Now you see ’em, now you don’t. Like shooting 🌟 stars, then they are gone. In a moment of time. Here one moment, gone the next. Gone so quickly. Here today, gone tomorrow.
Did you see 👀 that? I caught only a brief glimpse. He was here just a minute ago.
Sometimes the most impacting encounters in life are brief ones. It’s not the QUANTITY but the QUALITY that really matters. You know what I mean – I ONLY MET HIM ONCE BRIEFLY, BUT HE CHANGED MY LIFE.
The Bible is full of those quick hitters. In fact, they are so fleeting, you don’t even realize what’s happening. No, they are not the heavyweights like Abraham, Moses, Joseph, David, Samson, Judas, Peter, Paul, and John. Rather they are seeming lightweights, but if you can capture their moment, their impact will be eternal.
These then are not HIGHFLIERS, but those that fly beneath the radar. The lessons we learn from them, both positive and negative, are the reasons God the Holy Spirit included them in the Bible. They are all there for our instruction, salvation, and sanctification.
This ZADOCK is not found in the Bible, but the religio-political group that He founded is in the Bible – THE SADDUCEES. We run into them, or read over them, time and time again. FRANKLY, we meet them too much in the Bible!
This ZADOCK was a disciple of ANTIGONUS of Socho in the territory of Judah. Antigonus taught as HIS main doctrine:
“THAT MEN SHOULD LIVE VIRTUOUSLY FOR GOD, WITHOUT SEEKING A REWARD FROM GOD.”
In other words, live righteously and justly for the Lord, but not to get perks from the Lord. If it is a give-to-get proposition, then you are not serving God but rather serving yourself. Profound and indispensable truth, and so easily violated. Especially today!
ANTIGONUS and ZADOCK had it right, and we could benefit a great deal from a lot more of Antigonus and ZADOCK today. Why? Because we live in a time that features the “MAKE DEALS WITH GOD” that dominate the modern religious scene.
“GIVE TO GOD IN ORDER TO GET FROM GOD.”
“SERVE GOD IN ORDER TO BE SERVED BY GOD.”
In other words:
“WHEELING AND DEALING WITH GOD HAS BECOME MODERN RELIGIOUS MAN’S MODUS OPERENDI WITH GOD.”
The problem with all of that, and a massive problem it is, is what Isaiah 64:6 tells us:
“BUT ALL OF US ARE AN UNCLEAN THING, AND ALL OF OUR RIGHTEOUSNESSES ARE LIKE FILTHY RAGS.”
How do you like them 🍎 apples? They all have worms! God is so HOLY, that even our GOODNESS compared to Him is BADNESS! Even out RIGHTNESS is WRONGNESS! Even our CLEANNESS is DIRTINESS! Get the picture? Very few in our generation do.
“NO MATTER WHAT WE DO FOR GOD, OUR DEEDS ARE AS FILTHY AS DIRT.”
“NO MATTER WHAT GIFT WE GIVE TO GOD, IT IS WRAPPED IN DIRTY WRAPPING PAPER.”
“WHEN WE GO SHOPPING IN GOD’S STOREHOUSE OF BLESSINGS, WE ARE TRYING TO DO DEALS WITH DIRTY MONEY 💰.”
The Lord tells us in Psalm 100:4,
“ENTER INTO HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING, AND INTO HIS COURTS WITH PRAISE, BE THANKFUL UNTO HIM, AND BLESS HIS NAME.”
But what has tragically happened is this:
“MODERN WORSHIPERS ARE BEING TRAINED TO COME TO CHURCH NOT WITH A GRATEFUL ATTITUDE, BUT INSTEAD WITH A BUSINESS APTITUDE.”
Point of fact:
“TODAY PEOPLE ARE CHIEFLY BEING TAUGHT HOW TO EFFECTIVELY DO BUSINESS WITH GOD.”
