EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Class II – 08-Feb-2009


by Chris McCann


If everyone could turn to Numbers 31:25-42: 

And JEHOVAH spake unto Moses, saying, Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation: And divide the prey into two parts; between them that took the war upon them, who went out to battle, and between all the congregation: And levy a tribute unto JEHOVAH of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep: Take it of their half, and give it unto Eleazar the priest, for an heave offering of JEHOVAH. And of the children of Israel’s half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of JEHOVAH. And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as JEHOVAH commanded Moses. And the booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught, was six hundred thousand and seventy thousand and five thousand sheep. And threescore and twelve thousand beeves, And threescore and one thousand asses, And thirty and two thousand persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him. And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war, was in number three hundred thousand and seven and thirty thousand and five hundred sheep: And JEHOVAH’S tribute of the sheep was six hundred and threescore and fifteen. And the beeves were thirty and six thousand; of which JEHOVAH’S tribute was threescore and twelve. And the asses were thirty thousand and five hundred; of which JEHOVAH’S tribute was threescore and one. And the persons were sixteen thousand; of which JEHOVAH’S tribute was thirty and two persons. And Moses gave the tribute, which was JEHOVAH’S heave offering, unto Eleazar the priest, as JEHOVAH commanded Moses. And of the children of Israel’s half, which Moses divided from the men that warred,

And I will stop there.  There is more information and we will try to get into that maybe another time.  I do not even think we are going to get near looking at what we just read. 

Before we begin, there is such a thing as plagiarism, so I want to acknowledge that the numbers that we find here, I did not initially notice.  Someone else noticed this at the Bible conference that we had here in August.  Actually, he came up to the front and he was going through this and wanted to know if I had studied it.  It sounded way too complicated and I said, “No, maybe this is not the best format for this.”  Then later, he showed me some of these, slower and in more detail, regarding the numbers in this chapter.  I kind of understood a little bit, but I still did not understand really what he was talking about.  He was a believer from New York, Reuben Tubbs.  It was not until recently that I went over this more carefully and slower, and now I see what he was talking about. 

For instance…this will just get us started…there is more math.  (Rebecca, you have the calculator?)  There is more math involved here (as you noticed as we read), but we do not really have to do the calculations.  I mean, we do have to do them, but we do not have to do them right now.  I will just give you what it totals and you can check this later.  In Numbers 31:32-35, it says, speaking of the prey or the spoil of this war: 

…was six hundred thousand and seventy thousand and five thousand sheep. And threescore and twelve thousand beeves,

Or 72,000.  So we have 675,000 + 72,000. 

And threescore and one thousand asses,

That is 61,000 added to the 675,000 and the 72,000. 

And thirty and two thousand persons in all…

32,000 added to that, and it totals 840,000 exactly. 

And, you know, I identify that number.  I thought, “Yes, that is a significant number, because the number 84, we can see, is in 840,000.”  And there are more, a lot more in this chapter, that are emphasizing significant Biblical numbers like that. 

There are some people who are maybe not all that familiar with the timeline of history or the numbers of the Bible, but the numbers of the Bible are very important.  They are given by God.  They are actually words and so they are perfect.  There are no mistakes.  There are no scribal errors.  There is spiritual meaning and teaching by the numbers of the Bible.  The same God who created the universe and built numbers into the fabric of all creation (as the scientists are figuring out) is the One who wrote the Bible and gave us a timeline of history whereby very significant events happened, not randomly, not haphazardly, but exactly on certain epochs of time, in a very orderly way (as John was talking about when he was discussing the calendar of history during the first study today). 

God uses numbers to teach.  This is very important because when Jesus was on the cross, there were three crosses.  He went into the garden three times to pray.  The number three is found many, many times in association with the crucifixion of Christ because it was God’s purpose that Jesus be crucified.  When we find the number three in the Bible, the spiritual meaning of that word—three—carries over.  We see again and again where we find the number three that God’s purpose is in view. 

