MOSES SERIES NUMBER 9

THE BRAZEN SERPENT

BIBLE READING: NUMBERS 21:1-9

TEXT: JOHN 3:14-15

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must
the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not
perish, but have eternal life." 
 

INTRODUCTION

[a] I remember when I was a little boy, my South African Grandmother
speaking about when she was small living in South Africa, that there
were many varieties of snakes, a number of which were poisonous.
[b] Often there could be great danger for a child playing in the grass,
as danger could creep up unawares with disastrous consequences!
[c] How like that old serpent the devil - and the insidious way he
slithers into our lives, with the POISONOUS, VENOMOUS LETHAL bite of SIN!
[d] There are many who insist that they are in control of the venomous
snake of an evil habit - until suddenly - without warning - it destroys
them!
[e] Some years ago in France, there lived a celebrated snake charmer
called Pamela. The snakes with which she worked were very venomous! 
Yet she saw no danger, because she had come to know them in such an
intimate way. In fact so close was she to them, that she took them to
bed with her every night, and there they slept by her side.
But one night, they turned on her, and when she was found, her lifeless 
body was blue and swollen with many snake bites!
[f] WITH SIN AS WITH PAMELA’S SNAKES - FAMILIARITY BREEDS CONTEMPT!
 
POINT 1 
[a] In our Bible Reading, we find the Children of Israel are critically
affected by ‘fiery serpents’ that had come amongst them.
[b] The description fiery probably is speaking of the effect when
someone was bitten, and the effect of the poison which entered their
bloodstream.
The venom probably gave the person a very high temperature, which would
end in their death.
[d] God told Moses to make a ‘FIERY SERPENT’ and set it upon a very
high pole, high enough for it to be seen by all who would look!

(1) It was made from brass or bronze, and was a replica of the serpents which plagued them!

(2) It was a symbol of the poison which affected them!

[e] In Genesis 3, we read how that when Satan came to Adam and Eve in
the Garden of Eden, to tempt them, he came in the form of a serpent!
Thus the poison of sin infected all mankind!
[f] Remember the text:
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must
the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not
perish, but have eternal life." 
[g] Christ too, became the symbol of the poison affecting us!
The Bible says, "HE BECAME SIN FOR US!" 
[h] For the Israelites, HEALING came through LOOKING at the ‘brazen
serpent’ in faith - literally LOOK AND LIVE!
 

POINT 2

[a] If they refused to look - THEY PERISHED!
[b] I often feel we have become much too respectable about this part of
the message today - we’ve become too civilised, too cultured, too
educated - to believe in THE FIRES OF HELL - A PLACE OF TORMENT FOR THOSE 
OUTSIDE OF CHRIST!!
[c] Jesus spoke about hell much more than He did about Heaven - He
WARNED and HE PLEADED!!
CAN WE DO ANY LESS ?? DARE WE DO ANY LESS ??
[d] Dear friend, if you are here tonight, and you do not have Jesus as
your Saviour, and you go out of this hall tonight unsaved, and walk
onto that road, and are run over and killed by a car - LET ME TELL YOU
ON THE AUTHORITY OF GOD’S WORD - YOU WILL BE IN A CHRISTLESS HELL, 
WHERE THERE IS WEEPING AND WAILING AND GNASHING OF TEETH - 
A PLACE WHERE JESUS SAYS THERE IS ACTUAL TORMENT! 
[e] I’m sorry if it offends your sense of decency and fair play, but it
happens to be the teaching of the Bible, and is therefore what we
believe and preach, and our Salvation Army Doctrines declare!
[f] "Oh" I hear someone say, "I thought God was a God of Love - how can
He damn someone in Hell for all eternity??"
(g) Firstly, God loves you so much, that He sent Jesus to die in your
place on the cross of Calvary to bear your sin in His Own body!

(2) Secondly, it is NOT GOD who will damn you in Hell, BUT YOUR OWN SIN!

(3) God, through His wonderful love, has provided a way of escape!

But if you refuse to repent of your sin, and will not accept Jesus as your
personal Saviour, then God cannot help you!
[h] He is the BRAZEN SERPENT which was lifted up at Calvary for you!

YOU MUST LOOK TO CHRIST IN THE SAME WAY THAT THE ISRAELITES HAD TO LOOK TO THE BRAZEN SERPENT!

IN Isaiah 45:22, the Lord says, "Look unto Me and be ye saved."

LOOK TO CHRIST, AND FIND DELIVERANCE FROM THE VENOM OF SIN INJECTED INTO US

BY THAT OLD SERPENT THE DEVIL!

 

POINT 3

[a] It goes without saying, that when you truly look to Christ, and
experience His Salvation, then you become very aware, that Jesus is no
longer on the Cross or in the Tomb - BUT HE IS RISEN!
[b] I do not need to tell you, that there are people today, who worship
the cross, rather than the Living Christ of the Cross!

(1) Unfortunately, to many who profess to worship Him today,

He is no more than a historical crucifix, or a cross they wear around their neck -

a historical event to be worshipped! GOD HELP THEM!

(2) NEVER ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE DRAWN INTO THE DEVIL’S

WEB OF DECEIT, IN ACKNOWLEDGING ANY AS FELLOW CHRISTIANS,

WHEN THEY DO NOT HAVE JESUS AS THEIR PERSONAL SAVIOUR!

 

[c] Do you know, that 700 years after the event, THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL WERE STILL BURNING INCENSE

TO THE BRAZEN SERPENT!!

IT WAS AS THOUGH IT WAS THE SERPENT THAT HAD DELIVERED THEM - AND NOT THE LORD!

[d] In 2 Kings 18:4, we read how the new Godly king, realised they were
breaking the second commandment by worshipping this graven image - and
he literally took the brass serpent and smashed it to pieces!
[e] He realised, that whilst they were worshipping the brazen serpent,
they were failing to worship the God Who had worked through it!
 

CONCLUSION

[a] Today, we still find those who worship the thing, or perhaps even the
person, through which the Lord does His work!
[b] Dare I say that some of the trappings of our Christian service can
end up taking pre-eminence over the Lord, for Whom it is all supposedly
for!
[c] Even dare I say it in our Army there is the danger of someone
glorifying the BAND or the SONGSTERS, or the FLAG or the MERCY SEAT!
These are ONLY THINGS THE LORD WORKS THROUGH! THEY MUST NOT BE LOOKED 
UPON AS HAVING ANY GLORY IN THEMSELVES!
WE MUST GIVE TO JESUS ALL THE GLORY! 
[d] Are you here tonight, and as yet you have not looked to the Christ
of Calvary!
[e] The venom of sin still rages in your veins, and if you do not look
to the One Who was lifted up, "as Moses lifted up the serpent in the
wilderness", then like those people in the wilderness you will perish
only in your case, it will be for all eternity!
[f] The Bible says, "For the WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH, but the GIFT OF GOD 
IS ETERNAL LIFE, through Jesus Christ our Lord!" 
[g] Our text from John 3:14-15 said,
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must
the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not
perish, but have eternal life." 
[h] WILL YOU BE THAT WHOSOEVER TONIGHT?? 
 

 

SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK

SONG (TUNE)

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

271 (583)

DUET "LOOK AND LIVE"

118 (731)