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A. Numbers is a book which records the history of the wandering of the Israelites following the giving of the law on Sinai.
B. The book covers a little more than 39 years, but most of it deals with the end of that time
C. Numbers contains a great deal of religious instruction
i. God wanted his people to be prepared to serve him once they took possession of the promised land.
ii. Instruction was very specific, detailed, so that the people could do exactly what God wanted from them.
iii. To follow all these laws required total dedication and devotion to God.
D. The priests were the descendants of Levi, and they were the religious leaders of the people
i. They were responsible for the worship of the people.
ii. Only the priests could offer the sacrifices, do the service of the temple
E. God charged the priests with many duties, and he charged the people with following what the priests did, said, taught
I. The Trumpets (Num. 10.1 ff)
A. God was speaking to the people through his servant Moses, and he instructed Moses to make two sliver trumpets
i. Not like the ram horns
ii. They were essentially signal trumpets
iii. Signal for the camps to move out, used also in war
iv. Used to call the entire congregation of Israel together at the tabernacle of meeting
B. Circumstances didn’t matter. When the trumpets blew, the people were to gather. ALL THE PEOPLE, not just those who weren’t busy or who wanted to come.
C. Same principle used as illustration by two prophets
i. Jeremiah 4.5
ii. Joel 2.1, 15
iii. Symbol clearly understood as calling ALL of Israel back to God
II. Present-Day Application
A. At the death of Christ, the old priestly system ceased, as Christ assumed the role of high priest, and every disciple became, in effect, a priest.
B. Thus each became responsible for his/her own worship
C. God ushered in a new order of spiritual leadership
i. Not the preacher, such is unscriptural
ii. Rather, ELDERS, bishops, presbyters, shepherds.
iii. Acts 20.28 – overseers
iv. Acts 15.2, 4, 6; Phil. 1.1 – essential to the organization of the early church
v. 1 Timothy 3.1-7, Titus 1.5-9 – qualifications
vi. I Peter 5.2 – what they ought to be
vii. Guy N. Woods, Q&A, responding to 1 Peter 5.2, “The words of the text, ‘exercising oversight’ are translated from the Greek participle episkopountes, derived from episkopos […] the word means to exercise superintendence, oversight, supervision, , and in doing this, elders or bishops are empowered by the Holy Spirit to direct the affairs of the congregations wherein such oversight is exercised.”
viii. Just as it is the responsibility of the elders to lead, it is the responsibility of the members to follow.
D. While we no longer follow the old way, the application of the Numbers passage is clear.
i. When the elders set the times for the church to meet, they are essentially sounding the trumpets.
ii. Thus, when the trumpets are blown, the congregation is to assemble. Not just a few, but ALL
iii. In OT, when the trumpet sounded, it might not have been a convenient time, people might have been busy, had company, etc. but they were to assemble. Principle is the same today!!!
A. More time spent in worship (John 4.23 b)
B. More time to enjoy fellowship (Acts 2.42)
C. Good opportunity to let light shine (Matthew
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