Or the number ten has to do with completeness.  God owns the cattle upon a thousand hills, it says in the Psalms.  Satan was bound for a thousand years.  These are not literal numbers.  God owns the cattle more than upon a thousand hills; He owns the cattle on all of the hills, which are way more than a thousand.  But the number ten—or multiples of ten, like 100 or 1,000 or 100,000—shows that it is God’s completeness that is in view in whatever He is talking about.  There were ten virgins—five wise, five foolish—and they represented the completeness of all those who profess the name of Christ: true believers and those who never really become true believers. 

And the number 40 has to do with testing.  Jesus was 40 days being tempted by Satan.  Israel was 40 years in the wilderness.  We can see that where the number 40 is, there is a regular and continual reference to testing.  This is the meaning that God has given to that number. 

Now, there are other numbers, like 23, 37, 42, 43, which are related to judgment.  Daniel speaks of 2300 evening/mornings in connection with the Great Tribulation, and, you know, we can get into that.  But there is also, in relationship to judgment and the time of the Great Tribulation, there is association with the number 84.  Again and again and again, repeatedly, the number 84 comes up, like with the two historical periods in the nation of Israel that represent the Great Tribulation.  One would be the seven-year famine in the days of Joseph.  Acts 7:11 uses the two Greek words megas thlipsis and calls it “great affliction” in the English, which could be said to be the Great Tribulation, just like Matthew 24. 

And so that seven-year famine, since God calls it in Acts 7:11 “great tribulation,” typifies the Great Tribulation to come at the end of the world.  Well, 7 years x 12 for the number of months in a year = 84 months.  Then later in history, there is another period in Israel’s history when Judah is being destroyed by the Babylonians.  They go into captivity and it is the time when they are under God’s judgment, again typifying the Great Tribulation, from 609 B.C. to 539 B.C., which is 70 years.  70 x 12 for the number of months in each one of the years = 840 months. 

So within the one period of seven years of famine, we see the number 84; within 70 years of Judah’s history, we see the number 84.  And we find it, for instance, in Revelation 11 when the two witnesses are lying dead in the street for three and a half days.  How many hours are in three and a half days?  24 in a day.  3 x 24 = 72, and you go a half a day, + 12 = 84.  And that, again, is associated with Great Tribulation, the number 84. 

We saw a few weeks ago with the reference in Ezekiel 1:1 to the 30th year, which was when those events in Ezekiel were beginning, and that went back to 623 B.C., and from 623 B.C. to 539 B.C., which would be the end of that 70-year period of when God was judging Israel, was 84 years.  Again, God was using that number to point to the end of the Great Tribulation.  And there is a lot more. 

Now, it says in Daniel 9, and why don’t we go to Daniel 9, in the last verse of Daniel 9.  This passage describes the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 and it can be shown to point to Christ and His ministry after the 69 weeks, from an Old Testament starting point.  And by the way, Daniel 9 is a built-in proof in the Bible that God gives time paths.  And what is a time path?  A time path is where you start a particular date and you project it into the future, and that is what God does here in Daniel 9.  He says in Daniel 9:24-25: 

Seventy weeks… 

Or “seventy sevens.”

…are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks… 

Or sixty-nine weeks. 

So you have to find where that commandment was given.  I do not have that information at hand right here.  You can find it in the 70 Weeks of Daniel Nine that Mr. Camping has written.  It is available on Family Radio’s website (www.familyradio.com).  I do not want to give an inaccurate date, but you find in the history of Israel where the commandment was given, and that can be located, and then you project sixty-nine weeks, or 69 x 7, and it lands actually, I believe, on 29 A.D., at the beginning point of Christ’s ministry. 

Anyway, the point is that God gave a time path.  This is what a time path is, and this actually goes from the Old Testament to the New Testament, which is what the Bible teaches regarding the seven days before the flood when God said to Noah yet seven days and He would bring the flood upon the world.  2 Peter 3 shows us that each day is as a thousand years, and so it is 7,000 years projected into the future, exactly like Daniel 9.  There is no difference.  It is taking an Old Testament date and it is pointing into the future, except the verse that God gives in Genesis was projecting much further into the future, to the very end of the world. 