Live virtuously to get blessed abundantly. Believe big to get blessed bigger. Sow large monetary seeds to reap large monetary harvests. It is pandemic and out of control! ANTIGONUS AND ZADOCK IF THEY CAUGHT A SMALL GLIMPSE OF THE RELIGIOUS SCENE TODAY, WOULD DO ROLL OVERS IN THEIR GRAVES.
Yes, it is sick and sad. Modern Christianity has been reduced to doing DIRTY DEALS WITH GOD, rather than simply asking God and relying totally on His grace.
GRACE – GRACE – GRACE – GRACE!
GRACE ALL THE WAY FOR EVERYTHING AND IN EVERYTHING.
John 1:16 tells us,
“OF HIS FULLNESS WE HAVE ALL RECEIVED, GRACE UPON GRACE. ”
GRACE is not a deal maker, it is a LIFE SAVER! You don’t bargain with grace, you can only unworthily receive grace. That is what is so amazing about GOD’S GRACE. You can’t earn it, buy it, deserve it, or deal for it. You can only humbly receive it, knowing that you don’t merit one speck of it!
ILLUSTRATION OF GRACE
Sir Edwin Landseer was a very well known artist of the Victorian Era in Great Britain. An accomplished artist already at age 13, his artwork was already at that young age on display at the Royal Academy. He was famous for his portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Edward.
One day Sir Edwin was visiting an old castle in Scotland. One of the servants stumbled while serving the meal, and splashed soda water on the wall of the fine dining area. It created quite a stain.
The artist stayed longer than planned, and with the use of charcoal drew a breathtaking scene of a waterfall with trees and animals. It transformed the room into something spectacular, as he incorporated the stain into the beauty.
You say, “How gracious of Sir Edwin Landseer to do such a thing of turning a mess into a marvel!” Indeed! Welcome to Christianity and the real GRACELAND!
BACK TO ZADOCK
ZADOCK the student of ANTIGONUS carried his teacher’s heart with him. As with Antigonus, Zodock also had followers who came to be known as THE SADDUCEES.
The name SADDUCEES comes from the Greek word SADAQ which means:
“TO BE RIGHTEOUS-JUST.”
They had this in common with the more infamous Pharisees – SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS. Self-righteous folks always believe that they merit God’s blessings.
Any movement can go off the tracks into the abyss of heresy. While Zadock held his master’s truth that we should live virtuously without regard to reward, his disciples went off into weirdsville!
The Sadducees taught:
1. There are no rewards or punishments in an after life.
2. There is no resurrection from the dead.
3. There is no spirit world.
4. There are no angels.
5. There are no eternal souls which perish at death.
6. There is little if any involvement by God in daily life.
So when you read of the Sadducees in Matthew 22:23-34, Mark 12:18, and Like 20:27, you are confronting a cult that is not at all in the flow of orthodox Judaism.
You can now understand why the Sadducees were such strong enemies of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Yes – HOW SAD-YOU-SEE. Zadock’s star 🌟 fell from the heavens, and went down in dishonor and infamy!
Conclusion to ZADOCK’S APOSTATE SADDUCEES
They were more political than they were religious. They were more an extension of Rome than they were an extension of Jerusalem. They were more of a political party than they were a religious party.
The SADDUCEES were very accommodating to the tyranny of Rome, as Israel was under the control of Rome when Jesus was on earth in the flesh. They supported the decisions of Rome, and we’re predominantly made up of the upper class.
If the Sadducees were alive in America today, they would support big governnent, and would be supported by HOLLYWOOD and the ACLU!
In other words, the DEMOCRATIC PARTY of today in America would be very compatible with the SADDUCEE PARTY of the first century in Israel. They are both fierce enemies of God and of His Son Jesus Christ.
2. ZIMRI AND COZBI
No, this is not a comedy team including one now defunct Bill Cozbi. Hardly, there is nothing comedic about this pair. And yet, here they are in Holy Scripture in all of their shameless sinfulness for everyone to see.
