, the Sacrifices. After these lessons we will study the Ezra restoration and explain the first century situation including the Sadducee’s, Scribes and Pharisees.

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