Well, anyway, here in Daniel 9, go to the last verse, verse 27.  It says in Daniel 9:27: 

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week… 

How many hours are in a week?  There are 168 hours in a week. 

…and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease… 

How many hours in half a week?  Three and a half days, and three and half days are 84 hours. 

So God is breaking up that last week into two parts equally 84 hours long.  The first part is representing Jesus’ time of ministry, from when He was baptized.  The 1335 days is likened to half a week or 84 hours. 

And then it says: 

…in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease…

This is because Christ was crucified, after His time of ministry, in the midst of the week. 

Now, God is God and if He wants to make a week three and a half years long on one side and then stretch the other half of that week into the whole New Testament Era until the end, well, He can do that and that is exactly what He did. 

But in the midst of the week, Christ is crucified, and that was the first 84 hours, and then He says to the people of the New Testament Era, “You have 84 hours left.  From the cross, up until the overspreading of abominations and the consummation, you have 84 hours.  At the end of the 84 hours comes the end,” just like we are learning.  Just like we are learning because we are in a time of Great Tribulation that began on May 21, 1988, and it goes until May 21, 2011, which is exactly how many days?  It is 8400 days.  84 again.  In 23 years, the time of Great Tribulation, that number 84, and on that day it will be what Daniel 9:27 is saying.  It is the time:

…for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation… 

Now, the word “consummation” is translated as “full end” seven times in the book of Jeremiah or as “utter end” a couple of other times in other places.  So God is definitely saying that this goes right to the end, to the end of the world, to the Great Day of the Lord’s wrath, which begins May 21, and that whole five-month period is the day of the Lord.  It is five months but it is all the Day of the Lord because it is all His judgment and His wrath being poured upon all of the unsaved who are still alive in the world. 

So, really, from the cross until that day of May 21st is 84 hours, three and a half days, and that is also the day, May 21st, 2011, that is the 17th day of the 2nd month in the Hebrew calendar, which tells us that this is the date that we are to arrive at from the flood that began at 4990 B.C.  And it goes 7,000 years to that day, which, for all intents and purposes, is an exact 7,000 years, even though it could be off.  God is just tying it in together because we do not know, basically, how to say which day or month aligns with Noah’s calendar.  But God, in making May 21 st, 2011, the 17th day of the 2nd Hebrew month, is saying, “Now, for all intents and purposes, that is exactly 7,000 years from the flood.”  7,000 years x 12 months = 84,000 months on that day of May 21st, so all of the 84’s are coming together. 

Well, you see why it is significant that when you add together the people, the sheep, the beeves, and the asses, it comes to 840,000. That is pretty significant.  There is a battle that took place, and, you know, we kind of came in the middle in Numbers 31.  We came into the middle of things, but the battle was against the Midianites. 

If we go back to Numbers 31:1-3, it says: 

And JEHOVAH spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people. And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge JEHOVAH of Midian.

So they were fighting the Midianites, and who are the Midianites?  Well, they were related, in a sense, to Israel because Midian was a son of Abraham through Keturah and he would have had some relationship with Abraham’s other sons, including Isaac.  And Midian, we do not really find too much information about Midian, but there are some references in the Bible. 

For instance, when Moses fled Egypt, he married the daughter of Jethro, the priest of Midian, and so Moses was familiar with the Midians, because not only was Jethro a Midianite, he was a priest of Midian and he lived with them for forty years, and Jethro (or Reuel or Hobab are a few of his names in the Bible) seemed to be a very intelligent man and wise in his own way.  Even after Israel came out of Egypt, as God used Moses and Aaron to bring them out, His father-in-law assisted him by helping him to set up authority over the Israelites so that everyone was not coming to him all of the time.  Moses was waiting in the tent somewhere, while everyone who had a problem was lined up and coming to him.  And his father-in-law, Jethro, said, “You are not doing right.  Here is what you do.  You set up other people who can judge matters.” 