Zimri and Cozbi, so quickly appearing, and so suddenly and gruesomely disappearing. Their names and execution remind us of Bonnie and Clyde in their bloody demise. B and C were gunned down, while Z and C were as it were literally shish kebobbed.
I am stunned to read how instantly Z and C were dispatched into the next world, without any opportunity to repent of that which they did in this world. Sexual climax and the climax of their lives were simultaneous.
It was much bigger than ZIMRI and COZBI, though they bore the disemboweling brunt of God’s displeasure.
The children of Israel were in their wilderness journey passing through the land of Moab where the pagan Midianites made their home. Moab was east of the Dead Sea in the land that is now called Jordan. Jordan today is an ally of the United States.
The Midianites were an IDOLATROUS people with their head god being BAALPEOR. BAAL was the chief idol that they worshipped on a mountain called PEOR – hence BAALPEOR.
We read in Numbers 25:3,
“AND ISRAEL JOINED HIMSELF TO
BAALPEOR, AND THE ANGER OF THE LORD WAS KINDLED AGAINST ISRAEL.”
Remember this now, that GOD’S WRATH IS IGNITED BECAUSE HIS PEOPLE WERE BECOMING IDOLATORS.
The consistent sin of the heathen throughout history is IDOLATRY. There are two ways to engage in the sin of IDOLATRY:
1. Worshipping that as God which is not God.
2. Worshipping the true God in ways that misrepresent God.
The first is chiefly true of HISTORIC IDOLATRY, while the second is chiefly true of MODERN IDOLATRY. Either REPLACING GOD, or MISREPRESENTING GOD. The two idolatries.
Israel replaced JAWEH with BAALPEOR, the TRUE GOD with the FALSE GOD!
Even more striking is the way God puts it in Numbers 25:3,
“Israel JOINED HIMSELF to Baalpeor.”
The word JOINED has strong marital pinnings, as a husband JOINED to his wife. So what God is saying here is that Israel was committing MARITAL INFIDELITY AND ADULTERY. That is what IDOLATRY is – ADULTERY!
It therefore also means that they became devoted to BAALPEOR. They worshiped him, they offered sacrifices to him, they bowed down before him. They were joined to him as a wife to her husband.
By the way, throughout the Bible, the people of God, the church of Christ, are portrayed as the WIFE OF GOD, the BRIDE OF CHRIST.
I don’t have space to do a study on this, except to say that Israel was MRS. GOD, and Christians are MRS. CHRIST.
A married woman in Spain was questioning her husband’s devotion to her! So she concocted a rather daring and ingenious scheme. She faked her own kidnapping, complete with ransom note et al, demanding a high price.
This went on for a time, before the police discovered the hoax. Of course, when they questioned her, they asked her why in the world she would do such a thing. She told them she wanted to know how devoted he was to her, and how important she was to him.
Creative and revealing to say the least! Don’t try this at home!
God was jealously furious like a jealous husband would be! We read in Numbers 25:4-5 that God ordered Moses to put to death all of those who had committed spiritual adultery with Baalpeor. Yes, nothing short of putting the idolaters to death would satisfy the wrath of God. Put to death they were!
Not only put to death were the idol worshipers, but their heads were hung before the Lord in the burning sun according to Divine command!
Isis beheads Christians, God beheads idolaters. Isis beheads the worshipers of the true God. God beheads the worshipers of the false god.
Or as God put it in Numbers 25:4,
“THAT THE FIERCE ANGER OF THE LORD MAY BE TURNED AWAY FROM ISRAEL.”
The trap in all of this is that 21st century people including Christians, relegate IDOLATRY to antiquity. In other words, it is an ancient sin that has little relevance to today. You know, we moderns have outgrown all of that idolatry stuff. That was practiced by primitive peoples.
Think again! We just rang Heaven’s bell, listen 🎶 to it for whom the bell tolls.