Also, at another time, Moses was requesting of his father-in-law that his father-in-law stay with them and help them through the wilderness and that he would be, to them, eyes, because the Midianites were very similar to how we understand Arabs; they could move around a little bit.  Actually, it is a little unclear, exactly, at least from what I was reading, where they lived.  They had some association with Moab and they also had an association with the Amorites.  They had cities or towns, I think, either on the borders or in these nations.  And remember, when Joseph’s brethren sold him as a slave into Egypt, they sold him to Midianite traders who were also called Ishmeelites. 

And so we can see the identification with Abraham, as Ishmael was a son of Abraham and so was Midian, but the Midianites were, they were people very familiar with the desert and so they could have moved around also from time to time. 

Now, let us go to Numbers 22:4, and here, this is one of the reasons why I say that there was identification with Moab.  It says in Numbers 22:4: 

And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.

And then in verse 7, Numbers 22:7: 

And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination…

They were going to Balaam in order to get Balaam to curse Israel, because Israel had come out of Egypt.  They were a huge host and all the nations were afraid of them, and so was Balak the King of Moab.  So he is thinking of cursing the Jews, cursing the Israelites, and so he sends these elders of Moab and of Midian.  They are closely related, but they are also separate; they are different.  And they go to Balaam and they come with rewards and the promise that this king will lift him up to honor. 

And, you know, Balaam is frightening.  Balaam is frightening, when we think about this man, because did Balaam go to Baal to see if he should go with them?  No, he went to Jehovah. 

In verse 8, Numbers 22:8-13, after these elders had come to Balaam and he is indicating that he has to go to the Lord: 

And he said unto them, Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as JEHOVAH shall speak unto me: and the princes of Moab abode with Balaam. And God came unto Balaam, and said, What men are these with thee? And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me, saying, Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: come now, curse me them; peradventure I shall be able to overcome them, and drive them out. And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed. And Balaam rose up in the morning, and said unto the princes of Balak, Get you into your land: for JEHOVAH refuseth to give me leave to go with you.

He had the right name for God, did he not?  It was not Baal.  It was not Ashtaroth.  It was not some other idol.  He went to Jehovah and he was asking, “Shall I go with them?,” and God answered.  God had communication with Balaam and said, “No, do not go,” and he was even obedient to Jehovah and said, “I cannot go with you.” 

And we know the story that when the messengers, or those elders, go back to Balak, the King of Moab, that he does not take no for an answer.  He sends more messengers who are more noble and more famous in those lands and probably with more money, and he goes to Balaam again and Balaam goes to seek the Lord’s answer or council again.  Why did he do that?  You see, that is the problem, because God had told him very definitely, “You cannot curse Israel.” 

This is one of the reasons as to why it says in Revelation 9, “It has been said to them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree.”  It has been said all through history, “You cannot hurt the people of God; they are blessed; you cannot curse them,” yet Satan has been trying repeatedly, of course, throughout history to curse them.  And the ultimate curse is if they believe a lie and they come under God’s wrath, but that is not possible, as Matthew 24 says, “If even the elect could be deceived,” and yet it indicates there that it is not possible for the elect to be deceived.  Nobody can curse a child of God so that they would lose their salvation through some false teaching or gospel.  It cannot be done. 

And so, here, these men come back and Balaam knows full well what they want to do.  They want to bring a curse on Israel and God has made it clear, “You cannot do this,” and yet God, this time, the second time, says, “Go with them; go ahead; go with them,” and, really, it is just the allowance that God gives us to go down our own sinful, stubborn, persistent, rebellious way in life; God permits this.  As Balaam does so, he finds en route that the Angel of the Lord, who is God, is standing in the way against him and preventing him from going, and it is Balaam’s donkey, Balaam’s ass, that realizes this, that God gives eyes to see.  He sees the Angel of the Lord three times, and each time Balaam is striking him and smiting him, and God tells us in the New Testament, in 2 Peter 2, which is a chapter dealing with false prophets or teachers, in 2 Peter 2:14-16:

Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way…

And Christ is the way, the right way. 

…and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

God opened up the mouth of an animal and the eyes of an animal to see truth, to see, “The way that you are going leads to destruction,” and Balaam could not see it at all, even though he, very faithfully it seems, often would go to Jehovah for guidance. 

You know, we cannot deceive God.  We cannot deceive the Lord as to what is going on in our heart, and Balaam was a very sinful man and he was covetous and he desired payment for service.  So he went to Balak, the King of Moab, and he offered sacrifice upon altars in sight of the nation of Israel that was encamped, three times, and after each time, instead of cursing Israel, God made him bless them.  God did put the words in his mouth and he pronounced the blessing.  And Balak, the King of Moab, was so frustrated that he smacked his hands together and he said, “I have called you to curse my enemies and these three times you have blessed them.”  Then that is how the story, the historical story, ends in Numbers 24.  Balaam went his way and, apparently, that is the end of the story, but it is not. 

If we go to Numbers 25:1-5, it says: 

And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of JEHOVAH was kindled against Israel. And JEHOVAH said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before JEHOVAH against the sun, that the fierce anger of JEHOVAH may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. 

Well, what happened?  What happened?  In Numbers 24, Balaam went his way, but he counseled Balak and he counseled the Moabites to entice Israel to intermarry, to intermingle, to not follow God’s Law, which says that you are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers.  No, the council was, “Become part of them and then they will not be able to hurt you.” 

This is very similar, I think, to Shechem who when his son desired to marry Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, Shechem and his son went to the people of Shechem and said, “Let us give them our daughters and let us take their daughters from them and then all of their animals, all of their cattle will be ours.”  You see, it was a plan to join in together, to become one.  “You cannot hurt someone who you are family with,” was probably the basic idea behind Balaam’s council.  And we know that Balaam counseled this because it says this in Numbers 31:16.  After Israel had destroyed the Midianites, it says: 

Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against JEHOVAH in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of JEHOVAH.

So he taught them, he deliberately taught them, “This is what you do.” 

And go to Revelation 2, where again we have some information about Balaam regarding the church of Pergamos.  Revelation 2:13-14:

I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is…But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

And so Balaam seems ever so faithful, “Let me go inquire of Jehovah; let me go inquire of the Lord,” and he does, and yet he was as wicked as anybody.  He was a false prophet, a false teacher, teaching lies and teaching for the reward that would come with it. 

And, you know, I would not say that this is true of everyone, but look at what is going on in the churches today.  We know that the churches today do not have the truth, that God is finished with the churches and congregations.  The Church Age is over, but they are continuing on, continuing to teach things that are not true, without the blessing of God, persisting in their own way, just like Balaam, and they are soon going to experience what Balaam did not, because the donkey warned him.  But there is nobody to warn the people in the church, because God has called His people out.  They will not listen; they have eyes but they do not see and ears but they do not hear, so they are going to persist in their ways, and a lot of it is because of the wages of unrighteousness.  There are salaries involved.  There is money involved, a lot of money involved in the churches and congregations. 

And, you know, yes, it is a tough thing, it is a tough thing if you are a pastor and you hear that God is finished with the church, but it is coming from the Bible.  Then when you read the Bible and can see that this is so, that God is judging the churches, well, yes, it is very tough to sit down and to think, “Well, what am I going to do for a living? I have a family.”  However, to continue would put you in the shoes of Balaam and it would certainly mean your destruction and your end. 

If we go back to Numbers 31, what happened to Balaam?  Well, it says in Numbers 31:8 when they were fighting with Midian: 

And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword.

They killed him.  They killed Balaam and God makes a point of letting us know that he was slain; and later, Moses mentions this wicked council. 