We are living in a nation in which the second kind of idolatry is pervasive:
“CONFESSING ALLEGIANCE TO GOD AND HIS SON JESUS CHRIST, AND THEN BLATANTLY MISREPRESENTING GOD AND HIS SON.”
How??? By professing Christ and from the other side your mouth supporting abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage, transgenderism, all of which GOD FLAT OUT DAMNS IN HIS WORD.
Watch out for this more and more from the Democrats and left wingers as they more and more commit this blasphemous idolatry.
Now something very strange and sad 😢 is happening before the door of the tabernacle. The Israelites standing there are all weeping as if someone dear to them had died and they were in mourning.
If you look closer, the weeping congregation consists mostly of women. Well that partially explains it. We all know how emotional women tend to be, and that they cry much more easily than men.
No, I wish it was that pure and simple. The real reason for the tears is found in Numbers 25:1,
“AND THE PEOPLE BEGAN TO COMMIT WHOREDOM WITH THE DAUGHTERS OF MOAB.”
That is the real reason that the DAUGHTERS OF ZION WERE WEEPING, namely, that the men of Israel were having sexual intercourse with Midianitish women. If you will, they went to the red light districts of Moab and had sex with Midianite whores.
Then something happened that was even more scandalous and heart wrenching. A man 🚹 by the name of ZIMRI took a woman 🚺 of Midian by the name of COSBI and paraded her around for the pleasure of the men of Israel. In other words, they could all have a whack at her. Moses saw 👀 it, and so did the people which is why they were weeping.
Now then, this was done ✔ with absolute shamelessness. ZIMRI AND COSBI WERE ON PARADE LIKE A CELEBRATION OF WHOREDOM RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE OF WORSHIP. It was an invitation to an ORGY!
We must realize something powerful here! And it is this:
“WHEN SIN BECOMES MORE AND MORE CUSTOMARY, IT TAKES AWAY THE SHAME OF SIN AND EMBOLDENS THE SINNER.”
If you will:
“THE SHAMEFULNESS OF SIN ALWAYS WEARS OFF BY THE CONTINUANCE OF IT’S PRACTICE.”
And there is another trick that the devil is trying to pull off here. This is why the Bible records the following.
Neither ZIMRI nor COSBI were your typical hoi polloi or commoners. ZIMRI was the son of a prince of one the chief houses in the Tribe of Simeon. COSBI was the daughter of a prince of a chief house of the Midianites. They both had standing and rank in their respective societies.
What’s the point? Simply this:
“THE SIN IS ALL THE MORE ACCEPTED WHEN THE SINNER IS ADMIRED.”
Hey, Satan knows what he is doing:
“SIN IS NO LONGER ABHORRED WHEN THE SINNER IS ADORED.”
Popularity will always trump perversion in the degenerate and even in the regenerated masses.
“IT IS SATAN’S WAY OF MAKING SIN CREDITABLE.”
God will have none of it, for when it comes to sin on parade, God is a first class party pooper and parade stopper.
What God does next is to send a PLAGUE in Israel that kills 24,000 people. That too could explain some of the weeping and wailing. Sin on parade is now replaced by endless funeral processions. Israeli morticians suddenly found their businesses booming.
But God isn’t done yet. The next thing we know is that Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron the High Priest, takes a JAVELIN. He then goes into the tent of ZIMRI who by now is on top of COSBI. He plunges the javelin through both of their stomachs and they die.
Only when ZIMRI and COSBI WERE RUN THROUGH WITH THE JAVELIN did the plague cease.
We read God saying to Moses in Numbers 25:11,
“Phinehas, the son of Eleazer, the son of Aaron, has turned away my wrath from the children of Israel.”
Until Phinehas shish kebobbed Zimri and Cosbi, the plague went forth unabated.
-Christ died for our sins.
-Christians die to their sins.
-Unbelievers die in their sins.