So as we are reading Numbers 31, we are trying to figure out the context of the passage to try to understand why God uses the number 840,000 in reference to the animals and the people.  And by the way, can we do that?  Can we add together animals and people?  Are we permitted to do that?  Well, look at Numbers 31:26: 

Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast… 

Count it all together.  Make sure that you do that.  And actually, there was more than 840,000; because when they came from the battle, they brought women and little children who were male.  But then when Moses came to the captains of the thousands and the captains of the hundreds and he saw them coming with the women and the little children, that is when he mentions Balaam and that is when he says, “How could you bring the women here when it is because of the women and Balaam’s council that we sinned in the matter of Baalpeor?  Put to death every woman that has known man and all of the little males.”  They killed the children, the boy children; they slew them—and that is the Word of God. 

You know, God is the One who is going to slay every unsaved person on May 21st in 2011.  It does not matter what age you are.  If you are a human being, you are conceived in sin.  We are sinners and sin is rebellion against God.  The wages of sin is death and God can collect that particular wage at any point in anyone’s life and be just in doing so.  There is not anyone who can say, “It is not fair; it is not just or right that You take the life of any person.”  God is God.  He is the Creator and He can take anyone’s life in compliance with His Law that the wages of sin is death. 

So once they slay the women and the little boys, then they have the 840,000.  They have a total number of 840,000 of the spoil.  But why the number 84?  How does this relate to our day of Great Tribulation? 

Well, if we go back to Numbers 25:1: 

And Israel abode in Shittim… 

That is when this happened with Baalpeor and this plague that broke in upon the Israelites. 

Then Numbers 33:49 says: 

And they pitched by Jordan, from Bethjesimoth even unto Abelshittim in the plains of Moab. 

Now, chapter 33 of Numbers is a chapter dealing with the movements or encampments of Israel and that was their last one.  It was number 42.  There were 42 movements of Israel from the time that they came out of Egypt, over that 40-year wilderness sojourn period, until they would enter into the Promised Land. 

And so, what is taking place with Midian and this war is involved with their last encampment; and number 42, as we find, has to do with the Great Tribulation.  Revelation 11:1-2 speaks of 42 months, and that is another number that God uses to identify with the Great Tribulation that we are going through.  

So that is one thing, and it is interesting that it is here that Israel is falling away.  They are going astray in this matter of Baalpeor.  After the long wilderness sojourn and 42 encampments, they are right on the steps of the Promised Land.  They are right before Canaan after 40 years, and they would know because God told them, “You are going to wander a year for each day that you searched the land.  You searched the land for 40 days; you are going to wander for 40 years.”  They were coming to the end of the 40-year period.  God even told Moses in Numbers 31:2: 

Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people. 

And he was gathered unto his people.  He died at the age of 120.  He left Egypt with all of the Israelites at the age of 80, so it was 40 years.  They were right on the doorsteps of the Promised Land and they sinned in the matter of Baalpeor and committed spiritual fornication and sacrificed things unto idols, and so God judges them and avenges them. 

Is that not very similar to the church, the Church Age which has come from the cross and was used of God for hundreds of years?  And until we get near the end of time where we are on the doorsteps of eternity and ready to enter into the Kingdom of God, right before that—it is only a handful of years, 23 years—the church goes completely apostate and astray and commits all manner of spiritual wickedness and fornication and an idolatry with false gods, because if you are not teaching the truth, then you are worshipping Satan or you are worshipping anything but God.  God is a God of truth “and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth,” and if there is no truth, you do not have worship of the God of the Bible. 

And so this is something that we can see.  It is the 42nd encampment, which identifies with the Great Tribulation, and we can see how God is using this number 84.  But there is more than that.  In Numbers 25, they slew the people who were involved with this spiritual fornication, and then we read in Numbers 25:9: 

And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.

Now, that is pretty close to a reference that we have in the New Testament.  Remember 1 Corinthians 10?  In 1 Corinthians 10, this whole passage is great because it tells us how God wrote the Bible, that He wrote in parables.  1 Corinthians 10:1-4: 

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

That would be referencing the manna. 

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them… 

Now, that is referencing when Moses smote the rock and water came out, and God says that it is a spiritual rock because it is pointing to the Lord Jesus who was smitten, killed by God for His people so that the Gospel water could flow out into the world. 

And it says in verse 5, 1 Corinthians 10:5-8: 

But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

And we see that especially when Moses was getting the Ten Commandments from God and came down, and this was what they were doing. 

Neither let us commit fornication…

This is the tie-in with Numbers. 

…as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 

The number 23; the number 23, which is completely identified with the Great Tribulation: 2300 evening/mornings, 23 years from 1988 to 2011.  And this is referring back to Numbers 25 where it says that 24,000 died.  You know, isn’t God something the way He writes the Bible?  Isn’t He something?  He makes it so easy for people.  If you do not want to believe that the Bible is the Word of God, if you want to think that it is just some old ancient men who wrote down some things that you do not have to worry about, well, God will give you opportunity to think that kind of thing. 

Just think of the Jews who would have known the Old Testament.  They would have known that Numbers said 24,000, because that has not changed from their day to ours, and then you have this new fledgling religion, Christianity, coming forth, and they were very familiar with the Apostle Paul because he used to be Saul of Tarsus, and he is writing an Epistle to a church in Corinth and he is making such an elementary error.  He was the well-schooled Saul of Tarsus, a very highly educated man who was schooled in the Scriptures and when he writes his Epistle, he makes that kind of a blunder?  Wouldn’t you check your passage before you are going to write an Epistle to the Corinthians?  Go back to Numbers.  It says 24,000. 

You see, God made it easy for the Jews to dismiss Christianity on this basis, as well as other references.  God did it with Stephen, too, in Acts 7, and in other things that God inspired these men to write. He made it so anyone who does not trust really God Himself and the Bible can easily say that there are mistakes and errors in the Bible. 

Of course, theologians and some of the churches today try to smooth it out.  They know that Paul was inspired so they try to say that there was a scribal error, “Paul wrote down the correct number, but then over the centuries as the manuscripts have been handed down, generation to generation, some scribe just wrote the wrong number.”  And they do not understand the Bible.  They do not understand the protection and care that God has put into His Word to give it and to keep it perfect in the original languages.  There is no mistake. 

You see, when we come to the Bible with the mindset that every Word of God is true and faithful, then we just have to look a little bit more closely and we have to think, “Now, it cannot be a mistake.  What is the explanation, because both statements are true?”  And the explanation is, as it says here in 1 Corinthians 10:8:

Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

So the plague began and 23,000 people died in 24 hours.  Then after the 24-hour period, the next day, or maybe two days after (God does not tell us), but after that 24-hour period, another 1,000 people died of the same plague.  So God can say that 24,000 people died in Numbers, and yet in one day, 23,000.  He wanted to identify with the number 23 in the matter of Baalpeor to tie it into the time of Great Tribulation so that we would be able to understand why He is using this number of 840,000 in relationship to the spoils of the war.  Because the number 84 has to do with the end of the Great Tribulation, the end of the world, the end of 7,000 years, the end of the last half of Daniel’s 70th week, which is 84 hours; it has to do with the end. 

Now the war is finished and they are gathering together the spoil, and, Lord willing, we will continue on, because God does more things, and this is what makes it complicated because I did not get into all of the other things with the numbers, but God says, “You have your spoil, now divide it into two parts.  Of the one part will be the Lord’s tribute, one out of 500 souls” (and God calls people as well as the animals “souls”); “and the other part is for the congregation, one out of fifty.” 

There is our math homework for the week.  What do those numbers come up to?  And I think that we will see that God is emphasizing and re-emphasizing that this has to do with the Great Tribulation, with the last end of the church and of the world, and it has to do with the coming up of God’s people, typified by Moses, in resurrection. 

Okay, let us stop here.